Symposium “Images of the Spinal Cord: from Functionally Identified Neurons to Functional Recovery”


On November 25, 2013, the International Symposium “Images of the Spinal Cord: from Functionally Identified Neurons to Functional Recovery” took place in the new Conference Hall of the Neurobiology Centre of the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology in Warsaw. The Symposium was organised by Urszula Sławińska (Poland), Larry M. Jordan (Canada) and Anna Cabaj (Poland).

The Conference was sponsored by the European Union FPN-7 grant Bio-Imagine and by the Committee of Neurobiology PAS. Almost 90 researchers from Poland, Canada, United States, Germany, Sweden, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary and Ukraine participated in the meeting. Among PhD students there were 9 young researchers from Slovak Republic, Lithuania, Hungary and Ukraine that received a “STUDENT TRAVEL AWARD” to attend the meeting.

Main Topics of Symposium:

• Assessment of spinal cord injury with Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) in human patients (Joanna Bladowska, Wroclaw Medical University).
• Overcoming methodological challenges in Multi-Parametric MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of spinal cord injury and improving locomotor recovery after spinal cord injury. (Julian Cohen-Adad, Ecole Politechnique de Montreal).
• Improving axonal growth and regeneration by microtubule stabilization and reactivation of the polarization program for growing axons, and a breakthrough in 3D imaging of structurally intact and injured spinal cord (Frank Bradke, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn).
• Ultrasound for precise control of micro-transplantation in the nervous system (Artur Czurpryn, Nencki Institute, Warsaw).
• Neural circuits for walking probed with optogenetics and targeted silencing of genetically defined functional populations of spinal interneurons (Ole Kiehn, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm).
• Spinal interneurons with exteroceptive input controlling grasping and locomotion (Robert Brownstone, Dalhousie University, Halifax).
• Transplanted stem cells marked for tracking using iron oxide nanoparticles and supported by biocompatible hydrogels and their impact on treatment of spinal cord injury (Eva Sykova, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Prague).
• Neurotrophin contributions to the recovery of locomotion and the effects of locomotor training after spinal cord injury (Julita Czarkowska-Bauch, Nencki Institute, Warsaw).
• Restoration of locomotion after spinal cord injury with exogenous drug application or serotonin cell replacement therapy and new strategies using genetic engineering (Urszula Sławińska, Nencki Institute, Warsaw).