NEURO MEETUPS
2020

Past Events

1/ 05.02.20

Neuroscience of sleep

and development

Andjela Markovic

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PhD Student

University of Bern

Sarah Schoch

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PhD Student

University of Zurich

Talk 1: Heritability of the sleep EEG in adolescence

(Andjela Markovic, University of Bern)


 

Studying brain activity during sleep in adolescence reveals unique information about the developing brain. Our work shows that the adolescent sleep EEG is a rich metric capturing genetic as well as environmental factors with broad clinical applications.

Andjela Markovic is a PhD student at the Graduate School for Health Sciences at the University of Bern. Her PhD project at the University Hospital for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in Bern is aiming to answer questions from the field of sleep research regarding the association between sleep, development and psychiatric disorders. Andjela received her BSc in Computer Science from the ETH Zurich in 2013, her MSc in Biomedical Engineering from the ETH Zurich in 2015 and her Piano Teaching Diploma from the Swiss Academy of Music and Music Pedagogy in 2013.



Talk 2: Developmental associations between sleep and gut microbiome on infants

(Sarah Schoch, University of Zurich)


 

Infancy is characterized by high variability in sleep behavior. The underlying reasons are not yet well understood. We are exploring whether the gut microbiome could explain some of the variability.

Sarah Schoch completed her Bachelor and Master in psychology at the University of Zurich. In her master thesis she investigated the role of dreams in memory consolidation during sleep with Prof. Dr. Björn Rasch. For her PhD she joined the newly established Baby Sleep Laboratory of Dr. Kurth at the clinical research priority program of the University of Zürich. She is interested in how sleep develops in infancy and factors associated with this development.

2/ 04.03.20

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Federica Pilotto

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PhD Student

University of Bern

Pierre Derossi

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PhD Student

University of Zurich

Talk 1: ER-Mitochondria Axis in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

(Federica Pilotto, University of Bern)

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is the most common motor neuron disease in adults with a prevalence of 6-7 per 100 000 people in Europe. Several cellular processes have been connected to ALS pathogenesis such as altered RNA processing, proteins aggregation, mitochondrial dysfunction and axonal transport defects, nevertheless it has been challenging to delineate causal from consequential pathogenic alterations. We focused our attention at the mitochondrial-associated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes (MAMs) in preclinical models of ALS. A critical question that we have examined is whether homeostatic changes in the ER affects other cellular organelles, thereby directly contributing to the disease stage dependent pathological changes.

Talk 2: Differential cytotoxicity and seeding-properties of patient-derived TDP-43 aggregates

(Pierre Derossi, University of Zurich)

 

TDP-43 is an RNA binding protein found aggregated in 50% of the FTLD and 97% of ALS patients. Despite extensive research, little is known about the origin of these aggregates and how they contribute to neurodegeneration. The Polymenidou lab recently developed different techniques to isolate and characterize these aggregates. We uncovered subtype-specific biochemical characteristics, suggesting that the different TDP-43 pathologies are associated with different types of TDP-43 aggregates. We are currently investigating the seeding properties of these aggregates. Using confocal and super resolution microscopy, we are testing the hypothesis that different patient pathologies represent distinct TDP-43 strains with differential aggregate structures, toxicity and seeding profiles.

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