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Neuroscientists from academia and industry connect at UC Berkeley for Alliance for Therapies in Neuroscience symposium

By October 12, 2023No Comments
An open area inside of a large building, with walkways and seating.

Photo credit: Bruce Damonte Photography.

Neuroscientists from UC Berkeley (UCB), UC San Francisco (UCSF), University of Washington (UW), Roche, and Genentech gathered on September 20 at UCB to share their research and build new connections at the 2023 Alliance for Therapies in Neuroscience (ATN) symposium.

The ATN, established in 2021, is a long-term research partnership between UCB, UCSF, UW (through the Weill Neurohub) and Roche/Genentech, aimed at speeding the development of new therapies for debilitating brain diseases and disorders of the central nervous system — such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis — through collaborations between academic and industry scientists. The annual ATN symposium provides an opportunity for ATN scientists to share their work and discuss new ways they could work together to advance understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of these diseases.

This year’s symposium, Catalyzing Progress: Innovative Collaboration in Translational Neuroscience, was held at the UCB Bakar BioEnginuity Hub and virtually. It was the second ATN symposium, and the first time it was hosted by UCB. Over 100 researchers attended to share their ATN-supported research, learn about neuroscience research areas with therapeutic potential, and explore new potential collaborations and opportunities within the ATN.

The program featured keynote talks from Tommaso Biancalani, PhD (Genentech) on “Leveraging Deep Learning to Unravel Complex Biology” and Lani Wu, PhD and Steven Altschuler, PhD (both from UCSF) on “Systems Biology Approaches for Interrogating ALS and Parkinson’s Disease Pathways”, as well as short talks on topics such as neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, biomarkers, gene-editing, and neuroprotection.

Andrew Chan, MD, PhD (Genentech) and Stephen Hauser, MD (UCSF) held a fireside chat on the past, present, and future of therapy development, and Stormy Chamberlain, PhD (Roche) and Fyodor Urnov, PhD (UCB) shared their experiences working collaboratively within this unique academic-industry partnership in a roundtable discussion moderated by Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute director Ehud Isacoff, PhD (UCB) and Casper Hoogenraad, PhD (Genentech). Attendees also had opportunities to network with their fellow scientists and potentially forge new collaborations to achieve breakthroughs in the treatment of neurological diseases and disorders.