The 2019 MidBrains conference will be hosted at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL on Saturday, September 21, 2019. Please contact Shara Stough (sharastough@augustana.edu) with any questions.

 

Information from the 2018 conference:

The 2018 MidBrains conference is being hosted by the University of St. Thomas on October 13, 2018. All attendees must register for the conference. First authors of undergraduate poster presentations are asked to complete the abstract submission process. Registration and abstract submission will close on September 29, 2018 – extended to 11:59pm on Monday, October 1st.

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Murray Blackmore from Marquette University as the keynote speaker for the 2018 MidBrains conference. His talk is entitled: “Rebooting the Growth Machinery: Gene Therapy Approaches to Spinal Cord Injury”

Abstract: Injury to the spinal cord disrupts the flow of information along axons that connect the brain and distal cord, causing devastating paralysis and loss of sensation below the injury. A central challenge in regenerative medicine is to coax injured axons to regenerate past the point of injury and to re-establish communication with distal spinal neurons. It has long been known that axon regeneration is held in check by chemical barriers in spinal tissue, but it is now clear that regeneration also fails due to a genetic program in many neurons that renders them intrinsically inefficient in extending axons. In contrast, other types of neurons, such as those in embryos or in the periphery of the body, respond to injury by initiating patterns of gene expression that allow robust growth. What are the genetic differences between regenerating and non-regenerating neurons, and how can we reactivate the pro-regenerative programs in injured spinal axons? I will discuss a strategy called high throughput screening that has helped identify new pro-regenerative genes, and the use of gene therapy vectors to deliver these genes to adult neurons. Finally, I will highlight recent success in animal models of spinal injury that integrate this approach with stem cell grafting and an improved system of gene delivery, resulting in substantial growth of axons and recovery of function after spinal injury.

See his university website here:http://www.marquette.edu/biomedical-sciences/murray-blackmore.php and his laboratory website here:https://www.blackmorelab.com/

Schedule
Find the schedule for the day here.

Sponsoring Institutions
We would like to thank the University of St. Thomas for hosting this year’s conference and for providing financial and organizational assistance.

We would like to thank the following schools for sponsoring this year’s MidBrains conference with a generous donation:
Marquette University, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, and University of South Dakota. Faculty and graduate students from these schools will be presenting at the grad school information session, giving research talks, and be available at the graduate school fair, concurrent with the undergraduate poster session.

We would also like to thank these additional schools providing support and joining us for the graduate school fair: MSU-Mankato, North Dakota State University, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and University of Texas Health in San Antonio.

 

Registration Table/Check-in/Storage

  • Name badge & conference program pickup
  • Opens at 8am in the Anderson Student Center (❸ on the map below)
  • Please arrive to campus as early as possible to expedite name badge/program pickup. We’d like to avoid delaying the start of the keynote address due to throngs of late-comers.
  • The registration table will be located in the Hearth Room on the 3rd floor of the Anderson Student Center.
  • Coffee, pastries, etc. will be available to early arrivers
  • St. Thomas representatives will be present at the table all day long

Poster presentation information

  • We request that you arrive to campus between 8-8:45am to hang your poster
  • An easel, foam board (4’ x 3’), and push-pins will be provided
    • We recommend printing posters no larger than 48” x 36”
    • St. Thomas Neuroscience Club volunteers will be on hand to provide assistance
    • You are assigned a specific location to hang your poster
      • Consult the program for your board #
    • Do not hang your poster anywhere but your assigned location
    • Nu Rho Psi members should pick up a tag to place on their foam board at the registration table
  • Never made a scientific poster before? Check out these resources:

Map and Parking


Download the MidBrains 2018_campus map

  • Surface lots M,N,O, and V (indicated by ❶ on the map) are open to the public on the weekend.  In other words, you can ignore any yellow/red signs that read “permit required” when you arrive to campus
  • If all of the spaces on the surface lots are occupied when you get to campus, then your best options are:
    • On-street parking along Summit Ave between Mississippi River Blvd and Cleveland Ave OR along S Cretin Ave just north of Summit Ave.  But, please read all signs before parking on city streets as there are some restrictions.
    • The Anderson Parking Facility (indicated by ❷ on the map)
      • Rate is $1.50/hr

Please contact Jessica Siegel (651-962-5036; jessica.siegel@stthomas.edu), Sarah Heimovics (651-962-5147; sarah.heimovics@stthomas.edu), or Sarah Hankerson (651-962-5033; sjhank@stthomas.edu) if you have any questions about the conference.

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