The goal of this recently established Gordon Research Conference (GRC) series, entitled “Central Nervous System Injury and Repair”, together with its accompanying Gordon Research Seminar (GRS), is to provide a forum for the exchange of the most exciting and cutting-edge scientific data and novel ideas in the rapidly advancing fields of injury, regeneration, and repair of the nervous system, with particular emphasis on spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injury is a major medical challenge since it leaves millions of people worldwide paralyzed and with loss of sensation, cardiorespiratory, bladder and sexual dysfunction as well as pain for their lifetime. Despite many years of efforts, an effective treatment or cure is still lacking. This is in part due to lack of full understanding of this complex condition where in addition to the damage of axons, spinal cord injury leads to profound changes in the local cellular and molecular environment, involving neurons, glia, immune cells as well as to systemic changes in metabolism and immunity. An emerging consensus is that combinatorial approaches targeting multiple cellular and molecular aspects of the injury response will be necessary to repair axonal injury and induce functional recovery. This conference will feature an exciting program with speakers presenting cutting edge and innovative science including topics that span from injury in invertebrates, mammalian animal models, organoids to patients, highlighting cellular and molecular mechanisms that control the injury response, circuit remodeling and the repair processes. Sessions on cell therapies and emerging neurotechnologies will propel new knowledge and approaches towards clinical translation, whose challenges and opportunities will be discussed. Ole Kiehn (University of Copenhagen and Karolinska Institute) and Jeffrey Macklis (Harvard University) will deliver keynote lectures. In addition, we will be featuring a GRS that will provide an excellent opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to share their research progress. We welcome attendance from basic and physician scientists, from industry, and any stakeholder, and we encourage a breath of diversity of meeting participants across gender, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, geographical locations and age groups that will facilitate a broad and enriched communication of the scientific content.
The conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The conference chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. Please check back regularly for updates to this information.
- Non-Mammalian Animal Models of Axonal Injury
- Axon Growth and Guidance in Development and Injury
- Cell-Cell Communication: Local Inflammatory and Non-Inflammatory Post-Injury Responses
- Mechanisms of Injury-Dependent Pain and Nociception
- Metabolic Changes and Microbiome in the Context of Nervous System Injury
- Neurocircuitry and Neurostimulation after Spinal Cord Injury
- Neurotechnologies and Novel Approaches
- Cell-Based Strategies for Therapy
- Clinical Translation in Spinal Cord Injury