Neuronal Cytoskeleton Series

Puerto Varas, March 22-26th, 2015


Overall Description Program Practical info Past meetings Sponsors



Overall description

The focus of this workshop is the cytoskeleton of nerve cells. The cytoskeleton is vital for nervous system function, from neuronal migration and axon pathfinding, which define the morphology and wiring pattern of the nervous system, to synaptic stability and plasticity, which form the basis of learning, memory and cognition. The workshop is intended to provide a Latin American forum for Latin American scientists, and particularly Latin American students and post-docs, to interact with leading researchers on the neuronal cytoskeleton from the Europe, Japan and North America. Cytoskeletal research has historically been strength in South America, yet significant barriers remain for young scientists because they have limited opportunity to interact and network with leading researchers from other continents. This workshop addresses this problem by bringing European, Japanese and North American researchers to Latin America in an intimate and informal setting to promote interaction. The program will explore emerging concepts in a number of exciting areas, including the mechanisms of axonal transport, cytoskeletal dynamics in dendritic spines, the role of the cytoskeleton in the establishment and maintenance of neuronal polarity and in axon growth and guidance, and alterations of the cytoskeleton in neurodegenerative diseases.

Cytoskeletal dynamics are at the core of some of the most profound questions in molecular and cellular neurobiology, such as the mechanisms of axon growth in development and in response to injury, the mechanisms of synapse formation and stabilization, and the mechanisms of intracellular transport that are critical for axonal development and neurotrophic signaling, and that are disrupted in many neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, the cytoskeleton is a promising target for the development of novel therapeutic approaches to treat neurodegenerative diseases and to promote axon regeneration after traumatic injury. Recent advances in imaging, genetics and proteomics have catalyzed exciting new progress, yet fundamental questions about how cytoskeletal dynamics are orchestrated and regulated in differentiation, development and disease remain open.

Focused thematic workshops such as ours promote in-depth discussion of unpublished results in a highly motivating, friendly and protected environment. Such an environment also enables and encourages students and post-docs to interact with established leaders in the field, which is of huge importance for their research and professional careers.