Furlan, Roberto


Head of Clinical Neuroimmunology Unit
Institute of Experimental Neurology
INSpe Division of Neuroscience

San Raffaele Hospital (Milan, Italy)

Roberto Furlan graduated in medicine at the University of Milano in 1991.

After the MD degree, in 1992 he was visiting scientist in the Department of Neurology from the University of Chicago, working on HTLV-I.

The following year (1993) he completed a research project on HTLV-I in the Clinical Laboratories of the Sao Rafael Hospital in Salvador-Bahia, in Brazil.

From 1994 to 1995 he worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA on HSV-1-mediated gene therapy of the central nervous system.

Using HSV-1-derived vectors he performed gene therapy studies in multiple sclerosis models and in 2001 he obtained his PhD at the Open University of London working in the Neuroimmunology Unit of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

Since 2001 tenure-track research assistant Senior scientist in the Neuroimmunology Unit of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, he completed in 2007 the residency in neurology.

Since 2004, non-tenured professor at Vita e Salute San Raffaele University, Milan.

Since 2009, Group leader and then Head of Unit of the Clinical Neuroimmunology Unit, Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan.

Since 2011 Secretary treasurer of the International Society of NeuroImmunology.

Since 2013 Academic Editor for Plos One.

2017-2021 Deputy Director of the Institute of Experimental Neurology – INSpe, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan.

Since 2019 President of the Italian Neuroimmunology Association – AINI

Since 2022 Director of the Institute of Experimental Neurology – INSpe, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan.


He has published over 200 papers on peer reviewed international journals.

Current H-index = 7146 in the last five years. 

1. Furlan R, Martino G, Galbiati F, Poliani PL, Smiroldo S, Bergami A, Desina G, Comi G, Flavell R, Su MS, Adorini L. Caspase-1 regulates the inflammatory process leading to autoimmune demyelination. J. Immunol. 1999 163:2403-2409


2. Del Maschio A, De Luigi A, Martin-Padura I, Brockhaus M, Bartfai T, Fruscella P, Adorini L, Martino G, Furlan R, De Simoni MG, Dejana E. Leukocyte recruitment in the cerebrospinal fluid of mice with experimental meningitis is inhibited by an antibody to Juncional Adhesion Molecule (JAM). J. Ex. Med. 1999;190:1351-1356


3. Furlan R, Brambilla E, Ruffini F, Poliani PL, Bergami A, Marconi PC, Franciotta DM, Penna G, Comi G, Adorini L, Martino G. Intrathecal delivery of IFNγ protects C57BL/6 mice from chronic-progressive experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by increasing apoptosis of CNS-infiltrating lymphocytes. J. Immunol. 2001; 167:1821-1829


4. Martino G, Furlan R, Comi G, Adorini L. The ependymal route to access the central nervous system: an emerging immuno-gene therapy approach to multiple sclerosis. Trends Immunol. 2001; 22:483-490


5. Furlan R, Brambilla E, Sanvito F, Roccatagliata L, Olivieri S, Bergami A, Pluchino S, Uccelli A, Comi G, Martino G. Vaccination with amyloid-bea peptide induces autoimmune encephalomyelitis in C57BL/6 mice. Brain. 2003;126:285-291


6. Pluchino S, Quattrini A, Brambilla E, Gritti A, Salani G, Dina G, Galli R, Bergami A, Furlan R, Delcarro U, Amadio S, Comi G, Vescovi Al, Martino G. Intravenous and intracerebroventricular injection of adult neurospheres induces clinical recovery in a chronic model of multiple sclerosis. Nature 2003; 422:688-694


7. Furlan R. Bargami A, Cantarella D, Brambilla E, Taniguchi M, Dellabona P, Casorati G, Martino G. Activation of invariant NKT cells by α-GalCer administration protects mice from MOG35-55-induced EAE: a critical role for administration rout and IFNγ. Eur J Immunol. 2003; 33:1830-1838


8. Pluchino S, Zanotti L, Rossi B, Brambilla E, Ottoboni L, Salani G, Martinello M, Cattalini A, Bergami A, Furlan R, Comi G, Constantin G, Martino G. Neurosphere-derived multipotent precursors promote long-lasting neuroprotection by an immunomodulatory mechanism. Nature 2005 436:266-271


9. Rovaris M, Confavreux C, Furlan R, Kappos L, Comi G, Filippi M. Secondary progressive MS: current knowledge an future challenges. Lancet Neurol. 2006 5:343-354


10. Butti E, Bergami A, Recchia A, Brambilla E, Franciotta D, Cattalini A, Stornaiuolo A, Comi G, Mavilio F, Martino G, Furlan R. Absence of an intrathecal immune reaction to a HD adenoviral vector delivered into the cerebrospinal fluid of non-human primates. Gene Ther. 2008 15:233-238


11. Centonze D, Muzio L, Rossi S, Cavasinni F, De Chiara V, Bergami A, Musella A, D’amelio M, Cavallucci V, Martorana A, Bergamaschi A, Cencioni Mt, Butti E, Comi G, Bernardi G, Cecconi F, Battistini L, Furlan R, Martino G. Inflammation triggers synaptic alteration and degeneration in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Neurosci. 2009 29:3442-52.


12. Esposito M, Ruffini F, Bergami A, Garzetti L, Borsellino G, Battistini L, Martino G, Furlan R. IL-17 and IFN-γ secreting FoxP3+ T cells infiltrate the target tissue in experimental autoimunity. J Immunol. 2010 185:7467-73


13. Verderio C, Muzio L, Turola E, Bergami A, Novellino L, Ruffini F, Riganti L, Corradini I, Francolini M, Garzetti L, Maiorino C, Servida F, Vercelli A, Dalla Libera D, Martinelli V, Comi G, Martino G, Matteoli M, Furlan R. Myeolid microvesicles are a marker and therapeutic target for neuroinflammation. Ann. Neurol. 2012 72:610-624


14. Maiorino C, Khorooshi RMH, Ruffini F, Løbner M, Bergami A, Garzetti L, Martino G, Owens T, Furlan R. IL-25 protects from neuroinflammation by modulating microglia. Gene Ther. 2013 20:487-496


15. Agosta F, Dalla Libera D, Gioele Spinelli E, Finardi A, Canu E, Bergami A, Bocchio Chiavetto L, Baronio M, Comi G, Martino G, Matteoli M, Magnani G, Verderio C, Furlan R. Myeloid microvesicles in CSF are associated with myelin damage and neuronal loss in mild cognitive impairment and alzheimer disease. Ann. Neurol. 2014 doi: 10.1002/ana.24235


16. Casella G, Finardi A, Descamps H, Colombo F, Maiorino C, Ruffini F, Patrone M, Degano M, Martino G, Muzio L, Becher B, Furlan R. BIL-27, but not IL-35, inhibits neuroinflammation through modulating GM-CSF expression. Scientific Reports. 2017 7:16547. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-16702-w


17. Colombo F. Bastoni M. Nigro A, Podini P, Finardi A, Casella G, Ramesh M, Farina C, Verderio C, Furlan R. Cytokines stimulate the release of microvesicles from myeloid cells independently from the P2X7-receptor/acid sphingomyelinase pathway. Front. Immunol. In press.


18. Casella G, Finardi A, Descamps H, Colombo F, Maiorino C, Ruffini F, Patrone M, Degano M, Martino G, Muzio L, Becher B, Furlan R. IL-27, but not IL-35, inhibits neuroinflammation through modulating GM-CSF expression. Scientific Reports. 2017 7:16547. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-16702-w


19. Colombo F, Bastoni M, Nigro A, Podini P, Finardi A, Casella G, Ramesh M, Farina C, Verderio C, Furlan R. Cytokines stimulate the release of microvesicles from myeloid cells independently from the P2X7-receptor/acid sphingomyelinase pathway. Front. Immunol. 2018 doi: 0.3389/fimmu.2018.00204


20. Casella G, Colombo F, Finardi A, Ill-Ragaa G, Spinelli A, Podini P, Bastoni M, Descamps H, Muzio L, Furlan R. Phagocytes-targeted extracellular vesicles containing IL4 inhibit neuroinflammation in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Mol. Ther. 2018 26:2107-2118. doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2018.06.024.


21. Furlan R, Melloni E, Finardi A, Vai B, Di Toro S, Aggio V, Battistini L, Borsellino G, Manfredi E, Falini A, Colombo C, Poletti S, Benedetti F. Natural Killer cells protect white matter integrity in Bipolar Disorder. Brain Behav Immun. 2019 doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.06.037


22. Colombo F, Casella G, Podini P, Finardi A, Racchetti G, Norton E.G., Cocucci E., Furlan R. Polarized cells display asymmetric 1 release of extracellular vesicles. Traffic 2020  doi: 10.1111/tra.12775.


23. De Lorenzo R, Loré N, Finardi A, Mandelli A, Cirillo DM, Tresoldi C, Benedetti F, Ciceri F, Rovere-Querini P, Comi G, Filippi M, Manfredi AA, Furlan R. Blood neurofilament light chain and total tau levels at admission predict death in COVID-19 patients. J Neurol. 2021 doi: 10.1007/s00415-021-10595-6.


24. Gelibter S Pisa M,  Croese T, Finardi A, Mandelli A, Sangalli F, Colombo B, Martinelli V, Comi G, Filippi M, Furlan R. Spinal fluid myeloid microvesicles predict disease course in multiple sclerosis. Ann. Neurol. 2021 DOI:10.1002/ana.26154.


25. Gelibter S, Marostica G, Mandelli A, Siciliani S, Podini P, Finardi A, Furlan R. The impact of storage on extracellular vesicles: a systematic study. J Extracell Vesicles. In press

Probert, Lesley


Hellenic Pasteur Institute
Athens | Greece

Studied Biology and received her PhD in Medicine from the University of London, UK. She trained as post-doc at the Universities of London (Imperial College) and Cambridge (Laboratory of Molecular Biology), UK and in the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at the Hellenic Pasteur Institute (HPI) in Athens, Greece. Since 2000 she has been head of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at the HPI.


Her main research interest is the interface between the immune system and the central nervous system (CNS), particularly the participation of the immune system in physiological brain processes such as host defense, and in inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). The laboratory has a long-standing interest in understanding the functions of a pro-inflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), in the CNS. TNF drives inflammatory responses to infection, injury and neurodegeneration, but paradoxically also protects neurons, directly and indirectly by repairing the myelin sheath around demyelinated axons. This diversity of TNF function is now understood to be a direct reflection of its complex biology. “TNF” represents at least a two-ligand (soluble TNF and membrane TNF), two-receptor (TNF receptors 1 and 2/TNFR1 and TNFR2) system with ligands and receptors both differentially expressed and regulated on different cell types. Through the application of sophisticated spatial and temporal gene-targeting techniques in mice, it is possible to dissect the individual functions of the two TNFs and their receptors in a number of important brain processes through the study of experimental disease models. In general soluble TNF/TNFR1 interactions dominate inflammatory responses, which often leading to significant secondary tissue damage and also strongly inhibit remyelination. In contrast, membrane TNF/TNFR2 interactions promote remyelination and neuroprotection, by enhancing oligodendrocyte precursor cells.


The ability to separate deleterious and beneficial effects of TNF at a molecular level has direct implications for therapy in human disease. Non-selective TNF inhibitors that block the effects of both soluble and membrane TNF and are blockbuster drugs for peripheral inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, behave badly in the CNS. They exacerbate MS and can even induce de novo demyelinating disease. The experimental data now clearly suggest that selective inhibition of soluble TNF and/or TNFR1, while preserving membrane TNF and/or TNFR2, is a promising future direction for safe immunotherapy in chronic inflammatory diseases of the CNS like MS.


Lesley has 81 original research publications and reviews in international journals and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous international journals and funding bodies. She is a member of the Board of the European School of Neuroimmunology (ESNI), Vice-President of the Hellenic Academy of Neuroimmunology (HELANI), and Secretary/Treasurer of the International Society of Neuroimmunology.

Wiendl, Heinz



Professor of Neurology
Chair of the Department of Neurology with Institute of Translational Neurology
University Hospital of Muenster
Muenster | Germany

Heinz Wiendl is professor of Neurology and chair of the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital of Muenster. He acted as dean for research and young academics of the medical faculty Muenster, and asrepresentative of the academia in the University clinic’s board of directors. His research is dedicated to understand immune regulation and the functional interaction between the immune and the nervous system. Within this he focusses on immuneregulation in MS and autoimmune nervous system disorders, inflammatory mechanisms of neurodegenation, biomarkers and biosignatures related to neuroinflammatory diseases, and immune therapy and its adverse effects.


Prof. Wiendl studied medicine in Germany, Switzerland and USA. He has been a research fellow at the Institute of Neuroanatomy at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology (Martinsried). Heinz Wiendl worked as a clinical and research fellow at the Department of Neurology Tuebingen, where he was awarded as a junior group leader for neuroimmunology, received his board certification and completed his habilitation. He was appointed as a professor of neurology and head of the clinical research group for MS and neuroimmunology in Wuerzburg in 2005 and acted as a vice-chair of the Department of Neurology. In 2010 he was recruited to the University of Muenster, where he accepted the position as a director of the Department of Neurology – Inflammatory Diseases of the Nervous System and Neurooncology after turning down parallel offers. Since 1st May 2013 he is director of the Department of Neurology in Muenster.


Heinz Wiendl is founding speaker of the national German Competence Network of MS (KKNMS; 2009 to 2012), and acts as a speaker since 2019. In addition he is speaker of the comprehensive research center CRC TR 128 “Multiple Sclerosis” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and steering committee member of the Muenster excellence cluster “Cells in Motion” (CiM). He is principal investigator of the cluster of excellence “Cells in Motion” (funded by the DFG and the German Council of Science and Humanities (WR)) since 1st August 2013. In 2016 Prof. Wiendl was appointed representative of the academia in the Board of directors of the University Hospital Muenster (UKM). He is member of several boards, advisory and expert committees such as the executive board of the advisory board of the German MS patient organization (DMSG), the scientific advisory committees for the International Conferences on HLA-G and the German Society for Muscular Diseases (DGM), member of the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Consensus Group (MSTCG) and the executive board of the German Neurologists Council (BDN). Since 2017 he is honorary professor at the Sydney university medical school. He is the founding director of the Münster Body&Brain Institute, a research building dedicated to translational research in neuro-psychiatric disorders and funded by the German ministery.


Prof. Wiendl acts as reviewer of various scientific journals and national as well as international funding and non-profit organizations. Recently he has been appointed member of the expert committee on neurosciences at the DFG. His scientific achievements have been recognized by the Felix Jerusalem award of the DGM (2003), the Heinrich Pette award of the German Neurological Society (DGN, 2009), the Sobek junior (2005) as well as the senior award (20015) for MS research of the DMSG. His research and clinical activities are reflected by more around 600 publications in peer reviewed journals, multiple book chapters, the treatment guidelines for myasthenia gravis, myositis syndromes and multiple sclerosis and five edited books.


Akassoglou, Katerina


Senior Investigator, Gladstone Institutes
Professor, Department of Neurology
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco (CA) | USA

Dr. Katerina Akassoglou is a Senior Investigator at the Gladstone Institutes, and a Professor in the Department of Neurology at University of California, San Francisco.


Dr. Akassoglou has pioneered studies on the mechanisms that control the communication between the brain, immune and vascular systems – and in particular the role of the blood clotting factor fibrinogen as a common thread in a wide range of neurologic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Akassoglou’s research on transcriptional profiling of oxidative stress discovered neurotoxic CNS innate immune cell populations and therapeutic targets in neuroinflammation.


Dr. Akassoglou developed cutting-edge imaging tools to study the neurovascular interface and discovered a novel fibrin-targeting immunotherapy and small molecule compounds to protect the brain from pathogenic neuroinflammation. Her team has had a long-standing funding from the NIH, the National MS Society, the American Heart Association, Race to Erase MS, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and the Department of Defense.


Dr. Akassoglou has published over 100 papers and book chapters, has led several national and international collaborations with academia and pharma, is the scientific founder of the university spin-out Therini Bio, a named inventor on ten issued and several pending patents, and she is active in many scientific societies, editorial boards, and funding agencies. She was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by the White House, the John J. Abel Award, the Dana Foundation for Brain and Immunoimaging Award, the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise honor, The Marilyn Hilton Award for Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research, the NIH R35 Research Program and EUREKA Awards, and the Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research. Dr. Akassoglou is a Fellow of the American Neurological Association (ANA), the American Association for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS).


She was named by the San Francisco Business Times among the 2021 Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business.

Brilot, Fabienne


Professor of Neuroimmunology
Head, Brain Autoimmunity Group
Kids Neurosciences Centre at Kids Research, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead
School of Medical Sciences
The University of Sydney
Sydney, Australia

Prof. Fabienne Brilot obtained her PhD in Belgium and at the JD Gladstone Institutes, UCSF, USA. She then became postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Professor Christian Munz (currently located at the University of Zurich, Switzerland) at the Browne Center for Immunology and Immune Diseases headed by late Professor Ralph Steinman (Nobel Prize for Medicine 2011) at the Rockefeller University, USA. She was recruited at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney in 2007 where she started the Brain Autoimmunity group.


Fabienne is currently Principal Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, and her research focuses on immune-mediated brain disorders such demyelinating disorders, such as Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein Antibody-associated Disease (MOGAD) and autoimmune neurological diseases. Her group aims to discover biomarkers and explores the autoimmune response in patients to improve their diagnosis and treatment.


She is a member of ISNI International Advisory Board, and chairs the Membership and Engagement committee. She was the scientific chair of the 14th ISNI Congress (Australia, Brisbane, 2018), and the co-convenor of the 3rd Asia-Pacific School of Neuroimmunology (Sydney, 2023). She is the President of Neuroimmunology Australia. She reviews for many journals and is an editorial board member for several journals in the field of neuroimmunology.

Baranzini, Sergio


Professorship in Neurology I
Heidrich Family and Friends Endowed Chair in Neurology
Weill Institute for Neurosciences
Department of Neurology,
Graduate Program in Bioinformatics
Institute for Human Genetics
Institute for Computational Health Sciences
University of California San Francisco
San Francisco (CA), USA

Sergio E. Baranzini is Distinguished Professor of Neurology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He earned his PhD in human molecular genetics (1997) from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. His lab at UCSF uses a multi-disciplinary approach to science and it is composed by experimental and computational researchers. Dr. Baranzini is an active member of the International Multiple Mclerosis Genetics Consortium, where his team leads a large GWAS on disease progression. He also leads the iMSMS, an international consortium to study the effect of bacterial populations (microbiota) on MS susceptibility and progression. In addition, he is the principal investigator of SPOKE, a large multi-disciplinary bioinformatics approach to gather, integrate and analyze all biomedical data, currently supported by NIH and NSF.

Cross, Anne


Department of Neurology
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis (MO), USA

Anne H. Cross is a professor of Neurology at Washington University in St. Louis, where she holds the Manny & Rosalyn Rosenthal – Dr. John L. Trotter MS Center Chair in Neuroimmunology and is Head of the Multiple Sclerosis & Neuroimmunology Section.  Dr. Cross grew up in Mobile Alabama.  She received her M.D. from the University of Alabama School of Medicine, completed neurology residency at George Washington University, and was a post-doctoral fellow in neuroimmunology at the National Institutes of Health and later at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She received the Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar award of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society USA in 1990. 


Since 1991, Dr. Cross has been on the faculty of the Department of Neurology at Washington University, working as a clinician and teacher, and performing translational research focused on MS.  In 2001, Dr. Cross began the first Phase 2 study of B cell depletion in MS patients as an “add-on” study in MS patients who were suboptimally treated with beta-interferons or glatiramer acetate, finding that adding rituximab reduced MRI activity by 88%.


Her honors include the President’s Achievement Award of Barnes-Jewish Hospital (2010), Faculty Achievement Award of Washington University (2014), and the John Jay Dystel Prize given by the American Academy of Neurology and NMSS (2019).  Dr. Cross enjoys mentoring and is proud of her more than 30 prior trainees who are almost all working in MS care or research. 

Gommerman, Jen


Professor and Chair,
Department of Immunology Temerty Faculty of Medicine,
University of Toronto
Canada Research Chair ( Tissue Specific Immunity)
Toronto | Canada

Jen received her Ph.D. (Immunology) at the University of Toronto in 1998. She went on to do a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School studying the complement pathway and then joined Biogen Inc. as a Staff Scientist in 2000.  During her tenure at Biogen, she became interested in B cells, Multiple Sclerosis and the TNF superfamily of molecules.  After 3 years in Industry, she returned to Academia as an Assistant Professor (Immunology) at the University of Toronto in 2003, in 2015 was promoted to full Professor, and in 2020 was awarded a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Tissue Specific Immunity. Jen’s basic research continues to focus on how members of the TNF superfamily of molecules regulate immunity and autoimmunity. Her team has uncovered a novel gut-brain axis that regulates neuroinflammation. With respect to translational work, Dr. Gommerman has been examining the role of B lymphocytes in Multiple Sclerosis patients and in animal models of MS. More recently she has been studying the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 in saliva samples from patients with COVID-19. In 2023, she was appointed Chair of the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto.

Isobe, Noriko


Professor and Chairperson
Department of Neurology
Graduate School of Medical Sciences
Kyushu University
Fukuoka City | Japan

Noriko Isobe is a Professor and Chairperson, Department of Neurology, Kyushu University, Japan. Her main focus in both, research and clinics, is on immune-mediated diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) including multiple sclerosis (MS).


Professor Isobe graduated School of Medicine, Kyushu University and completed a PhD at the Department of Neurology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University.


She worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco from 2010-2017.


She got special training on MS and had seen and treated many MS patients in the clinic. Furthermore, she also has extensive experience with the diagnosis and management of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD), a neurological disease with partially overlapping pathogenesis but distinct etiology from MS.


Her current research interests include genetic susceptibility to MS, genetic determinants of disease progression in MS and NMOSD and T-cell receptor repertoires in MS.

  • 09/2016: Best Article Award 2015 in Clinical and Experimental Neuroimmunology

  • 04/2014: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Research Fellowship for Young Scientists for Postdocs (PD)

  • 04/2012-03/2014: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research Abroad

  • 09/2011: Young Neuroimmunologist Award at The 23rd Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Neuroimmunology

  • 08/2011: PACTRIMS young investigator award at The 4th Congress of the Pan-Asian – Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (PACTRIMS)

  • 04/2011: Post-doctoral Fellowship, The Uehara Memorial Foundation

  • 10/2010-03/2011: Fellowship Grant and Research Grant for Research on Intractable diseases, The Association for Preventive Medicine of Japan

  • 10/2010: Travel grant for 26th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) 2010

  • 2010: Guest editor for special issues of Multiple sclerosis in Autoimmune diseases

  • 09/2009: Travel grant for 25th Congress of ECTRIMS 2009

Korn, Thomas


Klinikum rechts der Isar
Technische Universität München, Department of Neurology
Ismaninger Str. 22, 81675 München

1992-1999: Medical school at Julius-Maximilians University Würzburg and the Royal London School of Medicine, State examination

2000 – : Doctoral thesis (summa cum laude)

1999-2005: Residency in clinical neurology (Universities of Würzburg and Homburg)

2005 – : Board approval as fellow neurologist (Facharzt für Neurologie)

2005-2008: Postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School (Laboratory of Prof. Kuchroo)

2009 – : Habilitation and venia legendi in Neurology

since 2008: Attending physician in neurology (Oberarzt) at the Dept. of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München

2010-2015: Associate Professor of Neurology

since 2015: Full Professor of Neurology (Experimental Neuroimmunology) at the Dept. of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München

Member of the SyNergy initiative, Transregio SFB TR128, SFB 1054

  • 1991-1999: Stipend from the Bavarian state for excellent students (Hochbegabten-Stipendium des Bayerischen Staates)

  • since 2000: Member of the German Society of Neurology

  • since 2003: Member of the German Society of Clinical Electrophysiology and Functional Imaging

  • 2005-2007: Stipend from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (postdoctoral fellowship)

  • 2007: Helmut-Bauer-Award for Research in Multiple Sclerosis, University of Göttingen

  • 2008-2010: Heisenberg Awardee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

  • 2008: Sobek-Young Investigator-Award

  • 2010: Heisenberg-Professorship

  • 2010: Heinrich Pette Award of the German Society of Neurology

  • 2011: Hans-Jörg Weitbrecht Wissenschaftspreis für klinische Neurowissenschaften

  • 2015: ERC consolidator grant

Kuhlmann, Tanja


Dr Tanja Kuhlmann MD
University of Münster
Münster | Germany

Dr. Tanja Kuhlmann studied medicine at the University of Göttingen, Germany where she received her medical degree in 1998. She specialized in neuropathology and worked as medical resident and research fellow in different neuropathological departments in Germany and at McGill, Canada in the research groups of Dr. Jack Antel and Dr. Alan Peterson.


In 2008, she became senior consultant and associate professor at the Institute of Neuropatholohgy, University Hospital Münster, Germany and in 2020 part-time adjunct professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University. Her key research interests are mechanisms leading to axonal and oligodendroglial pathology in demyelinating diseases. In recent years, she focused her research on iPSC technology and the derivation of human CNS cells from iPSC to study disease mechanisms.


She has published several publications in well-known international journals on the topic of MS pathology, especially on oligodendroglial loss and remyelination as well as studies using iPSC-derived oligodendrocytes and neurons to understand disease mechanisms in demyelinating and neurodegenerative diseases.

Liblau, Roland


Head of the Neuroimmunology team at Infinity (Inserm U1291-CNRS UMR5051)
Toulouse | France

1990: Medical Doctor degree and Medical Thesis, Paris
1991: Certification, Neurology Specialty Board
1995: PhD, in Immunology, Paris
1999: Accreditation to supervise Research programs
2001: Professor of Clinical Immunology, Toulouse

1983-1989: Residency program in Neurology, Paris
1994-2001: Head of the CSF analysis Laboratory, Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris
Since 2001: Professor of Clinical Immunology, Toulouse

1986: Master in Immunology, Paris (Pr J-F. Bach)
1989-1991: PhD student, Pasteur Institute (Dr M.A. Bach)
1991-1994: Post-doctoral position with Pr H. McDevitt, Stanford University, USA
1996-2002: Head of the Neuro-Immunology Research Team, INSERM CJF97-11 then INSERM U546, Paris
Since 2003: Head of the Autoimmunity and Immunoregulation Research Team, INSERM U563, Toulouse
Since 2007: Chairman of the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, INSERM U563
Since 2009: Deputy Director of the Pathophysiology Research Center of Toulouse Purpan (CPTP-INSERM U563)
2011-2020: Director of the Pathophysiology Research Center of Toulouse Purpan (CPTP-INSERM U1043-CNRS U5282)

Since 2021: Head of the Neuroimmunology team at Infinity (Inserm U1291-CNRS UMR5051)

Medical and Scientific consultancy for:

  • INSERM; AFSSAPS (French FDA); French Research Ministry; AERES; ANR MIME and MIE (member of the evaluating committee)
  • French Multiple Sclerosis Society; French Myopathy Foundation (AFM)
  • The Swiss Research foundation; Foundation for the support of MS research (Holland); DFG individual projects or SFB program projects (Germany); EU FP7 programs et IMI program; ERC Advanced grants (EU); Medical Research Council (UK); Welcome Trust (UK); WHO (Switzerland); Institute of Medicine (USA); Broad Medical Research Program (USA); European Medicine Agency, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Canada).
  • Prizes – Awards: Oudin prize ; Humboldt award ; Novo-Nordisk prize
  • Companies

Reviewing of scientific articles:

  • New England Journal of Medicine;
  • Nature;
  • Science;
  • Nature Medicine, Immunity;
  • Science Translational Medicine;
  • Nature Reviews Neurology;
  • Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology Journal of Clinical Investigation;
  • CELL Metabolism ; Journal of Experimental Medicine;
  • Lancet;
  • Nature Communications;
  • EMBO Journal;
  • Trends in Immunology;
  • CELL Reports ;
  • Brain;
  • Annals of Neurology;
  • Acta Neuropathologica;
  • Current Opinion in Immunology;
  • Journal of Immunology;
  • Neurology;
  • PLoS genetics;
  • American Journal of Pathology;
  • European Journal of Immunology;
  • Journal of Neuroimmunology;
  • Neurobiology of Disease;
  • GLIA;


Editorial Board member:
Frontiers in Immune Tolerance since 2010, OncoImmunology since 2011, BRAIN Editorial Advisory Board 2015-2020, Journal of Molecular Medicine since 2019.

  • French Immunology Society (SFI) Board member (2009-2012)

  • President of the SFI from Jan 2010 to Dec 2012.

  • Scientific board member of the French MS society (ARSEP);

  • Head of the EFNS Panel on Neuroimmunology (2003-06);

  • Co-founder and member of the European School of Neuroimmunology (since 2000).

  • Member of the Teaching course committee for ECTRIMS and ACTRIMS/ECTRIMS congresses since 2009.

  • Since 2014, Member of the Executive Committee for ECTRIMS, the largest organization worldwide on research and treatment for multiple sclerosis.

  • Since 2016, Member of the International Advisory Board of the International Society of NeuroImmunology(ISNI)

  • Since 2017, member of the Henry Kunkel Society, New York, USA.Since 2016: Deputy Director of the Toulouse Excellence Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (NeuroToul).

 1. R. Bernard-Valnet, D Frieser, X-H. Nguyen, L. Khajavi, C. Quériault, S. Arthaud,  S. Melzi, M. Fusade-Boyer, F. Masson, M. Zytnicki, A. Saoudi, Y. Dauvilliers,  C. Peyron, J. Bauer, RS. LiblauInfluenza vaccination induces autoimmunity against orexinergic neurons in a mouse model for narcolepsy. Brain in press.

 2. H. Wiendl, C. Gross, J. Bauer, D. Merkler, A. Prat, and R. Liblau. Fundamental mechanistic insights learned from rare but paradigmatic neuro-immunological diseases. Nature Rev Neurol. 2021; 17(7):433-447.

 3. Gross CC, Meyer C, Bhatia U, Yshii L, Kleffner I, Bauer J, Tröscher AR, Schulte-Mecklenbeck A, Herich S, Schneider-Hohendorf T, Plate H, Kuhlmann T, Schwaninger M, Brück W, Pawlitzki M, Laplaud DA, Loussouarn D, Parratt J, Barnett M, Buckland ME, Hardy TA, Reddel SW, Ringelstein M, Dörr J, Wildemann B, Kraemer M, Lassmann H, Höftberger R, Beltrán E, Dornmair K, Schwab N, Klotz L, Meuth SG, Martin-Blondel G, Wiendl H, Liblau R. CD8+ T cell-mediated endotheliopathy is a targetable mechanism of neuro-inflammation in Susac syndrome. Nature Commun. 2019 Dec 18;10(1):5779.


 4. Walter O., Treiner E., Bonneville F., Mengelle C., Vergez F., Lerebours F., Delobel P., Liblau R., Martin-Blondel G. Treatment of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy with Nivolumab. N. Engl. J. Med. 2019 Apr 25;380(17):1674-1676.


 5. Liblau RS. Put to sleep by immune cells. Nature2018; 562: 46-48 News & Views.

 6. Nguyen XH, Dauvilliers Y, Quériault C, Perals C, Romieu-Mourez R, Paulet PE, Bernard-Valnet R, Fazilleau N, Liblau R.  Circulating follicular helper T cells exhibit reduced ICOS expression and impaired function in narcolepsy type 1 patients.J. Autoimmun. 2018 Aug 6. pii: S0896-8411(18)30230-0.

 7. Yshii L, Hohlfeld R, Liblau R. Inflammatory diseases of the CNS caused by immune checkpoint inhibitors: status and perspectives.Nat Rev Neurol.2017Dec;13(12):755-763.

 8. C. Gebauer, B. Pignolet, L. Yshii,E. Mauré, J. Bauer, R. Liblau. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells are both needed to induce paraneoplastic neurological disease in a mouse model. Oncoimmunology. 2016 Dec 9;6(2):e1260212. doi: 10.1080/2162402X.2016.1260212. eCollection 2017.


 9. F.J. Hartmann, R. Bernard-Valnet, C. Quériault, D. Mrdjen, L.M. Weber, E. Galli, C. Krieg, M.D. Robinson, X-H. Nguyen, Y. Dauvilliers, R.S. Liblau*& B. Becher*. High-Dimensional Single-Cell Analysis Reveals The Immune Signature of Narcolepsy J. Exp. Med.Nov 14;213(12):2621-2633. *Shared last authorship.


 10. R. Bernard-Valnet, L. Yshii, C. Quériault, X-H. Nguyen, S. Arthaud, M. Rodrigues, A. Canivet, A-L. Morel, A. Matthys, J. Bauer, B. Pignolet, Y. Dauvilliers, C. Peyron, and R.S. Liblau. CD8 T cell-mediated killing of orexinergic neurons induces a narcolepsy-like phenotype in mice. PNAS (USA).2016, 113(39):10956-61.


 11. L. Yshii, C. Gebauer, B. Pignolet, E. Mauré, C. Quériault, M. Pierau, H. Saito, N. Suzuki, M. Brunner-Weinzierl,J. Bauer, RS. Liblau. CTLA-4 blockade elicits paraneoplastic neurological disease in a mouse model. BRAIN.2016, 139(11): 2923-2934.


 12. Martin-Blondel G, Brassat D, Bauer J, Lassmann H, Liblau RS. CCR5 blockade for neuroinflammatory diseases. Nat Rev Neurol.2016 Feb;12(2):95-105.

 13. A. Ramadan, L. Lucca, N. Carrié, S. Desbois-Beaumel, P-P. Axisa, J Bauer, RS. Liblau* and LT. Mars* In situ expansion of polyspecific T cells that recognize distinct self-antigens sustains the progression of organ-specific autoimmunity. BRAIN. 2016. 139(5):1433-46. *Shared last authorship.

 14. Waisman A*, Liblau RS*, Becher B*. Innate and adaptive immune responses in the CNS. Lancet Neurol. 2015 Sep;14(9):945-55.

 15. Liblau RS, Vassalli A, Seifinejad A, Tafti M. Hypocretin (orexin) biology and the pathophysiology of narcolepsy with cataplexy. Lancet Neurol. 2015 Mar;14(3):318-28.

 16. Lucca LE, Desbois S, Ramadan A, Ben-Nun A, Eisenstein M, Carrié N, Guéry JC, Sette A, Nguyen P, Geiger TL, Mars LT, Liblau RS. Bispecificity for myelin and neuronal self-antigens is a common feature of CD4 T cells in C57BL/6 mice. J Immunol. 2014 Oct 1;193(7):3267-77

 17. Martin-Blondel G, Bauer J, Cuvinciuc V, Uro-Coste E, Debard A, Massip P, Delisle MB, Lassmann H, Marchou B, Mars LT, Liblau RS. In situ evidence of JC virus control by CD8+ T cells in PML-IRIS during HIV infection. Neurology.2013 Sep 10;81(11):964-70.

 18. Liblau RS, Gonzalez-Dunia D, Wiendl H, Zipp F. Neurons as targets for T cells in the nervous system. Trends Neurosci. 2013 Jun;36(6):315-24.


 19. Scheikl T, Pignolet B, Dalard C, Desbois S, Raison D, Yamazaki M, Saoudi A, Bauer J, Lassmann H, Hardin-Pouzet H, Liblau RSCutting edge: neuronal recognition by CD8 T cells elicits central diabetes insipidus. J Immunol. 2012 May 15;188(10):4731-5.

 20. Krishnamoorthy G, Saxena A, Mars LT, Domingues HS, Mentele R, Ben-Nun A, Lassmann H, Dornmair K, Kurschus FC, Liblau RS, Wekerle H. Myelin-specific T cells also recognize neuronal autoantigen in a transgenic mouse model of multiple sclerosis. Nat Med. 2009 15(6):626-32.

McGavern, Dorian


Senior Investigator
Viral Immunology and Intravital Imaging Section
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Bethesda (MD) | USA

Dr. McGavern received his B.S degree in microbiology from The Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. in molecular neuroscience from the Mayo Clinic. Following an academic appointment as an Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbial Sciences at The Scripps Research Institute, Dr. McGavern joined the NINDS in 2009 and NIAID in 2021.


Dr. McGavern is the recipient of the Ray Thomas Edwards Foundation Award and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award. As Chief of the Viral Immunology and Intravital Imaging Section, Dr. McGavern’s research program at the NIH spans the disciplines of neuroscience, microbiology, and immunology, exploring immune responses to various central nervous system perturbations such as infections (viral, parasites, fungi), injuries (traumatic brain injury, ischemia), tumors, and neurodegeneration.


The studies impact directly upon many neurological diseases in humans, including meningitis, encephalitis, cerebral malaria, tauopathy, glioblastoma, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.

Miron, Veronique


Dr. Veronique Miron PhD
Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Sciences, Barlo MS Centre
Department of Immunology, University of Toronto
UK Dementia Research Institute, University of Edinburgh
Toronto, Canada

Dr. Veronique Miron is the John David Eaton Chair of Multiple Sclerosis Research, Full Professor at the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto, and Group Leader at the United Kingdom Dementia Research Institute at The University of Edinburgh. Her lab’s research has pioneered understanding of the importance of glial interactions in regulating white matter health across the lifespan, working towards identification of novel treatments for common neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis,  pathological ageing, and Alzheimer’s disease.


More specifically, her lab’s work has shown that dynamic changes in microglia and astrocyte function regulates myelin maintenance, damage, and regeneration. Current work is focused on understanding how glial cells become dysregulated thereby contributing to myelin damage and regeneration failure.


She is the recipient of prestigious awards including the European Charcot Foundation Young Investigator Award, the Suffrage Science Award in Life Sciences, the Medical Research Council Senior Non-Clinical fellowship, and the Medical Research Council Career Development Award.

Miyake, Sachiko


Department of Immunology
Juntendo University School of Graduate Medicine
Tokyo | Japan

Dr. Miyake is a Professor in the Department of Immunology at Juntendo University School of Graduate Medicine, Japan. Her current research areas are clinical immunology and neuroimmunology focusing on demyelinating diseases.


She worked as a post-doctoral fellow and as an instructor at the Department of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy in Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School in the U.S from 1995 to 1999.


After completing her research in the U.S, she became a section chief at National Institute of Neuroscience, NCNP in Japan. She has served as a Professor of the Department of Immunology at Juntendo University since 2013.

Professor, Department of Immunology, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine

Graduated from Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan
Graduated from Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan

MD (Tokyo Medical and Dental University) 1987
PhD (Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine) 1994

Residency of Juntendo University Hospital 1987-1990
Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA 1995-1997
Instructor, Department of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA 1997-1999
Section Chief, Department of Immunology, National Institute of Neuroscience, NCNP 1999-2013
Professor, Department of Immunology, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine 2013-present

Executive Board Member of the Japanese Society ofNeuroimmunology
Executive Board Member of the Japan Society of Clinical Immunology
Board Member of the Japanese Society of Neurology
Board Member of the Japanese Colleague of Rheumatology
Board Member of the Japanese Society of Internal Medicine
Member of the American Association of Immunologists

Piccio, Laura


Associate Professor
School of Medical Sciences
Brain and Mind Centre
University of Sydney
Sydney | Australia

The overarching goal of my research is to dissect inflammatory, immune-mediated and neurodegenerative mechanisms implicated in multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurodegenerative diseases.


My aims are to identify potential new avenues for therapeutic intervention or disease prevention. Specific areas of research interests on which my laboratory is currently working are: (i) the study of the complex interplay between nutrition, metabolism and immune inflammatory responses in MS; (ii) the study of  microglial biology and the innate immune receptor TREM2 (expressed by microglia) in the context of central nervous system neurodegeneration, demyelination and remyelination; and (iii) the identification of cerebrospinal fluid or blood biomarkers to provide information on MS disease prognosis and guide treatment choices.


A common theme of all my research is to quickly take my laboratory-based research findings into the clinical setting.

Pittock, Sean


Mayo Clinic’s Center for Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Neurology
Mayo’s Neuroimmunology Research Laboratory.
Rochester (MN), USA

Prat, Alexandre


Fellow, Collège des Chercheurs, Société Royale du Canada
Chaire de Recherche du Canada en Sclérose en Plaques,
Neurologue, CHUM
Professeur Titulaire
Département de Neurosciences
Vice-Doyen Associé, recherche clinique
Faculté de Médecine
Université de Montréal
Montreal (QC) | Canada

Dr Prat obtained his undergraduate degree (B.Sc.) in biochemistry from Université de Montréal in 1990 and an MD-MSc in 1995. Dr Prat completed his Neurology residency training at McGill University (Montreal Neurological Institute) in 2003, after having completed a Ph.D. degree (2000) in the laboratory of Dr Jack P. Antel. His PhD work focused on the development of the human Blood-Brain Barrier. Dr Prat is an active member of the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada (Neurology) since 2003. In 2000, he received the prestigious S. Weir Mitchell Award of the American Academy of Neurology.


Dr Prat is a staff neurologist at the CHUM-Notre Dame Hospital (Montréal) and is Full Professor of Neurosciences (with Tenure) at Université de Montréal. Dr Prat held the Donald Paty Research Chair of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and was a senior Scholar of the FRQ-S (2012-2016). He now holds the Senior Canada Research Chair en Multiple Sclerosis and was inducted at the College of researcher of the Royal Society of Canada in 2015. From 2015 until 2018, he was Deputy Director for Development at the CHUM Research Center, a research institution with over 120 investigators and 2000 employees. In 2015, he was elected at the Royal Society of Canada.


The current research interests of the Prat lab include the immunological roles of the BBB, the mechanisms of monocytes and lymphocyte migration across the BBB and the physiological regulation of the Blood-Brain Barrier functions by glial cells. The underlying hypothesis of Dr Prat’s work is that deciphering the mechanisms by which the Blood-Brain Barrier controls the passage of cells and molecules to the CNS should lead to the understanding of diseases such as MS and brain tumors, as well as to the discovery of novel routes for delivery of drugs and chemotherapies into the CNS. The research activities of the Prat lab include a special emphasis towards the biology of human and mouse TH1 and TH17 lymphocytes, as well as the important role of B lymphocytes in MS. The lab routinely performs 16 color flow cytometry analysis of human or mouse CNS and peripheral blood cells, multiphoton dynamic imaging of CNS vessels, confocal microscopy of human MS brain samples, active adoptive transfer and spontaneaous/transgenique EAE, as well as primary cell culture of human or mouse CNS endothelial and glial cells.


Currently, the research team of Dr Prat is composed of 6 post-doctoral fellows, 6 Ph.D. students, 4 M.Sc. students and 3 technicians. Most of the students and post-docs in the Prat lab hold prestigious National or International studentship or fellowships. The lab is supported by 3 operating grants from the CIHR, 2 CIHR team grants, 1 ERANET Neuron EU-CIHR-FRQS International team grant, 2 operating grants from the MS Society of Canada, one large operating grant from the MS Research Foundation of Canada and one grant from the Progressive MS Alliance. Dr Prat has published more than 80 peer-reviewed research articles in international journals such as Science, Nature Medicine, Nature Immunology, PNAS, The Journal of Neuroscience, The Journal of Immunology, Annals of Neurology, PLOSone and Brain.

Schafer, Dorothy


Associate Professor
University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
Department of Neurobiology
Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute
Worcester (MA), USA

The overall goal of my laboratory is to achieve a deep, mechanistic understanding of how microglia, a vastly understudied glial subtype and resident central nervous system (CNS) macrophage, regulate structural and functional neural circuits in health and disease. Our goal is to molecularly dissect basic mechanisms underlying microglial function with brain circuits to then better understand neurological disease. I have had a long-standing interest (nearly 20 years) in understanding how neuron-glia interactions regulate nervous system development and determining how these interactions become disrupted in disease.


In the process, I published one of the seminal papers to establish a role for microglia and immune molecules in synapse development in the healthy brain. In these studies, it became clear that microglia were important regulators of neural connectivity by pruning away a subset of less active synaptic connections via the classical complement cascade in the developing visual system.


More recently, we are exploring the mechanistic basis by which microglia work cooperatively with astrocytes to respond to changes in neural activity to remodel developing brain circuits. We are also working to understand how inflammation impacts microglial function within neural circuits. 

Stadelmann, Christine


Professor, Director
Institute for Neuropathology

University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG),
Göttingen | Germany


Antel, Jack


McGill University
Montreal Neurological Institute

Jack Antel is a clinical neurologist who coordinates the multiple sclerosis research and treatment program at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He has served as President of the International Society of Neuroimmunology, president of ACTRIMS, Scientific Director of the endMS Research and Training Network supported by the MS Society of Canada, and as Editor for the Americas of the Multiple Sclerosis Journal.


His research interests include understanding the mechanisms of tissue injury and repair that occur in MS and how these can be therapeutically targeted. He received the 2005 Dystel Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Academy of Neurology.

Bar-Or, Amit


Melissa and Paul Anderson President’s Distinguished Professor 
Department of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine
Director, Centre for Neuroinflammation and Experimental Therapeutics
Chief, Division of MS and Related Disorders
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

Dr. Bar-Or, a neurologist and neuroimmunologist, was Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Associate Director (Clinical and Translational Research) of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University, prior to taking on position of Presidential Endowed Chair at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn/CHOP) where is founder and Director of the Centre for Neuroinflammation and Experimental Therapeutics.


His clinical focus is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and related disorders in both adults and children, and he runs a cellular and molecular Neuroimmunology lab that studies basic principles of immune regulation and immune-neural interaction, in the context of inflammation, injury and repair of the human central nervous system (CNS). Research themes are directed at understanding principles of immune-regulation, elucidation of effector and regulatory mechanisms of distinct immune cell (principally T cell, B cell, and myeloid cell) subsets in CNS inflammatory disease; immune reconstitution, neuroimmune interactions and mode of action of emerging therapies.


He is past President of the Canadian Network of MS Clinics (CNMSC) and past member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) where he continues as a member of the Education Committee. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) and on the Steering Committee of the NIH Immune Tolerance Network (ITN).

Martino, Gianvito


Division of Neuroscience
San Raffaele Hospital – Milan

Gianvito Martino (Bergamo, 1962) received his Medical Degree in 1987 from the Univ. of Pavia(Italy)and completed his residency in Neurology in 1991. In 1990, he was a Visiting Scientist at the Dept. of Neurology of the Karolinska Institute (Sweden) and, from 1991 to 1992, he held the position of Research Associate at the Dept. of Neurology of the Univ. of Chicago (Chicago, IL, USA). 


From 1992 to 2008, he worked first as Senior Scientist and then as Director of the Neuroimmunology Unit of the San Raffaele Scientific Inst. in Milan (Italy) where he acted as Director of the Neuroscience Division. From 2016, he serves as Scientific Director of San Raffaele Hospital.


He is full professor of Experimental Biology and Vice Rector for Research and Third Mission at the San Raffaele Vita-Salute Univ. in Milan. He was appointed Honorary Professor at Queen Mary Univ. of London from 2009 to 2017. He has been the Scientific Secretary (1998-2003) and the President (2009-2012) of the Italian Neuroimmunology Society (AINI). He is the founder and the Scientific Coordinator of the European School of Neuroimmunology (ESNI) and of the Global Schools of Neuroimmunology (GSNI).


Within the International Society for Neuroimmunology (ISNI), he served as advisory board member (2002-2010), Vice President (2010-2012) and President (2012-2014). He has been a member of the scientific committee and reviewing panel of ECTRIMS, FISM, MSIF, INSERM, UK MS Society, Wellcome Trust’s Peer Review College. From 2017 to 2019 he has been the President of the scientific council of the Fondazione Regionale per la Ricerca Biomedica (FRRB). 


From 2015 to 2022 he served as Panel Member of the European Research Council (ERC). He has co-authored more than 300 original articles and book chapters. His scientific interests range from the elucidation of the pathogenic mechanisms of immune-mediated central nervous system disorders to the development of gene and stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of these disorders.

Olsson, Tomas


Professor of Neurology
the Karolinska Institutet

Tomas Olsson is professor of Neurology at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm Sweden.
He is active in a large number of academic groups and societies in the neurology area. He is member of the board of the Swedish MS society, has been chairman for the previous Swedish expert committee for MS and is co-founder of the European School of Neuroimmunology (ESNI). He is also a member of the International MS societies, former president of the international Society of Neuroimmunology (ISNI) and former member executive board of the European Committee for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS). He is also a former member of the Nobel assembly. He was a chairman of the Nobel assembly 2017.


He has been co-author of over 637 original papers, and many of them published in high impact journals like Nature Genetics, Cell, Lancet, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the Journal of Clinical investigation and the Journal of Neuroscience. He also have around 71 reviews.


Current research interest is in the immunology, epidemiology and genetics of multiple sclerosis and its experimental models, as well as neuro-infections.

Owens, Trevor


University of Southern Denmark, Odense

Nationality Ireland, Canada 


Institute of Molecular Medicine
University of Southern Denmark
J.B. Winsloewsvej 25
DK-5000 Odense C


Trevor Owens is Professor of Neurobiology in the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Southern Denmark. He obtained his PhD from the University of Ottawa. After postdoctoral training in London and Melbourne he returned to McGill University and joined the Neuroimmunology Unit of the Montreal Neurological Institute where he became a Professor in 2001. In 2004 he was appointed Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, and was leader of the Neurobiology Research Department from 2010-2023. His laboratory focuses on animal models of multiple sclerosis and specifically on interactions between immune and glial cells in the brain and spinal cord. He has published 131 papers in peer-reviewed journals (H-index=54).


He served as treasurer of ISNI from 2001 and secretary/treasurer of ISNI from 2004-2010, and as an ESNI Board member since 2008. Hwas President of the Scandinavian Society for Immunology from 2016-2020.

Quintana, Francisco



Francisco J. Quintana, PhDProfessor of Neurology
Kuchroo Weiner Distinguished Professor of Neuroimmunology
Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Associate Member,
The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
Boston (MA) | USA

Francisco J. Quintana, PhD is a Professor of Neurology at the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and an Associate Member at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Dr. Quintana is also the President of the International Society of Neuro Immunology (ISNI).


Dr. Quintana, a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires (1999, Argentina), obtained his PhD in immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science (2004, Israel).  He received postdoctoral training at the Weizmann Institute of Science and Harvard Medical School.  In 2009, Dr. Quintana joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School.


Dr. Quintana’s research is focused on Neuroimmunology, investigating signaling pathways that control inflammation and neurodegeneration, with the ultimate goal of identifying novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers for immune-mediated and neurodegenerative disorders.  Dr. Quintana has published over 200 peer reviewed articles and book chapters.  Dr. Quintana’s work identified an important role for the transcription factor AHR in the control of inflammation driven by adaptive and innate immune cells. His work has also defined novel mechanisms by which cell-cell interactions, metabolism, the microbiome, and environmental chemicals control CNS resident cells in health and disease. In addition, Dr. Quintana’s research has resulted in multiple patents which have been the foundation of four companies.


Dr. Quintana is the recipient of the Lady Anne Chain Prize for Academic Excellence and Scientific Achievements, the Junior Investigator Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Pathway to Independence Award of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Award for Outstanding Research Achievement form Nature Biotechnology, the Tecan Award for Innovation, the Harry Weaver Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Mentor Award from Harvard Medical School, the Milestones in Multiple Sclerosis Research Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Association of Immunologists-BD Biosciences Investigator Award, ISI Most Highly Cited List and the Barancik Prize of Innovation in Multiple Sclerosis Research. In 2021, Dr. Quintana was named the Kuchroo Weiner Distinguished Professor of Neuroimmunology.

Raine, Cedric Stuart


Professor Emeritus of Pathology
Neuroscience and Neurology
Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NYC

In a career spanning more than four decades, Dr. Raine made many significant contributions towards the understanding of the insidious autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis (MS). At a time when investigations into immunologic interactions within the central nervous system (CNS) lacked a dedicated journal and met with some difficulty when submitted to the general immunologic literature, Dr. Raine launched the Journal of Neuroimmunology in 1980 (serving as Editor-in-Chief until 2010) and founded the International Society of Neuroimmunology in 1987 (serving as President from 1987-2001).


Dr. Raine and his group at Einstein showed that in MS, the immune system targets the myelin sheaths of nerve fibers in the CNS and PNS leading to selective and widespread destruction of myelin (demyelination), axons and oligodendrocytes and to the disruption of nerve conduction. Dr. Raine is recognized for the identification and characterization of immune cells and mediators involved in myelin breakdown and repair mechanisms in MS and in the development and analysis of its laboratory models. He was also involved in the analysis of the interactions between several viruses and the CNS. His groundbreaking ultrastructural studies allowed for the visualization and analysis of several unique structural features in the nervous system and of disease processes in demyelination. His work also uncovered several molecular pathways applicable to the testing of experimental immune-based therapies paving the way for some treatments now in use in MS.


His bibliography shows almost 500 peer-reviewed papers, articles, book chapters and several books. A major textbook on MS published in 2008 in collaboration with Drs. Henry McFarland (NIH) and Reinhard Hohlfeld (Munich) remains a leading reference in the field.


His many honors include an Award for Meritorious Contributions to Neuropathology from the American Association of Neuropathologists, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, a Research Career Development Award from the NIH, a Javits Award from the NIH, the Dystel Prize for MS Research from the National MS Society and the American Academy of Neurology, and a gold medal for medical writing from the New York State Society of Medicine.  


Dr. Raine received a PhD (Medicine) in 1967 and a DSc (Medicine) in 1975, both from Newcastle University, England, and was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Pathology in 1988. He received a Doctoris Honoris Causa from Lodz, Poland in 2000. His laboratory at Einstein was an international center for clinical and research training in MS and contributed significantly to the careers of more than 60 investigators, many of whom are now leaders in the field.  He retired in 2012 but maintains an office at Einstein where he continues his writing.

Schwartz, Michal


Weizmann Institute of Science

Schwartz is a Professor of Neuroimmunology, incumbent of The Maurice and Ilse Katz Professorial Chair in Neuroimmunology, at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. Schwartz served as the elected president of the International Society of for Neuroimmunology (2016-2018).


Schwartz received her BSc degree with a major in chemistry, cum laude, from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, and her PhD in Immunology from the Weizmann Institute. She performed postdoctoral research in Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, studying nerve regeneration.


Schwartz’s research is focused on the role of innate and adaptive immunity in central nervous system (CNS) plasticity. Schwartz was the first to discover that circulating immune cells, including macrophages and T cells, support CNS repair and healthy brain plasticity (Nature Medicine, 1998; Nature Medicine, 1999; Nature Neuroscience, 2006). Schwartz redefined the relationships between the brain and the immune system in health and disease. She coined the concept of “protective autoimmunity”, as a physiological response that protects the brain. She identified the brain’s choroid plexus epithelium, which forms the blood-CSF-barrier, as the site through which the immune cells can engage in dialogue with the brain, and which serves as the gateway for leukocytes that patrol the brain and initiate repair when needed (Immunity, 2013; Brain, 2013; Science, 2014; Nature Communications, 2015). These findings led to Schwartz’s discoveries over the last 4 years that brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases are associated with dysfunction of this interface (Science, 2014; J. Neuroscience, 2015; Nature communication, 2015), and that harnessing the systemic immune system can combat Alzheimer’s disease (Nature Communications, 2015; Nature Medicine, 2016; Science, 2017).


Schwartz’s work is highly cited (H index 103; Google Scholar). She has received a number of prestigious awards for her research, including the 2002 Friedenwald Award from ARVO (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology), for her outstanding contribution to vision research and ophthalmology. She was appointed by the American Spinal Cord Injury Association to the Distinguished G. Heiner Sell Memorial Lectureship in 2002 for outstanding achievement in the field of spinal cord injury. She was one of the recipients of the NARSAD (The Mental Health Research Association) Distinguished Investigative Award (2007), she twice received the most competitive European grant, the Advanced European Research Commission award (2008, 2017), an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University (2009), and a National Brain research award for her pioneering work (2009). In 2015, she was awarded the Blumberg Prize for excellence in medical science. In 2016 her book: “NEUROIMMUNITY: How Brain Science Will Revolutionize the Way We Live and Age”, by MICHAL SCHWARTZ with Anat London, Yale University Press (, received Accolade from the annual PROSE Awards. Schwartz was profiled by Britannica Book of the year 2016, covering selected individuals and events that impacted the course of human history. In 2017 she received the Rappaport Prize for Excellence in the Field of Biomedical Research (awarded to an established Israeli biomedical researcher). She has mentored numerous graduate students, among whom 14 hold academic positions at universities and institutes in Israel and abroad. In 2017 she was selected as the most influential woman of the year in Israel, by Lady Globes. Most recently, she was selected as the 2019 outstanding mentor by the Israel Society of Neuroscience.

Vincent, Angela


Emeritus Research Fellow at Somerville College
Emeritus Professor of Neuroimmunology at the University of Oxford

Angela Vincent (born 1942) is an Emeritus Professor of Neuroimmunology at the University of Oxford and Emeritus Research Fellow of Somerville College.


She qualified as a doctor in London but after one year of internship she embarked on an MSc in Biochemistry at University College and did not pursue further clinical training. She was an Honorary Consultant in Immunology and established the Oxford Neuroimmunology Service for detection of autoantibodies in neurological diseases.


Her clinical interests are in the role of auto-antibodies to ion channels and receptors in peripheral and central disorders, and in helping to diagnose immunotherapy-responsive conditions. Her research interests include experimental models of neuromuscular junction and CNS diseases, and the influence of maternal antibodies on development.


She has given many named lectures and been awarded a number of honors including Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2004), Honorary Fellow of the American Neurological Association (2011), and Fellow of the Royal Society (2011).


In 2018, together with Profs Jerome Posner and Josep Dalmau, she was awarded the the Gertrud Reemtsma Foundation’s K. J. Zülch Prize.

Wekerle, Hartmut


MaxPlanck Institute of Neurobiology

Emeritus Research Group – Neuroimmunology
Hertie Senior Professorship

Hartmut Wekerle was director and member of the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology. In 2012 he was awarded a Hertie Senior Professorship, and he leads an Extended Emeritus Group. Hartmut Wekerle’s scientific research focuses on the mechanisms initiating and driving multiple sclerosis and its experimental models, which imply autoimmune attack against the nervous system. Wekerle’s work led to the identification of brain reactive autoimmune T lymphocytes in the immune system.


Most recently, he identified the commensal bacterial gut flora as a factor triggering the pathogenic potential of immune cells. He develops and uses new imaging approaches to detail the mechanisms of autoimmune T cell migration into the brain. Wekerle has received numerous awards, including the Jung Prize, Zülch Prize, Koetser Prize, Charcot Award (MS International Federation), Grand Prix Louis D. (Institut de France), and a Koselleck Award (DFG).

He holds an Honorary Professorship of the University of Munich and Honorary Doctorates of the Universities of Hamburg and Würzburg. He is a member of the German Academy of Science (Leopoldina), Honorary Member of the Société Française de Neurologie and Honorary Member of the Cuban Neuroscience Society.

Whitacre, Caroline


Vice President for Research at The Ohio State University
Professor of Microbial Infection & Immunity

Caroline C. Whitacre, Ph.D. serves as the Vice President for Research at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She is a Professor of Microbial Infection & Immunity. She served as Associate Vice President for Health Sciences Research and Vice Dean for Research in the College of Medicine from 2001-2008. Dr. Whitacre received her BA and PhD degrees at Ohio State University and did postdoctoral training at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.


She returned to Ohio State in 1981 where she has been on the faculty since that time. She served for 12 years as the Chair of the department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics in the College of Medicine. Dr. Whitacre’s research is in the area of the immunology of multiple sclerosis. In recognition of her University activities, she was awarded the OSU Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service in 2001 and the Association for the Advancement of Science.


In her current role as VP for Research, Dr. Whitacre is responsible for the overall strategic planning of infrastructure support for the universities $983 million annual research program. She serves on the Boards of TechColumbus, Center of Science and Industry (COSI), The Transportation Research Center, The Wellington School, BioOhio, the National Boards for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Oak Ridge Associated Universities. She chairs the Board of SciTech, the Ohio State University Research Park. She is immediate past chair of the Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education for the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU).

Yong, V. Wee


Hotchkiss Brain Institute,
Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Oncology at the University of Calgary

Dr. V. Wee Yong is a Professor at the University of Calgary, Canada. He co-leads the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) NeuroTeam at the university and he directs the provincial Alberta MS Network.


Dr. Yong’s research interests lie in the area of neuroimmunology, neuroprotection and CNS regeneration, and his projects are guided by MS, brain tumors and intracerebral hemorrhage. 


Dr. Yong has published 350 peer-reviewed manuscripts and his research has been translated into Phase III clinical trials in MS and spinal cord injury (nine trials across Phase I – III).  His work has been cited over 34,000 times (h-index 103). Dr. Yong is on the editorial board of 5 international journals; he is the Honorary Editor-in-Chief of the journal Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation. He has been the President of the International Society of Neuroimmunology (2014-2016) and he continues to co-direct its Americas and Global Schools of Neuroimmunology.


Dr. Yong is an elected fellow of both the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada. He is the 2017 Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine winner. Dr. Yong was profiled in the August 2021 issue of Lancet Neurology.