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TGen Scientists Attend Society for Neuroscience Conference

TGen researchers presented posters, hosted talks at world's largest neuroscience conference

TGen went to Washington as more than a dozen scientists from our Neurogenomics Division attended the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, November 11-15.
Neuroscience 2017 is the largest gathering of neuroscientists, with more than 30,000 in attendance.
"TGen was honored with three oral platform talks which were extremely well attended," said Dr. Matt Huentelman, TGen Professor, Head of the Neurobehavioral Research Unit and Scientific Director of the Center for Rare Childhood Disorders. "Each year this meeting helps us forge new collaborations and strengthens existing bonds with colleagues around the globe."
Dr. Kendall Van Keuren-Jensen, TGen Professor and Co-Director for the Center for Noninvasive Diagnostics, gave a presentation on biomarker discovery for Parkinson's disease drug development. Huentelman Lab alum and current member of the Winnie Liang Lab, Mari Willeman gave a talk on a possible preventive therapy for Alzheimer's disease.
Research Assistant Professor Dr. Sampath Rangasamy discussed new therapeutic strategies for Rett Syndrome, a rare disorder, in his 'nanosymposium.' In addition to his exhaustive research, Dr. Rangasamy joined Toastmasters to prepare for his talk, because so many influential researchers and funders were present at the conference.
This trio of talks represents just a sliver of the breadth and diversity of neuroscience research presented by TGen at the event.
Chris Balak, Research Associate II in the Huentelman Lab, was attending his second SfN Annual Meeting and presented a poster on Chromosome 1q41-q42 deletions in certain rare disorders. 
"Being able to attend the largest Neuroscience conference in the world was invaluable to advancing my career in translational neuroscience and genomics," said Balak, a Helios Scholars at TGen alumnus. "The amount of cutting-edge research, advancements and networking I've come back with has allowed my value as a researcher to grow far more than I hoped for."
Other TGen posters included:
  • Lori Llaci, Helios Scholars at TGen alumna and Liang Lab Research Associate, on epileptic encephalopathy
  • Research Assistant Professor Dr. Ignazio Piras on whole transcriptome sequencing in Alzheimer's patients
  • Shobana Sekar, graduate student and Liang Lab bioinformatician, on circulating RNA in late-onset Alzheimer's Disease
  • Adrienne Henderson-Smith, Research Associate in the Huentelman Lab,  on Parkinson's disease blood biomarker discovery
  • Wayne Jepsen, Research Associate in the Huentelman Lab,  on Alzheimer's risk in APOE4 noncarriers
When they were not attending symposia and networking with potential collaborators, the TGen delegation visited sites around the nation's capitol. Balak and Henderson-Smith even secured tickets to visit the White House, courtesy of Arizona Senator Jeff Flake's office. 


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