The Center for Neuroimmunology and Neuroinfectious Diseases (CNND) hosted its inaugural symposium on September 18, 2013, at the Eric P. Newman Center. This symposium introduced the new center to the St. Louis research community.
The CNND invites researchers in the fields of neuroimmunology, neuroinfectious diseases and neuroimaging to join together to advance our collective scientific disciplines. It is open to all investigators in our geographical region. In attendance at the symposium was Dean Larry Shapiro MD, who introduced the new CNND and its goals. Robyn S. Klein, MD, PhD, the primary visionary behind the new center, discussed its background and mission. Avindra Nath, MD, Clinical Director of the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke, gave the keynote address and discussed the critical role of future research at the intersection of these fields. Steven Jacobson, PhD, Senior Investigator and Chief of the Viral Immunology Section, NINDS/NIH, discussed viral causes of chronic CNS disease. Scientific talks were also given by members of our own WUSM research community: Sheng-Kwei (Victor) Song, PhD (Professor of Radiology Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, imaging axon loss and inflammation in the CNS), Michael Diamond, MD PhD, (Professor of Medicine, Molecular Microbiology, and Pathology & Immunology, antiviral immunity within the CNS), and David Clifford, MD, (Professor of Neurology and Director of the AIDS Clinical Trial Unit, the neurological complications of HIV/AIDS). An afternoon poster presentation session encouraged individual investigators to connect with one another. First Place and Honorable Mention awards for posters presented by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows were selected by a panel of judges. First place winners were Erica Koval (graduate student) and Jessica Williams (fellow). Honorable mention awards went to Andrew Jones (graduate student) and W.K. Ajith Karunarathne (post-doctoral fellow).