The BBB Consortium meeting was a perfect mixture of clinicians and pre-clinical researchers in the BBB field. Short, engaging talks and ample time to interact and discuss. Highlights include:
(1) Amazing three-photon imaging technology from Chris Xu (Cornell), enabling multi-photon imaging to 2 mm below the brain surface!
(2) Unique, high-throughput NVU organoid models for BBB studies from the lab of Fong Cho, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
(3) The awesome potential of mapping vascular cell-types, as revealed by single-cell transcriptomics studies from the lab of Christer Betsholtz. Marja Andaloussi Mae and Johanna Andrae from the Betsholtz lab had exciting posters on single cell analyses of PDGFRb mutants and enigmatic perivascular fibroblasts, respectively.
(4) Anusha Mishra discussed how impaired astrocyte signals can cause neurovascular DEcoupling in the peri-infarct tissues of a stroke. Overproduction of the vasocontrictor, 20-HETE, may be suspect! She just received an R01 to dig deeper into this exciting work!
(5) Our very own Vanessa Coelho-Santos was one of three winners of the BBB meeting travel award! She gave a talk and a poster of her exciting work visualizing development of the mouse brain vasculature. Remarkably, the pia is dense with amorphous veins at birth, which is pruned into a efficient drainage network by 2 weeks post-birth. Over the same time-frame, the capillary network undergoes marked expansion to create an 3-D network for blood perfusion. Lots of exciting things to discover!
Notably, several members from the NIH, including NINDS director Dr. Walter Koroshetz, as well as SRO, Dr. Linda MacArthur, and PO, Dr. Margaret Ochokinska, trekked from the Capital to Portland to give an overview of NIH initiatives for BBB and vascular research.
The conference provided strong support for young investigators. One-on-one mentoring sessions between younger and established faculty was a great idea. Definitely a conference to put on your schedule for the future.