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Scientific Program Agenda 2020

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Advancing Neurotrauma Research and Treatment Through Bidirectional Translation

To be added to the NNS mailing list for symposium updates, text "NEURO" to 22828

*speaker not yet confirmed

Plenary Session Breakout Session Lunch Workshop

Poster Session

Social Event


= Click for full session details, including description & objectives

Saturday  |  Sunday  |  Monday  |  Tuesday  |  Wednesday           

SATURDAY, JUNE 27 - Registration

02:00 pm - 06:00 pm Registration Desk Open for AANS & NNS attendees

Peachtree 1 /

8th Floor

04:00 pm - 06:00 pm NNS Council Meeting

SUNDAY, JUNE 28 - AANS & Pre-Meeting Workshop

07:00 am - 06:00 pm Registration Desk Open  Peachtree 1
07:30 am - 08:30 am



AANS/CNS Session 1: Breakfast Debate - Clinical Topics

Chair: TBA

Peachtree C
08:30 am - 12:00 pm



Pre-Conference Workshop I: Multiscale Preclinical Models of TBI

Chairs: Kevin Wang, Michelle LaPlaca

  Peachtree D
08:30 am - 10:00 am


1.5 CME

AANS/CNS Session 2: Updates on the Clinical Management of Brain and Spinal Cord Injury

Chair: TBA 

  1. An Update of the Guidelines for Spine Trauma
  2. An Update of the Guidelines for TBI
  3. Neurotrauma Severe TBI Algorithm

Debate: Are Guidelines Uselful?

  • Introduction of the Controversy
  • Guidelines are Useful
  • Guidelines Do Not Sufficiently Guide
  • Verdict & Discussion
  Peachtree C
10:00 am - 10:30 am COFFEE BREAK Peachtree Terrace
10:30 am - 12:00 pm   CNS3

1.5 CME

AANS/CNS Session 3: What's New in the Management of Brain and Spinal Cord Injury

Chair: TBA 

  1. Multimodal Brain Monitoring
  2. Spinal Cord Monitoring - Pressure Monitoring & Biomarkers
  3. Update on the Reversal of Direct Oral Anticoagulant

Debate: Brain Death is Controversial

  • Introduction of the Controversy
  • Brain Death is Controversial
  • Brain Death is Not Controversial
  • Verdict & Discussion
  Peachtree C

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm


Lunch for AANS/CNS attendees

12:00 pm - 05:00 pm Exhibitor Meet & Greet 8th Floor Terrace
12:00 pm - 01:30 pm Journal of Neurotrauma Editorial Board Meeting Chastain E
01:00 pm - 04:30 pm



Pre-Conference Workshop II: Multiscale Preclinical Models of TBI

Chairs: Kevin Wang, Michelle LaPlaca

Peachtree D
01:00 pm - 02:30 pm   CNS4

1.5 CME

AANS/CNS Session 4: Lessons from Sports and the Military

Chair: TBA 

  1. Challenges of TBI and Sports
  2. Concussion Assessment and Return to Play
  3. Lessons Learned from Military Practice

Debate: CTE is Compelling

  • Introduction of the Controversy/Case Presentation
  • Compelling
  • Underwhelming
  • Verdict & Discussion

Peachtree C

02:30 pm - 03:00 pm  COFFEE BREAK / Exhibitor Meet & Greet Peachtree Terrace
03:00 pm - 04:30 pm  CNS5

1.5 CME

AANS/CNS Session 5: Clinical Trials

Chair: TBA 

  1. Spinal Cord Clinical Trials
  2. TBI Clinical Trials

Debate: TBA

  • Introduction of the Controversy/Case Presentation
  • Verdict & Discussion
  Peachtree C 
03:30 pm - 04:30 pm TEAM Leadership Meeting (closed meeting) Chastain D
05:00 pm - 05:15 pm

Welcome Remarks 

Michelle LaPlaca, NNS President (GA Tech/Emory)

Peachtree C
05:15 pm - 06:00 pm


.75 CME

 Keynote Lecture Series  

TBA - Donald Stein (GA Tech/Emory)

Chair: Michelle LaPlaca

  Peachtree C
06:00 pm - 07:30 pm

Welcome Reception




07:00 am - 06:00 pm Registration Desk Open
Peachtree Terrace
07:00 am - 08:00 am BREAKFAST Peachtree Terrace
07:00 am - 08:00 am TEAM Business Meeting  
08:00 am - 08:15 am

President's Welcome Address

Michelle LaPlaca

Peachtree Ballroom

08:15 am - 09:00 am


.75 CME

 Keynote Lecture Series  

The Public Health Approach to Traumatic Brain Injury: A Special CDC Session

Chair: Michelle LaPlaca

Peachtree Ballroom
09:00 am - 10:30 am PL1 

1.25 CME

The Future of Genetics in Predicting TBI Risk and Outcome, and Developing Therapeutics
Chairs: Dianne Langford (Temple University), Regina Armstrong (USUHS)

  1. Jane McDevitt (Temple University) Association between (GT)n promoter polymorphism and recovery from concussion
  2. *Brad Kurowski (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital) Genetic Influences on Behavioral Outcomes After Childhood TBI: A Novel Systems Biology-Informed Approach
  3. John Yue (UCSF) Association of genetic variants with cognitive outcome post TBI
  4. Regina Armstrong (USUHS) Genetic modifications in mice to modify outcomes and develop therapeutics for TBI
Peachtree Ballroom
10:30 am - 11:30 am


1.5 CME

Poster Session 1 / Coffee Break

All posters in Group A

Info icon peach Augusta Ballroom
11:30 am - 01:00 pm


1.5 CME

Improving Diversity and Inclusion in the Trainee Pipeline

Chairs: Michelle LaPlaca (GA Tech/Emory), Gene Gurkoff (UCSD)


ticket FREE; Optional box lunch $20 


11:30 am - 01:00 pm


1.5 CME

Rigor, Reproducibility, and Statistics in Neurotrauma Research

Chair: Bruce Lyeth (UC Davis)

  • Bruce Lyeth (UC Davis) Overview of Issues that Lead to Reproducibility Problems in Neurotrauma Research
  • *Ben Fitzpatrick (Loyola Marymount) Prospective Sample Size Determination for Neurotrauma Research Design
  • Nicole Lazar (Univ. GA) Moving to a World Beyond ’p<0.05’

ticket FREE; Optional box lunch $20 

11:30 am - 01:00 pm


1.5 CME

International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI): 2019 Updates and Upcoming Additional Versions

Chairs: Keith Tansey (Methodist Rehab/UMMC/Jackson VA), Ruediger Rupp (Univ. Heidelberg)

  • Keith Tansey (Methodist Rehab/UMMC/Jackson VA) The expedited ISNCSCI exam (E-ISNCSCI) and the research options ISNCSCI exam (RO-ISNCSCI)
  • Ruediger Rupp (Univ. Heidelberg) The 2019 ISNCSCI updates and their prognostic implications

ticket FREE; Optional box lunch $20 

01:00 pm - 02:30 pm S01

1.5 CME

Clinical Consortia Updates – What Have We Learned So Far? Chairs: David Wright (Emory); Ramona Hicks (NINDS)

  1. Geoff Manley (UCSF/ TRACK-TBI) Analyzing longitudinal trajectories of function and recovery following Traumatic Brain Injury: Findings from TRACK-TBI
  2. Andrew Maas (Univ. Antwerp) CENTER-TBI Updates
  3. David X. Cifu (CENC) Blast-related injury and findings from the Longitudinal Study cohort of the CENC

01:00 pm - 02:30 pm


1.5 CME

Mechanisms and Targeting of Inflammation in TBI 

Chairs: Adam Bachstetter (Univ. Kentucky), Olga Kokiko-Cochran (Ohio State)

  1. Rachel Rowe (Univ Arizona): Microglia as a novel therapeutic target to mitigate TBI-induced sleep disturbances
  2. Levi Wood (Emory/GA Tech) – Systems Analysis Identifies Neuronal Inflammatory Signaling after Repetitive Mild TBI in Mice
  3. Olga Kokiko-Cochran (Ohio State) Aging and TBI: emerging evidence for the role of glia and inflammation.
  4. Josh Morganti (Univ. Kentucky) Effects of advanced age upon astrocyte-specific responses to acute traumatic brain injury in mice
01:00 pm - 02:30 pm S03

1.5 CME

Development of Personalized Medicine Approaches for the SCI Population

Chairs: Warren Joseph Alilain (Univ. Kentucky), Michael Wang (Univ. Miami)

01:00 pm - 02:30 pm


1.5 CME

Data Blitz A: Oral Presentations

Chairs: TBA

Info icon peach
02:30 pm - 03:00 pm COFFEE BREAK / Visit Exhibits
03:00 pm - 04:30 pm S05

1.5 CME

Enhancing Translatability of Preclinical TBI Research 

Chairs: Patrick Bellgowan (NIH), Michelle LaPlaca (GA Tech)

  1. Patrick Bellgowan (NIH) - Building the TBI preclinical research infrastructure.
  2. Candace Floyd (Utah)- Analysis and Path forward for Preclinical CDEs in TBI research
  3. Ina Wanner (UCLA) - Preclinical paths of validating and reproducing translatable assessment tools in neurotrauma
  4. Russell Huie (UCSF) - Leveraging the Open Data Commons - TBI (ODC-TBI) for advancing preclinical TBI research
03:00 pm - 04:30 pm S06

1.5 CME

Emerging Trends in Molecular TBI Biomarkers

Chairs: David Menon (Univ. Cambridge), Kevin Wang (Univ. Florida)

03:00 pm - 04:30 pm S07

1.5 CME

Injury Biomechanics as a Translational Tool

Chairs: Lee Goldstein (Boston University); Marzieh Hajiaghamemar (GA Tech/Emory)

03:00 pm - 04:30 pm


1.5 CME

Modulation of Spinal Cord Excitability in the Pathology and Treatment of Chronic Pain

Chairs: Michael Hildebrand (Carleton University), TBA

  1. Rebecca P. Seal (University of Pittsburgh) A gene therapy approach to treat persistent pain derived from spinal studies of rodents and monkeys
  2. Michael E. Hildebrand (Carleton University/ Ottawa Hospital Research Institute) Human models of spinal pain processing: Identification of molecular pain targets in males vs females
  3. Rushna Ali (Henry Ford Hospital) Spinal Cord Stimulation: New Paradigms and Advances in Treatment of Chronic Pain
04:30 pm - 06:00 pm PS02 

1.5 CME

Wine & Cheese Poster Session 2 / Final Competition Judging

All Posters in Group A

Info icon peach Augusta Ballroom
07:00 Bus loading for TEAM event
07:30 pm - 10:30 pm 



TEAM-Building & Mentoring Event

ticket$40 Faculty/$20 Trainees; Includes casual bites, drink ticket & teambuilding activity




07:00 am - 06:00 pm Registration Desk Open Peachtree 1
07:00 am - 07:45 am BREAKFAST
Peachtree Terrace
07:00 am - 08:00 am

NNS Society Business Meeting 

All NNS members are invited to attend

Peachtree Ballroom
08:00 am - 08:15 am

President's Announcements

Michelle LaPlaca

Peachtree Ballroom
08:15 am - 09:00 am


.75 CME

 Keynote Lecture Series 


Peachtree Ballroom
09:00 am - 10:30 am 


1.5 CME

Big Data and AI for Translational Neurotrauma

Chairs: Adam Ferguson (UCSF), Jessica Nielson (Univ. Minnesota)

  1. Alan Kaplan (Lawrence Livermore National Labs) High performance computing and artificial intelligence (AI) for Neurotrauma
  2. Frederick Korley (Univ. Michigan) Machine learning for developing prognostic models in TBI
  3. Jessica Nielson (Univ Minnesota) Causal network modeling for postraumatic stress and TBI
  4. Abel Torres Espin (UCSF) Data-driven mining of real world neurotrauma data
Peachtree Ballroom
10:30 am - 11:30 am PS03


Poster Session 3 / Coffee Break

All posters from Group B

Info icon peach  Augusta Ballroom
11:30 am - 01:00 pm


1.5 CME

How Understanding the Review Process May Impact the Preparation and Success of Grant Applications

Chairs: Patrick Bellgowan (NIH/NINDS), Diana Cummings (NIH/NINDS)

  • Natalia Strunnikova (NIH/NINDS) Understanding and Navigating NINDS Scientific Review
  • Paula Elyse Schauwecker (Center for Scientific Review / NIH) A View into Scientific Review at the Center for Scientific Review
  • Dalton Dietrich (Univ. Miami) The Role and Perspective of a Peer Reviewer and Study Section Chair
  • Linda Noble (Univ. Texas) Peer Reviewing for Special Programs and Training Awards in Neurotrauma
  • Patrick Bellgowan (NIH/NINDS) What happens in the Second Level of Review - Advisory Council

ticket FREE; Opotional box lunch for $20 


11:30 am - 01:00 pm


1.5 CME

Toward "Pan-Neurotrauma" Common Data Elements for Large Scale Data Sharing

Chairs: Karim Fouad (Univ. Alberta); Adam Ferguson (UCSF)

  • Karim Fouad (Univ. Alberta) The Open Data Commons for SCI
  • Adam Ferguson (UCSF) Toward ’Pan-Neurotrauma’ Common Data Elements for Large Scale Data Sharing

ticket FREE; Optional box lunch for $20 

11:30 am - 01:00 pm


1.5 CME

Bladder and bowel function: Preclinical techniques to explore the patient self-evaluations

Chairs: Gregory Holmes (Penn State), Charles Hubscher (Univ. Louisville)

  • Robert Hoey (Univ. Louisville) Bladder functional assessments
  • Emily Besecker (Gettysburg College) Gastrointestinal functional assessments

ticket FREE; Optional box lunch for $20 

01:00 pm - 02:30 pm S09

1.5 CME

Management and Outcomes in Severe Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury 

Chair: Andrew Reisner (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta); Courtney Robertson (Johns Hopkins)

  1. Andrew Reisner (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta)  Pediatric severe TBI is enhanced by evidence-based guidelines
  2. Laura Blackwell (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta)  Developmental Considerations in the 0-4yr Population with Closed Head Injuries 
  3. Christian Baumann (University Spital Zurich) Might sleep serve as a therapeutic intervention to improve TBI prognosis - and how?
  4. Beth Costine-Bartell (Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School)  Determining pathophysiology and repair in a piglet model of severe pediatric TBI
01:00 pm - 02:30 pm


1.5 CME

Membrane Disruption following Central Nervous System Injury

Chairs: Audrey Lafrenaye (VCU), Ina Wanner (UCLA)

  1. Michelle LaPlaca (Georgia Tech/Emory) Membrane disruption and Lipid Dysregulation after TBI
  2. Audrey Lafrenaye (Virginia Commonwealth University) Acute and chronic neuronal membrane disruption in a diffuse TBI rat model
  3. Marta Lipinski (University of Maryland) lysosomal membrane disruption and inhibition of autophagy in TBI
  4. D. Kacy Cullen (University of Pennsylvania) Acute Neuronal Membrane disruption and Dendritic Beading in a Pig Model of Closed-Head diffuse TBI
01:00 pm - 02:30 pm S11

1.5 CME

Naturally Occurring Canine Spinal Cord Injury - a Powerful Translational Model of SCI 

Chairs: Natasha Olby (NCSU), Yvette Nous-Lomas (CO State)

  1. Sarah Moore (Ohio State) An introduction to naturally occurring spinal cord injury in pet dogs
  2. Natasha Olby (North Carolina State) Biomarkers and Outcome Measures in Canine Spinal Cord Injury
  3. Nick Jeffery (Texas A & M Univ.) Clinical Trials in Canine Spinal Cord Injury
01:00 pm - 02:30 pm S12

1.5 CME

Data Blitz B: Oral Presentations 

Chairs: TBA

Info icon peach
02:30 pm - 03:00 pm COFFEE BREAK Peachtree Terrace
03:00 pm - 04:30 pm S13

1.5 CME

Repetitive Low-Level Blast Exposure in the Military 

Chairs:  Donald Marion (DVBIC), David Cook (Univ. Washington)

  1. Stephen Ahlers (Navel MRC) The effects of repetitive low-level blast exposure in animal models:   insights into pathological mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets
  2. Jessica Gill (NIH) Effects of low level blast on serum genetic, immunologic and brain microstructural biomarkers
  3. Walter Carr (WRAIR) Effects observed among personnel following repeated, low-level blast exposures in military training
  4. Daniel Perl (USUHS)  Interface Astroglial scarring in military Service Members with blast-related mTBI
03:00 pm - 04:30 pm S14

1.5 CME

Modeling and Investigating Opioid Use Following Traumatic Brain Injury: From Rodent to Human and Back Again 

Chairs: Alana Conti (Wayne State)

  1. Alana Conti (Wayne State/John Dingell VA Medical Ctr) Opioid Exposure following TBI Exacerbates Pathological Post-Injury Outcomes
  2. Rachel Sayko Adams (Brandeis/VHA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Ctr) History of TBI as a Risk Factor for Prescription Opioid Misuse among US Adults
  3. *TBA - TBI and Opioids 
03:00 pm - 04:30 pm S15

1.5 CME

Cellular Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury: Clinical Trials and Emerging Approaches 

Chairs: Michael Fehlings (Univ. Toronto), Ann Parr (Univ. Minnesota)

  1. Charles S. Cox, Jr. (UTHSC at Houston) Design and redesign of clinical trials to capture cell therapy efficacy
  2. Narihito Nagoshi (Keio University) iPS cell transplantation for SCI
  3. Dalton Dietrich (Univ. Miami)  Schwann cells therapy for SCI
  4. *Aileen Anderson (UC Irvine) Viral vectors to improve stem cell therapies for SCI
03:00 pm - 04:30 pm S16

1.5 CME

Frontiers in mTBI Imaging 

Chairs: Vince Calhoun (GA Tech / Georgia State),  Ramon Diaz-Arrastia (Univ. Pennsylvania)

  1. Pratik Mukherjee (UCSF) MRI Biomarkers of mild TBI
  2. Inga Koerte (Harvard) Imaging Changes following Asymptomatic mild TBI
  3. Vince Calhoun (GA Tech/GA State) Machine Learning using Resting State Functional Network Connectivity for Detection of mild TBI   
04:30 pm - 06:00 pm


1.5 CME

Wine & Cheese Poster Session 4 / Visit Exhibits 

All posters in Group B

Info icon peach Augusta Ballroom

06:30 pm - 07:00 pm

Bus Loading for Aquarium Dinner Westin lobby
07:00 pm - 11:00 pm



Hosted by NNS Society Logo OFFICIAL sm clearbkgd    

David Hovda Award - Anthony Marmarou Award - Alan Faden Award - Murray Goldstein Award Michael Goldberger Award - TEAM Research Award

ticket$75 / $40 Trainees; includes dinner, aquarium, awards presentations and mini tours

Info icon peach Georgia Aquarium


07:00 am - 06:00 pm Registration Desk Open Peachtree 1
07:00 am - 08:00 am BREAKFAST Peachtree Terrace
07:50 am - 08:00 am

President's Announcements & iPad Drawing

Michelle LaPlaca

Peachtree C
08:00 am - 09:30 am PL03

1.5 CME

Multiple Dimensions of TBI-Related Neurodegeneration 

Chairs: Douglas H. Smith (Univ. Pennsylvania); Corina Bondi (Univ. Pittsburgh)

  1. William Stewart (Univ. Glasgow) (TReND): New Characterization of TBI-Related Neurodegeneration Pathologies
  2. *Kristen Dams-O’Connor (Mt. Sinai) Long-term outcomes of TBI
  3. Sharon Juliano (UHUHS) The expression of tau and its isoforms after TBI in the ferret
  4. Fiona Crawford (Roskamp Institute/Archer Pharma) Neuropathology and inflammation following repetitive TBI
  Peachtree C
09:30 am - 11:00 am PL04


Neurotrauma Advocacy: Building a Pathway for the Future

Patient Perspective

Chairs: Grace Griesbach, Amy Wagner, Michelle LaPlaca

  1. Alexander Rabchevsky (Univ. Kentucky) Advocacy Pathways for SCI
  2. Susan Connors (Brain Injury Association of America) Legislative Pathway for TBI
  3. Grace Griesbach (Centre for Neuro Skills) NNS Recommendations for Advocacy / Patient Perspective
  Peachtree C
11:00 am - 12:30 pm S17

1.5 CME

Rethinking Drug Delivery to the Injured CNS 

Chairs: Scott Olson (UTHSC at Houston), Sarah Stabenfeldt (ASU)

  1. Sarah Stabenfeldt (Arizona State) Biological considerations for systemic nanoparticle delivery after TBI
  2. *Rachael Sirianni (UT Houston) Recent advances in intrathecal delivery for spinal cord and brain diseases
  3. Ashok Shetty (Texas A&M) Intranasal delivery of MSC-derived A-1 exosomes to treat TBI
  4. *TBA – BBB and Glymph Delivery 
11:00 am - 12:30 pm S18

1.5 CME

Making Sense of Gut Feelings 

Chairs: Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, Sonia Villapol

  1. Sonia Villapol (Houston Methodist) - Action of Brain-liver axis on modulation of brain pathology in TBI
  2. Fernando Gomez-Pinilla (UCLA) Dietary modulation on gut of metabolism in TBI pathology
  3. Alan Faden (Univ. Maryland) Systemic dysfunction in TBI and SCI pathology
  4. Phillip Popovich (Ohio State): Overcoming peripheral inflammation to promote recovery after SCI
11:00 am - 12:30 pm


1.5 CME

Post-traumatic Epilepsy: Traumatic brain injury and Epilepsy crosstalk studies

Chairs: Kevin Wang, Lauren Harte-Hargrove, Firas Kobeissy

  1. *Kevin Staley (Harvard)- The Role of Extracellular Matrix Injury in Post-Traumatic Epilepsy 
  2. Harald Sontheimer (Virginia Tech) - Vascular Injury, Gliosis & Neurogenesis as Drivers for Post-Traumatic Epilepsy
  3. Kevin Wang (Univ. Florida) - Identifying Proteomic, Metabolomic and MicroRNA Signatures for Spontaneous Seizures in a CD1-mouse Model TBI
  4. Victoria Johnson (Univ. Pennsylvania) - Neuropathological Mechanisms of Epileptogenesis in Post-Traumatic Epilepsy
  5. Amy Wagner (Univ. Pittsburgh) Genomic Risk Factors in Post-Traumatic Epilepsy

12:30 pm - 01:00 pm


ticketOptional box lunch available for $20 

01:00 pm - 02:30 pm PL05

1.5 CME

Neural Immunity in TBI

Chairs: David Loane (Univ. Maryland), Levi Wood (GA Tech)

  1. Jonathan Godbout (Ohio State): Chronic and Evolving Inflammation after Traumatic Brain Injury: Microglial Priming and Neuropsychiatry
  2. Linda Van Eldik (Univ. Kentucky) Targeting Inflammatory Cytokine Dysregulation in Acute CNS Injury
  3. Michael Whalen (Harvard)  Role of Interleukin-1 in Focal and Diffuse Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice
  4. Susanna Rosi (UCSF) Targeting Integrated Stress Response to reverse Cognitive and Behavioral deficits after Brain Injury
  Peachtree Ballroom
02:30 pm

Closing Remarks / Reflections

Michelle LaPlaca (GA Tech/Emory)