Connecting European Neuroscience

Shared mechanisms and specificity in neurodegenerative diseases

7-13 June 2015, Bertinoro, Italy

This school will provide state of the art insights into mechanisms underlying the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Two main issues will be highlighted: 1) how the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases exhibit striking commonalities among distinct diseases; 2) how each disease preferentially targets selected subpopulations of neurons and neuronal functions in spite of widespread expression of the genes that influence disease.

Shared mechanisms will include pathways involved in the cellular control of proteostasis and homeostasis in neurons and other brain cells. Examples include autophagy, mitophagy, ER stress pathways, protein folding pathways, intracellular trafficking, and mitochondrial quality control and function. The shared mechanistic features are highlighted by the fact that disease-related mutations can lead to clinically "distinct" neurodegenerative diseases within the same families, raising questions about the extent to which these diseases represent distinct entities. Specific mechanisms will include the specific electrophysiological, signaling, metabolomic and circuit regulation features of defined subpopulations of neurons vulnerable and resistant to particular neurodegenerative diseases. Lectures will involve studies focused on patients, including the complex genetics of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as studies that apply model organisms to investigate mechanistic issues in these diseases. The School is meant for PhD students and postdocs with a neurobiological background and preferably some knowledge of the subject.

Scientific chairs

Maria Grazia Spillantini 
University of Cambridge, UK

Emiliana Borrelli 
Universiry of California Irivine, USA

Faculty members

  • John Hardy (London, UK), Roger Barker (Cambridge, UK), Kelly Del Tredici (Ulm, Germany), Ronald Melki (Paris, France), Harald Neumann (Bonn, Germany), Aviva Tolkovsky (Cambridge, UK), Antonio Pisani (Rome, Italy), Sreeganga Chandra (Yale, USA), Elena Moro (Grenoble, France), Wiep Scheper (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Alastair Compston  (Cambridge, UK), Vania Broccoli (San Raffaele Institute, Milan), Patrizia Casaccia (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA).
  • More information about faculty members

Download the programme

Registration and stipends

Fee: 485 EUR covering tuition, accommodation and meals.
There are few grants (covering the registration fee) available for candidates from disadvantaged countries. Any applicant in need of a grant should however first try to request it from the lab, institution or government if possible.Once an applicant has been accepted to the school, the available grants will be provided on the basis of need.


Bertinoro, Training Center of the University of Bologna, Italy







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