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Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnostic and Treatment Frontiers

Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnostic and Treatment Frontiers

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

The New York Academy of Sciences


Multiple sclerosis (MS) — a disease of the central nervous system — causes damage to the myelin that protects axons in the brain, leading to inflammation and damage and thereby disrupting nerve impulses.

Given the widespread prevalence and the disabling effects of this neurological condition, it is critical that diagnostics and treatments for MS continue to improve. This one-day, translational conference will address these issues.

Plenary sessions will bring together academic and clinical researchers with industry leaders to discuss:

  • Current therapeutics,
  • Diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive biomarkers,
  • MRI usage in diagnosis and monitoring, and
  • Novel and emerging treatments

Registration Pricing

By 6/2/2016After 6/2/2016Onsite
Member (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow)$40$50$60
Nonmember (Academia)$125$150$175
Nonmember (Corporate)$220$260$295
Nonmember (Non-profit)$125$150$175
Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Fellow)$70$80$90

Registration includes a complimentary, one-year Membership to the New York Academy of Sciences. Complimentary Memberships are provided to non-Members only and cannot be used to renew or extend existing or expiring Memberships. A welcome email will be sent upon registration which will include your Membership credentials.

This event will also be broadcast as a webinar; registration is required.

Please note: Transmission of presentations via the webinar is subject to individual consent by the speakers. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that every speaker's presentation will be broadcast in full via the webinar. To access all speakers' presentations in full, we invite you to attend the live event in New York City where possible.

Webinar Pricing

Member (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow)$20
Nonmember (Academia)$60
Nonmember (Corporate)$110
Nonmember (Non-profit)$60
Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Fellow)$35


* Presentation times are subject to change.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

8:00 AM

Breakfast, Registration, and Poster Set-up

8:45 AM

Opening Remarks
Melanie Brickman Stynes, PhD, MSc, The New York Academy of Sciences

Session 1: Current Therapeutic Considerations in Multiple Sclerosis

Session Chairperson: Philip De Jager, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University; Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

9:00 AM

Keynote Address
Unmet Treatment Needs across the Multiple Sclerosis Disease Spectrum
Barry G. Arnason, MD, University of Chicago

9:30 AM

Risks and Benefits of Treatment Options for MS
Angela Vidal-Jordana, MD, Multiple Sclerosis Center of Catalonia (Cemcat), Vall d'Hebron University Hospital

10:00 AM

Networking Coffee Break

Session 2: Diagnostic, Prognostic, and Predictive Biomarkers — The Road to Clinical Application

Session Chairperson: Susan Gauthier, DO, MPH, Weill Cornell Medical College

10:45 AM

Clinical Disease Today: Defining the Diagnosis and Clinical Course of Multiple Sclerosis
Fred D. Lublin, MD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

11:15 AM

Biomarkers for Early MS Diagnosis and Prediction of Conversion from Clinically Isolated Syndrome to Clinically Definite Multiple Sclerosis
Eric Thouvenot, MD, PhD, Université Montpellier

11:45 AM

Genetic Biomarkers Associated with Increased Risk of Developing Multiple Sclerosis
David A. Hafler, MD, MSc, Yale School of Medicine; Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University

12:15 PM

Networking Luncheon and Poster Session
Poster Presenters are requested to be stationed at their posters from 1:15PM–2:00PM

Session 3: Implementation of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Disease Diagnosis and Monitoring

Session Chairperson: Fred Lublin, MD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

2:00 PM

Evidence-based Guidelines for Use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis Disease Prognosis and Patient Monitoring
Susan A. Gauthier, DO, MPH, Weill Cornell Medical College

2:30 PM

Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Evaluation of Multiple Sclerosis
Darin Okuda, MD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Session 4: Late-breaking Data Blitz Presentations

Session Chairperson: Alison Carley, PhD, The New York Academy of Sciences

3:00 PM

Functional Heterogeneity of Myelin-Reactive T cells in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis
Yonghao Cao, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine

3:15 PM

Extensive Axonal Damage is observed in Gas6−/−Axl−/− Double-Knockout Mice Following Chronic Exposure to Cuprizone
Bridget Shafit-Zagardo, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

*Presenter slides will not be included as part of the Webinar broadcast

3:30 PM

Networking Coffee Break

Session 5: Emerging Data in an Evolving Therapeutic Landscape

Session Chairperson: David Hafler, MD, MSc, Yale School of Medicine; Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University

4:00 PM

An Integrative Approach to Leverage Genetic and Environmental Data in Predicting Disease Course and Patient Response to Treatment
Philip L. De Jager MD, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University; Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4:30 PM

Keynote Address
Novel and Emerging Treatments in Relapsing-remitting and Progressive Forms of Multiple Sclerosis
Giancarlo Comi, MD, Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele

5:00 PM

Panel Discussion
What the Future Holds: New Strategies, Perspectives, and Resolving Misconceptions
Fred D. Lublin, MD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Barry G. Arnason, MD, University of Chicago
Giancarlo Comi, MD, Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele
Susan A. Gauthier, DO, MPH, Weill Cornell Medical College

5:30 PM

Closing Remarks

5:35 PM

Conference Ends

Keynote Speakers

Barry G. Arnason, MD

University of Chicago

Dr. Barry G. Arnason is the James Nelson and Anna Louise Raymond Professor of Neurology at the University of Chicago. He has studied immunologic aspects of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for 5 decades including T cell function and nervous system-immune system interactions, both in MS patients and in animal models. He has also participated in numerous clinical trials including the pivotal trial of Betaseron, the first drug to be approved for the treatment of MS. He is also active in the day to day management of MS patients. He was the recipient of the 2014 John Dystel prize for contributions to MS research. He is the author or co-author of close to 400 scientific publications with the majority related to MS.

Giancarlo Comi, MD

Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele

Dr. Giancarlo Comi is Professor of Neurology, Chairman of the Department of Neurology, and Director of the Institute of Experimental Neurology at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy. He is also President of the European Charcot Foundation (ECF), a member of the Board of Administration of the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and of the Scientific Committee of Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla, Co-Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Progressive MS Alliance, and a fellow of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN). He has served as a past president of the European Neurology Society, the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology, and the Italian Society of Neurology.

In recent years, Professor Comi has received the 'Gh. Marinescu' honorary award from the Romanian Society of Neurology, and has been awarded honorary memberships of the Russian Neurological Academic Society, the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), and the European Neurological Society (ENS). He also received the Charcot Award for MS Research from the MS International Federation (MSIF) in 2015. Most recently, Professor Comi was awarded the Gold Medal of 'Benemeranza Civica' from the City of Milan.

Professor Comi has authored and co-authored more than 1000 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and edited several books. He has been the invited speaker for more than 450 conferences, both nationally and internationally. He sits on the executive boards of various scientific associations and on the editorial boards of Clinical Investigation, European Journal of Neurology and Multiple Sclerosis. He is also the Associate Editor of Neurological Sciences.


Philip L. De Jager, MD, PhD

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University; Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Philip De Jager is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Program in Translational NeuroPsychiatric Genomics within the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases in the Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is the first incumbent of the Steven R. and Kathleen P. Haley Distinguished Chair for the Neurosciences. He is a practicing clinical neuroimmunologist.

The goal of Dr. De Jager's work as a clinician–scientist is to apply modern methods of neuroimmunology, statistical genetics and computational biology to first delineate and then intervene in the sequence of events leading from health to neurodegenerative diseases.

Susan A. Gauthier, DO, MPH

Weill Cornell Medical College

Dr. Susan Gauthier received her DO degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. After completing her neurology residency at the Boston University Medical Center where she served as Chief Resident, Dr. Gauthier was a recipient of a three year National Multiple Sclerosis Society Clinical Trial Training Fellowship in which she completed at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and received a MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. She is currently a member of the clinical staff at the Judith Jaffe Multiple Sclerosis Center (JJMSC) at Weill Cornell Medical College, where she is an Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology and the Director of Clinical Research. Her research is focused on the translation of early-stage imaging techniques to explore biological mechanisms at play in multiple sclerosis (MS) with a specific interest in quantification of myelin and inflammation.

Brooke Grindlinger, PhD

The New York Academy of Sciences

David A. Hafler, MD, MSc

Yale School of Medicine; Broad Institute of Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. David Hafler is the William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor, Chairman of the Department of Neurology, and Professor of Immunobiology, at Yale School of Medicine, and is the Neurologist-in-Chief of the Yale–New Haven Hospital. He graduated magna cum laude in 1974 from Emory University with combined BS and MSc degrees in biochemistry, and received his MD from the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1978. He then completed his internship in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins, followed by a neurology residency at Cornell Medical Center-New York Hospital in New York. Dr. Hafler was trained in immunology at the Rockefeller University and then at Harvard where he joined the faculty in 1984. He later held the Breakstone Professorship of Neurology at Harvard and was a founding Associated Member of the Broad Institute at MIT. In 2009 he moved to Yale as the Chair of the Department of Neurology. Dr. Hafler is a clinical scientist with a research interest in the mechanism of multiple sclerosis with over 370 publications in the field of MS, autoimmunity, and immunology. He is a co-founder of the International MS Genetic Consortium, a group that identified the genes causing MS. Dr. Hafler has been elected to membership in the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Alpha Omega Society, and was a Weaver Scholar of the NMSS. He is a member of the editorial boards for the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the Journal of Experimental Medicine, is a co-founder of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies, and leads the NIH Autoimmunity Prevention Center Grant at Yale. Dr. Hafler was a Jacob Javits Merit Award Recipient from the NIH and has won many awards including the 2010 Dystel Prize for MS research from the American Academy of Neurology.

Fred D. Lublin, MD

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Fred D. Lublin is the Saunders Family Professor of Neurology at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Director of the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at that institution. Dr. Lublin received his medical degree in 1972 from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine from the Bronx Municipal Hospital, Albert Einstein Medical Center, and his residency at the New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center.

As a neuroimmunologist, Dr. Lublin has a special interest in immune functions and abnormalities affecting the nervous system. He has been involved in both basic science and clinical research. He and his colleagues were among the first in the country involved with studies of Interferon beta-1b, which was approved by the Food & Drug Administration in 1993 to treat the relapsing-remitting form of Multiple Sclerosis. He is currently involved with several new clinical research protocols on promising agents for treating various aspects of MS. He was chairman of the National MS Society (USA) advisory committee on clinical trials of new drugs in Multiple Sclerosis and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Research Programs Advisory Committee. He was a member of the National MS Society National Board of Directors. He is immediate past Chair of the New York City/Southern New York Chapter of NMSS Clinical Advisory Committee. He is a member of the International Medical & Scientific Board of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation. Dr. Lublin and his colleagues at the National MS Society have re-defined the clinical course definitions of MS, updated in 2014. He has chaired a task force on the ethics of placebo-controlled trials in MS. Dr. Lublin is a member of the international panel that periodically redefines the diagnostic criteria for MS. Dr. Lublin is co-chair of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke MS Common Data Element committee and a member of their steering committee. He is a member of the WHO Advisory Group for the Revision of ICD-10 Diseases of the Nervous System working group on demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system. He is a Co-Chief Editor of the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

Dr. Lublin has published numerous scientific articles and belongs to many professional societies and advisory boards. Dr. Lublin has served as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health and to many pharmaceutical/biotech companies in all phases of new drug development and in preparation for presentation to the FDA and their advisory panels. He was the Principal Investigator of the NIH-sponsored multicenter Combination Therapy study in Multiple Sclerosis.

Darin Okuda, MD

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Darin Okuda is a clinician-scientist and Associate Professor specializing in multiple sclerosis within the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Okuda completed his undergraduate, graduate, and medical education at the University of Hawaii. He completed his residency training at the Barrow Neurological Institute and fellowship training in neuroimmunology at the University of California, San Francisco Multiple Sclerosis Center. Within UT Southwestern, he currently serves as Director of the Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Imaging Program, Director of Neuroinnovation, and the Deputy Director of the MS Program and Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis.

Dr. Okuda's current research focuses on improving our diagnostic capabilities in multiple sclerosis. He is both nationally and internationally recognized for his recent work in defining and investigating the radiologically isolated syndrome and currently directs scientific strategies within the Radiologically Isolated Syndrome Consortium (RISC), a multi-national working group, involving 10 countries, aimed at advancing the science in the very early forms of multiple sclerosis. In addition to this work, his background also involves translational research specific to therapeutics aimed at symptom management. He has also designed highly successful novel technological applications and platforms for research and patient care and currently serves as a technological advisor for innovative start-ups and Fortune 500 companies.

Dr. Okuda is a Diplomate of The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc., Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, Fellow of the American Neurological Association, and member of the American Academy of Neurology Committees on Neuro-imaging and Ethics.

Eric Thouvenot, MD, PhD

Université Montpellier

Dr. Eric Thouvenot entered the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France, in 1994 and then the Faculté de Médecine Pitié-Salpêtrière in 1996. Resident in Montpellier Hospitals from 2000, he graduated MD in 2005 and PhD in 2009 at the Université Montpellier. Professor of Neurology since 2015, Head of the Neurology Department at Nîmes University Hospital, France, Eric Thouvenot has a double expertise in the Multiple sclerosis (MS) clinic and in proteomics, especially in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteome and CNS cell secretome studies. He got several grants from pharmaceutical companies (Novartis, Biogen-Idec, Genzyme) and charities (ARSEP) and coordinates a french national clinical research project (PHRC) aimed at evaluating the clinical efficacy of Vitamin D to reduce conversion to MS after a Clinically Isolatd Syndrome (CIS) in 316 patients. He performs his basic research at the Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle (Université Montpellier, France), where he actively participated in the implementation of the proteomics platform. His complementary expertise in proteomics and clinics of MS together with his experience in project coordination led him to develop several multicentric biomarker studies in France and to participate in the European biomarker consortium.

Angela Vidal-Jordana, MD

Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia (Cemcat), Vall d'Hebron University Hospital

Dr. Angela Vidal-Jordana obtained her Degree in Medicine at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in 2005 and she specialized in Neurology at the Neurology Department of Santa Creu i Sant Pau University Hospital (Barcelona) from May 2006 to May 2010. As part of the neurology training she had the opportunity to stay as an observership at the Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston, USA). From January 2011 to December 2013 she was granted with a research-training contract, held by the Spanish Ministry of Health (Contrato Rio Hortega, Instituto de Salud Carlos III) at the Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia (Cemcat) and Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, and she continued working as a neurologist in the same institution afterwards. As part of the research-training contract, she had the opportunity to benefit from a six-month Research Fellowship in Neurology–Neurinmunology at Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore, USA). Since joining the Cemcat, she has participated as an investigator in many research projects. During this time, she also gained experience in optical coherence tomography and non-conventional brain MRI techniques to be applied in patients with multiple sclerosis. In June 2010 she obtained the Research Sufficiency Diploma as part of her PhD program and she is now currently writing her doctoral thesis. Her areas of scientific interest are non-conventional neuroimaging techniques, mainly volumetric analysis, and optical coherence tomography in patients with multiple sclerosis.

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