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7th UK & Ireland Early Career BBB Symposium

The BBB Symposium of 2017 was hosted by Professor Geoff Pilkington, Brain Tumour Research Centre, University of

Portsmouth and was on Friday the 1st of September 2017. The programme of the day is available as a download.

This meeting provided a unique platform for early career BBB researchers to present their newest findings in both

presentation and poster format.


Topics of the Symposium included:

• Structure, characterisation, modelling of the BBB;
• Nanomaterials, delivery across the BBB;
• Drug delivery across the BBB;
• Pathology in brain disease – impact on BBB.


Our keynote academic speaker for this year was Maria Tenje, Associate Professor of Microsystems Technology at Uppsala University and Lund University.


Our keynote industry speaker was Huw Thomas from Baker Ruskinn.


​Registration took place between 09:30 -10:15 for a 10:15 start and the Symposium finshed at 17:30.

The Venue: the Eldon Building, University of Portsmouth, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, PO1 2DJ. 


Agenda for the day:

09:30 - 10:15                  Registration, poster and exhibition set-up (welcome coffee/tea)
10:15 - 10:30                  Meeting welcome address ( Professor Geoff Pilkington )

10:30 - 11:00                  Keynote speaker 1: Professor Maria Tenje
                                                 3D cell cultures for organ-on-chip applications, Uppsala University, Sweden


11:00 - 11:15                  Real-time acquisition of trans-endothelial electrical resistance in an all human in vitro 3D blood brain barrier model                                                        exemplifies tight junction integrity. Dr Zaynah Maherally , University of Portsmouth

11:15 - 11:45                  Oral Posters (5 minutes each)
                                                 Poster 1:
Haemoglobin scavenging kinetics and blood-brain barrier permeability changes after subarachnoid                                                                                    haemorrhage. Matthew Morton, University of Southampton
                                                 Poster 2 :Targeting peptides for brain endothelium. Andrea Halsey, Open University
                                                 Poster 3: Measurement of blood-brain barrier disruption in multiple sclerosis and relation to systemic inflammatory activity.                                                  Dr Aravinthan Varatharaj, University of Southampton
                                                 Poster 4: Transcriptional Analysis of human microvascular endothelial cells (hBMEC) infected with Toxoplasma gondii. Dr                                                        Hany Elsheikha, University of Nottingham
                                                 Poster 5: Haptoglobin and blood brain barrier permeability. Charlotte Stuart, University of Southampton

11:45 - 12:00                  Tea & coffee break

12:00 - 12.15                  Use of gold nanoparticles as a delivery system for oligonucleotides to cross the blood brain barrier. Nayab Fatima,                                                            Open University

12:15 - 12.30                  Novel shark antibodies engineered to characterise and improve delivery of therapeutics across the blood brain                                                                     barrier. Alice Fleckney, King's College London

12:30 - 12.45                  Development of a protein/peptide delivering nano-carrier across the BBB. Conor McQuaid, Open University

12:45 - 13.00                  TNFR1 agonists induce selective BBB permeabilization in Brain metastases. Dr Mario Munoz, Oxford University

13:00 - 13:30                  Keynote speaker 2: Dr Huw Thomas.

                                                 The science behind Hypoxia, Baker Ruskinn

13:30 - 14:30                  Lunch + poster session

14:30 - 14.45                   Investigating the proinflammatory role of brain-endothelial-derived extracellular vesicles at the Blood-Brain Barrier.                                                     David Roig-Carles, Open University

14:45 - 15.00                   Investigating of changes in astrocytes of the blood-brain barrier during cerebral malaria. Nana Efua Andoh, Keele                                                             University

15:00 - 15.15                   Brain pericytes: their role in health and disease. Dr Elisabetta Caspani, University of Portsmouth

15:15 - 15.30                   Investigating the effect of rapmycin on brain pericyte cell death following oxygen glucose deprivation. Dr Daniel                                                               Beard, University of Oxford

15:30 - 15.45                  Alex Tattersall Ph.D, Thermo Fisher Scientific
                                                 Technical Sales Specialist - Presenting the iBright™ - western blot and gel Imaging System

15:45- 16:00                   Tea & coffee break

16:00 - 16:15                  Role of CD15 and CD15s in the cellular mechanisms of cancer cell metastasis from lung to the brain. Dr Samah                                                                     Jassam, University of Portsmouth

16:15 - 16:30                  The impact of brain metastasis on endothelial cell function. Christina Simoglou Karali , University of Oxford

16:30 - 16:45                  Ultrasound and molecular age-associated changes in the female mouse neurovascular unit. Eduardo Frias-Anaya,                                                              Open University

16:45 - 17:00                  Ultrasound-mediated blood-brain barrier disruption and recovery kinetics in vitro. Miles Aron , University of Oxford

17:00 - 17:30                  End of day discussion ( Professor Pilkington )/ Closing remarks ( Professor Romero )

17:30 - 18:30                  Drinks/Posters


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