Neuron-Glia Interactions Interest Group
About Neuron-Glia Interactions
Research on brain function at a cellular level focuses on neurons, but non-neuronal cells, called glia, regulate neuronal communication and function in diverse ways. All types of glial cells can detect functional activity in neurons and influence it. Astrocytes regulate synaptic transmission; oligodendrocytes determine the speed of impulse transmission through axons, and microglia prune synapses in accordance with functional activity. Glial cells are the cause of many neurological disorders, including brain cancer, multiple sclerosis, and they are the first responders to brain injury and disease. Recently glia have been implicated in many disorders previously presumed to be exclusively neuronal, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, ALS, and Alzheimer’s—and glia are also implicated in psychiatric illnesses such as major depression and schizophrenia. This rapidly emerging science cuts across all traditionally separate fields of research on brain function at the NIH, but there is no forum to bring together the diverse community of NIH researchers to learn the latest research on neuron-glia interactions and share their own data with each other.
The Neuron-Glia Interest group will serve to act as a platform for discussion and to open dialog between trans-NIH researchers investigating the relationships of neuron and glia. This group will also serve those who are seeking information and education relating to these relationships applying to their own research on processes of development, basic biological functions and mechanisms, and plasticity; in addition to diseases models and pathology.
To encourage mentoring and career-development, post-docs and students will have the opportunity to present their work to the group as part of the monthly seminar series. This is in addition to hosting speakers from outside NIH, which will further diversify the breadth of information that the NIH community will be exposed to. The seminars will be followed by a round-table discussion with the speaker. This will aid in the exchange and understanding of the latest information and research techniques in the field.
This special interest group will sponsor symposia and satellite meetings in conjunction with the NIH-research festival and other locally-held extramural conferences.
Neuron-Glia SIG Chairs
Ashley Frakes, PhD, NIDDK
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Scientific Focus Areas
This page was last updated on Friday, April 21, 2023