Retirement event for NO-AD founding co-coordinator Prof. Menno Witter

On 30 Nov 2022 in NTNU, Prof. Menno Witter’s current and former colleagues, collaborators, trainees, as well as his family and friends were joining together to celebrate the life-long contribution of Prof. Menno Witter’s contributions to science and higher education. The event entitled “An Entorhinal Episode in Norway” was helded in Øya Helsehus, Mauritz Hansens gate 2, 7030 Trondheim, Auditorium ØHA1: https://link.mazemap.com/GFLMKZwt.

The programme consists of
0930 – 1000 Coffee and Tea
1000 – 1025 Menno’s contributions to the KISN by Edvard Moser
1030 – 1050 Menno’s contribution to education and outreach by Jonathan Whitlock
1055 – 1115 Break
“The Next Generation” (10min talks)
1115 – 1125 Jørgen Sugar
1130 – 1140 Shinya Ohara
1145 – 1155 Asgeir Kobro-Flatmoen
1200 – 1300 Break
Invited speakers – (40/45min talks)
1300 – 1340 Lynn Nadel: Dialogues between Hippocampus and Neocortex: Talking in Circles?
1345 – 1425 Toshio Iijima: Studies of functional architecture of the entorhinal cortex enjoyed with Dr. Witter
1430 – 1450 Break
1450 – 1530 Richard Morris: Spatial and episodic-like representations: egocentric, path-navigation and allocentric
1535 – 1615 Carol Barnes: From anatomy to gastronomy: Inspirations from Menno Witter
1620 – 1645 Break
1645 – 1715 Future perspectives by Menno P. Witter
1715 – 1815 Optional mingling (with drinks and snacks)

The event was chaired by Witter’s long-term collaborator the Nobel Laureate Prof. May-Britt Moser and was opened by his another long-term collaborator the Nobel Laureate Prof. Edvard Moser. Witter’s trainees and long-term collaborators gave exciting talks on memory and the brain. At the end of Prof. Witter’s speech, all the audience spontaneously stood up and applauded him for over one minutes!

Thank you Prof. Menno Witter for your instrumental contribution in building our NO-AD network and on your continued support of the NO-AD activities.

Some pictures of the events are shown below (photos: Fang EF).

NO-AD researcher awards Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

NO-AD co-coordinator Associate Professor Evandro F. Fang, from the University of Oslo and the Akershus University Hospital (Ahus), has awarded a funding entitled ‘TURNING UP MITOPHAGY TO BLUNT ALZHEIMER’S TAU PATHOLOGIES’ from the prestigious Alzheimer’s Disease Fund. In this project, Fang aims to investigate molecular mechanisms of defective mitophagy in pathological Tau environment and will explore the anti-Tau capacity in the condition of restoring mitophagy in different AD model systems. The funding is 200,000 USD/year for two years pending extension.

Abstract of the project
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is on the rise, affecting approximately 45 million people worldwide. AD imposes a formidable socioeconomic burden on individuals, their families and society at large, to the annual tune of 1 trillion USD in 2018. Yet, despite more than a century of extensive research, there is still no cure. Many attempts to treat AD have been unsuccessful. As such, there is a need to expand the current range of research to elucidate additional causes of AD, allowing the identification of new culprits that will provide novel strategies and targets for anti-AD drug development. Mitochondria are subcellular organelles and are the cell’s “powerhouses.” Our brain consumes startling amounts of energy, especially when compared with other organs. The provision of this level of energy is dependent on a healthy mitochondrial pool. Unfortunately, mitochondria are susceptible to endogenous (e.g., oxidative stress) and exogenous (e.g., unhealthy food) stressors. However, damaged mitochondria are specifically identified and removed by our body’s “garbage disposal system”—a process known as “mitophagy.” The efficiency of this “disposal system” deteriorates noticeably with age, leading to the accumulation of damaged mitochondria and other ‘brain garbage.’ Accordingly, the accumulation of massive “brain garbage” leads to neuronal death and impaired memory, as observed in neurodegenerative disease such as AD. The Evandro Fang group at the University of Oslo is among the first groups to propose and demonstrate a likely causative role for defective mitophagy as a key driver in AD initiation and progression. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the interplay of defective mitophagy in AD progression remain elusive. Thus, with this Cure Alzheimer’s Fund grant, we aim to extend our research into understanding the mechanisms underlying the defective “garbage disposal system,” both in tau pathology and in the broader development and progression of AD. This approach may revolutionize our understanding of AD and serve to direct clinical drug discovery in new and more fruitful directions. Ultimately, our work on AD could reduce the socioeconomic burden of the disease and help to improve the quality of life for millions of AD patients and their families across the world.

Reference: https://curealz.org/research/translational/studies-of-alternative-neurodegenerative-pathways/turning-up-mitophagy-to-blunt-alzheimers-tau-pathologies/

Image: Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and from Fang EF

Success and Summary of the 2nd NO-AD International Meeting

With the generous financial supports from the Nasjonalforeningen and from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants and the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic within the KAPPA Programme, the 2nd NO-AD International meeting was held on the 20th Oct 2021 in the Akershus University Hospital, Norway. This meeting had attracted close to 250 attendants, including 208 registered attendants via zoom and the remaining via physical attendance. The meeting was composed of 12 talks covering broad topics of the Alzheimer’s disease fields, including new molecular mechanisms of AD, the use of artificial intelligence in AD mechanistic studies and drug development, CRISPR- and gamma entrainment-based techniques on AD treatments, biomarker development for early stage of AD, and clinical treatments to AD patients. Our NO-AD international members Profs. Nancy Ip and Li-Huei Tsai were keynote speakers.

Link of the meeting: here

0:02:36 Nancy Ip (HKUST) ‘Biomarker development and genome-editing strategies for Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis and treatment’
1:08:45 Alejo J Nevado-Holgado (Oxford) ‘Artificial Intelligence in Drug Target Discovery for Alzheimer’s Disease’
1:38:49 Evandro Fang (Ahus, UiO) ‘Turning up the NAD+-mitophagy axis to treat Alzheimer’s disease and the use of AI in related drug development’
2:04:25 Linda Hildegard Bergersen (UiO) ‘Exercise and AD’
2:40:20 Katerina Cechova (CU): ‘Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in aging and Alzheimer disease’
2:58:27 Noel Buckley (Oxford) ‘Modelling Alzheimer’s in a dish – how far have we come?’ 

3:51:17 Martin Vyhnálek (CU) ‘Subjective cognitive complaints – part of normal ageing or the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease?’
4:25:45 Tormod Fladby (Ahus, UiO) ‘Challenges in early AD Diagnostics’
4:51:15 Jan Laczó (CU) ‘Spatial navigation in Alzheimer disease’
5:22:43 Liu Shi (Oxford) ‘Replication study of plasma biomarkers relating to Alzheimer’s pathology’ 
6:04:53 Domenica Caponio (UiO) ‘Changes of mitophagy in the AD human brain’
6:19:28 Li-Huei Tsai (MIT) ‘Non-invasive sensory stimulation to induce gamma entrainment and treat Alzheimer’s disease’

All slide images were from each speaker. Hiking images were from Evandro Fang

Welcome to attend the 2nd NO-AD meeting (20 Oct 2021) at the Akershus University Hospital, Norway

Date: 20th October 2021 (08:15-17:00, Central European Time/CET)
Venue: Seminar room S104.016, Akershus University Hospital, Sykehusveien 25, 1478, Norway
Registration: Virtual attendance (via zoom with link for registration below) or physical attendance (registration at the end of this website, limited seats)
Programme: Download here (18th Oct 2021 version)
Organisers: Evandro Fei Fang (University of Oslo), Martin Vyhnálek (Charles University), Noel Buckley (University of Oxford), Janet Jianying Zhang (University of Oslo)

Event shown in the websites of UiO, Oxford, Charles University.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common dementia affecting 35-50 million individuals worldwide. Although it was discovered over 110 years ago, there is still no cure for AD despite decades of enormous effort. The big challenges right now are 1) the necessity for the unveiling of more of the molecular mechanisms leading to the development of AD; 2) creation of easily accessible and affordable approaches to identify individuals with early AD to facilitate earlier intervention and treatment; 3) strategies or treatments to delay, slow down or prevent AD are urgently needed; and 4) the necessity for accellerating the development of effective anti-AD drugs or therapies using modern techniques (e.g., CRISPR-Cas9 and artificial intelligence/AI). After the success of the 1st NO-AD meeting (website here and recorded videos here) on the 25th Nov 2020, we are pleased to open the 2nd NO-AD meeting on the 20th Oct. 2021 to be jointly organized by The University of Olso (UiO, Norway) and Akershus University Hospital (Ahus, Norway), The University of Oxford (Oxford, UK), and Charles University (CU, Czech Republic).

This one-day hybrid meeting (physical attendance + Zoom) will provide updates on all these important topics with talks by leading experts in their fields. We are very pleased to have two keynote speakers, Prof. Nancy Ip (HKUST, Hong Kong) and Prof. Li-Huei Tsai (MIT, USA) to open and close this one-day talk, respectively. Other speakers will be Associate Professor Alejo J. Nevado-Holgado (Oxford, UK), Associate Professor Evandro F. Fang (UiO/Ahus, Norway), Prof. Noel Buckley (Oxford, UK), Professor Linda Hildegard Bergersen (UiO/Ahus, Norway), Dr. Katerina Cechova (Charles University, Czech Republic), Associate Professor Martin Vyhnálek (Charles University, Czech Republic), Professor Tormod Fladby (UiO/Ahus, Norway), Prof. Jan Laczó (Charles University, Czech Republic), Dr. Liu Shi (Oxford, UK), and Dr. Domenica Caponio (UiO/Ahus, Norway).

Zoom registration (not for physical attendance): https://uio.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_y-GlyJ9_SVO_l6BGc1YwYA

Physical attendance: If you want to attend physically, please register at the end of this page. Note, due to the COVID-19 control, we only can fit 36 seats in the meeting room. First register first serve. We will send you an email 1-2 weeks before the meeting whether there is a seat for you or not.

Registration of this event:

Success of the 1st Hong Kong-Nordic Research Network zoom meeting

23rd June 2021

The 1st Hong Kong-Nordic Research Network zoom meeting, held on 16-17 June 2021, was a success. There were over 20 talks and 200 plus participants, with intensive discussions and network building. We thank Profs. W.Y. Chan, Andrew Chan, Stephen K.W. TSUI, and all the organizational committee for their big efforts. A summary email by Prof. Andrew M. Chan, Director of the School of Biomedical Sciences, CUHK, is shown below. We look forward to continue this meeting annually.

Dear all,

The SBS Virtual Research Day 2021 cum Nordic Symposium was successfully held on June 16-17, 2021.  It would not be so smooth without your excellent support, and your presence has undoubtedly helped to make it a memorable occasion.  I believe all the participants have enjoyed and inspired by this one-and-a-half-day event and will forge a closer, sustained and long-term partnership.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank members of the organizing committee, and all the staff and students who have contributed to this event. Your dedication is highly appreciated.

To recall the happy moment, you are welcome to browse photos and videos of the event at the following URLs:

Videos: https://mynoad100.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/videos_sbs_virtual_res_day_nordic.pdf

Thank you.

Best regards,

Andrew M. Chan, Ph.D.

Professor and Director
School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3943 3771   Fax: (852) 2603 7698
Address: Rm G03A, G/F, Lo Kwee-Seong Integrated Biomedical Sciences Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong

2020 Seasonal greetings to all NO-AD members

21st Dec 2020

2020 Seasonal greetings to all NO-AD members

Dear NO-AD members and friends,

What a splendid start in November we had; thank you all!

Impressive to listen to this condensation of Norwegian AD-related research, the ambition and radiating energy! (If you missed the 1st NO-AD network meeting, you can watch here https://noad100.com/videos-previous-events/ )

Now we have reached the time to relax, to celebrate the arrival of longer days, more light and thus more energy to collect and get ready for the New Year. Enjoy!

It is our wish that 2021 will be good to all of us, giving us continued good health, or improved health, coping with the pandemic, eventually resulting in a burst of activities within the network. Just like the neurons in our brain can only function as part of a network, the NO-AD members need the network, and the network needs you.

In 2021, we aim to extend and consolidate NO-AD from a pure network to a research commutation and learning platform. We have thus collected videos from previous speakers and we believe such videos will be useful resources for the whole AD community. Videos https://noad100.com/videos-previous-events/

In 2021, we aim to invite 30+ leading researchers on AD and related fields (e.g., aging) to give digital talks (zoom) in the NO-AD and NO-Age Seminar Series. Some confirmed speakers are Profs. John Hardy/UCL (1st Feb 2021), Scott A. Small/Columbia (08th Feb 2021), Brian Kennedy/Singapore (15th Feb 2021), Dietmar Thal/KU Leuven (19th April 2021)…..Please contact us if you want to give a talk or to nominate any of your colleagues to speak in this platform. A full list of the forthcoming talks are updated periodically here https://noad100.com/meetings-events/  

To initiate the New Year, we gladly introduce our NO-AD LOGO, which has been designed by Imen Belhaj. We encourage you to use this on your emails and letters to boost our community and show that we are working together to fight AD. The Logo https://noad100.com/logo/

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Evandro Fei Fang & Menno Witter

Coordinators NO-AD

The 2021 postcard
Trondheim is a Norwegian city on the Trondheim Fjord. It was frequently used as the seat of the king, and was the capital of Norway until 1217. In the far middle of the picture was the Gothic Nidaros Cathedral which was built over a 230-year period, from 1070 to 1300 when it was substantially completed. It is the traditional location for the consecration of new kings of Norway. (compiled from wiki with modifications)
 

Logo of the NO-AD Network

The NO-AD Network logo is here designed by a talented and artistic Ph.D. student from the University of Oslo (UiO), Imen Belhaj, M.Sc.

The logo: The left part of the logo is an Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain which is diseased as indicated by the red color. The right side shows the neuronal network in the AD brain that is disorganized; the red dot denotes the entorhinal cortex (EC), the earliest region showing pathology in AD. Norwegian (NO) scientists are playing a leading role in understanding how the neuronal networks in the EC function in memory and how the early changes in this region contribute to AD pathogenesis.

NO-AD researchers aim to merge basic research on memory coding in the brain with insights into changes in neuronal and network mechanisms in Alzheimer patients, in order to unravel the clues underlying this devastating disease. The NO-AD network connects basic and clinical scientists to find means to prevent, delay or restore the functional deterioration of brain networks in AD patients

The artist: Imen Belhaj is now doing a Ph.D. at the University of Oslo with Prof. Linda H. Bergersen (NO-AD member) on how exercise improves brain health and delays memory loss in the elderly and in individuals with Alzheimer´s disease. (CV here)

Imen Belhaj (photo provided by the artist)

A warm welcome from the NO-AD network

The NO-AD network is currently receiving funding support from Nasjonalforeningen. We thank our contributors for their generous support on our mission to unveil the mechanisms behind Alzheimer’s disease (AD). With the support from our funders we aim to uncover the secrets of AD and contribute to the development of novel treatments. 

Associate Professor Evandro F. Fang (UiO and Akershus University Hospital, right) and Professor Menno P. Witter (NTNU, left) are leading the Norwegian National Alzheimer’s Disease network. Photo (Asgeir Kobro-Flatmoen)

Current secretary is Mr. Ruben Gudmundsrud (UiO and Akershus university hospital)