Dr. Bannasch earned her DVM degree from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and her PhD degree in mouse molecular genetics at Princeton University. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Population Health and Reproduction in the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis and is the first faculty member to hold the prestigious Maxine Adler Endowed Chair in Genetics. An accomplished veterinary geneticist, Danika Bannasch DVM PhD focuses her research on the identification of the molecular causes of inherited diseases in dogs and horses. Her laboratory has identified the DNA changes responsible for Lethal White Foal Syndrome, Hereditary Equine Regional Dermal Asthenia, Hyperuricosuria, Alaskan Husky Encephalopathy, Cleft palate, Cleft lip and palate, Spinal Dysraphism, Glioma susceptibility, chondrodystrophy and Saluki Spongiosis. Important research findings have also led to animal models used for similar human diseases. By studying naturally occurring diseases in animals, the Bannasch Laboratory is discovering a triad of significant advances: the development of diagnostic tests to aid animal breeders; the identification of novel genes and pathways as candidates for human disease; and an understanding of basic molecular mechanisms of disease.
Grégoire Courtine was trained in Mathematics, Physics, and Neurosciences. He received his PhD degree from the French institute of health (INSERM) and University of Pavia in Italy in 2003. After obtaining the Chancellor Award during his post-doctoral training at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), he established his own laboratory at the University of Zurich in 2008. He became Associate Professor in the Center for Neuroprosthetics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) in 2012. The results of his research in spinal cord repair have been published in various high profile journals such as Nature and Science, and have been discussed extensively in national and international media. In 2014, he launched a startup that aims to translate the medical and technological advances gained over the past 15 years into a treatment to accelerate and augment functional recovery after spinal cord injury.
Inge Huitinga (Den Helder, 1960) completed her study Medical Biology in 1988 at the VUmc in Amsterdam. She obtained her PhD degree on the investigation of mechanisms of demyelination in multiple sclerosis (MS) cum laude at the Vrije Universiteit in 1992. Between 1992 and 1999 Inge continued working on the pathology of MS, part at VUmc, part at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) in the group of prof. Dick Swaab, and part in Oxford, UK. In 1999 she received as the first the prestigious MS Fellowship of the Stichting MS Research, to investigate neuronal functioning in MS and was appointed at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science (KNAW). In 2006 she became director of the Netherlands Brain Bank (NBB) and started her own Neuroimmunology Research Group and published more than 120 scientific papers on MS with a focus on microglia and effects of steroid hormones. She professionalized the NBB and drafted international ethical and legal guidelines for Brain Banking resulting in a Code of Conduct for Brain Banking, published in 2015. In 2012 she obtained a substantial NWO grant of 3.45 M-euro to start a brain bank for psychiatry within the NBB: NHB-Psy, a national consortium of NBB/KNAW with 5 Dutch university medical centers to run a brain donation and autopsy program for 7 psychiatric diseases. Tissue of these donors are sent to researchers worldwide.
Christian Rummel received his PhD in physics in 2004 at the Technical University of Munich (nuclear theory). Thereafter, he changed to time series analysis and started to investigate multivariate neurophysiological signals (EEG and functional MRI of epilepsy patients and NIRS recordings). Since 2010 he has been working at the Support Center for Advanced Neuroimaging (SCAN) of the University Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology at the Inselspital in Bern. His current main focus is on morphometric evaluation of structural MRI of epilepsy and multiple sclerosis patients and healthy controls.
Matthew Taylor earned his PhD degree in Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University in 2008. He then pursued further training in the Enquist laboratory at Princeton University. At Princeton, he received support from an American Cancer Society Post-doctoral fellowship award to study the transport of Pseudorabies virus in neurons. In 2013, he was appointed Assistant Professor in the department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Montana State University. His lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms of neuroinvasion and spread of neurotropic viruses. Currently, the lab is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that restrict the spread of viruses out of neurons.