Watchdogs of the Brain: How Local Immune Cells Regulate Health and Disease





Nov 17, 2021


Watchdogs of the Brain: How Local Immune Cells regulate Health and Disease

November 17, 2021 at 6:30pm EDT

Join us for an in-person lecture featuring neuroscientists Dr. Marco Prinz and Dr. Matthias Haury followed by a networking reception.

About this event

The human brain resembles a highly secured corporate headquarters. A squad of inspectors constantly keeps an eye on offices and hallways, gathers a glut of sensory data from the whole building and raises alert at the suspicion of even the tiniest irregularities. Neuroscientists call this squad microglia. What sets those microglia apart from the two other types of glial cells – astrocytes and oligodendrocytes – is that they are only on loan from the immune system, which has a completely different task: to detect and react to infections in the human body but outside the human brain. Cutting-edge neuroscience has shown that microglia cells nevertheless play a crucial role in a wide range of neurological diseases like Alzheimers and multiple sclerosis. Professor Prinz will talk about these insights and what they could mean for the development of treatments for some of the most common neurodegenerative diseases.

Our Experts:

Dr. Matthias Haury is Chief Operating Officer at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, in Jupiter, FL. He is an accomplished scientist with a Ph.D. in Immunology from the Pasteur Institute in Paris and a postdoc at University of California, San Francisco. As Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Haury was instrumental in establishing the Gulbenkian Institute of Science (IGC) in Oeiras, Portugal, before joining the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany as Coordinator for Advanced Training. He then headed to Brussels to run a European Commission-funded research networking program.

Dr. Marco Prinz is Professor of Neuropathology and Chair of the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Dr. Prinz obtained his MD at the Charitè, Humboldt-University Berlin in 1997. He performed his residency in Neuropathology at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, where he studied the role of the peripheral and CNS-restricted immune system for the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as prion diseases. He was recruited to the University of Freiburg, Germany, in 2008 and promoted to the rank of Full Professor and Chair of the Institute of Neuropathology. Dr. Prinz’s laboratory studies the mechanisms that regulate the development and function of the mononuclear phagocyte lineage in the central nervous system, including microglia and perivascular and meningeal macrophages. His laboratory has made seminal discoveries in CNS macrophage biology revealing their embryonic origin and their local maintenance in situ. Currently, his research group aims to understand myeloid cell biology in the CNS during health and disease and studies the impact of the immune system on the pathogenesis of neurological disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases, ultimately aimed at recognizing novel therapeutic strategies and targets to treat these central nervous system diseases.


6:15 PM - Doors Open/ Check-In

6:35 PM - Welcome Remarks by DWIH NY, German Consulate, and DFG

6:45 PM - Introduction by Dr. Haury

6:55 PM - Lecture by Dr. Prinz

7:25 PM - Q&A

8:00 PM - Closing Remarks and Reception

Event Details for In-Person Attendees

COVID 19 precautions: In line with CDC guidance and New York City policies, guests need to show proof of full vaccination and wear a mask while indoors. We will provide hand sanitizer at the entrance of the building.

Accessibility Statement: Unfortunately, 1014 Fifth Avenue needs to be refurbished and is not fully accessible in its current stage. We apologize to our guests and kindly ask you to contact if you need further information or assistance. We will do our best to enable everyone to join us.

Lecture Livestream

The lecture will be livestreamed on YouTube for anyone who wishes to tune in remotely.




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