BBB 2017Dr. Toborek was one of the main organizers of the 20th International Symposium on Signal Transduction at the Blood-Brain Barriers ( that took place from September 13-15, 2017 in Kraków, Poland. The other organizers were the Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education in Katowice and the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn.

The Symposium program covered all areas of blood-brain barriers research with the focus on the latest developments in neurodegenerative diseases, membrane receptors and transporters, transcytosis regulators, epigenetic and transcriptional regulators, metabolic and nutrition regulation, in vivo and in vitro brain barriers models as well as the role of junctional complexes. In addition, signaling pathways implicated in the development of neurological diseases and brain tumors were addressed. The symposium aimed to encourage interactions between basic science researchers and clinicians working in academia, universities, and industry.

The program included three keynote presentations by Mikio Furuse (National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Japan) “Molecular basis of paracellular diffusion barrier, Michal Schwartz (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel) “Harnessing systemic immunity to combat Alzheimer’s disease”, and Britta Engelhardt (University of Bern, Switzerland) “Brain Barriers: The movers and shapers in immune privilege of the CNS.” In addition, there were 8 sessions and a poster session: Session 1: Junctional complexes of the brain barriers – beyond barrier regulation, Session 3: Blood-brain barrier and HIV reservoirs in the CNS – formation and eradication, Session 6: Interactions between the brain barriers and stem cells in the CNS, Session 7: Brain barriers and the metabolic axis, and Session 8: Behavioral modulations of the blood-brain barrier: diet and exercise. Sessions 2, 4, and 5 were devoted to various aspects of pathology of the brain barriers.

Session 3 was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Mental Health; NIH/NIMH, USA, and Session 8 was sponsored by the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education, Poland.

Dr. Toborek gave a talk as part of NIH/NIMH-sponsored Session 3. His presentation was entitled: “Regulatory impact of occludin on the formation of HIV reservoirs in neural progenitor cells and brain pericytes.”

There were 140 participants from 23 countries. The International Brain Barriers Society (IBBS) sponsored the Best Poster Awards. The winners were: Mette Mathiesen Janiurek (University of Copenhagen, First Place), Chi-Chieh Tsao (University of Zurich, Second Place), and Alexa Fries (Charite Universitätsmedizin, Third Place).

September 2017

BBB 2017