awardThe lab received multiple travel awards to attend the 23rd Conference of the Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology in Philadelphia on March 29 - April 1, 2017. Luc Bertrand and Marta Skowronska received full travel awards and registration fee waivers. In addition, their abstracts were selected for oral presentations at the conference. Diana Avila, Ana Leda, and Joon Cho received registration fee waivers. Jessica Deaver, our undergraduate student, also received a registration fee waiver.

Ibolya E. András, Ana Leda, Marta Garcia Contreras, Luc Bertrand, Minseon Park, Marta Skowronska, Michal Toborek

Extracellular vesicles of the blood-brain barrier: role in the HIV-1 associated amyloid beta pathology


HIV-infected brains are characterized by increased amyloid beta (Aβ) deposition. It is believed that the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is critical for Aβ homeostasis and contributes to Aβ accumulation in the brain. Extracellular vesicles (ECV), like exosomes, recently gained a lot of attention as potentially playing a significant role in Aβ pathology.

Luc Bertrand, Levi Dygert and Michal Toborek



The introduction of antiretroviral drugs (ARVd) changed the prognosis of HIV infection from a deadly disease to a chronic disease. However, even with undetectable viral loads, patients still develop a wide range of pathologies, including cerebrovascular complications and stroke. It is hypothesized that toxic side effects of ARVd may contribute to these effects.

fot_inaug_038.jpgDr. Michal Toborek received an honorary degree of Doctor honoris causa from the Academy of Physical Education in Katowice, Poland on October 7, 2016. The degree was awarded by the Senate of the Academy of Physical Education in recognition of Dr. Toborek’s scientific achievements with emphasis on research related to impact of exercise, his service and activities in promoting international research collaboration, and his long-term collaboration with the Academy of Physical Education. The ceremony took place during the inauguration of academic year 2016/2017 at the Academy of Physical Education. Dr. Toborek gave an inaugural lecture titled “Targeting exercise for the blood-brain barrier modulation: a lesson from drug abuse.”

KatelynKatelyn O'Neill is our second PiBS PhD student rotating in the lab. For an eight week period, she will be working alongside postdoctoral scholar Luc Bertrand in detecting HIV infection of pericytes in-vivo. They plan to accomplish this by optimizing an in-situ PCR technique. Katelyn will present her work at the end of her rotation.