NanoDr. Diana Avila was selected by the NanoFlorida 2017 conference to give an oral presentation on her project, which focuses on eradicating latent HIV reservoirs in the brain via administration of magneto-electric nanoparticles. She presented this work also at the Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology Annual Conference in April 2017.

UnipolarA paper by Marta Skowronska “Methamphetamine increases HIV infectivity in neural progenitor cells” was accepted in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The co-authors are Marisa McDonald, Martina Velichkovska, Ana Rachel Leda, Minseon Park, and Michal Toborek.

Congratulations to Marta and co-authors!

fannieFannie Meroth, a student from the Catholic University of Lyon, France, completed her 4-month research internship with Dr. Luc Bertrand. Fannie learned a lot of research techniques and was actively involved in the experiments on HIV-mediated impact on stroke development. Her last month at work was stressful due to hurricane Irma, which hit Miami on Sept 10, and Fannie had to spend several days in a hurricane shelter. She left behind good memories, a bottle of French wine, and a beautiful good-bye note.

elsa172017Luc Bertrand was among four students and postdocs who received the Louis J. Elsas Research Award in Biochemical Genetics in 2017. Each winner received a check for $1,250. The award was established by the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation in 2011 to honor the outstanding research contributions of Dr. Elsas, who was the first director of the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Center for Medical Genetics, which became the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics at the Miller School in 2007. The award in his name supports outstanding medical students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows who are performing research relevant to biochemical genetics, in areas including biochemistry, genetics, genomics, statistical genetics, or genetic epidemiology.

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.