Upcoming NASEM workshop focuses on new insights from genetics and neuroscience

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A virtual workshop organized by The National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) will bring together cross-disciplinary experts to discuss scientific advances in genetics and neuroscience this October 5 and 6.

Beginning tomorrow, the NASEM Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders will host a two-day virtual public workshop to discuss how discoveries in genetics and neuroscience can help explain disease mechanisms and advance the development of biomarkers and targeted therapies for people with neurological and psychiatric disorders. Scientific experts and key stakeholders from industry, government, philanthropic foundations, and disease-focused non-profit organizations will also discuss the critical need for ancestral diversity and inclusion of people with less common disorders to advance global health equity and inform precision medicine approaches.

John Ngai, Ph.D., director of the NIH BRAIN Initiative, Steven Hyman, M.D., member of the BRAIN Neuroethics Working Group, Frances Jensen, M.D., member of the BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group, and Paola Arlotta, Ph.D., BRAIN Initiative-funded investigator all served as participants on the fourteen-person planning committee and will each speak at sessions throughout the workshop.

The workshop will take place on October 5th from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST, and October 6th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.

Sessions include:

Day 1: Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Session 1: Increasing Ancestral Diversity in Emerging Precision Medicine for Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders

This session will discuss the need for greater inclusion of minority and underrepresented populations in the research and development (R&D) process to ensure more robust, generalizable, and equitable findings.

Session 2: Leverage New Methodologies to Interpret Genetic Data in Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders

The next session will focus on various strategies that lead to the nomination of biomarkers and therapeutic targets for neurological and psychiatric disorders with an emphasis on new technologies and methodologies for genetic variant interpretation and common variant studies.

Day 2: Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Session 3: Identifying and Validating Molecular Pathways Using New Technologies for Human Biology

This session will explore novel technologies such as stem cell derived neurons, astrocytes, microglia, oligos, vascularized organoids, and pooled stem cells for validating molecular targets, pathways and circuits in humans.

Session 4: Developing and Advancing Phenotyping and Biomarker Discovery to Enable Patient Stratification

The second session of the day will discuss ways to improve patient stratification by utilizing multimodal data for identifying, validating and using robust biomarkers.

Session 5: Synthesis and Next Steps

The final session will summarize and synthesize important take-aways from the workshop and discuss how shifts in R&D trajectory, new technologies and precision medicine approaches can be used more effectively for neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Registration is still open! Please register here. For the agenda, speaker bios, and other details, please visit the event webpage.