Brain Barriers
April 7 - 9, 2021 Virtual
Abstract Deadline: January 29, 2021


Dritan Agalliu, Columbia University
Maria Lehtinen, Boston Children's Hospital
Benoit Vanhollebeke, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium


The current COVID-19 situation is challenging and difficult for all of us - we hope this virtual conference will allow colleagues to share and discuss their latest research, while under travel and stay-at-home restrictions.


The seventh Cold Spring Harbor conference on Brain Barriers is going virtual and will begin on Wednesday, April 7th and end on Friday April 9th. Morning sessions will begin at 10:00 am EST and end at approximately 5:00 pm EST.

The purpose of this Cold Spring Harbor meeting is to explore and encourage new conceptual approaches and to apply novel methods to the neuroprotective physiologies of BBB structures. Our goal is pair genetic model organism biological methods with recent insights in vertebrate BBB physiology and development. We hope to create cross fertilization between fields that rarely see each other and get people thinking about how model systems can help parse the regulatory networks necessary for parsimonious BBB function.

The conference is intended to foster cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas and expertise between developmental and evolutionary biologists, vascular and BBB physiologists and disease oriented industry scientists interested in modifying or circumventing specific pathways of neuroprotection. While a number of speakers have been invited, please note that the majority of oral presentations will be drawn from openly submitted abstracts.

Day Time (EST Session # Session Name
Wednesday 9:30 am - 12:30 pm        
Welcome/Introduction Keynote Speaker: Chenghua Gu
Wednesday 10:45 am - 12:45 pm              1         Emerging Concepts and Hot Topics in CNS Barriers
Wednesday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Poster Session
Wednesday 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm 2 Imaging Approaches to Study CNS Barriers
Thursday 9:30 am - 1:00 pm 3 Development, Plasticity and Specialization of CNS Barriers
Thursday 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm
Panel Session: The Brilliance Barrier
Thursday 2:30 pm- 5:45 pm 4 Systems, Computational and Cell Biology of the CNS Barriers
Friday 9:30 am - 1:00 pm 5 Neuroimmune Interactions Across CNS Barriers
Friday 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Poster Session
Friday 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm Workshop: How to Frame and Write Constructive, Fair, Peer-review
Friday 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm 6 CNS Barriers in Aging, Senescence and Neurodegeneration
Discussion Zone
30-minutes following each oral session (open Zoom format)

                                Virtual Poster Session will be available for viewing throughout the meeting

Keynote Speaker:
Chenghua Gu, Harvard University Medical School

Sessions & Co-Chairs:

Emerging Concepts and Hot Topics in CNS Barriers 
Ed Monuki,
University of California, Irvine
Stefan Liebner, Goethe University Clinic, Germany

Imaging Approaches to Study CNS Barriers
Richard Daneman,
University of California, San Diego
Chris Moore, Brown University

Development, Plasticity and Specialization of CNS Barriers
Peetra Magnuson,
Uppsala University, Sweden
Amparo Acker-Palmer, Goethe Universitat, Germany 

Systems, Computational and Cell Biology of the CNS Barriers
Anne Eichman,
Yale University
Britta Engelhardt, University of Bern, Switzerland

Neuroimmune Interactions Across CNS Barriers 
Tony Wyss Coray,
Stanford University
Zsuszanna Fabry, University of Wisconsin at Madison

CNS Barriers in Aging, Senescence and Neurodegeneration
Robyn Klein,
Washington University
Matthew Campbell, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Confirmed Invited Speakers:
Christer Betsholtz,
Uppsala University, Sweden
Adrienne Boire, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Timothy Chico,
The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
Joanne Conover,
University of Connecticut
Naomi Habib, Hebrew University, Israel
Eric Huang.
University of California San Francisco
Nathalie Jurisch-Yaksi,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Naama Kanarek,
Boston Children's Hospital
Madeline Lancaster,
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, United Kingdom
M. Benoit Laurent,
University of Sherbrooke, Canada
Gil Levkowitz,
Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
Dan Levy,
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Jeremy Nathans,
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Joel Pachter,
University of Connecticut Health
Nicolas Renier,
Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epiniere, France
Carmen Ruiz de Almodovar,
University of Heidelberg, Germany
Mark Shen,
University of North Carolina
Linus Tsai,
Harvard University Medical School
Berislav Zlokovic,
Keck School of Medicine of USC

Panel Discussion:
Andrei Cimpian, New York University - "The brilliance barrier Stereotypes about brilliance are an obstacle to diversity in science and beyond"

Workshop: "How to frame and write constructive, fair peer-review"

Abstracts should contain interesting and exciting material and must be submitted electronically by the abstract deadline. Selection of material for oral and poster presentation will be made by the organizers and individual session chairs. Status (talk/poster) of abstracts will be posted on our web site as soon as decisions have been made by the organizers.

We are eager to have as many young people as possible attend since they are likely to benefit most from this meeting. We have applied for funds from government and industry to partially support graduate students and postdocs. Apply in writing to Val Pakaluk stating need for financial support - preference is given to those submitting abstracts.

Meeting Sponsored by: National Institute of Neurological Diseases & Stroke

Late Pricing: (registrations submitted after 5:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 1)

Virtual Package: $355
Virtual Graduate/PhD Student Package: $250
Virtual Corporate Package: $475

IBRO/International Brain Research Organization are generously supporting the participation of a limited number of individuals from US/Canadian Minority Serving Institutions
Limit: 100 attendees / limit per institution: 5 

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative are generously supporting the participation of a limited number of individuals from Low & Middle Income Countries or US/Canadian Minority Serving Institutions
Limit: 300 attendees / limit per institution: 10 (including IBRO support)

Reduced Pricing for Individuals from US/Canadian Minority Serving Institutions (check eligibility): $25

Reduced Pricing for Individuals from Low & Middle Income Countries (check eligibility): $25

Virtual 3 day live meeting + 6 weeks archive access

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~36 talks / 6 sessions
(late am/early pm)
~18 total hours with interactive Q&A
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~40 posters with
dedicated slack channels for each poster
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Virtual Social Events~
Meet-the-Speakers & Editors
Icebreaker, "Breakout" Social
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Leading Strand video archive access to talks
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Digital program in PDF format

Social Media   

The designated hashtag for this meeting is #cshlBBB. Note that you must obtain permission from an individual presenter before live-tweeting or discussing his/her talk, poster, or research results on social media. Click the Policies tab above to see our full Confidentiality & Reporting Policy.