Annual Retreat

Tuesday May 11, 2021 Read More

Thanks to our organizers, short talk presenters, keynote speaker, and Zoom participants for contributing to a successful Hope Center Retreat! We hope to see you in person at the 2022 Retreat.

Congratulations to the winner of this year’s Hope Center Award, Maud Gratuze PhD, for her talk, “Activated microglia mitigate Aβ-associated tau seeding and spreading”.

Hope Center Awards

Retreat Program

8:30a      Welcome and Opening Remarks – David Holtzman, MD and Anneliese Schaefer, JD, PhD

8:45a       NeuroRestorative Therapy Group
NeuroRestorative Chair: Hiroko Yano, PhD (WashU Neurosurgery)

  • Lu Zhao, PhD (Cui Lab, WashU Biomedical Engineering)
    “A potential sonogenetic actuator for ultrasound-mediated neuromodulation”

9:00a       Neurogenetics & Transcriptomics Group
Neurogenetics Chair: Gabriel Haller, PhD (WashU Neurosurgery)

  • Logan Brase (Harari Lab, WashU Psychiatry)
    “Single-nuclei RNA-sequencing of Alzheimer Disease brains reveals altered cell expression state compositions linked to autosomal dominant, TREM2 and rs1582763 variants”
  • Chengran Yang (Cruchaga Lab, WashU Psychiatry)
    “Genomic and multi-tissue proteomic integration for understanding the genetic architecture of Alzheimer disease and Parkinson’s disease”

9:30a       Break

9:45a       Protein Aggregation & Neurodegeneration Group
Neurodegeneration Chair: Chris Weihl, MD, PhD ( WashU Neurology)

  • Jiang Zhu (Weihl Lab, WashU Neurology)
    “VCP protects neurons from proteopathic seeding”
  • Maud Gratuze, PhD (Holtzman Lab, WashU Neurology)
    “Activated microglia mitigate Aβ-associated tau seeding and spreading”
  • Lucia Capano (Yoo Lab, WashU Developmental Biology)
    “MicroRNA-mediated neuronal reprogramming generates human neurons that express tau isoform expression comparable to adult brains”
  • Zachary Grese (Ayala Lab, SLU Biochemistry Molecular Biology)
    “RNA is a platform for TDP-43 liquid-liquid phase separation and promotes TDP-43 solubility through specific binding”

10:45a       Clocks & Sleep Club
Clocks & Sleep Chair: Erik Herzog, PhD (WashU Biology)

  • Patrick Sheehan (Musiek Lab, WashU Neurology)
    “Astrocytic BMAL1 regulates protein aggregation in mouse models of alpha-synuclein and tau pathology”

11:00a       Break

11:15a       Hope Center Lecture
Speaker Introduction: Timothy Miller, MD, PhD (WashU Neurology)

  • Merit Cudkowicz, MD, MSc (Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital)
    “New Therapies for ALS”

Printable Program


The Hope Center Annual Retreat provides an opportunity to go off-site for a day, focus on Hope Center research, and learn more about translational Neuroscience outside Washington University. Hope Center faculty and members of their laboratories learn about the latest findings and future directions of member labs in the context of short talks and a poster session. Keynote lectures feature invited speakers who lead their fields with a research/clinical program aligned with the Hope Center mission. Stay tuned for the Call for Abstracts and Call for Registration in the upcoming months.

Hope Center Awards

Hope Center Award winners are selected from presenters at the Hope Center Retreat.

  • Graduate student and postdoc presenters are eligible for a Hope Center Award.  An award of $1000 will be awarded to one short talk presenter. 
  • Judging is based on scientific merit, relevance to the Hope Center mission, and presentation at the retreat. Award winners will be announced after the retreat.  

To learn about past winners, click here.