Whitehead in NYC: Charting an Unexpected Path to Address Alzheimer’s and Brain Disorders

Please join us on November 20, 2014 in New York City for a special presentation and cocktail reception with Dr. Julien Muffat.

What: “Charting an Unexpected Path to Address Alzheimer’s and Brain Disorders” featuring Dr. Julien Muffat
When: Thursday, November 20, 2014 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm; presentation and cocktail reception
Where: Arader Gallery, 1016 Madison Avenue, New York, NY
Contact: Lauren Gilbert at (617) 258-5489 or lgilbert@wi.mit.edu

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About the Speaker

Julien-1-webDr. Julien Muffat is a senior postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Rudolf Jaenisch. The Jaenisch laboratory uses patient-derived pluripotent stem cells to model brain disorders such as Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Many aspects of nervous system disorders are human- and tissue-specific. They cannot be studied in animal models or in cancer cell lines. Novel differentiation and maintenance methods allow the development of tissue-like cultures comprising all cell types from the nervous system. In particular, we are paying close attention to non-neuronal cells, the oft-ignored glia. New ways to manipulate the genome of human cells allow us to turn on or off individual genes, and study the consequences on cellular and organ function over time. These systems shed light on disease mechanisms that simply could not be interrogated in other models, and provide scalable platforms to screen for genetic modulators or therapeutic drugs.

Dr. Muffat is a graduate from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in France (Cachan), and began researching the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Disease as a Visiting Fellow in the laboratory of Rudolph Tanzi at Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology with Seymour Benzer, before joining the Whitehead Institute. Dr. Muffat has received numerous awards, including a Graduate Scholarship from the Glenn Foundation for Research in the Biology of Aging, and a NARSAD Young Investigator Award from the Brain and Behavior Foundation. His research has been funded by the McKnight Fund for Neuroscience and the European Leukodystrophy Association. He currently chairs the Whitehead Post-Doctoral Association.