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Next SYNAPSES Discussion Panel Is April 24


SYNAPSES is a series of events to allow communication and discussion about the newest advances in neuroscience. The idea is to bring awareness to the most recent developments in neuroscience and technologies that can impact multiple fields and, ultimately, everyday life.

The next panel will be at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, in  Sinquefield State Room in DuBourg Hall 409. The event is free and open to everyone.  Light food and refreshments will be served.

The registration deadline is at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 23.

About the Topic

DNA manipulating techniques have been available to researchers for over 20 years. If experts were able to utilize this technology for treating diseases, they could potentially target diseases that had no options before like sickle cell disease and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Gene therapy is the use of these DNA manipulating techniques to treat genetic diseases.

Right now, there are seven FDA-approved DNA modifying gene therapies and five of 
these were approved last year. There are currently 1000+ gene therapies being tested in clinical trials, so there are likely to be many more being approved in the coming years. Some of these will be used  to treat neurological diseases. A current example is UPSTAZA for the treatment of amino acid decarboxylase deficiency (AADC). This gene therapy was approved in the EU and is under review by the FDA.

This event will discuss this topic in front the public to inform them of where the science is currently with the gene therapy technology, where it is likely to go, and what concerns there are about its use. The emphasis of the discussion will be on gene therapy in neuroscience, but will likely branch out from there.