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Your Environment. Your Health.

Parkinson's Disease: Understanding the Environment and Gene Connection

November 3-4, 2014
Research Triangle Park, NC

Parkinson's Conference Image

Meeting Description

The overall goal of this two-day event is to develop prioritized recommendations for advancing basic, epidemiological and clinical research on environmental contributors to the development and expression of Parkinson's disease (PD). To accomplish this aim, the conference will bring together experts to evaluate the most recent research on the environmental impact on PD etiology and discuss the challenges of translating research findings to impact public health. The format of the meeting agenda consists of three inter-related parts:

  1. Basic, epidemiological and clinical scientists will present emerging themes and discuss prioritized research recommendations involving environmental contributors to PD.
  2. Panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities for interdisciplinary research approaches in advancing research on PD and environment
  3. PD patients, patient advocates, physician scientists and research funders will share their perspectives on communicating and acting on science linking environmental exposures and PD.

This meeting will offer numerous opportunities for participants (via webcast or in-person) to share ideas and help further stimulate research on the interaction between environmental exposures and genetic susceptibility in the development of PD.

Meeting Sponsors

  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Event Videos

Agenda

Monday, November 3, 2014
8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. Welcome
Linda Birnbaum, Director, NIEHS
Walter Koroshetz, NINDS
9:25 a.m. Review of NINDS Workshop Recommendations
Beth-Anne Sieber, NINDS
9:35 a.m. Goals for Meeting
Jonathan Hollander, NIEHS
Session 1: Clinical and Epidemiology Workgroup: Themes and Recommendations
9:45 a.m. Overview of Themes
Caroline Tanner, University of California, San Francisco
10:00 a.m. THEME 1: Opportunities to Identify Environmental Factors Affecting Prodromal PD
  • Presenter:
  • Honglei Chen, NIEHS
  • Discussants:
  • Honglei Chen, NIEHS
  • Brad Racette, Washington University
  • Xuemei Huang, Penn State University
  • Freya Kamel, NIEHS
10:25 a.m. Break
10:40 a.m. THEME 2: Opportunities to Identify Environmental Factors Influencing Disease Progression After Diagnosis
  • Presenter:
  • Brad Racette, Washington University
  • Discussants:
  • Brad Racette, Washington University
  • Xuemei Huang, Penn State University
  • Alberto Ascherio, Harvard University
  • Freya Kamel, NIEHS
11:05 a.m. THEME 3: Opportunities to Identify Biomarkers (Exposure, Diagnosis, Progression)
  • Presenter:
  • Jeffery Vance, University of Miami
  • Discussants:
  • Jeffery Vance, University of Miami
  • George Mellick, Griffith University
  • Freya Kamel, NIEHS
  • Alberto Ascherio, Harvard University
11:30 a.m. THEME 4: Opportunities to Identify Risk Factors
  • Presenter:
  • George Mellick, Griffith University
  • Discussants:
  • George Mellick, Griffith University
  • Jeffery Vance, University of Miami
  • Alberto Ascherio, Harvard University
  • Honglei Chen, NIEHS
11:55 a.m. Summary and Recommendations
Marc Weisskopf, Harvard University
12:05 p.m. Open Discussion of Priority and Content
Caroline Tanner, University of California, San Francisco
Marc Weisskopf, Harvard University
12:30 p.m. Lunch, NIEHS Cafeteria
1:30 p.m. Public Comment
Session 2: Basic and Mechanistic Workgroup: Themes and Recommendations
2:00 p.m. Overview of Themes
Importance of systematic and unbiased analysis of environmental chemicals
Gary Miller, Emory University
2:20 p.m. THEME 1: Impact of environmental chemicals on known genetic abnormalities in Parkinson's disease (alpha-synuclein, LRRK2, DJ-1, PINK1). Appropriate in vitro and in vivo models.
David Standaert, University of Alabama-Birmingham
Matthew Farrer, University of British Columbia
2:45 p.m. THEME 2: Impact of environmental chemicals on known Parkinson's disease pathways (mitochondria, protein processing, synaptic biology). Appropriate in vitro and in vivo models.
John Elsworth, Yale University
Richard Myers, Boston University
Jau-Shyong Hong, NIEHS
3:15 p.m. Break
3:25 p.m. THEME 3: Measuring environmental chemicals in human and animal samples. Sampling, archiving, testing, and data analysis.
Jeff Johnson, University of Wisconsin
Anumantha Kanthasamy, Iowa State University
3:50 p.m. Summary and Presentation of Initial Prioritization of Recommendations
Identifying and using the most appropriate model systems to study Parkinson's disease pathways and targets with broad sharing of experimental data
Michael Lee, University of Minnesota
4:05 p.m. Open Discussion of Priority and Content
Gary Miller, Emory University
Michael Lee, University of Minnesota
4:45 p.m. Day 1 Summary and Closing Comments
Cindy Lawler, NIEHS
5:00 p.m. Adjourn for the day; buses back to hotel
6:30 p.m. Dinner (Page Road Grill)
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
8:00 a.m. Registration
Session 3: Panel Discussion: Integrating Parkinson's Disease Environmental Research Across Disciplines
8:45 a.m.
  • Moderator:
  • Cindy Lawler, NIEHS
  • Panelists:
  • Caroline Tanner, University of California, San Francisco
  • Marc Weisskopf, Harvard University
  • Gary Miller, Emory University
  • Michael Lee, University of Minnesota
  • Beate Ritz, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Anumantha Kanthasamy, Iowa State University
  • Objective: This session will include basic and clinical researchers to discuss challenges and opportunities for advancing research on PD and environment through interdisciplinary research approaches. Questions to be addressed include:
  • 1. How do the research recommendations address the need for a coordinated, interdisciplinary approach?
  • 2. What are the best examples of improved understanding of PD environmental risks that were made possible through interdisciplinary approaches?
  • 3. What are the key ingredients needed to develop and maintain interdisciplinary collaborations?
  • 4. What new strategies could be considered to support interdisciplinary collaborations in the current fiscal climate?
10:00 a.m. Break
Session 4: Panel Discussion: Translation of Basic and Clinical Findings to Practice and Policy
10:15 a.m.
  • Moderator:
  • Kimberly Gray, NIEHS
  • Panelists:
  • Allison Willis, University of Pennsylvania
  • Jeff Bronstein, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Jamie Tucker, Parkinson's Action Network
  • Julie Sacks, American Parkinson Disease Association
  • Susan Gerbeth-Jones, Parkinson's Disease Foundation
  • Peter Schmidt, National Parkinson Foundation
  • Objective: This panel will bring together PD patients, patient advocates, physician scientists and research funders to share their perspective on communicating and acting on science linking environmental exposures and PD. Questions to be addressed include:
  • 1. What is/are the role(s) of PD environmental health researchers in translating and communicating their research findings to affected individuals and families, advocates, policy makers and the general public?
  • 2. How do we know when evidence is sufficient to recommend action at an individual and/or public health level?
  • 3. How do we communicate uncertainty (e.g., when the link between an exposure and risk of PD is inconsistent among studies or the evidence is incomplete)?
11:45 a.m. Concluding Remarks
Gwen Collman, NIEHS
12:00 p.m. Adjourn

Meeting and Recommendation Report can be found in the following link:  Parkinson's Conference Program Meeting and Recommendations Report (137KB)

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