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EMBL Workshop on Translating Behaviour: Bridging Clinical and Animal Model Resea


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Posted 24 February 2009 - 04:20 AM

Location & Date: EMBL Heidelberg, Germany, 14 - 16 November 2009

Registration will open on February 9th, 2009 until July 31st, 2009

Event website & Registration: http://www.embl.de/c.../transbehaviour

Topics

The goal of this workshop is to bring together behavioral neuroscientists working on animal models with clinical researchers studying human behavior. The main question to be addressed by the workshop is how animal models can best be used to discover treatments for behavioral disorders, including mental illness. Although animal models are powerful tools to identify the neurobiological mechanisms underlying behavior, too few researchers are trying to directly bridge the gap between human behavior and homologous behaviors in lower animals. In some cases animal behavior and human behavior appear similar and may share common molecular mechanisms; however, many human behaviors remain only distantly homologous to animal behaviors and common mechanisms are controversial.

At the same time, behavioral research is receiving renewed attention in the light of an explosion in the generation of mouse models of genetic diseases. However, the behavioral characterization of these models lags behind their molecular characterization, with little attention being focused on how best to match human behavioral deficits relevant to the disease. Psychiatrists are also increasingly incorporating quantitative behavioral measurements into their research as part of a movement to identify behavioral endophenotypes of mental illness that are more reliable than traditional diagnostic criteria. Significant research funds are being funneled into behavioral research on rodent models while the value of these models to identify new therapies often remains unproven. Our workshop aims to take advantage of the increasing interest in behavior among both clinical and basic researchers to help ensure the best possible use of animal models.

The workshop will try to cover a range of commonly studied behaviors relevant to human disease, including anxiety, impulsivity, and aggression, but also more controversial topics such as depression, schizophrenia, autism, and attachment. In this way, participants will be exposed to a wide range of clinically relevant behavioral research and gain an appreciation of its successes and pitfalls. Finally, our workshop aims to facilitate interactions between medical and basic science researchers by seeking the balanced participation of MD and PhD researchers.

Programme

Saturday, November 14

12:00 – 13:00 Registration
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 17:00 Session I and II: Anxiety and Impulsivity
Paul Pauli, University of Würzburg, Germany
Marco Battaglia, San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy
Trevor Robbins, University of Cambridge, UK
Klaus Miczek, Tufts University, Boston, USA

17:00 – 18:00 Poster Session

18:00 – 19:00 Social Science Lecture: Nicolas Rose, London School of Economics, UK

19:00 – 21:00 Dinner

Sunday, November 15

9:00 – 12:00 Session III and IV: Depression and Autism
Catherine Belzung, INSERM U 930 Imagerie et Cerveau, France
Yoshiharu Yamamoto, University of Tokyo, Japan
Francesca Happé, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
Jacqueline Crawley, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA

12:00 – 13:00 Meet-the-Speakers Round Table

13:00 – 15:00 Lunch during river boat tour of Heidelberg

15:00 – 18:00 Free time

18:00 – 19:00 Keynote Lecture: Jaak Panksepp, University of Washington, Pullman, USA
19:00 – 21:00 Dinner

21:00 – 24:00 Poster Session with Wine-Cheese

Monday, November 16

9:00 – 12:00 Sessions V and VI: Schizophrenia and Attachment
Alessandro Bertolino, University of Bari, Italy
John Waddington, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Ireland
Richard Ebstein, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
Pier Francesco Ferrari, University of Parma, Italy

12:00 – 13:00 Meet-the-Speakers Round Table

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

Invited Speakers

Marco Battaglia, San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy
Catherine Belzung, INSERM U 930 Imagerie et Cerveau, Tours, France
Alessandro Bertolino, University of Bari, Italy
Jacqueline Crawley, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA
Richard Ebstein, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
Pier Francesco Ferrari, University of Parma, Italy
Francesca Happe, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom
Klaus Miczek, Tufts University, Boston, USA
Paul Pauli, University of Würzburg, Germany
Trevor Robbins, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Nikolas Rose, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
John L. Waddington, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Yoshi Yamamoto, University of Tokyo, Japan

Keynote Speaker

Jaak Panksepp, University of Washington, Pullman, USA




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