8-9 December 2017

Prof. Nicholas M. Boulis

Emory University, Atlanta
Provisional title: "Surgical Approaches to Motor Neuron Protection".

I have conducted basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience in six laboratories over a 16-year period prior to launching an independent laboratory in 2001. My research evolved from an interest in neuroplasticity applied to emotion, learning, and memory into a focus on repair of the nervous system for traumatic and degenerative disease. My laboratory focuses on the development of gene and cellular therapies for neurodegenerative and functional diseases of the nervous system. A variety of viral vectors are currently being tested in both neuronal cell cultures and in animal models of ALS and spinal muscular atrophy. In parallel, the Boulis laboratory focuses on the development of tissue-specific targeting strategies. These approaches are designed to deliver molecular therapeutics to an anatomically defined site of interest. Much of this effort has concentrated on motor neuron-specific gene delivery.

In 2004, I began to concentrate on the development of surgical techniques for spinal cord cell transplantation. In the context of this work, I developed techniques and devices allowing for accurate human spinal cord transplantation and have provided support for a variety of teams interested in spinal cord transplantation in the United States and Europe.