Webinar Description:

The progressive deposition of misfolded Tau protein is a pathological hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases, collectively called tauopathies, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most prevalent. Despite the progress of research in this field, the underlying molecular mechanisms governing the intercellular aggregation and spreading of Tau assemblies remain elusive. Major limitation has been the translation of mechanistic findings from clonal cell lines, where high throughput screening approaches are more readily available, to functional neuronal models that replicate the phenotypes observed in disease conditions. To address this issue, the aim of our work has focused on the development of functional neuronal screening assays. Challenges and progress of this work will be presented and discussed in line of future opportunities for technical advancements.

Thursday Dec 6 @ 11 am EST

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Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about Cellectricon’s new assay platform for functional modelling of prion-like mechanisms
  • Learn about assays and platforms that enable phenotypic screening to identify modifiers of Tau uptake and propagation through genetic and pharmacologic screens
  • Learn more about functional neuronal models to study Tau pathology in relevant neuronal assays using e.g. multichannel microfluidic setups


Thomas Jahn, PhD, Group Leader, Neuroscience Drug Discovery at AbbVie, Germany
Following a Diploma in Biochemistry from the University of Halle (Germany), Thomas moved to the University of Leeds (UK) to receive his PhD in Structural Biology of protein misfolding. Being awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship, he subsequently moved to the University of Cambridge (UK) to work in the Departments of Chemistry and Genetics. During this time, he established a cross-disciplinary team to develop innovative ways to develop and analyze novel models of protein misfolding, with a major focus on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. In 2011 Thomas received funding to establish his independent research group at the University of Heidelberg (Germany). Here, the main research interest of his group focused on proteostasis in neurodegenerative disease, by providing novel methods to recapitulate human disease aspects using cellular and Drosophila models. Thomas joined AbbVie in 2015 where he is a Group Leader in the Neuroscience Discovery organization in Ludwigshafen (Germany).

Sebastian Illes, PhD, Director of CNS research at Cellectricon, Sweden
Sebastian joined Cellectricon in 2018 as director of CNS research. Previously, he held a position as research project leader at the University of Gothenburg. Sebastian did his Post-Doc at the Institute for Molecular Regenerative Medicine (PMU, Salzburg, Austria) and worked as guest researcher at the Natural and Medical Science Institute, Reutlingen, Germany. He holds a diploma in biology with specialisation of neurodevelopment (Ruhr-University-Bochum, Germany) and did his PhD at the neurology department at the Heinrich-Heine University, Duesseldorf, Germany, where he combined for the first time pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons with microelectrode array technology with the specific application in pre-clinical research. Sebastian is still affiliated to University of Gothenburg where he is conducting independent research on human iPSC-derived neuronal circuit models for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and Alzheimer‘s disease.