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Archive - Apr 23, 2015

Dawn ISEV Satellite Meeting Focuses on HIV and EVs

An early morning satellite meeting on “HIV, NeuroAids, Drug Abuse, and EVs” preceded the official opening of the fourth annual International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) meeting in Washington, DC, later in the morning on Thursday, April 23. The general theme was that retroviruses and EVs share many characteristics. And many suggest that, indeed, retroviruses can perhaps be viewed as a type of EV. Despite considerable progress against HIV disease since the discovery of HIV in the 1980s, numerous challenges remain, for example, predicting, diagnosing, and treating the HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND, including NeuroAIDS). This symposium examined the complex interplay between HIV, host EVs, disease, and drugs of abuse, and was briefly introduced by Dr. Kenneth Witwer, who works in the HIV/exosome area at Johns Hopkins and is chair of the local organizing committee. One of the session speakers was Dr. Norman Haughey, also of Johns Hopkins, and he described his group’s work demonstrating that brain-derived exosomes regulate the peripheral nervous system response to brain injury. In particular, he showed how exosomes from the brain interact with the liver to stimulate the production of neutrophils that travel to the site of injury in the brain. Other session speakers included Dr. Jeymohan Joseph, Chief of HIV Neuropathogenesis at the NIMH, who described “NIMH Priorities in NeuroAids and Exosome Research;” Dr. John Satterlee, Program Director for Epigenetics, Model Organism Genetics & Functional Genomics, NIDA, who spoke on “Extracellular Vesicles: NIDA and the Common Fund Extracellular RNA Communication Program;” Dr. Vincent C. Bond, Acting Chair of Microbiology, Biochemistry & Immunology, Morehouse School of Medicine, who spoke on “Cytokines Associated with Exosomes in HIV-infected Individuals;” Dr.

NIH Director Francis Collins & 2013 Nobelist James Rothman Kick Off 2015 Annual International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) Meeting in Washington, DC

The 2015 annual meeting of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) ( got off to a stunning start on Thursday morning (April 23) with back-to-back plenary presentations by 2013 Nobel Laureate James Rothman, Ph.D., from Yale University, and by NIH Director Francis Collins (photo), M.D., Ph.D., addressing an overflow crowd of more than 800 attendees at this, the largest-ever ISEV annual meeting. These two phenomenal speakers and scientists were followed directly by a 30-minute round-table discussion among the two speakers, Dr. Jan Lötvall, President of the ISEV, Dr. Xandra Breakefield of Harvard University, and Dr. Alan Sachs, the CSO at Thermo-Fischer Scientific. Dr. Rothman was the first to speak after brief introductions by Dr. Ken Witwer of Johns Hopkins, chair of the local organizing committee for the meeting, and Dr. Lötvall. Dr. Witwer was quick to thank all the meeting sponsors and especially to highlight the support that had been provided by both the NIH and the NSF, which supported the attendance of over 40 young investigators. Dr. Lötvall briefly summarized the history of the ISEV from an initial meeting in Canada in 2005 that was attended by ~20 people to a 200-person over-subscribed meeting in Paris in 2011, and finally to today in Washinton, DC, where official registration approached 800 and represented 60% growth over that for the meeting held in Sweden in 2012. Dr. Lötvall also highlighted the immense success that has already been achieved by the ISEV’s Journal of Extracellular Vesicles in its brief three years of existence. It is doing “amazingly well,” Dr. Lötvall noted, as journal editors await assignment of an impact factor. After these brief opening remarks, Dr.