CANCELLED - CURES seminar with Dr. Michelle Block, Indiana University

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February 1, 2024
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
To be emailed to registrants
Event category: Seminar
RSVP is closed.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Feb. 1, 2024 CURES seminar must be postponed.

Please join Wayne State University's Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors (CURES) for their upcoming virtual seminar on February 1, 2024 at 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The seminar is free; registration is required. The Zoom link will be emailed to all registrants prior to Feb. 1. 

The guest speaker will be Dr. Michelle Block, Stark Professor of Pharmacology in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute. She will present, Microglia and the Lung-Brain Axis: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease. 


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease and the leading cause of dementia in the elderly. Amyloid beta (Aβ) levels accumulate and condense into plaques within the brain parenchyma, which is a hallmark of AD and one driver of disease-associated damage. Microglia are the resident brain parenchymal myeloid cells and they are aberrantly modified during AD progression, including an increasing inability to form protective barrier around amyloid plaques. Accumulating evidence points to a role for air pollution exposure in Alzheimer’s disease risk and beta amyloid accumulation, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. The Lung-Brain Axis hypothesis holds that the pulmonary consequences of environmental exposures dysregulates the neuroimmune response through peripheral immune cell changes and circulating factors to augment central nervous system diseases, such as AD. Here, we will begin to outline some of the mechanisms through which diverse forms of air pollution and the peripheral immune compartment may trigger a neuroimmune signature typified in AD (ex. HMGB1,TREM2) and affect amyloid plaque pathology. In addition, the possibility of a bi-directional lung-brain axis will be discussed, where ongoing amyloid/AD-like pathology may affect the pulmonary immune response. 


Dr. Block is the Stark Professor of Pharmacology in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, where her research group focuses on understanding the role of peripheral immune regulation on environmental exposures in CNS diseases. She received her BS in Psychology from Iowa State University and her doctorate in Genetics from Penn State University in 2002. Her postdoctoral training greatly influenced the development of her lab’s research niche in air pollution research and studying the Lung-brain Axis today, where Dr. Block was a postdoctoral scientist in a joint position at the EPA and NIEHS/NIH [Years 2002-2003] and an IRTA Fellow at NIEHS/NIH (Years 2003 – 2007). Michelle’s research program has been continuously NIH funded, including career development awards such as the Outstanding New Environmental Scientist Award, she has served on several NIH, DOD, EPA and foundation grant study sections and review panels, and has served on several editorial boards. Dr. Block also enjoys directing her course on neuroimmunology, and enthusiastically enjoys addicting anyone she can to this topic. Dr. Block encourages wellness and hobbies in scientific excellence, where she practices what she preaches by participating in dog agility with her pug and papillon. 

We look forward to seeing you at this interesting seminar! 

February 2024