Treating CNS infections: An NIH/DoD workshop on strategies for crossing the blood-brain barrier

Dear All:

Sponsored by NIH (NIAID, NINDS, NHLBI, NCATS) and DoD (DTRA), a 2-day workshop on CNS infections and ways to penetrate the blood-brain barrier has just been announced for 21-22 Aug 2018. Full details are found online at

The preliminary agenda online looks fascinating and shows planned discussions of viral encephalitis (e.g., West Nile), bacterial meningitis (e.g., Listeria, S. pneumoniae), fungal infections (e.g., C. neoformans), and parasitic infections (e.g., malaria). See below my signature for a few more details on the meeting. We don’t often see antibacterial agents developed for CNS infections, but it could represent an interesting niche for study.

For those with fungal interests, see as well the list of upcoming meetings at the end of this email where I’ve now added details for the 2018 Mycoses Study Group (MSGERC) meeting. 

Finally, please watch in parallel for an email requesting your consent to keep you on this email list. The new EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) comes into effect on 25 May 2018 and I want to be sure I have your consent by then.

All best wishes, –jr

John H. Rex, MD | Chief Medical Officer, F2G Ltd. | Expert-in-Residence, Wellcome Trust. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnRex_NewAbx. See past newsletters and subscribe for the future:

Objectives of the 21-22 Aug 2018 NIH- and DoD-sponsored meeting:
Infections of the human brain can be caused by various agents – viruses, bacteria, fungi, and, on occasion, protozoa or parasites. A major impediment to development of effective therapeutics to treat the resultant neurological diseases is delivery of the drugs at sufficient doses into the brain, the site of action, due to the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Understanding the impact of infectious diseases on the physiological and pathophysiological function of the BBB will help advance knowledge and aid in accelerating the translational research and development of therapeutics targeting infections in the brain.

This two-day workshop will bring together scientists and technologists across multiple-disciplines for the following objectives:

  • To understand the basic biology of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the role of the BBB in infectious disease pathogenesis
  • To understand the novel and state-of-the-art research and development tools and systems available for use
  • To review current therapeutic strategies and challenges in developing therapeutics that cross the BBB to target infectious diseases
  • To forge public and private collaboration on research and product development

Upcoming meetings of interest to the AMR community:


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