The latest edition of the ICGEB Arturo Falaschi Conference series was an invaluable opportunity for major experts from around the world to meet and present new insights into the role played by the TDP-43 protein in ALS and FTD.
6–8 September 2023, Trieste – The latest in a series of conferences dedicated to the memory of Prof. Arturo Falaschi, entitled “1st biennial conference on TDP-43 function and dysfunction in disease” brought together 25 internationally renowned speakers from 8 nations, who addressed ongoing epidemiological, clinical, pathological, neuroimaging and genetic investigations of the TDP-43 protein, as well as the latest TDP-43-based therapeutic strategies being developed and tested in disease models.
The involvement of TDP-43 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease points to it being a salient neuropathological protein. As a result, there is growing interest in developing new approaches to understand the consequences of TDP-43 mislocalization and aggregation in disease. Even so, the precise function of TDP-43 in normal cells remains unclear, as do the initial events driving TDP-43 mislocalization and aggregation in disease, and the impact of TDP-43 pathology on neuronal integrity.
With 116 participants from 31 different countries, the ambitious 3-day conference included specific sessions on TDP-43 Phase Separation and Biomolecular Condensates, Nuclear Import and Export, Mechanisms of disease, Complexities of TDP-43 pathways, Models and Biomarkers.
This was a great occasion to bring the TDP-43 community together to discuss new developments in the field and hear about future directions. Even after 16 years following the discovery of TDP-43 involvement in neurodegenerative disease, the results presented in this meeting made it clear that there are many things we still do not know about this protein: why it aggregates, the role it plays in the pathology, and how all the information we have could be harnessed to devise new therapies – these are all topics we plan to explore when we repeat this meeting in two years’ time.
Dr. Emanuele Buratti, Group Leader of the ICGEB Trieste Molecular Pathology Lab and head of the organising committee
The next Arturo Falaschi Conference will be held at ICGEB Cape Town, South Africa, from 31 October to 2 November 2023.