General Information

The NIH Common Fund Glycoscience Program (CF-GSP) in conjunction with NIA and NIDA have organized this "Neurosciences: Degenerative Disorders, Neuroplasticity, & Intersection with Glycoscience" symposium, which will be held virtually on September 8 & 9, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT daily. This symposium is being Co-chaired by Dr. Catherine Leimkuhler Grimes, Chair, CF-GSP Tools Group & Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Delaware;  Dr. Ronald Schnaar, John Jacob Abel Professor of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences & Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Dr. Austin Yang, Program Officer, National Institute of Aging; and Dr. Kiran Vemuri, Program Officer, National Institute on Drug Abuse.  Presentations will highlight the latest research findings on degenerative disorders and neuroplasticity as well as new methods and tools to study the role of glycans in neuronal function and disease. 

On the day of the event, please go to to watch live.  The videocast will also be archived and available a few days following the meeting at the same webpage.


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  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences
  • The Common Fund Glycoscience Program


The Neurosciences: Degenerative Disorders, Neuroplasticity, & Intersection with Glycoscience
September 08, 2021 - September 09, 2021
09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Max.Capacity: 500 No Participants

Special Rules: None

The Neurosciences: Degenerative Disorders, Neuroplasticity, & Intersection with Glycoscience

September 8 & 9, 2021 (virtual)

Co-Chairs: Dr. Catherine Leimkuhler Grimes, University of Delaware; Dr. Ronald Schnaar, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Dr. Austin Yang, NIA; Dr. Kiran Vemuri, NIDA.

Themes to be addressed in this symposium: Neurodegenerative DisordersNeuroplasticity & Therapeutics, New Tools from the CF-GSP for Research in the Neurosciences

September 8

10 a.m., Welcome & Introductions, Symposium Co-Chairs

Session I.

Chair, Dr. Catherine Leimkuhler Grimes, University of Delaware

10:15 a.m., Dr. Matthew Macauley, University of Alberta  

Understanding the Role of Siglec-3 (CD33) Isoforms in Microglia and Alzheimer's Disease Susceptibility

10:45 a.m., Dr. Emilia Vitale, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, National Research Council of Italy 

CD33 3D-Structural Analysis Suggests a Novel Hypothesis in the Risk for Dementia

11:15 a.m., Dr. Rishi Kulkarni, Stanford University

Sialoglycans - A New Axis of Communication between Microglia and Neurons 

11:45 a.m., Dr. Ronald Schnaar, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

A Shared Siglec-3/Siglec-8 Ligand in Human Brain

12:15 p.m., Lunch

Session II.

Chair, Dr. Ronald Schnaar, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

1:00 p.m., Dr. James Fawcett, University of Cambridge 

Perineuronal Nets, Memory and Memory Restoration

1:30 p.m., Dr. Marina Guizzetti, Oregon Health and Science University

Glycosaminoglycans, Astrocytes, and Brain Development 

2:00 p.m., Dr. Linda Hsieh-Wilson, California Institute of Technology  

Glycosaminoglycans: Chemical Tools and Roles in Neuroplasticity.

2:30 p.m., Dr. Manveen Sethi for Joseph Zaia, Boston University School of Medicine

Roles of Matrisome Molecules in Neurological Diseases

3:00 p.m., Dr. Hannes Buelow, Einstein College of Medicine  

Specific Heparan Sulfate Codes in the Nervous System

3:30 p.m., Round table discussion 

Moderators: Dr. Austin Yang, NIA, NIH & Dr. Ronald Schnaar, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine   

4:30 p.m., Adjourn

The Neurosciences: Degenerative Disorders, Neuroplasticity, & Intersection with Glycoscience

September 9

Session III. 

Chair, Dr. Austin Yang, NIA, NIH 

10:00 a.m., Dr. Karen Duff, UK Dementia Research Institute 

Pathogenic Mechanisms Driving Tauopathy

10:30 a.m., Dr. Bradley Hyman, Harvard University, MGH 

Differential Drivers of Alzheimer┬┐s Disease

11:00 a.m., Dr. Steven Finkbeiner, University of California San Francisco 

Dynamics of Protein Misfolding and Stress Resilience Revealed with Robotic Microscopy and Artificial Intelligence

11:30 a.m., Dr. David M. Holtzman, Washington University School of Medicine

The Role of APOE, Astrocytes, and Microglia in Abeta and Tau-mediated Pathogenesis

12:00 lunch

Session IV

Chair, Dr. Kiran Vemuri, NIDA, NIH

1:00 p.m., Dr. Albert Wong, University of Toronto

Mouse Models for Psychiatric Disorders

1:30 p.m., Dr. Robin Polt, University of Arizona 

Control of Membrane Affinity via Glycosylation: Brain-Penetrant GPCR Agonists from Endogenous Neurotransmitters and Hormones

2:00 p.m., Dr. Kim D. Janda, The Scripps Research Institute & The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology

Examining Xenoreactive Antibodies to Address Cocaine and Fentanyl Abuse

2:30 p.m., Dr. Robert Kennedy, University of Michigan 

NextGen Microdialysis for Multiplexed In Vivo Chemical Monitoring with Higher Spatial and Temporal Resolution

3:00 p.m., Dr. Christina Woo, Harvard University 

Writing and Erasing O-GlcNAc from Target Proteins in the Brain

3:30 p.m., Round Table Discussion 

Moderators: Dr. Kiran Vemuri, NIDA & Dr. Catherine Leimkuhler Grimes, University of Delaware  

4:30 p.m., adjourn


Campus Access and Security

Entrance to the NIH Gateway Center. NIH Gateway CenterRichard Barnes, NIH


The National Institutes of Health, like all Federal Government facilities, has instituted security measures to ensure the safety of our patients, employees, guests and facilities. Please visit the Department of Homeland Security National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS)(link is external) site to learn more about any current terrorist threat alerts for government and public entities that may impact NIH security.

All visitors must enter through the NIH Gateway Center. You will be asked to submit to a vehicle or personal inspection. Visitors over 15 years of age must provide a form of government-issued ID such as a driver's license or passport. Visitors under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Please be aware: Federal law prohibits the following items on Federal property: firearms, explosives, archery equipment, dangerous weapons, knives with blades over 2 inches, alcoholic beverages, open containers of alcohol and marijuana (cannabis).

Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation such as the Metrorail subway system which has a convenient stop (Medical Center) on the NIH campus. Visit the "Metro" site for information on fares and schedules(link is external).

Read our list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to safety and security at the NIH, including information about pedestrian entrances, parking and general campus access.

NIH Gateway Center

Visitors will be required to show one (1) form of identification (a government-issued photo ID-driver's license, passport, green card, etc.) and to state the purpose of their visit.

The NIH Gateway Center is located adjacent to the Medical Center Metro Station at the South Drive entrance to campus from Rockville Pike / Wisconsin Avenue (Route 355). It combines visitor parking, non-commercial vehicle inspection and visitor ID processing, all in one location. The NIH will process all visitors in vehicles or as pedestrians.

Patients and patient visitors should continue to enter campus at the West Drive/Cedar Lane entrance during the hours of 6am - 10pm, 7 days a week.

View a map detailing the Patient Visitor Entrance.


As of October 1, 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will no longer accept identification credentials that fail to meet the minimum requirements and issuance standards for federal recognition per the REAL ID Act of 2005. The Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, such as NIH, from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards that do not meet these standards.

Under the REAL ID ACT, NIH may only accept state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards that meet the standards required by the ACT to access our facilities.  Enhanced Driver's Licenses (EDL) issued by Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington are considered acceptable alternatives to REAL ID-compliant cards and will also be accepted for official REAL ID purposes.  Most EDLs do not contain the star marking and this is acceptable. The EDLs do however state they are enhanced driver's licenses and have an American flag either overlapping the picture or at the bottom right hand corner.

Individuals who come to the NIH's Clinical Center for inpatient or outpatient services are not subject to the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Approved Forms of ID Required to Enter NIH Facilities as of October 1, 2020:

  • REAL ID Driver's License or State Identification Card or Enhanced Driver's License
  • Passport or Passport Card
  • HSPD-12 PIV or CAC Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Federally Recognized, Tribal-Issued Photo ID
  • Canadian Provincial Driver's License or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Card
  • USCIS Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • Other Less Common Documents (e.g. Merchant Mariner Credential)

For additional information about the Real ID Act, please visit: is external).


Gateway Center (for Pedestrians) Building 66

  • Open Monday - Friday, 6am - 10pm
  • Closed on Weekends and Observed Holidays
  • After 10pm on weekdays, all day weekends and holidays, pedestrian visitors should enter campus via the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Facility (CVIF)  Building 67 (on Rockville Pike between North Drive and Wilson Drive) 

For individuals arriving as pedestrians, the Gateway Center (Building 66) is capable of handling single individuals to large busloads of visitors, quickly and efficiently.


For visitors arriving in vehicles, on motorcycles or bicycles, the Gateway Vehicle Inspection Station (Building 66A), provides multiple inspection lanes and allows visitors to go through inspection and get a visitor badge in one centralized, efficient process. Vehicles enter the Gateway Center complex through "NIH Gateway Drive," just south of the intersection of South Drive and Rockville Pike. Vehicles that choose to bypass parking in MLP-11 will go through inspection and enter campus at Center Drive near the National Library of Medicine. (See Gateway Map)

Gateway Center Vehicle Inspection (Building 66A)

Hours of operation: Monday - Friday, 5am - 10pm

After 10pm on weekdays, and on weekends and holidays, visitors in vehicles should enter via the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Facility (CVIF)  Building 67. The CVIF is located on Rockville Pike (Route 355) between the North Drive and Wilson Drive employee entrances. Visitors gain entry into the CVIF traveling southbound on Rockville Pike.

Taxies may enter campus via the Gateway Center Vehicle Inspection Center (or CVIF), and must use the CVIF when the Gateway Center Vehicle Inspection Center is closed.


Please note: visitor parking is limited at NIH. Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation such as the Metrorail subway system which has a convenient stop (Medical Center) on the NIH campus. Visit the "Metro" site for information on fares and schedules(link is external).

The Gateway complex also includes MLP-11, a 342-space, multi-level underground parking garage. This visitor-only lot is the primary visitor parking for the NIH main campus. We strongly encourage all visitors to park in this garage as there will be limited visitor parking on campus, other than for patients and visitors to the Clinical Center. Vehicles parking in MLP-11 are outside of the perimeter security and will not go through vehicle inspection, reducing the amount of time it takes to get on campus.

The cost to park in MLP-11 is $2 per hour for the first three hours, $12 maximum for the entire day. This is the same rate currently charged for all visitor parking at the NIH.
Visitors parking in MLP-11 should proceed to the Gateway Center to get a visitor badge and either walk or take a shuttle bus to their destination.

MLP-11 Hours of Operation:

Monday - Friday:
6am - 9pm (entrance)
6am - 11pm (exit)

Saturday - Sunday:

When MLP-11 is closed, visitors can park in lots on the NIH main campus.

Vehicles left in the MLP-11 parking garage after 11pm on weekdays or during weekends are subject to ticketing and towing.

Commercial Vehicle Inspection Facility (CVIF)

Commercial vehicle deliveries must undergo security screening at the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Facility (CVIF). It is located on Rockville Pike between North Drive and Wilson Drive and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (inbound traffic only).

Commercial food and catering delivery vehicles should enter via the CVIF. Food deliveries made in private vehicles without commercial signage may use either the CVIF or the Gateway Center.

Vendors and contractors with frequent official business at NIH can be issued special temporary IDs. You must provide an original letter on company letter head or a memo from your NIH Project Officer justifying your need for a temporary ID. The letter/memo must contain your full name and date of birth and must be presented in person with a valid photo ID at The NIH Guard Office Operations Branch (part of the NIH Police) located in 31/B4BE09 (Phone: 301-435-5095).

Meetings and Special Events

Mission-related activities are allowed during normal business hours but require special permission for groups of 50 or more. Mission related activities during evenings and weekends for all groups require special permission. NIH conferences and special events are governed and approved by the policy "Conditions for Access to and Use of NIH Facilities for Group Functions, Activities, and Special Events." Contact NIH Special Events for guidance at 301-496-9966.

Special Information for Clinical Center Patients

For information about planning your visit to the NIH Clinical Center, please visit the Clinical Center web site.


Read the NIH Perimeter Security System - Bicyclist Fact Sheet.

Traffic Advisories

Tune your radios to AM1660 for further NIH traffic, parking and security advisories. For questions, please contact the ORS Information Line at sends e-mail) or 301-594-6677, TTY 301-435-1908.

Visitor Parking and Transportation

Visitors must park in designated visitor parking lots. Patients may park 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the Clinical Center garage, P-1 level. Vehicles will be inspected prior to parking in underground or multi-level garages.

Campus Shuttle Schedule

The NIH Campus Shuttle is free of charge and runs daily, both on and around campus and from campus to various off-campus NIH buildings.

Shuttle schedule (for Blackberry)

The URL for BlackBerry devices is This application is suitable for BlackBerry models 6710 and 6510. It is not suitable for models 850, 950, and 957 due to memory limitation. This feature requires that the BlackBerry subscriber has Wireless Internet access.

If you have questions, please contact Louise Davis(link sends e-mail). We will be glad to test other devices that you have. We will be glad to test other devices that you have.

Building Security

Due to the checking of IDs at the perimeter, employees and visitors will not be required to show their ID again to gain access to the majority of buildings on the NIH Bethesda campus during the normal business day. Employees and visitors should continue to wear their identification prominently at all times while on campus.

Guards will remain at certain buildings to address specific program requirements such as sensitive research and safety concerns. At building entrances where guards are posted:

  • Employees must show a DHHS-issued photo ID (for example, your NIH-issued ID badge)
  • Visitors may be required to log in, wear a visitors pass and have an employee escort them through the building.
  • Visitors may be required to pass through a metal detector and have bags, backpacks or purses inspected or x-rayed as they enter buildings.
  • Security staff will be looking for and confiscating any suspicious or potentially dangerous materials. U.S. Code prohibits bringing any dangerous weapons onto Federal property, including anything with a blade longer than 2 inches. Meeting participants may want to leave extra bags or personal materials at their hotel to minimize the time needed for inspection

After-hours building access will require the use of an employee ID at electronic access card readers at building entrances and certain internal areas. Similar, appropriate security adjustments will be made at off-campus facilities. Employees are encouraged to be vigilant and report anyone using unauthorized entrances or suspicious activity to the NIH Police at 301-496-5685.

Emergency Preparedness

Information regarding emergency planning and preparedness at the NIH is available in the NIH Emergency Preparedness Handbook.



Confirmed Speakers

September 8

Dr. Matthew Macauley
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
University of Alberta, Canada

Dr. Emilia Vitale
NeurOMICS Lab Director
National Research Council of Italy (CNR)
Institute Biochemistry and Cell Biology (IBBC), Naples, Italy  

Dr. Rishi Kulkarni
University Scholar
Stanford Chem-H
Stanford University
Stanford, California  

Dr. Ronald Schnaar
John Jacob Abel Professor of Pharmacology
Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences
Department of Neuroscience
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland

Dr. James Fawcett 
University of Cambridge
Professor & Head, Department of Clinical Neurosciences
Chairman, Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, England

Dr. Marina Guizzetti
Professor, Department of Behavioral Neuroscience.
Director, Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience Graduate Program
Oregon Health & Science University
Research Biologist, VA Portland Health Care System
Portland, Oregon

Dr. Linda Hsieh-Wilson  
Milton and Rosalind Chang Professor of Chemistry
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California 

Dr. Manveen Sethi
Department of Biochemistry
Center for Biomedical Mass Spectrometry
Boston University School of Medicine
Boston, Massachusetts   

Dr. Hannes Buelow 
Professor of Genetics & Neuroscience
Albert Einstein College of Medicine 
Bronx, New York

September 9

Dr. Karen Duff
Centre Director
United Kingdom Dementia Research Institute
London, England

Dr. Bradley Hyman
John B Penney Prof of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Director, Massachusetts Alzheimer Disease Research Center, Mass General Hospital
Charlestown, Massachusetts  

Dr. David M. Holtzman
Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones
Professor and Chairman
Department of Neurology
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri  

Dr. Steven Finkbeiner
Director, Center for Systems and Therapeutics
Taube/Koret Center for Neurodegenerative Disease, Gladstone Institutes
Professor, Departments of Neurology and Physiology
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California

Dr. Albert H.C. Wong
Research Scientist & Staff Psychiatrist
Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Professor of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

Dr. Robin Polt
Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
College of Science
College of Medicine Tucson
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona

Dr. Kim D Janda
Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Immunology
Ely R. Callaway, Jr. Chair in Chemistry
Director, Worm Institute of Research and Medicine (WIRM)
Scripps Research
La Jolla, California

Dr. Robert Kennedy
Hobart Willard Distinguished University Professor
Professor & Chair, Chemistry Department, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Professor of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacology, Medical School
Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, College of Engineering
University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dr. Christina Woo
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Harvard University
Boston, Massachusetts