Moving Targets 2013 Takes on Neurodegenerative Disease

On August 23, the USC School of Pharmacy will host students, faculty and industry/scientific leaders for a conference featuring renowned experts from diverse fields for the 12th Annual Moving Targets Symposium, presented by the AAPS-USC Student Chapter. This year’s theme is “Neurodegenerative Disease: Therapeutic Challenges and Opportunities.”

An estimated 50 million Americans are affected each year by the more than 600 disorders that can impact the nervous system, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. These diseases impact people of all ages and walks of life, and unfortunately, the numbers of those suffering continues to increase.

Neurodegenerative disease greatly impacts the health of our nation – mentally, physically and economically. For example, Alzheimer’s disease is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the economic costs associated with it are expected to rise to $1.2 trillion by 2050.

“It is imperative that we educate researchers in basic, clinical and translational areas in order to better understand, diagnose and treat these devastating diseases,” says Christine Solinsky, the student organizer of the event. “To this end, we’re delighted to welcome a prestigious panel of speakers from academia, industry, government, publishing and private foundations, who will cover a broad spectrum of topics and viewpoints.”

This year’s speakers include Drs. Emile Marcus from Cell Press, Suzana Petanceska from the National Institute of Aging, Kelly Bales from Pfizer, Krystof Bankiewicz from UCSF, Eugenia Trushina from the Mayo Clinic, Fernando Vieira from the ALS Therapy Development Institute, Diane Stephenson from the Critical Path Institute, Douglas Macdonald from the CHDI Foundation, and Roberta Diaz Brinton from the USC School of Pharmacy.

In addition to the invited speaker presentations, panels and Q&A sessions, there will also be a student poster competition with cash prizes, including a $1,000 first-prize award.

“We hope that our attendees will gain a well-rounded understanding of the cutting-edge innovations and current progress in the field of neurodegenerative disease,” says Solinsky. “Moving Targets aims to inspire students to become the next generation of leaders in therapeutic development.”

Registration for Moving Targets, to be held at the Radisson Midtown at USC, is free and open to all. To register, visit