Keynote speakers

Niccolo Terrando, BSc (hons), DIC, PhD

Associate Professor 

Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Dr. Terrando is originally from the countryside of Torino, Italy. After high school, he moved to the U.K. reading for a dual honors degree in neuroscience and biochemistry (B.S. with honors) at Keele University. He received his Ph.D. from Imperial College London (D.I.C.) working at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology. 


Blood-brain barrier dysregulation in postoperative delirium

Every year millions of individuals undergo surgery for medically necessary conditions and are at risk for developing postoperative neurocognitive disorders (1). After a routine operation, such as orthopaedic surgery, many patients experience perioperative neurocognitive disorders (PND), including acute cognitive deficits (delirium) and longer-lasting cognitive impairments, which in some cases may lead to permanent dementia. Classic features of these complications include changes in mental status, inattention, disorganized thinking, and altered consciousness, which have been overall associated with long-term morbidity and mortality, reduced quality of life and significant costs to the health care system. These conditions are especially frequent amongst older patients and are clearly associated with increased mortality, diminished quality of life, and soaring healthcare costs. The mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of these complications are not fully understood and currently without effective therapies.

Our lab studies the pathophysiology of delirium with a strong focus on the role of neuroinflammation and innate immunity in disrupting behaviour after anaesthesia and surgery (2). Using an integrated interdisciplinary and translational approach (3), we are addressing the biological complexity of this disease using clinically relevant models combined with molecular, genetic, physiological and imaging techniques (4-6). Our aims are to define the underlying mechanisms leading to memory deficits after surgery and to develop safe strategies to resolve neuroinflammation in the perioperative setting (7).

Please click here to read more about Niccolo and to take a look at his abstract references.  



Evandro Fei Fang, PhD

Associate Professor 

University of Oslo and Akershus University Hospital, Norway 

Evandro F. Fang is an Associate Professor of Molecular Gerontology at the University of Oslo (UiO) and the Akershus University Hospital, Norway, and his group are working on molecular mechanisms of human ageing and age-predisposed neurodegeneration.


The NAD+-mitophagy axis in ageing, delirium, and Alzheimer's disease

Increased lifespan enables people to live longer, but not necessarily healthier lives1, 2. Ageing is arguably the highest risk factor for numerous human diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD); thus understanding the molecular mechanisms of human aging holds the promise of developing interventional and therapeutic strategies for many diseases simultaneously, promoting healthy longevity. Accumulation of damaged mitochondria is a hallmark of aging and age-related AD. However, the molecular mechanisms of impaired mitochondrial homeostasis and their relationship to AD are still elusive. Mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) is the cellular self-clearing process that removes damaged and superfluous mitochondria, and therefore plays a fundamental role in maintaining neuronal homeostasis and survival1, 3-8. NAD+ is a fundamental molecule in life and health, and is reduced during ageing and in AD; we first reported that NAD+ is a mitophagy inducer4, and evidenced that impaired NAD+-mitophagy axis contributes to AD5. In close collaboration with Prof. Leiv Otto Watne, we also investigate roles of the NAD+-mitophagy axis in delirium and its linkages to AD. The Evandro Fang lab is now involved in several clinical trials looking into the use of NAD+ precursors to treat AD and premature ageing diseases, among others9

Please click here to read more about Evandro and to take a look at his abstract references.  



Charlotte Summers, BSc (Hons) | BM | PhD | FRCP | FFICM

Professor of Intensive Care Medicine

Cambridge University, UK

Charlotte graduated in both Biomedical Sciences and Medicine from the University of Southampton, and later undertook a PhD at the University of Cambridge investigating the role of inflammation on the pulmonary transit kinetics of human neutrophils, alongside specialist clinical training in Respiratory (East of England) and Intensive Care Medicine (London).  She was subsequently appointed as the UK’s first NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Intensive Care Medicine, and went on to be awarded a Fulbright All-disciplines Scholar Award and a Wellcome Trust Fellowship for Postdoctoral Clinician Scientists.  Charlotte joined the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine in 2015 from University of California, San Francisco. 

Matthew Broome, BSc (Hons), MBChB (Hons), PGCAP, PhD, PhD, FRCPsych 

Professor of Psychiatry and Youth Mental Health

Director of the Institute for Mental Health 

University of Birmingham, UK  

Matthew studied Pharmacology and Medicine at the University of Birmingham and trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital, Bethlem Royal Hospital, and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.  Matthew has a PhD in Psychiatry from the University of London and in Philosophy from the University of Warwick. 


The Development and Phenomenology of Delusions

In this talk, I’ll start off by offering a variety of definitions for delusions and their role in how we diagnose psychotic illness and understand its onset.  In the second part of the talk, I’ll discuss the onset of psychosis and empirical work in the cognitive psychology and epidemiology of delusion formation, demonstrating the possible role of reasoning biases and trauma in delusion. I will then turn to an introduction to phenomenological psychopathology, how delusions are understood in that tradition by Jaspers, Laing, and Minkowski, and our own ongoing work in meaning in delusions. To close, I’ll summarise two recent studies examining the prevalence and associations of delusions in delirium.

Please click here to read more about Matthew.