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Annual Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Hybrid Program

Multiple Sclerosis: A Focus on Smoldering Disease
Infection-Associated Chronic Illnesses: A Mini-Symposium

Neuroimmunology and MS SymposiumIn-Person: Beechwood Hotel 
363 Plantation St. Worcester, MA. 


Program Description Link

Friday, December 8, 2023, 12:00 to 7:20 p.m.

12:00 – 1:00 pm

Registration open & Lunch provided

  1:00 – 1:05 pm

Opening Remarks

  1:05 – 1:25 pm

New imaging biomarkers to identify smoldering disease – Christopher Hemond, MD

  1:25 – 1:50 pm

Imaging chronic neuroinflammation - Caterina Mainero, MD, PhD

  1:50 – 2:10 pm

Early MRI features of chronic active lesion formation - Mustafa Al Gburi, MD

  2:10 – 2:35 pm

Higher-efficacy therapies in MS: A “one size fits all’ approach - Ellen Mowry, MD

2:35 - 2:55 pm

Updates in demyelinating spectrum disease (NMO, MOG, NMOSD) - Raffaella Umeton, MD, MMSc

  2:55 – 3:10 pm 

BREAK – Coffee & Refreshments

  3:10 – 3:30 pm

Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of smoldering inflammation in MS – Elisa Bello, MS; Jillian Richmond, PhD

  3:30 – 3:50 pm

High-throughput CSF antibody assessments in MS: new insights into disease pathophysiology - Rigel Chan, PhD

  3:50 – 4:15 pm

Lipoic Acid in the treatment of progressive disease - Rebecca Spain, MD

  4:15 – 4:30 pm

Innate checkpoints in Multiple Sclerosis – Fiachra Humphries, PhD

  4:30 – 4:50 pm

Mechanistic targets of clinical trials in progressive MS – Carolina Ionete, MD, PhD

  4:50 – 5:02 pm

BREAK – Coffee & Refreshments

5:02 - 5:05 pm

Infection-Associated Chronic Illnesses: A Mini-Symposium Introduction

5:05 - 5:20 pm

The microglia-neuron interface in ME – Hayla Sluss, PhD

  5:20 – 5:45 pm

Infection-Associated Chronic Illnesses - Brayden Yellman, MD

  5:45 –6:00 pm

What Does a Long COVID Patient Look Like? - Netia McCray, BS

  6:00 – 6:15 pm

A Caregiver and Immunotherapy Researcher’s Perspective - Roshan Kumar, PhD

  6:15 – 6:30 pm

Neuroimaging, Neuroinflammation and Vasculature Abnormalities in Long COVID and ME/CFS - Michael VanElzakker, PhD

  6:30 – 6:45 pm

Re-examining the Immune-Pathogen Interface in Lyme Disease and Infection-Associated Chronic IllnessesMichal Tal, PhD

  6:45 – 7:00 pm

Research on Comorbidity, Shared Pathophysiology, and Lesser Studied Pathologies in Overlapping Infection-Associated Chronic Illnesses - Beth Pollack, MPP

  7:00 – 7:15 pm

ME/CFS, Long COVID and T-Cell Exhaustion - Liisa Selin, PhD, MD & Anna Gil, PhD

  7:15 – 7:20 pm

Closing Remarks and Adjourn

Organizing Committee:

Christopher Hemond, MD, Assistant Professor, Associate Research Director, Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Center

Course Director

Carolina Ionete, MD, PhD, Professor, Director, Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Center; Director, Neuro-Inflammatory Chronic Illness (NICI) Initiative

Course Director

Morna Larson, Executive Administrative Assistant


Lynn Hancock, Project Manager


Rivka Solomon, ME/CFS & Long COVID Patient Representative; Special Advisor to the Director, Neuro-Inflammatory Chronic Illness (NICI) Initiative


Sharon Velazquez, Web Communications Specialist


Registration fees: In-Person and Hybrid
(In-person – includes lunch, 2 snacks & refreshments)

Physicians  $150
Non-Physician $100
UMass Chan Alumnus $50
Resident/Fellow/Student & Active UMass
Department of Neurology Employees

Continuing Education Credit:
The UMass Chan Medical School is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The UMass Chan Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurses: This program meets the requirements for 7 contact hours for nurses as specified by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing (244-CMR 5.04).

Others: Other healthcare professionals will receive a certificate that states this activity was designated for 6 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

Policy on Faculty and Provider Disclosure: It is the policy of UMass Chan to ensure fair balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all activities. All persons participating in CME activities provided by UMass Chan are required to present evidence-based data, identify any off-label product use, and disclose all relevant financial relationships with those supporting the activity or others whose products or services are discussed. Faculty disclosures will be provided in the activity materials.

Cancellation policy: If you cancel your registration before November 25, 2023, your fee is refundable less a processing charge of $75. After that date, no refund will be given for any reason, including weather and other emergencies, substitutions are always welcome. UMass Chan Office of Continuing Medical Education and the Department of Neurology reserves the right to cancel a program at any time caused by circumstances not under its control.  Persons registered in a canceled program will be notified by email, using the email address provided when registering for the program.  There may also be changes in the program content caused by circumstances beyond the control of the Office of Continuing Medical Education.