Boston Interactive Glia Group (BIGG) Meeting

Registration still open! Full meeting program now available! 

University of Massachusetts Medical School
May 17, 2019



​​​​​​​The Boston Interactive Glia Group (BIGG) meeting series takes place annually and moves between Tufts University, Harvard Medical School, and UMass Medical School.

This meeting provides a forum for labs (studying the functional role of glial cells in the healthy and diseased nervous system) in the greater Boston area to gather, foster discussion and establish/strengthen collaborations.

Attendees include people from vertebrate labs studying astrocytes, oligodendrocyte, Schwann cells, and microglia as well as labs focusing on multiple glial subtypes in invertebrates systems.

Young researchers (students and postdocs) are encourage to present their unpublished or newly published work at this meeting.


  • Cell biology of glial cell development
  • Glial cell-mediated regulation of neuronal structure and physiology
  • Glia-mediated mechanisms of disease

Call for abstracts

Poster presentation places are available. Everyone, especially young researchers and students are encourage to submit their exciting new unpublished work for presentation. Abstracts should be submitted during online registration. 

The poster session will take place from 4:30-6:30 and posters should be prepared for 4ft by 6ft. 

Download the abstract guidlines​

  • Talk and poster deadline: closed please email for last minute poster submissions.


Registration is free , however advance registration is required. 
Register to receive meeting updates and to submit talk and poster abstracts.

  • Early bird registration deadline:  closed
  • Registration deadline:  closed
  • Late registration deadline: May 16, 2019

Registration includes:

  • Entry to the scientific sessions and meeting materials
  • Refreshments during meeting

Confirmation note: All registered attendees will receive an email confirmation from within 48 hours of registering. If you do not receive this confirmation email, please contact the Abcam Events Team to confirm your registration. 

Keynote speaker

Confirmed Speakers

  • Lucas Cheadle ‘Sensory experience induces complimentary gene programs in neurons and micro glia to remodel developing synapses’
  • ​Moritz Armbruster ​‘Genetically encoded voltage indicators reveal large, fast voltage fluctuations in cortical astrocyte distal processes that modulate excitatory neurotransmission’
  • Robert Horning ‘Vesicle-associated membrane proteins in NG2 glia are necessary for proper myelination of the spinal cord’
  • ​Allie Muthukumar ‘Exploring a novel role for SIRPa in recycling endosome maturation and its impact on microglial phagoyctosis’
  • Karolina Mizeracka ‘Conserved molecular pathways establish glial diversity in C. elegans’
  • Ozge Tasdemir Yilmaz ‘Characterization of peripheral glia using single cell RNA-seq approach’
  • Jaeda Coutinho-Budd 'Spätzle family proteins regulate glial morphogenesis and bi-directional neuron-glia communication'    
  • Colin Cleary ‘Astrocyte Kir4.1 channels contribute to the ventilatory response to CO2/H+’
  • Shirley Weiss ‘Glial Ca2+ Signaling Links Endocytosis to K+ Buffering Around Neuronal Somas to Regulate Excitability’
  • Philip Feinberg ‘Microglial-derived innate immune mechanisms governing neural circuit excitability’
  • Yuqin Men ‘FMRP deficiency up-regulates miR-128 and contributes to GLT1 dysregulation in Fmr1 KO astrocytes’
  • Nellwyn Hagan ‘Modulating Microglia via Colony Stimulating Factor-1 Receptor (CSF1R) Inhibition in Neuroinflammation’

Scientific Organizer

Dorothy Shafter earned her Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience and Behaviour from Mount Holyoke College in 2001. She attended graduated school at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Matthew Rasband's lab where she used rodent models to study neuron-glia interactions regulating assembly and maintenance of functional, polarized domains along the axon, nodes of Ranvier and axon initial segments. Upon completion of her PhD in 2008, she began her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Beth Stevens at Boston Children's Hospital. While in the Stevens lab (2008- 2014), she studied the role of microglia, the resident CNS myeloid-derived cell, in mammalian synapse development and plasticity. She was hired in 2015 as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at The University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her laboratory utilizes a combination of molecular biology and high resolution static and live imaging to understand how neurons and glia communicate with one another to regulating synapse development and plasticity. 



​​Start:  8:30am                           ​Finish: 6:30pm

Download meeting program 


​​The University of Massachusetts Medical School
Hoagland Pincus Building Amphitheater
222 Maple Avenue
Shrewsbury, MA 01545

Parking is free.  Use the following link for directions to the site:

You should enter the parking lot at the driveway with the flag poles (this is pictured on the directions page).  There are 5 buildings on the 222 Maple ave campus and you want to come to the Hoagland Pincus building.


​Important note regarding Hotel Accommodations:
Abcam does not have an affiliated hotel agency for this event. 
Please be careful of direct approaches from companies offering hotel reservations for this event. Reservations made by unaffiliated organizations may appear to be for lower rates, however they may be illegitimate, have unreasonable cancellation or change penalties, or be completely non-refundable. Please be aware of, and report any unauthorized solicitation to Abcam.

Terms and Conditions
Attendees are advised to ensure they have adequate travel insurance to cover their attendance at the meeting in case of incident, or cancellation due to circumstances beyond Abcam's control.

View frequently asked questions 

Terms and Conditions