Asia-Pacific Global Research Connections Symposium
chaired by

Keith W. Kelley, PhD
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Kuan-Pin Su, MD, PhD
    China Medical University Hospital, Taiwan      


 Thursday, October 12, 2023
10:00 - 11:30 am EDT
3:00 - 4:30 pm BST

Please click here to find your local time.

  Advancing Psychoneuroimmunology Through Asia-Pacific Global Research Connections
Quentin Liu, MD, PhD, Dalian Medical University
Erica Sloan, PhD, Monash University
Peijing Rong, PhD, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity and its sister journals have witnessed a dramatic rise in publications and citations from the Asia-Pacific region. Yet, Western scientists are generally not familiar with the high-quality psychoneuroimmunology contributions of scientists throughout many of the Asia-Pacific countries. This symposium features three senior scientists from Australia and China who have made significant contributions to advancing psychoneuroimmunology throughout the world.

Quentin Liu, M.D., Ph.D., is the Founding Director of Institute of Cancer Stem Cells at Dalian Medical University. He has published more than 150 articles in internationally renowned journals such as Nature Medicine, Nature Communication, Cancer Cell and the Proc Natl Acad Sci. Dr. Liu has discovered pathways that give rise to the stem-like phenotype of breast cancer and has discovered new therapeutic strategies to target these events. He has established that the increase in epinephrine caused by stress promotes the development and function of cancer stem-like cells by increasing lactate dehydrogenase A (J. Clin. Invest. 2019; 129:1030). He reviewed this and other effects of stress on cancer in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (2020; 93:368). He also has a new 2022 review in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity – Health on the role of sleep disruption in oncogenesis (Vol. 26, December).

Professor Erica Sloan, Ph.D., leads the Cancer Neural Immune Laboratory at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. The overarching objective of her research is to define novel treatments to stop metastasis by targeting tumor innervation. She has played a central role internationally in driving the emerging interdisciplinary field of cancer psychoneuroimmunology. Her work is quite novel in that she went to the key issue of what kills patients with breast cancer: metastasis. Professor Sloan established that noradrenergic signalling causes infiltration of macrophages into the parenchyma of primary tumors. This induces prometastatic gene expression, as summarized in an outstanding paper in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology (2018. 4:205). She summarized and cited substantial support for the now-accepted concept of neural regulation of cancer. In this symposium, she will highlight new data showing that blocking sympathetic nervous system signaling in the tumor microenvironment improves therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapy.

Professor Peijing Rong, Ph.D., will present the third lecture. She is the Deputy Director at the Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. She is an expert on the use of non-invasive auricular vagus transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) as a treatment to reverse depression-like behaviors (Biological Psychiatry 2016. 79:266). This work is based on neuroanatomical evidence showing that the human ear is the only surface location on the human body that is endowed with significant afferent vagal innervation. Clinical studies show that taVNS significantly improves scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) and on self-rated depression scales in patients with depression without surgery. Treatment with taVNS produces clinical efficacy similar to that of VNS (Journal of Neuroinflammation 2021.18:291). Here she will present new data with animal studies that establish the involvement of the α7nAChR in the beneficial effects of taVNS.

The presentation will be held at 10:00 - 11:30 am EDT via Zoom Webinar.
Please click here to find your local time.
Registration is FREE and you do not need to be a member!


Presentations will be recorded for member access after the sessions. 

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