Dr. Ksenia Kastanenka is an independent investigator in Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Over the last 12 years, she has been developing an expertise in optogenetic control of neuronal circuits. At Case Western Reserve University, she has been using state-of-the-art laboratory techniques, including optogenetics, to study the assembly of spinal circuits during development. Over the last seven years she has extended her expertise into the field of aging, specifically Alzheimer’s disease, at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Kastanenka has developed a line of work applying optogenetics and multiphoton microscopy to dissect the role neural activity plays in development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). She has served as a PI on several grants and has extensive experience mentoring/training post-doctoral fellows, Ph.D. students, technicians and summer students. Dr. Kastaneka led several research projects and produced peer-reviewed publications from each project. In addition, she has collaborated extensively with local and international investigators and shared authorship on publications. During 2016-2018 she has published five first author publications, a middle author paper, and secured a research grant from Alzheimer’s Association, while launching her independent program.



Axel Montagne, PhD currently works at the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, University of Southern California as an Assistant Professor of Research. Axel is also Assistant Director of the Functional Biological Imaging Core at Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute. He is currently studying vascular dysfunctions that lead to neurodegeneration and cognitive decline in a variety of transgenic mouse models as well as in human AD and SVD patients using PET and MRI neuroimaging techniques. Dr. Montagne received his PhD from the Université de Caen Basse Normandie, France.

Salvador Soriano, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Anatomy at Loma Linda University School of Medicine. He has been working in the field of neurodegenerative diseases for almost 20 years. As a postdoctoral fellow at UCSD he worked on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the amyloidogenic pathway of the amyloid precursor protein, APP.  As a continuation of those studies at King’s College London, as a Principal Investigator, he used a model of neurodegeneration, Niemann-Pick type C disease (NPC), which is associated with cholesterol dysregulation and displays pathology associated with APP function, to study the functional link between cholesterol homeostasis, APP metabolism and neurodegeneration in the brain. At Loma Linda University, Dr. Soriano’s laboratory has generated additional results showing that APP drives a hormetic response against 27-hydroxycholesterol (27OHC), an oxidized cholesterol that accumulates in a wide range of neurological disorders. Dr. Soriano received his PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK.

Contact Information

Christopher G. Wilson
Phone: 909-651-5895
Fax: 909-558-4029

For Poster Presentation Information:
Sean Wilson, PhD
Phone: (909) 558-4325
Fax: (909) 558-4029

For Symposium Organization:
Maria Villarreal
Phone: 909-558-7464

Jacqueline Brower
Phone: 909-558-4480
Fax: 909-558-4035