Guest Editorial: Team presentations from the Route 28 Summits in Neurobiology at the International Symposium on Neural Regeneration

Theo Palmer, Audrey Kusiak
2012 Journal of rehabilitation research and development  
The International Symposium on Neural Regeneration (ISNR) is a longstanding series of conferences focused on the scientific challenges related to the injured nervous system and the restoration of function. The symposium is the premiere venue for regeneration research, attracting the top national and international researchers in the field. The forum is small, facilitating discussions between attendees and thus creating an ideal opportunity for students and postdoctoral fellows to interact with
more » ... to interact with the leaders in the field. In 2011, the ISNR included the "Route 28 Summits in Neurobiology," a workshop designed to foster productive collaborations between teams of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty attendees by developing novel, "out of the box" solutions to nervous system regeneration-related clinical problems (http://www.route28.org/about-route28.htm). At the inaugural union of the ISNR and the Route 28 Summits in Neurobiology, three teams of students and postdoctoral fellows were challenged to come up with a solution to the theme "Novel Methods to Exploit Stem Cells for Recovery of Human Central Nervous System Function." Participants were selected on a first-come, first-served basis upon registration at the Route 28 site. Three groups of four participants were formed and introduced to ISNR attendees. Participants had 3 days to brainstorm within the group, as well as with faculty mentors, conference speakers, and attendees. Information obtained from the lectures and discussions was then synthesized by the teams toward the development of a solution for the recovery of human central nervous system function. Route 28 teams presented their solutions at the final session of the ISNR. Members of the audience voted on the best presentation and the members of the winning team were presented with a cash award. In addition to the oral presentation, Route 28 teams were encouraged to write their solutions into short communications. The union of the ISNR and Route 28 has resulted in a unique forum where the past, present, and future of regenerative and restorative approaches coexist to provide a fertile ground for collaboration while serving as a platform for young neuroscientists to interact with senior researchers in the field. Several points of discussion regarding this union come to mind. Teams were collaborative and developed innovative solutions despite the time constraints involved. They were able to interact with faculty, speakers, and attendees, who helped formulate hypothesis-based studies to answer the question posed. Moreover, months after the conclusion of the symposium, team members continued working on their submissions to the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, a goal of the original Route 28. Although teams were smaller in size and number than the traditional Route 28 groups (5 teams of 9 student participants), Route 28/ISNR participants
doi:10.1682/jrrd.2012.12.0024 fatcat:ubjdupx7ezct7b5xaozq365zlq