Thursday, October 14 – 10:15 AM CDT
Dr. Daniel Brat

Dr. Daniel Brat is the Magerstadt Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Pathologist-in-Chief at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He received his MD and PhD from the Mayo Medical and Graduate Schools and completed Residency in Anatomic Pathology and a Neuropathology Fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Brat’s clinical expertise is in Surgical Neuropathology, with a specialized focus on diffuse gliomas. He has authored two textbooks in Neuropathology and is a lead editor for the World Health Organization (WHO) Classification of Brain Tumors. His work with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) on diffuse gliomas helped to usher in a new molecular classification that is incorporated into WHO diagnoses and the subject of College of American Pathology (CAP) guidelines. He has trained over a 100 residents and fellows in Surgical Neuropathology and participated in over 50 CME courses nationally and internationally.

Dr. Brat directs a basic and translational research lab that investigates mechanisms of glioma progression, including contributions from hypoxia, genetics, tumor microenvironment and stem cells. He uses mice and Drosophila models, as well as human tissue samples and has projects focused therapeutic targeting of glioma stem cells; mechanisms of radiation resistance; and macrophage influx and polarization. He has over 25 years of experience in brain tumor research and has written more than 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts and reviews. In the laboratory setting, he has trained and mentored over 60 students, residents and fellows and was awarded Mentor of the Year for post-doctoral training.

Dr. Brat has served in leadership positions that oversee clinical practice and investigation in Oncology and Pathology, including the TCGA Glioblastoma and Lower Grade Gliomas (Chair) Working Groups; the CAP Neuropathology Committee (Chair) and Council on Scientific Affairs; the President and Executive Council of the American Association of Neuropathologists; the Board of Directors for the Society of Neuro-oncology; the WHO Committee for Classification of Brain Tumors; and the American Joint Commission on Cancer (AJCC) Expert Panel (Chair). He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.

A Contemporary Molecular View of Diffuse Gliomas with Implications for Diagnosis
New WHO classification with particular emphasis on infiltrative gliomas

Molecular profiling has uncovered multiple discrete form of brain tumors with defining molecular, epigenetic, morphologic and clinical features. This understanding is being integrated into diagnostic criteria for the diffuse gliomas and is changing our approach to classification and grading.

Learning Objectives:

1. Be able to enumerate the test results expected to establish the diagnosis and grading of an IDH-mutant astrocytoma.
2. Be able to list the molecular alterations that can be used to make the diagnosis of GBM, IDH-wt in the absence of necrosis
and microvascular proliferation.
3. List the specific forms of pediatric-type high grade gliomas.


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Thursday, October 14 – 11:05 AM CDT

Dr. Cynthia Hawkins

Dr. Cynthia Hawkins obtained her MD/PhD from Western University. She completed her residency training in neuropathology at the University of Toronto, including a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Zurich. Dr. Hawkins joined The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) as a neuropathologist in 2002 and is the Medical Director of Translational Molecular Pathology. She is a Senior Scientist at the SickKids Research Institute and a Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at The University of Toronto.

Dr. Hawkins’ clinical practice includes both surgical and autopsy paediatric neuropathology. She is best known for her expertise in paediatric brain tumours and has a research lab devoted to paediatric glioma. Her research interests include molecular pathogenesis and therapeutics for paediatric glioma and clinical implementation of novel diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic markers for paediatric brain tumours. The Hawkins laboratory has contributed to the clinical, morphologic and genetic characterization of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and pediatric-type glioma as well the clinical and biologic implications of mutant histones.

WHO 2021- Implementation in Canada
Implications of the new WHO classification for practical
molecular diagnostic work with emphasis on pediatric neoplasms.

Dr. Hawkins will discuss how the molecular testing required for implementation of the WHO 2021 classification can be implemented in Canada and what are “must have” vs “nice to have” tests.

Learning Objectives:

1. Practical implementation of the WHO 2021 classification of CNS tumours.
2. When is molecular testing important for patient management.
3. What methodologies are available to test for the molecular alterations.

COI Disclosure:

Advisory board member with Amgen, Bayer, Roche, Merck, Pfizer, EMD Sereno, Norvatis

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Presentation materials will be made available soon.

Thursday, October 14 – 11:25 AM CDT
Dr. Stephen Yip, MD PhD

Stephen Yip completed his combined M.D-Ph.D. training followed by 4 years of neurosurgical training at UBC. He switched to neuropathology and obtained his Royal College certification in 2007. He completed fellowship training in molecular neuro-oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital under the mentorship of Dr David Louis (RC Clinician Investigator Program) and molecular genetic pathology at MGH/Harvard Medical School under the supervision of Dr John Iafrate.

He currently practices neuropathology at Vancouver General Hospital and is the directors of the Cancer Genetics & Genomics Laboratory and Centre for Clinical Genomics at BC Cancer. His research interests include dissecting the molecular pathology of brain and spine cancers, practical deployment of advanced diagnostic assays including panel- based and whole genome sequencing, and the application of deep learning as a practical diagnostic tool integrating glass- and genome- based pathology features.

Thursday, October 14 – 11:25 AM CDT
Dr. Stephen Yip

Details to come soon

Practical impact of implementing WHO 2021 diagnostic guidelines in Canada
Review current landscape of molecular testing for adult brain tumours and additional need to address WHO 2021 diagnostic criteria

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review current diagnostic capability to address brain tumour diagnosis in Canada
  2. Highlight molecular diagnostic shortfalls in the era of WHO 2021
  3. Propose solutions that provide nationwide harmonization of brain tumour diagnosis that is practical and economically feasible

 COI Disclosure:

CANTRK Ring Study Group with Bayer

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Saturday, October 16 – 09:10 AM CDT

David Robertson Invited Lecture
Dr. Eleonora Aronica, MD PhD

Eleonora Aronica is full professor of Neuropathology at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Medicine. She obtained her doctorate cum laude at the UvA in 1993 after studying medicine at the University of Catania (Italy), where she completed her studies as a neurologist. She was then a postdoctoral fellow at the Wadsworth Center in Albany and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Back in The Netherlands, she completed the Neuropathology residence program. Her scientific honours include the Michael Prize (2011) for epilepsy research. She is actively involved in the different research lines, including developmental disorders, neuro-oncology and epilepsy. She has published more than 400 peer-reviewed articles. She is member of the ILAE Task Force on FCD and international European consortia.


Evolving classification of epilepsy-associated tumors: Understanding epileptogenesis
The evolving WHO classification of CNS tumours, introducing the use of “integrated” phenotypic and genotypic parameters for
classification, has substantially changed our current neuropathological work-up of brain tumours.

Understanding key molecular alterations of epilepsy-associated tumors constitute a substantial support for neuropathologists in establishing the diagnosis for distinct entities. These new developments suggest that also the ‘low-grade epilepsy-associated neuroepithelial tumours’ (LEAT, such as the large phenotypic spectrum of glioneuronal tumours), sharing similar genetic features (i.e. dysregulation of the MAPK pathway) can benefit from a classification based on integration of histologic and genetic features, contributing to the understanding of their epileptogenic properties. Both clinical and basic aspects of possible mechanisms in epileptogenesis in patients with a brain tumour will be discussed highlighting the value of multidisciplinary collaboration in the emerging field of “cancer neuroscience”.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To define old and newly recognized tumour types within the spectrum of LEAT in the context of the evolving WHO classification of CNS tumours
  2. To demonstrate the value of an integrated and layered diagnose for diagnostic work-up of LEAT
  3. To understand epileptogenesis in patients with brain tumors

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Saturday, October 16 – 10:00 AM CDT

Jerzy Olszewsky Invited Lecture
Dr. Maria Thom, MD

I am an academic neuropathologist with a research interest in epilepsy working at Queen Square Institute of Neurology at UCL where we have established an epilepsy brain and tissue bank as a research resource, supported by the UK charity Epilepsy Society. The ERUK also supports the Corsellis Epilepsy Brain Collection within this brain bank.

Since 2014, through working with the Centre for SUDEP Research funded by the NIH, a focus has been investigating pathology in autonomic brain centres including the brainstem in SUDEP cases. I am on the editorial board for the Journal of Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology and have co-authored chapters on epilepsy neuropathology, including for Greenfields Neuropathology.


Neuropathology in Sudden and Unexpected death in epilepsy and furture directions

This lecture will provide an overview of neuropathology approaches and diagnosis in epilepsy related deaths and SUDEP and how neuropathology research can contribute to understanding the mechanisms of SUDEP and furture prevention.

Learning Objectives:

1. Autopsy scenarios and audit in SUDEP
2. Regional brain pathology in SUDEP
3. Evidence for autonomic network pathology in SUDEP

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Saturday, October 16 – 11:10 AM CDT

Gordon Mathieson Invited Lecture
Dr. Harvey B. Sarnat, MS, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Sarnat is Professor of Paediatrics, Pathology (Neuropathology) and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary (Canada), where he has practiced since 1981 except for a decade spent on faculty at the University of Washington (Seattle) and then UCLA (Los Angeles), returning to Calgary in 2004. He is board-certified in Paediatrics and in Neurology in the U.S. and in Neurology by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Residency training in paediatrics was at the University of Illinois (Chicago) and in child neurology and neuropathology at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville).

His academic interests and most research publications over many years are in the fields of neuroembryology, developmental (fetal and neonatal) neuropathology, brain malformations, neonatal neurology and the neuropathology of childhood epilepsy. He serves on the Editorial Boards of 9 journals and has 190 research publications in peer-reviewed journals; he has authored, co-authored or edited 12 textbooks, and has contributed chapters to 120 other specialty books and monographs. He serves on the ILAE Commission on Neuropathology. Dr. Sarnat has mentored numerous residents over decades in both Paediatric Neurology and Neuropathology from several countries, some of whom later became Division Heads.

Distinguished awards include giving the keynote Gordon Mathieson Lecture at the 50th anniversary meeting of the Canadian Association of Neuropathologists in 2010, the Bernard Sachs Research Award and Lecture at the 45th annual meeting of the Child Neurology Society in 2016, and having an annual endowed lectureship in his name at the University of Calgary, the Harvey B. Sarnat Developmental Neuroanatomy and Neuropathology Lectureship, since 2013. He is a frequent invited speaker at many medical congresses and institutions within Canada and internationally in Europe, Latin America, Japan, Australia and the U.S.

Why are some cerebral malformations more epileptogenic than others? Clues from developmental neuropathology
New insights into epilepsy associated neoplasms.

Learning Objectives:

1. To consider whether single neurons can be epileptogenic or whether local synaptic plexi or widespread networks are needed
2. To recognize that not all cerebral cortical malformations are equally epileptogenic, particularly in early infancy
3. To appreciate that modern neuropathology of cerebral malformations not only provides tissue diagnosis and correlation with neuroimaging, but also can identify factors conducive to, or protective against, epileptogenesis by demonstrating factors that change the ratio between excitatory and inhibitory synapses.

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Saturday, October 16 – 12:00 PM CDT
Dr. George Ibrahim, MD PhD

Dr. George Ibrahim is a pediatric neurosurgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children and Assistant
Professor at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, the Institute of Medical
Sciences and the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He is also a Scientist in the Neurosciences and Mental Health program as the SickKids Research Institute.

His clinical and research interests include the surgical treatment of medically intractable epilepsy, spasticity and functional disorders in children. He plays an active role in the comprehensive epilepsy, dorsal rhizotomy and deep brain stimulation programs at SickKids. His research lab is dedicated to the study of neural networks in children with epilepsy and functional disorders through a combination of connectomic, computational neuroscience and machine learning approaches. His work has yielded insights into personalized treatments for children targeting specific network impairments and the development of novel devices and treatment strategies. His interests also include the intersection of global health, neuroethics and neurosurgery, including the provision of neurosurgical care to the world’s most vulnerable children.

Epilepsy as a network disorder
Evolution of surgical concept techniques

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the network frameworks of epilepsy and their impact on surgical treatment.
  2. Describe novel surgical techniques informed by emerging knowledge of network neuroscience.
  3. Appreciate future directions in innovative precision therapies for epilepsy.

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Presentation materials will be made available soon.