College of Veterinary Medicine celebrates Brain Awareness Week March 12


Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will host an event celebrating Brain Awareness Week March 12 to share research being conducted at Auburn on rare and fatal brain disorders known as GM1 gangliosidosis, Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff diseases.

The university and community event, Building a Brighter Future for Rare Brain Disease Patients, will be held at 10 a.m. at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

The event will be webcast live from 10 a.m. until noon on Tuesday, March 12, and can be followed at #BrainAwarenessatAuburn on Twitter and Facebook.

The event aims to bring awareness to rare brain diseases and share collaborative research by the College of Veterinary Medicine with the University of Massachusetts Medical School which has led to the development of the gene therapies, AXO-AAV-GM1 and AXO-AAV-GM2. These investigational therapies were licensed by Axovant in December 2018, and clinical development efforts are underway for each program.

College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Calvin Johnson will provide opening remarks and the event will include:

• Stories from patients and families impacted by GM1 gangliosidosis and Tay-Sachs disease;

• Presentations about the research of these diseases from Douglas Martin, College of Veterinary Medicine and Miguel Sena-Esteves, and Heather Gray-Edwards, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School;

• A panel discussion moderated by Dr. Gavin Corcoran, executive vice president of research and development at Axovant, to discuss “The Challenges and Triumphs of Developing Novel Gene Therapies for Rare Brain Disorders.” The panel will include the researchers as well as representatives from the National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association.

More information is available by contacting Janet McCoy of Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine at