Translational Biomarkers in Immuno-Oncology
Matthew Albert, MD, PhD, Principal Scientist, Cancer Immunology, Genentech
Matthew Albert is an Immunologist and Clinical Pathologist, with a long-standing interest in immune regulation and tumor immunity. His research embraces the power of a bedside-to-bench approach to scientific discovery, driven by a commitment to understand
how to initiate effective cancer immunotherapy. As this requires a greater insight into disease pathogenesis, he has developed several clinical areas of investigation over the last two decades, including: bladder cancer immunotherapy; and the immunopathogenesis
of viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. He has also taken a leadership role in co-coordinating the Milieu Intérieur Consortium, a 30-team academic / industrial partnership that aims to define the genetic and environmental determinants
of variable immune responses.
Catherine Alix-Panabières, PhD, Director, Laboratory Detection of Rare Human Circulating Cells (LCCRH), University Medical Centre of Montpellier
Dr Catherine Alix-Panabières received her PhD degree in 1998 at the Institute of Virology, University Louis Pasteur, in Strasbourg in France. In 1999, she moved to Montpellier where she did a postdoctoral research in the Department
of Immuno-Virology of the University Medical Centre of Montpellier, France. During this last decade, Dr Alix-Panabières has focused on optimizing new techniques of enrichment and detection of viable disseminating tumor cells in patients with
solid tumors. She is the expert for the EPISPOT technology that is used to detect viable tumor cells in the peripheral blood and the bone marrow of patients with breast, prostate, colon, head & neck cancer and melanoma. This technology has been
recently improved to detect functional CTCs at the single cell level and is called EPIDROP.
In 2010, she achieved getting a permanent position at the Hospital and at the Faculty of Medicine of Montpellier (MCU-PH), a wonderful mixture of giving teaching lessons to medical students on Cancer Biology in combination of developing this field of
tumor cell dissemination at the hospital for the cancer patients, leading strongly translational clinical research. As an associate professor, she became the new director of the Laboratory of Rare Human Circulating Cells (LCCRH) in the Department
of Pathology and Onco-Biology.
In this unique platform LCCRH, they isolate, detect and characterize circulating tumor cells using combinations of the EPISPOT assay, the new EPIDROP technology, the CellSearch® system (Silicon Biosystem - Menarini),
the flow cytometry, the CellCollector (GILUPI), the molecular biology (AmpliSpeed device), the Parsortix system (Angle)
and the DEPArray (Silicon Biosystem - Menarini) for single cell sorting. She has authored or co-authored >60 scientific publications in this field during the last years including
10 book chapters, she is the inventor of three patents in the liquid biopsyfield and she is part of French national projects: for ex, PANTHER (FUI project), STIC-METABREAST, TACTIK
(PHRC) as well as of big European projects: CTC-SCAN (Transcan project), CANCER-ID (IMI project), PROLIPSY (Transcan project)
and European Liquid Biopsy Academy (ELBA, Marie-Curie project).
After she got the Scientific Prize given by the Region Languedoc-Roussillonin 2008, it was a great honor for her to receive the Gallet et Breton Cancer Prize, the highest honor conferred
by the French Academy of Medicine in November 2012 and, very recently, the 2017 AACR Award for the most cited scientific article in 2015 (Cayrefourcq et al.Cancer Res).
Darrell R. Borger, PhD, Director, Biomarker Laboratory Scientific Director; Immuno-Oncology Laboratory, Co-Director, Translational Research Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Darrell R Borger obtained his PhD from the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine and completed his Post-doctoral studies at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where he also studied basic underlying cancer pathways. He currently serves as
Director of the Biomarker Laboratory and Co-Director of the Immuno-Profiling Laboratory at the Massachusetts General Hospital where he serves a translational role through the pursuit of cancer biomarker discovery and clinical testing implementation.
Sofia Braga, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Instituto CUF Oncologia, NOVA Medical School
I’ve been a breast medical oncologist since 2003. I have participated in numerous practice changing clinical trials. In 2008 I decided to dedicate myself to translational research, I did my PhD in a basic research institute in breast cancer
genomics. Today, I continue to be a breast cancer oncologist and to perform clinical trials, but, I am part of a group where we are studying the response to systemic therapies in cancer patients, and we are trying to find molecular immunological
determinants of response, in breast cancer but also in other solid tumors. I also teach in Medical School and train oncologists in a teaching hospital.
Maria Guadalupe Cabral, PhD, Invited Assistant Professor, CEDOC/NOVA Medical School – Faculdade de Ciências Médicas/Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
Invited Assistant professor at NOVA Medical School/Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa since 2011 and Assistant professor at Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias
since 2010. Senior Scientist in the field of Immunology and Oncology at Tissue Morphogenesis and Repair group, from CEDOC, where her main research interests are understanding the role of the immune response in cancer, the identification of
predictive biomarkers and the development of precision medicine tools. Author/Co-author of 22 papers in international peer reviewed Journals and currently co-supervisor of 4 PhD students. Recently, acted as Visiting scientist/consultant at
Innovimmune Biotherapeutics, NY (USA).
Sara Colombetti, PhD, Head of Oncology Discovery Pharmacology, Roche Innovation Center Zürich
I have received my Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular biology at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan (Italy). After a post-doc in cancer immunotherapy at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (Lausanne branch) and later at Cytos Biotechnology
(Zurich) I have joined the Roche Innovation Center Zurich in 2009, where I have being appointed as Head of the Oncology Discovery Pharmacology Department in 2016.
Diana Graus Porta, PhD, Director Oncology Translational Research, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
Dr. Graus Porta received her master degree from the University of Barcelona, Spain and her PhD in cancer biology from the University of Basel, Switzerland. She trained as a PostDoc at Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA and later at the Friedrich
Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland. In 2002 Dr. Graus Porta joined Novartis as a labhead in the Disease Area Oncology where she acquired strong know-how across all aspects of the drug discovery process with an emphasis on the identification
of clinical biomarkers and patient selection strategies for different cancer therapeutics. Since 2011 she is member of the Oncology Research Leadership Team (Basel Site) and since 2015 member of the Global Oncology Translational Research Leadership
Evi Lianidou, PhD, Professor of Analytical Chemistry – Clinical Chemistry, Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells (ACTC) Lab, Department of Chemistry, University of Athens
Dr. Evi Lianidou is Professor of Analytical Chemistry and Clinical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, University of Athens, Greece. Dr Lianidou has established a Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory focused on Liquid Biopsy at the Department
of Chemistry since 1998 (http://en.actc-lab.chem.uoa.gr/). Her lab is specializing in the Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells (ACTC), and has access to many patient samples through extensive clinical collaborations. Her main research interests
are on the development and clinical evaluation of: a) single-plex and multiplex quantitative RT-qPCR assays for the detection and molecular characterization of CTCs, b) multiplex assays for gene expression in CTCs based on the liquid bead
array, c) DNA methylation assays in CTCs and ctDNA, d) highly sensitive assays for mutation analysis in CTCs and in ctDNA, and evaluation of circulating miRNAs as tumor biomarkers in plasma. Dr. Lianidou has 112 publications (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=lianidou)
and has organized together with Prof K. Pantel: a) the 7th International Symposium on Minimal Residual Disease in Athens, (http://ismrc2009.chem.uoa.gr), b) a scientific meeting on CTCs “Advances in Circulating Tumor Cells: From Basic
Research to Clinical Practice” (www.actc2012.org), and c) the 2nd ACTC meeting, (October 8th-11th, 2014), in Crete, Greece (www.actc2014.org). Dr. Lianidou is now organizing the 3rd ACTC meeting, (October 4th-7th, 2017), in Rhodes, Greece
(www.actc2017.org). Prof Lianidou is PI in the European TRANSCAN group “CTC-SCAN” and in the EU IMI Network Project “CANCER-ID” (www.cancer-id.eu) and serves on the Editorial Boards of many international journals including
Clin Chemistry, Clin. Cancer Res, Breast Cancer Res, Cancer Res, Oncotarget, and many others. Dr. Lianidou is an elected member and Chair of the Committee for Clinical Molecular Biology Curriculum of the International Federation of Clinical
Chemistry (IFCC), (http://www.ifcc.org/ifcc-education-division/emd-committees/c-cmbc/) and is coordinating the M.Sc. program of Clinical Chemistry, at the Department of Chemistry, University of Athens (http://en.clinical-chemistry.chem.uoa.gr/).
Klaus Pantel, PhD,Professor, Chair of the Intitute, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
Prof Pantel is Chairman of the Institute of Tumour Biology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. The institute is part of the Centre of Experimental Medicine and the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH). Prof Pantel graduated
in 1986 from Cologne University in Germany and completed his thesis on mathematical modelling of haematopoiesis in 1987. After his postdoctoral period in the USA on hematopoietic stem cell regulation (Wayne State University, Detroit),
he performed research at the Institute of Immunology, University of Munich for 10 years. The pioneer work of Prof Pantel in the field of cancer micrometastasis, circulating tumor cells and circulating nucleic acids (ctDNA, microRNAs) is
reflected by more than 400 publications in excellent high ranking biomedical and scientific journals (incl. NEJM, Lancet, Nature Journals, Cancer Cell, Science Translational Medicine, Cancer Discovery, PNAS, JCO, JNCI, Cancer Res.) and
has been awarded the AACR Outstanding Investigator Award 2010, German Cancer Award 2010, and ERC Advanced Investigator Grant 2011. Moreover, Prof Pantel coordinates the European IMI consortium CANCER-ID (www.cancer-id.eu) on blood-based
“Liquid Biopsies” in lung and breast cancer comprising 37 partner institutions from academia, non-profit organzations and industry.
Svetlana Sadekova, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Head of Translational Pathology Group, Merck
Dr. Svetlana Sadekova is the Head of Experimental & Translational pathology at Merck S&D, Palo Alto, USA. She holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and completed her post-doctoral studies in cellular and molecular biology at McGill University,
Montreal, Canada which led to her appointment as Director of the Breast Cancer Functional Genomics group and as an Assistant Professor in the department of Oncology, McGill. In 2006, Dr. Sadekova joined the research team at Schering Plough
developing cancer therapeutics and after an acquisition by Merck in 2010, she has focused on identifying and advancing lead biologics into clinical trials, and developing biomarker-based strategies for immuno-oncology programs. Her areas
of expertise include oncology translational research, development of strategic partnerships for focused mechanism of action studies on immune-oncology drugs and biomarker development.
Ed Schuuring, PhD, Head of the Laboratory for Molecular Pathology, Senior Clinical Scientist of Molecular Pathology, Department of Pathology, University Medical Center Groningen
Prof Dr Ed Schuuring, PhD, senior clinical scientist in molecular pathology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. He finished his graduate training in Medical Biology in 1985 (cum laude) and PhD in 1993 in Molecular
Biology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (University of Amsterdam). In 1991 he received a staff position at the department of Pathology of LUMC in Leiden with focus on the identification of diagnostic relevant and predictive molecular
markers for clinical outcome in breast cancer and BNHL lymphoma, and coordinated the introduction of molecular diagnostic pathology. In 2001 he moved to the department of Pathology of the UMCG in Groningen. His research focuses on the
identification of prognostic/predictive epigenetic and molecular markers for clinical outcome, response to (chemo) radiotherapy, gene-targeted therapy and treatment-resistance in lung and head&neck cancer, as well as for the early
detection of cervical cancer in scrapings. He was/is (co-) projectleader on >31 research projects and (co-) author of > 220 papers in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to research, he is heading the laboratory of molecular pathology
at UMCG for the region North-Netherlands. Since 1997 he is active in (inter)national committees and advisory boards on implementing molecular diagnostic pathology and active member in External Quality Assessment (Euroclonality, SKML, ESP,
QCMD, IQNPath) by organizing international proficiency testing for mutations in EGFR, ALK, KRAS, ROS and HPV in tissue biopsies and ctDNA from blood plasma. He is co-author on various international guidelines in Molecular Pathology. In
October 2011 he was appointed full professor in “Molecular Oncological Pathology” and in July 2013 registered as Clinical Scientist in Molecular Pathology (KMBP) by the Dutch Society for Pathology. He has several collaborations
with biotech companies in clinical trials or to develop companion diagnostics (Abbott, BMS, Biocartis, Roche, Hologic, Boeringer Ingelheim). He acts regular upon invitation of companies as consultant, advisor or speaker regarding new development
in molecular diagnostics (Amgen, Abbott, Astrazeneca, BMS, Biocartis, Novartis, Roche, Pfizer). He is member of the Dutch Society of Pathology (president of the section Clinical, Molecular and Experimental Pathology), American Association
of Cancer Research, Dutch Society of Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology and Association of Molecular Pathology. Please find more details on my research and publications on http://www.rug.nl/staff/e.m.d.schuuring/ and information
on Molecular Pathology on www.moloncopath.nl and www.pathology.nl
Abraham Silva Carmona, Pathologist, Definiens, Subsidiary of Medimmune/AstraZeneca
Abraham Silva is a MD board certified pathologist with extensive experience in molecular pathology, digital pathology and currently is applying digital pathology to drug development. He is currently a Pathologist at Definiens in Munich,
Germany, a subsidiary of Astra Zeneca/ Medimmune responsible for digital image analysis powered quantification of immune-oncology tissue biomarkers. At Definiens, He is developing a framework for intensive pathologist involvement in the
development of image analysis algorithms and deep learning models. He works closely with computer scientists and translational scientists to provide support for the drug development process. He obtained his MD, Specialization and
Master Degree at the National University Autonomous of Mexico, Mexico City.
Richard (Xu) Zang, PhD, DMPK, Genentech
Preclinical Models for Cancer Immunotherapy and Combinations
Catarina Brito, PhD, Lab Head, Advanced Cell Models Lab, Animal Cell Technology Unit, iBET - Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica; ITQB-NOVA
Catarina Brito is the head of the Advanced Cell Models Laboratory, within the Animal Cell Technology Unit of iBET and ITQB-NOVA (Portugal), since 2014. Her research, with funding from FCT (Portugal), the EC and the Pharmaceutical Industry,
is focused on development of advanced cell models to study deregulation of cellular microenvironment in disease progression and drug response. Her main research interests are Cancer and Central Nervous System diseases. Catarina pursued
her PhD studies in the Laboratory of Glycobiology, at ITQB-NOVA (Oeiras, Portugal) and Institut Jacques Monod (Paris, France) in the areas of glycobiology and intracellular trafficking in human cells. She joined iBET (Portugal) in 2007,
first as a postdoc working in human Stem Cell bioprocessing, and later as a Senior Project Manager of academic and industrial collaborations, developing preclinical cell models and bioassays. www.itqb.unl.pt/research/technology/advanced-cell-models
Marc Davies, PhD, CAR Mechanics Laboratory, Research Oncology, Division of Cancer Studies, King’s College London
After graduating from Durham University in 2007 with a First Class Honours degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Marc undertook his PhD at King’s College London in the laboratory of Dr John Maher. Here, his research focussed
on the development of a novel T-cell immunotherapy for the treatment of head and neck carcinoma, which is currently under investigation in an investigator-led first-in-man Phase I clinical trial. Upon completion of his PhD in 2011, Marc
moved to the Department of Haematology in University College London, where he worked on targeting T-cells against novel antigens in haematological malignancies. Marc returned to King’s College London in 2015, where his research currently
focuses on engineering T-cells to survive more effectively in the hostile tumour microenvironment common to many solid malignancies.
Petra Deegen, Senior Scientist, Nonclinical Safety Sciences within Comparative Biology & Safety Sciences (CBSS), AMGEN Research (Munich) GmbH
Petra Deegen is a Senior Scientist in the department of Comparative Biology & Safety Sciences at Amgen Research Munich in Germany. For the last 10 years she has worked on Amgen’s Bispecific T cell Engager (BiTE®) technology in
the field of cancer immunotherapy and supports the nonclinical development of BiTE antibody constructs. She received her diploma degree in biology from the University of Kiel, Germany in 1998. Before joining Micromet GmbH in Munich in
2008, which was acquired by Amgen in 2012, she worked in the immunology and virology institutes of the University Hospitals in Kiel and Mainz, Germany.
Mariya Georgieva, PhD, Business Development, Oxford Nanoimaging (ONI)
During her PhD at Montpellier Universtity (France), Dr Georgieva focused on developing super-resolution methods to study chromatin conformation dynamics in cells and tissues. As a post-doctoral fellow at Oxford University (UK), Dr Georgieva
studied epigenetic regulation kinetics in Embryonic Stem Cells. At ONI she is leading Imaging and Business development.
Somaieh Hedayat, PhD Student, Molecular Pathology, Institute of Cancer Research
I work at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London. I have worked for almost 10 years on In Vivo biology as a Higher Scientific Officer in the Cancer Therapeutics Unit at ICR. Building on my expertise on pre-clinical
drug testing, I am now working in Dr Valeri's laboratory at ICR where I am studying patient-derived organoids co-cultures to model response to anticancer-treatment and drug resistance.
David Huss, PhD, Associate Director, Pipeline Research, Juno Therapeutics
David J. Huss, PhD has spent 10+ years studying T cell biology in the context of autoimmunity, neuro-inflammation and immuno-oncology with an emphasis on driving projects from early research to clinical development. As a group leader at Biogen,
David led a biologics drug discovery program targeting T follicular helper cells in systemic autoimmunity and supported major translational research programs for the now FDA-approved multiple sclerosis therapies Tecfidera® and Zinbryta®.
In early 2016, David joined Juno Therapeutics to lead a team focused on CAR and engineered TCR discovery for novel antigen targets and next generation products.
Michael Rugaard Jensen, Ph.D., Director
I have a strong academic background in Oncology Research combined with 12 years of experience in small molecule pharmaceutical Drug Discovery research. I have successfully lead global project teams from lead to FPFV and was involved in filing
IND and IMPD regulatory documentation for US (FDA) and EU (EMEA) approval. I currently lead the Novartis Oncology Drug Discovery Pharmacology department in Basel. This is a group of about 35 researchers, associates, postdocs and students
in 8 labs focused on target identification, validation, biomarker discovery and profiling using a variety of in vitro and in vivo pharmacology techniques.
Danilo Maddalo, Ph.D., Lab Head, ONC Pharmacology, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Novartis Pharma AG
Danilo Maddalo obtained his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Karlsruhe (Germany). He thereafter joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, USA) as research fellow where he generated a CRISPR-induced
mouse model of oncogenic chromosomal rearrangements. He finally moved to Novartis (Basel, Switzerland) where he currently leads a laboratory focusing on pharmacology and generation of preclinical models.
Krzysztof Masternak, PHD, Head of Biology, Novimmune SA
Krzysztof currently runs CD47 bispecific antibody discovery and in vivo/in vitro translational studies at Novimmune. Previously, he was involved in monoclonal antibody development for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, also at Novimmune.
Krzysztof holds a Ph.D. from the University of Lausanne.
Samanthi A. Perera, PhD, Associate Principal Scientist, Merck & Co. Inc
I lead several early and late stage immuno-oncology (I/O) discovery programs in the Pharmacology department at Merck Research Laboratories in Boston. My main responsibility is to design and execute critical pre-clinical studies that contribute
to strategical advancement of many I/O programs from target validation to clinical. The studies investigate PK/PD and efficacy relationships, mechanism of action, biomarker identification and therapeutic index, among other questions for
immunotherapies and different modalities of cancer therapy. Most recently, I lead all the in vivo pharmacology studies for the Merck STING program.
Catarina Pinto, Postdoctoral Fellow, Advanced Cell Models Lab, Animal Cell Technology Unit, iBET - Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica; ITQB-NOVA
Kelli Ryan, PhD, Senior Scientist, Oncology Department, MedImmune
Dr. Kelli Ryan holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and obtained a PhD in Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She then completed postdoctoral training
at Edinburgh University and at Newcastle University before joining Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in the department of Immunology and Inflammation. She is currently a Senior Scientist at Medimmune in the Oncology Department. During
her time in industry, Kelli has been the lead biologist for several novel discovery research projects targeting oncology and autoimmune diseases.
Dieter Saur, Professor of Molecular Biology, Technical University of Munich
Dieter Saur studied medicine in Munich and obtained his doctorate in gastroenterology at TUM’s university hospital, graduating summa cum laude and winning TUM’s doctoral award. His doctoral thesis and postdoctoral qualifi cation
(2006) investigated neuronal control of the intestine, i.e. “brain-gut” function. A clinician and a researcher in one person, Saur established a new focus on tumor diseases of the gastrointestinal tract in 2002. The use of
new endoscopic imaging procedures for early detection of gastrointestinal tumors and the development of novel therapeutic strategies for tumor subtypes are key topics of his research. A consultant of internal medicine specializing in gastroenterology
since 2007 and a professor since 2013, Saur has accumulated a range of awards and grants along the way – most recently the prestigious Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for his work in pancreatic cancer.
Christian Schmees, Ph.D., Head of Tumor Biology, Molecular Biology Department, NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tuebingen
Christian Schmees, Ph.D., is heading the Tumor Biology group at NMI. His responsibilities encompass technology development, management of ongoing projects, strategic planning and budgeting. Current projects in his group focus on the generation
of cellular model systems of different types of cancer and their combination with RNAi and gene editing approaches for phenotypic analyses, compound testing and expression profiling. Dr. Schmees received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry
from Tuebingen University. He holds a PhD in cancer immunology from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. His thesis resulted in the identification of gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase as the major factor for T cell specific immune
evasion of the tumorigenic bacterium Helicobacter pylori. As a postdoctoral fellow he joined the laboratories of Dr. Carl-Henrik Heldin at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) in Uppsala, Sweden and Dr. Philippe Bastiaens at
the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund, Germany. He received fellowships from the German Research Foundation and the LICR to support his research on differential regulation of intracellular PDGF α- and β-receptor
trafficking. His work showed for the first time that transformation by oncogenic Ras induces the internalization of the PDGF β-receptor by macropinocytosis, enhancing its signaling activity and increasing anchorage-independent proliferation.
Anita Seshire, PhD, Lab Head, Cellular Pharmacology, Translational Innovation Platform Oncology, Merck KGaA
Biomolecular engineer by training, graduated in pharmacy, expert in cancer stem cells, started with leukemic stem cells research funded by a José Carreras fellowship and now 8 years with Merck Biopharma in cancer stem cells and
oncology/ immuno-oncology research.
Optimizing Leads and Predicting Drug Toxicity
Paula M. Alves, PhD, Unit Director, Cell Bioprocesses Laboratory, Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnologica (iBET)
Alexander Amberg, Ph.D., Computational Toxicologist, R&D Preclinical Safety, Sanofi
Alexander Amberg performed his doctoral studies at the department of Toxicology and Pharmacology of the University Wuerzburg and obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemical Toxicology in 2000. In 2001 he joined the early & exploratory safety
group of Sanofi and is in this position since, responsible for in silico/computational toxicology analysis globally at Sanofi. Since 2007 he is registered as “European Registered Toxicologist (ERT)” after getting his examination
of “Fachtoxikologe DGPT” of the German Society of Toxicology. His major research interests are development of new in silico prediction models for different toxicity endpoints and data management of in-house data in combination
with public available toxicity data, to support drug development in research and development. For this he is also member in different internal expert advisory groups as well as external initiatives, like the IMI eTOX consortium (for
toxicity data sharing and development of new expert systems for in silico toxicity prediction), the IMI SafeSciMET education program, GTI (genotoxic impurity)/ICH M7 task force and others.
Christina Battista, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina Institute for Drug Safety Sciences
Christina Battista, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute for Drug Safety Sciences at UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Christina works alongside the DILI-sim team and researches ways to enhance the understanding of the drug-induced
injury (DILI) liability hazard posed by individual molecules through the use of the DILIsym® software. Dr. Battista’s work is centered on the mechanistic understanding of immune and inflammation processes in liver injury
and liver diseases. Currently, she is exploring the role of the immune system in DILI with particular emphasis on mechanistic modeling of T cell-mediated liver injury, in hopes of investigating cases of idiosyncratic DILI. In parallel,
Dr. Battista has also been modeling the inflammatory pathway activated by apoptotic hepatocytes and downstream contributions from immune cells in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Dr. Battista has co-authored numerous publications
on the development and application of quantitative systems pharmacology models evaluating drug efficacy and/or safety. In 2015, Dr. Battista received an ORISE fellowship to investigate mechanistic drug safety within the Center for
Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at the US FDA under the guidance of Darrell Abernethy. Prior to joining UNC, Dr. Battista received her B.S./M.S. from Rochester Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. from North Carolina State University,
all in the field of applied mathematics.
Jürgen Borlak, PhD, Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Institute for Pharmaco- and Toxicogenomics, Hannover Medical School
Jürgen Borlak was born in Neu-Ulm, Germany in 1958. After studies at Universities in Germany and abroad he obtained his Doctorate in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Reading, GB. Following residencies in the UK and
France (Strasbourg) he was habilitated in pharmacology and toxicology and received the venia legendi (“Privatdozent”) at Hannover Medical School in the year 2000. Two years later he was appointed as full professor of Pharmacology
and Toxicology at Hannover Medical School. From 2002 onwards he has been the Director of the Institute of Pharmaco- and Toxicogenomics at Hannover Medical School. This new field of genomic science applies a wide range of methods in
genetics, molecular biology, molecular toxicology and functional genomics for a better understanding of disease causing mechanisms and drug induced toxicities. An array of enabling technologies are applied for an identification of
“drugable” targets and for a better understanding of inter-individual differences in drug response, therefore allowing individualized drug treatment regimens and disease prevention strategies. Jürgen Borlak is also
an appointed Professor of Molecular Anatomy at the Medical Faculty of the University Leipzig; a Professor of Experimental Medicine at Uppsala University, Sweden and is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Trento, Italy.
Jürgen Borlak is author of > 270 original publications and 25 book chapters and editor of the Handbook of Toxicogenomics. He is reviewer and member of the editorial board for various scientific journals. Amongst others he is
an appointed expert of the World Health Organisation (WHO), of the US governmental agency FDA, the European Medicines Agency EMA and is also an international reviewer for many European, US and Asian Research Organisations.
Matthew J Daniels MA PhD, MRCP, Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellow, Principal Investigator, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and BHF Oxbridge Centre of Regenerative Medicine, Oxford University
Matt Daniels is currently a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellow and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist in the Cardiovascular Medicine Department at Oxford University and a specially appointed visiting Professor in the University of Osaka,
Japan. In Oxford, he leads the Stem cell-derived models of inherited heart disease group making novel in vitro disease models and phenotyping tools based on light emitting proteins and microscopy.
Chris Denning, PhD, Professor and Head, Department of Stem Cell Biology, University of Nottingham
Chris Denning is a Professor in, and Head of Department of, Stem Cell Biology. He leads the University's Research Priority Area in Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cells. His lab's interests are in cardiomyocyte (heart cell) differentiation
of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs: human embryonic stem cells [hESCs] and human induced pluripotent stem cells [hiPSCs]) for use in drug screening and in production of new in vitro models of genetic-based cardiovascular disease.
He got his PhD in Cancer Gene Therapy at Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Glasgow, 1997. He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on gene targeting in mouse ES cells at the Institute for Stem Cell Research
in University of Edinburgh and later working on gene targeting / cloning in somatic cells at the Roslin Institute. He was a Principal Investigator, 2001-2003; Medical Research Council Fellow, 2003-2006; Lecturer, 2006-2008; Reader,
2008-2011; and since 2011, he is a Professor in Stem Cell Biology at the University of Nottingham.
Berengere Dumotier, Ph.D., Secondary Pharmacology Expert, Safety Pharmacology, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
Dr Bérengère Dumotier is scientist by education, owns a PhD in CV pharmacology, with 20 year experience in Preclinical Safety Pharmacology at Novartis. Currently, she supports the preclinical projects, being also involved
in the prevention of adverse drug reactions and translatability aspects of secondary pharmacology data. She participates into the development of in silico predictive models, currently leading a project focusing on knowledge-based platforms.
Part of this project will be presented to you today.
John C. L. Erve, Ph.D., D.A.B.T, Consultant, Jerve Scientific Consulting, Inc.
John Erve is from Chicago and received degrees in Chemistry (BS, MS) from the University of Chicago and earned a Ph.D in Toxicology at Oregon State University under the supervision of Dr. Donald Reed. Following postdoctoral work at Vanderbilt
(1995-1999) he joined BD-Biosciences (Woburn, MA) as a Study Director. In 2002, he joined AstraZeneca (Sweden) where he was involved in characterizing reactive metabolites and their protein adducts in an effort to better understand
the role of reactive intermediates in drug toxicity. In 2004 he joined Wyeth (Collegeville, PA) as a Principal Scientist responsible for metabolite identification. Following the merger with Pfizer in 2010, John joined Novartis Institutes
of Biomedical Research (Cambridge, MA) as a Lab Head in Analytical Sciences. John returned to the field of drug metabolism by joining Elan Pharmaceuticals (San Francisco, CA) in 2012 and after Elan was sold created Jerve Scientific
Consulting focusing on helping small biotech companies in the Bay area with their drug discovery efforts. His research interests include mechanistic toxicology and using mass spectrometry to characterize metabolites and metabolic pathways.
Bernard Faller, PhD, Director, PK Sciences-In vitro ADME, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
Bernard Faller graduated as an enzymologist at the University of Strasbourg, France where he obtained his Ph. D in 1991. His initial interest was in inhibitors of neutrophil elastase for the treatment of respiratory diseases. Then
moved to Ciba-Geigy as a post-doctoral fellow and focused on enzyme kinetics of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. In 1995 became head of laboratory at Ciba-Geigy (and then Novartis) responsible for physicochemical characterization
of iron-chelating agents with the challenge to find orally-active iron chelators with good efficacy (binding properties) and acceptable safety margin. In 1999 moved to the central technologies group and established the foundations
of the Molecular Properties profiling group which addresses ADME optimization in drug discovery. Nominated Novartis Leading Scientist in 2002 and awarded “Hero of Chemistry” in 2007 by the ACS for the discovery of Exjade®,
the first orally-active iron chelator for the treatment of iron overload. Now leading the ADME In Vitro group globally in the PK Sciences Department of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.
Alexandre Fouassier, Business Development & Sales, Southern Europe, Ncardia
Alexandre has over 15 years' experience in the biotech industry where he occupied various functions. At Ncardia he is responsible for Sales and Business Development of our products and services in Southern Europe.Christopher Goldring, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science, University of Liverpool, U.K.
Chris Goldring has more than twenty years of experience of molecular bioanalysis, working with cell culture and in vivo models. He leads the molecular and cellular toxicology group within the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science (CDSS),
a leading UK centre based at the University of Liverpool, with a critical mass of scientists studying mechanisms of adverse reactions to drugs, and which is the coordinator of the Mechanism-based Improved Prediction of Drug-Induced
Liver Injury (MIP-DILI) IMI programme. He plays a leading role in the new IMI project TransQST, which will develop quantitative systems toxicology models to improve our understanding of adverse drug reactions. He is also leading
the liver project in the UK Regenerative Medicine Safety platform, developing innovative methods for the assessment of the safety of stem cells and regenerative therapies, including cell labelling using nanoparticles and cell tracking.
He has current MRC, IMI, and North-West Cancer research fund support. He is programme director of the Pharmacology degree programme at Liverpool, and he runs Masters teaching programmes on Innovative methods of in vitro safety
assessment and Stem Cells in the IMI Safescimet training programme.
Christine K. Maurer, PhD, Head of Laboratory Discovery Biotransformation, Research & Development, Global Early Development, Merck KGaA
Christine Maurer works at Merck Biopharma in Darmstadt, Germany, as a head of laboratory discovery biotransformation, in the discovery NCE drug disposition department. In this position, she supports drug discovery programs by providing
high quality in vitro metabolism data and scientific advice. In addition, she serves on multidisciplinary discovery project teams, in which she is responsible for the pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism contributions. Before joining
her current company, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany, after receiving her Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry at Saarland University.
Axel Pähler, E.R.T., DMPK/PD Leader, Pharmaceutical Sciences (PS), Roche Pharmaceutical Research and Early Development, Roche Innovation Center
Axel Pähler holds a position as Expert Scientists and Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics & Metabolism (PDM) Leader at Roche Pharma Research and Early Development, pRED in Basel, Switzerland. Following his university degree in
chemistry, Dr. Pähler received a Ph.D. in toxicology at the Department of Toxicology, University of Würzburg. He then trained as a Postdoc in biochemical toxicology at the Nestlé Research Center in biomarker
research, drug metabolism and mass spectrometry. Over his career as Head of Drug Metabolism at Roche and as PDM Leader he contributed to the science in the field of drug metabolism related to drug safety. Dr. Pähler has
a passion for bridging cross-disciplinary sciences in the area of DMPK and safety in support of drug discovery and development.
Anthony Perrier, PhD, Study Director, In vitro Toxicology, Biologie Servier
With a scientific background (PhD Molecular and cellular biology/Rheumatology), I have been working for more than 7 years in Research and Development of the SERVIER group. After 5 years in the rheumatology pharmacology department,
I joined the non-clinical safety center of excellence where I am involved in the development of the in vitro toxicology platform for understanding molecules' mechanisms of toxicity. These experiences as study director in development
and research, in pharmacology and toxicology, give me a whole vision of risks and benefits of therapeutic molecules. I am the author of 5 publications and more than 15 communications in congresses.
Bruno Stieger, Ph.D., Group Leader, Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Hospital, Zurich
Bruno Stieger is a senior research associate at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland. He was trained as a biochemist at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich Switzerland
and holds a PhD in biochemistry from the same institution. The Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University Hospital Zurich has cloned the major bile salt and drug transport systems of hepatocytes. It
has identified the founding members of the SLC10A1 and of the SLCO gene families including the sodium-dependent uptake system NTCP (Slc10a1), several organic anion transporting polypeptides OATPs (SLCO), which are important
drug transporters and the bile salt export pump BSEP (ABCB11). The department has established the importance of BSEP in drug-induced cholestasis. The current research interests of the department are related to i) understand
the role of the interaction of drugs with canalicular export systems in the development of acquired liver disease and ii) regulation of the expression and activity of drug and bile salts transporters.
Danilo A. Tagle, PhD, Associate Director for Special Initiatives, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health
Dan Tagle is associate director for special initiatives at NCATS. He also recently served as acting director of the NCATS Office of Grants Management and Scientific Review and as executive secretary to the NCATS Advisory Council
and Cures Acceleration Network Review Board. Prior to joining NCATS, Tagle was a program director for neurogenetics at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), where he was involved in developing
programs concerning genomics-based approaches for basic and translational research in inherited brain disorders. Prior to joining NINDS in 2001, Tagle was an investigator and section head of molecular neurogenetics at the National
Human Genome Research Institute and has been involved in the highly collaborative effort toward the positional cloning of genes for Huntington’s disease, ataxia-telangiectasia and Niemann-Pick disease type C. Tagle obtained
his Ph.D. in molecular biology and genetics from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1990. He was an NIH National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellow in human genetics in the laboratory of Francis S. Collins,
M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Michigan. Tagle has authored more than 150 scientific publications and has garnered numerous awards and patents.
NASH and Fibrosis: Translational Research and Strategies
James Adjaye, PhD, Professor,Director, Institute for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine, Heidrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany
Professor Dr. James Affram Adjaye has a BSc (Honours) degree in Biochemistry from University College of Cardiff, Wales, and an MSc in Biochemistry from University of Sussex, Brighton. He has a PhD in Biochemistry from King's College,
London. Professor Adjaye was head of the Molecular Embryology and Aging group at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany. He is now Director of the Institute for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative
Medicine within the Faculty of Medicine at the Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany. He is involved in systems biology-based projects both at the national and international level where iPSCs are used to model
Alzheimer’s Disease and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome.
Thomas F. Baumert, MD, Professor of Medicine, INSERM and University of Strasbourg
Thomas F. Baumert, MD is head of the Inserm Research Institute for Viral and Liver Diseases and Chair of Hepatology at the Center for Digestive Disease and Hepatology at the Strasbourg University Hospitals. He received his MD from
the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Following his doctoral thesis at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and his internship in Internal Medicine at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, he was a
postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Liver Diseases Branch at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA. He subsequently joined the Department of Medicine at the University
Hospital in Freiburg, Germany to become a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist, associate professor and to establish his laboratory focusing on the molecular pathogenesis of hepatitis B and C virus infection. He
then relocated to the University of Strasbourg in France as full Professor of Medicine to create and head a new Inserm research unit on virus-host interactions and liver disease and establish a highly recognized program in
translational virology and hepatology. He recently finished a sabbatical as a research scholar the BROAD Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, USA and the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston. His
laboratory focuses on the modelling and discovery of the cell circuits underlying virus-host interactions, liver disease and cancer. He has received several awards including the Hans Popper Young Investigator Award, the Chair
of Excellence and Laboratory of Excellence Awards of the French National Research Agency and the Infectious Disease Award of the German Infectious Disease Society. He has been awarded the Prix Galien France and Prix Galien
International for the discovery of host-targeting entry inhibitors for HCV infection. He recently received two European Research Council grants (ERC AdG and ERC PoC) for the discovery and development of novel approaches to
prevent and treat chronic liver disease. He has published more than 250 scientific articles including N. Engl. J. Med., Lancet, Cell, Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, Cell Host & Microbe, PNAS, J. Clin. Invest. and
J. Exp. Med. as a senior author. He is an inventor on 15 patents and patent applications. He has finished a five-year-term as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Hepatology and serves as a member of the editorial board of
several journals in the field of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Virology. He serves as consultant for NASH, liver disease and viral hepatitis for academia and industry.
Gabriel Baverel, President, Founder, Chief Scientific Officer, Metabolys Inc.
Gabriel Baverel (DVM and PhD) was trained under H.A. Krebs, a Nobel laureate. He is a former professor of physiology in the Laennec Faculty of Medicine in Lyon (France) and head of an INSERM Research Unit (Metabolomics and Metabolic
Diseases). He is now President and CSO of Metabolys Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing drug candiadtes for treating metabolic diseases.
Karin Conde-Knape, PhD, Corporate Vice President, Cardiovascular and Liver Disease Research, Novo Nordisk
Dr. Conde-Knape is responsible for setting up and driving the research and translational strategy in the areas of Cardiovascular and Liver disease within Novo Nordisk Global Drug Discovery. She has experience in the pharmaceutical
industry for the last 16 years with different areas of responsibility, including project leadership, line management, strategic planning and execution as well as business development. Karin spent 11 years at Hoffmann-La Roche
in the Cardiovascular and Metabolism Discovery and early development areas, responsible for pharmacology teams as well as discovery and biomarker teams. The last 4 years she was at Johnson and Johnson, responsible for external
innovation in Europe and Asia Pacific in the area of Cardiovascular and Metabolism. During these years she lead cross functional teams responsible for evaluating external opportunities and creating the business case to support
deal making for different opportunities.
Bryan C. Fuchs, PhD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Fuchs received his PhD in Biology from Saint Louis University examining the role of glutamine transporters in the metabolism of hepatocellular carcinoma. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Surgical Oncology
at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center studying the role of epidermal growth factor in the development of liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard
Medical School where his lab broadly focuses on the identification of the molecular pathways leading to liver fibrosis and the analysis of therapeutics to inhibit these processes. A major focus of his lab is examining the role
of liver fibrosis as a pre-cancerous state and determining if anti-fibrotic therapies can prevent hepatocellular carcinoma development. Recent work has focused on the development of novel molecular imaging strategies to quantify
collagen and lysyl oxidase-mediated collagen cross-linking as a non-invasive means to monitor fibrosis progression, predict disease outcomes, and analyze response to therapy. In addition, Dr. Fuchs has a long-standing interest
in how molecular classification of hepatocellular carcinoma can predict response to therapy and improve the design of clinical trials.
Saurabh Gupta, PhD, Associate Director, Translational Medicine Group, Takeda
Dean W. Hum, PhD, CSO, Genfit
Claus Kremoser, PhD, CEO, Phenex
Dr. Kremoser received a master and a PhD from the University of Tubingen and the Max-Planck Institute, respectively. He spent 2 years at Ernst & Young authoring the European and the first German biotech reports before the joined
LION bioscience, a startup bioinformatics company, as VP Corporate Development. He was deeply involved in LION´s IPO in 2000 before he founded Phenex AG in 2002. Since then, he acts as CEO and chief scientist of this
nuclear receptor drug discovery company. Phenex became succesful by selling two major projects, RORg and FXR to Janssen and Gilead, respectively in deals valued at 135 and 470 M USD. Phenex now focusses on developing the ultimate
small molecule NASH treatment and has established a new focus on small molecule cancer therapeutics.
Iwona Ksiazek, PhD, Senior Investigator I, Chemical Biology & Therapeutics, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
Nicolas Schauer, PhD, Managing Director, Metabolon, Inc.
Dr. Nicolas Schauer is Managing Director of Metabolomic Discoveries GmbH, a leading European metabolomics company, acquired by Metabolon in 2017. Dr. Schauer earned his PhD from Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology. He has extensive experience in metabolomics and biochemistry and is author of many high-ranking and peer-reviewed articles.
Florian Nigsch, PhD, Senior Investigator I, Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, Data Science,Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Resesarch, Basel
Florian studied chemistry at the TU Wien, Austria, before moving to the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, France, where he studied biology and chemistry. After obtaining a Masters in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry,
he enrolled in a PhD in cheminformatics at the Dept. of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK, focusing on molecular properties of relevance for drug discovery. This led to a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Novartis
Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, Boston, MA. Since 2012 he is a lab head at NIBR in Basel, Switzerland, working on computational approaches for early drug discovery and translational research.
Detlef Schuppan, MD, PhD, Director, Institute of Translational Immunology, University of Mainz
Diane Shevell, PhD, Director, Clinical Biomarkers and Innovative Medicines Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Diane Shevell is a Director, Clinical Biomarkers in the Innovative Medicines Development group at Bristol-Myers Squibb, covering both fibrosis and immunology programs. She received her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Rockefeller University. She has extensive experience in industry leading Discovery programs and biomarker programs in Clinical Development. Her current work focuses
on designing protocol and biomarker strategies that rapidly inform clear decision making, improve understanding of mechanism of action, and identify markers with the potential to predict and monitor response to investigational
Rebecca Taub, MD, CMO & Executive Vice President, R&D, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals
Rebecca Taub, MD has served as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, Research & Development, and as a member of Madrigal’s Board of Directors, since July 2016. Previously, Dr. Taub served as Chief Executive
Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors of privately-held Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from inception through its merger with Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. Prior to joining Madrigal, Dr. Taub served as Senior Vice
President, Research and Development of VIA Pharmaceuticals from 2008 to 2011 and as Vice President, Research, Metabolic Diseases at Hoffmann-La Roche from 2004 to 2008. In those positions, Dr. Taub oversaw clinical development
and drug discovery programs in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases including the conduct of a series of Phase I and II proof of conduct clinical trials. Dr. Taub led drug discovery including target identification, lead optimization
and advancement of preclinical candidates into clinical development. From 2000 through 2003, Dr. Taub worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and DuPont Pharmaceutical Company, in a variety of positions, including Executive Director
of CNS and metabolic diseases research. Before becoming a pharmaceutical executive, Dr. Taub was a tenured Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Taub is the author of more than 120 research
articles. Before joining the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Taub served as an Assistant Professor at the Joslin Diabetes Center of Harvard Medical School, Harvard University and an associate investigator with
the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Taub received her MD from Yale University School of Medicine and B.A. from Yale College.
Peter Traber, MD, former CEO, Galectin Therapeutics
Dr. Traber is president emeritus of Baylor College of Medicine, where he was chief executive officer from 2003 to 2008. From 2000 to 2003, he was senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs and chief medical
officer of GlaxoSmithKline plc. Dr. Traber served as chief executive officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and was chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and chief of gastroenterology for the University
of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Traber has also managed a molecular biology research laboratory and published over 100 articles of original research, reviews and book chapters. Dr. Traber received his M.D. from Wayne
State School of Medicine, a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan, and a certificate in medical leadership from Wharton Business School.
Target Identification & Validation Strategies
Michael Bassik, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Stanford University
Michael Bassik is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University. He performed his Ph.D work in Stanley Korsmeyer’s lab at Harvard, exploring the role of BCL-2 phosphorylation in regulating cell
death. As a postdoc in Jonathan Weissman’s lab at UCSF, he developed high-coverage shRNA screening libraries and mammalian genetic interaction maps, applying these to study the biology of retrograde toxins. His laboratory
at Stanford focuses on the continued development of shRNA and CRISPR/Cas9 systems for high-throughput screening, and on application of these technologies to study endocytosis, stress, and the identification of novel drug targets.
Paul Brennan, PhD, Associate Professor, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Oxford; Principal Investigator, Target Discovery Institute, Structural Genomics Consortium
Paul Brennan received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley under the mentorship of Paul Bartlett working on synthetic methodology for combinatorial chemistry and synthesizing inhibitors for
new anti-bacterial targets. Following three years of post-doctoral research with Steve Ley in Cambridge University on the total synthesis of rapamycin, Paul returned to California to take a position at Amgen. His research
was focussed on designing and synthesizing kinase inhibitors for oncology. After two years at Amgen, Paul accepted a position as medicinal chemistry design lead at Pfizer in Sandwich, UK. Over the next six years Paul designed
and synthesized compounds for most major drug classes: kinases, GPCR’s, CNS-targets, ion-channels and metabolic enzymes. In 2011 Paul joined the Structural Genomics Consortium as a principal investigator to discover
chemical probes for epigenetic proteins. He is currently an Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the SGC and head of chemistry of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Drug Discovery Institute at the University
Dirk Daelemans, PhD, Associate Professor, Rega Institute - Laboratory of Virology and Chemotherapy, KU Leuven
Dirk Daelemans is a molecular cell biologist with focus on nuclear-cytoplasmic transport of the mammalian cell, a process essential for cellular homeostasis, but also for virus replication and cancer. He started his work on
this process in the context of viruses and continued this work on cancer drug discovery. The Daelemans lab is exploring the nuclear-cytoplasmic transport process to identify new targets. The lab is now applying CRISPR-based
screens for target deconvolution of small-molecule cancer agents and to uncover novel synergistic drug combinations.
John Doench, Ph.D., Associate Director, Genetic Perturbation Platform, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
Since joining the Broad Institute in 2009, I have engaged in dozens of collaborations centered on functional genomics. As Associate Director of the Genetic Perturbation Platform, my role is to provide expert guidance on the
design, execution, and analysis of genetic screens, and have done so with a wide variety of research groups across many areas of biology. Additionally, I have many years of experience in the development and use of functional
genomic techniques, first with RNAi and more recently with CRISPR technology for genome-wide loss-of-function screening. As leader of research and development in the Platform, I have stayed on the cutting-edge of newest
techniques while also focusing on the reduction-to-practice that is critical for enabling collaboration with a broader community of researchers. Prior to joining the Broad, I received my Ph.D. in biology, training with
Phil Sharp, and performed postdoctoral work with Ed Harlow at Harvard Medical School.
Ulrich Elling, PhD, Principle Investigator, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology Austria (IMBA)
Ulrich Elling received his PhD from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in 2006, where he worked on mouse models. During his postdoctoral time in the laboratory of Josef Penninger he developed haploid embryonic
stem cells and set them up as screening tool. Uli became independent group leader at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) in 2014 and continues to develop functional genomics tools such as haploid genetics and
CRISPR to study stem cell biology. Amongst others, he contributed to the identification of reprogramming roadblocks. His methodological focus aims to tackle cellular heterogeneity in large scale functional genomics approaches
by reversible haploid genetics in screens and a large stem cell biobank, as well as single cell based barcoded CRISPR screening.
James J. Hickman, Ph.D., Founding Director, NanoScience Technology Center and Professor, Nanoscience Technology, Chemistry, Biomolecular Science, Material Science and Electrical Engineering, University of Central Florida
James J. Hickman is the Founding Director of the NanoScience Technology Center and a Professor of Nanoscience Technology, Chemistry, Biomolecular Science, Material Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Central
Florida. Previously, he held the position of the Hunter Endowed Chair in the Bioengineering Department at Clemson University. Dr. Hickman has a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Chemistry. For the
past twenty-five years, he has been studying the interaction of biological species with modified surfaces, first in industry and in the latter years in academia. While in industry he established one of the first bioelectronics
labs in the country that focused on cell-based sensors and their integration with electronic devices and MEMS devices. He is interested in creating hybrid systems for biosensor and biological computation applications and
the creation of functional in vitro systems for human body-on-a-chip applications. He has worked at NSF and DARPA in the area of biological computation. He is also the founder and current Chief Scientist of a biotechnology
company, Hesperos, that is focusing on cell-based systems for drug discovery and toxicity. He has 127 publications and 20 book chapters, in addition to 19 issued patents out of 42 total patent applications.
Madhu Lal-Nag, PhD, Team Leader, RNAi Screening, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health
Madhu Lal-Nag currently serves as the head of the Trans NIH RNAi Facility at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) which is responsible for developing and conducting genome wide physiologically
relevant phenotypic assays for Intramural researchers. Madhu joined NCATS in 2013, where she worked as a research scientist primarily to develop an assay platform of 3 Dimensional physiologically relevant, multi-cell-type
disease models that are amenable to high-throughput screening. Prior to joining NCATS, she completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute on Aging. Her PhD is from the George Washington University in
Molecular and Cellular Oncology. She has extensive experience in the miniaturization and optimization of physiologically relevant cell-based 2D and 3D assays to make them amenable for the screening of high-impact small
molecule and functional genomics libraries with the goal of identifying unique receptor/ligand interaction and efficacy in various disease pathologies especially as they relate to the epigenetic modulation of cancer
and stem cell biology.
Anne Marinier, PhD, Principal Investigator and Director of Medicinal Chemistry, IRIC and Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Université de Montréal
Anne Marinier brings along more than 25 years of experience in medicinal chemistry and a strong industry expertise in all aspects of drug discovery. Before joining IRIC, Dr Marinier was Group Leader in the Drug Discovery
Research group at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and was involved in the identification of pre-clinical candidates while contributing to the progression of programs in oncology, immunology and infectious diseases. As director
of IRIC Medicinal Chemistry, she currently heads IRIC’s medicinal chemistry platform, which comprises more than 40 chemists and biologists and supports drug discovery programs from IRIC scientists and collaborators.
The laboratory has a strong expertise in Structure-Activity Relationships development and compound optimization and focuses also on structure-based drug design as well as devising chemical probes for novel biological
target identification. Two molecules discovered in collaboration with BMS, have successfully completed Phase I trial and one of them will be further progressed in Phase II. A further compound, UM171, an enhancer of
hematopoietic stem cell renewal, was developed with Dr Guy Sauvageau, and has just completed a Phase I/II clinical study. This has led to the creation of the biotechnology company ExCellThera, for which she is one of
the founders and Chief Technology Officer, Chemistry.
Florian Nigsch, PhD, Senior Investigator I, Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, Data Science, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Resesarch, Basel
Florian studied chemistry at the TU Wien, Austria, before moving to the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, France, where he studied biology and chemistry. After obtaining a Master’s in Physical and Theoretical
Chemistry, he enrolled in a PhD in cheminformatics at the Dept. of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK, focusing on molecular properties of relevance for drug discovery. This led to a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship
at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, Boston, MA. Since 2012 he is a lab head at NIBR in Basel, Switzerland, working on computational approaches for early drug discovery and translational
Arvind Rao, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Arvind Rao was until recently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center since 2011. Prior to joining MD Anderson, he was a Lane Postdoctoral
Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in bioimage informatics. Arvind received his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Bioinformatics from the University of Michigan, specializing in transcriptional genomics.
At MD Anderson, Arvind is working on using image analysis and machine learning methods to link image-derived phenotypes with genetic data, across biological scale (i.e. single cell, tissue and radiology data).
Håkan Jönsson, PhD, Assistant Professor, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Asst. Prof. Haakan N. Joensson, KTH Royal institute of Technology, Sweden focuses on applying high throughput microfluidics tools to problems in single cell analysis and cell factory screening for development.
Joachim Luginbuehl, PhD, JSPS Fellow, RIKEN Yokohama
I performed my bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Basel in Switzerland. During that time, I developed a strong interest for molecular neuroscience and decided to get in contact with Prof. Silvia
Arber and to complete my master’s degree in her research lab at the Biocenter in Basel. While searching for a PhD position, I felt the need to expand my education to a more applied field of research and
joined the group of Prof. Ernst Reichmann at the children’s hospital in Zürich. His team works in close association with a group of surgeons from the burns center. Their aim is to develop a clinically
applicable dermo-epidermal skin substitute which can completely replace autologous skin transplants in the future. In 2014, I came in contact with Dr. Jay Shin at RIKEN Yokohama and started a Postdoctoral position
studying molecular mechanisms governing the reprogramming of cells.
Dimitry Ofengeim PhD, Lab Head, Neuroimmunology, Neuroscience, Sanofi
Dimitry Ofengeim, Ph.D., is the Lab Head of the Neuroinflammation/innate Immunity group within the MS cluster in the Neuroscience Research Therapeutic Area at Sanofi. He leads a team of scientists focused on understanding
the role of neuroinflammation and the innate immnune system in Multiple Sclerosis as well as in other neurodegenerative diseases. Prior to joining Sanofi, Dr. Ofengeim worked at Biogen in both the ALS and MS
groups and led both early exploratory and later stage projects. Prior to joining Biogen, Dr. Ofengeim worked at Harvard Medical School in the lab of Junying Yuan, a pioneer in the field of cell death. Dr. Ofengeim
has worked in the field of both acute and chronic neurodegeneration, and in particular has focused on understanding the interplay between cell death and inflammation in the CNS. His work was one of the first
to show that a novel form of cell death, called necroptosis was induced in neurodegenerative diseases including MS, ALS, and AD. Furthermore, Dr. Ofengeim’s recent work has contributed to defining the
disease associated microglial state. For his work, Dr. Ofengeim was awarded several fellowships from the National MS Society during his time at Harvard, including a postdoctoral fellowship and a career transition
fellowship. Dr. Ofengeim is an Ad hoc reveiwer for several journals including PNAS, Brain, Cell Death and Differentiation etc. and was a an editor at the online journal Bioprotocols.
Marilisa Neri PhD, Data Scientist, NIBR, Novartis
With a background education in Physics focused on quantum field theory and statistical mechanics applied to material science, during my Ph.D. studies in “statistical and biological physics”, I have been
working as a computational scientist developing new computational methods for dynamic simulation of biological systems. In my two postdoctoral academic work activities, I have gained experiences in quantum computational
chemistry (Laboratory of Computational Chemistry and Biochemistry, EPFL-CH) and statistical analysis applied to NMR (Laboratory of Structural Biology and Biophysics, Biozentrum-CH). Currently, I am working in
the Computational Biology group in Novartis as a specialist in multidimensional and high-throughput in silico data analysis. I contribute to statistical analysis of omics data generated from a variety of technologies
like microarray, SOMAscan, bulk RNA-seq, CyTOF, plate-based high-throughput molecular profile screening and single cell RNAseq.
Anders Ståhlberg PhD, Associate Professor, Clinical Pathology and Genetics & Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, University of Gothenburg & Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Anders Ståhlberg, Associate Professor, is working as principal investigator at the Cancer Center, University of Gothenburg and Clinical Pathology and Genetics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden. He
has a PhD in molecular biotechnology and has two post-doc periods working with human embryonic stem cells and tumor biology. Anders primary research interest is to understand molecular mechanisms in tumor initiation,
tumor development and stem cell differentiation. The research is focused on breast cancer and sarcomas. He has developed several strategies for gene expression profiling and mutation analysis, especially at
the single-cell and single-molecule level. These techniques are used to study tumor heterogeneity and cell fate mechanisms, as well as to monitor disease progression using liquid biopsies. Research homepage:
Radek Sindelka PhD, Senior scientist, Dept. of Gene Expression, Institute of Biotechnology, Czech Academy of Sciences, BIOCEV
I am working as an independent scientist at the Institute of Biotechnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. We use African-clawed frog eggs and embryos as a model for asymmetric localization during early development
and for identification of molecular regulation of wound healing and regeneration. We also collaborate with laboratories focused on early development of fish and mammalian models.
Piotr Garstecki PhD, Professor, Microfluidics and Complex Fluids, Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences
Piotr Garstecki is a Full Professor at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Science, in Warsaw, Poland. He obtained MSc in Theoretical Physics from the College of Science of the Polish Academy
in 1998 and PhD in Chemistry from the Institute of Physical Chemistry PAS. He later conducted research as a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof. George Whitesides at the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department
at Harvard University. He currently leads the Research Group of Microfluidics and Complex Fluids at the Institute of Physical Chemistry in Warsaw. The research focuses on fundamental aspects of the physics of
soft matter systems and develops microfluidic tools for chemistry and biology. He coauthored over a hundred scientific publications and multiple patent applications and cofounded spin-out companies: Scope Fluidics,
Curiosity Diagnostics, and Bacteromic, all working on the use of microfluidic technologies in medical diagnostics.
Xiaoliang Sunney Xie PhD, Lee Shau-kee Professor and Director of the Beijing Innovation Center for Genomics at Peking University, and Harvard University Visiting Professor, Biodynamic Optical Imaging Center, Peking
Xiaoliang Sunney Xie received a B.S. from Peking University (1984), Ph.D. from the University of California San Diego (1990). In 1992, joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and became Chief Scientist. In
1999, he was appointed Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University, and in 2009 the Mallinckrodt Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard. Currently, at Peking University Xie is the Lee Shau-kee
Professor, the Director of the Beijing Innovation Center for Genomics (ICG), and the Director of the Biomedical Pioneering Innovation Center (BIOPIC). Xie’s group have developed tools for biology and medicine
for more than 20 years. In doing so, he became a world leader in utilizing them to make fundamental discoveries in biochemistry and molecular biology. Xie has made groundbreaking contributions in three areas:
single-molecule enzymology, singe-molecule gene expression in live cells, and single-cell genomics. His innovations in single-cell genomics have direct impact in human health and provide a clear example of precision
medicine at the single-molecule level. Among his honors are the Albany Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, National Institute of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, fellow of the American Academy of
Arts and Sciences, member of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine.
Carla Newman, Investigator, Ex-vivo Bioimaging, GlaxoSmithKline
I have started my career in the pharmaceutical industry shortly after completing my degree in 2005 as an analytical scientist at Pfizer in Sandwich and remained there until 2011. I then briefly moved to Novartis
in Basel as a BioMS scientist. In 2012, I have started working at GSK in Stevenage first as a BioMS/ Proteomics scientist and then moved to the BioImaging group in 2016. I am currently in the 5th year of my
GSK sponsored part-time PhD, studying the applicability of SIMS to visualise drug molecules inside cells.
CNS Models and Translational Strategies
Michela Deleidi, PhD, Helmholtz Young Investigator Group Leader, DZNE
Michela Deleidi studied medicine at Vita-Salute University, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan. She completed her residency in neurology at Vita-Salute University with Gianvito Martino followed by a research
fellowship with Ole Isacson at the Neuroregeneration Institute at Harvard Medical School. During this time, she focused on pluripotent stem cell technology for Parkinson's disease (PD) modeling and regenerative
medicine applications. In 2011 she was awarded a Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to join the group of Thomas Gasser at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University
of Tübingen. During this time, her research concentrated on the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease using stem cell-based disease modelling systems and genome editing
techniques. Since 2016, she is a Helmholtz Young Investigator research group leader at DZNE Tübingen and a junior professor at the University of Tübingen.
William Z. Potter MD, PhD, Senior Advisor, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Bill Potter earned his B.A., M.S., M.D., and Ph.D. at Indiana University, after which he functioned in positions of increasing responsibility and seniority over the next twenty-five years at the National Institutes
of Health with a research focus on translational neuroscience. While at the NIH, Bill was widely published and appointed to many societies, committees, and boards; roles which enabled him to develop a wide reputation
as an expert in psychopharmacological sciences and championing the development of novel treatments for CNS disorders..
Bill left the NIH in 1996 to accept a position as Executive Director for early clinical neuroscience at Lilly Research Labs, and in 2004 joined Merck Research Labs as VP of Clinical Neuroscience, then the newly
created position of Translational Neuroscience in 2006, a position from which he retired in January of 2011. His experience at Lilly and MRL in identifying, expanding and developing methods of evaluating CNS
effects of compounds in human brain cover state of the art approaches across multiple modalities. These include brain imaging and cerebrospinal fluid proteomics as well as development of more sensitive clinical
measures. Bill continues as an Emeritus co-chair of the Neuroscience Steering Committee of the FNIH and serves as a Senior Advisor to the Director of the NIMH where he champions the position that more disciplined
hypothesis testing of targets in humans through public/private partnerships is the best near term approach to moving CNS drug development forward for important neurologic and psychiatric illnesses.
Dinah Duarte PhD, Assistant Professor, Lisbon University, Senior Assessor, INFARMED, PT Member, Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products, European Medicines Agency (EMA)
Dr. Dinah Duarte is Assistant Professor at the Lisbon University. She is also the former Head of the Scientific Evaluation Unit at the Directorate of Medicinal Products, in the Portuguese regulatory authority for
medicines and health products (INFARMED). She is an expert member at the European Medicines Agency (EMA); the current Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products member for Portugal and the representative in the
Steering Group of ENCePP (European Network of Centres for Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacovigilance). Former CHMP (Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use) member for Portugal and the CHMP representative
in the EMA’s group Human Scientific Committees Working Party With Healthcare Professionals Organisations.
Per-Ola Freskgård PhD, Vice Director & Expert Scientist, Neuroscience, Roche Pharma Research & Early Development
Dr. Per-Ola Freskgård joined is currently a Scientific Expert in Neuroscience, Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED), Roche, Basel, Switzerland. Main focus is delivery of biologics to the brain.
Dario Doller PhD, Senior Director, Exploratory Research, Sage Therapeutics
Dario obtained a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. He conducted postdoctoral studies in bioorganic chemistry under the guidance of Sir Derek Barton (Nobel Prize 1969)
at Texas A&M University between 1989 and 1992. Since then, he has been conducting industrial research always within diverse membrane-bound biological targets at a number of organizations, including Schering-Plough
Research Institute, 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals, Neurogen, Lundbeck Research USA, and CoNCERT Pharmaceuticals. Dario is currently head of the Exploratory Research group at Sage Therapeutics.
Dirk Schubert PhD, Assistant professor, group leader "Cellular Neurophysiology", Cognitive Neuroscience Dept., Donders Institute for Brian, Cognition & Behaviour, Radboud University Medical Clinic Nijmegen
Dirk Schubert is assistant professor and leading his group for “Cellular Neurophysiology” in the Cognitive Neuroscience Department at the RadboudUMC in Nijmegen since 2013. After achieving his Diploma
in Biology at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf he joined the lab of Jochen Staiger at the C&O Voigt Institute for Brain Research in Düsseldorf in 1998. During his PhD on cortical network
organisation in the rodent somatosensory cortex he got fascinated by connecting detailed neuromorphology and neurophysiology in order to understand the complexity of neuronal network formation and maturation
in health and disease. He developed routines for the reliable use caged glutamate mapping for mapping functional connectivity in vitro, which also earned him the NeuroVision Young Scientist Award in 2003.
After receiving his PhD in Biology in 2003 he took his position at the RadboudUMC in Nijmegen. In one line of his current research he combines his expertise on neuronal network structure and function with
genetic and molecular tools in order to use human iPSC derived neurons as a model for investigating neurodevelopmental disorders in the dish.
Catarina Brito PhD, Lab Head, Advanced Cell Models Lab – Animal Cell Technology Unit, iBET & ITQB-NOVA
Catarina Brito is the head of the Advanced Cell Models Laboratory, within the Animal Cell Technology Unit of iBET and ITQB-NOVA (Portugal), since 2014. Her research, with funding from FCT (Portugal), the
EC and the Pharmaceutical Industry, is focused on development of advanced cell models to study deregulation of cellular microenvironment in disease progression and drug response. Her main research interests
are Cancer and Central Nervous System diseases. Catarina pursued her PhD studies at ITQB-NOVA (Oeiras, Portugal) and Institut Jacques Monod (Paris, France) in the areas of glycobiology and intracellular
trafficking in human cells. She joined iBET (Portugal) in 2007, initially as a postdoc working in human Stem Cell bioprocessing, and from 2009 as a Senior Project Manager of academic and industrial collaborations,
developing preclinical cell models and bioassays. www.itqb.unl.pt/research/technology/advanced-cell-models;
Gabriela Chiosis PhD, Professor, Member, Attending, Chemical Biology and Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Dr. Gabriela Chiosis received her graduate training at Columbia University in New York and joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 1998, first as a fellow and, since 2005, as faculty. She has authored
over 130 scientific articles which were published by virtually all well respected scientific and medical journals, holds over 300 patents and patent applications which are related to the discovery of
novel compounds as therapeutic agents or diagnostics in human medicine, is serving as a reviewer for over 50 well-known scientific and medical magazines and on several scientific panels. She is a co-founder
of Samus Therapeutics Inc, and also serves on its Board of Managers. Novel compounds and diagnostics discovered by her lab are the platform for the development of inhibitors currently in clinical evaluation
in Alzheimer’s disease and in cancer patients.
Stuart W. Hughes PhD, Director and Head of Pharmacology, Biological Sciences, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Stuart Hughes is Director and Head of Pharmacology at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Europe Ltd. After obtaining a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience from Cardiff University in 1999 he spent several years
as a postdoctoral scientist studying the mechanisms that underlie a host of physiological and pathological brain rhythms. In 2006 he was awarded a Wellcome Research fellowship to continue this work and
made important contributions to the understanding of the cellular events that lead to the slow waves of deep sleep as well as the neural mechanisms that shape the so-called alpha rhythm of relaxed wakefulness.
In 2008 he took up a position as a group leader in CNS research at Eli Lilly and Company, pursuing a range of ion channel targets for treating a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders. In
2013 he moved to Vertex Pharmaceuticals to lead the UK in vivo pharmacology group where his main areas of focus have been on orphan diseases, oncology and neurodegenerative disorders.
Patrice Garnier PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Amabiotics
Dr. Patrice Garnier is Chief Executive Officer for Amabiotics (www.amabiotics.com), a biopharmaceutical company that develops innovative diagnostics and microbiome-derived medicines to fight age-related
diseases with a strong research focuses on gut-brain axis pathologies. the leading drug candidate, AMA-101, is a potential first-in-class therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Garnier is an entrepreneur
with 20 years of experience leading High-tech companies. Prior to joining Amabiotics in 2013, he founded and served for 9 years as CEO in a bioinformatics company that delivers genome to metabolome solutions
for the life science industry. Dr. Garnier holds an MSc in quantum physics from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He completed his PhD in nanotechnology in Professor Catherine Brechignac’s
group at the Laboratoire Aimée Cotton, CNRS.
Shila Mekhoubad, PhD, Scientist II, Translational Cellular Sciences, Biogen
Shila Mekhoubad is a scientist at the Translational Cellular Sciences department at Biogen. She is a stem cell biologist with over 10 years of experience in using human pluripotent stem cells for disease
modeling of neurological disorders. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology from UCLA. She completed her Ph.D. at Harvard University, in the laboratory of
Dr. Kevin Eggan, where she studied the epigenetic stability of human pluripotent stem cells. In particular, she focused on the effects of X-chromosome inactivation on disease modeling of the neurodevelopmental
disorder Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome. During her post-doctoral training, also at Harvard University, Dr. Mekhoubad examined the utility of human pluripotent stem cells for the studies of Spinal Muscular Atrophy
(SMA). Since 2013, she has been at Biogen, leading the efforts in establishing novel stem cell assays for ALS and SMA.
Michela Chiappalone PhD, Researcher (Team Leader), Rehab Technologies, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)
M. Chiappalone’s research interest is in the field of Neuroengineering. She obtained a PhD in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science from University of Genova (Italy) in 2003. In 2002 she has
been visiting scholar at the Dept of Physiology, Northwestern University (Chicago, IL, USA). After a Post Doc at the University of Genova, in 2007 she joined the Neuroscience and Brain Technologies Dept
at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) as a Post Doc. In 2013 she got a group leader position (‘Researcher’) in the same Institution. In 2015 she has been visiting Professor at KUMED
(Kansas City, KS, USA), hosted by Prof. R.J. Nudo. From 2012 to 2015 M. Chiappalone has been Coordinator of the FET Open European Project BrainBow, judged excellent. In 2017, M. Chiappalone joined the
Rehab Technologies facility of IIT to lead a group aimed at interfacing robotic devices with the nervous system for applications in neuroprosthetics and neurorehabilitation. In 2018 she got the national
scientific habilitation as Full Professor of Bioengineering.
Caroline Zeiss, PhD, Professor of Comparative Medicine and of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale University
Caroline Zeiss is a double-boarded veterinary pathologist and laboratory animal veterinarian. She directs the Yale Mouse Research Pathology Core, and collaborates on multiple studies with Yale and external
investigators in academia and industry. Dr. Zeiss has practiced as a laboratory animal clinician with a focus in non-human primate medicine since 2012, and has published multiple papers on non-human
primate medicine and pathology. She has over 20 years’ experience in veterinary pathology and consults regularly with industry on efficacy and toxicity studies utilizing ophthalmic and neurologic
disease models. Her research focuses on mechanisms of neurodegeneration with a strong focus on translation of basic studies towards clinical relevance. Most recently, she has applied biomedical informatics
to reveal patterns of animal research that influence preclinical translatability.
3D Cellular Models
Hansjoerg Keller PhD, Sr. Investigator I, Musculoskeletal, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research
Hansjoerg Keller is a Senior Investigator in the Musculoskeletal Disease Area at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel, Switzerland. He studied Biochemistry and graduated in Neurochemistry
at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETHZ), Switzerland in 1988. During his postdoctoral fellowship at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA (Prof. J. Gottesfeld) and
later at the University of Lausanne (Prof. W. Wahli), he investigated the regulation of gene transcription and discovered the role of PPAR nuclear receptors. In 1996, he joined Novartis leading different
drug discovery projects including selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) and sclerostin inhibitors for osteoporosis treatment, and selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) against muscle
wasting. His current research focuses on exercise-regulated myokines as new drug targets for the development of novel muscle wasting disease therapies. To this end, his group applies 3D bioprinting technologies
for the engineering of functional human skeletal muscle tissue models that allow in vitro screening of compounds affecting muscle function such as force, endurance and fatigue
Glyn N. Stacey PhD, CEO International Stem Cell Banking Initiative, International Stem Cell Banking Initiative
Glyn Stacey has a background in microbiology and cancer research and progressed to cell biology and development of cell-based assays at the Centre For Applied Microbiology and Research at Porton Down, UK.
In 1998 he moved to the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC, UK) where he set up a new cell biology division working on safety of cell substrates used for vaccine manufacture
and establishment of genetic reference materials. More recently in 2002, he was awarded a UK Research Council grant to establish the UK Stem Cell Bank to provide a source of ethically suitable and quality
controlled human embryonic stem cell lines for research and clinical use. He has been involved in drafting standards for cell culture since the early 1990s and was a lead author in the Good Cell Culture
Practice principles published by the European Centre for Validation of Alternative Methods (Coecke et al., 2005) and the WHO guidance on evaluation of cell substrates for the manufacturing (2010). More
recently he has been a lead author in drafting the soon to be published OECD Good In Vitro Methods Practice and is currently a lead author redrafting the GCCP document to include principles of best practice
for culture of pluripotent stem cells, 3D cell culture and establishment of tissue on a chip models. Glyn is currently Director for the International Stem Cell Banking Initiative (www.iscbi.org) and SSCBio Ltd (www.sscbio.com).
Marine Kraus PhD, Secialist, group leader, Stem Cell, Nestle Institute of Health Sciences SA
Dr. Marine R-C Kraus received her PhD from the École Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. She then joined the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences as a post-doctoral
fellow and, subsequently, as an Associate Specialist. Dr. Kraus has finally been appointed as a Specialist and team leader of the Stem Cell group at the Nestle Institute of Health Sciences. Dr. Kraus
has focused her research on the understanding of endocrine pancreas development and the generation of in vivo and in vitro humanized models for pancreatic function. She is now involved in two European
Projects (FP7 and H2020) as a principal investigator.
Anna Jonebring MSc, Senior Scientist, Translational Genomics, Discovery Sciences IMED Biotech Unit, AstraZeneca
Anna Jonebring, a senior scientist in the Stem & Primary Cell Group at AstraZeneca. Her team is responsible for the generation, engineering and differentiation of iPS cells, adult stem cells and use
of primary cells for assay development, target validation, hit finding, hit-to-lead, lead optimization and phenotypic screening activities. Anna Jonebring joined AstraZeneca in 2002 doing her Master
Thesis and then joined a team to work in the lead generation process with reagent delivery, ranging from stable cell line- generation for biopharma production to protein expression, purification and
validation in various systems. 2011 Anna moved in to the stem cell discipline and was one of the driving people to build what later became the Stem & Primary Cell Group at AstraZeneca.
Andras Nagy PhD, Senior Investigator, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System
Dr. Nagy is currently a Shawn Kimel Senior Scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System, Professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Institute of Medical
Science at the University of Toronto, Investigator at the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Professor at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute in Monash University, Melbourne. He holds
a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Stem Cells and Regeneration. He also has a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Canada in the Life Sciences Division of the Academy of Science and recently became a Foreign
Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Nagy has made significant breakthroughs in the development of mouse and human pluripotent stem cells (both embryonic and induced) that could accelerate
research in regenerative medicine and lead to future therapies for currently incurable diseases, such as blindness, diabetes, arthritis, spinal cord injury and many others. His team created the first
two Canadian human embryonic stem cell lines and developed a novel method for generating non-viral induced pluripotent stem cells. His current research focuses on understanding the process of reprogramming
to stem cells at the molecular level and using sophisticated genome editing methodology to pave the way leading to safe and effective cell based therapies of diseases.
Robert Vries PhD, Managing Director, Stichting Hubrecht Organoid Technologies
Robert received his PhD in Biochemistry form the Leiden University Medical Center on the study of Oncogenic cell transformation. He subsequently moved to Stanford University (USA) to do his Post Doc studying
neural stem cells. Upon his return to the Netherlands he continued the study of stem cells in the group of Prof Hans Clevers at the Hubrecht Institute in The Netherlands. In the group of Hans Clevers
he was part of the team that developed the breakthrough technology that allowed the expansion of adult stem cells. The so called Organoid Technology became the basis of the non-profit company ‘Hubrecht
Organoid Technology’ (HUB) of which he is currently the managing director.
Marc Ferrer, PhD, Team Lead, NIH Chemical Genomics Center, NIH/NCATS
Marc Ferrer is currently a Team Leader in assay development, biomolecular Screening and 3D tissue models at NCATS. He graduated with a BSc degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Barcelona, Spain,
in 1989, and received his Ph.D. degree in Biological Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, in 1994. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University from 1995-1999, where he used structure-based
chemical approaches for the development of anti-HIV small molecules. He joined the Department of Automated Biotechnology at the Merck Research Laboratories in 1999, where he became Director of Assay
Development and High Throughput Screening. In 2010, he joined the NIH Chemical Genomics Center where he currently leads programs for the discovery of small molecule probes, drug combinations, and is
leading a group developing physiologically disease relevant tissue-in-a-well assay models for personalized drug discovery and development using stem cells and 3D tissue Bioprinting. Dr. Ferrer has co-authored
more than 120 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
Ronald A. Li PhD, Director and Professor, Ming Wai Lau Center for Reparative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet
Ronald Li is Professor and Director of Ming Wai Lau Centre for Reparative Medicine, Karolinksa Institutet (KI), Hong Kong, and CEO and Founder of Novoheart, a biotech company dual listed on the Toronto Stock
Exchange and Frankfurt Stock Exchange with locations in Vancouver, B.C., Irvine, California and Hong Kong. Ron graduated from U of Waterloo and U of Toronto in Canada. In 1998, he joined the Johns Hopkins
University (JHU) as a fellow in Cardiac Electrophysiology, and was subsequently promoted to Assistant Professor of Cardiology, and Cellular & Molecular Medicine. During his tenure at JHU, Prof Li
was a 2-time recipient of the Top Young Faculty Award (2002, 2004), Top Prize for Young Investigator Basic Research (2001) and Top Postdoctoral Fellow Helen Tausig Award (2001) of JHU Medicine, 1st Prize
Young Investigator Award from the Heart Rhythm Society (2002), and Career Development Award from the Cardiac Arrhythmias Research & Education Foundation (2001). In light of California's USD3-billion
stem cell initiative, Professor Li was recruited to become a tenured Associate Professor at the U of California, Davis where he founded and led the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Consortium. He later joined
the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in Manhattan as Professor and Co-Director (with Kevin Costa) of the Section of Cardiovascular Cell & Tissue Engineering. During 2010-15, Prof. Li was the
Founding Director of the Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Consortium at HKU. In 2015, he received the Spirit of HK Innovating for Good Award by the South China Morning Post. With over 150 publications,
Professor Li's group focuses on human heart engineering, and was the first in the world to generate genetically engineered human heart cells and, more recently, the first human "mini-heart" with accolades
such as the Best Study of 2005 and Ground-breaking Study of 2006 by the American Heart Association, Distinguished Visiting Professorship at University of Toronto Lewar Heart Center, Distinguished Alumnus
of University of Waterloo, etc. In the past decade or so, his laboratory has received over US$40 million from the NIH, California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, Research Grants Council and Innovation
& Technology Commission of Hong Kong, etc. On the translational end, his inventions have led to several start-ups, including the latest venture Novoheart.
Lyle Armstrong PhD, Professor of Cellular Reprogramming & Chief Scientific Officer, Newcells Biotech Ltd, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University
Prof Armstrong studied chemistry at the Universities of Sheffield and Northumbria and was awarded a PhD in physical organic chemistry in 1992. As an outcome of his PhD research into the chemistry of fluorescent
molecules, he founded a contract research organisation developing and licensing diagnostic systems to identify and enumerate bacteria in biological fluids. This organisation was successful in generating
a range of products that were subsequently licensed to industry and marketed as microbial diagnostic tools. Prof Armstrong’s highly respected research group is focussed on new methods to reprogram
the cells found in the human body so they can be converted into medically useful cells. A key aspect of this investigation is researching the possible reversal of ageing during the reprogramming process
and how this might be valuable for repairing organ damage or treating human diseases using induced pluripotent stem cells. Of particular note are investigations aimed at treating cardiovascular disease
and age related hearing loss.
Dirk Petersohn PhD, Director, Beauty Care Technologies - Biological & Clinical Research, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
Dirk Petersohn studied biology and conducted his PhD-studies at the university of Cologne on the topic of tissue specific gene regulation in the human nervous system. After his postdoc studies on wound healing
mechanisms in the team of Prof. Dr. Thomas Krieg, he joined Henkel in 1998. Since than he held various positions in research and development and is currently the director of Henkel’s department
“Biological & Clinical Research”. Additionally, he vice-chairs at Cosmetics Europe the steering committee “Science” and chairs the Task Force Skin Tolerance that is developing
approaches to assess skin sensitization of chemicals without the use of animals.
Nuria Montserrat PhD, Group Leader, Pluripotency for organ regeneration, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC)
Dr. Montserrat research is focused in understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to organ regeneration together with the development of basic knowledge in the field of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) for
human disease modeling. Her expertise in the fields of somatic reprogramming and organ regeneration helped her to develop a massive project selected for funding from the prestigious European Research
Council (ERC) within the call of ERC Starting Grant from 2014. The possibility to combine emerging technologies from the field of pluripotent stem cells (i.e., organoids) together with innovative methodologies
from the bioengineering field (i.e., 3D bioprinting, organ-on-chip, among others) is enabling Montserrat team to explore new scenarios of human disease modeling, with a special impact in kidney and heart
related fields. First established as PI at the Center for Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona (CMRB) (2012-2014), from January 2015 she is group leader at the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia
Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg PhD, BSc.Med, Professor, Dep Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet
Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg, PhD; BSc.Med is Professor of Molecular Toxicology since 1996 and research group leader in Pharmacogenetics at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology , Karolinska Institutet
since 2006. He has more than 420 original papers, 24 500 citations (39 000 in Google Scholar) and an h-factor of 85 (ISI) or 105 (Google Scholar). He is a member of The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet
since 2008 and a member of Editorial Advisory Boards of e.g. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences (Edit Board), Pharmacogenetics and Genomics, Pharmacogenomics, Drug Metabolism Reviews, Drug Metabolism
and Disposition and also a member of Academia Europaea. His research focuses on genetics, epigenetics, polymorphism, regulation, function and toxicology of the hepatic ADME system with aims at understanding
interindividual differences in drug response. Furthermore he develops novel hepatic in vitro systems for studying liver function and validation of drug targets. Further info from an Interview with Magnus
Ingelman-Sundberg See: Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2015; 36:65-7.
Colin Brown PhD, Associate Professor at Institute of Cell & Molecular Biosciences, Medical School, Newcells Biotechnology, Newcastle University
Colin Brown is an Associate Professor at Institute of Cell & Molecular Biosciences, Medical School, Newcastle, UK and a scientific advisor at Newcells Biotechnology. He received his Bachelor and Ph.D
degrees in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He then held a Royal Society European Postdoctoral Fellowship, focusing on renal phosphate transport, at the Institute
of Physiology, University of Zurich, Switzerland. He then held a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship at University of Manchester UK. His research interests have centered around the study of the
interaction of drug molecules with transport proteins in renal, hepatic and gastrointestinal epithelia. Most recently he has focussed on developing in vitro models of the proximal tubule to study both
transport of drug molecules and nephrotoxicity. These models have had wide uptake by the Pharmaceutical, Agri-Chemical and Cosmetics industries
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning for Drug Discovery
Mariana Vaschetto, PhD, Head, Operations, EMEA, Collaborative Drug Discovery
Mariana Vaschetto drives CDD's global collaborations. Previously she held similar executive roles at Dotmatics, Perkin Elmer. Mariana’s broad experiences span across informatics, chemistry, physics
and biology. She rose through the ranks at Accelrys from responsibilities for support to Informatics Senior Product Manager. She holds a PhD in Chemistry.
John C. L. Erve, PhD, DABT, Consultant, Jerve Scientific Consulting, Inc.
John Erve is from Chicago and received degrees in Chemistry (BS, MS) from the University of Chicago and earned a Ph.D. in Toxicology at Oregon State University under the supervision of Dr. Donald Reed. Following
postdoctoral work at Vanderbilt (1995-1999) he joined BD-Biosciences (Woburn, MA) as a Study Director. In 2002, he joined AstraZeneca (Sweden) where he was involved in characterizing reactive metabolites
and their protein adducts in an effort to better understand the role of reactive intermediates in drug toxicity. In 2004 he joined Wyeth (Collegeville, PA) as a Principal Scientist responsible for metabolite
identification. Following the merger with Pfizer in 2010, John joined Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research (Cambridge, MA) as a Lab Head in Analytical Sciences. John returned to the field of drug
metabolism by joining Elan Pharmaceuticals (San Francisco, CA) in 2012 and after Elan was sold created Jerve Scientific Consulting focusing on helping small biotech companies in the Bay area with their
drug discovery efforts. His research interests include mechanistic toxicology and using mass spectrometry to characterize metabolites and metabolic pathways.
Bruno Stieger, Ph.D., Group Leader, Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Hospital, Zurich
Bruno Stieger is a senior research associate at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland. He was trained as a biochemist at the Federal Institute of
Technology in Zurich Switzerland and holds a PhD in biochemistry from the same institution. The Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University Hospital Zurich has cloned the major
bile salt and drug transport systems of hepatocytes. It has identified the founding members of the SLC10A1 and of the SLCO gene families including the sodium-dependent uptake system NTCP (Slc10a1), several
organic anion transporting polypeptides OATPs (SLCO), which are important drug transporters and the bile salt export pump BSEP (ABCB11). The department has established the importance of BSEP in drug-induced
cholestasis. The current research interests of the department are related to i) understand the role of the interaction of drugs with canalicular export systems in the development of acquired liver disease
and ii) regulation of the expression and activity of drug and bile salts transporters.
William Daly, PhD, Human Models for Analysis of Pathway’s (H-MAP’s) Center Managing Director, University of Wisconsin
Dr. Daly is Research Faculty and Managing Director of the Human Models for Analysis of Pathways (HMAPs) Center at University of Wisconsin - Madison, his research is focused on coordinating and leading efforts
on generating human 3D stem cell derived models / microphysiological systems (MPSs) of healthy and diseased human tissues. The MPSs are being used as a mechanism to understand how biological pathways
are influenced by exposure to both environmental compounds and proposed therapies for treatment of known diseases and disorders. The center is focused on developing 3D organotypic / MPS / tissue-on-a-chip
models of the developing brain, liver, and vascular system in addition to modelling the different stages of breast and prostate cancer development. One of his primary research focuses has been on generating
MPSs of the developing brain for applications in drug discovery, toxin screening and disease modelling which were developed with expert and close collaborations with the broad academic, pharmaceutical
and governmental communities of both the Environmental Protection Agency STAR Centers program and the National Institutes of Health tissue chip consortium.
Olivier Guenat PhD, Head Organs-on-Chip Technologies, ARTORG Center, University of Bern
Prof. Olivier Guenat is the Head of the Organs-on-Chip Technologies Group at the ARTORG Center at the University of Bern in Switzerland. He is associated with the Pulmonary Medicine and the Thoracic Surgery
Divisions of the University Hospital of Bern. His research focuses on the development of organs-on-chip, in particular microphysiological systems that mimic the healthy and diseased in-vivo cellular
microenvironments of the lung. Prior to his position at the University of Bern, he held a position at the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microelectronics (CSEM), at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal
(QC, Canada), before which he performed a post-doc at Harvard Medical School in Boston and at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. He is the founder of AlveoliX, a biotech start-up that
aims at bringing organs-on-chip on the market, for which he recently received the Ypsomed and the Venturekick Awards and was nominated at the Swiss Medtech Award 2017.
James J. Hickman PhD, Professor, NanoScience Technology Center, University of Central Florida
James J. Hickman is the Founding Director of the NanoScience Technology Center and a Professor of Nanoscience Technology, Chemistry, Biomolecular Science, Material Science and Electrical Engineering at the
University of Central Florida. Previously, he held the position of the Hunter Endowed Chair in the Bioengineering Department at Clemson University. Dr. Hickman has a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology in Chemistry. For the past twenty-five years, he has been studying the interaction of biological species with modified surfaces, first in industry and in the latter years in academia. While
in industry he established one of the first bioelectronics labs in the country that focused on cell-based sensors and their integration with electronic devices and MEMS devices. He is interested in creating
hybrid systems for biosensor and biological computation applications and the creation of functional in vitro systems for human body-on-a-chip applications. He has worked at NSF and DARPA in the area
of biological computation. He is also the founder and current Chief Scientist of a biotechnology company, Hesperos, that is focusing on cell-based systems for drug discovery and toxicity. He has 127
publications and 20 book chapters, in addition to 19 issued patents out of 42 total patent applications.
Peter Loskill PhD, Assistant Professor for Experimental Regenerative Medicine, Dept. of Women’s Health, Research Institute for Women’s Health, Faculty of Medicine, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen
Dr. Peter Loskill is Assistant Professor for Experimental Regenerative Medicine at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen and head of the Fraunhofer Attract group Organ-on-a-Chip at the Fraunhofer Institute
for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) in Stuttgart, Germany. Dr. Loskill graduated in 2012 from Saarland University with a PhD in Physics focusing on Biointerface science. He then spent
three years in the laboratory of Prof. K. E. Healy at the University of California at Berkeley. There, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow and project leader, funded by the NIH NCATS TissueChip program
and the German Science Foundation, and developed organ-on-a-chip systems based on human iPS-cell technology. In 2015, he was named as one of Technology Review’s “Innovators under 35 Germany”
and was awarded a Fraunhofer ATTRACT Grant, the highest funded German starting grant program, which enabled him to start an independent research group at Fraunhofer IGB. His group focuses on the development
of human iPS-cell based, parallelizable microphysiological organ-on-a-chip systems with applications in pharmaceutical research, toxicological screening, and mechanistic studies as well as on the development
of enabling technologies that support automation and ease of use of these systems.
Wendy Rowan PhD, FRSB, Associate GSK Fellow, Scientific Leader Target Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline
My science education was spread across a number of London University colleges, including Chelsea (BSc Applied Biology), Birkbeck (MSc Microbiology) and Imperial (PhD: Characterisation of the function
of the CD52 antigen on T and B cells). Immunology has been the common theme throughout my career, working on aspects of both innate and adaptive immunity in respiratory and autoimmune diseases. I
am currently employed by GSK. My present role is focussed on target selection and validation for novel therapeutics aimed at modulating epithelial barrier function. In this capacity, I lead a team
of cell biologists in the development and application of human disease relevant models for drug discovery. In addition to internal projects, I have established a number of external collaborations
to develop and access new human translational cell models. My interest in this area extends to being a core member of the GSK Complex In Vitro Models Matrix team with a remit to identify and evaluate
new models for target validation, lead discovery and candidate selection, including safety assessment and PK/PD profiling.
Danilo A. Tagle MS, PhD, Associate Director for Special Initiatives, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health
Dan Tagle is associate director for special initiatives at NCATS. He also recently served as acting director of the NCATS Office of Grants Management and Scientific Review and as executive secretary
to the NCATS Advisory Council and Cures Acceleration Network Review Board. Prior to joining NCATS, Tagle was a program director for neurogenetics at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders
and Stroke (NINDS), where he was involved in developing programs concerning genomics-based approaches for basic and translational research in inherited brain disorders. Prior to joining NINDS in
2001, Tagle was an investigator and section head of molecular neurogenetics at the National Human Genome Research Institute and has been involved in the highly collaborative effort toward the positional
cloning of genes for Huntington’s disease, ataxia-telangiectasia and Niemann-Pick disease type C. He has served on numerous committees and advisory boards, including the editorial boards of
the journals Gene and the International Journal of Biotechnology. Tagle obtained his Ph.D. in molecular biology and genetics from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1990. He was an NIH
National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellow in human genetics in the laboratory of Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Michigan. Tagle has authored more than 150 scientific
publications and has garnered numerous awards and patents.
Sofia Batista Leite PhD, Scientific/Technical Project Officer, Chemical Safety and Alternative Methods, ECVAM, European Commission – Join Research Centre (EC-JRC)
Sofia Batista Leite is a Scientific/Technical Project Officer working on the validation of alternative methods at EURL ECVAM. She is special interested on complex in vitro systems ranging from 3D/spheroids
to organ-on-chip, technologies used in her research experience. She developed her PhD at IBET/ITQB in Oeiras, Portugal on strategies to culture hepatocytes as 3D spheroids, using stirred bioreactors.
From 2012 to 2016 she was a Post-Doc at VUB, Belgium where explored different strategies for in vitro studies of liver fibrosis. Her work has contributed to several national and EU projects on the
development of alternative methods to animal testing, with special highlight to SEURAT-1. She has been part of the Chemical Safety and Alternative Methods Unit since January 2017.
Alexander S. Mosig PhD, Assistant Professor, Center for Sepsis Control and Care, Jena University Hospital
The "Center for Sepsis Control & Care" of the Jena University addresses sepsis research covering all aspects of the disease and its sequelae. The Junior Research Group "in vitro sepsis research -
INSPIRE" headed by Dr. Mosig develops novel biochip designs and tissue engineering protocols for generation of organ-on-chip systems to model microbial infections in vitro. Dr. Mosig's work specifically
focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms related to infection-related organ dysfunction. In particular he is investigating the role of monocytes and macrophages in the orchestration of an
adapted immune response during infection and its resolution.
Anne Riu PhD, Project Manager, Research and Innovation, L’Oréal
I got my PhD in biochemistry in 2006 at INRA in Toulouse – my research was mainly based on metabolism of xenobiotic, human exposure to food contaminants and metabolic identification. Then I did
a first postdoc in the endocrine disruption field at INSERM in Montpellier to develop methods to identify new endocrine disruptors from complex mixtures or from metabolic activation. Then I did a
3-year postdoc in the US at University of Houston where I studied neurotoxicity and obesity effects of environmental pollutants in zebrafish model. Since 2014, I am working in advanced research at
L’Oréal to develop new alternative methods to assess repeat-dose systemic toxicity.
Murat Cirit PhD, Director, Biological Engineering, MIT
Murat Cirit, PhD, is the director of the Translational Center of Tissue Chips Technology. The center focuses on the organ on a chip technology transfer from various institutions and pharmacological applications
of these systems. Murat completed his PhD at NCSU focusing on systems biology. After completion of his PhD, he worked in Merrimack Pharmaceutical focusing on preclinical drug discovery for oncology.
He brings an interdisciplinary and systematic approach combining systems biology, systems pharmacology and organ on a chip technologies.
Evita van de Steeg, PhD, Senior Scientist, Human Biology & Microbiology, TNO Pharma Leiden
Dr. Evita van de Steeg, trained in molecular biology, obtained her PhD in pharmacology in 2015 and has studied the physiological and pharmacological role of drug transporters for many years. She is currently employed as a senior scientist at TNO where she is responsible for initiating and implementing high predictive human (tissue) based in vitro preclinical models mimicking specific or multiple organ functions that can be used to test kinetics, safety and efficacy of compounds, as alternatives to animal tests.