Speakers Bios


Andreas F. Stange, PhD, Vice President MHS Global IVD, TÜV SÜD, Germany

Dr. Andreas F. Stange is a vice president for the Medical and Health Services group at TÜV SÜD Product Service. He serves as the global responsible for the In-vitro Diagnostic Devices business line. Dr. Stange joined TÜV SÜD in 2001 as medical device expert and had various positions since then in the group. Before taking the current position in March 2016, he was President & CEO of TÜV SÜD in Japan.

David E. Barton, PhD, Chief Molecular Geneticist, National Centre for Medical Genetics, Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Ireland

Dr. Barton is the Chief Scientist at the National Centre for Medical Genetics, Dublin, Ireland; Adjunct Associate Professor in School of Medicine & Medical Sciences at University College Dublin. He is also the Chair, Board of Management for the European Molecular Genetics Quality Network Spokesperson on the regulation of genetic testing for the European Society of Human genetics. Having trained in Trinity College Dublin, and The Queen’s University of Belfast, David Barton carried out medical genetics research at Yale University and Cambridge University before setting up the NHS molecular genetics diagnostic laboratory in Cambridge, UK. He returned to Dublin to set up his current laboratory at the National Centre for Medical Genetics in 1995. Prof. Barton has been involved in work to monitor and improve the quality of genetic testing for many years, working with UK NEQAS, the European Molecular Genetics Quality Network EMQN (which he now chairs), the OECD, WHO and EuroGentest. He co-ordinated the EU CRMGEN project, developing certified reference materials for genetic testing. In EuroGentest he continued to work on reference materials development and also has responsibility for examining the role and impact of IVD regulation in genetic testing. David Barton has published over 120 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Research interests include the genetics of vesicoureteral reflux, male infertility and the development of novel DNA diagnostic devices. Prof Barton is a member of the ESHG’s Genetics Services Quality Committee, Chair of the Irish Molecular Diagnostics Network, member of the Medical Devices Advisory Board at the Irish Health Protection and Regulatory Authority and a Board Member of the Genetic and Rare Diseases Association.

Maria Judite Neves, Health Products Director, Health Products Directorate, INFARMED – National Authority of Medicines and Health Products, Portugal

Maria Judite Neves, is the Director of the Health Products Directorate of INFARMED - National Authority of Medicines and Health Products, I.P., since 2008 and has worked in the Medical Devices Regulation area over the last 20 years. She has been participating as national representative on several Working Groups and fora established by the European Council, the European Commission and Competent Authorities for Medical Devices, such as on the Medical Devices Committee, the Committee on Normalization and Technical Regulation for Medical Devices, the Medical Devices Expert Group (MDEG), the MDEG - Classification and Borderline, the Competent Authorities Group for Medical Devices (CAMD), the Central Management Committee of CAMD, the Compliance and Enforcement Group (COEN) and the Notified Body Operations Group (NBOG). She participated on the process of elaboration and discussion of the new regulation framework for medical devices as national expert on the Commission RECAST WG and on the Council Working Party on Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices. She was nominated as national expert for the Medical Devices Coordination Group (MDCG), the governance forum for the new Regulations (Regulation (EU) 2017/745 and Regulation (EU) 2017/746 of the European Parliament and of the Council). She also is a regulatory auditor and assessor in the scope of the European Joint Assessment for Designation and Monitoring of Notified Bodies according to Regulation (EU) 920/2013 and new Regulations. She has participated as trainer, both nationally and internationally, in various training post graduated and master studies and activities promoted by TAIEX Instrument speaker/expert on Medical Devices. She is author of several publications and oral presentations on Medical Devices Regulatory area. She is the national LEAR for European Joint Actions on Medical Devices included in 3rd Health Programme 2014-2020. She as degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences by Lisbon University with two specialisations, one in Community and Hospital Pharmacy and another in Chemical and Biological testing. She has a graduation as Public Health Expert Technician, Laboratory Branch, by the Portuguese state and two specialist degrees by the Pharmaceutical Society (on Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs and another on Clinical Analysis). She is a member of the Portuguese Pharmaceutical Society and currently a member of council of Specialists on Regulatory Affairs of this society.

Charlotte Ryckman, Covington & Burling LLP, Belgium

Charlotte Ryckman is a senior associate in the life sciences practice of Covington & Burling, based in Brussels. Ms. Ryckman assists clients across a complex range of regulatory, legal and procedural matters. Her practice focuses on the European Union rules and on the laws in key EU Member States, including Belgium and The Netherlands. Ms. Ryckman advises pharmaceutical and medical device companies in a variety of regulatory matters. Within the device space, she helps clients navigate the EU regulatory regime on medical devices and in-vitro medical devices. Currently, much of that work focuses on the new EU Medical Devices and In-Vitro Medical Devices Regulations. Ms. Ryckman’s practice also focuses on product safety matters, particularly regarding telecommunications. Ms. Ryckman has been involved in representing several companies in high-profile litigation matters in Belgium.

Ram Santhanam, Senior Director, Product Marketing, SeraCare Life Sciences

Ram is the Sr. Director of Product Marketing at SeraCare Life Sciences. He most recently worked as a Global Account Manager for targeted sequencing products at RainDance Technologies. Prior to that he held several roles in product management and marketing at Applied Biosystems and Life Technologies.

Sue Spencer, Global Service Director, Regulatory, UL, United Kingdom

Sue Spencer has over 30-year experience in the Medical Device and IVD industries where she has held positions in R&D, Manufacturing and Quality Assurance; she has worked in the Notified Body arena since the initial introduction of the Medical Devices and IVD Directives and is now involved with the development of the new regulations. Sue has over 10-year experience working for several Notified Bodies; she currently chairs the European IVD Notified Body Working Group coordinating the notified body responses to the changing regulatory environment. Sue also participates in the Commission IVD Technical Work Group and chairs a sub group preparing guidance on the revised IVD classification. In the past Sue has worked as a consultant establishing her own consultancy before joining Abbott Diagnostics Division where she was Manager for International Quality Systems and Risk Management for the Division for over 6 years. Sue is an experienced tutor on a variety of topics including the IVD Directive, ISO 13485 and risk management.

Doris-Ann Williams, MBE, Chief Executive, British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA), United Kingdom

Center, The Netherlands

Doris-Ann Williams has been Chief Executive of BIVDA since October 2001. She has more than 30 years’ experience working in the IVD sector and has had a variety of experience; initially in R&D and subsequently in commercial roles including international responsibilities. Doris-Ann represents the IVD industry to a range of stakeholders and sits on the boards and steering groups of a variety of initiatives. These include the Ministerial Medical Technology Strategy Group, with Innovate UK, the UK Pharmacogenetics and Stratified Medicine Network, and the Parliamentary and Science Committee as Vice-President. Doris-Ann works closely with MedTech Europe and other global IVD industry associations. She was awarded an MBE in January 2011 and was recognised as a Friend of the Royal College of Pathologists in November 2012.


Lyn Chitty, PhD, MBBS, MRCOG, Professor, Genetics and Genomic Medicine, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and North-East Thames Regional Genetics Service, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom

I am in the unique position of being the only Professor of Genetics and Fetal Medicine in the UK and was appointed to this chair at the Institute of Child Health, University College London in 2009; I am also a Consultant in the Fetal Medicine Unit at University College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. I have published extensively on prenatal diagnosis, and the ultrasound screening of fetal abnormalities, specifically fetal skeletal abnormalities, and was responsible for the creation of the fetal size standards now in use throughout the UK and beyond. I was a member of the National Screening Committee on Routine Fetal Anomaly Scanning for some years. I am also an editor of the journal, Prenatal Diagnosis, and have recently been elected to the board of the International Society of Prenatal Diagnosis. I was recently been appointed as the Clinical Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Network: North Thames. My main current research interest is in non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and I leads a five-year Programme Grant from the National Institute of Health Research (Rapid Accurate Prenatal Non-Invasive Diagnosis (RAPID) – an integrated project to refine and implement safer antenatal testing) which is designed to develop the standards for routine implementation of this exciting new technology.

Claire Guissart, PhD, Laboratory of Genetic Medicine, University of Montpellier, France

Dr. Claire Guissart is a hospital practitioner at the Regional University Hospital Center of Montpellier, France, where she is working to develop techniques for diagnosis of inherited diseases. She has been trained in trace human DNA detection for forensic cases at the Medical Genetics Unit - Faculty of Medicine at University Saint Joseph in Beirut, Lebanon. During her pharmacy practice residency, she worked on the development of qPCR methods for quality control analysis of gene therapy products at the French agency for the safety of health products (ANSM). She continued these studies at Florida Biologix, a contract manufacturing organization tasked with commercializing viral vectors for gene therapy applications in the USA, where she further refined qPCR methods for quantitation of recombinant viral vectors. Dr. Guissart combined these two sets of expertise when she joined Dr. Marie-Claire Vincent’s team at the Regional University Hospital Center of Montpellier and worked to repurpose a qPCR-based mutant-enrichment technique originally developed for cancer analysis. Her goal was to apply this technique to analyzing circulating cell-free fetal DNA for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) of monogenic disorders such as cystic fibrosis. Since the implementation of this test, she continues to work on NIPD techniques research and development in order to expand the spectrum of mutations and diseases diagnosable by these approaches.

Berthold Huppertz, PhD, Professor of Cell Biology, Gottfried Schatz Research Center for Cell Signaling, Metabolism and Aging, Medical University of Graz, Austria

Berthold Huppertz has studied biology in Germany, and earned his PhD at the largest German Research Centre. In 1994, Berthold joined the group of Peter Kaufmann, one of the most renowned placental morphologists, at the University of Aachen, Germany. Berthold became specialist in human anatomy and in 2006 he was appointed Professor of Cell Biology at the Medical University of Graz, Austria. In 2011 Berthold became director and CEO of Biobank Graz, Europe’s largest clinical biobank. In 2015 Berthold was appointed Head of the Organizational Unit of Research Infrastructure at Medical University of Graz including Biobank Graz, the Center for Medical Research and the Animal Core Unit of the university. In 2018 Berthold was appointed Chair of Cell Biology, Histology and Embryology at his university. Berthold has pioneered the research on placental trophoblast apoptosis and turnover and introduced the apoptosis cascade to the human placenta. He focuses particularly on the regulation of trophoblast biology in preeclampsia and IUGR. He is involved in studies seeking to identify biomarkers to predict preeclampsia and has challenged the current hypothesis on the etiology of preeclampsia. Berthold was member of the Executive Board of the International Federation of Placenta Associations (IFPA) and was member of the Editorial Boards/Associate Editor of a variety of journals in the field including the journals Placenta, Biology of Reproduction, Human Reproduction and Human Reproduction Update. He has published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals, has been invited to a large number of conferences to give lectures, and has received the IFPA Award in Placentology in 2009.

Francois Jacquemard, PhD, Gynecology & Obstetrics, American Hospital of Paris, France

Dr. François JACQUEMARD is an obstetrician gynecologist at the American Hospital of Paris. A sonographer specialized in the fetus, he also performs gynecological ultrasounds (fibroids, ovulation inductions, ovarian pathologies).

Hamutal Meiri, PhD, MBA, Coordinator, International Research, ASPRE Consortium, Israel

Dr. Hamutal Meiri holds a PhD in Neurobiology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1979) and a MBA degree from Tel Aviv University, Recanati School of Business (1995). She was a faculty member in brain development in the medical schools of Tel Aviv University, Technion, and NYU (1982-1990), and a Visiting Professorship at Weil-Cornell Medical College, NY. In 1991 Dr. Meiri was appointed to be the first Director of Israel National Committee of Biotech, and also served as the Research Advisor to UNESCO' COBIOTECH Committee. In 1994-1999 she was the Consortium Director of Israel Chief Scientist Magnet program (Biotech). In 1996-1998 she was elected to be the Head of Israel Telemedicine Industry Forum, and also served as a consultant to the Scandinavians Prime Minister on telemedicine. Between 1995-2000 she served as the Director of North Carolina-Israel Science and Technology Fund. In 2001 she became the CEO of DTL, an Israeli biotech start-up company that developed biomarkers of pregnancy disorders and new therapeutics for preeclampsia prevention. The Company was subsequently acquired by hylabs, Rehovot, Israel where Dr. Meiri serves as the Coordinator of International Research and PP13 program director. In 2006-2010 Dr. Meiri was the Coordinator of EC Health Project Pregenesys (FP6) for developing biomarkers for preeclampsia prediction and in vitro preventing systems. In 2012-2014 she coordinated the US-Israel Bi-National industrial R&D Fund ((BIRD) initiative in Neurotech. She is currently The Exploitation Manager of EC Health Project ASPRE (FP7) for combining multi-marker based prediction of preeclampsia with a randomized aspirin and placebo use for preeclampsia prevention. In addition, she is the Clinical Director for hylabs and GENEWIZ projet Obediome under the BIRD program for developing microbiome diagnostic panels for obesity, and bariatric surgery. She is also the CEO and Chairman of TeleMarpe involved in Biotech Project Development and Risk Management. In this capacity she is promoting the development of ScreenCell devices to isolate, visualize and molecular biology of circulating tumor and fetal cells. Dr. Meiri is the author of more than 70 peer review scientific papers, and 4 chapters in books, mainly in prenatal diagnostics and therapy.

Juliette Nectoux, PharmD, PhD, Molecular Genetics, HUPC Hôpital Cochin, France

Juliette Nectoux is a molecular geneticist at Cochin Hospital, Paris, France. She received a Pharm degree followed by a Ph.D. in Intellectual Deficiencies from Paris Descartes University. She has been active in the area of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for over 5 years. In 2013, she carried out the technological transfer from quantitative real-time PCR to droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) for fetal gender determination and fetal RHD genotyping from maternal blood (Orhant et al, Ann Biol Clin, 2015; Orhant et al, Ann Biol Clin, 2016). Afterward, she proposed a new test based on ddPCR combined with minisequencing for the non-invasive prenatal testing of achondroplasia (Orhant et al, Prenatal Diag, 2016) and participated to a proof-of-concept study concerning ddPCR as an alternative to NGS for trisomy 21 NIPT (El Khattabi et al, PLoS One, 2016). Her current research involves NIPT of single-gene disorders, focusing on the simple cases of paternally-inherited mutations (Gruber et al, CCLM, 2017, in press) as well as the complex cases of maternally-inherited mutations, through the development of a digital PCR approach based on the evaluation of the Uniformly Most Powerful Likehood Ratio Test (UMP LRT) that determines if the dosages of the mutant and wild-type alleles of a disease-causing gene are balanced or unbalanced in maternal plasma. Thanks to the opportunities to present her results in national and international congress (Assises de Génétique, Lyon, 2016; European Society of Human Genetics, Barcelona, 2016; Société Française de Médecine Prédictive et Personnalisée, Montpellier, 2016; Advances in Prenatal Molecular Diagnostics, Lisbon 2017), she participates to the diffusion and the popularization of digital PCR.

Julian Nevado, PhD, Responsible for Genomics and Quality Manager, INGEMM, Spain

Nevado, Julian: JNB holds a PhD in biology. I have around 25 years’ experience in research in genetic-based diseases and has been since 1989, working in the field of molecular biology in diagnosis and research. It has joined the staff of physicians of the medical genetics service, at INGEMM in 2007 as Deputy of the service of genetics and head of the structural genomics and functional of the INGEMM is in daily contact with diagnoses of patients with diseases of genetic and congenital malformations. In the past 10 years, he has published + 30 works with factor impact referenced in the international databases (PubMed, ISI). He has participated in around 20 research projects funded by public research organizations of the Ministry of Health, CIBERER, Ministry of Education and Science and the Autonomous Community of Madrid, as well as other private funding entities. I have a broad background in medical genetics, with specific training and experience in research related to the etiology of birth defects. I collaborated with Estudio Colaborativo Latino Americano de Malformaciones Congénitas (ECLAMC), a research group dedicated to the study of the epidemiology and etiology of birth defects. For my PhD thesis, and postdoctoral training I studied general mechanism of gene transcription at Harvard University, Cambridge MA, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering cancer Center in NY, USA. Currently, I am genetician at the Hospital Universitario la Paz as Responsible of Genomics of INGEMM, developing a huge experience in new genomics technologies, such as microarrays (aCGH or SNParrays) or NGS.

Patrizia Paterlini-Brechot, PhD, MD, Cellular & Molecular Biology, University Paris Descartes, France

Professor Patrizia Paterlini-Brechot, MD, PhD, is Oncologist, Hematologist and Molecular Biologist. She began her career with a tenure Assistant position at the University of Bologna, Italy. She then obtained a tenure Professorship position in 2004 at Paris Descartes University-Hôpital, with a triple task of research leader, academic teacher and hospital practitioner. Author or co-author of more than 120 peer reviewed scientific articles, and co-inventor of 7 patents, Prof. Paterlini-Brechot published fundamental studies on HBV and BCV-related liver carcinogenesis, and on the impact of calcium signaling on ER stress-related diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Starting from 1998, Prof. Paterlini-Brechot's team developed and patented the new method ISET (Isolation by SizE of Tumor/Trophoblastic cells) allowing for the first time the isolation from blood of intact tumor and fetal cells without loss and without the use of antibodies. This approach is now recognized as a breakthrough in the fields of predictive oncology and non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. Prof. Paterlini-Brechot's team is internationally recognized for its expertise and knowledge in the field of single cells molecular analyses of circulating rare cells such as tumor and fetal cells, a technically highly challenging field with important clinical implications in non-invasive theranostics and non-invasive prenatal diagnosis.

Ripudaman Singh, PhD, COO, ARCEDI Biotech Aps, Denmark

Ripudaman Singh has 10 years of experience in developing technologies for the enrichment and detection of rare fetal cells from maternal blood. His team was the first to publish the expression profile data on the circulating fetal cells, showing that fetal cells circulating in maternal blood have a placental origin. The team holds two patents for the isolation and detection of such cells. He has a PhD in Medicine (Genetics of Human Longevity) from Aarhus University, Denmark, and MBA from Aarhus School of Business.

Malgorzata Srebniak, PhD, Laboratory Specialist in Clinical Genetics, Clinical Genetics, Erasmus Medical

Dr. Srebniak is working as a clinical cytogeneticist in the field of prenatal diagnosis since 2000.

Vedran Stefanovic, PhD, Professor, Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Helsinki University Hospital, Finland

Current position: Senior Consultant and A/Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Fetal Medicine, Helsinki University Hospital and Medical Faculty University of Helsinki, Finland. Education: Medical School University of Zagreb, Croatia, 1990 (medical doctor), Helsinki University, FINLAND, Specialist in OB/GYN, 2002,Helsinki University, Finland, subspecialty in Fetal and Maternal Medicine, 2005 -112 publications, Supervisor of 7 PhD thesis and 24 graduation thesis. Visiting professor, University of Split, Croatia. Responsible for national implementation of Cell free fetal DNA (cffDNA) in Fetal Medicine in Finland in public health care. Four publications on this issue. Senior lecturer at Medical School, University of Helsinki, Finland. Wide experience in prenatal diagnostics and fetal diagnostics and invasive procedures.

Heather Strange, PhD, Research Associate, Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University, United Kingdom

Dr Heather Strange is a qualitative research associate at the Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University, UK. She has a background in medical sociology, science and technology studies and bio/medical ethics and her PhD thesis (2015) critically examined the development and early clinical translation of NIPD and NIPT.

Ida Vogel, MD, Head of Clinical Genetics, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark

I chose to become an MD because of an interest in pregnancy. I have worked scientifically with pregnancy and prenatal diagnostics since I was a medical student. At first this was with abnormal outcomes as preterm delivery and later with outcomes as malformations and chromosomal diseases. Now, as Head of department, Clinical genetics, prenatal diagnostics is my primary clinical interest as well as research interest. I teach the prenatal diagnostics curriculum from a clinical genetics perspective at Faculty of Health, Aarhus University. I have used varied genetic and non-genetic laboratory techniques and I have established several methods. I have worked extensively using epidemiological techniques. I now work with combinations of these skills in establishing prenatal diagnostic tests and estimating population consequences hereof.


Eeva Auvinen, PhD, Senior Laboratory Supervisor, Department of Virology and Immunology, Helsinki University Hospital Laboratory, Finland

Senior Laboratory Supervisor and Adjunct Professor in Virology, Helsinki University Hospital Laboratory and University of Helsinki, 1996- German Cancer Research Centre, visiting scientist 1993-1996 Laboratory Supervisor, Researcher, University of Turku, 1986-1993

Till T. Bachmann, PhD, Reader, Personalised Medicine in Infectious Disease; Deputy Head, Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine, Edinburgh Medical School, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Till Bachmann is Deputy Head of the Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine, Reader in Personalised Medicine in Infectious Diseases, and Programme Director of the Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases MSc at The University of Edinburgh. Till has a PhD on biosensors from research at University of Stuttgart and The University of Tokyo and a German Habilitation in Analytical Biotechnology. He is an expert in point of care detection of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance, conducting research at the interface of biomarkers and novel detection modalities. Till fulfils a variety of industrial and institutional advisory roles worldwide. As such he is coordinator of the JPIAMR Transnational Working Group on Rapid Diagnostic Tests, member of the UK AMR Strategy Diagnostics Sub-Group, Panel Member for the Longitude Prize on Antibiotics, judge for the Discovery Award and EU Horizon Prize on Better Use of Antibiotics, as well as founder of AMR DxC, the Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostics Challenge competition.

Adriana Calderaro, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Clinical Microbiology, Unit of Microbiology and Virology, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University Hospital of Parma, Italy

Dr. Calderaro has a degree in Medicine and Surgery summa cum laude on1991 at the Faculty Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma; licence to medical practice in Medicine and Surgery on November 1991 awarded by the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Parma; member of the Medical Practitioners National Register since December 1991; PhD in Basic and applied Microbiology on 1996; post-degree a at the Medical School of Microbiology and Virology summa cum laude 1999 at the Faculty Medicine and Surgery of the University of Parma. She is currently an MD, PhD in Clinical Microbiologist and Clinical Virologist, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Parma. Medical activity Direcror of the Unit of Clinical Microbiology and Director in charge of unit of Clinocal Virology at the University Hospital of Parma. She teaches at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Parma. Her research activity covers the fields of bacteriology (micobacteria, spirochaetes); parasitology (plasmodia, Toxoplasma gondii, intestinal protozoa), virology (hepatitis viruses; gastroenteric viruses).

Matthew Cotten, PhD, Senior Staff Scientist, Viroscience, Erasmus Medical Center, the Netherlands

Matthew Cotten describes the evolution of medically important viruses. He is developing high throughput methods for generating and analysing virus genomic sequences from clinical samples. He recently assisted with efforts to sequence Ebolavirus locally in Sierra Leone and he has led the group's work on MERS-Coronavirus.

François Jean, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Team Leader, NCE IC-IMPACTS Grant in Next Generation Molecular Diagnostics for Emerging Viral Diseases, and CIHR Grant in Anti-Flavivirus Drug Discovery, Canada

Dr. François JEAN is the scientific director of the University of British Columbia Facility for Infectious Disease and Epidemic Research (www.finder.ubc.ca) and a tenured associate professor in the field of molecular virology. His research career has included work in two prestigious laboratories: the Proprotein Convertase Group at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal [1991-95; FCAR scholar (Ph.D.)] and the Cell Biology Group of Dr. Gary Thomas at the Vollum Institute (1995-99: MRC postdoctoral fellow). Since he joined the UBC Department of Microbiology and Immunology as an assistant professor in 1999, he has been leading major research initiatives funded by CIHR to discover novel broad-spectrum antiviral agents and biomarkers directed at human enveloped viruses, including a team grant in 2008 from the CIHR Pandemic Preparedness Initiative and a Networks of Centres of Excellence Canada-India grant (2014-2018) for developing cutting-edge diagnostics for detecting emerging and re-emerging viruses (http://ic-impacts.com/research/research-projects/dr-francois-jean/).

Dr. Jean has won several prestigious scholarly awards including a 5-year new investigator award (2000-05) from CIHR/Health Canada, a Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies Early Career UBC Award (2001), the Fisher Scientific Award from the Canadian Society for Microbiologists (2003), and the UBC Faculty of Science Service Award (2010) in recognition of his leadership role in establishing FINDER, one of the largest university-based CL-3 facilities in the world [CFI Award ($19.3 million); Dr. Jean co-PI]. Dr. Jean holds 12 collective invention disclosures, has published 164 peer-review papers and abstracts, has given 81 invited presentations, and has mentored 91 trainees in virology (www.microbiology.ubc.ca/jean).

Oliver Liesenfeld, MD, CMO, Inflammatix, United States

Oliver Liesenfeld holds a M.D. and a doctoral (Dr. med.) degree from the Free University of Berlin, Germany. He completed his residency in medical microbiology and infection epidemiology at the Department of Medical Microbiology at the Charité Medical School, Berlin, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographical Medicine at Stanford University. He was Associate Professor of Medical Microbiology and Infection Immunology at the Charité Medical School in 2001 to 2008. His research focused on the immune response, diagnosis and treatment of infections. From 2008 to 2017 he worked in the Department of Medical and Scientific Affairs at Roche Molecular Diagnostics, heading the Department as Chief Medical Officer from 2012 to 2017. In 2018 he became Chief Medical Officer and Head of Clinical Affairs at Inflammatix Inc.
Oliver contributed more than 160 peer-reviewed articles to medical journals and authored more than 30 book chapters.

Norman Moore, PhD, Director, Scientific Affairs, Abbott, United States

Norman Moore got his BA from Dartmouth College and his PhD in microbiology from the University of New Hampshire. He has six patents in diagnostics and is the inventor of rapid urinary antigen testing for Legionella and S. pneumoniae among other assays. He currently sits on multiple committees, such as the College of American Pathology and the Clinical Laboratory Standard's Institute's Point-of-Care committees. He now serves as the Director of Infectious Diseases at Abbott Rapid Diagnostics.

Volkan Ozenci, MD, PhD Associate Professor, Senior Consultant Physician, Clinical Microbiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden

Volkan Özenci, M.D., Ph.D., received his medical degree from Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine in Turkey. He was awarded a Ph.D. in immunology from Karolinska Institutet. He is currently an Associate Professor and senior consultant in Clinical Microbiology at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Özenci has received several awards in teaching and is responsible for the clinical microbiology curriculum of medical students at Karolinska Institutet. His research interest is development and evaluation of rapid identification and susceptibility testing methods in clinical microbiology. In recent years, Dr. Özenci’s group has published a number of significant studies on novel diagnostic tools for infectious diseases. He has led several clinical studies in collaboration with the industry.

Junko Stevens, Senior Director, Research & Development, Genetic Sciences Division, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Junko Stevens graduated from the chemistry department of Kobe University, Japan. She has been a R&D Senior Director at Thermo Fisher Scientific since 2011. Her primary responsibilities include developing genetic analysis products and integrating workflow. Her main focus has been qPCR reagents, sample prep, assays and new application development. She attended Wharton executive education programs in 2014. She is a US-Japan council member since 2014.

Olivier Vandenberg, MD, PhD, Professor, Microbiology, Laboratory Medicine, Laboratoire Hospitalier Universitaire de Bruxelles, Belgium

Olivier Vandenberg, MD, PhD is appointed Professor of Microbiology in the Public Health School and in the Faculty of Medicine of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium. In addition, he is currently member of the WHO Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (WHO-AGISAR). Most of his researches focus on emerging foodborne pathogens and antimicrobial resistance. Since 2000, he has supervised the consolidation of several microbiology laboratories in high and low resource settings. Besides this, he also collaborates with different manufacturers and research institutes in the development of new approaches for the diagnosis and control of infectious diseases.

Pedro Fernando da Costa Vasconcelos, MD, PhD, Medical Virologist, Director, Evandro Chagas Institute, Ministry of Health, Brazil

Dr. Vasconcelos is a medical virologist with MD, at the Federal university of Pará, PhD at the Federal University of Bahia, and a post-doc training period at the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston, USA). He is member of WHO committees including the Emergency Committee for Zika and Microcephaly; Zika virus vaccine and Yellow Geographic Risk; he is member of the Evandro Chagas Institute where is the General Director. Actually, he is the coordinator of the National Reference Laboratory for arboviruses and of the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Arbovirus Reference and Research, both at the Evandro Chagas Institute. He published more than 220 peer-reviewed papers and 50 book chapters and mentor for post-graduate students.

Wilfried Weigel, PhD, Vice President, Research & Development, Scienion, Germany

1994 Ph.D. in chemistry, 1994-1996 Michigan State University, Postdoc; 1999-2000 Northwestern University, Research Associate. Main areas of Research and Development: Surface Coating, Microarrays and Fluorescence Sensing and Dynamics. Head of Research and Development at Scienion.


Shreerang Bhide, PhD, MBBS, MRCP, FRCR, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer, The Royal Marsden Hospital, The Institute of Cancer Research, United Kingdom

Dr. Shreerang Bhide is a Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at The Royal Marsden Hospital and The Institute of cancer Research in London and Sutton, He specialises in the treatment of patients with Head and Neck and Gastrointestinal cancers using advanced radiotherapy techniques such as IMRT and IGRT. His research programme at the Institute of Cancer Research is investigating the molecular determinants of response to Chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in tumours and normal tissues and circulating tumor DNA in head and neck cancer. Dr Bhide completed general medical training at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary, and specialist training at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS trust and University College Hospitals, London.

He was awarded a PhD in Radiation Oncology in 2009. He has published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has been awarded competitive research fellowships as well as international prizes for his research.

Liang Cao, PhD, Head, Molecular Targets Core Lab, National Cancer Institute (NCI), MD, United States

Dr. Cao is the Head of Molecular Targets Core Lab responsible for biomarker investigations in clinical trials at the National Cancer Institute (USA). He has been an investigator of over 30 cancer drug trials at NCI, in which he’s responsible for various activities including clinical PD/PK, mechanism of action, dose-response, proof of therapeutic concept, treatment assessment, and recurrence evaluation. He also has extensive experiences in early stage development of immunotherapies, for which he gave a symposium talk in AACR Annual Conference in 2017 on the first-in-human study of a novel immune checkpoint agent. Dr. Cao had experiences in biotech and biopharmaceutical industry, as he served as VP of R&D in Aptus Pharmaceuticals, and as a research director in biotech companies. He is an inventor of more than 30 US patents on therapies, diagnostics, and assay technologies. Dr. Cao holds a PhD degree from Harvard University and was a Damon Runyon Cancer Fellow at the Cancer Center of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Yuval Dor, PhD, Professor, Developmental Biology and Cancer Research, The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel

I have trained with Eli Keshet at the Hebrew University and Doug Melton at Harvard University as a developmental biologist with an interest in diabetes. My laboratory at the Hebrew University is currently focused on human tissue dynamics, in particular studies of the tissue sources of cell-free circulating DNA using information about tissue-specific methylation patterns.

Mark Eccleston, Business Development Director, Volition, Belgium

Dr Mark Eccleston is an enthusiastic and passionate biotechnology entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in the sector, both in academia and industry. He holds a PhD in Polymer Chemistry for biomedical applications. Mark is the founder and Managing Director of OncoLytika Ltd. a technical consultancy company working with internationally located private and public limited companies in the diagnostics and therapeutic sectors as well as academia. Dr Eccleston is the Business Development Director at Volition.

Jesus Garcıa-Foncillas, MD, PhD, Director, Cancer Institute, University Hospital “Fundacion Jimenez Diaz”, Autonomous University, Madrid, Spain

Jesus Garcia-Foncillas is currently the Director of the University Cancer Institute and the Department of Oncology at the University Hospital “Fundacion Jimenez Diaz” (Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain) and Professor of Oncology at the Autonomous University of Madrid. He combines this with the roles of Director of the Translational Oncology Division at the Health Research Institute FJD-UAM (Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain) and Coordinator of the Comprehensive Cancer Program of four University Hospitals at Madrid (Fundacion Jimenez Diaz, Infanta Elena Hospital, Rey Juan Carlos Hospital and General Hospital at Villalba). Prof Garcia-Foncillas obtained his MD from the School of Medicine, University of Zaragoza (Zaragoza, Spain) and was awarded PhD from the University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain). He was subsequently awarded a fellowship in medical oncology at the University Clinic of Navarre, following his research training at the MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX, USA). Prof. Garcia-Foncillas has directed his scientific endeavors towards applying basic research to cancer diagnosis and treatment. He has holded several positions both nationally and internationally, such as Vice-President for the National Medical Oncology Commission, Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs Council on Medical Specialties, President of the Tenth National Congress sponsored by the Spanish Cancer Research Association, President of the V Meeting of the Spanish Society of Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacogenetics, Co-coordinator of the Genomics and Proteomics Program at the Network of Cancer Centers (Carlos III Health Institute); Board Member for the Spanish Group on Hereditary Cancer, Board Member for the Spanish Federation of Oncology Associations (FESEO). Furthermore, he is a correspondent academician for the Royal Spanish Academy at Zaragoza since 1998 and Honorary Member of the Mexican Oncology Association since 2005, Scientific Consulting for the EMA. Additionally, Prof. Garcia-Foncillas is trustee of the Olga Torres Foundation, Merck Salud Foundation and Foundation for the Excellence and Quality in Oncology (ECO). Currently, he is the President of the Mediterranean Oncology Society (MOS) from 2013. He has recently awarded with the 2014-Prize to the best Spanish Researcher Oncologist. Prof. Garcia-Foncillas is author of more than 210 articles (PubMed) and several books on Cancer.

Ellen Heitzer, PhD, Associate Professor, Institute of Human Genetics, Medical University Graz, Austria

Ellen Heitzer works at the Institute of Human Genetics, Medical University Graz, Austria. She received her PhD in Molecular Biology in 2007 from the Medical University Graz. Prior to beginning her research at the Institute of Human Genetics, she worked as a Postdoc at the Department of Dermatology and the Division of Oncology, Medical University Graz. After a 6-months research stay at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, she received her degree as an Assistant Professor. She published several journal articles, which reflect her interest on cell-free circulating tumor DNA. In the last years, her work was recognized with several national and international awards, e.g. BMC Cancer Research and Overall Award 2014. In addition to her work on circulating tumor-DNA she is involved in the routine diagnostics of hereditary diseases with the main focus on familial cancer syndromes.

Regina Mayor Ferreras, PhD, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology

I obtained my degree on Biology (Health Sciences) in 2001 at University of Navarra, and then moved to Barcelona, where I did an MSc on Biotechnology at University of Barcelona. I acquired an strong background on Colorectal cancer and Epigenetics during my PhD at Duran i Reynalds Oncologic Hospital, complemented with a half-year experience at Professor Susan Clark’s lab at the Garvan Institute in Sydney, Australia. I continued working on the epigenetics field as a junior postdoc at IBMB-CSIC Institute for 3 years. In 2013 I joined Joan Seoane’s lab, at the Translational Research Program at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) as a postdoctoral researcher, where I have been working on Liquid Biopsy and Brain cancer, developing the genomic techniques of several projects, and being mainly specialized in cell-free DNA detection in glioma patients by next generation sequencing and droplet digital PCR.

M. Jose Serrano Fernández, PhD, Director, Liquid Biopsies Division, Liquid Biopsies & Metastasis Group Senior Research UGC Oncologia, Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Spain

The trajectory Dr. María José Serrano is based on oncological research and mainly focused on the area of liquid biopsy. During her career she has made different stays in Spain (Bilbao, Pamplona, Barcelona) and abroad (Tromso Norway). Currently, she is scientific director of the Liquid Biopsy Group and Metastases (BL & M) at GENyO center, in Granada, and assistant professor at the University of Granada. She is author of more than 30 articles, about the exciting field of Liquid Biopsy, standing out: The Lancet Oncology, 2012. Breast Cancer Research, 2012. Scientific reports (Nature) 2015, or Oncotarget 2017, among others. Currently, she leads national as international projects, focused on the study of circulating tumor cells, platelets and cell free tumor DNA. Results of these projects have generated internationally licensed patents. Work carried out by her group has been recognized by the Health Ministry and the Andalusian Health Service (SAS). She is also co-founder of the International Society of Liquid Biopsy (ISBL), where she acts as secretary.

Guro Elisabeth Lind, PhD, Professor and Group Leader, Molecular Oncology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, Norway

Guro E. Lind is a group leader at the Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, and a professor at the University of Oslo. The main aim of the Lind lab is to identify and develop epigenetic biomarkers with clinical impact, including markers for early detection and monitoring of cancer. The lab is also aiming at analyzing and understanding the underlying biology of these aberrations and how they affect the cancer development. The group is working across several cancer types, including colorectal-, and bladder cancer and the rare cholangiocarcinomas. Several of their biomarkers are subjects of innovation activity. Lind is also the vice Chair of the Young Academy of Norway, consisting of young talented researchers from all disciplines, working with broader issues such as research policy development and science outreach.

Andrea Regner, MD, PhD, Professor, Cellular and Molecular Biology Applied to Health, Course of Medicine, Lutheran University of Brazil, Canoas, Brazil

Dr. Regner graduated in medicine at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) (1995), has PhD in Biological Sciences (Biochemistry) at UFRGS (2000), Brazil. She is a specialist in Internal and Emergency Medicine (AMB, 2000) and in the Management of Networks for Health Care, with emphasis in Urgency-Emergency (Hospital Sírio Libanês, 2012). Dr. Regner is a Professor of the Medical School (since 2001) and of the Postgraduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology Applied to Health at the Lutheran University of Brazil, where Coordinates research and postgraduate students in the field of prognostic molecular biomarkers in critical illnesses, with major emphasis in clinical scenarios of acute neural injury. She has Health Care Management experience as Coordinator of the Planning and Programming (ASSEPLA) of the Municipal Health Secretariat of Porto Alegre (2013-2015), as Coordinator of the Emergency of the Hospital Nossa Senhora da Conceição (HNSC, 2011-2012), and as Coordinator of the Hospital Cristo Redentor (2010-2011). She was the Counselor of the Municipal Council of Health of Porto Alegre (2013-2015).

Heidi Schwarzenbach, PhD, Associate Professor, Group Leader, Tumor Biology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

Dr. Heidi Schwarzenbach graduated in molecular/cell biology at the University of Basel, Biocenter, Switzerland. Since 2002 she has been working at the Department of Tumor Biology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, as a senior researcher and group leader. Her research has been focused on the characterization and quantification of cell-free nucleic acids, such as DNA, nucleosomes and microRNAs, and the detection of genetic alterations of tumor suppressor genes on cell-free DNA in patients with different tumor types. She has developed sensitive and specific methods for the detection and separation of tumor-associated exosomes.

Jacqui Shaw, PhD, Professor, Translational Medicine, University of Leicester, United Kingdom

Professor Shaw has been at the forefront of circulating tumour DNA for over 15 years. Professor Shaw holds a prestigious Cancer Research UK Programme Grant that is aimed at analysis of circulating nucleic acids for early detection and monitoring of breast cancer. She has also secured grant funding from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation for a study entitled “Early detection of NSCLC by deep sequencing of circulating free DNA” and is in receipt of The Nikki Rivers Award from Hope Against Cancer for early detection of pancreatic cancer research.

Valerie Taly, PhD, CNRS Research Director (Dr2), Group Leader, Co-Director Ediag Platform, UFR Des Sciences Fondamentales Et Biomedicales, France

After graduation as a Molecular Toxicologist, Dr Valerie Taly (Abecassis) performed her PhD research at the Center of Molecular Genetics (CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette, FR) on applications of combinatorial methods (generally used for proteins directed evolution) to the study of the functional plasticity of human Cytochromes P450. She joined Andrew Griffiths’ group in 2003, in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in the Medical Research Council in Cambridge (UK), to work on in vitro compartmentalization of biological and chemical reactions in emulsion droplets and participated to the development of High-throughput selection procedures of double-emulsions by FACS. In 2005, she integrated the Laboratory of Biological Chemistry directed by Pr. A. Griffiths in the ISIS institute (Univ. Strasbourg) as a permanent CNRS researcher to work on HTS procedures using droplet-based microfluidics. Since 2008, she develops droplet-based digital procedures for Cancer diagnosis. Recently, her team developed highly sensitive quantitative procedures for the detection of Cancer Biomarkers in droplets in a collaboration involving the clinical laboratory of Pr. P. Laurent-Puig (hEGP hospital, Univ. Paris-Descartes), the team of Dr J.-C. Baret (Max Plank Institute, Goettingen) and Raindance Technologies (US). She has recently created (January 2012) a new Group, named Translational Research And Microfluidics (TRAM), within a clinical oncology research unit in the university Paris-Descartes. Her research is dedicated to the clinical validation of the developed droplet-based procedures for the non-invasive detection of Cancer biomarkers, the highlighting of new Cancer Biomarkers and the development of original tools and procedures for their detection with applications in personalized medicine, cancer recurrence detection and cancer diagnostics.

Benjamin Tournier, PhD, Laboratoire d'anatomie pathologique, CHU Dijon, France

After completing a molecular biology thesis about genetic and epigenetic alterations in stage II colon cancers, Benjamin started working on liquid biopsy pre-analytics and analyses in 2016, in the molecular pathology department of the Dijon University Hospital, France. He is particularly involved in digital PCR assays development and he recently graduated with a degree in NGS bioinformatic data analysis.

Daniel Wetterskog, PhD, Senior Scientific Officer, Treatment Resistance, Molecular Pathology, ICR, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom

Dr. Daniel Wetterskog is the Senior Scientific Officer in Dr Gerthard Attard’s team at the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, UK. In his position Daniel is in charge of project and student supervision and implementation and development of methods for interrogation of clinical samples with a focus on cell free DNA found in plasma from patients with Castration-resistant prostate cancer. Daniel completed his Ph.D. in 2008, working on transcriptional dysregulation in cancer at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. After a post-doctoral position at the Institute of Cancer Research London focusing on identification of resistance mechanisms to HER2 targeting agents and a second post-doctoral position at University College London Cancer Institute focusing on radiosensitization of cancers, he re-joined the Institute of Cancer Research in 2014 to continue his work on understanding and overcoming treatment resistances in cancer.


Zac Chatterton, PhD, Lecturer, Brain and Mind Centre, The University of Sydney, Australia

I undertook my PhD at the University of Melbourne, Australia, characterizing DNA methylation alterations in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and validating the clinical potential of these targets for disease diagnosis. I then joined the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai in New York and undertook postdoctoral work in Neuroscience profiling the epigenetic landscape of the human brain during development and within neuropsychiatric disorders whilst developing peripheral detection methods for neurological tissue. I now work at the Brain and Mind Centre in Sydney, utilizing structural imaging (MRI) to identify patient subgroups for which cfDNA methylation assays can be validated.

Sandi Deans, PhD, Director, Genomics Quality Assessment (GenQA), Department of Laboratory Medicine, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

Dr. Deans is a Consultant Clinical Scientist and the Director of GenQA of UK NEQAS in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. She is the National Laboratory and Scientific Lead within the NHS England 100,000 Genomes Project Genomic Implementation Unit as well as Honorary Reader in Genomic Medicine at Edinburgh University.

Alison Devonshire, PhD, Science Leader, Molecular and Cell Biology, LGC Ltd., United Kingdom

Alison Devonshire read Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) at Queens’ College, Cambridge (U.K) and worked as a clinical research associate implementing Phase II and III trials before studying for her PhD in the transcriptional regulation of genes involved in metabolic diseases at the University of Surrey. Since 2008, Alison has worked in the Molecular and Cell Biology group at LGC, which is the UK National Measurement Laboratory and Designated Institute for chemical and bio-measurements. She specializes in the application of nucleic acid measurements in clinical diagnostics and cellular analysis. In her current role as Science Leader, Alison is working on projects developing single cell-based approaches and standardizing measurements of cancer biomarkers.

Rikke Fredslund Andersen, PhD, Molecular Biologist, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Vejle Hospital, Denmark

Rikke Fredslund Andersen is a molecular biologist working at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Vejle Hospital, Denmark. In cooperation with the Department of Oncology she works on research projects focusing on utilizing circulating cell-free plasma DNA for personalized treatment of cancer patients.

Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine in Galilee, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

I am a systems biologist with a coherent career leading to excellence in extracting the maximal capabilities in a wide variety of molecular & computational tools. I remained focus on creative improvements in the interphase of large scale data and personalized diagnostics. My background knowledge is in computational and molecular biology, cancer genomics and transcriptomics. Currently, I integrated two labs under my supervision: Computational Biology lab (equipped with 4 Dell ultra-large memory R820 servers and 1PetaByte Bioinformatics Centre) and a wet Molecular Biology & Cancer Genomics laboratory. My team has the skills to bridge the gap between hundreds of thousands of parameters studied in the laboratory or by computational biology and deliver reliable platforms answering specific clinical questions that remain unmet. My labs are utilizing various next-generation sequencing (NGS) methods to uncover unique genomics, epigenetics and metagenomics characteristics in vitro as well as analysing tissue and blood samples from cancer patients. My lab acquired a very strong expertise in the NGS analyses and collaborates with many labs at the faculty. During my first postdoctoral study at Prof. Uri Alon's lab, Weizmann Institute of Science, I gained a substantial expertise in Systems Biology and designing unique experiments with the GFP/YFP fluorescence markers. During my second postdoc at Prof. Alfonso Valencia's lab, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), I studied Cancer Genomics and chimeric transcripts in different cancer types. I solve the problems in genomics and cancer biology using theoretical models matched with empirical experimentation. I am particularly interested to study such naturally occurring phenomenon as trans-splicing and fusion proteins in cancers, as well as regulation of protein translation by transfer-RNAs during the cell-cycle, chimeric RNA transcripts and proteins, changes in protein-protein interaction networks by fusion proteins, single cell sequencing and cell-to-cell variability, personalized medicine and identification of novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in cancers using circulating tumour DNA in plasma. I generate data sets in vitro with high-throughput sequencing, proteomics, and single cell analysis, while in silico I specialize in mathematical modelling and data mining to generate testable hypotheses using high-throughput datasets.

Verena Haselmann, MD, Physician, Institute for Clinical Chemistry, University Medicine Mannheim, Germany

Dr. Haselmann is a medical doctor, who has been working at the Institute for Clinical Chemistry at the University of Mannheim/Heidelberg in Germany since 2011. At moment, she is heading the institute´s molecular genetics laboratory. This laboratory carries out diagnostic routine genetic testing in patient care including a high-end molecular oncology lab running ctDNA analysis by OncoBEAM System and ddPCR. Also, Dr. Haselmann is responsible for the institute´s molecular research facilities comprising a regular molecular biology and cloning laboratory together with a Next-Generation-Sequencing CORE facility. Furthermore, Dr. Haselmann has been an active member of the scientific advisory board of the Reference Institute for Bioanalytics (RfB) since 5 years, and is responsible for molecular External Quality Assessment (EQA) programs offered by the RfB. She also acts as a member of the CEN-ISO/TC140/WG 3 "Quality management in the medical laboratory" and has helped to develop quality standards for preanalytical requirements of molecular genetic diagnostics, e.g. for isolation of genomic DNA, RNA and cell free DNA (cfDNA).

An Hendrix, PhD, Professor, Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Ghent University, Belgium

An Hendrix received her PhD from Ghent University. Her current research focuses are: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) transfer lipids, membrane-associated and intraluminal proteins, and nucleic acids influencing various physiological and pathological functions. Tumor-derived EVs enter the circulation to assist organ metastasis, a process responsible for more than 90% of cancer-associated mortality. The release of tumor-derived EVs is regulated by secretory small Rab GTPases. The content of EVs reflects the origin and state of the cell. Quantification and characterization of tumor-derived EVs obtained by liquid biopsy may enable the prognosis of patients or predict therapy response. Clinical implementation of EV biomarkers is hampered by the lack of standard methodology and reference materials. We focus on the identification of Rab GTPase-dependent EV biogenesis, standardization of EV isolation and characterization methods and implementation of EVs as blood-based biomarkers in precision medicine.

Manon M. H. Huibers, PhD, Clinical Scientist in Molecular Pathology, Pathology, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands

M. Huibers was a PhD-student at the department of Pathology in the University Medical Center Utrecht. Her PhD research focused on molecular and immunological mechanisms of allograft vasculopathy after heart transplantation (HTx; chronic rejection). In the Netherlands, and the rest of the world, the UMCU research group is specialized in tissue analysis of HTx, making it a unique topic appreciated by many colleagues in the field. This resulted in collaboration with George Tellides (Yale University USA) and Timothy Lee (Dalhousie University CAN). M. Huibers visited the lab of George Tellides in 2013 as a research fellow. In April 2015 she defended her PhD thesis in Utrecht, where she continued to work as Clinical Scientist in Molecular Pathology. As a Clinical Scientist in Molecular Pathology she forms the bridge between clinicians and the laboratory. Over the last years M. Huibers combined her knowledge in science with diagnostics, bringing research results closer to clinical implementation. An example is the application of liquid biopsies and ddPCR. The UMCU is the first lab in the Netherlands to introduce the innovative ddPCR technique in clinical diagnostics for mutation analysis of MYD88 in lymphoma patients. Her aim is to apply the most innovative techniques to make personalized medicine possible for every patient, in a fast, practical, dedicated and collaborative manner. Every patient deserves the best treatment, no matter if he/she is in oncology or transplant setting.

G. Mike Makrigiorgos, PhD, Professor, Radiation Oncology, Dana Farber and Harvard Medical School, United States

Dr. Makrigiorgos is a Professor of Radiation Oncology and Director of the Medical Physics & Biophysics division at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals, Harvard Medical School. He also directs the DNA technology laboratory and the radiation pre-clinical facility. His research interests include the development of novel DNA technologies for molecular diagnostics in Oncology. He is the inventor of several novel PCR-based techniques for molecular diagnostics, including Balanced-PCR, Anti-primer-quenching-real-time PCR, Hairpin-PCR, COLD-PCR and DiSSeCT technology. He is a Member of the Editorial Board of Clinical Chemistry and has published over 120 articles, reviews and book chapters.

Florent Mouliere, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Florent is a postdoctoral researcher at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and University of Cambridge. He received his Msc. in engineering from the Ecole des Mines d’Ales and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Montpellier, France. He joined the Rosenfeld Lab in Cambridge at the end of 2013. His interests are tailoring new sequencing technologies and multi-omics analysis to study the biology of circulating nucleic acids. These methods will improve the sensitivity of liquid biopsy in difficult pathological contexts (early detection, MRD and brain tumours) and expand the utility of ctDNA to new clinical applications.

Christa Noehammer, PhD, Senior Scientist, Molecular Diagnostics, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Austria

Christa Noehammer currently works as Senior Scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology where she has been heading the Molecular Medicine research unit for several years. Holding a master degree in Microbiology and a PhD in Biochemistry she has been working in the microarray field since 1999 being involved in the design, production and data analysis of various microarray types thereby mainly focusing on minimally invasive biomarker discovery for cancer diagnostics. The last couple of years Dr. Noehammer has been very much involved in the set up of sampling - and biomarker isolation protocols as well as high throughput biomarker technologies for saliva diagnostics. Most recently she now started to work on the discovery of salivary biomarker for breast cancer - and type 2 diabetes diagnostics.

Stuart Palmer, PhD, COO, Administration, PlexBio Co., Ltd., Taiwan

Dr. Palmer has over 30 years management experience in biotechnology operations and IVD assay development. He is currently Chief Operating Officer and board member at PlexBio Co., Ltd., an emerging, multinational company headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan which develops and commercializes high-complexity molecular diagnostic tests for detection and assessment of disease.

Ruth Shemer, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Developmental Biology and Cancer Research, Hebrew University, Israel

Ruth Shemer received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Israel in Biochemistry. She is currently a senior lecturer in the department of developmental biology and cancer research at Hebrew University

Jorg Tost, PhD, Director, Laboratory for Epigenetics & Environment, Centre National de Genotypage, CEA – Institut de Génomique, France

Jörg Tost received his PhD in genetics from the University of Saarbrücken (Germany) in 2004 devising novel methods for the analysis of haplotypes and DNA methylation patterns. After a postdoctoral stay in the technology development department of the Centre National de Génotypage (CNG, Evry, France), he led the Epigenetics groups from 2006-2012, before becoming Director of Laboratory for Epigenetics and Environment at the Centre National de Génotypage (part of the CEA-Institut de Génomique). The laboratory is involved in the development and application of technologies to analyse DNA methylation, miRNAs and other epigenetic modifications quantitatively at high resolution at target loci and genome-wide using state-of-the-art sequencing technologies as well as the development of bioinformatic tools for the processing of such data. A second research axis investigates novel technologies for the analysis of mutations of clinical relevance present at very low proportions in the analyzed samples and their impact on treatment management. Jörg Tost is author or co-author of more than 142 publications of which 125 have appeared in Medline-listed journals, and is the editor of a book entitled “Epigenetics” (Horizon Scientific Press, 2008) and the 2nd Edition of “DNA methylation protocols” and “pyrosequencing protocols” in the Methods of Molecular Biology series (2009, 2015) and senior editor of the journal “Epigenomics”.

Jo Vandesompele, PhD, Professor, Functional Cancer Genomics and Applied Bioinformatics, Ghent University, The Netherlands

Jo Vandesompele obtained a Master of Science in Bioscience Engineering (1997) and a PhD in Medical Genetics (2002). Since 2007, he is professor in Functional Cancer Genomics and Applied Bioinformatics at Ghent University and co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Biogazelle. He is author of more than 200 scientific articles in international journals, including some pioneering publications in the domain of nucleic acid quantification. His H-index is 64, with over 31,000 citations (Google Scholar, September 2016). Jo Vandesompele is member of the cancer expertpanel (Research Fund Flanders - FWO) and frequently invited speaker at international conferences and workshops.


Gyorgy Abel, MD, PhD, Director, Molecular Diagnostics, & Clinical Chemistry/Immunology, Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, United States

Dr. Gyorgy Abel is the Director of Molecular Diagnostics, Clinical Chemistry/Immunology, and Point of Care Testing at the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts. He also serves as Instructor in Pathology, part time, at Harvard Medical School. Gyorgy received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Debrecen Medical School in Hungary. He completed post-doctoral training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, then residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, U.S., and received board certifications in Clinical Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics. He made significant contributions to hepatitis C virus research by demonstrating the use of LDL receptor by the virus as a port of entry into hepatocytes. His current professional interests include personalized medicine and point of care testing. Gyorgy has held office in multiple professional organizations such as the College of American Pathologists, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, the American Board of Clinical Chemistry, the American Association of Immunologists, and the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. He is an Overseas Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine; U.K. D. Abel frequently speaks internationally on current issues in clinical pathology, and author or co-author of over 100 articles, book chapters, and scientific conference presentations.

Francesco Baldini, PhD, Senior Scientist, Institute of Applied Physics “Nello Carrara”, National Research Council, Italy

Francesco Baldini graduated in physics from the University of Florence magna cum laude in 1986. Since 1986 he joined the Optical Fiber Group at IROE-CNR (now IFAC-CNR) in Florence. Since the beginning of the Nineties, he is active in the field of optical sensors and devices for chemical and biochemical parameters, mainly for biomedical application. He is author of more than 180 publications in International Journals, in scientific books and in International Conference Proceedings and delivered more than 30 invited presentation at International and National conferences. He has been coordinator and responsible of many international and national projects in the field of optical chemical and biochemical sensors. In 2009 he was nominated fellow of SPIE for his achievements in biological and chemical sensing in biomedicine. He has been President of the Italian Society of Optics and Photonics (SIOF) for the biennium 2015-2016.

Sandra C. Buttigieg, MD, PhD, FFPH, MSc, MBA, MMCFD, Associate Professor, Head, Health Services Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta, Malta; Consultant, Public Health Medicine, Clinical Performance Unit, Mater Dei Hospital, Malta; Honorary Senior Research Fellow, School of Social Policy, College of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Sandra C. Buttigieg is Associate Professor and Head of Department of Health Services Management (HSM), Faculty of Health Sciences, UOM, and Honorary Senior Research Fellow, HSMC, University of Birmingham, UK. She is Consultant Public Health Medicine, Head-Clinical Performance Unit, and member-Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Team, Mater Dei Hospital. She lectures in HSM, Public Health, Family Medicine, Research Methodology and Evidence-Based Management. Professor Buttigieg strongly advocates inter-/trans-disciplinarity within HSM in practice/research. She believes that performance of health organizations and systems is a function of policy, people and operating systems. Her research, therefore, focuses on, but also links, clinical performance management, quality of care, patient safety, health information technology, organisational behaviour, operations management/research; and policy issues (ageism, migrant health, One Health). She authored/co-authored several articles in peer-reviewed international journals, and widely participated in international conferences, and congresses. She is on the Editorial Boards of the International Journal of Human Resources Management, Journal of Health Organization and Management, and Frontiers in Public Health. She is currently also Guest Associate Editor for Frontiers Veterinary Science, and Frontiers Topic Editor: Network for Evaluation of One Health (NEOH) – Case Studies. She is a member of the research committee of the Health Care Management Division, American Academy of Management; and co-chair of special interest group, within the European Health Management Association on ‘best practices in health care management’. She reviews extensively for numerous peer-reviewed journals in health care, management and psychology. Professor Buttigieg is very active in the EU-funded COST Actions: CA 15222 – cost containment and quality of care (leader-WG 1); TD 1404 – NEOH (co-leader-WG 3); IS 1402 – Ageism (co-leader-WG 1); and IS 1103 – Adapting European Health Systems to Diversity (country-coordinator).

Filipe Arroyo Cardoso, CTO, Magnomics, Portugal

Filipe Cardoso graduated in Physics Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico – Lisbon University in 2005. During his PhD in the same university and at INESC-MN, Filipe has developed an innovative technology for rapid detection of several biological parameters inside a miniaturized biochip. After PhD, Filipe maintained his research activities as a post-doc at INESC-MN in the field of innovative technologies for bio-detection as well as on an innovative technology for non-destructive testing for aeronautics and nuclear plants. Filipe has been involved in several projects (National and European). He is the author of over 40 peer-reviewed papers published in high impact factor journals and the inventor of 4 patents. With his experience in new technologies for biodetection, Filipe cofounded Magnomics with 4 partners. Filipe currently serves Magnomics as CTO.

John Carrano, CEO, Paratus Diagnostics, LLC, United States

Dr. John C. Carrano is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Paratus Diagnostics, a firm he founded that specializes in medical devices for point-of-care diagnostics. He received his B.S. from West Point and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Carrano has previously worked with Luminex Corporation, DARPA, and was on the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the United States Military Academy.

Patrick Dunlop, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Course Director, Engineering Science, Chair NI AMR Network, Nanotechnology and Integrated BioEngineering Centre, School of Engineering, Ulster University, United Kingdom

Patrick is a Senior Lecturer within the Nanotechnology and Integrated BioEngineering Centre (NIBEC) at Ulster University. He is a chartered biologist with a strong academic background in applied biology and chemistry. Patrick’s research activities focus on the development of nanomaterials for disinfection and the design of biomedical sensors. Locally, Patrick is Chair of the Northern Ireland AMR Network, a “One Health” focused multidisciplinary body bringing together academia, industry and government to discuss AMR issues and collaborate to find solutions.

Georg Draude, General Manager, Chroma Europe, Chroma Technology, Germany

Georg Draude studied biology at Kassel University with a diploma in microbiology for a project of environmental cleaning. Made his PhD at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich in the field of medical/cardiovascular research. Worked as field sales engineer for imaging-solutions for medical and research microscopy for several years. Georg joined Chroma 2010 as key account manager Europe, became European sales director in July 2012 and General Manager of Chroma Europe in September 2015.

Jay K. Fisher, PhD, Vice President, Engineering, Redbud Labs, Inc., United States

Dr. Fisher leads the R&D activities at Redbud Labs and specializes in the integration of novel technologies into customer platforms. His current interests are focused on applications of Redbud Posts, including high sensitivity, rapid POC diagnostics, pathogen isolation from complex matrices, and systems for low volume blood stabilization and processing.

Julie Hart, Head, Diagnostics & Precision Medicine, Strategic & Industry Partnerships, Oxford Academic Health Science Network

Julie Hart is Head of Strategic Partnerships for Genomics, Diagnostics and Precision Medicine at the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), hosted by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Julie Hart initially trained as a research microbiologist at Unilever. Since then Julie has been leading commercial teams in the diagnostics and life sciences businesses for nearly 25 years prior to joining the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative (DEC) London at Imperial College in 2013. The AHSN Strategic and Industry Partnerships programme helps create and support the growth of local businesses from medical and life science innovations and supports innovation adoption by the NHS. Julie works with industry to develop new diagnostic and precision medicine solutions that meet the unmet needs of the NHS and helps develop the evidence-base to support existing technologies and accelerate their adoption. Julie is currently working to promote wider adoption of these transformative technologies by collaborating nationally through BIVDA (British In Vitro Diagnostics Association) and with other ASHNs, and internationally as Vice President of the EDCA (European Diagnostics Clusters Alliance).

Piers Harding, C.Eng FIMechE, Mechanical Engineer/Consultant, TTP plc

Piers has 20 years’ experience at TTP working in the medical and IVD sectors. Recent relevant experience in IVD instrument and consumable design involving fluid handling, mechanisms, materials selection and working to relevant regulations. Piers has managed several large development programmes for IVD and medical products including transfer to manufacture in Asia and Europe. Piers is a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

Joost van Hoof, PhD, MSc, Eur Ing, Professor, Urban Ageing, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands

Joost van Hoof works as an associate professor in the field of Evidence-Based Design for Healthcare with the Fontys School of Allied Health Professions of Fontys University of Applied Sciences. He is programme leader of the innovation programme Nursing Home of the Future, which includes the development of two living labs for nursing home innovations (interior design, architecture and technology), which take place in co-creation between the industry, nursing home staff and residents, and students/researchers.

Van Hoof attained his doctoral degree from Eindhoven University of Technology (in cooperation with Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and University Medical Center Utrecht) with a dissertation on ageing-in-place for people with dementia in 2010. He attained his MSc degree at the same university (Department of Architecture, Building and Physics, Unit of Building Physics and Systems). He also studied Environmental Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) at the Czech Technical University in Prague. From 2004 until 2012, Van Hoof worked as a (post-doctoral) researcher with the Research Group of Demand-Driven Care of the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. Within the research group, Van Hoof was involved with topics in the area of housing, technology and older adults with dementia. From January 2012 to October 2013, Van Hoof worked with the ISSO – the Dutch Building Services Research Institute in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. For his work, Dr van Hoof won various (inter)national awards, including the best education innovation award by the Netherlands Association for Medical Education, the REHVA Young Scientist Award 2011 by the Federation of European Heating and Air-Conditioning Associations, and the 2010 BJ Max Prize. He is a board member of various ISI journals on building, technology and health care, including a position as associate editor of Indoor and Built Environment. Moreover, he is board member and a commissioner within the healthcare real estate sector at Habion and Vastgoed Zorgsector.

Rachel McKendry, PhD, Professor, Biomedical Nanotechnology, London Centre for Nanotechnology, United Kingdom

Rachel McKendry is Professor of Biomedical Nanotechnology at UCL with a joint position at the London Centre for Nanotechnology and Division of Medicine. She is Director of i-Sense, a national £11M EPSRC Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) in Early Warning Sensing Systems for Infectious Diseases as well as Director of Biomedicine and Life Sciences at the London Centre for Nanotechnology and 'Interventions' theme lead for the Bloomsbury Research Institute (UCL & LSHTM). Her research lies at the cutting edge of infectious diseases, nanotechnology, telecommunications and big data. Recent research highlights span from unravelling the molecular workings of antibiotics against MRSA (Nature Nanotechnology 2008, 2013 and 2014), to creating mobile phone-connected tests for HIV (NIHR i4i programme) and the new EPSRC IRC in early warning sensing system for infectious diseases, by linking self-reported symptoms on social media and search engines with mobile phone-connected disease diagnostic tests (i-sense). She has a First Class Honours Degree in Chemistry from Durham University, a PhD in Chemistry from Cambridge University (Jesus College) and was a postdoctoral researcher at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory. Her contribution to the field is evident from 6 Nature-group papers, research funding in excess of £20M from the EPSRC, NIHR, Royal Society, BBSRC, the Human Frontier Science Programme and industry. Rachel has also won prestigious fellowships and awards including a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award (2014), Institute of Physics Paterson Medal (2009), Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (2002-6), Girton College Cambridge Research Fellowship (1998-2001) and was invited to a Young Achievers celebration by H.R.H the Queen at Buckingham Palace (1998).

Sarah Peuling, Senior Solution Advisor, Center of Competence Clinicals & Innovations, Cerner Health Services Deutschland GmbH, Germany

Sarah is currently working in a strategy and sales support role on population health management solutions for the European market. Academical background of MSc in Electrical Engineering and majoring in robotics and human-machine-interaction in Germany and Canada. Employed by Siemens Healthcare and Cerner for 3+ years with responsibilities for business management of German EHR (medico) product portfolio, among other things focusing on new solutions like mobile applications for EHR system in German hospitals. Accountable for market entry strategies and activities for population health management solutions for the German market within the Center of Competence Clinicals & Innovations.

Mathias Reisbeck, PhD, Postdoc, Chair, Biomedical Electronics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Technical University Munich, Germany

Mathias received his M. Eng. Master of Electrical and Microsystems Engineering in 2013 and did his PhD at Siemens Healthcare “In Vitro Diagnostics and Biosensors” in Erlangen, Germany from 2013-2017, working on magnetic flow cytometry, and workflow integration therefor. His postdoc position is at the Technical University Munich where he is also the Chair of Biomedical Electronics, Germany, working on biosensors and microfluidic workflow integration.

Aman Russom, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Proteomics and Nanobiotechnology, Science for Life Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Aman Russom is an Associate Professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. He received his PhD in 2005 from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Dr Russom then did his postdoc fellowship at Harvard Medical School between 2005-2008. In 2008 he returned back to Sweden, where he is currently heading the clinical microfluidics Lab, currently consisting of 5 PhD students, one senior researcher and one post doc. His current research is focused on applying engineering principles and technologies, especially micro-and nanotechnology, to clinical medicine with emphasis on point of care

Christoph Sachsenmaier, PhD, Vice President, Strategic Business Development, Epimune GmbH, Germany

Christoph currently serves as Vice President Strategic Business Development for Epimune - a new venture spun out from Epiontis (Berlin, DE) after its acquisition by Precision for Medicine in Oct 2017. Before, Christoph held senior business development positions at ApoCell, Inc. (Houston, TX, US); Beckman Coulter Genomics (Bernried, DE), Epigeniomics (Berlin, DE) and ProQinase (Freiburg, DE). Christoph is also founder and independent owner of his own Business Development Consulting company.

Stefanie Steinhauser, PhD, Research Associate, Chair for Innovation and Technology Management, University of Regensburg, Germany

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Sofia Teixeira, PhD, Research Fellow, Engineering, Swansea University, United Kingdom

Sofia Rodrigues Teixeira is a Research Fellow at Swansea University, working in nanotechnology and nanofabrication technologies for healthcare applications. In 2015, she became an NRN fellow in engineering. She completed her PhD at Swansea University in 2014 on graphene biosensors and then worked as a post doc on development of epigenetic biomarker screening tools for ovarian cancer diagnosis. Her research interests include nano devices fabrication, devices functionalization and sensors.

Wilfried von Eiff, PhD, Professor, International Health Care and Hospital Management; Academic Director, Center for Health Care Management and Regulation, HHL, Leipzig Graduate School of Management; Director, Center for Hospital Management, University of Muenster, Germany

He is the director of the Center for Health Care Management and Regulation at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and Director of the Center for Hospital Manage-ment (University of Muenster). Research focus is on international benchmarking of hospitals and health care systems. He chairs the initiative ‘Best Practice Management in Healthcare and Hospital Man-agement’ (European Hospital Management Association) and he is Member of the Board of Directors of Kerckhoff Clinic Heart and Lung Center, Bad Nauheim (Germany).

Doris-Ann Williams, MBE, Chief Executive, British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA), United Kingdom

Doris-Ann Williams has been Chief Executive of BIVDA since October 2001. She has more than 30 years’ experience working in the IVD sector and has had a variety of experience; initially in R&D and subsequently in commercial roles including international responsibilities. Doris-Ann represents the IVD industry to a range of stakeholders and sits on the boards and steering groups of a variety of initiatives. These include the Ministerial Medical Technology Strategy Group, with Innovate UK, the UK Pharmacogenetics and Stratified Medicine Network, and the Parliamentary and Science Committee as Vice-President. Doris-Ann works closely with MedTech Europe and other global IVD industry associations. She was awarded an MBE in January 2011 and was recognised as a Friend of the Royal College of Pathologists in November 2012.

Roland Zengerle, PhD, Executive Board Member, Laboratory for MEMS Applications, IMTEK - Department of Microsystems Engineering, University of Freiburg, Germany

Prof. Dr. Roland Zengerle is full professor at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and director at the “Hahn-Schickard Institut für Mikroanalysesysteme”. The research of Dr. Zengerle is focused on microfluidics and specializes in Point of care testing by centrifugal microfluidics, Single cell printing and Bioprinting, Non-contact microdosage of picoliter & nanoliter volumes, BioMEMS. Dr. Zengerle co-authored more than 300 papers. He is a member of the German national academy of sciences, Leopoldina.


Alison Allan, PhD, Senior Oncology Scientist, Associate Professor, Oncology and Anatomy & Cell Biology, Western University

Dr. Alison Allan is a Senior Oncology Scientist and the Assistant Director of the Pamela Greenaway Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit at the London Health Sciences Centre in London, Canada. She is also an Associate Professor of Oncology and Anatomy & Cell Biology at Western University. Dr. Allan’s translational cancer research program is focused on the investigation of cellular and molecular mechanisms of cancer metastasis, in particular the study of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and cancer stem cells (CSCs), and how this knowledge can be used to benefit patients in the clinic. Dr. Allan has been recognized by an H.L. Holmes Award from the National Research Council of Canada, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Award, and an Early Researcher Award from the Province of Ontario.

Jean Baudry, PhD, Laboratoire Colloïdes et Matériaux Divisés (LCMD), ESPCI Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS UMR8231 Chimie Biologie Innovation, Paris, France

A physicist by training, Jean Baudry is developing now methods and tools for single cell phenotyping. He recently developed a high-throughput system to analyze individual antibody-secreting cells (secretion rate and affinity). He is currently adapting the technology to characterize and to enumerate circulating tumor cells.

François-Clément Bidard, MD, PhD, Professor of Medical Oncology, Institut Curie and Versailles University, Saint Cloud, France

I am a French board-certified Medical Oncologist and tenured Professor of Medicine, working at Institut Curie (Paris and Saint Cloud, France) and Versailles Saint Quentin / Paris Saclay Universities.

My clinical practice is dedicated to breast cancer together with other tumor types.

In addition to clinical research (PI for several breast cancer trials), my translational research if focusing on metastasis-associated biomarkers (such as circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor DNA).

Clotilde Costa, PhD, Head, Liquid Biopsy Line, Roche-Chus Joint Unit, Clinical Hospital of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Dr. Costa obtained Biology degree from the University of Vigo (Spain). During her phD thesis period (2006-2011), in the Molecular Oncology Unit in the CIEMAT /UAM (Madrid, Spain), she study the role of different cell cycle genes (Rb1, Rbl1, E2F1, E2F4) in the epidermal carcinogenesis development. Her work revealed the existence of unknown molecular pathways responsible for carcinogenesis not previously described. In 2013 she joined the Translational medical oncology group, located in the Clinical Hospital of Santiago de Compostela to work in the field of Liquid Biopsy. In 2015 she moved to the Roche-Chus Joint Unit for precision oncology (within the Translational Medical Oncology Group) as leader of the Liquid Biopsy laboratory, focus on characterization of CTCs and identification of biomarkers for therapy resistance in Breast and Prostate metastatic cancer patients.

Lorena Diéguez, PhD, Staff Researcher, Life Sciences, International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Portugal

Lorena Diéguez is since 2014 a Staff Researcher at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) focused in the development of biomicrofluidic devices for Translational Medical Research in close collaboration with Hospitals. Her research activities are currently devoted to the development of integrated nanobioengineered systems for the isolation and characterization of Tumor Cells from body fluids of cancer patients, as well as their integration in ex vivo organ-on-a-chip 3D models. Lorena is also very interested in translating her technology from the lab to the clinic, and she has been very active in her endeavours as entrepreneur. She has been lately focused on securing Intellectual Property and is now engaged in the development of her spin-off company, RUBYnanomed, in the field of liquid biopsy.

She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Physics and her Masters in Optoelectronics at the University of Santiago de Compostela in 2005, then completed her Masters in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the University of Barcelona (UB) in 2007 and obtained her PhD in Nanosciences in optical and electrochemical biosensors at the UB, the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia and the ETH Zürich. Her postdoctoral research at the University of South Australia (UniSA) from 2010 was devoted to the study of rare cells from biological samples using microfluidics.

Françoise Farace, PhD, Professor, University of Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, France

Françoise Farace is currently in charge of the Translational Laboratory of Rare Circulating Cells at CNRS UMS3655 - INSERM US23 AMMICA, and of the Circulating Tumor cells team at INSERM U981, Gustave Roussy. FF has obtained a PhD degree in Pharmacology at Paris University VI, and a HDR (Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches) at Paris University XI. FF has been in charge of several immunomonitoring programs in immunotherapy, gene and cellular therapy at Gustave Roussy. From 2002 to 2005, FF was President of the board and R &D Director of the Biotech company “C.I.L Technologies” (Free University of Brussels). For the past twelve years, FF focused her research on rare circulating cells such as circulating endothelial cells and circulating tumor cells with the goal of identifying both sensitivity and resistance biomarkers of anticancer therapies. FF has authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications.

Emanuela Fina, PhD, Biomarkers Unit, Experimental Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Italy

Dr. Emanuela Fina is a medical biotechnologist with 8-year experience in experimental and molecular oncology, mainly dedicated to the study of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). During her activity as a research fellow at Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori (Milan, Italy) and distance learning PhD student at The Open University (Milton Keynes, UK) she developed an experimental approach to obtain reliable transcriptome profiles from CTCs (Fina et al., Clinical Chemistry 2015) and carried out observational longitudinal studies to monitor CTCs in breast and genitourinary cancer patients at different stages of disease using comparative techniques. Driven by strong interest in CTC biology and metastasis, she characterized CTCs isolated from an experimental mouse model of metastatic breast cancer and she is now performing functional studies to unveil the biological role of some CTC-specific genes in the metastatic cascade. On the hypothesis that biologically relevant CTC signatures might provide a panel of new clinically useful prognostic biomarkers, she is also evaluating the expression of these genes in CTC case series. Her goal is to identify new therapeutic strategies to prevent or treat metastasis and to develop ‘liquid biopsy’ based tests for early identification of patients at high risk of relapse or progression.

Christine Gilles, PhD, Senior Research Associate FRS-FNRS, GIGA-Cancer, University of Liège, Belgium

Christine Gilles received her PhD in Science in 1994 at the University of Liège in Belgium. Along the way, she gained increasing interest in Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transitions. She therefore joined the laboratory of Professor Rik Thompson at Georgetown University (Washington DC) for a 3 year post-doc to deepen her knowledge in this particular field. Coming back to her home University, she was given tenure as a Research Associate at the FNRS (Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique, Belgium). In 2008, she was promoted to a Senior Research Associate position at the FNRS. She is today the principal investigator of an EMT-research team at the University of Liège deciphering mechanisms of EMT implicated in metastasis, and has (co-)authored 63 international peer-reviewed publications in the field. Most recently, she initiated a research axis that originally emphasized a role for EMT pathways in providing CTCs with coagulant properties, thereby facilitating early metastasis.

Jens K. Habermann, MD, PhD, Director, Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck; Head, Section of Translational Surgical Oncology and Biobanking; Scientific Director, Surgical Center for Translational Oncology-Lübeck, Germany

Professor Jens K. Habermann, M.D., PH.D., is director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck (ICB-L) at the University of Lübeck and University Clinic Schleswig-Holstein. He obtained his Ph.D. at the Karolinska Institute and postdoc training at the NIH, Bethesda, USA. As specialist in human genetics, he combines clinical routine, biobanking, and cancer research to optimize precision medicine through liquid biopsies. Prof. Habermann is President-Elect of the European, Middle Eastern & African Society for Biopreservation & Biobanking (ESBB).

Nikolas Hendrik Stoecklein, MD, Professor, Experimental Surgical Oncology, Department of General, Visceral and Pediatric Surgery, University Hospital and Medical Faculty of the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany

Nikolas Stoecklein is currently a Professor for Experimental Surgical Oncology at the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU), Germany. His major research interests are minimal residual cancer and early systemic disease in gastro-intestinal cancers. Currently, his work focuses on CTCs and to establish workflows to analyze these rare cells comprehensively at single cell level. Prior to joining the HHU, Nikolas Stoecklein obtained post-doctoral training at the Institute of Immunology of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany, in the group of Christoph Klein. He studied medicine at the University of Hamburg, Germany and the University of California Davies, Sacramento, USA (10/1991-5/1998).

Prashant Kumar, PhD, Faculty Scientist, Molecular Oncology, Institute of Bioinformatics, Bangalore, India

Dr. Prashant Kumar received his Ph.D. in 2009 from the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Department of Molecular Biology, Berlin, Germany. Following this, Dr. Kumar received postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Prof. Karl Simin at the Department of Cancer Biology, University of Massachusetts (UMMS) Medical School, Worcester, USA, where he established a novel mouse model of malignant breast cancers that required improved therapeutic strategies, and was involved in studying the clinical impact of breast cancer. In his work, he showed that mammary tumors caused by the inactivation of the pRb family (pRbf) of proteins (pRb, p107, p130), together with Brca1 and p53 inactivation, mimicked several aspects of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. This finding illustrated the compounding effect of acquiring multiple tumor suppressor mutations during tumor evolution and underscores the distinct requirements of each of these canonical tumor suppressor proteins. In June 2012, he moved to Singapore, continuing his research at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), A-STAR, in the laboratory of Prof. Jean Paul Thiery, a world-renowned authority in the area of EMT (Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition). During this period, the focus of his work took on a more translational aspect, and he was involved in the development of a novel point-of-care (POC) diagnostic platform for the detection of multiple protein bladder cancer biomarkers. He was also involved in the establishment of a culture method to assess breast cancer circulating tumor cells (CTCs) harvested from blood samples of patients undergoing neoadjuvant therapy. This new technique provides an opportunity to analyze CTC clonal heterogeneity and adapt therapeutic modalities in refractory breast cancer patients. At IOB, his work is now centered on biomarker discovery for bladder cancers, using state-of-the-art quantitative proteomics approaches. He is also interested in defining the molecular pathways that underlie the malignancy associated with bladder carcinoma, with an emphasis on the biological mechanisms and regulatory relationship of EMT in cancer progression.

Evi Lianidou, PhD, Professor, Analytical Chemistry, Clinical Chemistry, Chemistry, University of Athens, 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 108 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 has recently organized together with Prof K. Pantel 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” 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), and is coordinating the M.Sc. program of Clinical Chemistry, at the Department of Chemistry, University of Athens.

John Martignetti, PhD, Professor, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, United States

Dr. Martignetti is a human geneticist whose translational research interests have resulted in the discovery of underlying causes for a number of human genetic diseases and methods for detecting, diagnosing and surveilling human cancers. He is Professor in the Departments of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and Oncological Sciences of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and Network Director, Laboratory of Translational Research of the Western Connecticut Health Network.

Anne-Sophie Pailhes-Jimenez, PhD, Project Manager, ANGLE plc, United Kingdom

Anne-Sophie is a project manager at ANGLE,plc and an expert in cellular biology and immunofluorescence technology. Anne-Sophie completed her postgraduate studies in biotechnology from "Institut National des Sciences Appliquées", Toulouse. She was a senior scientist for 6 years at Gustave Roussy, Paris where she gained a lot of experience in cellular biology and oncology. Before joining ANGLE, she was the Biology Department manager at INVECTYS for 2 years focusing on innovative immunotherapy approaches for cancer.

Howard I. Scher, MD, D. Wayne Calloway Chair, Urologic Oncology; Co-Chair, Center for Mechanism Based Therapy; Head, Biomarker Development Initiative; Office of the Physician in Chief; Member and Attending Physician, Genitourinary Oncology Service, Medicine, Sidney Kimmel Center for Prostate and Urologic Cancers, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, United States

Howard I. Scher, MD is Co-Chair, Center for Molecular Based Therapy; Head of the Biomarker Development Initiative; Member and Attending Physician, Genitourinary Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC); Professor of Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College; and the D. Wayne Calloway Chair in Urologic Oncology. Dr. Scher’s research is focused on the co-development of targeted therapies and circulating tumor cell and other blood based biomarkers to predict drug sensitivity and to guide treatment selection for the individual patient, assess response and to shorten biomarker development timelines. Accordingly, he has led international efforts to standardize the design and analysis of phase II prostate cancer trials (PCWG2, PCWG3) and helped elucidate key molecular and genetic features of prostate cancer, and translating these insights into the clinic by leading early phase and phase III registration trials of abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide which are now FDA approved. Dr. Scher serves as the principal investigator of the NIH Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Prostate Cancer at MSKCC and the Department of Defense-sponsored Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium (PCCTC), and received the 2015 AACR Team Science Award for his multidisciplinary work developing AR inhibitors. He is also an active member of the Blood Profiling Atlas for Cancer (BPAC) focused on all aspects of assay development.