Speakers Bios

PLENARY

Florian Kainzinger, PhD, Managing Partner, Founder, Think.Health Ventures, Germany

Florian Kainzinger has more than 14 years of experience in health care management positions. He was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Labor Berlin between 2011 and 2015 with responsibility for more than 500 employees on 12 sites in Berlin. Prior to joining the lab organization of Charité and Vivantes, Florian used to work for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, serving hospitals and pharmaceutical clients in Germany and Europe.

Seppo Mäkinen, Partner, Pathena Investments

Seppo is a Finnish citizen fluent with Finnish, English, Swedish, Danish and working knowledge in German.  He is now living in Portugal, regular visits to Finland.

His career includes Director in Life Sciences at Sitra ( 1987-97 ), followed by co-founder and Managing Partner in Bio Fund Management Oy ( 1997-2010 ) from this time five years as president of BioFund A/S, Copenhagen. After this he acted as Regional Partner / Nordics in Merieux Developpement ( 2010-16 ) and after moving to Portugal as Patner in Pathena Digital Health Fund.  Today he is investor / board member in four companies: Bittium Oyj, Neurotar Oy, Evondos Oy, VideoVisit Oy.  Seppo´s key achievements include the listing of eight companies on international stock exchanges, building up one of the leading life science Venture Capital company in Europe, as well as over 40 international board memberships mainly in Medtech / Diagnostic industry, in companies like Medgroup, Wallac/ Perkin Elmer, Kone Instruments/ Thermo Instruments, KSH-Productor/ Partnertech, Pharming Healthcare NV, Exiqon A/S, Egalet A/S, Bioporto A/S

Seppo holds a degree of M.Sc in physical chemistry from Jyvaskyla University and before VC career was an expert on gas / liquid chromatography, including R&D and sales/marketing positions in Millipore/Waters and others.

Philippe Peltier, Partner, Kurma Partners, France

MS in molecular biology (Paris 7 University) and MS in Finance (ESSEC). He was previously a Partner with Auriga Partners from 1999 and 2015 and conducted several investments in Life Sciences. Philippe served on the board of several portfolio companies including Genocea Biosciences (listed on Nasdaq), Implanet (listed on Euronext), Novagali Pharma (listed on Euronext and acquired by Santen), Innate Pharma (listed on Euronext), Tigenix (listed on Euronext), Spine Next (acquired by Abbott Spine), Alantos (acquired by Amgen). Philippe joined Kurma in July 2015. He is also a board member of DNA script (France), APD (France), Damae (France) and Sensome (France).

Nitzan Rosenfeld, PhD, Senior Group Leader, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge; CSO, Inivata Ltd., United Kingdom

Dr. Nitzan Rosenfeld is a recognised expert in molecular diagnostics, specifically in cell-free DNA analysis and its application for non-invasive cancer genomics. Originally trained in Physics, Dr. Rosenfeld specialised in quantitative molecular biology, obtaining a PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science under the supervision of Prof. Uri Alon. In 2005 he joined Rosetta Genomics, where he was Head of Computational Biology and led development of molecular tests for clinical use for oncology. Since 2009. he has been focusing on applications of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), as a group leader at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge. Dr. Rosenfeld’s research group pioneered the use of Next-Generation Sequencing of ctDNA, demonstrating its potential as a liquid biopsy through a series of widely-cited publications describing whole exome, hybrid capture, and amplicon-based sequencing of ctDNA. Dr. Rosenfeld's work is funded by research grants from CRUK, ERC and others, and has been recognised by distinguished awards including the CRUK Future Leaders in Cancer Research prize (2013), the British Association for Cancer Research Translational Research Award (2013), the Foulkes Foundation Medal (2015), and the Meyenburg Cancer Research Award (2017). In 2014, Dr. Rosenfeld and colleagues founded Inivata, a global clinical cancer genomics company harnessing the potential of circulating DNA analysis to transform patient care. Its innovative InVision® liquid biopsy platform is being employed by leading cancer institutes.

 

ADVANCES IN PRENATAL MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS

Ida Charlotte Bay Lund, MD, Clinical Genetics, Center for Fetal Diagnostics, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark

I have been a medical doctor since 2009 and worked in the field of prenatal diagnostics for the past six years. In my PhD project, I am evaluating mosaicism in invasive samples and the detection rate of mosaicism using Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing. Furthermore, I am doing a national study on the introduction of NIPT in Denmark.  After my PhD I will finish my training to become a clinical geneticist.

Natalie Chandler, FRCPath, PhD, Senior Clinical Scientist, NE Thames Regional Genetics Laboratory, Great Ormond Street Hospital, United Kingdom

Natalie Chandler PhD FRCPath is a Senior Clinical Scientist at the North East Thames Regional Genetics laboratory at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London UK. Her primary interests are in providing and expanding prenatal clinical diagnostic services. This includes non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and rapid clinical exome testing on invasive samples.

Nicole de Leeuw, PhD, Clinical Laboratory Geneticist, Theme Leader Intellectual Disability & Congenital Anomalies, Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands

Nicole de Leeuw has a Master of Science degree in Medical Biology (University of Utrecht, the Netherlands), a Master’s in Nutritional Sciences (University of Illinois, USA) and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She completed her four-year-training in clinical cytogenetics at the Nijmegen department of Human Genetics in 2003 and was subsequently appointed there as Clinical Laboratory Geneticist. Since 2012, she is leader of the theme Intellectual Disability & Congenital Anomalies within the Division of Genome Diagnostics in Nijmegen. Her main activities involve the application of genome wide SNP-based array analysis and Whole Exome Sequence (WES) data analysis of both nucleotide and copy number variants in constitutional genome diagnostics. She aims to efficiently identify the genetic cause of a patient’s disorder and to unravel the underlying mechanism in order to provide adequate information for appropriate genetic counselling.

Stina Lou, PhD, Senior Researcher, Center for Fetal Diagnostics, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark

Stina Lou is an experienced qualitative researcher with a MA in anthropology and a PhD in medicine. She is a senior researcher at Center for Fetal Diagnostics, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. Her main research interest and research experience is within areas of pregnancy and prenatal diagnosis, particularly aspects of clinical communication, risk perception and the experiences and concerns of pregnant couples.

Rhiannon Mellis, MBBS, MSc, MRCPCH, Clinical Research Fellow, Genetics, NE Thames Regional Genetics Service, Great Ormond Street Hospital, United Kingdom

I am a Clinical Research Fellow working with Professor Lyn Chitty in the NE Thames Regional Genetics Service on studies including the 100,000 Genomes Project, PAGE and BOOSTB4. I am currently embarking on doctoral studies, which will see me research the implementation of prenatal exome sequencing as a clinical diagnostic service in our region as part of a new Genomic Medicine Service in the English NHS. I have previously trained as a clinician in paediatrics, and in the future I hope to become as a consultant in clinical genetics.

Hamutal Meiri, PhD, MBA, Chairman, ASPRE Consortium; CEO, TeleMarpe, Israel

Dr. Hamutal Meiri PhD, MBA has a past record in medical research in the academia and is currently involved in clinical studies and product development in the diagnostics and cure of preeclampsia. She had led EU FP6 project Pregenesys of developing tools to predict the disorder and served as the exploitations manager of ASPRE to predict and prevent preeclampsia by Aspirin. She is currently involved in the diagnostics and prevention of preeclampsia by PP13.

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, MBA, CTO, 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.

Daniel Vaiman, PhD, Research Director; Development, Reproduction, Cancer; INSERM, France

DV (55 years) obtained is PhD in 1991 from Paris VII University and his Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches in 1999 from Versailles-St Quentin University. He is the leader of a team working on human reproductive diseases (~25FTE with competencies in high throughput analyses. He is also the head of the department ‘Development, Reproduction, Cancer’ at the Cochin Institute.  The team focuses its research on the genetic and molecular bases of reproductive diseases in humans, and in particular on gestational diseases of placental origin, such as preeclampsia and intra-uterine growth restriction, but also issues related to male infertility and molecular genetics of endometriosis. The team has competencies in epigenetics, imprinted genes and molecular genetics and a strong focus on animal models (mouse strains and transgenic mice). Recent achievements include the creation of a very popular model of preeclamptic mice, the discovery of a novel gene of Premature Ovarian Failure, the discovery of novel placenta imprinted genes. The implementation of the team into the hospital allows possibilities of transfer of knowledge to human samples. DV has been member and expert for several committees on genetics for French research institutes (22th commission CNRS, Genetics Department INRA). He is part of the Editorial Board of Genetics Selection Evolution, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Frontiers in Genetics, and Clinical Genetics. He is the author of 226 scientific communications of which 189 research papers (H index = 39). He has been director or co-director of 15 PhD theses. He acts as a reviewer for more than 60 research articles per year (Hypertension, Circulation, Science Translational Medicine, Circulation Res, Genome Biology, JCEM, Plos ONE, Mol Hum Reprod, Placenta, The Lancet, Hum Mol Genet, Am J Hum Genet, Epigenetics, BMC Cell Biology, Eur J Hum Genet, …) and 5 grants per year on average (national and international). Website: http://cochin.inserm.fr/la_recherche/departements/gd/equipe-vaiman

Yaron Yuval, MD, Director, Prenatal Genetic Diagnostic Unit, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel

Dr. Yuval graduated Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel. He did his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel. Completed a Fellowship in Medical Genetics, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Yuval’s main research interests include: population based carrier screening, biochemical screening, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS). He has authored Over 160 peer-reviewed papers, 20 chapters in books. He is currently President, Virtual Academy of Genetics. He is also a chairman, COGEN Congress (Controversies in Preconception, Preimplantation and Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis)

BIOMARKERS FOR IMMUNOTHERAPY

Nicolas A. Giraldo-Castillo, MD, PhD, Pathology resident, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Nicolas Giraldo-Castillo received his M.D. from the Universidad de los Andes (Bogota, Colombia) and Ph.D. in Immunopathology from the Sorbonne University (Paris, France), where he worked under the supervision of Dr. Wolf H. Fridman. He also completed two post-doctoral fellowships in the University Paris 5 and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, both in the field of tumor immunology. Currently, he is a Pathology resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital. His research work mainly focuses on the discovery and validation of prognostic and theranostic immune-related biomarkers in renal and skin cancer.

Sanchita Bhattacharya, PhD, Bioinformatics Project Scientist, Bakar Insitutite of Computational Health Sciences Institute, UCSF, United States

Sanchita Bhattacharya is currently leading the efforts to leverage open-access clinical trials and research data from ImmPort, a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (NIAID-DAIT) sponsored shared data repository for subject-level human immunology study data and protocols. Her projects involve “The 10,000 Immunomes Project”, a diverse human immunology reference derived from over 44,000 individuals across 291 studies. Sanchita comes with over eighteen years of work experience as a data scientist at various academic institutions such as Stanford School of Medicine, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and MIT. Her formal training in bioinformatics coupled with expertise in computational modeling and immunology has led to a number of publications demonstrating the repurposing of big data in Immunology and other research areas to facilitate translational research.

Dan Brudzewsky, Field Application Scientist, Clinical Genomics, SeraCare Life Sciences, USA

Bio coming soon...

Michael Doherty, Senior Vice President, Head of Product Development, Foundation Medicine, United States

Michael Doherty has been Head of Product Development at Foundation Medicine since the beginning of 2017. In this role, he leads a team dedicated to the introduction of clinical and data products in the field of cancer genomics based on Next-Generation Sequencing.

Prior to this he was Head of Regulatory Affairs at Roche Pharmaceuticals and Genentech for a period of 14 years from 2002 to 2016, overseeing the approvals of products in the field of oncology, immunology, hematology and bone disease. During his career, he has worked in Regulatory Affairs in Pharmaceutical Companies based in the UK, France, Switzerland and the US.

In addition, he spent 2 years at Genentech building a new organization called Strategic Innovation which was charged with identifying and deploying disruptive concepts in the field of drug development.

Today, Michael also serves as a Strategic Adviser to Genentech Product Development and as a Regulatory Strategy Adviser to VisionGate, a clinical stage cancer diagnostics and therapeutics company. He also serves on the advisory board of IBM Watson Life Sciences.

Prior to working in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Michael worked at the University of Manchester, UK, and Christie Hospital in the Regional Endocrinology Laboratory. He has a BSc in Biochemistry (University of Reading, UK) and a fellowship of the Institute of Medical Sciences, UK, and a Diploma in Management Studies from the University of Portsmouth, UK.

Jérôme Galon, Director, Integrative Cancer Immunology Laboratory, Cordeliers Research Center, Research INSERM (French NIH) (first class, DR1), France

Specialized in the fields of immunology and cancer, Dr. Jérôme Galon is Research Director at INSERM (French NIH), and head of the laboratory of Integrative Cancer Immunology, in Paris, France. He is associate Director and co-founder of European Academy of Tumor Immunology (EATI), board member of Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). His work on the comprehensive analysis of the tumor-microenvironment and the role of T-cells in human cancer led to the demonstration of the importance of adaptive pre-existing immunity in human cancer, and the concept of cancer immune-contexture. He pioneered the Immunoscore. He is the co-founder of HalioDx company and the Chairman of its scientific council. His contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including the William B. Coley Award, an international prize which honors the best scientists in the fundamental and cancer immunology, and Award from the National Academy of Science, and Award from the National Academy of Medicine.

Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD, Chief, Molecular Oncology; Associate Director, Translational Research; Omar Boraie Chair, Genomic Science, Rutgers University, United States

I came to Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in 2005 from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School where I was an instructor in medicine and staff physician. I started my medical training at Yale University, where I graduated from with both an MD and a PhD in cell biology. I then completed a medical residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and served as a Chief Medical Resident. This was followed by a fellowship in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

With a research interest in breast cancer biology and DNA repair, I am currently exploring how DNA repair defects in cancers can be exploited to develop novel effective treatments. I am also active in applying next-generation sequencing technology to identify specific genomic changes in cancers that can be therapeutically targeted. As a physician/scientist I both run a basic research laboratory focused on breast cancer biology and see patients in the Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center. In the clinic, I work collaboratively with experts across multi-disciplines and have the opportunity to put theory into practice as we aim to develop the next generation of targeted treatments for breast cancer.  Working with a team of radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, nurses, social workers, genetic specialists and others, I help patients understand their specific disease and their treatment options so that they can make informed decisions. I am also an associate professor of medicine and pharmacology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

I am the author or co-author of more than 100 publications and serve on the editorial board of the journal Frontiers in Molecular and Cellular Oncology.

Christopher M. Hartshorn, PhD, Program Director, NIH NCI, United States

Currently, I am a member of the scientific staff at the NCI within a team of research discipline-specific experts, who collectively perform oversight of a large-scale multidisciplinary U.S. effort dedicated towards advancing cancer nanotechnology to the clinic. The goal of this program is for improvement in the earlier-detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer and cancer patient-centered outcomes via nanotechnology. Moreover, I drive other similar efforts to enable the future of cancer patient-specific, out of clinic monitoring, for remote medicine and novel point of care diagnostics. Finally, I run several strategic working groups that cross NCI, NIH, and other US Federal government agencies covering everything from oversight through to emerging scientific questions on a range of topical areas.

My background consists of applied research and development relevant to U.S. public health, national security and energy, which has been the principal theme of my multidisciplinary research career to date. This multidisciplinary research and my publication record have spanned the areas of nanomaterials, bio-material interfaces, biosensor / analytical tool development and medicine. Many of the individual R&D projects have focused on the development of safer and more effective products within the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and semi-conductor sectors.

More specifically, while working on these R&D efforts over a 18-year period, I have achieved technical expertise in experimental spectroscopy / microscopy, theoretical methods (ab initio, MD simulation, and signal/image analysis), and many synthetic techniques (chemical synthesis and molecular biology). Also, I have assisted in the development and application of several biosensors and analytical imaging modalities, particularly, single-molecule fluorescence and functional coherent Raman chemical imaging.

Anna Juncker-Jensen, PhD, Medical Science Liasion, NeoGenomics Laboratories, USA

Bio coming soon...

Helen Rizos, PhD, Head, Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia

Professor Helen Rizos is a cancer cell biologist interested tumour suppressor proteins, oncoproteins and tumour signaling. Her work combines genetic analyses of melanoma tumours with functional molecular and cell biology in order to understand the role and regulation of genes and cellular pathways that influence the development and therapeutic response and resistance in melanoma. She recently expanded her research to include the analysis of ctDNA as a predictive and prognostic marker in melanoma. She joined the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University in 2014, after working with the University of Sydney and Westmead Millennium Institute. She is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Huub H. van Rossum, PhD, EuSpLM, Specialist, Laboratory medicine and Clinical Chemistry, Laboratory Medicine, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Netherlands

Huub van Rossum is a specialist in laboratory medicine and clinical chemistry at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. He has a background in analytical chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences and followed his training for becoming a specialist in laboratory medicine in The Bronovo hospital in The Hague, Leiden University Medical Center and Stanford Medical Center. Next he worked for about a year in the University medical Center in Utrecht on the implementation of best practice QC. In 2015 he started his company Huvaros (www.huvaros.com) that markets MA Generator, an application the supports optimization of moving average QC for medical laboratories. Since 2014 Huub works as a laboratory specialist in the Netherlands Cancer Institute – Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital in Amsterdam. Here he is responsible, together with his colleague Daan van den Broek, for all routine clinical diagnostics including chemistry, immunochemistry, hematology and blood transfusion. His current research focuses on the development and improvement of cancer biomarkers, diagnostic validation of longitudinal (tumor) biomarkers and implementation of these in routine clinical practice.

Catherine Sanders, PhD, Senior Director, Research and Business Development, Adaptive Biotechnologies, USA

Bio coming soon...

Ed Schuuring, MD, Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Pathology, University Medical Center Groningen

Since three decades his research focuses on the identification of prognostic/predictive epigenetic and molecular markers for clinical outcome, response to chemo-radiotherapy, gene-targeted therapy and treatment-resistance in lung, GIST, head&neck cancer, as well as the early detection of cervical cancer in scrapings. More recently his interest expanded to monitoring plasma ctDNA as a bloodborne-based molecular tool to predict response to targeted and immune-therapy. He is heading the laboratory of Molecular Pathology implementing the latest innovative methods and offering optimal predictive testing for treatment-decision-making in the region North-Netherlands. Since 1997 he is active in (inter)national committees and advisory boards on implementing Molecular Pathology, the organization of international proficiency mutation testing in lung tissue biopsies and plasma ctDNA, and co-authored various international guidelines on Molecular Pathology. He graduated in Medical Biology in 1985 and PhD in 1993 in Molecular Biology (University of Amsterdam). He worked as a staff clinical scientist in Molecular Pathology at LUMC (1991-2000) and UMCG (2001-now).

Albrecht Stenzinger, MD, Full Professor, Molecular Tumor Pathology; Head, Center for Molecular Pathology (CMP); Head, Section for Biomarker Development and Molecular Diagnostics, Institute of Pathology Heidelberg (IPH), University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany

Dr. Albrecht Stenzinger is the head of the IPH Center for Molecular Pathology at the Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany. He is holding an MD degree from the University of Giessen (Germany), completed his residency in pathology at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin and the University Hospital Heidelberg (Germany) and is a board certified surgical pathologist and senior attending. Albrecht received postdoctoral training at the University of Heidelberg, Germany and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, USA. He has a broad expertise in molecular pathology and works in the field of translational research and genetics of solid tumors.

Junxia Wang, PhD, Director, Analytical Development, Mustang Bio, Inc., United States

Junxia Wang is a Director of Analytical Development at Mustang Bio, Inc. (“Mustang”) (NASDAQ: MBIO), a Fortress Biotech (NASDAQ: FBIO) company focusing on the development of novel immunotherapies based on proprietary chimeric antigen receptor engineered T cell (CAR T) technology and gene therapies for rare diseases. Junxia leads analytical development team in cell and gene therapies and Chimeric Antigen Receptor Technology field. Junxia's team is responsible for the selection, development, validation of analytical methods, and leads QC operations team in preparing cell therapy products for CMC and clinical trials. Prior to Mustang Bio, she is an Associate Director of Immunosafety and Bioanalytical Development at Editas Medicine, responsible for the development and implementation of strategies for safety evaluation CRISPR/Cas9 programs across portfolio with a focus on immunogenicity. Prior to Editas Medicine, Junxia worked at Novartis, where she was a Fellow in Cell and Gene Therapy, Oncology Business Unit, a project leader in Technical Research and Development spearheaded exploratory analytical activities for biomarker discovery and led functional assay design and development to support process development, manufacturing and clinical development of CAR T-Cell immunotherapy. Before Novartis, Junxia was an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Immunologist in Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she conducted research on biomarkers/targets for Inflammatory Arthritis in human using CyTOF, human T cell immuno-phenotyping, classification of T cell effector and memory subsets with PD1 expression. Junxia received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

ADVANCED DIAGNOSTICS FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE

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.

Savita Bagga, Invitro Diagnostics Segment Marketing Manager, MilliporeSigma, USA

Savita is the Invitro Diagnostics Segment Marketing Mgr in Diagnostics at MilliporeSigma. Previously she managed product portfolios in Epigenetics and Whole Genome/Transcriptome Amplification Technologies for NGS. Savita did her postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School in Boston. She studied specific therapeutic targeting of mast cells in allergic and inflammatory diseases. She has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology,University of Maryland and an MBA from Delhi, India.

Daniela Bezemer, PhD, Senior Researcher, Stichting HIV Monitoring, the Netherlands

Daniela Bezemer is a theoretical biologist from Utrecht University working at the HIV Monitoring Foundation in Amsterdam the Netherlands. She did her PhD at the University of Amsterdam, in close collaboration with researchers from Imperial College London. Her research aims to better understand HIV-1 transmission dynamics and evolution by mathematical modelling of epidemiological data and molecular phylogenetic analysis.

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 on 1991 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, Research Scientist, Viroscience, Erasmus Medical Center, the Netherlands

I am a virologist using next generation sequencing and computational methods to find patterns in virus evolution that might lead to improved healthcare interventions.

Koen Deforche, CTO, Co-Founder, Emweb

Koen Deforche holds a Master’s in Electrical Engineering and a PhD in Medical Sciences. He is a co-author of several publications and software packages in the field of bioinformatics and virology and is an inventor or co-inventor of several patents in engineering and bioinformatics. He is co-founder and CTO of Emweb and Principal Scientist for its Bioinformatics activities, including molecular surveillance databases and the development of Genome Detective, a comprehensive bioinformatics system for metagenomic genome assembly and pathogen identification.

Tanya Gottlieb, PhD, Vice President, Scientific Affairs, MeMed, Israel

Dr. Tanya Gottlieb has 25 years of experience in academia and industry, specializing in building international collaborations and securing non-dilutive financing. At MeMed, Tanya is the liaison for alliances with governmental and NGOs. Tanya holds a BA in Natural Sciences and PhD from Cambridge University and MBA from the Technion, Israel.

Vanessa C. Harris, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Global Health, University Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, The Netherlands

Dr. Vanessa Harris, MD, PhD is an adult infectious diseases clinician and assistant professor at the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development and Department of Global Health at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam.  She has a joint position as a clinical consultant at the Hong Kong University-Shenzhen hospital in Shenzhen, China. She received her Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Amherst College and subsequently received her M.D. at Harvard Medical School in 2006.  She received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2003.  She completed her internal medicine residency, infectious diseases fellowship and PhD at the University of Amsterdam’s Academic Medical Center in the Netherlands.   Dr. Harris’s research focuses on determinants of the diminished rotavirus vaccine in low- and middle- income countries, specifically interactions between the intestinal microbiome, mucosal immunity and rotavirus vaccines. 

John Hays, PhD, Associate Professor, Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands

Dr J. P. Hays is an Associate Professor at the Erasmus University Medical Centre Rotterdam (Erasmus MC), the Netherlands. He graduated with a PhD in Coronaviruses from the University of Leicester (UK) and a PhD in Moraxella catarrhalis from Erasmus MC (NL). His research is currently focussed on the development of 'bench-to-bedside' solutions in the fight against the global endemic of antimicrobial resistance. In this respect he has been involved in 6 EU projects (3 as coordinator), relating to the development and evaluation of new (Point-of-Care) diagnostics, new biomarkers of infection, new antibiotics and treatment strategies.  Dr Hays was recently a participant of the JPIAMR AMR-RDT working group and served a 1 year term  on the Council on Microbial Sciences (COMS) of the American Society for Microbiology.  

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. Jean is a tenured associate professor in the field of molecular virology at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He is the Co-Director of the Canadian Network of Scientific Platforms and he has been a full Member of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) College of Reviewers. At UBC, he has been leading major international research initiatives funded by CIHR and the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) to discover novel broad-spectrum antiviral agents and biomarkers directed at human pathogenic viruses.
As the scientific director of UBC Facility for Infectious Disease and Epidemic Research (FINDER) for 9 years (2008-2016), he has established at UBC one of the largest university-based Containment Level (CL)-3 facilities in the world. He has won several prestigious scholarly awards including the Fisher Scientific Award from the Canadian Society for Microbiologists and the UBC Faculty of Science Service Award in recognition of his leadership role in establishing the UBC FINDER. He hold 15 collective invention disclosures, published 180 peer-reviewed papers and abstracts, given 82 invited presentations, and mentored 136 trainees in virology.

Agathe Jouet, PhD, Research Engineer, GenoScreen, France

Agathe Jouet, PhD, is a molecular biologist specialized in evolutionary biology and bioinformatics. She received her MSc in Population Genetics at the University of Lille 1, France followed by a PhD and PostDoc at the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, UK where she focused on Plant-Pathogen coevolution. Now a research engineer at GenoScreen in Lille, Dr. Jouet is responsible for the development of Deeplex Myc-TB, an assay for the detection of tuberculosis antibiotic resistance.

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 from 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., a Bay Area-based company that develops diagnostic tests by ‘reading’ the immune system to characterize diseases. The technique works by measuring the expression levels of numerous host immune genes, and then applying proprietary Inflammatix algorithms to produce rapid, clinically actionable results. Our efforts in developing diagnostic tests for acute infection and sepsis have been extensively validated and published in top-tier medical journals. Inflammatix is working with diagnostic instrument ‘platform’ partners to launch the HostDx™ Fever and HostDx™ Sepsis tests. Oliver contributed more than 160 peer-reviewed articles to medical journals and authored more than 30 book chapters.

Leo Schouls, PhD, Molecular Microbiologist, Infectious Diseases Research, Diagnostics and Screening, Centre for Infectious Disease Control Netherlands, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Netherlands

No biography available

Anthony Whetton, Director, Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Professor Tony Whetton is currently the Director of the Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre and the Manchester Precision Medicine Institute at the University of Manchester. He joined the School of Medicine at the University of Manchester in 2003 as Professor of Cancer Cell Biology, based at the Christie Hospital. Here he has established a state-of-the-art biological mass spectrometry facility for stem cell and leukaemia research. He has expanded this platform to include a clinical proteomics research capability, where the objective is to discover new biomarkers and disease mechanisms associated with a wide range of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and respiratory diseases. The Centre also provides a platform for collaboration with industry in biomarker research.

ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES FOR CIRCULATING BIOMARKERS

Romain Appay Human Pathologist, Pathological and Neuropathological Anatomy, APHM, Marseille, France

Human pathologist specialized in oncology at Université Aix Marseille.

Alison Devonshire, PhD, Science Leader, Molecular and Cell Biology, LGC, 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. For the last 10 years, 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.

Lorena Diéguez, PhD, Group Leader, Department of Life Sciences, Nano4Health Unit, Medical Devices Research Group, International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Portugal

Lorena Diéguez joined INL in 2014 as Staff Researcher and is, since May 2018, the leader of the Medical Devices group. Her research is focused in the development of biomicrofluidic devices mainly devoted to Translational Medical Research in close collaboration with Hospitals. For that purpose, her work is devoted to the development of integrated biosensing systems and nanobioengineered diagnostics microsystems for the isolation and characterization of Tumor Cells from body fluids of cancer patients, as well as the development of microfluidic 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, creating the 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 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.

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. He is Business Development Director at Volition, a company developing next generation blood tests for early detection of cancer. Volition’s epigenetics based immunoassay approach to rapid, affordable cancer diagnostics is intended to revolutionise cancer screening and diagnosis.

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.

Per Guldberg, Professor, Danish Cancer Society, Denmark

Per Guldberg is a Professor and Group Leader at the Danish Cancer Society Research Center. His laboratory has a long-standing interest in the genetic and epigenetic bases of cancer, with a focus on the potential of driver mutations and DNA-methylation alterations as biomarkers for non-invasive detection of cancer. Recent work includes the development of urine-based tests for high-sensitivity detection of bladder cancer and other genitourinary cancers.

An Hendrix, PhD, Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Ghent University, The Netherlands

An Hendrix is assistant professor at Ghent University and group leader at the Cancer Research Institute Ghent (CRIG). Her team studies small Rab GTPase-mediated release of extracellular vesicles (EV) by tumors, and the isolation and characterization of these nanometer-sized vesicles from liquid biopsies (published in highly ranked journals such as Nature Methods, Gut, JNCI, Cancer Research and Journal of Extracellular Vesicles). As such her team aims to get a deeper insight into the relevant aspects of EV and their biogenesis, and to exploit them for precision oncology. To allow and boost the clinical implementation of EV in daily clinical practice An Hendrix significantly invested in standardization and reproducibility of EV research since this is the foremost important step to initiate biomarker discovery in any type of biofluid for any type of disease. An Hendrix was awarded with a CRIG young investigator proof of concept grant (2017) and the prize of Medical Research 2010-2013 by the Belgian Royal Academies of Medicine (2013). She yearly organizes the EMBO/EMBL practical course on extracellular vesicles (Heidelberg, Germany: https://www.embl.de/training/events/2019/EXO19-01/). An Hendrix contributed to The Massive Online Open Course “Basics of Extracellular Vesicles”. She is founder of the EV-TRACK consortium that aims to increase transparent reporting and reproducibility in EV research (www.evtrack.org) and of the Belgian Society for Extracellular Vesicles that connects Belgian scientists working on EV (www.besev.be).

G. Mike Makrigiorgos, PhD, Professor, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, United States

Dr. Makrigiorgos is a Professor and Director of the Medical Physics & Biophysics division in Radiation Oncology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals, Harvard Medical School.  He is as ABR-certified radiation oncology physicist and he also directs his DNA technology laboratory and a radiation pre-clinical facility.  His research interests include the development of novel DNA technologies for molecular diagnostics in Oncology and the detection of circulating cancer biomarkers.  Funded continuously by NIH over the last 25 years, he invented several new techniques for molecular diagnostics, including Balanced-PCR, COLD-PCR and NaME-PrO.  He is a Member of the Editorial Board of Clinical Chemistry and has published over 150 articles in journals including Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, Nucleic Acid Research and Clinical Chemistry.  He received his undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Athens, Greece, his PhD in Medical Physics from the University of Leeds, UK and his postdoctoral training in radiation biology from Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Michael Messenger, PhD, Head of Personalised Medicine and Health, Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Michael is Head of the Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine and Health, matching population health and care needs with excellent science and innovation, as part of the  Leeds Academic Health Partnership.  The Partnership identifies, attracts and implements innovation and inward investment that responds to the challenges facing health and care, including reducing health inequalities across the city.   He is also the Deputy Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)  Leeds MedTech and In-Vitro Diagnostic Co-Operative (MIC), an industry facing collaboration aimed at catalysing evaluations of commercial tests and providing evidence for NHS adoption.  Since 2013 the MIC has evaluated >35 diagnostics, leveraged more than £60M of investment and contributed evidence towards 9 clinical guidelines.  Michael has end-to-end experience across the “diagnostic pipeline” and is focused on developing, evaluating and implementing diagnostic tests with the potential to improve health outcomes and cost-effectiveness.  As a standing member of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Diagnostics Advisory Committee, Michael provides advice to NICE on the formulation of guidance on diagnostic technologies and any other matters related to the evaluation of diagnostic technologies. 

Niels Pallisgaard, PhD, Molecular Biologist, Pathology, Roskilde University, Denmark

Dr. Pallisgaard has more than 20 year experience in clinical molecular oncology. He has primarily been working with hematology doing research, method developments and international standardization on clinical assays. . He was the first in Denmark to use qPCR and ddPCR to detect and to monitor the level of mutations in cancer patients. He has been working for more than 9 years with cfDNA and ctDNA and his work resulted in more than 20 peer-reviewed publications on liquid biopsies. His laboratory is presently doing the analysis of multiple national and international retrospective and prospective clinical studies on liquid biopsies.

Stefan Rödiger, PhD, Group Leader, Institute of Biotechnology, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus – Senftenberg, Germany

Stefan is working group leader at the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus - Senftenberg, where he teaches and researches methods for medical diagnostics and applied statistical bioinformatics. This includes multiparametric bioanalytical devices and point-of-care technologies. He studied pharmaceutical biotechnology and later forensics. He completed his doctoral thesis at the Charité. In the past years he worked at the TU Dresden, the MPI-CBG Dresden, the University of Applied Sciences Lausitz as well as the SMUs Attomol GmbH and Neuroprogen GmbH.

Thomas Schlange, PhD, Senior Biomarker Scientist, Global Biomarker Research, Bayer AG, Germany

Thomas Schlange is a chemist by training and received his PhD in 2003 at the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany. His research was focused on BMP/Activin signaling in early cardiac development. From 2003 until 2008 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland, on Wnt and EGFR signaling in breast cancer. Since 2008 Thomas Schlange is scientist at the Bayer AG Research Center in Wuppertal, Germany. He led projects in anti-angiogenesis/oncology and ophthalmology research and is responsible for biomarker projects/ strategy in lung diseases. Since January 2015 he is coordinator of the Innovative Medicines Initiative consortium CANCER-ID on circulating tumor cell, circulating free tumor DNA and miRNA technology evaluation.

Anders Ståhlberg, Associate Professor, Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, Clinical Pathology and Genetics, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sweden

Anders Ståhlberg, Associate Professor, is working as principal investigator at the Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, University of Gothenburg and Clinical Pathology and Genetics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden. He has a PhD in molecular biotechnology and has two post-doc periods working with human embryonic stem cells and tumor biology. Anders primary research interest is to understand molecular mechanisms in tumor initiation, tumor development and cancer stem cell differentiation. In addition, he is developing and implementing liquid biopsy analysis in routine clinic. The research is focused on breast cancer and sarcomas. He has developed several strategies for gene expression profiling and mutation analysis, especially at the single-cell and single-molecule level. These techniques are used to study tumor heterogeneity and cell fate mechanisms, as well as to monitor disease progression using liquid biopsies. Currently, Anders is heading a Translational Genomics Platform (https://wcmtm.gu.se/research-groups/genomics-platform) Research homepage: http://cancercenter.gu.se/research/anders-stahlberg

Benjamin Thierry, PhD, Professor, Bioengineering, Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia, Australia

Professor Benjamin Thierry is a Research Leader at the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute. He has obtained his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at McGill University in 2004. He is a Fellow of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and the Node leader of the Centre of Excellence for Convergent Bio and Nano Science of the Australian Research Council.  The main focus of Prof Thierry’s research is the translational development and implementation of diagnostic technologies.

Jörg Tost, PhD, Director Laboratory for Epigenetics & Environment, Laboratory for Epigenetics & Environment, Centre National de Recherche en Génomique Humaine (CNRGH), CEA – Institut de Biologie Francois Jacob, 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 Recherche en Genomique Humaine (CNRGH). 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 1572 publications of which 139have appeared in Medline-listed journals, and is the editor of a book entitled “Epigenetics” (Horizon Scientific Press, 2008) and the 2nd and 3rd Edition of “DNA methylation protocols” and “pyrosequencing protocols” in the Methods of Molecular Biology series (2009, 2015, 2018) and senior editor of the journal “Epigenomics”.

COMPANION DIAGNOSTICS FOR IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY

Edward Abrahams, PhD, President, Personalized, Medicine Coalition, United States
No bio available

Neeraj Adya, PhD, Director, Pharmacodiagnostics Translational Medicine, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Neeraj Adya has over 18 years of experience in the area of Precision Medicine. He is currently at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) as a Pharmacodiagnostics (PDx) Lead, enabling development of Companion/Complementary diagnostics in various therapeutic areas, including Oncology, Cardiovascular, and Fibrosis.  In this role, Neeraj provides PDx leadership for complementary/companion diagnostic development, facilitating delivery of all diagnostics by working with external diagnostic business partners. Prior to that, he was at Abbott Laboratories for over 15 years where he led cross-functional teams to develop blood screening diagnostics products for infectious diseases as well as molecular diagnostics intended as companion diagnostic (CDx) with multiple Pharma partners.

Neeraj Adya received his PhD in Molecular Biology from Case Western Reserve University. Subsequently, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Human Genome Research Institute in NIH.

Edurne Arriola, PhD, Head of Lung Cancer Division, Medical Oncology Department, Hospital del Mar, Spain

I am a Medical Oncologist with a PhD in cancer. My current role Head of Lung Cancer division in the medical department at Hospital del Mar. I lead the lung cancer research in the Institution. I believe I have clinical expertise in the treatment of lung cancer patients, experience in translational and clinical research through my past and current work in the laboratory and from being principal investigator of more than 20 clinical trials, and ability for mentorship of junior staff as demonstrated by PhD directions and publications of my younger colleagues within our group projects. Since 2010, I have been able to obtain continued funding through competitive grants and donations from partnership with pharmaceutical companies. I have also developed the leadership in the institution being the clinical lead of the Lung Cancer Unit from 2009-2014 and more recently formally establishing a translational research group that was already working as a team and publishing as a group. Throughout my research career, I have been able to establish collaborations with international partners that have derived in collaborative publications and funding (still ongoing).

Andreia de Albuquerque, PhD Senior Manager, Strategic Business Development, Invivoscribe, USA

Dr. Albuquerque PhD, joined Invivoscribe in 2015 and is currently responsible for supporting Invivoscribe’s worldwide business development efforts with focus on Pharma engagement and companion diagnostics test development. Dr. Albuquerque held previous positions in diagnostic labs, where she focused on molecular diagnostics and assay development in support of precision medicine.

Kenneth Emancipator, MD, Executive Medical Director and Head of Companion Diagnostics, Translational Medicine, Merck

Dr. Emancipator led the Merck team which partnered with Agilent Technologies to develop the 22C3 PD-L1 immunohistochemistry test which identifies those non-small cell lung cancer patients most likely to benefit from Keytruda® (pembrolizumab), which is the first FDA-approved companion diagnostic in cancer immunotherapy, and which enabled Keytruda to become the first immunotherapy to be approved for first-line treatment of lung cancer. He was one of six members of the Keytruda Team to receive the 2015 PhRMA Research and Hope Award for Biopharmaceutical Industry Research on behalf of Merck. His has held positions at National Institutes of Health, Cornell University Medical College, Beth Israel Medical Center (NY), and Bayer Healthcare. He is a former officer of the American Society for Clinical Pathology and is a regular reviewer for the American Journal of Clinical Pathology. His credits include more than 100 papers and abstracts, and more than 100 extramural presentations.

Jörg Engelbergs, PhD, Scientific Expert and Assessor Biomedicines (Quality, Non-Clinic & Personalized Medicine), Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines, Germany

Dr. Engelbergs is currently working for the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut in Langen, Germany, as regulatory-scientific expert and assessor (Quality / CMC and Non-Clinic) for biopharmaceuticals with focus on Biotechs (Monoclonal Antibodies) and further as expert for IVDs / biomarker-based Companion Diagnostics (CDx) and stratified / personalized (Bio-) Medicines. He is involved in the European process of market authorization of biopharmaceuticals, comprising scientific assessments and national / EMA advices. Further activities are assessments of GCP conformity of clinical phase I-III trials, national and third-country (USA, East Asia) GMP inspections, and experimental research on biomarkers. Dr. Engelbergs is member of the Pharmacogenomics Working Party (PGWP) at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), London, UK. He is also member of the Host-Cell Protein (HCP) Working Party and of the P4Bio Working Party at the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM), Strasbourg, France. Further he is member of the German Society for Research on DNA Repair (DGDR). Dr. Engelbergs holds a Diploma in biology and a PhD in cell biology (cancer research) and biotechnology. Before Dr. Engelbergs joined the PEI, he has gained large experience in experimental cancer research and neuropharmacology research. In this time, he was head of "Neuropharmacology laboratory" with focus on triptan-, targeted monoclonal antibody & antisense therapy and therapy resistance for auto-immune diseases and with focus on development of diagnostic and predictive biomarkers and assays for personalized medicines. In parallel he was head of the clinical core “Genotyping service center" (SNP, mutation and expression profiling analysis) both at Department of Neurology at University of Essen Medical School, Germany. Before, he has been scientific project leader in various experimental cancer research projects with focus on DNA Repair, mutagenesis, carcinogenesis, chemotherapy & therapy resistance, biomarker development and targeted monoclonal antibody therapy. In parallel, he has been also head of the core "Monoclonal antibody research and production unit" (development and production of diagnostic and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies) both at Institute of Cell Biology (Cancer Research) [IFZ] at the West German Cancer Center (WTZE).

Joseph Ferrara, CEO, Boston Healthcare Associates, USA

Joe Ferrara has over 20 years of experience in life sciences consulting, working with biopharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics, and informatics clients in market and business development strategy.

Joachim M. Greuel, PhD, MBA, Managing Director, Bioscience Valuation BSV GmbH, Germany

Joachim received his PhD from the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research in Germany and his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, USA. He was Academic Director and Adjunct Professor of Healthcare Management at the IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. Joachim began his professional career in R&D at Bayer Pharmaceuticals before moving on to a Swiss venture capital fund. Since the year 2000, he is Managing Director at Bioscience Valuation BSV GmbH, a company that provides economic and financial analyses to the healthcare industry. Bioscience Valuation’s studies have also been cited in the Wall Street Journal, USA.

Pierre Meulien, PhD, Executive Director, Innovative Medicines Initiative, Belgium

Pierre Meulien is executive director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a €5 billion public-private partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry. At IMI, he is responsible for the overall management of the program, which works to improve and accelerate the drug development process by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in health research. Previously, Dr. Meulien was president and CEO of Genome Canada, where he raised money and oversaw the launch of novel projects and networks in the field of genomics-based technologies. Prior to that, he was chief scientific officer for Genome British Columbia and was the founding CEO of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Center. Dr. Meulien also worked with the French biotechnology company Transgene and with Aventis Pasteur (now Sanofi Pasteur). He has a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Edinburgh and carried out a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

Michael Oellerich, MD, Hon MD, FAACC, FAMM, FFPath (RCPI), FRCPath, Distinguished Research Professor of Clinical Chemistry, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, George-August-University, University Medical Center Goettingen (Umg), Germany

Michael Oellerich, MD, HonMD, FAACC, FAMM, FFPath (RCPI), FRCPath, is currently a Distinguished Research Professor at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University Medical Center (UMG), Göttingen, Germany. He was Chairman of the Department of Clinical Chemistry at UMG from 1991 to 2012, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and President of professional organizations (IATDMCT, DGLM, DGKL, WASPaLM). He currently is Associate Editor of the journal Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM). He was Editor-in-Chief of the TDM journal (2003-2018), Associate Editor of Clinical Biochemistry (1996-2007) and Clinical Chemistry (2007-2013). His current research interests are in the field of cfDNA in cancer and transplantation. He authored more than 460 publications and received various awards (e.g. Ludolf-Krehl Award, IATDMCT Charles Pippenger Award, WASPaLM Medal of Honor, WASPaLM Gold-Headed Cane).

Serafino Pantano, PhD, Director, EMEAC Biomarker & Diagnostics Leader, Oncology Global Medical Affairs, MSD International GmbH, Switzerland

Dr. Serafino Pantano has several years of experience in Translational Science, Biomarkers and Diagnostics; he is currently Biomarker and Diagnostics Leader for the EMEAC region in Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD), in Lucerne, Switzerland. Dr. Pantano received his PhD in Human Morphological Sciences from University of Bologna (Italy), conducting research in the field of Developmental Biology, followed by postdoctoral research on transcriptional regulation and signal transduction in inflammation and in cancer at Institute for Research in Biomedicine of Bellinzona and at University of Lausanne (Switzerland). In 2006, Dr. Pantano moved to pharmaceutical industry joining Novartis (Basel, Switzerland), where he led labs developing and applying tissue based molecular assays. In 2011, Dr. Pantano joined Roche pRED (Pharma Research and Early Development) in Penzberg, Germany, to lead a team interfacing pRED Translational Research Sciences and Roche Tissue Diagnostics. From 2013 to 2018 Dr. Pantano was in Novartis Oncology Global Development (Basel, Switzerland) as Global Correlative Science Leader and Precision Medicine Director; during this period, Dr. Pantano led biomarker and diagnostic efforts for the ALK inhibitor ceritinib, and for immuno-oncology assets. In March 2018, Dr. Pantano joined MSD as EMEAC Biomarker and Diagnostics Leader.

Omar Perez, PhD, Head of Precision Medicine and Diagnostics, GlaxoSmithKline, United States

No bio available

Michael Roehrl, MD, PhD, Director, Precision Pathology Biobanking Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, United States

No bio available

Charlotte Ryckman, Associate, 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.

Bart Van Vooren, Senior Associate, EU Regulatory and Life Sciences, Covington & Burling LLP, Belgium

Bart Van Vooren has a PhD in EU law and has been a professor of EU law at the University of Copenhagen for 8 years. Since 2013, he has been a full-time practicing attorney advising on EU regulatory law and procedure, specializing in the life sciences (pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and cosmetics).

Yves Verboven, Director, Market Access & Economic Policies, MedTech Europe, Belgium

No bio available

POINT-OF-CARE DIAGNOSTICS

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

Dr. Gyorgy Abel is the Director of Clinical Chemistry, Molecular Diagnostics, and Immunology at the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts. He also serves as Clinical Instructor in Pathology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Abel is board certified in Clinical Pathology (American Board of Pathology) and Molecular Diagnostics (DABCC) and is a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (NACB), and the Royal Society of Medicine (UK). He has over twenty-five years of experience in molecular biology and diagnostics. His clinical and research interests include the molecular pathology of hepatitis C infection, minimal residual disease detection in cancer, and personalized medicine. Dr. Abel previously served as Vice President of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry. Currently, he is a member of the Genomic Analysis Resource Guide Work Group of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the Clinical and Translational Research Subcommittee of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), the Clinical Immunology Committee of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI), and the Clinical Advisory Committee of the Reference Material Institute for Clinical Chemistry Standards (ReCCS) in Japan. Dr. Abel is the author or co-author of approximately 100 peer reviewed articles, book chapters, and scientific conference presentations. He frequently speaks nationally on current issues in clinical pathology and molecular diagnostics.

Holger Becker, PhD, Founder & CSO, microfluidic ChipShop GmbH, Germany

Dr. Holger Becker is co-founder and CSO of microfluidic ChipShop GmbH. He obtained physics degrees from the University of Western Australia/Perth and the University of Heidelberg. He started to work on miniaturized systems for chemical analysis during his Ph.D. thesis at Heidelberg University, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1995. Between 1995 and 1997 he was a Research Associate at Imperial College with Prof. Andreas Manz. In 1998, he joined Jenoptik Mikrotechnik GmbH. Since then, he founded and led several companies in the field of microsystem technologies in medicine and the life sciences. He was nominated for the German Founders Prize in 2004. He led the Industry Group of the German Physical Society between 2004 and 2009, was co-chair of MicroTAS 2013, and is the current chair of the SPIE ‘‘Microfluidics, BioMEMS and Medical Microsystems’’ conference. He serves on the Editorial Board of “Lab-on-a-Chip” as well as acting as a regular reviewer of project proposals on a national and international level.

John Carrano, Chairman & CEO, Paratus Diagnostics, USA

Dr. John C. Carrano is the CEO of Paratus Diagnostics, a firm he founded that specializes in medical devices for point-of-care diagnostics. Previously, he was Vice President, R&D Luminex. Prior to that he was as a Program Manager at DARPA. He is a graduate of West Point, and holds a doctorate in EE from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Carrano is a Fellow of SPIE and has over 60 publications and 9 patents.

Nick Collier, PhD, CTO, Medical, Sagentia, United Kingdom

Dr. Nick Collier is CTO at global technology & product development company Sagentia and is a keen follower of innovations in science and technology. With a background in Physics and a PhD in semiconductor physics and device fabrication from Cambridge University, Nick has spent his career translating science into robust product designs. Working across the medical, FMCG and industrial sectors he has a depth of expertise in areas such as sensors, actuators and fluidics. Nick has been at Sagentia for over 15 years and has been responsible for numerous breakthrough products and innovations. These include on-line beam monitoring of high-power industrial lasers; device technologies for photodynamic therapies (PDT); ultrasonic and electromagnetic flow meters; radiopharmaceutical diagnos¬tic imaging; minimally invasive surgical instruments and robotics; and optics and fluidics for in-vitro diagnostics instruments.

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

Bio coming soon...

Ralf Ehricht, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Department of Optical Molecular Diagnostics and System Technology, Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology e.V. Jena (Leibniz-IPHT), Germany

No bio available

Stephen C. Francesconi, PhD, Science and Technology Manager, Diagnostics and Detection Division, Chemical Biological Technologies Department, Research and Development Directorate, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), United States

Dr. Francesconi has been working in the field of BioDefense for the past 20 years. He is currently a Science and Technology Program Manager at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, overseeing the Multi Echelon Diagnostics Program (MEDx). He formally worked as a Program Manager with the Geneva Foundation, supporting the Naval Medical Research Center’s Biological Defense Research Directorate. He managed and ran an Ebola Diagnostic Laboratory in Liberia during the 2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and taught 25 Liberian Medical Technicians to receive, inactivate, and analyze Ebola blood and cheek samples in a safe manner. Dr. Francesconi has been involved in international research projects in many of the Republics of the Former Soviet Union and has taught PCR diagnostics on four continents. He enjoys international travel and is an avid woodworker in his free time.

Michelle M.A. Kip, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Health Technology and Services Research, Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences, Technical Medical Centre, University of Twente

Michelle Kip has received her PhD (with distinction) from the University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands, in April 2018. Her thesis was entitled: "Early Health Technology Assessment of Point-of-Care and Laboratory Diagnostics". Currently, she works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Health Technology & Services Research Department at the University of Twente. She is experienced in the field of (early) Health Technology Assessment, and her research focuses on methods to evaluate the health economic impact of medical technologies in several phases of development, using cost-effectiveness analysis and simulation modeling. Besides evaluating the health economic impact of medical technologies, she is also experienced in the field of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, which includes methods to evaluate stakeholders’ preferences with regard to (new) medical technologies.

Claus Langer, PhD, Clinical Chemist, Medizinisches Versorgungszentrum for Laboratory Medicine and Mikrobiology (mvzlm Ruhr)

  • Studies in Biochemistry, PhD
  • Clinical Chemist according to the guidelines of the DGKL (German Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine)
  • Member of Administration of the mvzlm Ruhr

Anders Larsson, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology, Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden

Anders Larsson is Professor of laboratory science with emphasis on health economics at Uppsala University. He heads a research group focusing on assay development including evaluations of new infectious disease markers. He has published over 700 scientific articles mainly related to laboratory testing.

Antonio León Justél, PhD, CEO, Huelva University Hospital, Spain

Antonio León Justél, PhD, is currently the CEO at Huelva University Hospital and is a member of the Board of Directors of The Clinical Laboratories Strategy Office in Andalucia Health Care Services in Spain. He earned his Major in Pharmacy Sciences at Seville University, completed his residency in Clinical Biochemistry at Clinical Biochemistry Department in Virgen del Rocio University Hospital (Seville Spain) and earned his PhD in Clinical Biochemistry in the Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department from the School of Medicine at Seville University. He has occupied different responsibility positions in Clinical laboratories in many University Hospitals in Spain, such as Chief of Lab Medicine Department at Macarena University Hospital in Seville, Chief of the Lab Medicine Department at Huelva University Hospital in Huelva, Head of the Emergency Lab and Head of the Laboratory transplant team at Virgen del Rocio University Hospital in Seville. He also is Associated Researcher at Biomedicine Institute of Seville (IBiS) and has been Clinic Associate Professor in Clinical Biochemistry at the Biomedicine School, Seville University. His research fields have focused on neuroendocrinology disorders and the innovation field in POCT-testing and IT technologies to improve patients’ outcomes. In addition, he has published many articles, book chapters and he was thesis supervisor at Seville University focusing on these areas.

Vincent Linder, PhD, Founder and President, CDP BioMedical Consulting

BioMedical Consultant, Entrepreneur & Senior Biotech Executive with track record of success for biomedical devices. Partner with clients for value creation during all aspects of development of biomedical devices, from invention to commercialization. Co-founder of Claros Diagnostics (a technology company spun out of Harvard University) with a successful $50M exit, completion of design & development activities, CE-mark and submission to FDA of a pre-market approval (PMA) as CTO of OPKO Diagnostics. The Claros® device is a point-of-care device that allows the quantitative determination of protein by immunoassay in a droplet of fingerstick blood. Technical and regulatory oversight for the launch of the 4Kscore®, a blood test for the early detection of prostate cancer. Post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University (Prof. Whitesides), and PhD in Switzerland from the Institute of Microtechnology, University of Neuchatel (Prof. de Rooij), in collaboration with the Insel University Hospital, and CSEM (Swiss Center of Electronics and Microtechnology).

Gerd H. Luedke, PhD, Director Innovation, Technology & IP, Curetis GmbH, Germany

Dr. Gerd Luedke is able to look back on a twenty-year career in the field of assay development for research and for analytical and diagnostic systems. He has experience in heading up international projects in multiple locations. He has been responsible for the design of molecular diagnostic assays and the development of clinical applications. Prior to co-founding Curetis, Gerd had worked as a project manager for microfluidics systems at Agilent Technologies as well as for test development at Philips Medical Systems. Dr. Gerd Luedke obtained a doctorate in lung cancer tumor biology at Zurich University Hospital and studied Technical Biology at the University of Stuttgart.

Peter B. Luppa, PhD, Head, Central Laboratory, Institute for Clinical Chemistry, Technische Universität München, Germany

Peter B. Luppa is a clinical pathologist and currently heading the core clinical chemistry  laboratory of the Institut für Klinsche Chemie und Pathobiochemie in the university hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar. He received the medical doctor degree from the university of Erlangen-Nuerenberg. Starting from 1986, he spend his further specialization in clinical pathology as senior fellow at the Institut für Klinische Chemie, Klinikum Großhadern der Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München and from October 1992 at the Institut für Klinische Chemie und Pathobiochemie der Technischen Universität München (TUM). He received the appointment as Associate Professor by the TUM in September 2002. Currently he is also the POCT director for the Klinikum and responsible for the quality management of all peripheral POCT devices in the hospital.

Konstantinos Mitsakakis, PhD, Head of International Business Development, Hahn-Schickard Institut für Mikroanalysesysteme, Freiburg, Germany

Dr. Mitsakakis is a Physicist with an MSc in Nanoscience & Nanotechnology. He acquired his doctoral degree (2010) in Materials Science & Technology working on the development of a multi-analyte acoustic biosensing platform for cardiac markers. He joined Hahn-Schickard in 2011 as a Humboldt Post-Doctoral Fellow. He then coordinated the FP7 project “DiscoGnosis” (fever diagnostics for developing countries) and currently coordinates the H2020 project “DIAGORAS” (oral, respiratory infections and antibiotic resistances) and is partner in the H2020 projects “DMC-MALVEC” (vector control) and “SuperPests” (pest & pesticides control). He is the initiator of the activities for diagnostics for developing countries at Hahn-Schickard. He is currently Head of the International Business Development Group and is in contact with several organizations for the translation of the research outcomes from lab to clinic/end-users. He is author of 20 publications with several contributions in international conferences. His research interests are in the areas of micro/nanotechnology for life sciences and point-of-care diagnostics, biosensor technologies, microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip and microanalytical systems.

Prof. Dr. Ute Neugebauer, Professor, Physical Chemistry, Center for Sepsis Control and Care, Jena University Hospital & Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Jena

Ute Neugebauer studied chemistry in Jena, Germany, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. After her PhD she joined the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, Dublin, Ireland, to develop intracellular spectroscopic sensors. From 2011-2015, she led the junior research group “Spectroscopic pathogen Detection“ at the Center for Sepsis Control and Care, Jena University Hospital, and the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology, Jena. Since 2015, Ute Neugebauer is leader of the Core Unit Biophotonics at the Center for Sepsis Control and Care and since 2016, Professor for Physical Chemistry with focus on Clinical Spectroscopic Diagnostics at the University of Jena. Her research is concerned with the development of innovative spectroscopic methods for biomedical research and diagnostics. She is one of the leading scientists in the field of spectroscopic characterization of drug-target-interactions and spectroscopic detection of antibiotic resistances. Together with Jürgen Popp she was awarded the Third Prize of the Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis 2018 for Faster Assessment of Resistances – RamanBioAssay.

Dimitrios Poulikakos, MD, Consultant Renal Physician and AKI Lead, Renal Department, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Dr. Dimitrios Poulikakos is a Consultant Nephrologist at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust since 2015 and holds an Honorary Lecturer post at the University of Manchester. He was appointed as the Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) lead for the Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire Strategic Clinical Network (SCN) in 2015 and is currently AKI lead for Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. Dr. Poulikakos has been involved in a collaborative project with primary care physicians to tackle AKI in the community and has an interest in the integration of primary and secondary care pathways. He is involved in an SCN project evaluating the use of creatinine point of care testing for early detection and management of sepsis associated AKI in the community. Dr. Poulikakos has also a research interest in cardiovascular disease in chronic kidney disease and in particular in computerised electrocardiography for cardiac risk stratification.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Wilfried von Eiff, Director, Center for Hospital Management, University of Muenster, Germany

Dr. von Eiff is the Director for the Center for Hospital Management for the University of Muenster and Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors, Kerckhoff Heart and Lung Clinic (Bad Nauheim, Germany) and the former Managing Director of the University Clinic of Gießen.

CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CIRCULATING BIOMARKERS

Nicola Aceto, PhD, Professor, Oncology, Swiss National Science Foundation, Biomedicine, University of Basel, Switzerland

Nicola Aceto is a Swiss National Science Foundation Professor of Oncology and Group Leader of the Cancer Metastasis lab at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Previously, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Haber lab at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, where he identified circulating tumor cell clusters as metastatic precursors. He has also been an active member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, MA, and a visiting scientist in the Clevers lab at the Hubrecht institute, the Netherlands. He received a PhD summa cum laude from the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland with a thesis on protein tyrosine phosphatases and their role in breast cancer.

Prof. Aceto has authored several peer-reviewed publications in leading journals in the cancer field and he is an inventor on 8 patents related to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. He received several awards for his cancer-related work, including an ERC Starting Grant, a Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship, and an honorable mention at the Wachtel Cancer Research award from AAAS/ Science Translational Medicine. He has been an invited speaker in a number of high-ranked academic institutions and pharma industry.

Marco Bianchi, Digital Biology EMEA Product Manager, Life Sciences, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Italy

Bio coming soon...

Bruno Costa-Silva, PhD, Systems Oncology, Group Leader, Champalimaud Foundation

Dr Cost-Silva obtained his PhD in Oncology at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and AC Camargo in São Paulo, Brazil, working on pre-metastatic niches induction by tumor-derived exosomes. Then he moved to Weill Cornell Medical College in New York for his post- doc at Dr. Lyden´s laboratory, where he spearheaded studies on the role of exosomes in cancer pathogenesis, specifically in metastasis of pancreatic cancer. Since 2016 he moved to Lisbon where he is leading the Systems Oncology group at the Champalimaud Foundation. He currently leads several projects on exosomes-based cell-cell communication and tumor microenvironment.

Wai Kei Jacky Lam, MBBS (HK), MPhil, FRCSEd, FHKCORL, FHKAM (Otorhinolaryngology), Clinical Lecturer, Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Dr. Lam obtained his medical degree in the University of Hong Kong in 2007. He has completed his surgical training in head and neck surgery in 2014. Currently he is working as a clinical lecturer in the Department of Chemical Pathology and the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests are on the biological features of plasma DNA and its potential clinical application in noninvasive cancer detection. He is involved in a large-scale prospective clinical trial using plasma EBV DNA for screening of nasopharyngeal carcinoma and the development of a sequencing-based assay with an improved diagnostic performance for the screening purpose.

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.

Joan Montaner, PhD, Laboratorio de Investigación Neurovascular, Vall d'Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain

Joan Montaner received his M.D. from the University of Cádiz (Spain) in 1994. He got the speciality in Neurology after his medical training in Vall Hebron Hospital. In 2001 Dr. Montaner obtained his PhD by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona with the work entitled: : “The role of Matrix Metalloproteinases in the acute phase of ishemic stroke”. With this work he was awarded with the UAB extraordinary prize. Since 2001 Dr. Montaner coordinates the Neurovascular Research Laboratory and since 2012 he is the Neuroscience Area Coordinator of the VHIR.

Michael Oellerich, MD, Hon MD, FAACC, FAMM, FFPath (RCPI),FRCPath, Distinguished Research Professor, Clinical Chemistry, Clinical Pharmacology, George-August-University, University Medical Center Goettingen, Germany

Michael Oellerich, MD, HonMD, FAACC, FAMM, FFPath (RCPI), FRCPath, is currently a Distinguished Research Professor at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University Medical Center (UMG), Göttingen, Germany. He was Chairman of the Department of Clinical Chemistry at UMG from 1991 to 2012, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and President of professional organizations (IATDMCT, DGLM, DGKL, WASPaLM). He currently is Associate Editor of the journal Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM). He was Editor-in-Chief of the TDM journal (2003-2018), Associate Editor of Clinical Biochemistry (1996-2007) and Clinical Chemistry (2007-2013). His current research interests are in the field of cfDNA in cancer and transplantation. He authored more than 460 publications and received various awards (e.g. Ludolf-Krehl Award, IATDMCT Charles Pippenger Award, WASPaLM Medal of Honor, WASPaLM Gold-Headed Cane).

Catherine Alix-Panabieres, PhD, Assistant Professor; Director, Laboratory of Rare Human Circulating Cells (LCCRH), University Medical Centre of Montpellier

Dr Catherine Alix-Panabières received her PhD degree in 1998 at the Institute of Virology, University Louis Pasteur, in Strasbourg in France. In 1999, she moved to Montpellier where she did a postdoctoral research at the University Medical Centre. During this last decade, Dr Alix-Panabières has focused on optimizing new techniques of enrichment, detection and characterization of viable circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in patients with solid tumors. She is the expert for the EPISPOT technology that is used to detect viable CTCs in patients with breast, prostate, colon, head & neck cancer and melanoma. This technology has been recently improved to detect functional CTCs at the single cell level (EPIDROP).

In 2010, she achieved getting a permanent position at the Hospital and at the Faculty of Medicine of Montpellier (MCU-PH). As an associate professor, she became the new director of the Laboratory of Rare Human Circulating Cells (LCCRH) in the Department of Pathology and Onco-Biology.

In this unique platform LCCRH, they isolate, detect and characterize circulating tumor cells using combinations many technologies. She has authored or co-authored >60 scientific publications in this field during the last years including 10 book chapters, she is the inventor of three patents in the liquid biopsy field and she is part of French national projects: for ex, PANTHER (FUI project), STIC-METABREAST, TACTIK (PHRC) as well as of big European projects: CTC-SCAN (Transcan project), CANCER-ID (IMI project), PROLIPSY (Transcan project) and European Liquid Biopsy Academy (ELBA, Marie-Curie project).

It was a great honor for her to receive the Gallet et Breton Cancer Prize, the highest honor conferred by the French Academy of Medicine in November 2012 and, very recently, the 2017 AACR Award for the most cited scientific article in 2015 (Cayrefourcq et al. Cancer Res).

Prof. Dr. med. Klaus Pantel, MD, Chairman, Institute of Tumor Biology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

Prof Pantel is Chairman of the Institute of Tumour Biology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. The institute is part of the Centre of Experimental Medicine and the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH). Prof Pantel graduated in 1986 from Cologne University in Germany and completed his thesis on mathematical modelling of haematopoiesis in 1987. After his postdoctoral period in the USA on hematopoietic stem cell regulation (Wayne State University, Detroit), he performed research at the Institute of Immunology, University of Munich for 10 years. The pioneer work of Prof Pantel in the field of cancer micrometastasis, circulating tumor cells and circulating nucleic acids (ctDNA, microRNAs) is reflected by more than 400 publications in excellent high ranking biomedical and scientific journals (incl. NEJM, Lancet, Nature Journals, Cancer Cell, Science Translational Medicine, Cancer Discovery, PNAS, JCO, JNCI, Cancer Res.) and has been awarded the AACR Outstanding Investigator Award 2010, German Cancer Award 2010, and ERC Advanced Investigator Grant 2011. Moreover, Prof Pantel coordinates the European IMI consortium CANCER-ID (www.cancer-id.eu) on blood-based “Liquid Biopsies” in lung and breast cancer comprising 37 partner institutions from academia, non-profit organzations and industry.

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).

Qihui Shi, PhD, Professor, Fudan University, Shanghai Medical College

Dr. Qihui Shi received his B.S. from Fudan University in 2003 and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2008. After graduation, he moved to California Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral fellow from 2008 to 2011. Dr. Shi joined the faculty of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in September 2011. In July 2018, Dr. Shi moved to Fudan University and became a professor of Shanghai Medical College. Dr. Shi's research interests are centered on identification and single-cell analysis of rare circulating tumor cells associated with diseases and investigating their clinical importance and applications.

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).

Nicola Valeri, MD, PhD, Reader in Gastrointestinal Oncology and Consultant Medical Oncologist, The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden Hospital, United Kingdom

I completed my medical training in Oncology in Italy and I trained as research fellow in Carlo Croce’s Lab at the Ohio State University in USA. I spent two years as Senior Clinical Lecturer in Oncology at the University of Glasgow and I moved to London in 2013 where I joined the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital where I have a double appointment as Team leader and Consultant in Medical Oncology. My research focuses on gastrointestinal cancers with a particular emphasis on liquid biopsies and novel pre-clinical models for precision medicine in gastro-esophageal and colorectal cancers.

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.