Speakers Bios


Ana Bustamante Aragones, Ph.D., Assistant Head, Genetics, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Spain

Ana Bustamante Aragones works in the Genetics Department of Fundación Jimenez Díaz, a University Hospital. She is currently working on the diagnosis of mendelian disorders either from prenatal, postnatal and preimplantation perspective. She has been involved in many research projects in relation to NIPD and she has been working in the field for more than 10 years now. She has numerous international publications in the field.

Farideh Bischoff, Ph.D., Executive Director, Scientific Affairs, Silicon Biosystems, United States

Dr. Bischoff received her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from University of Texas Graduated School for Biomedical Sciences (Houston, TX) followed by postdoctoral training at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine. She is clinically trained in human molecular genetics and cytogenetic, and has served as a fulltime faculty member in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. She is well known in the fields of circulating rare fetal and tumor (CTC) cells as a source for non-invasive molecular diagnostic testing. She has published extensively and demonstrated expertise in clinical study designs and commercial assay development within the fields of prenatal, oncology, infertility and preimplantation genetic diagnosis. She is currently Executive Director, Scientific Affairs and Clinical Development at Silicon Biosystems, Inc.

Wybo Dondorp, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biomedical Ethics, Health, Ethics & Society, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Wybo Dondorp PhD. Associate professor of biomedical ethics at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. Research interests focus on ethics of human reproduction, reproductive genetics, and genetic screening. Member of the standing Committee on Population Screening of the Health Council of the Netherlands. Has chaired the Task Force Ethics & Law of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). First author of joint ESHG/ASHG position statement on ethics of NIPT-based prenatal screening (2015). Coordinator of the special interest group Ethics of the International Society of Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy.

Mathias Ehrich, M.D., Senior Vice President, Research & Development, Sequenom, Inc., United States

Brigitte Faas, Ph.D., Human Genetics, Radbound University, The Netherlands

Dr. Brigitte Faas studied medical biology at the Radboud University Nijmegen and performed her PhD study at the Sanquin laboratory in Amsterdam. She obtained her PhD degree in 1998, and her PhD research focused on the noninvasive prenatal determination of the fetal Rhesus blood group genotypes. To this end, she not only studied the genetic background of the Rh antigens, but also studied the use of either fetal cells or fetal cell-free DNA in the maternal circulation for noninvasive prenatal testing. In 1999, she started her training to become Clinical Laboratory Geneticist, which was finished in 2004. She is working at the Human Genetics department of the Radboudumc since 2001, and her main field of expertise is prenatal diagnosis. Within this field, she is involved in all state-of-the-art laboratory tests, such as karyotyping, QF-PCR, FISH, SNP array and noninvasive prenatal testing. Brigitte is editor of the Genetics and Genomics section of the Prenatal Diagnosis journal, is chair of the Special Interest Group for laboratory techniques of the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis (ISPD) and involved in education activities of the ISPD, such as organizing preconference courses.

Francesca Romana Grati, Ph.D., Director, R&D, TOMA Advanced Biomedical Assays SpA, Italy

Alex Helm, Product Manager, Illumina, United States

Daniel Grosu, M.D., MBA, CMO, Sequenom, Inc., United States

Dr. Grosu serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. Prior to joining Sequenom, Dr. Grosu served as Illumina’s first Chief Medical Officer and subsequently as the Vice President of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs. He established the Clinical Development and Medical Affairs functions at Illumina, and led the team that performed the clinical studies supporting the FDA clearance and CE marking of the MiSeqDx NGS platform. Prior to Illumina, Dr. Grosu held positions of increasing responsibility in the medical diagnostics space at Siemens Medical Solutions, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, and Ortho Clinical Diagnostics (a Johnson & Johnson company at the time). Dr. Grosu holds an MD (with Distinction in Research) from Saint Louis University School of Medicine and an MBA from the University of Oxford.

Leonard Kellner, M.S., President, KellBenx, Inc., United States

Mr. Kellner was previously the President and CEO of Lenetix, a women's health focused lab acquired by Bio-Reference Laboratories. Prior to that, Mr. Kellner pioneered and launched several genetic focused screening and diagnostic tests in the women's health arena.

Iya Khalil, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Co-Founder, GNS Healthcare, United States

Myung L. Kim, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, In Vitro Diagnostics, SK Telecom, South Korea

Steen Kolvraa, Ph.D., CSO, ARCEDI Biotech, Denmark

Steen Kølvraa Co-founded FCMB ApS and serves its Senior Vice President of Medicinal Affairs. Prof. Kølvraa is professor of Clinical Genetics at the University of Southern Denmark. His main research interest is cytogenetics and prenatal diagnostics with special emphasis on FISH techniques. He served as Head of Clinical R&D at FCMB ApS. Since 1998, he has focused much of his interest on the development of methods for prenatal diagnosis based on fetal cells in maternal blood, a topic on which he is a world-renowned expert. Prof. Kølvraa is a highly respected scientist within his field. He serves as Director and Member of Scientific Advisory Board at FCMB ApS. As the author of more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals and of 16 chapters in scientific literature, he is highly acknowledged in the scientific community for his considerable contribution.

Stephen Little, Ph.D., CEO, Premaitha Health, United States

Michael Lutz, Ph.D., CEO, Life Codexx, Germany

Solomon Moshkevich, Vice President, Product & Strategy, Natera, United States

Julian Nevado, Ph.D., MBA, Genetics, Hospital Universitario La Paz (IdiPAZ), Spain

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

Dick Oepkes, Professor, Obstetrics and Fetal Therapy, Obstetrics, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands

Patrizia Paterlini-Brechot, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of 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.

Philippos Patsalis, Ph.D., Provost, Cyprus School of Molecular Medicine and Chief Executive Medical Director, The Cyprus Institute of Neurology & Genetics, NIPD Genetics, Cyprus

Professor Patsalis undertook his BSc in Biology from the Aristotelian University of Salonica and his MA, MPh and PhD in Human Genetics from the City University of New York, USA. He also undertook post-doctoral studies at the New York University and Columbia University, in New York, USA. He underwent specialization training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Cornell Medical Center, USA. He received professional certification and licensing in the specialties of Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics from the New York Department of Health, USA; from the American Board of Bioanalysis, USA; and the College of American Pathologists, USA. In 1993 he returned to Cyprus where he founded and directed the Department of Cytogenetics at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics which was then being established. In 2007 he was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Medical Director of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics. He is also Professor of Genetics and Provost of the Cyprus School of Molecular Medicine and he has honorary titles as Professor at Universities in Cyprus and abroad. As an academic and technocrat he takes part in many academic and administrative activities in Cyprus and internationally, such as President of the Cyprus National Committee for Research, Innovation and Technological Development, President of the Cyprus Society of Human Genetics, Board Member of the European Cytogeneticists Association, Board Member of the European Society of Human Genetics, etc. He is a scientist who is recognized and respected internationally in the field of Genetics. He has been invited to provide lectures in more than 140 universities and conferences around the world. He has obtained many competitive research grants, including numerous grants from the European Union and the most prestigious grant in the European Union known as the ERC Advanced Grant which is given to very few senior scientists in Europe and is based purely on excellence. He has been appointed to the Editorial Board of several international scientific journals. He has contributed chapters in eight books and has published more than 100 peer review papers in scientific journals including Nature Medicine, Lancet, etc. Prof. Patsalis is the principal investigator and group leader of the research team which invented and patented the Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis for Down Syndrome. He has received more than 30 national and international awards in recent years, including the National Research Award 2008, the National Innovation Award 2009, the US State Alumni Award-State Department US 2011, Man of the Year 2011 and the Silver Medal of the Parliament 2012, which is the highest honorary distinction of the Parliament of the Republic of Cyprus. In 2013, the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades awarded him with a national award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to scientific research and for being awarded the ERC Advanced Program of Excellence from the European Research Council.

Mike Risley, Ph.D., Chief Development Officer, Premaitha

Marta Rodriguez de Alba, Ph.D., Genetics, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Spain

Ram Santhanam, MBA, Director, Market Development, Reproductive Health, SeraCare Life Sciences, United States

Maximillian Schmid, M.D., Associate Director, Medical Affairs, Ariosa, United States

Margorzata Srebniak, Ph.D., Laboratory Specialist, Clinical Genetics, Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands

I am working as a clinical cytogeneticist in the field of prenatal diagnosis since 2000.

Lingqian Wu, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Director, State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics of China, Central South University, China


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

Till Bachmann is Reader in Personalised Medicine in Infectious Diseases in the Division of Pathway Medicine, University of Edinburgh. His scientific interests focus on rapid molecular diagnostics of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance targeting stratified medicines. Till has published extensively, is a named inventor on various patent applications, and he has led a number of large interdisciplinary diagnostic projects (e.g. ITI Techmedia Chronic Wound Care / Biosensing Platform Programme). Till is a founding member of the European Diagnostics Cluster Alliance; he sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute and the Steering Group for the Biosensing Group of the Electronics, Sensors, Photonics KTN.

Matthew Cotten, Ph.D., Senior Staff Scientist, Virus Genomics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, United Kingdom

Bouke de Jong, M.D., Ph.D., Head, Mycobacteriology Unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium

Bouke de Jong graduated in Medicine in 1995 from the University of Amsterdam, with over one year of field experiences in India, Togo and Uganda. She conducted 6 months of immunological research on Cryptococcus neoformans prior to specialist training in internal medicine at the University of Nevada at Reno and infectious diseases at Stanford University.

At Stanford University she worked on the molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis. She obtained an NIH fellowship and moved to the MRC Laboratories in The Gambia in 2003 to study tuberculosis strain differences. In 2005 she completed MSc studies in epidemiology at the Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences, and in 2007 defended her PhD entitled “Studies on Mycobacterium africanum in The Gambia” at the University of Amsterdam.

In 2007, while conducting research and clinical work in The Gambia 10 months per year, Dr. de Jong joined the Division of Infectious Diseases at New York University as a tenure track Assistant Professor. In addition to collaborating on protein secretion of M. africanum, she provided inpatient infectious diseases consultations at Bellevue Hospital and taught tuberculosis to students in the Masters in Global Health program at New York University.

In 2010 Dr. de Jong was appointed as head of the Unit of Mycobacteriology at the Institute of Tropical Medicine. She remains affiliated with New York University, integrating her work on strain differences and enhanced TB case finding in West Africa, with research lines on Buruli Ulcer and TB drug resistance, and supporting the broader activities and goals of the Unit of Mycobacteriology.

Valentina Di Gregori, M.D., Medical Epidemiologist Doctor, UO Microbiology, Sant’Orsola Malpighi University Hospital, Italy

Dr Valentina Di Gregori has achieved her medical degree and Public health Specialty at University of Bologna. She is part of the Core group of Eupha (European Public Health Association), part of the Cochrane Equity Methods Group Ottawa and part of the European Study Group of Brain Infections of the European Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Association. She published 11 full text papers, 12 abstracts and was part of monographies in italian and international journals. She is reviewer and part of some editorial offices in 4 International journals.

Victoria Girard, Ph.D., Head, Identification, R&D Microbiology, bioMerieux, France

After a PhD in Microbiology in Canada, Victoria Girard joined bioMerieux as a scientist and acquired experience on mass spectrometry applied to identification through various positions. She is now head of the identification department in charge of developing new solutions for identification including MALDI TOF Mass Spectrometry.

Ulf B. Göbel, M.D., Ph.D., Director, IMH Charité University Medicine Berlin; Director, Microbiology Labor Berlin Charité-Vivantes GmbH, Germany

Prof. Göbel currently holds a position as head of the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene at the Charité University Medicine Berlin and director of the department of Microbiology at Labor Berlin Charité – Vivantes GmbH. He was trained as a physician with a degree both in Medicine (MD) and Biology (PhD) from the University of Mainz, Germany. During his postdoctoral training in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of California Irvine, he started pioneering work on the use of ribosomal probes and is holding several patents. His interest has been in microbial pathogenesis, the analysis of poly-microbial infections, the interaction of gut microbiota with the intestinal innate immune system, and the development of diagnostic tests. He has received several awards and published work in international journals including Science and Nature.

François Jean, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Scientific Director (FINDER), University of British Columbia, Canada

Dr. François JEAN is the scientific director of the University of British Columbia Facility for Infectious Disease and Epidemic Research (www.finder.ubc.ca) and a tenured associate professor in the field of molecular virology. His research career has included work in two prestigious laboratories: the Proprotein Convertase Group at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal [1991-95; FCAR scholar (Ph.D.)] and the Cell Biology Group of Dr. Gary Thomas at the Vollum Institute in Portland, Oregon (1995-99: MRC postdoctoral fellow). Since he joined the UBC Department of Microbiology and Immunology as an assistant professor in 1999, he has been leading major research initiatives funded by CIHR to discover novel broad-spectrum antiviral agents and biomarkers directed at human enveloped viruses, including a team grant in 2008 from the CIHR Pandemic Preparedness Initiative and a Networks of Centres of Excellence Canada-India grant (2014-2018) for developing cutting-edge diagnostics for detecting emerging and re-emerging viruses (http://ic-impacts.com/research/research-projects/dr-francois-jean/). Dr. Jean has won several prestigious scholarly awards including a 5-year new investigator award (2000-05) from CIHR/Health Canada, a Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies Early Career UBC Award (2001), the Fisher Scientific Award from the Canadian Society for Microbiologists (2003), and the UBC Faculty of Science Service Award (2010) in recognition of his leadership role in establishing FINDER, one of the largest university-based CL-3 facilities in the world [CFI Award ($19.3 million); Dr. Jean co-PI]. Dr. Jean holds 12 collective invention disclosures, has published 164 peer-review papers and abstracts, has given 81 invited presentations, and has mentored 91 trainees in virology (www.microbiology.ubc.ca/jean).

Roman A. Lukaszewski, Ph.D., DSTL Fellow, CBR Division, Defense Science & Technology Lab, United Kingdom

Dr. Roman Lukaszewski is the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) Fellow leading Diagnostics research program within the Chemical Biological and Radiological Division of Dstl. He has published work on the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of a number of virulent microbial agents as well as on the pre-symptomatic diagnosis of sepsis in patient populations. His key research focus is the innate immune response to virulent infections, concentrating on the selection of biomarkers for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

James Mahony, Ph.D., Professor, Pathology & Molecular Medicine; Assistant Dean, Medical Sciences, McMaster University, Canada

James Mahony received a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and received a Medical Research Council Post Doctoral Fellowship at the Banting and Best Institute at the University of Toronto where he worked on a Rabies vaccine. In 1980 he joined the Consulting Staff at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton as a Clinical Virologist and was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine. In 1993 he became Head of the McMaster University Regional Virology & Chlamydiology Laboratory at St. Joseph’s Healthcare and became Full Professor. He served as Assistant Dean of Medical Sciences Graduate Program from 2010-2015. He is board certified by the Canadian College of Microbiology (F.C.C.M.) and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (F.A.A.M). He is Past President of the Canadian Association for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (1990-1992) and Past President of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology. In 2013 he set up a biotech startup company Advanced Theranostics Inc. to develop a hand held point-of-care test device for the rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases.

Sterghios Moschos, Ph.D., Reader and Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences, University of Westminster, United Kingdom

Dr. Moschos FRSC FIBMS MRSB obtained his BSc (HONS) on Molecular Biology at the University of Portsmouth and PhD in Pharmaceutics at University College London. As a postdoc he engaged on oligonucleotide therapeutics and biomarkers research which lead to his recruitment by Pfizer to lead UK efforts in this space. Since 2011 he has been working at the University of Westminster focusing on developing and translating novel molecular assays into bedside solutions in the companion diagnostics and infectious disease space.

Justin O’Grady, Ph.D., Lecturer in Medical Microbiology, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom

I gained my B.Sc., M.Sc. (Res) and Ph.D. in molecular diagnosis of bacterial pathogens all at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). This was followed by a two-year post-doc at NUIG, where my research focused on lab-on-a-chip technology and isothermal amplification based infectious diseases diagnostics. This led to a multi-million dollar diagnostic development collaboration with Beckman Coulter and I was employed by the company in 2008 to develop real-time PCR based molecular diagnostics assays for infectious diseases including Mycobacterium tuberculosis. I moved back into academia in 2010, taking up a Senior Research Associate position at University College London, again working on TB diagnostics. In January 2013 I joined UEA where my research focuses on the molecular diagnosis of pathogens and associated antimicrobial resistances in complex clinical syndromes such as sepsis, respiratory tract infections and urinary tract infections.

Samuel Reed, President, US Office, DNA Electronics, United States

Sam Reed is an experienced leader of New Product Development organizations and projects. From an educational background in Physics and Engineering, his primary experience has been in managing the translation of challenging novel technologies into successful products which meet peoples’ needs. He has led projects on behalf of clients (clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies) and has also managed internal projects from the proof of concept to entrepreneurial exit and market success. From this background in project management, he has also set up people, processes, and organizations, to execute a portfolio such projects successfully. Past projects include medical devices, consumer products, and industrial products. In one relevant example from the past, he led development of a new detection technology into a handheld diagnostic medical device, which allowed users to take lab accuracy directly to the point of care. This project included phases from early technology development, user research and specification development, FDA 510(k),CLIA-waiver, license, and launch.

Alex van Belkum, Ph.D., F(AAM), Corporate Vice President, Microbiology, bioMérieux, France

Professor Alex van BELKUM, PhD is Dutch, married with three children and graduated as a biologist at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. He did a PhD in Biochemistry at the same University. He obtained a second PhD at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He was involved in malaria vaccine research as a research scientist at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre-TNO, Rijswijk, The Netherlands. He has been Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases, MedScand Ingeny B.V., Leiden, The Netherlands after which he joined as a staff member the Department of Molecular Biology, Diagnostic Centre SSDZ, Delft, The Netherlands (1991-1994). From 1994 onwards until 2010 he was staff member at the Erasmus university Medical Center Rotterdam EMCR, Department of Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. From 2003 onwards he is (honorary) Professor of Molecular Microbiology at Erasmus MC. From 2010 to 2011 he worked for bioMérieux as R&D Director in the La Balme Microbiology Unit. Since 2011 Van Belkum is Corporate Vice President R&D Microbiology at bioMerieux (La Balme les Grottes, France). Overall, Alex van Belkum (co)authored over 490 PubMed-included manuscripts, over a hundred chapters in books and a variety of editorials, prefaces, letters etc which have been cited over 25.000 times. The H-factor for Alex van Belkum is currently 80. Van Belkum is Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Lia van der Hoek, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Laboratory of Experimental Virology, Medical Microbiology, Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center (AMC), University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Lia van der Hoek studied chemistry at the Free University and did her PhD at the University of Amsterdam on HIV-1 in the gut (1998). In 2001 she initiated her own research line around virus discovery at the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam. She developed the novel virus discovery method VIDISCA (Nature Med. 2004) that can detect any RNA or DNA virus, and discovered human coronavirus NL63 in a child with bronchiolitis (Nature Med. 2004). Viral transcription, evolution, and therapy options for NL63 were investigated (Virol.J 2004; AAC 2006; J. Mol.Biol 2006). Several international collaborations were initiated to show that HCoV-NL63 has spread worldwide and is associated with croup (e.g. PLoS Medicine 2005, EID 2005, BMC Inf.Dis. 2005). In parallel other respiratory viruses were investigated, with a focus on newly identified ‘unculterable’ respiratory viruses. In 2009 the group of Lia van der Hoek was the first to show replication of human bocavirus in differentiated human airway epithelial cells, and revealed the full transcription profile (J.Virol 2009). Next to this the VIDISCA technique was optimized and combined with next generation sequencing techniques, which substantially improved the sensitivity of the method. Being able to identify viruses in clinical samples -without the need to culture- led to the identification of several novel viruses: A novel HIV-1 subtype (AIDS Res.Hum.Retrov. 2007), novel parechovirus types (J.Clin.Microbiol 2008, BMC Evol.Biol 2009, J.Gen.Virol 2010), two unknown parvoviruses in bats (PLOS ONE 2011), and one in a slow loris (Front Microbiol. 2014), a novel rhinovirus C type (Viruses 2015), a human cyclovirus in CSF of patients with acute central nervous system infection (MBio. 2013), immunodeficiency stool associated virus (IASV) and human stool-associated RNA virus (husavirus) in AIDS patients (BMC Infect Dis. 2014; J Gen Virol 2015), and most recently the virus causing scale drop disease in Asian Seabass: a novel megalocytivirus (SDDV; PLOS Path 2015). Furthermore, her virome investigations in pregnant women could link decreased viremia by members of the Anelloviridae with offspring psychosis (Schizophrenia Res. 2015). Lia van der Hoek has won several prizes, the AMC Young Investigators Publication award (2005), Clinical Infectious Disease award for outstanding review (2005), an NWO Aspasia premium (2006), the Heine Medin medal of the European Society for Clinical Virology (2006) and in 2014 the Immuno Valley award.


Catherine Alix-Panabières, Ph.D., Director & Associate Professor, Laboratory of Rare Human Circulating Cells, Cell and Tissue Biopathology of Tumors, University Medical Center of Montpellier, France

Dr Catherine Alix-Panabières received her PhD degree in 1998 at the Institute of Virology, University Louis Pasteur, in Strasbourg in France. In 1999, she moved to Montpellier where she did a postdoctoral research in the Department of Immuno-Virology of the University Medical Centre of Montpellier, France. During this last decade, Dr Alix-Panabières has focused on optimizing new techniques of enrichment and detection of viable disseminating tumor cells in patients with solid tumors. She is the expert for the EPISPOT technology that is used to detect viable tumor cells in the peripheral blood and the bone marrow of patients with breast, prostate, colon, head & neck cancer and melanoma. In 2010, she achieved getting a permanent position at the Hospital and at the Faculty of Medicine of Montpellier (MCU-PH), a wonderful mixture of giving teaching lessons to medical students on Cancer Biology in combination of developing this field of tumor cell dissemination at the hospital for the cancer patients, leading strongly translational clinical research. As an associate professor, she recently became the new director of the Laboratory of Rare Human Circulating Cells (LCCRH) in the Department of Cell & Tissue Biopathology of tumors. In this unique platform LCCRH, they isolate, detect and characterize circulating tumor cells using combinations of the EPISPOT assay, the CellSearch® system (Janssen), the flow cytometry, the CellCollector (GILUPI), the molecular biology (AmpliSpeed device), the Parsortix system and the DEPArray (Silicon Biosystem) for single cell sorting. She has authored or co-authored >40 scientific publications in this field during the last years including 10 book chapters and she is part of two big European projects: CTC-SCAN (Transcan project) and CANCER-ID (IMI project). After she got the Scientific Prize given by the Region Languedoc-Roussillon in 2008, it was a great honor for her to receive the Gallet et Breton Cancer Prize, the highest honor conferred by the French Academy of Medicine in November 2012.

Alison Allan, Ph.D., Senior Oncology Scientist and Associate Professor, Oncology and Anatomy & Cell Biology, London Regional Cancer Program and Western University, Canada

Dr. Alison Allan is a Senior Oncology Scientist and the Basic Science Co-Lead of the Metastasis Translational Cancer Research Team at the London Regional Cancer Program; and an Associate Professor of Oncology and Anatomy & Cell Biology at Western University in London, Ontario Canada. Dr. Allan’s research program is focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms of cancer metastasis; in particular the study of circulating tumor cells and cancer stem cells in patients and animal models.

Aditya Bardia, M.D., Attending Physician, Medical Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, United States

Dr. Aditya Bardia is a board-certified medical oncologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dr. Bardia is specifically interested in developing successful targeted and personalized therapies to improve the outcomes of patients and families afflicted with breast cancer. Dr. Bardia has been involved in the clinical development of tumor genotyping as well as circulating tumor cells (CTCs) to facilitate accurate diagnosis, therapy selection, and real-time monitoring of breast cancer. Dr. Bardia is the principal investigator of several clinical trials investigating the role of targeted therapy combinations for breast cancer. Dr. Bardia is a member of Cancer education committee at ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology), and on the editorial board of the ASCO University. Dr. Bardia has received various research awards including the outstanding research award for research excellence from Mayo Clinic, Young Investigator Award from ASCO, and Douglas Family Foundation Prize for excellence in research. Through lecturing (at local, regional, and national level), academic productivity, clinical research, mentoring fellows, and involvement with professional societies, Dr. Bardia is dedicated to improving and personalizing the care of patients with breast cancer.

Aline Cerf, Ph.D., CNRS Researcher, NanoBioSystems, LAAS-CNRS, France

Dr. Aline Cerf, coordinator of the project, is a CNRS researcher with an expertise in the field of micro- nanotechnologies for biomedical applications. She is the author of 13 articles published in high-impact international peer-reviewed journals and 4 patents in this field. The project is funded by the French National Research Agency.

Shukun Chen, Research Assistant, Institute of Cell Biology, Histology & Embryology, Medical University of Graz, Austria

Shukun Chen is a young researcher working on translational cancer medicine in Medical University of Graz since 2013. She received her Bachelor degree of Medicine in the field of anesthesiology and was engaged in preclinical medicine and received her Master Degree of Medicine in the field of cancer molecular pathology. At present, Shukun Chen is doing research on circulating tumor cell (CTC) in high-risk prostate cancer. Additionally, she is also doing evaluation study on a newly developed device for CTC isolation and single cell downstream analysis.

Gilbert C. Faure, Ph.D., PU PH Consultant, Laboratoire d’Immunologie, Université Lorraine & CHU Nancy (Nancytomique), France

Gilbert C FAURE, MD PhD is currently Professor of Immunology at Lorraine University Medical School, consultant for the Immunology Laboratory at University Hospital. He obtained his medical degree in Rheumatology in 1977 and trained for PhD in Immunopathology and Immunogenetics at Paris VII University (St Louis and Necker Hospitals) in 1986 specializing in autoimmunity and cellular immunology. He is a cofounder of GEIL (Groupe d’Etude Immunologique des Leucémies) and EGIL, active members of the NoE European Leukemia Net.

He is post-president of ASSIM and has been council member of SFI. He is representing Immunology in the Medical Biopathology-Laboratory Medicine section of UEMS. After having served as elected member of the IUIS (International Union of Immunology Societies) Council (Clinical Immunology and Education Committees), he is liaison officer between IUIS and ICSU. He is also member of the scientific council of HLDA/HCDM. Recent international active teaching and research collaborations involved Estonia University of Tartu, as member of CCRMB (European Competence Centre) and through Parrot’s projects and Wuhan University (Zhongnan Hospital Medical School) in Hubei, China. Gilbert C Faure has published more than 330 articles and is coauthor of 4 patents related to autoimmunity and innate immunity.

Jens K. Habermann, M.D., Ph.D., Professor & Head, Section of Translational Surgical Oncology and Biobanking; Scientific Director, Surgical Center for Translational Oncology-Lübeck (SCTO-L), University of Lübeck & University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), Germany

Professor Habermann received his education as Medical Doctor at the University of Lübeck, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in Cancer Genomics and Proteomics from the Cancer Center Karolinska, Karolinska Institute Stockholm, and complemented his research experiences with a five year postdoctoral fellowship granted by the National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA. In 2012, he received his Professorship for Translational Surgical Oncology & Biobanking at the University of Lübeck. He is Head of the Section for Translational Surgical Oncology, Scientific Director of the Surgical Center for Translational Oncology, and the University’s representative of the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck (ICB-L). He also coordinates the North German Tumor Bank of Colorectal Cancer (Cancer) comprising more than 15 clinical sites across Germany. His research focuses on translational aspects to improve individualized screening, diagnosis and therapy prediction/monitoring of solid malignancies through non-invasive assays. Clinically, Professor Habermann works in the Institute of Human Genetics at the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck.

Ellen Heitzer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Institute of Human Genetics, Medical University Graz, Austria

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

Prashant Kumar, Ph.D., Faculty Scientist, Institute of Bioinformatics, India

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

Julie Lang, M.D., FACS, Associate Professor, Surgery, University of Southern California, United States

Dr. Julie E. Lang, MD, FACS is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Evi Lianidou, Ph.D., Professor, Analytical Chemistry – Clinical Chemistry, Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells (ACTC) Lab, Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Athens, Greece

Dr. Evi Lianidou is currently Professor of Analytical Chemistry and Clinical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, University of Athens, Greece. Her lab is specializing in the Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells, and has access to many patient samples through extensive clinical collaborations, especially with the University of Crete Medical School. Her main research interests are especially on the following areas: Development of Companion Diagnostic assays in the field of Liquid biopsy, Development of single-plex and multiplex quantitative RT-qPCR assays for the detection and molecular characterization of CTCs, Development and clinical evaluation of multiplex assays for gene expression in CTCs based on the liquid bead array (Luminex system), Development and clinical evaluation of DNA methylation assays in CTCs and ctDNA, Development and clinical evaluation of highly sensitive assays for mutation analysis in CTCs and in ctDNA, Evaluation of circulating miRNAs as tumor biomarkers in plasma.

Klaus Pantel, M.D., Professor and Founding Director, Institute of Tumor Biology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany

Prof. Klaus Pantel graduated in 1986 from Cologne University in Germany and completed his thesis on mathematical modelling of hematopoiesis in 1987. After his postdoctoral period in the USA on hematopoietic stem cell regulation (Wayne State University, Detroit), he performed research on cancer micrometastasis at the Institute of Immunology, University of Munich for 10 years. Currently, Prof Pantel is Chairman of the Institute of Tumour Biology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. The institute is part of the University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH). 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 300 publications in excellent high ranking biomedical and scientific journals (incl. NEJM, Lancet, Nature Journals, Cancer Cell, PNAS, JCO, JNCI, Cancer Res.) and has been awarded recently (AACR Outstanding Investigator Award 2010, German Cancer Award 2010, ERC Advanced Investigator Grant 2011). Moreover, Prof Pantel was co-ordinator of the FP6 EU STREP “DISMAL” (Disseminated Malignancies, www.dismal-project.eu), coordinates now the European TRANSCAN group “CTC-SCAN” and the EU IMI Network Project “CANCER-ID” (www.cancer-id.eu) and serves on the Editorial Boards of international cancer journals (e.g., Clin. Cancer Res., Breast Cancer Res., Cancer Res.).

Jean-Yves Pierga, M.D., Ph.D., Circulating Cancer Biomarkers Lab, SiRIC, Translational Research and Medical Oncology, Institut Curie and University Paris Descartes, France

Prof. Jean-Yves Pierga is Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology at Paris Descartes University since 2005. He is a full time medical oncologist at the Institut Curie, Paris Cancer Center. His main research interests are breast cancer treatments, early clinical trials and translational research. Pr Pierga trained as a medical oncologist and obtained a Silver medal from Paris Medical School in 1994. His PhD thesis focused on disseminated tumor cells detection and characterization in breast cancer patients (2003, Paris University XI; Thesis Director: Dr Jean-Paul Thiery). After a post-doctoral fellowship in 2004 at the Royal Marsden London in the Breast Cancer Unit of Pr IE Smith and the Academic Biochemistry Department of Pr M. Dowsett, Pr. Pierga became head of the Day-clinic at the Institut Curie until 2007. He is currently Head of the research program on disseminated and circulating tumor cells at the Institut Curie since 2010. He has contributed to over 120 peer-reviewed publications. He is member of Société Française de Cancérologie (SFC), European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Breast Cancer Group of the EORTC.

Nikolay Tupitsyn, Oncoimmunology, Haematopoiesis Immunology Lab., Federal State Budgetary Institute, N.N.Blokhin Cancer Research Center, Russia


Olga Chaplia, Embryologist, Cytogeneticist, IVF Laboratory, Medical Centre Reproductive Genetics Clinic Victoria, Ukraine

Born in Kyin, Ukraine, in 1986. Studied biology in National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla academy", received master degree in 2010. Since 2009 has been working in the field of infertility treatment with assisted reproductive technologies, gaining unique experience of standard chromosome analysis, molecular cytogenetics and clinical embryology. In 2010 entered the graduate school with research project dedicated to embryos morphology and genetics association. At the same time worked for “Reproductive Genetics Institute’ (Kyiv) as a cytogeneticist. Since 2013 is an embryologist in “Reproductive genetics clinic “Victoria” (Kyiv). Engaged in active research work, being an author of more than 15 scientific papers and many conference reports. In 2014 successfully defended PhD thesis and soon after gained PhD degree in cell biology. Fields of interest: preimplantation and prenatal genetic diagnosis, reproductive genetics, embryo quality assessment.

Guido de Wert, Ph.D., Professor, Biomedical Ethics, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Department of Health, Ethics & Society, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Guido de Wert, ethicist, is professor of Biomedical Ethics at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, and Chairman of the Dept. Health, Ethics and Society, at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. His main research interests regard the ethics of reproductive, genomic and regenerative medicine. In 1999, he defended his thesis ‘Looking ahead. Reproductive technologies, genetics and ethics’ at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (cum laude). Guido de Wert participated in many Committees of the Health Council of the Netherlands, and is a member of both the Ethics Committee of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and the Professional and Public Policy Committee (PPPC) of the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG).

Luca Galluzzi, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Biomolecular Sciences, School of Biotechnology, University of Urbino, Italy

Luca Galluzzi received his PhD in biochemical and pharmacological methodologies at the University of Urbino (Italy) in 2001, after research experiences at INSERM U409 (Paris, France) and Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN). Since then, he conducted postdoctoral research activities first at the Research Institute for Genetic and Human Therapy (RIGHT), Pavia (Italy) and then at the University of Urbino, mainly focusing on molecular diagnostics applications. Since 2009 he is a researcher at the Department of Biomolecular Sciences of University of Urbino, section of Biotechnology. From 2004 to 2011 he was a contract professor of Molecular Biotechnology. Since 2011 he is a lecturer of Advanced Biological Technologies and since 2013 he is a lecturer of Diagnostic Biotechnology. He is an author of more than 40 scientific publications in international peer-reviewed journals.

Darren K. Griffin, Ph.D., DSc, FIBiol, FRCPath, FRSA, Professor, Genetics, School of Biosciences, University of Kent, United Kingdom

Darren Griffin is Professor of Genetics at the University of Kent. He is director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of Reproduction (CISoR), which has a remit to encourage cross-disciplinary studies. He is president of the International Chromosome and Genome Society, (ICGS) which delivers the International Chromosome Conferences every two years (the last one being in Canterbury in 2014). His personal research interests include the study of chromosome analysis, the genetics of early human development, chromosome evolution (especially in birds) and computer based learning in genetics. He has published over 150 scholarly manuscripts and raised over £6 million in grant funding. He is a regular contributor to the national and local media, speaking on issues such as ‘designer babies’ and personalized genomics. He recently became interested in the genomes of dinosaurs.

György Kosztolányi, Ph.D., President, Human Reproduction Committee of Scientific Health Council, Professor Emeritus, University of Pécs, Hungary

Gabor L. Kovacs, M.D., Ph.D., DSc, Professor, Laboratory Medicine, Szentágothai Research Centre of the University of Pécs, Hungary

Prof. Dr. Gábor L. Kovács, MD, PhD, DSc. graduated from the University of Pécs (Hungary), specialized in laboratory medicine and in neuroendocrinology. He became university professor in 1997, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2004. He was the chair of the Institute of Laboratory Medicine and the senior vice rector of the University of Pécs, responsible for science and innovation. Currently he is the president of the Szentágothai Research Centre of the University. Dr. Kovács is a leading expert in laboratory medicine: past-president of the Hungarian Society of Laboratory Medicine, member of the Communication and Publication Division of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC). He is editorial board member of several journals (e.g. Practical Laboratory Medicine, Biochemia Medica). He serves as the editor-in-chief of the Electronic Journal of IFCC. He has more than 300 scientific publications with a Hirsch-index of 41. His work was cited over 5000 times. Dr. Kovács received several scientific and professional awards, including the International Award of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (1999), the Publication Award of the European Federation of Laboratory Medicine (2015) and the Széchenyi Award (2015), the highest scientific prize in Hungary.

Sebastiaan Mastenbroek, Center for Reproductive Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dr. Sebastiaan Mastenbroek is an assistant professor and senior clinical embryologist at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam. An important focus of his research in past years has been Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS). In 2007, publication of his randomized controlled trial on PGS in the New England Journal of Medicine started a fiercely debated controversy on the use of PGS as it showed that the technique lowered pregnancy rates after IVF instead of increasing pregnancy rates. He then published research that provided technical as well as biological reasons for the inefficacy of the first generation of PGS methods. In a broader perspective he is interested in ovarian aging, early human development, implantation, assisted reproductive techniques and evidence based laboratory practice.

Björn Menten, Ph.D., Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium

Björn Menten graduated in 2003 in bio-engineering and subsequently did a PhD on the implementation of genomic microarrays in human genetics. Currently, he is professor at Ghent University and is heading the laboratory for cytogenomics at Ghent University Hospital. He is supervising postnatal, prenatal and preimplantation genetic testing with the use of high resolution microarray analysis, exome sequencing, non-invasive prenatal testing en preimplantation genetic testing. His research focuses on the implementation of the latest technologies in human genetic diagnostics and the elucidation of genomic disorders underlying human disease.

Simone Palini, Ph.D., Senior Clinical Embryologist, Lab Director, IVF Unit, “Cervesi” Hospital Cattolica, Italy

Simone Palini approached IVF in 1999 at "Infermi Hospital" in Rimini and was the laboratory director of the IVF unit at ‘Cervesi’ hospital in Cattolica (Italy) until 2004. He obtained a degree in Biology at Urbino University (1998) and a specialty in molecular genetics at Bologna University (2000) with a thesis on PGD. In 2008 he obtained ESHRE certification as senior clinical embryologist. He has worked in different public and private laboratories in Italy, Europe and in UK. His major interests are embryo/gamete vitrification, PGD and genetic in infertility. He participated as a Session at numerous international conferences and Master degree programs.

Belén Ramos, Ph.D., Clinical Embryologist, IVF Spain – Alicante, Spain

Belén Ramos has a PhD in Biotechnology and Biomedicine and a Master’s degree in Clinical and Experimental Biology of Reproduction. She is a member of several scientific communities in the field of assisted reproduction. She has taught courses and held conferences and has published articles on fertility in scientific journals in Spain and South America. She was the laboratory manager in the Assisted Reproduction unit at Hospital Quiron in Valencia. Belen is now a member of the IVFSpain biology team where she pursues her scientific work and participates in international research programs which allow IVFSpain to be at the cutting-edge reproductive biology.

Sjoerd Repping, Head, Center for Reproductive Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sjoerd Repping (born in 1974) is a top international researcher in human reproductive medicine. He is capable of taking observations in fundamental research – for example concerning the genetic causes of male infertility – and using them at very short notice to produce relevant improvements in treatment. One striking example is that he has made it possible to protect the fertility of young boys undergoing chemotherapy. Repping is a vigorous participant in the public debate about new fertility treatments and the use of stem cells. In that sense as well, he serves as a role model for a new generation of young researchers.

Karen A. Sage, MSc, GC, Genetic Service Manager, CARE Fertility; The Bridge Centre; The London Women’s Clinic, United Kingdom

Karen Sage is the UK's first Genetic Counsellor specializing in fertility. Karen graduated in Biology and Genetics and later gained a Master’s degree in Genetic Counselling (Cardiff University, Wales). She specialized in preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and screening (PGS), and is experienced in general and cancer genetics. With a previous background in industry and education; Karen also worked at the National Genetics Education and Development Centre (NGEDC) in Birmingham, UK, developing education materials for NHS healthcare practitioners as genetics/genomics is increasingly introduced into routine clinical practice.

Bert Smeets, Ph.D., Professor, Clinical Genomics, Mitochondrial Diseases, Maastricht University Medical Center, The Netherlands

Bert Smeets, PhD, is Professor in Clinical Genomics with a focus on Mitochondrial Diseases. He is an internationally distinguished molecular geneticist and an established clinical genetics laboratory specialist and trainer. He studied Molecular Biology at the University of Nijmegen (The Netherlands), where he did a PhD on myotonic dystrophy. He worked for 10 years in Nijmegen, and since 1995 at Maastricht UMC (The Netherlands), where he became Professor in 2010, combining research with genetic testing services. His research initially focused on inherited neuromuscular and kidney diseases, but later concentrated on the genomics of mitochondrial disorders. These devastating disorders are clinically and genetically highly heterogeneous with probably more than 1500 genes involved, either in the mitochondrial or the nuclear DNA. His research involves identifying genetic defects by next-generation sequencing, studying the pathophysiology in cell lines, iPSC and zebrafish models, developing new treatment options (compounds or autologous stem cells) and preventing the transmission by preimplantation genetic diagnosis. He has published over 170 original research articles, reviews and book chapters (H-Index 40). His group contains 70 people, involved in clinical genomics research and services, and exploits central genomics facilities for Maastricht UMC and the adjoining international Euregio with universities from Belgium and Germany.

Juliet Tizzard, Director, Strategy and Corporate Affairs, Human Fertilization & Embryology Authority, United Kingdom

Juliet Tizzard is Director of Strategy at the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the regulator of assisted reproduction in the UK. With an academic background in medical law and ethics, she has worked in healthcare ethics and regulation for 20 years. She has developed policy on a range of issues, including egg and sperm donation, single embryo transfer and mitochondrial donation. She is responsible for policy and communications at the HFEA and is currently focusing on publishing clear, unbiased information for patients on current and future treatments in ART.

Etienne van Den Abbeel, Ph.D., Professor, Ghent University, IVF Laboratory Director, Centre for Reproductive Medicine, University Hospital Ghent, Belgium

Etienne Van den Abbeel obtained his MSc in Chemical Engineering in 1974. In 1983 he moved to the reproductive biology research group of the Dutch-speaking Free University to work with Professor Andre Van Steirteghem. His research focused on cryobiology and cryopreservation, optimizing gamete and embryo selection and in vitro culture. Etienne Van den Abbeel was a principal investigator and copromotor of several research projects granted by the Belgian government (FWO and IWT). In 1987 he became a Senior Clinical Embryologist and expert research scientist at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine of the University Hospital of the Dutch-speaking Brussels CRM which was directed by Professor Andre Van Steirteghem and Professor Paul Devroey. The Brussels CRM, famous for its landmark research in reproductive medicine became one of the most successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) units worldwide. In 2006, at the Brussels Free University, he defended successfully a thesis to become PhD in Medical Sciences. He obtained the ESHRE Certificate of Senior Clinical Embryologist in 2008. In 2010 he moved to the Centre of Reproductive Medicine of the University Hospital of Gent, Belgium and took the position of IVF Laboratory Director. He also holds the title of Professor in Clinical Embryology at the University of Ghent. His research topics continued to be on cryobiology and cryopreservation, culture and selection of mammalian gametes and embryos. Etienne Van den Abbeel has authored or co-authored over 80 peer reviewed papers and chapters in books. Etienne Van den Abbeel has been more than 200 times an invited lecturer and presented some 250 accepted oral and poster communications at scientific meetings and seminars. He is a reviewer for 15 different scientific journals. He is currently also a member of several national and international professional organisations, a past coordinator of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) Special Interest Group in Embryology and from 2009 till 2013 has been a member of the Executive Committee of ESHRE.

Joris Vermeesch, Ph.D.Ir, Professor, Molecular Cytogenetics and Genome Research, KU Leuven, Belgium


Gyorgy Abel, M.D., Ph.D., 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.

Till T. Bachmann, Ph.D., Reader, Personalized Medicine in Infectious Disease; Deputy Head, Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Dr Till Bachmann is Reader in Personalized Medicine in Infectious Diseases and Deputy Head of the Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine, University of Edinburgh. Till has a PhD in biosensors from research at University of Stuttgart and The University of Tokyo and a German Habilitation in Analytical Biotechnology. His scientific interests focus on molecular diagnostics and point of care detection of infectious diseases of important human pathogens such as S.aureus and E.coli and their antimicrobial resistance including ESBL, CRE and MRSA. This also includes research on novel detection modalities and discovery of biomarkers of bacterial response to antimicrobial therapy, working towards prognostic tests for Precision Medicine of infectious diseases. Till has published extensively, is a named inventor on various patent applications, and he has led a number of large interdisciplinary diagnostic projects. He is engaged in a number of undergraduate and graduate teaching programs and is Program Director of the new online MSc course on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Till has a strong track record on hosting international conferences and has a wide international collaboration network including links to India and Japan where he recently co-chaired the workshop on Biosensors for Healthcare at the UK Embassy in Tokyo and he was hosting the Workshop on Next Generation Tools for DNA Diagnostics in February 2015 in Edinburgh. Till keeps close links with the diagnostics industry and as such is Scientific Program Director for Mölnlycke Health Care Scotland, member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute in Dublin, advises NESTA on the Longitude Prize in Antibiotics and is member of various advisory panels for major funding bodies including Innovate UK and the EU Innovative Medicine Initiative.

Holger Becker, Ph.D., 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 PhD-thesis at Heidelberg university, where he obtained his PhD 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 lead the Industry Group of the German Physical Society between 2004 and 2009 and is Conference Chair for the SPIE "Microfluidics, BioMEMS and Medical Microsystems" conference as well as acting as regular reviewer of project proposals on national and EU level and for several journals devoted to microsystem technologies.

John C. Carrano, Ph.D., President & CEO, Paratus Diagnostics LLC, United States

Dr. Carrano was previously Vice President, Research & Development at Luminex Corporation (NASDAQ: LMNX). In 2012 he was appointed by Secretary Napolitano to the Department of Homeland Security Science Advisory Board. Prior to Luminex, Dr. Carrano was as a program manager at DARPA where he led several major Defense Department programs related to biosensing. Dr. Carrano was also on the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the United States Military Academy, and served as the Department Executive Officer. He retired from in the Army in 2005 with over 24 years of decorated service including a variety of command and staff positions worldwide. Dr. Carrano received his B.S. from West Point and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He has several patents and over 60 publications and is a Fellow of SPIE. You can find his LinkedIn page here.

Eric C.J. Claas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Molecular Medical Microbiologist, Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands

Eric C.J. Claas has a long standing experience in development and implementation of molecular diagnostic tests in the clinical microbiology laboratory. He worked for eight years at the Dutch National Influenza centre (Erasmus University, Rotterdam) where his group identified the first human H5N1 (bird-flu) infection in 1997. Since 1998, he is heading the molecular diagnostics section of the department of medical microbiology at the LUMC, Leiden, The Netherlands. In this lab, molecular assays are performed for all areas of microbiology, i.e. virology, bacteriology, parasitology and mycology. In addition, testing is performed for antimicrobial and antiviral resistance, genotyping including bacterial typing for hospital epidemiology and ribotyping as part of the Clostridium reference lab function. In addition, he holds consultancy positions in three other Dutch hospitals: the MC Slotervaart in Amsterdam, the St. Franciscus Hospital in Rotterdam, and the MC Haaglanden in The Hague. He published his research in over 150 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and books.

Jens Ducrée, Ph.D., Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, National Centre of Sensor Research, School of Physical Sciences, Dublin City University, Ireland

Dr. Jens Ducrée holds a Full Professorship of Microsystems at Dublin City University (DCU). The main part of Dr. Ducrée’s research is directed towards novel microfluidic platforms and associated actuation, detection, fabrication and instrumentation technologies for the integration, automation, miniaturization and parallelization of sample preparation and detection of bioanalytical assays. Typical applications are sample-to-answer systems for biomedical point-of-care and global diagnostics, liquid handling automation for the life sciences, environmental monitoring and food safety. Dr. Ducrée has published more than 300 peer-reviewed contributions to the research community. He is designated general co-chair of the International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (μTAS 2016) in Dublin and the IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS 2018).

Anders Larsson, Ph.D., Professor, Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Sweden

Dr. Larsson has an MD and is a specialist in clinical chemistry with over 30 years of experience of assay development and evaluation. He is currently professor at Uppsala University and senior consultant at Uppsala University Hospital. He has over 500 scientific publications.

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

Peter B. Luppa is a Professor of Clinical Chemistry at the Technical University (TU) Munich, Germany. He is head of the central laboratory and the blood bank in the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry at the Klinikum rechts der Isar (MRI), the academic hospital of the TU. He acts also as POCT coordinator for the entire hospital and is the head of the working group POCT within the German Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Luppa published 106 original peer-reviewed articles (listed in Pubmed, as of Oct 10, 2015). He is also editor of the first German textbook on POCT.

Jo-Ann Lee Stanton, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Anatomy, University of Otago, New Zealand

Dr Jo-Ann Stanton, BSc(1st Hons), PhD, gained her PhD from the Department of Pathology, University of Western Australia. She was a Guest Scientist at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung mbH (Centre for Heavy Ion Research) in Darmstadt, Germany for three years, and has since held Postdoctoral and Research Fellow positions within the Otago School of Medical Science, University of Otago, and was a Scientific Officer at AgResearch Ltd. Dr Stanton established the first Next Generation Sequencing Service in New Zealand and holds an honorary position at the State Key Laboratory for Molecular Biology of Special Economic Animals (Changchun, China). Currently, she is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Anatomy, University of Otago leading a team developing handheld molecular diagnostic instruments. One of their inventions has been spun out into the biotech startup company, Ubiquitome Ltd. Her focus is on understanding how complex point-of-care diagnostics can improve health and wellbeing.

Konstantinos Mitsakakis, Ph.D., Project Manager & International Business Development, Hahn-Schickard & IMTEK-University of Freiburg, Germany

Dr. Konstantinos Mitsakakis studied Physics at the University of Crete, Greece and did his MSc on Nanoscience & Nanotechnology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He acquired his doctoral degree (2009) working at the Biosensors Technology Lab, Institute of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, Foundation for Research & Technology Hellas (IMBB-FORTH). His PhD thesis was on developing a multi-analyte acoustic biosensor platform for cardiac marker detection. Dr. Mitsakakis joined the Lab-on-a-Chip Group at Hahn-Schickard and IMTEK, University of Freiburg, Germany, in 2012 with a Humboldt Foundation Fellowship. He is currently the Coordinator of the EU FP7 project “DiscoGnosis” (fever diagnostics for developing countries) and EU-H2020 project “DIAGORAS” (oral, respiratory infections and antibiotic resistances), while he recently joined the new EU-H2020 project “DMC-MALVEC” (malaria vector control). He is author of 13 publications with several contributions in international conferences. His research interests lie in the field of micro/nanotechnology for life sciences, biosensor technologies, lab-on-a-chip and microanalytical systems for diagnostics especially for developing countries.

Francis Moussy, Ph.D., Lead, AMPR Diagnostics Innovation, Essential Medicines and Health Products Department, World Health Organization (WHO), Switzerland

Francis Moussy joined the World Health Organization in 2009. He is currently leading projects to facilitate the development, access and use of diagnostics that are suitable for Low-and-Middle Income Countries (LMICs). His current diagnostic focus areas are open multipurpose diagnostic platforms, Ebola, Antimicrobial Resistance, HbA1c and technology transfer. Prior to joining WHO in March 2009, Dr Moussy worked as Professor and Deputy Director in the Brunel Institute for Bioengineering at Brunel University (West London), UK working on biosensors. From 2002 to 2007, Dr Moussy held a position as a tenured Associate Professor of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Dr Moussy also worked for 4 years in Canada after completing his Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France.

Aman Russom, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Head, Clinical Microfluidics Lab, Division of Proteomics and Nanobiotechnology, Science for Life Laboratory, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

Aman Russom is an Associate Professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He was born 1976 in Asmara, Eritrea. He received his M. Sc. degree in Chemical Engineer with emphasis on Biotechnology in 2000 and his PhD in 2005 from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Dr Russom then did his postdoc fellowship at Harvard Medical School between 2005-2008. In 2008 he returned back to Sweden, where he is currently heading the clinical microfluidics Lab, currently consisting of 6 PhD students and one senior researcher, at the division of Proteomics and Nanobiotechnology at Science for Life laboratory KTH. His current research is focused on applying engineering principles and technologies, especially micro-and nanotechnology, to clinical medicine with emphasis on point of care diagnostics.

Ranald Sutherland, Ph.D., Head, Business Development, FIND Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics

A trained Clinical Chemist, Dr. Ranald Sutherland has over 20 years of commercial experience in the In Vitro Diagnostics and the Biotechnology industries. In 1983, he joined the Biomedical Group at the Battelle Institute in Geneva (a global science and technology enterprise specialized in consultancy and contract research), where he was responsible for managing medical devices and diagnostics projects for commercial customers in the US, Europe and Japan. In 1987, Ranald joined Abbott Laboratories Diagnostics Division in Chicago and latterly in the European headquarters in Germany. He had a number of business roles including European technology licensing and acquisitions activities, product development and project management mainly in the area of infectious disease diagnostic product for detection of HIV, HCV, and HTLV infections. In 1997, he left Abbott to join Boehringer Mannheim (which became Roche Diagnostics) based in Mannheim, Germany. As Vice President of Program Management and Business Development, Ranald was responsible for two consecutive programs in Molecular Diagnostics and Laboratory Automation, including being responsible for the appropriate licensing and alliance management activities. In 2004, Ranald started an independent consultancy, executing business strategy and technology due diligence projects for a number of European, IVD, biotechnology and medical devices companies. He joined FIND in August 2005 as a consultant in Technology and Business Development.

Xue Qiu, Institut d’Electronique Fondamentale, Université Paris-Sud, France

Xue QIU received her M.S. degree in Pharmaceutical Analysis in 2012 from Fudan University (P. R. China) and since then she has been a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Hildebrandt at Université Paris-Sud (France). She focuses on the development of assays and sensors for biomarkers (proteins and DNA/RNAs) based on time-resolved Förster resonance energy transfer from luminescent lanthanide complexes to organic dyes or nanoparticles such as quantum dots.

Corné van den Kieboom, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, Laboratory of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands

Corné van den Kieboom is a postdoctoral researcher at Radboud University Medical Center and Innosieve Diagnostics. He received his BSc from Fontys University of Applied Sciences and his MSc from Wageningen University before obtaining a grant to start a PhD position at Radboud University Medical Center. During his PhD he conducted research to determine novel diagnostic targets and developed new methods to improve diagnosis of RSV infection in paediatric patients. Currently, he is working on the development of a device to determine the causative agent of lower respiratory tract infections in exhaled breath.

Wilfried von Eiff, Ph.D., Academic Director, Center for Health Care Management and Regulation, HHL, Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Germany

Wilfried von Eiff has a chair at the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and is Director of the Center for Hospital Management (University of Muenster, Germany). Both institutions are well known for international research, consulting and government advisory in the fields of health service improvement, health technology assessment and benchmarking. He was director of the University Clinic of Giessen and is vice president of the Kerckhoff Clinic for heart surgery and cardiology in Bad Nauheim (Germany).


Valentina Casadio, Ph.D., Researcher, IRCCS Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (I.R.S.T.) S.r.l., Italy

Dr. Valentina Casadio is a Scientific Researcher at IRCCS IRST (Meldola,FC Italy). She earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in medical biotechnology in 2006 from the University of Ferrara (Italy). In 2010 she obtained a Master’s degree with honors in medical and pharmaceutical biotechnology from the same University. She received her PhD in Experimental Oncology at the University of Florence in 2015. From 2007, Valentina has been working as a researcher in the Biosciences Laboratory of IRCCS IRST in Meldola (Italy) and from 2013 she is the coordinator of preclinical Urology group. Her research is based on the characterization of urological cancers for diagnostic, prognostic and predictive purposes. In particular, she has focused on identifying new molecular markers for personalized medicine and early diagnostic purposes.

Mark Eccleston, MBA, Business Development Director, Belgian Volition, A Volition Company, Belgium

Daniel Grosu, M.D., MBA, CMO, Sequenom, Inc., United States

Dr. Daniel S. Grosu, M.D. serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Sequenom Inc. Dr. Grosu served as Chief Medical Officer & Vice President of Illumina Inc., since October 31, 2011. Dr. Grosu played a key role in building Illumina's diagnostic capabilities through collaborations with regulatory agencies, internal product development teams, and Illumina's CLIA-certified clinical laboratory. Prior to joining Illumina, Dr. Grosu served as Group Director, Clinical Science, Clinical and Medical Affairs at Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics. He previously served as the Director and Global Clinical Leader, Global Clinical Development, Diagnostic Imaging at Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, Dr. Grosu was at Siemens Medical Solutions. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., a Medical Degree from Missouri's Saint Louis University, and a Master's Degree in business administration from the University of Oxford.

Per Guldberg, Ph.D., Group Leader, Danish Cancer Society, Denmark

Per Guldberg has a background in human genetics and obtained his PhD in 1996. He then became a postdoctoral fellow at the Danish Cancer Society and was promoted to Group Leader in 2002 and Research Professor in 2004. His lab studies genetic and epigenetic changes in cancer, with a focus on the potential of DNA testing for early and non-invasive detection of cancer.

Ellen Heitzer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Institute of Human Genetics, Medical University Graz, Austria

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

Marielle Herzog, Ph.D., Lead Scientist, Nucleosomics, Belgian Volition, Belgium

Dr Herzog has over 10 years of experience in epigenetics research. she obtained a PhD focused on Epigenome plasticity at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC), Strasbourg, France, one of the leading European centre of biomedical research. In 2008, Dr Herzog then joined the laboratory of Cancer Epigenetics of the Dr F. Fuchs at the Faculty of Medicine, Free University of Brussels where she managed several projects based on the study of epigenetics modifications (methylated DNA, post-translational histone modifications) and epigenetics enzymes in different cellular context. Since May 2011, Dr Herzog has been the Lead Scientist at Belgian Volition and now leads a team of 7 scientist developing the companies disruptive Nucleosomics™ technology.

Hatim Husain, M.D., Physician, Medical Oncology, University of California, San Diego, United States

Hatim Husain, MD, is an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego, and a physician scientist at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. Dr Husain received his medical degree from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and an oncology fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He has published articles in peer-reviewed journals including Nature Cell Biology, Oncology, Pharmacogenetics, Annals of Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, Pharmacogenetics and Genomics, the Journal of Neuro-Oncology, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology, among others. His research focuses on novel cancer therapeutic strategies in solid tumors, specifically lung cancer, with an emphasis on the epithelial growth factor receptor and non-invasive cancer detection strategies to detect circulating cell free DNA from tumors.

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

Charlie Massie, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Christa Noehammer, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Austria

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

David I Smith, Ph.D., Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology; Chairman, Technology Assessment Group, Center for Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic, United States

The laboratory of David I. Smith, Ph.D., uses the most cutting-edge genomic technologies to better understand the molecular alterations that underlie cancer development. Dr. Smith is also the chairman of the Technology Assessment Committee, which works for the Center for Individualized Medicine at Mayo Clinic. The goal of this committee is to evaluate new technologies that could have a significant impact on research and its clinical translation. Perhaps the most exciting technology has been the recent advancements in DNA sequencing, which now make it possible to completely sequence a person's entire genome for just a few thousand dollars.

Michael R. Speicher, M.D., Professor and Chairman, Institute of Human Genetics, Medical University of Graz, Austria

Michael R. Speicher, M.D. is Professor of Human Genetics and Head of the Institute of Human Genetics at the Medical University of Graz in Austria. Dr. Speicher studied computer science at the University of Dortmund (Germany) and graduated with an MD degree from the University of Essen (Germany). He conducted his clinical and scientific training in Human Genetics at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), at Yale University, and at the University of Munich (Germany).

For many years Dr. Speicher studied chromosome structure and morphology using various molecular cytogenetic approaches and mechanisms of chromosomal instability. His more recent research is focused on hereditary tumor syndromes, the contribution of germline and somatic genomic variants to cancer, and single cell analysis. Current research projects are directed towards methods for the non-invasive monitoring of cancer evolution by analyses of circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor DNA.

Karen-Lise Garm Spindler, M.D., Ph.D., Specialist GI Oncologist, Aarhus University Hospital; Associate Professor, Oncology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark

Dr. Spindler’s research areas include experimental studies of chemotherapy and radiotherapy for lower gastrointestinal cancer with special focus biobanking and translational studies. For the past 6 years the clinical utility of circulating DNA and tumor specific mutations has been investigated in metastatic colorectal cancer, as well as other clinical settings.

Valerie Taly, Ph.D., Group Leader, CNRS Researcher, UMR S1147, University of Paris Descartes, France

V. Taly conducts her research at the interface between Chemistry, physics and biology. Since 2003, she has been working with Prof. Andrew Griffiths, first in the Medical Research Council in Cambridge (UK) and then in the ISIS Institute (Strasbourg). She focuses her research on in vitro compartmentalization of biological and chemical reactions in emulsion droplets of few picoliters. In 2012, she founded the Translational Research And Microfluidics Group within the clinical oncology research unit headed by Prof. P. Laurent-Puig. This team performs interdisciplinary researches aiming at developing and validating microfluidic tools for cancer research in close collaboration with clinicians and researchers in oncology and toxicology. Recently, her research has been dedicated to the clinical validation of droplet-based microfluidics for the non-invasive detection of Cancer biomarkers, the highlighting of new Cancer Biomarkers and the development of original tools and procedures for their detection with applications in personalized medicine, cancer recurrence detection and cancer diagnostics.

Alain R. Thierry, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, Research Institute in Oncology of Montpellier, INSERM, France

A.R. Thierry specific expertise is particularly applicable to research focusing on the study of the diagnostic capacity of circulating DNA (cfDNA) towards supporting personalised medicine. Based upon crucial observations on cfDNA structure and size his team made possible high specificity and sensitivity of cfDNA analysis. A.R. Thierry has coordinated the first prospective blinded multicentric study showing the validation of the plasma analysis for the detection of KRAS and BRAF mutations from colorectal patient plasma samples.

Jorg Tost, Ph.D., Director, Laboratory for Epigenetics & Environment, Centre National de Genotypage, CEA - Institut de Genomique, Evry, France

Jörg Tost received his PhD in genetics from the University of Saarbrücken (Germany) in 2004 devising novel methods for the analysis of haplotypes and DNA methylation patterns. After a postdoctoral stay in the technology development department of the Centre National de Génotypage (CNG, Evry, France), he led the Epigenetics groups from 2006-2012, before becoming Director of Laboratory for Epigenetics and Environment at the Centre National de Génotypage (part of the CEA-Institut de Génomique). The laboratory is involved in the development and application of technologies to analyse DNA methylation, miRNAs and other epigenetic modifications quantitatively at high resolution at target loci and genome-wide using state-of-the-art sequencing technologies as well as the development of bioinformatic tools for the processing of such data. A second research axis investigates novel technologies for the analysis of mutations of clinical relevance present at very low proportions in the analyzed samples and their impact on treatment management. Jörg Tost is author or co-author of more than 100 publications of which 93 have appeared in Medline-listed journals, and is the editor of a book entitled “Epigenetics” (Horizon Scientific Press, 2008) and the 2nd Edition of “DNA methylation protocols” and “pyrosequencing protocols” in the Methods of Molecular Biology series (2009, 2015) and senior editor of the journal “Epigenomics”.

Helen Winter, M.D., Clinical Research Fellow, Oncology, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Dr Helen Winter, consultant medical oncologist now a clinical research fellow at Dept Oncology, University of Oxford researching noninvasive biomarkers to liver directed therapy. Undergraduate medical degree at St Bartholomew' Hospital and medical oncology training at University College Hospital. Spent seven years as an oncologist in New Zealand including a Health Research Council funded study on EGFR testing in Maori patients with non-small cell lung cancer.