Speakers Bios

Advances in Prenatal Molecular Diagnostics

Advanced Diagnostics for Infectious Disease

Cell-Free DNA in Clinical Oncology

Biomarkers for Immunotherapy

Point-of-Care Diagnostics

Enabling Technologies for Cell-Free DNA

Advances in Prenatal Molecular Diagnostics

Neil Avent, Ph.D., Molecular Diagnostic and Transfusion Medicine, School of Biomedical & Healthcare Sciences, Plymouth University, United Kingdom

Neil Avent obtained his PhD from Bristol University in 1989, and worked on the molecular cloning of blood group genes, especially Rh. He established the first routine non-invasive testing service for fetal RHD genotype whilst he worked at the NHS blood and Transplant which was launched in 2001. He has led large EC funded projects for molecular blood grouping (Bloodgen, 2003-2006) and Special Non-invasive advances in fetal evaluation (2004-2009) to drive the implementation of non-invasive prenatal testing in the EU. He is currently a full Professor at Plymouth University Peninsula schools of Medicine and Dentistry in the UK. He has over 100 original papers and attracted over £2 million in funding working on the molecular background of blood groups and noninvasive prenatal testing.

A. Lopez Bernal, M.D., Ph.D., School of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

No bio available.

Peter Collins, Chief Business Officer, Premaitha Health, United Kingdom

Peter is a seasoned executive in the molecular diagnostics arena with a wealth of experience in strategic leadership, business development and commercialisation. Peter has joined Premaitha Health from a prestigious role as Vice President, Head of Diagnostics at GSK. Peter led GSK’s Diagnostic Nucleus focused on supporting the diagnostic needs of GSK’s Clinical Development Programs across all business units. Peter was formerly Vice President of Pharma Business Development for QIAGEN driving the uptake of companion diagnostic programs in multiple partnerships across the pharma industry. Before this he was VP Business Development at DxS prior to its acquisition by QIAGEN in September 2009. Peter’s role at DxS was pivotal in securing a number of the company’s companion diagnostic agreements for KRAS and EGFR with key pharma clients. Peter was also VP of Marketing and Sales for Vysis Europe (now Abbott Molecular Diagnostics), where he led the introduction PathVysion Her2 for selection of patients eligible for Herceptin in the EU. Peter has a strong entrepreneurial background and has held senior executive roles, including CEO, at a number of early stage diagnostics and life science companies including Quantase (Bio-Rad) where Peter worked in the field of prenatal screening. Further executive roles have been held at Gentronix, Biogenex and Pronostics. He began his commercial diagnostic career with Syva (Dade Behring/Bayer/Siemens) and BD’s Immunocytometry division. Peter is a founder and held a Board position for two years at EPEMED, a not for profit European organisation to bring together global forces in personalised medicine.

Daniel Grosu, M.D., MBA, Consultant, Integrated Genetics, United States

Dr. Grosu is the Founder and Managing Partner of GENOPRAXIS, LLC, a San Diego based specialty consulting firm dedicated to enabling the practical implementation of genomic testing technologies. He most recently served as Chief Medical Officer at Sequenom, Inc. Previously, Dr. Grosu served as Illumina’s first Chief Medical Officer; 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 next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform. Earlier in his career, Dr. Grosu held positions of increasing responsibility at Siemens Medical Solutions, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, and Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Grosu holds an MD (with Distinction in Research) from Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Missouri, and an MBA from the University of Oxford, UK.

Francois Jacquemard, Ph.D., Gynecology & Obstetrics, American Hospital of Paris, France

No bio available.

Lucy Jenkins, FRCPath, Lab Director, Great Ormand Street Hospital, London, United Kingdom

Lucy Jenkins is Director and Consultant Clinical Scientist for the North East Thames Regional Genetics Service based at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. After graduating in Molecular Biology from Liverpool University, Lucy has worked as a clinical scientist since 1992, moving from the Yorkshire Regional DNA Laboratory in Leeds to Great Ormond Street in 2000 and obtaining Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2006. During her career, Lucy has developed a range of molecular genetic services and now actively promotes the translation of Next Generation Sequencing technologies and cell free fetal DNA analysis into NHS diagnostic service. Working with the 100K Genomes Project, Lucy is laboratory lead for the North Thames Genomic Medicine Centre.

Leonard Kellner, President, KellBenx, 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.

Michael Lutz, CEO, Life Codexx AG, Germany

As a businessman and entrepreneur, Dr. Lutz has many years of experience in establishing and leading innovative biotechnology companies. He has been Chief Executive Officer of LifeCodexx AG since 2010. Since 2005, he has successfully established six international biotech companies and remains active as a senior advisor for other biotech companies, such as Cytena in Freiburg (Germany), among others. Before that, Dr. Lutz spent many years at Novartis Pharma and Evotec in various management positions. He studied chemistry and biochemistry at the Universities of Konstanz (Germany) and Grenoble (France) and received his doctorate in bioorganic chemistry from the ETH Zurich (Switzerland).

Hamutal Meiri, Ph.D., MBA, Coordinator of International Research, ASPRE Consortium, Israel

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

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

Mr. Moshkevich is passionate about improving patient outcomes and lowering healthcare costs through non-invasive technologies and innovative reimbursement models. He began his career in New York as a consultant with Bain & Company, and then moved to Moscow, Russia in 2007 to lead a regional growth strategy for SABMiller. Returning to Boston, he joined the investment team at Parthenon Capital Partners where he invested in healthcare and business services companies. Later with the Disease Management team of OptumHealth (a UnitedHealth Group company), he was the first to identify and measure the value of provider engagement in Optum’s disease management services, which led to lower costs and improved patient outcomes. More recently, as a member of the start-up team at Organ-I, he developed a commercialization strategy for a non-invasive genetic test that detects the acute rejection of solid organ transplants. Since joining Natera in 2011, he has been responsible for launching Natera’s brands in more than 40 countries worldwide, and developing key channel partnerships in the United States. Mr. Moshkevich graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics and has an M.B.A. from Stanford University.

Julian Nevado, Ph.D., Responsible for Genomics and Quality Manager, INGEMM, Spain

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

Patrizia Paterlini-Brechot, Ph.D., Cellular & Molecular Biology, University of Paris Descartes, France

Patrizia Paterlini-Brechot, MD, PhD, is Oncologist, Hematologist and Molecular Biologist. She is a Professor of Oncology/Molecular Biology at Paris Descartes University, with the tasks 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 liver carcinogenesis. Her team developed and patented the 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, now recognized as a breakthrough in the fields of predictive oncology and non-invasive prenatal diagnosis.

Philippos Patsalis, Ph.D., Founder & CEO, 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.

Yves Rozenholc, Ph.D., Department of Statistics, University of Paris Descartes, France

Yves Rozenholc is Professor of Statistics and Biostatistics at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University Paris Descartes in Paris (France) and also organizer of the school « Tumoral Genome Analysis » in France. From theoretical background, he turns his interest more than 10 years ago into application of statistics and image processing in medicine and more specifically on imaging and genomic biomarker construction and has now about 60 publications in both theoretical and applied scientific journals with about 750 citations. Since few years, he has focused on the analysis of cell-free DNA. In the context of tumoral cell-free analysis, he has recently developed a statistical tool to detect and quantify rare allele mutations using next-generation sequencing to replace the need for a tumor biopsy. With Juliette Nectoux from the Institut Cochin, he is working on dPCR cell-free DNA analysis for non-invasive quantitative detection of mutation potentially transmitted to the fetus.

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

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

Ripudaman Singh, Ph.D., COO, ARCEDI Biotech Aps, Denmark

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

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

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

Diane Van Opstal, Ph.D., Laboratory Specialist in Clinical Genetics, Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands

Diane Van Opstal studied Biology at the University of Leuven (Belgium) and received her Ph.D. from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (The Netherlands) in 1998. After her study, since 1987, she has worked in the Prenatal Cytogenetics Laboratory of the Department of Clinical Genetics at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). Besides being a Laboratory Specialist Clinical Genetics, performing the daily cytogenetic diagnostics and non-invasive genome-wide prenatal testing in pregnancies at increased risk for a chromosome aberration, Dr. Diane Van Opstal is a tutor of Laboratory Specialists Clinical Genetics since 2005. She has a long-standing interest in the phenomenon of chromosomal mosaicism at the different stages of pregnancy, from conception up till birth, the mechanisms of origin of chromosome aberrations and the development and application of new molecular techniques for the rapid detection and identification of chromosome aberrations in amniotic fluid and chorionic villi.

Ida Vogel, M.D., Head of Clinical Genetics, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark

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

Yaron Yuval, M.D., 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)

Advanced Diagnostics for Infectious Disease

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.

Debrah Boeras, Ph.D., Scientist and Consultant, The Global Health Impact Group, LLC, United States

No bio available.

Adriana Calderaro, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Clinical Microbiology, Unit of Microbiology and Virology, Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University Hospital of Parma, Italy

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

Matthew Cotten, Ph.D., Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands

Matthew Cotten is currently at the Erasmus Medical Center. Prior to that, he was a Senior Staff Scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. He describes the evolution of medically important viruses. He is developing high throughput methods for generating and analysing virus genomic sequences from clinical samples. He recently assisted with efforts to sequence Ebolavirus locally in Sierra Leone and he has led the group's work on MERS-Coronavirus.

François Jean, Ph.D., Scientific Director, UBC Facility for Infectious Disease and Epidemic Research (FINDER); 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, Canada

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

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

Janne O. Koskinen, Ph.D., R&D Director, ArcDia International Oy Ltd, Finland

Dr. Koskinen is the Head of R&D at ArcDia International Ltd, a Finnish private company focused in rapid infection diagnostics. Dr. Koskinen is the co-developer of ArcDia’s mariPOC® and mariAST® innovations. mariPOC® is an automated IVD CE marked platform for rapid multianalyte identification of pathogens. mariAST® is a pipeline platform based on the same technology. mariAST® enables world’s fastest phenotypic antibiotic resistance testing. Dr. Koskinen has a PhD in in vitro diagnostics of infectious diseases and biophysics. He leads a team of ten highly motivated and skilled R&D experts from the fields of biochemistry, physics, engineering and programming. Dr. Koskinen has authored more than 50 scientific articles and presentations in the fields of point-of-care diagnostic technologies and methods, lab-on-a-chip, dried immunoreagents, antigen testing, serodiagnostics, virology, microbiology, and antimicrobial resistance testing.

Raphael Mohr, Ph.D., Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik I, Bonn University Hospital, Germany

Dr. Mohr studied medicine at the Vienna Medical School and at the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid. He completed his postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Infectious Diseases (UAM, Spain). He is board certified for Internal Medicine. For the last years, he has been a research fellow in the laboratory for liver fibrosis and portal hypertension (Head: Prof. Dr. Jonel Trebicka) and working in Bonn’s HIV/Liver-researchgroup (Head: Prof. Dr. Jürgen K. Rockstroh).

Kfir Oved, Ph.D., Co-Founder & CTO, R&D, MeMed, Israel

The pursuit after a dual educational background in both Medicine and Biology, marked my personal journey - to bridge the gap between the scientific and technological revolutions we experience and bedside, by creating interdisciplinary solutions to global health problems. I co-founded MeMed Dx in 2009 and serve as its CTO and chairman, co-author of 30 patents, the author of 11 peer-reviewed publications, and the recipient of multiple research excellence awards. I hold a B.A. in Biology (Summa Cum Laude), B.Sc. in medicine (Magna Cum Laude), Ph.D. in molecular immunology, and 6 years in Med School at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. With over 15 years of combined industry and academic experience, I had the privilege to re-define problems and shape novel solutions across different fields in medicine. I lead interdisciplinary teams in projects that apply medicine, biology, and best engineering practices to develop novel tools and concepts that can impact global health problems.

Nitika Pant Pai, M.D., MPH., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Medicine, Divisions of Clinical Epidemiology & Infectious Diseases, McGill University, Canada

Nitika Pant Pai, MD MPH PhD, is an Associate Professor at McGill University in the Department of Medicine and a Research Scientist at the MUHC Research Institute. She is with the Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases. She is a physician with a doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley and post doc at McGill University. She has 15 years of experience, in the design and conduct of implementation research across many diverse global settings and populations: incarcerated populations in US, immigrants and injection drug users in Canada, at risk populations and pregnant women in India, and healthcare workers in South Africa. Her research is primarily focused on rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests for HIV and related co-infections (i,e, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, Syphilis). Her research vision is to develop innovative strategies with point of care tests, so as to inform, and change policies in the country of research and internationally. Her current focus is on developing innovative strategies for in home, self-testing for HIV in South Africa and Canada, and multiplexed testing for co-infections for India and Canada.Her research work is supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Grand Challenges Canada, FRSQ and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is a recipient of awards: CIHR New Investigator award 2010, Grand Challenges Canada’s Stars in Global Health Award 2011, 2013, McMaster’s University Chanchalani Award, 2012 for Global Health Research in HIV, McGill University’s Maude Abbott Award 2013 for research excellence.In 2013, she received the Accelerating Science in Progress Award for HIVSmart! from Google, PLOS and Wellcome Trust at the World Bank, Washington, 2013. She lives in Montreal, Canada. Her website is nitikapantpai.com.

Suzan Pas, Ph.D., Team Lead, Molecular Diagnostics, Viroscience Department, Clinical Virology, Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands

Suzan D. Pas started at the clinical virology unit department of Viroscience in 1997 as a research technician, with focus molecular diagnostics. During this time she developed several molecular real-time assays and sequencing assays for genotyping and drug-resistance analysis, and performed patient-related innovative research studies. After finishing her Master of science study in molecular medicine (2010, Erasmus University, the Netherlands) she became a clinical scientific researcher heading the molecular diagnostic team at the department of Virology, ErasmusMC, Rotterdam The Netherlands. Her interests include (drug induced resistance of) viral hepatitis and development/evaluations of molecular diagnostic assays used in clinical (reference) laboratory setting. Because of the expertise in molecular viral diagnostics, she regularly teaches clinical microbiologist trainees (MDs), students of the Molecular Medicine school (Msc), technicians and has experience giving international molecular trainings (o.a. Indonesia, Qatar). She was coordinator and team leader of the Dutch mobile laboratories during the Ebola outbreak in West-Africa. She finished her PhD with the thesis entitled “Hepatitis E virus in the immune-compromised patient” in November 2016.

Rosanna Peeling, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Diagnostic Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

Rosanna Peeling is currently Professor and Chair of Diagnostics Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Director of the International Diagnostic Centre (IDC). Trained as a medical microbiologist, she was Research Coordinator and Head of Diagnostics Research at the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme on Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO/TDR) in Geneva, Switzerland, and Head of the National Laboratory for Sexually Transmitted Infections in Canada before assuming her current position. Her work focuses on research to identify unmet diagnostic needs, facilitate test development, evaluation and implementation in the developing world. She established the IDC to advocate the value of diagnostics, foster innovation, and accelerate access to quality-assured diagnostics to improve global health. She is a member of many WHO and international advisory panels, including the Prize Advisory Panel for the UK Longitude Prize and The European Commission Horizon 2020 Prize to incentivise point-of-care test development to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions and conserve antibiotics for future generations. In 2014, Professor Peeling was awarded the George MacDonald Medal for outstanding contribution to tropical medicine by the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, becoming the first woman to receive this honour.

Amadou Alpha Sall, Ph.D., Director, WHO Collaborating Center for Arboviruses and Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers, Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Senegal

Dr Amadou A. Sall is a virologist and has a PhD in Public Health. He received his scientific education at Universities Paul Sabatier at Toulouse, Paris Orsay and Pierre et Marie Curie in France. He has also visited several laboratories for his training including Institut Pasteur in Paris, France; Institute of Virology and environmental medicine in Oxford, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Center for tropical disease at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, United States of America (USA) and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, New York, USA. From 2002 to2004, Dr Sall worked in Cambodia as Head of the viral hepatitis laboratory at the Institut Pasteur Cambodia. From 2010 to 2011, he worked as a Visiting Research Scientist at the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, New York, USA, on pathogen discovery. He is currently Head of the Arboviruses and viral haemorrhagic fever unit, Director of the WHO Collaborating Center and Scientific Director of the Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Senegal, which belongs to the Institut Pasteur International Network. His research focuses primarily on diagnostics, ecology and evolution of arboviruses and viral haemorrhagic fevers. Dr Sall has published more than 100 papers and book chapters and has given more than 150 scientific communications at international meetings. Dr Sall is a member of several WHO expert groups, including the Global Outbreak and Alert Response Network and the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization. He has also worked as a consultant for the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Wendy Stevens, MBBch, MMed, FCPath, Professor and Head, Molecular Medicine and Haematology; Head, National Priority Programs, National Health Laboratory Service, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Prof. Stevens qualified as a medical doctor from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, with cum laude in 1989 and pursued a career in laboratory Medicine. She received a best pathology registrar award in 1995 and a distinction for a degree during her specialization in haematology which she completed in 1995. She rose very quickly through the ranks and was appointed first as acting Head of the Department of Molecular Medicine and Haematology and full professor and Head in 2003. In this regard she now holds a joint position with the National Health Laboratory Service (largest pathology service provider in South Africa that services 80% of the population in the public sector) and the University of the Witwatersrand. As a haematologist her initial focus was working in the field of leukaemia and lymphoma using the flow cytometry and molecular PCR testing platforms, but soon realised as the HIV epidemic in South Africa exploded there was urgent need to apply these testing platforms and skill to laboratory tests for HIV infected individuals and on an a massive and sustainable scale [1-2].

Lia van der Hoek, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Laboratory of Experimental Virology, 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 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.

Pedro Fernando da Costa Vasconcelos, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Virologist and Director, Evandro Chagas Institute, Ministry of Health, Brazil

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

Per Venge, Ph.D., Professor, Medical Sciences, University of Uppsala Hospital, Sweden

Per Venge is MD and PhD and professor in Clinical Chemistry at the University of Uppsala. He has published about 600 papers in international scientific journals. The research areas have been the biochemistry and function of neutrophils and eosinophil and clinical and basic studies on related diseases. He has also developed several novel biomarker assays based on his discovery of novel human proteins and refined current biomarker assays in the areas of diagnosis and monitoring of diseases such as asthma and allergic disease, acute infections, acute kidney injury and cardiac disease.

Junquan Xu, MS, MBA, CEO, CapitalBio Technology, China

Mr. Junquan Xu, MBA, is the CEO of CapitalBio Technology Co., Ltd. He is engaged in R & D in the fields of biochip, sequencing, multiplex PCR, and bioinformatics and their application in scientific research services, diagnostics, HLA genotyping, molecular breeding, food safety testing and cellular immunotherapy.

Cell-Free DNA in Clinical Oncology

Catherine Alix-Panabières, Ph.D., Maître de Conférence, Praticien Hospitalier, Associate Professor, Director, Laboratory of Rare Human Circulating Cells, Institute of Research in Biotherapy, Saint-Eloi Hospital, University Medical Centre 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 >50 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 Devonshire, Ph.D., Science Leader, Molecular and Cellular Biology, LGC Ltd., United Kingdom

Alison Devonshire read Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) at Queens' College, Cambridge (U.K). She worked as a clinical research associate implementing Phase II and III trials based in Germany and the U.K. before studying for her PhD in the transcriptional regulation of genes involved in metabolic diseases at the University of Surrey. In 2008, Alison joined the Molecular and Cell Biology group at LGC, which is the U.K National Measurement Institute (NMI) for Bioanalytical measurements. She specialises in nucleic acid measurements using techniques such as real-time PCR and digital PCR and their application in clinical diagnostics and cell-based assays. In her current role as Science Leader, Alison is working on projects addressing the measurement challenges of standardising molecular methods for cancer biomarkers and infectious diseases.

Lorena Diéguez, Ph.D., Staff Researcher, Life Sciences, International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Portugal

Lorena Diéguez is since 2014 the head of the Biomicrofluidic Devices group at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), devoted to Translational Medical Research in close collaboration with Hospitals. Her research activities are currently focused on the development of nanobioengineered microsystems for the isolation and characterization of Tumor Cells from body fluids of cancer patients. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Physics and her Masters in Optoelectronics at the University of Santiago de Compostela, then completed her Masters in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the University of Barcelona (UB) 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) was devoted to the study of rare cells from biological samples using microfluidics.

Mark Eccleston, Ph.D., Business Development Director, Volition, Belgium

Dr Mark Eccleston is an enthusiastic and passionate biotechnology entrepreneur with over 18 years experience in the sector, both in academia and industry. He holds a PhD in Polymer Chemistry and an MBA (entrepreneurship) from the University of Dundee in 2008. Dr Eccleston is business development at Voltion. Volition is developing the next generation of blood based diagnostics for early stage detection of cancer using its proprietary Nucleosomics® immunoassay platform.

Jens K. Habermann, Ph.D., Professor and Head, Surgery, Translational Surgical Oncology & Biobanking, University of Lübeck, Germany

Professor Jens K. Habermann, M.D., PH.D., directs the Interdisciplinary Center for Biobanking-Lübeck (ICB-L) at the University of Lübeck and UKSH, Campus Lübeck. At the NIH, Bethesda, USA, and the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, he investigated the role of genomic instability for precision medicine of solid tumors. Practicing in human genetics, he integrates biobanking into clinical routine to optimize patient treatment. Prof. Habermann is council member of the European biobank society ESBB.

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

Ellen Heitzer is an Associate Professor 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. In a 6-months research stay at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, she worked on functional assessment of variants in polymerase coding genes. 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.

Cécile Jovelet, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Translational Research Lab, Gustave Roussy Institute, France

PharmD and PhD in molecular and cellular pharmacology, I am postdoc researcher at the Gustave Roussy institute in Translational Research Lab. I am studying the use of cell-free DNA as an alternative to biopsies for molecular analysis (PGM, digital droplet PCR)

Pierre Laurent-Puig, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Paris Descartes University, France

Pierre Laurent-Puig,MD, Ph.D., is a Hospital Practitioner and the Director of the Joint Research Unit at Paris Descartes Medical School. Since 2000 he has been responsible for the Clinical Oncology Functional Unit in the HEGP Genetics Department and he is now at the head of the Cancer Research for personalized Medicine a joint venture between the Paris Descartes University Hospitals (www.CARPEM.fr) funded by the National Cancer Institute (INCa) His research is focused on correlations between genotype and phenotype in solid human tumor and on biomarkers for resistance to chemotherapy including circulating tumors DNA mainly in colon and lung cancer. Pr. Laurent-Puig has published over 250 original scientific publications in international peer reviewed journals.

Michael O’Brien, MBA, Business Development Director, ANGLE plc, United Kingdom

Michael is an engineer by background but now specialises in technology development and its commercialisation. Michael currently manages a number of collaborations with some of Europe’s leading cancer research institutions and is driving the roll out of ANGLE’s Parsortix system in Europe. Michael has an MA in Engineering Science from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from the University of Warwick.

Stuart Palmer, Ph.D., COO, PlexBio Co., Ltd., Taiwan

Dr. Palmer has over 30 years of scientific and executive management experience in biotechnology operations and diagnostic assay development. Dr. Palmer received his Ph.D. in Microbiology, from Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Previously he was the Vice President of Operations for Roche Molecular System, Inc. Currently, he is COO at PlexBio Co., Ltd.

Klaus Pantel, M.D., Professor and Founding Director, 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). 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 TRANSCAN group “CTC-SCAN”, the European IMI consortium CANCER-ID (www.cancer-id.eu) on blood-based “Liquid Biopsies” and serves on the Editorial Boards of international cancer journals (e.g., Clin. Cancer Res., Breast Cancer Res., Cancer Res.).

Abhijit Patel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University, United States

Dr. Patel is an Assistant Professor of Therapeutic Radiology at the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed residency training in radiation oncology at Harvard University, medical internship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and obtained his MD and PhD degrees at Yale University. His scientific background is in the field of nucleic acid biochemistry, having performed his Ph.D. and postdoctoral training with Drs. Joan Steitz and Jack Szostak. As a physician-scientist, he maintains an active clinical radiation oncology practice. His research group at Yale is working to develop and clinically validate novel noninvasive DNA- and RNA-based cancer diagnostics.

Vincent Plagnol, Ph.D., Vice President, Computational Biology, Inivata, United Kingdom

Vincent Plagnol, Vice President Computational Biology, Vincent was educated in Paris, France, where he obtained his bachelor of mathematics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and an MSc in Theoretical Probability. After his PhD in Applied Mathematics and Computational Biology at the University of Southern California, he moved to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation/Wellcome Trust Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory at the University of Cambridge in 2006 to study the genetics of autoimmune disorders, in particular type 1 diabetes. Following this postdoc in Cambridge, he became a Lecturer (2009), and then a Reader (2013), in Statistical Genetics at the University College London (UCL) Genetics Institute (UGI). At the UGI he leads a computational research group working at the intersection between statistics, computer science and genetics, with a focus on translational research, in particular rare disease genetics and non-invasive prenatal diagnostics based on cell-free fetal DNA.

Elisabetta Rossi, Ph.D., Researcher, Surgical Oncology and Gastroenterology, University of Padova, Italy

I graduated in Biological Sciences in 2001 and specialized in Clinical Pathology at the University of Padua in 2006. During this period, I contributed to several scientific publications in the field of tumour immunology and cancer metabolism.

Since 2006 then I have been involved in a small team committed to study Circulating Tumour Cells, with particular reference to predictive value and biologic significance of Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) in solid tumours at the University of Padua and in collaboration with IOV-IRCCS.

In 2012 I won a young researcher grants from Italian Ministry of Health, Proposal No: #GR-2010-2303193A, and I have starting to collaborate in two European consortia, CTCTrap and Cancer-ID to study and characterize CTCs.

Thomas Schlange, Senior Biomarker Scientist, Global Biomarker Research, Bayer, 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 indications. 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.

Peter Vandenberghe, Ph.D., Head, Haematology, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium

Peter Vandenberghe obtained his MD and PhD degree at the KU Leuven Belgium, and trained as a specialist in Internal Medicine/Hematology. He was the Head of the Laboratory for the Cytogenetic and Molecular Diagnosis of Malignant Diseases at the Center of Human Genetics from 2004-2016, and became Head of the Division of Hematology, Internal Medicine in 2016.

The main topics of his research include the genetics of BCR-ABL1 negative myeloid neoplasms, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Kristina Warton, Ph.D., Senior Research Officer, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Australia

Kristina Warton was awarded her PhD from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia in 2002. She has worked both in academia and industry (AusDiagnostics and Human Genetic Signatures), and is currently leading a project aiming to develop a DNA methylation-based blood test for early ovarian cancer.

Helen Winter, Ph.D., Medical Oncologist and Clinical Research Fellow, Oncology, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Helen Winter is a medical oncologist currently completing a DPhil at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on multi-parametric imaging of colorectal liver metastases including DCE, DWI and oxygen enhanced MRI and circulating biomarkers. After completing medical oncology training at UCLH, she worked in New Zealand and was the representative on the Australian Lung Cancer and Gastro-Intestinal Trials Groups. Her interest in medical education includes teaching professionalism and the role of cancer patients in clinical teaching.

Dale Yuzuki, MA, Med, Director, Market Development - Oncology, SeraCare Life Sciences, United States

Dale is the Director of Market Development, Oncology for SeraCare. He most recently developed the 'Behind the Bench' blog for Thermo Fisher Scientific's Genetic Systems Division. Prior to that he had several roles in marketing and sales for life sciences firms including Life Technologies, RainDance Technologies, Illumina, and QIAGEN.

Biomarkers for Immunotherapy

Dirk Brockstedt, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, R&D, Aduro BioTech Inc., United States

Dirk G. Brockstedt, Ph.D. joined Aduro in April 2009 and has served as our Senior Vice President of Research and Development since September 2011. Prior to joining Aduro, Dr. Brockstedt held various positions in the immunology department of Cerus Corporation since joining that company in 2002 and served as Cerus Corporation’s Director, Immunology from 2006 to 2007. He was the third employee in the original Immunotherapy group at Cerus Corporation. Prior to Cerus Corporation, he was a scientist at Aventis in the Immunotherapy and Anti-Angiogenesis group from 1999 until 2002, developing novel therapies against cancer. Dr. Brockstedt has co-authored 36 scientific papers and is a named inventor on five issued patents and several pending applications. Dr. Brockstedt holds a Diploma/Masters of Science in Microbiology from the University of Kiel; he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Kiel and Stanford University, and he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Stanford School of Medicine in the department of Pathology.

Alex Chenchik, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Cellecta, Inc., United States

Dr. Alex Chenchik is Scientific Director of Cellecta, Inc., Mountain View, California focused on development and application of next generation functional genomic technologies for discovery biomarkers, drug targets and development novel drugs. He worked before at SBI as Vice-President of R/D and developed genetic screen technology with pooled lentiviral shRNA libraries in combination with a wide range of reporter cell lines. Previously, he worked for BDB Clontech as Director of GCA department and participated in the development of microarrays and disease-profiling arrays for expression profiling, PCR-based technologies for gene cloning, and subtraction-based approach for discovery of differentially expressed genes. Dr. Chenchik is author of 52 scientific publications and 17 patents.

Kenneth Emancipator M.D., Executive Medical Director, Translational Medicine, Companion Diagnostics, Merck & Co., United States

Kenneth Emancipator received his AB degree from Harvard University and his MD from St. Louis University. He completed his medical internship at Westchester County Medical Center and his pathology residency at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Emancipator began his career in academics, having served as Director of Clinical Chemistry at Cornell University and Beth Israel Medical Center. He subsequently migrated to the medical device industry, holding positions as Director of Medical Affairs for Bayer Diagnostics, Senior Director of Medical Affairs for Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, and Senior Director of Medical Regulatory and Clinical Affairs at Abbott Molecular. He has also worked as an independent consultant to the medical device and pharmaceutical industries before joining Merck to lead its companion diagnostics program. He is a former officer and former member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Clinical Pathology. He is considered an expert on medical device safety and precision medicine.

Ekaterina S. Jordanova, Ph.D., Principle Investigator, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Centre for Gynaecological Oncology Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dr. Ekaterina Jordanova is a leading expert in the field of multiparameter immunohistochemical analysis with more than 30 publications on the subject. She has studied the role of the tumor microenvironment and immune cell infiltration in various tumor types in relation to clinical parameters and patient survival for the past 10 years. Currently, she is involved in immune biomarker analysis in cancer patients undergoing various immunotherapies. She is a principle investigator at the Center for Gynaecological Oncology Amsterdam, The Netherlands and supervises eight PhD students working on different aspects of cancer immunology and immunotherapy.

Ioannis Karydis, Ph.D., Cancer Research UK, United Kingdom

Dr Karydis developed a specialist interest in immuno-oncology during his specialist training in the Oxford Cancer Centre in the UK; he went on to secure a clinical research fellowship in the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine in the University of Oxford looking into mechanisms of tumour escape. After a further Senior Fellowship in the Oxford Early Phase Clinical Trials unit, he was appointed Associate Professor in the University of Southampton where his focus is on developing techniques for precision onco-immunotherapy. His particular area of interest is advanced immunometrics and its application to optimise output from early phase trials and guide combinatorial drug development.

Sid Katugampola, Ph.D., Biomarker & Translational Scientist, Centre for Drug Development, Cancer Research UK, United Kingdom

Sid Katugampola completed his Ph.D in the Clinical Pharmacology Unit at University of Cambridge. Following that, in 2001 he joined Pfizer R&D and worked across multiple departments spanning 10 years. During his last 6 years at Pfizer, Sid led projects in biomarkers and translational medicine across multiple therapeutic areas and targets with a key focus on demonstrating proof of pharmacology in early phase clinical trials. He joined the Centre for Drug Development at Cancer Research UK in 2011 where he has been responsible for the delivery of pharmacodynamic biomarkers and patient enrichment strategies for early phase oncology clinical development. He has worked across multiple modalities and cancer types, majority of therapeutic agents being first in class

Thomas O. Kleen, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Immune Monitoring, Epiontis GmbH, Germany

Dr. Kleen is currently Executive VP Immune Monitoring at Epiontis. He received his Ph.D. in Biology with specialty in Immunology and Virology from the Bayerische Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany. During his studies at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, he investigated conditions of the human immune system affected by infectious diseases, and in particular the detailed monitoring of immune cell function in patients with human immune deficiency virus (HIV) infections. He further conducted research on the facilitation of umbilical cord blood stem cell transplantation for immune reconstitution of adult patients with life-threatening hematological disorders and malignancies after treatment with full myelo-ablative regimens

His expertise is in the areas of immunology, vaccine and biologic evaluation, immunogenicity and oncology. One focus is monitoring of Cell Mediated Immunity (CMI) and Bio-markers during immunotherapy, vaccine development and detection of adverse immune reactions during drug development. Since 2009 Dr. Kleen is member of the SITC-FDA Task Force on Immunotherapy Biomarkers, which focuses on the unique issues related to immunologic monitoring assays as well as novel methodologies for assessing the immune landscape in cancer.

Andrea Nicolini, M.D., Clinical Researcher, Internal Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy

His research over the past 20 years was mainly devoted to the field of breast and colorectal cancer, particularly the use of serum tumor markers in the "early" detection and treatment of metastatic disease and the function of cell mediated immunity.The role of immunotherapy combined with conventional antiestrogen therapy to overcome the arising of resistance in endocrine dependent metastatic breast cancer was another main explored research field.

Dr.Nicolini has published about 250 original papers/review articles (including book chapters),most of them in peer reviewed Journals with I.F. He takes part of the Editorial Board of a few high rank scientific Journals and regularly serves as reviewer for them and many others.

Ahuva Nissim, Reader, Antibody and Therapeutic Engineering, Biochemical Pharmacology, Queen Mary University

Ahuva Nissim graduated in Molecular Immunology in 1992 from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and was trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering in Cambridge until 1995. During this period she developed phage display semi-synthetic human antibody library which has been used worldwide. In November 2000 she was appointed as a Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University. Her studies are interdisciplinary and involve translational research at the William Harvey Research Institute and with intensive worldwide collaborations. Her main research interest focuses on development of targeted immunotherapy.

Sergio Rutella, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Cancer Immunotherapy, John van Geest Cancer Research Centre, College of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom

Professor Sergio Rutella is a haematologist with a long-standing clinical and research interest in immunotherapy approaches for patients with leukaemia. Before joining the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre in Nottingham, UK, Professor Rutella was the Executive Director of Clinical Research at Sidra Medical & Research Centre, Doha, Qatar and served as the Chairman of Immunohaematology and Transfusion Medicine at the Bambino Gesú Children’s Hospital in Rome, Italy. He has published 200 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals (cumulative IF>1,040; H-index=47). His research currently focuses on visualising the state of cancer-immune interactions in individual patients and on biomarker discovery, with the aim to guide treatment choices and improve clinical outcome.

Barbara Seliger, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Medical Immunology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

Professor Dr. Barbara Seliger is the Director of the Institute for Medical Immunology at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, in Halle, Germany, Director of a FOCIS Center of Excellence, member of the World Immunoscore and SITC biomarker initiatives. In addition she is head of the work group for “Tumor immunology” of the German Society of Immunology. Prof. Seliger’s research team studies the molecular events associated with immune escape of tumors, the role of the tumor microenvironment and immune cell subpopulations for tumor development and therapy resistance. One major goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms, by which tumor cells modulate the immune response in order to escape immune surveillance. This includes immune check point pathways and abnormalities of HLA class I and class II antigens as well as of HLA-G. In addition, her laboratory is involved in optimization and monitoring immunotherapies and in the characterization of biomarkers allowing the prediction of their success. Recently, she became interested in the identification, functional characterization and clinical relevance of immune regulatory microRNAs, RNA-binding proteins and their implementation as therapeutic tools as well as in the role of the tumor and immune cell metabolism in immune surveillance and its modulation as novel therapeutic option alone or in combination with targeted or immunotherapies.

She has published more than 245 papers, is member of the Editorial Board of OncoImmunology, Journal of Translational Medicine, Proteomics – Clinical Proteomics, reviewer of many journals and national as well as international grants including EU grants and organizer/co-organizer of national and international workshops and symposia such as a Keystone Symposium in Vancouver, ITOC meetings in Munich and Prague and the yearly “Tumor immunology meets oncology” meeting in Halle. During her scientific life she did win a number of awards including the recent ARF Award of the Qatar Foundation 2015 and the Award for the most innovative research project in the state of Saxonia-Anhalt December 2016.

Tala Shekarian, Targeting of Tumor and It's Immune Environments, Lyon Cancer Center, France

Tala Shekarian was born in Tehran/Iran. She obtained a bachelor in general biology from Azad university of Tehran. In 2010, she moved to France to enroll a master graduation in genetic and cellular pathology (M1) and fundamental infectiology (M2) from university of Claude Bernard Lyon 1(UCBL1). In 2013, she joined Dr Christophe Caux and Jean-Yves Blay‘s lab in Leon Berard cancer Center, for her PhD training under supervision of Dr Aurelien Marabelle and Dr Sandrine Valsesia-Wittmann. Her project consists on immunotherapeutic combinatorial strategies for Neuroblastoma and lymphoma therapies. Her results led to the identification of a new oncolytic virus which can be the source of PRR agonist that can cure the aggressive tumor when used in combination with immune checkpoint blockade.

Jonathan Silk, Ph.D., Group Leader, Cellular Biology, Adaptimmune Ltd

Jonathan is currently a Group Leader in the Cell Research team at Adaptimmune Ltd, a Biotechnology company based in Abingdon, UK. Adaptimmune Ltd is a world leader in the TCR T-cell therapy space, utilizing engineered Specific Enhanced Affinity T-cell receptor-expressing T-cells (SPEAR™ T-cells) to target both solid and hematologic cancer types. Jonathan and his team are currently studying 2nd Generation SPEAR T-cells, to improve the function of T-cells for adoptive T-cell therapy, including overcoming immune-resistance mechanisms.

Jonathan received his BSc in Biochemistry with a Sandwich year from the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK), with an industrial placement at Merck Sharp and Dohme (Harlow, UK). He obtained a PhD in Immunology after studying in the Transplantation Biology Group at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre at the Hammersmith Hospital (Imperial College London, UK). Subsequently he worked for a number of years with Professor Vincenzo Cerundolo at the Weatherall Institute for Molecular Medicine (University of Oxford UK) as a Post-doctoral Scientist, developing a number of cancer immunotherapy research programmes including the use of ligands for invariant NKT-cells as adjuvants and investigating mechanisms of tumour escape.

Shao-An Xue, Ph.D., Genetic Engineering Laboratory, School of Biological & Environmental Engineering, Xi’an University, Institute of Immunity & Transplantation, University College London Medical School, United Kingdom

Dr Shao-An Xue has been in the field of viral oncology and cancer immunotherapy for 20 years, and has successfully developed a new strategy for cancer immunotherapy based on T cell receptor gene transfer. He received George Brecher New Investigator Award from the International Society for Experimental Hematology in 2005 for his development of a leukemia specific WT1-TCR. He has also developed many other tumor specific TCRs, including EBV-TCR, CMV-TCR and HBV-TCR, all of these TCRs are in the first in man clinical trials now. Due to his contribution and influence in the field of TCR gene therapy of cancer, he has been invited as editorial board member on several international journals. He has also served as an Expert panel member on the Clinical Microbiology and Immunology panel of the European Society for Translational Medicine. Dr Xue received his PhD degree in Viral Oncology from Imperial College London, United Kingdom, in 1999.

Point-of-Care Diagnostics

Gyorgy Abel, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Molecular Diagnostics, Immunology & Clinical Chemistry, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, United States

Dr. Gyorgy Abel is the Director of Clinical Chemistry, Clinical Immunology, Molecular Diagnostics, and Point-of-Care Testing at the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, and part time Instructor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. He is board certified in Clinical Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics and currently serves on the Council of the Academy of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). Over the past three decades Gyorgy gained extensive experience in immunoassays, molecular and point of care testing, and laboratory management, and served in various positions on committees in multiple professional organizations. He authored over one hundred articles and presentations and frequently speaks nationally and internationally on current issues in clinical pathology, personalized medicine, and point of care testing.

Andy Anderson, CEO, Oxford Impedance Diagnostics Ltd., United Kingdom

Mr. Andy Anderson (CEO) has a degree in biochemistry and has spent over 30 years in the medical diagnostics and devices industry. Starting in sales of diabetes and drug monitoring systems, he joined Becton Dickinson in 1987 as marketing manager for their biochemistry and flow cytometry ranges. He spent some time as PR Director for a specialist medical agency and was the Sales and Marketing Manager for Astra Zeneca’s genetics testing division. His last full time position was with Metra Biosystems, a US based Start-up working in osteoporosis and was elected Chairman of the British In-Vitro Diagnostics Trade Association (BIVDA) in 2000. Since leaving Metra in 2001 he has been Managing Director of his own consultancy business Crawford Medical Limited. He also works part-time as Chief Executive of the Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare (ASPiH).

Ana Isabel Ferreira-Barbosa, Ph.D., IVD Manufacture Scientist, Capillary Film Technology Ltd., United Kingdom

Dr Ana Isabel Barbosa has completed a PhD in Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University, UK where she worked with Dr Reis on the development of a novel microfluidic platform for point-of-care diagnostics. The novel microfluidic platform is melt-extruded from FEP-Teflon, a material with great medical compatibility but unknown to the world of diagnostics. During her PhD she studied several aspects related to assay miniaturization in FEP-Teflon microcapillaries, such as antibody immobilization, effect of flow in antigen-antibody binding, enzymatic reactions, biological matrix effect and colorimetric and fluorescent smartphone detection. Some of this work has been published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Analyst and featured main cover of Lab-on-a-chip, issue 16 in 2014. Ana work currently as an IVD manufacture scientist at Capillary Film Technology Ltd, a UK based SME developing a high-sensitive point-of-care microfluidic test for rapid diagnosis of Acute Coronary Syndrome in emergency setting.

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.

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 was nominated for the German Founders Prize in 2004. He lead 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 C. Carrano, Ph.D., President & CEO, Paratus Diagnostics LLC, United States

Dr. John C. Carrano, Ph.D. serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Paratus Diagnostics, LLC. Dr. Carrano served as Vice President of Research and Development of Luminex Corporation since June 2006. Dr. Carrano joined Luminex in July 2005 and served as its Executive Director of Research and Development. Prior to joining Luminex, he served as a Program Manager at DARPA where, he led several major Defense Department programs related to biological and chemical sensing. Dr. Carrano served as Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, United States Military Academy and Research Scientist, US Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi MD. In June 2005, Dr. Carrano retired from the military as a Lieutenant Colonel after 24 years of service. He serves as a Member of Phi Kappa Phi, Eta Kappa Nu, OSA, SPIE, and IEEE. He served as Member of Advisory Board of Luminex Corp. since June 2006. Dr. Carrano received BS from the United States Military Academy, West Point in 1981 and received his MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Carrano is also a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College.

Emmanuel Delamarche, Ph.D., Manager, Precision Diagnostics, IBM Research, Switzerland

Dr. Delamarche is currently leading activities on Precision Diagnostics at IBM Research - Zurich with the goal of using expertise in micro/nanotechnology, physics and biochemistry for solving important problems in biology and medicine. One of his main projects deals with the development of portable and precise diagnostic devices using microfluidic concepts and smartphones. In addition to his research, he is a Lecturer at ETH Zurich and a contributor to scientific panels for grant agencies and governments. He published over 100 papers and is co-inventor on more than 60 patent families. He has received numerous awards from IBM, was named “Master Inventor” in 2003 by IBM, and received the Werner prize of the Swiss Chemical Society in 2006.

Diane L. Dutt, MS, Ph.D., PMP, Program Manager and S&T Manager, JSTO, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, United States

No bio available.

Ashfaq Gilkar, Senior Clinical Analyst, Strategy and Engagement, Essentia Technology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom

Dr. Gilkar has over 15 years’ experience in Healthcare IT & healthcare sciences, having worked previously for Cancer Research UK, Imperial College and Chelsea & Westminster hospitals, London. My main expertise and area of interest lies in POCT devices, with a particular focus on the connectivity aspects to maximise full utilisation and patient clinical benefits.

Liesbet Lagae, Ph.D., Program Director, Life Science Technologies, IMEC, Belgium

Liesbet Lagae is co-founder and currently Program Director of the life science technologies activities in imec. In this role, she oversees the emerging R&D of all the life science technologies activities at imec. She holds a PhD degree from the KU Leuven, Belgium for her work on Magnetic Random Access Memories obtained under an IWT grant. As a young group leader, she has initiated the field of molecular and cellular biochips based on magnetic, plasmonic, electrical sensing principles intelligently combined with fluidics to do full diagnostic analysis at IMEC, Belgium. She is also appointed as a professor in nanobiophysics at the KU Leuven. She has (co-) authored 75 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and holds 15 patents in the field. She is also part-time professor in nanobiotechnology at KU Leuven/Physics department.

Luís Velez Lapão, Habil., Ph.D., MSc, Professor, International Public Health, Population Health, Policies and Services Group Leader, Global Health and Tropical Medicine, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

Luís Velez Lapão is a Researcher and Professor of International Public Health at Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical – Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He is also President of the NGO AGO-Associação para a Cooperação e Desenvolvimento Garcia de Orta. PhD in Systems Engineering (Healthcare management) from the Technical University of Lisbon, Master in Physics and graduated in Physics Engineering from Technical University of Lisbon. He was Visiting Professor of Healthcare Management at Karolinska Institutet (Medical Management Center) in 2014 and at Dubai University in 2009. He was Visiting Professor of Project Management in Medical Informatics at University of Porto from 2007 to 2009. He is an active member of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Workforce Policy and Planning since 2011. He was Director of the PACES program (National Institute of Administration/ Ministry of Health) responsible for the training in Management and Leadership for Managers of Primary Health Care in Portugal (2008-10). Coordinated several strategic and reorganization projects in various hospitals and health-centers. He is auditor of the European Commission for the Healthcare Information Systems since 2005. He works in the areas of innovation and organizational development in health, with emphasis in the areas of Capacity Strengthening, Implementation Science, leadership, change management, project management, and management of information systems in health and telemedicine (e.g. the telemedicine system in Cape Verde and Angola, and the European Project Momentum). He is the Principal Investigator in three research projects: “OSYRISH-FCT” using an Information System to reduce healthcare-acquired infections, focusing on collaborative work between professionals and organization of work in Portugal and Cape Verde (2013-2015; 65.000€); EEA Grants HAITool: Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Intervention including the development of an information system. Collaboration with University of the Northern Norway and University Hospital of Geneva. (2015-2016; 215 000 €); and TECH-4 (Capacity building program in Portuguese): Telemedicine services in Angola (supporting the municipalization), with University Hospital Geneva, and the Ministry of Health of Angola. 2015 (World Bank; 20.000€). And Team Member. Contratualization in Primary Care (INSA-AGO-Ministry of Health). (2014-2016; 40000€).

He is author and co-author of over 30 peer reviewed papers and seven books/Chapters.

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 118 original peer-reviewed articles (listed in Pubmed, as of Sept 27, 2016). He is also editor of the first German textbook on POCT.

James H. Nichols, Ph.D., DABCC, FACB, Professor, Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology; Medical Director, Clinical Chemistry; Medical Director, POCT, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, United States

James H. Nichols, Ph.D., DABCC, FACB,is a Professor of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Medical Director of Clinical Chemistry and Point-of-Care Testing at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Nichols received his B.A. in General Biology/Premedicine from Revelle College, University of California at San Diego. He went on to complete a Masters and Doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Jim was a fellow in the Postdoctoral Training Program in Clinical Chemistry at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. He is board certified in both Clinical Chemistry and Toxicological Chemistry by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry. Dr. Nichols spent several years as Associate Director of Clinical Chemistry, Director of Point-of-Care Testing, and an Associate Professor of Pathology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Jim later served as Medical Director of Clinical Chemistry for Baystate Health in Springfield, MA and was a Professor of Pathology at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Nichols’ research interests span evidence-based medicine, information management, laboratory automation, point-of-care testing and toxicology.

H.G.M. Niesters, Ph.D., Director, Laboratory of Clinical Virology, University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands

Bert Niesters (1958) studied biology and chemistry in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. After obtaining his PhD in Utrecht (Prof.dr. M. Horzinek and Prof.dr. B. van der Zeijst, 1987) on the molecular epidemiology of infectious bronchitis virus, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow with Prof. dr. Jim Strauss at the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, USA) on the replication of Alphaviruses. He received a Niels Stensen fellowship (The Netherlands) and an E.S. Gosney fellowship (Caltech) during this period. After returning to the Netherlands (1989), he became a research associate in medical microbiology at the Diagnostic Medical Center (Delft), but moved back to clinical virology as a senior research associate in 1991 at the Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam (Head Prof.dr. Ab Osterhaus). From 1993 till 2007, he was responsible for the molecular diagnostics unit. During this period, he has been involved in the discovery and characterization of several new viruses and variants. In 2007, he became professor and director of the Laboratory of Clinical Virology within the Department of Medical Microbiology at the University Medical Center Groningen.

Günther Proll, Ph.D., Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany

Dr. Günther Proll received his PhD at the University of Tübingen for his work on a fully automated optical biosensor system. He also holds a position as a lecturer for bio-analytics at the university. Within the Analytical Chemistry division of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh), he has been a member of the board of the working group "Chemo- and Biosensors". Günther has published 30 original articles, 5 patents and 4 book chapters. In 2010, he founded Biametrics GmbH together with Dr. Florian Pröll.

Samuel K. Sia, Ph.D., Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University; Founder, Claros, United States

Samuel Sia is a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. His lab focuses on using microfluidics for global health diagnostics and for 3D tissue biology. He obtained his B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Alberta, Ph.D. in Biophysics at Harvard University, and postdoctoral fellowship in Chemistry at Harvard University. He was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellow, National Science and Engineering Council of Canada Predoctoral Fellow, and Canadian Institute of Health Postdoctoral Fellow. Since 2005, he has been a faculty member of Columbia University's Biomedical Engineering department. His lab's work has been supported by the NIH (NHLBI and NINR), NSF, USAID/Grand Challenges Canada/Gates Foundation, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, American Heart Association, and World Health Organization. He was named one of the world's top young innovators by MIT Technology Review (2010), and is an elected fellow of AIMBE (American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering). His research has been covered by NPR, Washington Post, CBS, NBC, BBC, CBC, Voice of America, and Agence France Presse. He is a founder of Claros Diagnostics, a venture capital-backed company developing diagnostics products which was acquired by Opko Health, and Harlem Biospace, New York City's first life-science incubator.

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

He is the Academic Director of the Center for Health Care Management and Regulation at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and Director of the Center for Hospital Management, a research institute linked to the University of Muenster (Germany). Both institutions are well known for international and national research, consulting and government advisory activities in the fields of cost–benefit analysis of medical technology and clinical procedures, strategic management and mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare sector, business ethics in medicine, risk management and health service research. Research focus is on international benchmarking of hospitals and health care systems. He is a founding member of the initiative ‘Best Practice Management in Healthcare and Hospital Management’, which is part of the European Hospital Management Association (EHMA). He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Kerckhoff Clinic Heart and Lung Center, Bad Nauheim (Germany). Before this he was Director and member of the board of the University Clinic of Giessen.He holds a PhD degree from the faculty of business administration (University of Tuebingen) and a PhD degree from the faculty of medicine (University of Giessen).

Viviane Van Hoof, M.D., Ph.D., Vice-Head, Clinical Biology, Antwerp University Hospital, Belgium

No bio available.

Enabling Technologies for Cell-Free DNA

Stefania Byrou, Ph.D. Student, Molecular Genetics Thalassaemia, Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Cyprus

Stefania Byrou, MSc, (Female) is a PhD student at the Cyprus School of Molecular Medicine, a school of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, at the Molecular Genetics Thalassemia Department. She received her BSc from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and MSc from the Cyprus School of Molecular Medicine, Cyprus. She was awarded a TELETHON grant from 2015 to 2018 and her research focuses on non-invasive prenatal diagnosis of beta-thalassemia based on the detection of paternally inherited alleles by exploiting different methods such as COLD PCR, Next Generation Sequencing and digital PCR.

Joana Carvalho, Ph.D. Student, Environment Monitoring, Security and Food Quality Control, International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Portugal

Dr. Carvalho got his MSc degree in Biological Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon) in 2015. In the context of my Master's Thesis I worked on a R&D project at International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL, Braga) regarding the development and optimization of a DNA extraction protocol through microscale solid phase extraction (µSPE) and microfluidics for food analysis applications. Currently Joana is a PhD student at University of Santiago de Compostela and is working at INL in a project for the development of a micro Total Analysis System (µTAS) for food and environmental analysis.

Mathieu Chicard, Molecular Biology Engineer, Translational Research in Pediatric Oncology, Institut Curie, France

Mathieu Chicard has started his professional path in Clermont-Ferrand as molecular biologist in the vegetal world. His different jobs gave me the opportunity to manipulate a lot of tools such as qPCR, sequencing and microarray. In order to improve my knowledge, he moved to Paris for a new job in the genomic platform at Institut Cochin. He acquired new competences such as NGS or new DNAchip generation. Since 2014, he is working at Institut Curie where he is studying the circulating DNA and looking for the best tools to explore the complexity of pediatric solid tumors.

Berwyn Clarke, Ph.D., Clinical Diagnostics and Pharmaceutical Industry Manager, Covaris, United Kingdom

Dr Clarke has worked in the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry for the last 33 years occupying senior management positions and Board level appointments. Specialising in personalised medicine and companion diagnostics he founded diagnostics company, Lab21, in 2005 and is now operating with a portfolio of new and established technology companies.

Alison Devonshire, Ph.D., Science Leader, Nucleic Acid Metrology, LGC, UK

Alison Devonshire leads Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) at Queens' College, Cambridge (U.K). She worked as a clinical research associate implementing Phase II and III trials based in Germany and the U.K. before studying for her PhD in the transcriptional regulation of genes involved in metabolic diseases at the University of Surrey. In 2008, Alison joined the Molecular and Cell Biology group at LGC, which is the U.K National Measurement Institute (NMI) for Bioanalytical measurements. She specialises in nucleic acid measurements using techniques such as real-time PCR and digital PCR and their application in clinical diagnostics and cell-based assays. In her current role as Science Leader, Alison is working on projects addressing the measurement challenges of standardising molecular methods for cancer biomarkers and infectious diseases.

Francesco Fiorentino, Ph.D., CEO, GENOMA Group, Italy

Dr. Francesco Fiorentino, is founder of GENOMA laboratory. With nearly fifteen years of experience as molecular biologist, he is expert in all aspects of diagnosis, treatment and technology. Dr. Fiorentino is internationally recognized in the fields of reproductive genetics, for its leadership in Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) and for its pioneering work in infertility and genetics. He is also well known as one of the pioneers in the creation of the specialties of reproductive and prenatal genetics in Italy and was the impetus behind development of many important concepts and techniques that have become standard in these important fields.

Rikke Fredslund Andersen, Ph.D., Molecular Biologist, 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.

Michael J Heller, Ph.D., Professor, Bioengineering & Nanoengineering, University of California San Diego, United States

Michael J. Heller received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Colorado State University in 1973. He was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University from 1973 to 1976. Dr. Heller was supervisor of the DNA Technology Group at Amoco Corporation (Standard Oil Indiana) from 1976 to 1984. During that time he carried out very early bioengineering and recombinant DNA work on plants, algae and photosynthetic bacteria for energy and chemical production. He also development the first fluorescent resonant energy transfer (FRET) and chemiluminescent DNA oligonucleotide probes. Additionally, he oversaw the company sponsored research work at Cetus Corporation on their related recombinant DNA efforts for energy and chemical production, which included the cloning of thermophilic enzymes. Dr. Heller was the Director of Molecular Biology at Molecular Biosystems, Inc., from 1984 to 1987. He was a co-founder of Integrated DNA Technologies, and served as President and Chief Operating Officer from 1987 to 1989. He was a co-found of Nanotronics and Nanogen, and served as the Chief Technical Officer from 1993 to 2001. Nanogen carried out the successful development and commercialization of electronic DNA microarray technology for molecular diagnostic genotyping applications. Dr. Heller is now a Professor in the Departments of Nanoengineering and Bioengineering at the University California San Diego. He has also recently co-founded a new company called Biological Dynamics which will be developing new sample to answer cancer diagnostic technology, which is based on novel dielectrophoretic (DEP) microarray technology developed in his lab. Dr. Heller has extensive industrial experience in biotechnology, biomedical and molecular diagnostic devices and nanotechnology; with particular expertise in the areas of DNA probe diagnostics, DC electrophoretic and AC dielectrophoretic devices, DNA synthesis, FRET/fluorescent-based detection technologies and electric field assisted self-assembly of DNA nanocomponents. Dr. Heller has a respectable publication record, and has been an invited speaker to a large number of scientific conferences and meetings related clinical/molecular diagnostics, DNA microarrays, biosensors, lab-on-a-chip devices, bio-MEMS and nanotechnology. He has over 50 issued US patents related to microelectronic chips, microarrays and integrated devices for DNA hybridization, miniaturized sample to answer diagnostic devices, biosensors, genomics, proteomics, nanotechnology and nanofabrication, nano-based DNA optical storage and for fluorescent energy transfer in DNA nanostructures. Dr. Heller has been a panel member for the White House (OSTP) National Nanotechnology Initiative 1999/2000; the NAS (NAE) Review of National Nanotechnology Initiative 2001-2002; the NAS(NAE) – Engineer for the 2020 - 2001/2002; and has also been involved in a number of NSF Nanotechnology Workshops.

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

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

Juilette Nectoux, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Molecular Geneticist, Molecular Genetics, Cochin Hospital, France

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

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

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

Nicolas Pecuchet, M.D., Engineer, R&D Biosphere Technology, Dassault Systemes, France

Nicolas Pécuchet is a medical doctor specialized in lung cancer who practiced medical oncology at the European Georges Pompidou Hospital from 2011 to 2016. He defended his PhD at the Paris Descartes University in INSERM U1147 in 2016. For his post-doctoral position, he joined the R&D Biosphere Technology at Dassault Systems, Inc. as a computational biologist for genomic medicine.

Stefan Rödiger, Ph.D., Group Leader, Institute of Biotechnology, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Germany

I graduated in Pharmabiotechnology at University of Applied Sciences Jena and moved to the University of Jena, Technical University of Dresden and Max Plank institute Dresden to work as scientist. I performed my doctoral thesis in a joint project at Lausitz University of Applied Sciences and Charité. There, I focused upon studying cardiomyocyte gene expression and developed novel assay platforms for the detection and quantification of proteins and nucleic acids. After my doctoral thesis in medical sciences I took up a position as group leader at Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus – Senftenberg. There, I intensified my interest in the development of diagnostic tools for human diseases and applied statistical bioinformatics. My research deals with methods, like multiplex real-time quantitative PCR, microbead-based technologies, digital PCR, isothermal amplification, microfluidics, digital image analysis as well as methodologies based on proteins in the field of autoimmune diagnostics. My research interest in applied statistical bioinformatics mainly encompass exploiting amplification curve, melting curve data and digital PCR data. I am a developer of several software packages (chipPCR, MBmca, dpcR, RDML) of the statistical computing language R to support reproducible research and open data exchange.

Anders Ståhlberg, Associate Professor, Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Anders Ståhlberg, Associate Professor, is working as principal investigator at the Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Anders primary research interest is to understand molecular mechanisms in tumor initiation, tumor development and stem cell differentiation. The research is focused on breast cancer and sarcomas. He has developed several strategies for gene expression profiling and rare molecule analysis, especially at the single-cell level and for liquid biopsies. Anders is also a co-founder of TATAA Biocenter.

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

A.R. Thierry is Director of Research at the INSERM in the Institute of Research of Cancerology of Montpellier, France. His research interest focuses on the study of the diagnostic capacity of circulating DNA and the development of methods towards supporting personalised medicine. A.R. Thierry has coordinated a prospective blinded multicentric studies showing the first clinical validation and demonstration of clinical utility of the plasma DNA analysis in oncology, by detecting point mutations in KRAS and BRAF from colorectal patients. He is one of the world leaders in the clinical application of the analysis of circulating DNA and now he is directing various studies on prognosis, cancer patient follow up and cancer screening. He is the principal founder of DiaDx, a Biotech company devoted to liquid biopsy solutions in oncology.

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

Jörg Tost received his PhD in genetics from the University of Saarbrücken (Germany) in 2004 devising novel methods for the analysis of haplotypes and DNA methylation patterns. After a postdoctoral stay in the technology development department of the Centre National de Génotypage (CNG, Evry, France), he led the Epigenetics groups from 2006-2012, before becoming Director of Laboratory for Epigenetics and Environment at the Centre National de Génotypage (part of the CEA-Institut de Génomique). The laboratory is involved in the development and application of technologies to analyse DNA methylation, miRNAs and other epigenetic modifications quantitatively at high resolution at target loci and genome-wide using state-of-the-art sequencing technologies as well as the development of bioinformatic tools for the processing of such data. A second research axis investigates novel technologies for the analysis of mutations of clinical relevance present at very low proportions in the analyzed samples and their impact on treatment management. Jörg Tost is author or co-author of more than 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”.

Joris Vermeesch, Ph.D.Ir, Professor, Human Genetics, Laboratory of Cytogenetics and Genome Research, KU Leuven, Belgium

Joris R. Vermeesch, Ph.D. Ir, is professor Molecular Cytogenetics and genome research at the University of Leuven, is faculty member of the European Genetics foundation, is heading the Constitutional Cytogenetics unit of the Center of Human Genetics, Leuven, Belgium and coordinating the genomic core at the University Hospital. Before taking up his current position, he was head of the genomics unit in the basic research division of Aventis CropScience and responsible for large scale genome analyses in several crops.