Speakers

 

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS

Stefano AlcaroSTEFANO ALCARO (*1966) obtained his doctoral degree in Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy and Toxicology at the Università La Sapienza di Roma. After his PhD he continued with a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Computional Chemistry of the Department of Chemistry at the Columbia University, New York (Prof. W. Clark Still team). On 1996 he has got his first permanent position as Medicinal Chemistry researcher at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Università Magna Græcia of Catanzaro. From 2002 to 2011 he was Associate Professor in the same scientific sector (CHIM/08) at the University of Catanzaro. From 2011 he is Full Professor in the same academic institution. His main teaching course at the Università Magna Græcia of Catanzaro is Medicinal Chemistry and Toxicology I.
Stefano Alcaro is co-author of about 100 original publications on peer reviewed international journals, 4 books chapters, 2 international diffused volumes and over 100 national and international communications. His research interests are related to drug design and hit identification of bioactive compounds by means of computational methods especially in the fields of anticancer and antiviral therapies.

highlighted-article-november-12064515GRACIELA ANDREI holds a PhD in Biological Sciences and is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. At the Rega Institute for Medical Research, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, she carries out her research work that is mainly focused on chemotherapy of viral diseases, with emphasis on herpesviruses (cytomegalovirus, varicella-zoster virus and herpes simplex), poxviruses (vaccinia, cowpox, orf), polyomaviruses and papillomaviruses, and the study of the molecular mechanisms underlying the antiviral drug resistance phenomenon and anticancer activity of nucleotide analogues. Dr. G. Andrei has authored approximately 30 and co-authored approximately 260 papers in international peer-reviewed journals between 1983 and 2011. She has also (co)authored 6 book chapters and 10 proceedings articles and about 260 published abstracts between 1983 and 2011.

MAURIZIO BOTTA graduated with honors in chemistry at the University of Rome in 1974. After his military service he returned to work at the Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Rome with the title of Fellow , under the guidance of Prof. R. Nicoletti . In 1977 he started at the University of New Brunswick (Canada) , a period of research under the guidance of Prof. K. Wiesner , earning his PhD in November 1979 . Since December 1979 resumed scientific and educational cooperation with Prof. R. Nicoletti at the University of Rome becoming a researcher . Winner of a bag NATO in 1985, he traveled for a year in laboratories of Prof. S. Hanessian of the ‘ University of Montreal (Canada) , as invited researcher .In October 1987 as an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry , he has held the chair of Analysis Pharmaceutical Chemistry III of the Degree Course in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology of Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Siena and Bioorganic Chemistry for substitution at the Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences. In the periods July-September 1987 – July September 1988 and from November to January 1989 he was Invited Professor at the University of Montreal (Canada). Since 2000 he is Full Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Siena and holds the task of teaching Complements of Medicinal Chemistry and Synthesis and Design of Drugs for the Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Chemistry , University of Siena. In years 2002-2008 he held the position of Director of the Department of Drug Chemistry and Technology University of Siena. Prof. Botta was a member of the Board of the Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry Society Italian Chemical from 1998 to 2004 , Director of the School ‘s annual ” Laboratory Methods Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry ” organizer of the workshop ” European Workshop on Drug  Design ” , now in its seventh edition and ‘ ” European Workshop in Drug Synthesis ” , at the University of Siena and he  is also a member of ‘ editorial board of scientific journals such as ” ChemMedChem ” , “Current Pharmaceutical Design” and ” Journal of Medicinal Chemistry ” . Since January 2008 he is Adjunct Professor at Temple University ‘s College of Science and Technology in Philadelphia (USA). The research group of Prof. Botta, currently consists of about 30 young people between undergraduates , graduate students,research grant and a single researcher , is active in the synthesis and structure determination of biologically active natural products , organic synthesis and testing of potential agents anti-viral and anti-cancer , anti-tuberculosis and synthesis of antifungal compounds . The techniques used to these studies can be summarized in conventional techniques for organic synthesis , synthesis techniques for small molecules in the solid phase , the use of enzymes , microwaves , and parallel synthesis, also  molecular modeling techniques , such as docking , molecular dynamics , QSAR and 3D QSAR Virtual screening , generation of virtual libraries are used for the discovery and optimization of potential drugs . Recently, next to the chemical synthesis and Computational has also added the analytical chemistry for the determination of parameters Pharmacokinetic necessary for the optimization of pharmacologically active molecules . The scientific production of Professor Botta is summed up in about 460 publications in journals International , 15 patents and more than 150 conference papers .

brayMIKE BRAY has had a nearly 30-year career in virology and antiviral drug development. After training in medicine and pathology and working as a forensic pathologist, he began research on dengue virus at the National Institutes of Health in 1986. In 1995, he transferred to the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, where he studied hemorrhagic fever virus and poxvirus infections in laboratory animals and assessed new drugs and vaccines. In 2002, he returned to the NIH, where he is a medical officer in the Division of Clinical Research, NIAID. He served as the reviews editor of Antiviral Research from 2007-11, and became editor-in-chief in January, 2012

 CamarasaMARIA JOSÉ CAMARASA  obtained her PhD In Chemistry by the Universidad Complutense of Madrid. She was Head of the Chemotherapy Department of IQM-CSIC; Vice-Director of Medicinal Chemistry Institute (IQM-CSIC); President of the Spanish Society of Medicinal Chemistry (SEQT) (2004-2007); member of the executive board of the Chemistry Area of ANEP (2005-2008), coordinator of Medicinal Chemistry. She is actually Research Professor (Full professor) at the Medicinal Chemistry Institute of CSIC (IQM-CSIC), Madrid, Spain; co-coordinator of the Chemical Science and Technologies area of the CSIC; Head the of nucleosides and analogues group and Member of the executive board of International Society for Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids (IS3Na). She was awarded in 2001 with the prestigious René Descartes-Prize of the European Commission. Her research interests are the Medicinal Chemistry, drug-design and discovery, antivirals, anticancer, antiinfectives, pro-drugs, organic chemistry, carbohydrates, nucleosi(ti)des, peptides.

Josè EstéJOSE ESTE is a Senior Researcher of the AIDS Research Institute-IrsiCaixa, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol in Badalona (Barcelona), Spain and Head of the HIV Pathogenesis Laboratory. He received a BSc. degree in Biology from University of Western Ontario, a Masters degree in Biochemistry from the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research and a PhD degree from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. In 1997 he moved to his current post where he is leading his research group. Jose’s research interests include virus-cell interactions, HIV entry, antiviral drug-resistance and antiviral drug design and evaluation. José Esté has coauthored over 160 peer-reviewed publications and review articles and serves in different Spanish and international review boards and evaluation committees. He is the President of the International Society for Antiviral Research and editor of Antiviral Research.

HarrisREUBEN HARRIS is a Professor in the Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics department, an Associate Director of the Institute of Molecular Virology, and a Member of the Masonic Cancer Center. He received his B.S. (1993) and Ph.D. (1997) degrees from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He performed postdoctoral work at the Baylor College of Medicine (1997-8), at Yale University (1998), and at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (1998-2003). He joined the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor in the summer of 2003, became a tenured Associate Professor in 2008, and was promoted to Full Professor in 2013. As a Postdoctoral Fellow in Cambridge working with Dr. Michael Neuberger, Dr. Harris discovered a family of cellular enzymes that catalyze the conversion of the DNA base cytosine into the RNA base uracil. One member of this family is essential for generating antibody diversity (adaptive immunity) and several combine to provide protection from a wide variety of parasitic elements such as HIV (innate immunity). At least one member also becomes dyregulated in multiple human cancers and provides a major source of mutations. Dr. Harris has done pioneering studies in all of these important areas, thus far publishing over 100 manuscripts, filing 10 patents, and co-founding a company. He continues to run an academic research laboratory with multiple projects focused on the roles of these enzymes in immunity and carcinogenesis.

RobJordan_SmallROBERT JORDAN is Director of Biology at Gilead Sciences, Inc. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Johns Hopkins University and completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University with Priscilla Schaffer studying herpesviruses. Prior to joining Gilead, Robert worked as an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania and then at Thomas Jefferson University before moving to industry, first at Viropharma Inc, and then Siga Technologies, where he co-discovered and developed Tecovirimat (ST-246), a novel, clinical stage, orthopoxvirus (smallpox) egress inhibitor, that was purchased by the U.S. government for inclusion in the strategic national stockpile. Since joining Gilead in 2011, Robert’s research has focused on discovery and development of antiviral compounds for treatment of acute virus infections that include respiratory viruses and emerging viruses. Robert has contributed to the development of Presatovir (GS-5806) that is in phase 2 clinical development for treatment of RSV infection and GS-5734, a clinical stage compound for treatment of ebolavirus disease.

Le griceSTUART LE GRICE received his Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry, University of Manchester, UK, in 1976, where he studied the mechanisms of R-factor-mediated multidrug resistance in Escherichia coli. After postdoctoral training in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States, he was appointed Senior Scientist in the Central Research Units of Hoffmann La Roche, Basel, Switzerland, where he worked from 1984 to 1990 evaluating HIV-1 and HIV-2 enzymes as therapeutic targets. In 1990, he joined the faculty in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Cleveland, OH. Initially recruited as an Associate Professor of Medicine, he was awarded tenure in 1992, and in 1995 was promoted to Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry, and Oncology. From 1994 to 1999, he served as Director of the NIH-funded CWRU Center for AIDS Research. Dr. Le Grice joined the National Cancer Institute in 1999 as Chief of the Resistance Mechanisms Laboratory in the HIV Drug Resistance Program, Center for Cancer Research (CCR), and in 2005 was appointed to the Senior Biomedical Research Service. In 2006, he was appointed Head of the Center of Excellence in HIV/AIDS & Cancer Virology, CCR. He is a member of the CCR HIV and Cancer Virology faculty, Chemistry and Biology faculty, and the Steering Committee of the Molecular Targets Discovery Program. In addition to serving on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Dr. Le Grice has been an ad hoc (1990-1999) and permanent Study Section member of NIH AIDS review panels (2000-2004), as well as an ad hoc reviewer for several international funding agencies.

MertensTHOMAS MERTENS studied Chemistry in Bonn and Medicine in Cologne (1968-1976). He obtained the MD Thesis (Dr. med.) on 1976 and his Habilitation on 1984. Thomas Mertens was medical assistant, training in internal medicine and surgery (1976–1977); he continued with a research fellowship for the postdoctoral training in immunology, virology and diagnostics, Institute of Virology, University of Cologne (1977–1985). In 1983 he reached the Board Certification in Microbiology and Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases. In 1985 he became Professor (C2) at the Institute of Virology, University of Cologne, from 1991 to 1998 he was Professor (C3), in the Dept. of Virology, Ulm University. He was Temporary Director of the Dept. Medical Hygiene, Ulm University Hospital from 1991 to 1992; and Dean of Studies at the Medical Faculty, Ulm University from 2003 to 2006. Since 1998 he is the Director of the Institute of Virology at the Ulm University Hospital. His research focuses: mechanisms of resistance of antiviral substances towards herpes viruses; the analysis of the biological function of the viral gene UL97; new targets for antiviral interference against human cytomegalovirus (HCMV); molecular mechanisms and functional relevance of host-cell genes modulation by HCMV; viral tegument proteins and Morphogenesis of HCMV; new organ culture model for analysis of HCMV infection; the characterization and function of G-protein coupled receptor homologs of HCMV; and the Clinical Virology.

imageGIORGIO PALÙ received his M.D. degree from the University of Padova (1973) and the Specialty diplomas in Oncology (1976) and General Pathology (1978) from the University of Pavia. He worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Associate at the Tumor Institute, Jules Bordet, Université Libre, Bruxelles (1975), the Chester Beatty Research Institute-Royal Marsden Hospital, Royal Cancer Institute, London University, UK (1976-79), the Department of Pharmacology, Yale University, New Haven, CT (1980).Assistant Professor in Microbiology, University of Parma (1980-82); Associate Professor in Virology, University of Padova (1983-1989); Visiting Professor, Department of Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics, Yale University, 1982,1984,1986; Division of Virology, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, UK, 1980,1985,1987; Division of Human Retrovirology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School (1990), Full Professor of Microbiology and Virology (since 1989), University of Padova. Director at the University of Padova: Institute of Microbiology (1991-1999); Department of Histology, Microbiology and Medical Biotechnologies, (1999-2002); Department of Molecular Medicine (since 2012); Head of the Padova GMP Cell-factory and of the Unit of Clinical Microbiology and Virology, Padova University Hospital (since 1996). Coordinator, PhD Course/School in Virology (since 1998) and in Biomedicine (since 2007); Member of the Board of the International PhD Programmes in Molecular Medicine, University of Ulm, Germany (since 2008), in Biomedicine and Translational Neurosciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA (since 2011); Adjunct Professor at the Medical School and at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Temple; Pro-Rector, University of Padova (2002-2004); Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Padova (2004-2011). GP has also served as a member of the scientific-technical Committee of the Italian Drug Agency (AIFA), of the directory Board of the Italian AIDS Commission, of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Rome) and of the Institute of Human Virology (Baltimore). Professor Palù is the running President of the European Society for Virology. Giorgio Palù has long-standing experience in the study of pathogenesis of viral infections and the design of viral and non-viral vectors for gene transfer, somatic gene therapy and vaccinology. He has made relevant contributions to the study of antimicrobial therapy and resistance and anticancer therapy with more than 400 publications and 10 patents. His basic research has provided a platform for finding new targets for antiviral therapy and new antivirals based on peptides and small molecules able to disrupt the interface of protein-protein interactions essential for viral replication.

Anna PapaANNA PAPA is Professor of Microbiology in the Dept. of Microbiology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Head of Hellenic Reference Centre for Arboviruses, Greece.She is the current President of the Hellenic Society of Virology, Secretary of the International Society for Hantaviruses, and member of the Editorial Board of Antiviral Research.Dr. Papa received her medical degree from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and has been specialized in Microbiology. In the 1985 became Biopathologist at the Hospital of IKA, Thessaloniki, Greece, and in 2002: Senior scientist at the Dept. of Microbiology, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (main field: hemorrhagic fevers) and at the National AIDS Reference Laboratory of Northern Greece;  From 2002-today she is Head of Molecular Diagnostics and Special Viral Pathogens lab.  and Head of the National Reference Centre for Arboviruses. In the 2002 she became  Assistant Professor and in 2008 Associate Professor. Her highly active scientific activity is done in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, USA, at the Special Pathogens Department, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases. Central Public Health Laboratory of London, UK. Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland. Robert-Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany. Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden Collaboration also with laboratories in Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Czech Republic.Dr. Papa has published 180 scientific articles, most of them on emerging infectious diseases. Her research focuses on the diagnostics, discovery of novel viral strains, immune response and molecular epidemiology of arboviruses, mainly West Nile virus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus and phleboviruses. She collaborates with several scientific groups in Europe and US, and is partner of several EU projects.

KJPurzyckaKATARZYNA PURZYCKA earned her Bachelor Degree in Chemistry from the Poznan University in Poland in 2004. In 2009 she was awarded her PhD in Biochemistry from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, where she studied HIV-2 RNA and its nucleoprotein complexes as potential therapeutic targets. She continued her studies on retroviral RNAs during her postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, USA. In 2012 she was appointed Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, where she is now head of the Retroelements’ Structure and Function Laboratory. DrPurzycka was a visiting professor at the University of Georgia, USA and she is a recipient of several awards, including MNiSW fellowship for outstanding young scientist. Her major scientific interests are RNA structural elements and transitions on both 2D and 3D structural levels that specify RNA functions at different stages of retrovirus and endogenous retrovirus-like retrotransposon replication.

SCHNEIDER JJOEL SCHNEIDER.As Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware, Joel Schneider was recruited in 2010 to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health to serve as Chief of the newly-established Chemical Biology Laboratory. He has developed an internationally recognized multidisciplinary Laboratory whose core mission is to discover and apply chemical methods, tools, and materials to define and manipulate biological processes that impact cancer and AIDS. He has also established a Chemical Synthesis program within the Center for Cancer Research to aid non-chemist investigators within the NCI in the preparation of molecular probes and potential therapeutics. In his independent research, Dr. Schneider is developing novel biomaterials for use in parenteral delivery of therapeutics, tissue regeneration, and antibacterial therapy. His work has produced over 85 publications, multiple patents and over 160 invited lectures. He also serves as scientific mentor to young scientists, having trained a cadre of Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows who have taken key positions in both industry and academia. Dr. Schneider also serves as Deputy Director of the Center for Cancer Research, NCI.

summaVINCENZO SUMMA  Head of Chemistry  IRBM Science Park spa from February 2010. IRBM Science Park is a research centre formally a spin-off of the Merck Research Laboratories locate in Rome. He graduated in  Chemistry at Università degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’ in 1991 and in 1996 obtained his Ph.D in Organich Chemistry at Bergische Universität Wuppertal. From 1992 to 1994  was researcher at University of Rome “La Sapienza” . He became Research Fellow Merck  from  March 1996 to  August 2001 . Here was promoted Senior Research Fellow (September 2001 );Senior Investigator Merck  (November 2005 ) and Director in the medicinal chemistry department  from November 2007to October 2009. From June 2010 is  Associate Researcher CNR-ITB National Research Council – Institute for Biomedical Technologies and from April 2013  Member of the Board of Directors at CNCCS Consortium (IRBM SP – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto Superiore di Sanità)

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