Speakers

 

5th IAAASS 2020 CONFIRMED SPEAKERS

GRACIELA 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.

ANDREA BRANCALE is a Professor in Medicinal Chemistry at Cardiff University. He undertook his PhD and postdoctoral work in synthetic medicinal chemistry under Professor Chris McGuigan, focusing on the design and synthesis of novel nucleosides and nucleotides as potential anticancer and antiviral drugs. With his appointment as lecturer in the Cardiff School of  Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences he strategically directed his research interests on the use of computer-aided techniques to design and discover novel anti-viral and anti-cancer compounds. In 2017, he was promoted to Professor and he continued to establish his reputation as an internationally recognised drug design expert in the antiviral and anticancer field. He is author on more than 130 peer-review papers and actively collaborates with several academic groups in the UK and the rest of the world. His focus to drug discovery and development emerges also from his strong connection with the private sector. He was a scientific consultant for the NASDAQ listed biotech Synergy Pharmaceuticals and for the NASDAQ listed biotech Inhibitex. He is an elected Board member of the International Society for Antiviral Research. In 2013, he was presented with the Young Researcher William Prusoff Award for his contribution to the antiviral field. Currently, he is also the Editor-in-Chief of Antiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy

JOSE ESTE is a Senior Researcher and Head of the HIV Pathogenesis Laboratory of the AIDS Research Institute-IrsiCaixa, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol in Badalona (Barcelona), Spain. 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 in Medical Science from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Jose’s research interests include virus-cell interactions, HIV entry, antiviral drug-resistance, antiviral drug design and evaluation. His group also provides support to clinical trials in the HIV Unit of Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol. José Esté is the president of the International Society for Antiviral Research (ISAR), he is an editor for Antiviral Research and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. José Esté has coauthored over 160 peer-reviewed publications and review articles and serves in different Spanish and international review boards and evaluation committees.

REUBEN HARRIS Dr. Harris is a Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, the Associate Director of the Institute for Molecular Virology, and a Member of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota. He received his B.S. (1993) and Ph.D. (1997) degrees from the University of Alberta and performed postdoctoral work at Baylor College of Medicine (1997-1998), Yale University (1998), and Cambridge University (1998-2003). He joined the University of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor in 2003 and was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 2008 and to Full Professor in 2013. Dr. Harris has received numerous grants and awards, including a Searle Scholarship, membership to the American Academy of Microbiology, and a Distinguished McKnight University Professorship. In 2015, he was also appointed as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Dr. Harris is an Associate Editor for Science Advances and an Editorial Board Member for Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Virology, and Cancer Research. He has published over 160 manuscripts, contributed to 13 patent applications, and co-founded a cancer therapeutics company. Dr. Harris’s scientific passion is elucidating mechanisms of mutation and establishing relevance to human biology and disease. As a doctoral student, he discovered a novel recombination-dependent mutation process operative in stationary-phase bacteria with implications for antibiotic resistance and microbial evolution. As a postdoctoral fellow, he helped solve an immunology Rosetta stone by discovering the DNA cytosine deaminase activity of AID and proposing a DNA deamination model for antibody gene diversification. Also as a postdoctoral fellow, he discovered the DNA cytosine deaminase activity of several APOBEC family members and, during the transition to faculty, elucidated a new mechanism of antiviral immunity by demonstrating APOBEC3G-catalyzed retroviral cDNA hypermutation. As a Principal Investigator, Dr. Harris has become known for his work on APOBEC enzymes in antiviral immunity, including discovering multiple APOBEC3s in HIV-1 restriction, demonstrating the mechanism by which HIV-1 Vif degrades APOBEC3 proteins, and elucidating the first structures of APOBEC-ssDNA and APOBEC-RNA complexes. This body of work has shed light on fundamental mechanisms of antiviral immunity and yielded new strategies for drug development. In recent years, Dr. Harris’s virology studies have also enabled a major breakthrough in cancer research. His group found that APOBEC3B and APOBEC3H are responsible for a large proportion of mutations in breast, head/neck, lung, bladder, cervical, and other cancers. Independent work has confirmed these results and indicated that “APOBEC mutagenesis” far exceeds most other sources of mutations in cancer, including those attributable to smoking and UV rays. This breakthrough has created new opportunities for cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment by targeting tumor evolvability. Please see http://harris.cbs.umn.edu for more information on Dr. Harris’s research program.

STUART 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.

VINCENZO 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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