Speakers

 
Confirmed Speakers:

GRACIELA ANDREI holds a PhD in Biological Sciences from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, where she received a fellowship from the National Research Council (1984-1989). She undertook a post-doctoral training on antiviral chemotherapy under Prof. Eric De Clercq with focus on herpesviruses, at the Rega Institute and was recipient of a KU Leuven fellowship (1989-1996). In 1997, she performed a visiting research training at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Alabama at Birmingham and was appointed associate researcher at the Rega Institute (1997-2005). In 2005, with her appointment as assistant professor at the Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven in Belgium, she directed her research interest on chemotherapy of viral diseases, with emphasis on different herpes-, pox-, polyoma- and papillomaviruses. In 2008, she was promoted to Associate Professor and her research is currently directed to the investigation of the molecular mechanism of action of antiviral drug resistance and pathogenicity of viral mutants, competitive fitness of drug-resistant viruses, three-dimensional culture models for the study of viral pathogenicity and  antivirals efficacy (including SARS-CoV-2), the development of novel strategies to target cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment, and the molecular mechanism of action of the anticancer activity of nucleotide analogues. In 2009, she participated to the setup of the translational research platform RegaVir for typing drug resistance among DNA viruses.

She has (co)authored more than 350 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and 6 book chapters. She has been a member of the International Society for Antiviral Research since 1989 and has served as Secretary during 2012-2019 and as member of several committees. She is part of the editorial board of Antiviral Research, Archives of Virology, Viruses, PLoS One, is main editor of the ‘Antivirals and Vaccines’ section within Frontiers in Virology and serve as reviewer for various journals.


BEN BERKHOUT studied molecular biology at the Leiden University in the Netherlands and obtained his PhD in 1986 on a research project concerning the regulation of gene expression in RNA bacteriophages, in particular translational control by means of RNA structure. He performed postdoctoral research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute of the Harvard Medical School in the field of molecular immunology and initiated HIV-1 research at the NIH in Bethesda. BB initiated a molecular virology research line in 1991 upon his return to the Netherlands and has been at the University of Amsterdam since then. He became Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Virology and was appointed Professor of Human Retrovirology. BB is editor for several journals (Retrovirology,  RNA Biology, Journal of Biomedical Science) and associate editor for many more (NAR, JVI, JGV, JBC etc.). BB is editor-in-chief of Virus Research and editor for several journals. He supervised 49 PhD students and published over 580 manuscripts on HIV-1 replication, virus evolution, virus discovery and new antiviral therapeutic strategies.He received the Retrovirology Prize 2008 for his pioneering research on the structure and function of the HIV-1 RNA genome


Andrea Brancale is Chair of Medicinal Chemistry at University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague, and Honorary Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cardiff University. He received an undergraduate degree in Chimica e Tecnologia Farmaceutiche from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” in 1996.  In 2001 he was awarded a PhD from the Cardiff University for a thesis on a new group of nucleosides with anti-VZV activity. From February 2001 to September 2002 he undertook post-doctoral research in Professor Chris McGuigan’s group, working on an antiviral project sponsored by GSK. As a Lecturer, he has focused his research on molecular modelling and computer-aided design, with an emphasis on the development of novel anticancer and antiviral compounds. He has authored more than 190 peer-reviewed articles (WoS H-index: 39; Scopus H-Index: 41; Google Scholar H-Index: 45) he is an inventor on 11 patents. He received in 2013 the William Prusoff Young Investigator award for his contribution to antiviral research. Prof. Brancale has been involved in several projects that have moved from basic medicinal chemistry to the clinical evaluation stages. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory board of Synergy Pharmaceuticals (a Nasdaq listed biotech company that developed novel drugs for GI diseases) and he was one of the Scientific Founders of Tiziana Life Sciences (AIM:TISL). He is the co-founder and a director of Ceridwen Oncology Ltd., a company focused on the development of a therapy for a rare cancer. In July 2106 was appointed Scientific Director of the Life Sciences Research Network Wales (http://www.lsrnw.ac.uk).


Albrecht von BrunnAlbrecht von Brunn is project and group leader at the Max-von-Pettenkofer-Institute, LMU, research on protein-protein interactions, broad-spectrum antivirals and pre-pandemic preparedness regarding corona and other viruses including SARS-CoV/(-1), MERS-CoV.  He was Postdoc at Max-von-Pettenkofer-Institute of the Ludwig-Maximilans-Universität München (LMU), research on Virus-like Particles and HIV vaccines, molecular diagnostics). He did Doctoral studies at the Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH; Prof. Hermann Bujard): Doctoral degree (Dr. rer. nat.) at the Biology Department, Universität Heidelberg/(Young Investigator Award of the Society for the Promotion of Molecular Biology Heidelberg) He did Graduate Studies in the “Embryology Course” at the “Marine Biological Laboratory”, Woods Hole, MA, USA (Walter E. Garrey Scholarship. He did Graduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin (Zoology Department; Prof. Klaus Kalthoff: Master of Arts in Zoology/ Scholarship and Research Assistant) He did Undergraduate studies in Biology at the Albert- Ludwigs-Univerity Freiburg (Vordiplom)

His research is focused on several topics: From intra-viral and virus-host protein-protein interactions to broad-spectrum antivirals (of Coronaviruses), From genome to orfeome to intraviral and virus-host interactome; Involvement of immunophilins in CoV replication; Influence of tumor suppressor protein p53 on coronavirus replication;Characterizing different protein-protein interactions of viral and cellular counterparts and inhibition;Investigating non-immunosuppressive antiviral drugs.


Reuben Harris is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and chair of the Biochemistry and Structural Biology department at University of Texas Health San Antonio. 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. In 2022, Dr. Harris moved his laboratory to University of Texas Health San Antonio. 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 ChemistryJournal of Virology, and Cancer Research. He has published over 200 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. 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 APOBEC3 enzymes 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. These breakthroughs have created new opportunities for cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment by targeting tumor evolvability.


Branka Horvat, is INSERM Research Director and Head of the “Immunobiology of Viral Infections” team at the International Centre for Infectiology Research (CIRI) (http://ciri.inserm.fr/) in Lyon, France. She received MD degree at Belgrade University and performed her doctoral studies at Yale University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in New Haven, USA and postdoctoral research at CIML in Marseille, France. She had worked from 1994 as Associate Professor at the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon. From 2006, she is full time researcher in major French medical research Institute INSERM, where she currently directs her research group. Research projects of her team aim understanding the immunopathogenesis of Nipah and measles virus infection and particularly the early stages of activation of the innate immune response and development of novel antiviral approaches. She is also interested in the analysis of the mechanism of the neuroinflammation caused by human herpesvirus 6 and activation of the human endogenous retroviruses, particularly HERV-W. Following the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2, she has initiated projects aiming the understanding the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19 and the development of novel preventive and therapeutic approaches. Her work has led to major advances in this area, including the development of different animal models of viral infection, understanding the viral pathogenesis and establishment of novel antiviral approaches. She is involved in the teaching Lyon University and has been actively implicated in the training and supervision of numerous students and postdoctoral fellows. In 2021 she received the French award “Legion of honor” for the scientific achievment.  She is co-inventor of 5 patents and has published 95 papers in international journals (ResearcherID: www.researcherid.com/rid/M-3504-2014, orcid.org / 0000-0003-0578-7765). MD PhD (CV: http://cvscience.aviesan.fr/cv/1422/branka-horvat)


Chris Meier, born 1962 in Berlin, Germany, received a diploma and a doctorate (Ph.D.) in Chemistry from the University of Marburg, Germany. In his Ph.D. thesis he worked on the synthesis of ultimate carcinogens formed by metabolic steps from aromatic amines and which are involved in the induction of the chemical carcinogenesis in the group of Prof. Gernot Boche. He joined the Organic Chemistry Division at the Pasteur-Institute in Paris, France headed by Prof. Jean Igolen and Prof. Tam Huynh-Dinh as a Post-Doc and started working on nucleoside chemistry and prodrugs as antivirally active compounds. He returned to Germany joining the University of Frankfurt/Main in 1991 as an Assistant Professor under the mentorship of Prof. Joachim Engels. In 1996 he obtained the Habilitation in Organic Chemistry from the University of Frankfurt/Main, Germany. He was appointed as Associate Professor at the University of Würzburg, Germany and then in 1999 he joined University of Hamburg, Germany as a full professor for Organic Chemistry. He was president of the International Society on Nucleoside, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids (IS3NA), board member of the International Society of Antiviral Research (ISAR) and is currently one of the Deputy Scientific Directors of the Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) in Hamburg. He received the William Prusoff Young Investigator Award in 2007 and the Antonin Holy-Award for outstanding research in Medicinal Chemistry in 2018 from the (ISAR). He was an invited guest professor and visiting professor at the Universities of Montpellier II and Toulouse, France and Shanghai, China. He is the deputy spokesman of a collaborative research center funded by the german research foundation. His research focuses on antiviral drug discovery, pronucleotide development, structure-based drug design of antivirals against emerging viruses, carbohydrate chemistry, phosphorylation methods in nucleoside chemistry and the synthesis of membrane-permeable and photocaged adenine second messengers. He has published more than 280 publications and is the inventor of 12 patents.


Jean B. Nachega, MD, PhD, MPH, FRCP, FAAS is a tenured Associate Professor of Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Epidemiology, at Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA; also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA; as well as Professor Extraordinary of Medicine at Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Cape Town, South Africa. He has over 30 year-experience in patient care, teaching, designing, and implementing HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis studies or programs funded by NIH/NIAID, NIH/FIC, Wellcome Trust, PEPFAR, and EDCTP. He authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications including in top-tier journals such as The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Clinical Infectious Diseases and Annals of Internal Medicine. He is an ad hoc consultant at WHO, CDC, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, member-elect of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa (ASSAf) and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).

Institutional Webpages:
*University of Pittsburgh: https://www.publichealth.pitt.edu/home/directory/jean-b-nachega

*Johns Hopkins University: https://www.jhsph.edu/faculty/directory/profile/808/jean-b-nachega ORCID: 0000-0002-2862-4443


Johan Neyts (°1966, Belgium) is since 2008 full professor at KU Leuven. He teaches virology at the medical school and the school of dentistry. He published ~600 papers in peer reviewed journals of which many of high impact [H-index: 70 (WoS) and H-index 91 (Google Scholar)]. He gave ~290 invited lectures and many (~700) interviews to lay-press (in particular during the pandemic). His lab has a long-standing expertise in the development of antivirals strategies and drugs against emerging and neglected viral infections such flaviviruses (e.g. dengue), coronaviruses (e.g. SARS-CoV2), alphaviruses (e.g. Chikungunya), enteroviruses (e.g. EV71), noroviruses, HEV and rabies and others.  He is intensively involved in the search for antiviral strategies against SARS-CoV2.  A second focus of the lab is the development of a novel vaccine technology platform technology based on the yellow fever vaccine virus as a vector. Using this approach his team developed a highly potent SARS-CoV2 vaccine candidate that protects also against yellow fever, as well as vaccine candidates against rabies, Ebola and Zika. His team also developed the PLLAV (Plasmid Launched Live Attenuated Virus) platform technology which allows to rapidly engineer highly thermostable vaccines against multiple viral pathogens. Five classes of antivirals discovered in his laboratory, this together among others with the KU Leuven Centre for Drug Design (www.cd3.be) and with the Korean Research Institute for Chemical Technology (KRICT, www.krict.re.kr/eng) and  have been licensed to major pharmaceutical companies (against HCV, dengue, enteroviruses and RSV). Johan is past-president of the International Society for Antiviral Research (www.isar-icar.com) and has been recognized with various awards such as (twice) the Princess Joséphine-Charlotte Prize from the Belgian/Flemish Fund for Scientific Research; the Schamelhout-Koettlitz Prize from the Royal Belgian Academy of Medicine, the William Prusoff Memorial Award from the International Society for Antiviral Research, the McGuigan Award for Distinguished Work in Drug Discovery from the  University of Cardiff, UK and the Career Award for Science Communication from the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and Arts (2022).www.antivirals.be; www.twitter.com/neyts_johan ORCID  0000-0002-0033-7514 –  Researcher ID :  U-8267-2017


Massimo Palmarini is the Director of the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research and Chair of Virology at the University of Glasgow. A veterinarian by training, his research programmes have spanned diverse areas including animal retroviruses, the biology, evolution and pathogenesis of arboviruses and the mechanisms of virus cross-species transmission. His work is funded by the MRC and the Wellcome Trust. Massimo Palmarini has been elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Royal Society of Biology and he was a Wolfson-Royal Society Research Merit Awardee.  He is a Wellcome Trust Investigator and received an OBE for services to Public Health in 2021.


Stephan Pöhlmann, PhD, is full Professor and Head of Infection Biology Unit, Infection Biology Unit, German Primate Center – Leibniz Institute for Primate Research, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany He graduated in Biology, University Erlangen-Nürnberg. He acquired his Ph.D. in 2000 thesis at the Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology, University Erlangen-Nürnberg . Form 2000 to 2003 was Postdoctoral fellow at University of Pennsylvania, USA. From 2003 to  2007   Head of a DFG junior research group within SFB 466, University Erlangen-Nürnberg. Form 2007 to 2010 was Professorat Institute of Virology, Hannover Medical School, His research focus on host cell interactions of emerging viruses; proteolytic activation of viral glycoproteins; Restriction factors; Non-human primate models for viral infections


Dr. PATRICK REID  received his PhD in microbiology from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan, NY in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Basler.  His worked focused on the Interferon antagonist proteins encoded by Ebola virus (EBOV), VP35 and VP24.  Dr. Reid elucidated the way VP24 impairs the host innate immune response to infection to support EBOV replication.  Dr. Reid continued his work on EBOV, including BSL4 work on live virus.  Recently, he has expanded his studies to include emerging arboviruses, including chikungunya virus (CHIKV).  Ongoing projects in the Reid lab include, 1) design and use of a 3D-vascualrized bone model to study CHIKV-induced bone pathology. 2) Elucidating the role of mesenchymal stem cells in chronic CHIKV infection, 3) Identifying novel functions of the EBOV nucleoprotein and 4) Elucidating the impact of post-translation modification/s of EBOV VP35 function.


Kathie Seley-Radtke

Kathie Seley-Radtke is a Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), UMBC’s Presidential Research Professor, and the University of Maryland’s Regents Professor for Research. In 2016 she was also named Maryland Chemist of the Year by the American Chemical Society. Her research involves using a medicinal chemistry approach to nucleoside/tide and heterocyclic drug discovery and development. Current projects include targeting Ebola, MERS-CoV, Dengue, Zika and Yellow Fever viruses, among other emerging and reemerging infectious diseases using her nucleos(t)ide “fleximers”. Kathie has given over 120 invited talks worldwide in 26 countries, published 90+ scientific articles and book chapters, and has organized a number of international conferences focused on nucleosides and medicinal chemistry.  Related to this, for many years Kathie has been one of the driving forces behind the International Society for Nucleosides, Nucleotides & Nucleic Acids (IS3NA). She has served as President and is the current Secretary, having served in this capacity previously prior to being elected President. Kathie also served two consecutive terms on the Board of Directions for the International Society for Antiviral Research (ISAR), and was just elected as President-Elect of ISAR. Kathie is also the Co-Chair of the 2021 Gordon Research Conference on Nucleosides, Nucleotides & Oligonucleotides. Some of her other service contributions include her continuing role as one of the U.S. National Academies of Science’s Jefferson Science Fellows with the U.S. Dept. of State and the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia. For the past 20 years, Kathie has served on numerous NIH and other funding agency review panels, including as Chair/Alternate Chair. Kathie also serves as an Associate Editor for several journals. Most notably, Kathie has been heavily involved in mentoring junior colleagues, and as part of this, when she was President of IS3NA, she initiated the Chu Family Foundation Fellowships for Early Career Women for both IS3NA and ISAR, and she continues to Chair that important committee for both Societies. Most recently, Kathie was awarded the 2020 ISAR Antonín Holy Memorial Award for her outstanding accomplishments and demonstrated service to the antiviral and medicinal chemistry field.


VINCENZO SUMMA is a full professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Naples Federico II since 2019. He earned a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Rome La Sapienza in 1991, in 1996 obtained his PhD in Organic Chemistry at Bergische Universität Wuppertal. He became Research Fellow at Merck from March 1996 to August 2001. He was promoted to Senior Research Fellow (September 2001), Senior Investigator Merck (November 2005) and Director in the medicinal chemistry department from November 2007 to October 2009. From June 2010 he is Associate Researcher CNR-ITB National Research Council – Institute for Biomedical Technologies and he has been Member of the Board of Directors at CNCCS Consortium (IRBM SP – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto Superiore di Sanità) from 2013 to 2019.

Vincenzo Summa led the chemistry team that discovered Isentress ™, approved for the treatment of HIV / AIDS patients, and Grazoprevir, which was approved by the FDA for the treatment of Hepatitis C. The anti-HIV Isentress was awarded the USA and Italy Galien Prize in 2008 as the best pharmaceutical agent. Prof. Summa was awarded two times as Heroes of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society: in 2013 for the discovery of Isentress and in 2017 for the discovery of Grazoprevir. He has also been heavily involved in several other antiviral drug discovery projects aimed at treating HIV infection or treating HCV, and, most recently in the EU-granted project EXSCALATE4CoV, a 2020 tender for projects to counter the Coronavirus pandemic and improve the management and care of patients (https://www.exscalate4cov.eu/). He is the author of more than 89 research papers and the inventor of 48 patents, most of them on antivirals.

Enzo Tramontano holds a degree (1990)from the University of Cagliari (Italy), he was Visiting Research Scientist at the Dept. of Pharmacology at Yale University Medical School (CT, USA, 1990-1992 and 1996-1998). He was given two awards granted by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità for “Research in the HIV field: AIDS Project”, for research activities performed in national (1993-1995) and international (1996-1998) institutions. Since 1998 he has worked at the Departments of Experimental Biology (1998-2003), Biomedical Sciences and Technologies (2003-2007), Applied Sciences in Biosystems (2007-2010) and Life and Environmental Sciences (2011-2016) at the University of Cagliari, being appointed as Research Associate (1998), Assistant Professor (2001), Associate Professor (2006) and Full Professor (2015). From 2015 he is also associated to the Institute of Genetic and Biomedical Research of the National Research Council (CNR) in Cagliari. Since 2006 he is head of the Molecular Virology laboratory of the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences of the University of Cagliari. From 2012 to 2015 he has been Vice-Director of the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, from 2013 is Director of the PhD program in “Life, Environmental and Drug Sciences” and from 2015 he is Dean of the Faculty of Biology and Pharmacy of the University of Cagliari. He is founder member of the European Society of Virology, the International Society for Antiviral Research (for which he is Ambassador for Italy), the Italian Society of Virology and the Italian Society of General Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnologies (for which is currently member of the Executive Council).


Priscilla Yang earned her PhD in Bio-organic Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Following postdoctoral training in viral immunology at Scripps Research, she started her independent career at Harvard Medical School, building a research group that combines chemical and pharmacological approaches to address fundamental and translational problems in virology. She is currently Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Stanford University School of Medicine. She leads and mentors a multidisciplinary group of scientists focused on discovery and validation of new antiviral targets; development of new strategies to achieve broad-spectrum activity and to avoid antiviral resistance; and investigating the function of lipid membranes in RNA virus replication. Her group has pioneered the development of small molecule-based degraders as antivirals. She is a strong advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in science and is proud to have been the recipient of the inaugural International Society for Antiviral Research (ISAR) Women in Science Award and the ISAR William Prusoff Memorial Award in 2022.

 

 

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