7th IAAASS Confirmed Speakers:

Graciela Andrei (Leuven)

Kathie Seley-Radtke (Baltimore)

Johan Neyts (Leuven)

Damian Young (Huston)

Vincenzo Summa (Napoli)

Philip Gribbon (Hamburg)

Feng Joy (San Francisco)

Andrea Brancale (Prague)

Ben Berkhout (Amsterdam)

Jay Schneekloth (Frederick)

Reuben Harris (San Antonio)

Angela Corona (Cagliari)

Valeria Cagno (Lausanne)

Brian Gowen (Logan)


6th IAAASS 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.

BEN BERKHOUT studied molecular biology at Leiden University and obtained his PhD in 1986 on translational control by means of RNA structure in bacteriophages. He performed postdoctoral research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (Harvard Medical School) and the National Institutes of Health (USA). He became Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Virology and was appointed Professor of Human Retrovirology the University of Amsterdam in 2002. 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.

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 1996In 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 Chemistry, Journal 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)

Prof Matteo Iannacone is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Immunology, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy. He achieved an M.D. degree in 2001, University of Milan (IT) and has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA from 2002 – 2006 (Advisors: Luca Guidotti and Frank Chisari). Form 2007 to 2010 Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (Advisor: Uli von Andrian) and in 2011 has achieved a PhD in Immunology at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan (IT). From 2012 to 2020 was an adjunct Professor of Pathology and Immunology, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy.
Since 2014 he is Director of the Intravital Imaging Facility, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy. Its scientific activity resulted in more than 100 papers and 14 patents. He is a winner of prestigious international awards, including the Armenise-Harvard Foundation Career Development Award, an ERC Starting Grant, the Young Investigator Award from the European Association for the Study of the Liver, the EMBO Young Investigator Award, an ERC Consolidator Grant, an ERC Proof of Concept and the Chiara D’Onofrio award. By combining state-of-the-art in vivo imaging techniques and advanced animal models, he has made a fundamental contribution to our understanding of the immune response and virus-induced immunopathology.

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

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 Chemistry at Federico II University, Naples. Vice-president of IRBM Science Park spa from February 2010. IRBM Science Park is a research center formally a spin-off of the Merck Research Laboratories located in Rome. He graduated in Chemistry at Università Degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’ in 1991 and in 1996 obtained his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Bergische Universität Wuppertal. From 1992 to 1994 was a researcher at the 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 2007 to October 2009. IN 2017 The American Chemical Society Honors IRBM Leading Scientists as Heroes of Chemistry for their effort in developing drugs,  among which 2 antiviral drugs invented by the team and currently on the market,ISENTRESS®, Grazoprevir-ZAPATIER®, 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 RicercheIstituto Superiore di Sanità).

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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