Professor of Immunology
Danny Altmann joined the Wellcome Trust in 2011 as Head of Pathogens Immunology and Population Health. He is also Professor of Immunology at Imperial College (Hammersmith Hospital) and Editor in Chief of the journal, Immunology. Prior to joining the Wellcome Trust he was Director of Research Strategy in Department of Medicine, Imperial College and a member of the MRC Infection and Immunity Board. His lab research interests have encompassed various aspects of basic HLA, T cell receptor and NK cell immunology, including a strong emphasis on development of transgenic diseases models. Current areas of focus are the immunology of bacterial sepsis and the immunopathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.
Rita Carsetti has studied Medicine at the University la Sapienza, in Rome. She has always been interested in Immunology and after a Postdoc on Tumor immunology in Huston Texas (1985-86), she moved to Germany where she worked at the Max-Plank Institute for Immune biology, in Freiburg for 14 years. She moved back to Rome in 2000 as head of the B-cell lab at the Bambino Gesù Children Hospital. She is now Director of the Immunology Research Area of the hospital and of the Diagnostic Immunology Unit. She has identified transitional B cells in mouse and human and has described the role of the BCR and of the spleen in late phases of B cell maturation. The finding of the function of IgM memory B cells has been the basis for the development of a test for the identification of patients at risk for bacterial infection. More recently, the studies on the role of TLR9 in transitional B cells have shed light on the pathway of development of IgM memory B cells. The projects undergoing in the lab have the aim of demonstrating the relationship between transitional B cells, IgM memory and IgA plasmacells at mucosal sites, describing a T-independent primitive type of B-cell immunity dedicated to the primary defense against infection. The close contact with patients offers the possibility of studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of B cell development and function in human.
Geneviève de Saint Basile
Group Leader (INSERM)
Geneviève de Saint Basile is a group leader at Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INSERM), located at Necker Enfants-Malades Hospital and Paris Descartes University, in Paris (France). She studied Medicine in Paris, received an MD in 1981 from University Paris Descartes and a PhD in Immunology in 1982 from the University Paris Diderot. She is currently Research Director at INSERM. Her main research interests are the development and the homeostasis of the immune system. Current research activities are focused on the role of the cytotoxic activity in the mechanisms regulating lymphocyte homeostasis, through the studies of inherited deficiencies. She is the co-author of 170 publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Professor of Immunology
Prof. Gunnur Deniz, PhD, graduated from Istanbul University, Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology in 1985 and received her M.Sc. degree in Physiology in 1989. She was granted by the Turkish Republic Higher Education Council (YÖK) with a PhD fellowship to study at the Department of Immunology, University of Liverpool and received her PhD degree in immunology in 1994. In 1995, she started to work as a research assistant at the Department of Immunology, Institute of Experimental Medicine (DETAE), and in the same year she was appointed as assistant professor, in 1997 as associate professor and in 2002 as professor in immunology. She is the chairman of the Immunology Department at DETAE since 2002, and has also been working as a Vice President of DETAE since 2005. Since 2006 she is the President of the Turkish Society of Immunology. Department of Immunology is working on different topics, mainly in immunology of Type I and Type II Diabetes, Behcet Disease, primary immunodeficiencies, NK cells, allergy and immunohematology. She is also running postgraduate immunology programs for Istanbul University, Institute of Health Sciences.
Bill Egner is based inSheffieldwhere he divides his time between quality assurance, specialist immunology and allergy diagnostic laboratory and clinical service provision in immunology and allergy. His particularly areas of expertise include quality assurance and quality control, specialised diagnostics in immunology and allergy and clinical management of primary immunodeficiency, C1 esterase deficiency and specialised allergy. Dr Egner has been based at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust in England since 1997. He is active in the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists, in professional societies such as the British Society for Immunology (BSI) and the British Society for Clinical Immunology and Allergy (BSACI). He has held the Chair of Immunology and Allergy Committees of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Pathologists and served as Trustee on the Executive boards of the RCPath, UKNEQAS and BSI and well as on patient organisation medical advisory panels and the ACP. He was secretary to the Joint Royal Colleges working party on allergy which resulted in the 2010 report “Allergy: still not meeting the unmet need”. He continues to publish widely on quality assurance, laboratory diagnostics and clinical immunology and allergy, with over 50 publications to date. He is currently chair of Clinical Immunology and Allergy section of the British Society for Immunology and a Trustee of the BSI.
Professor for Immunology of Inflammation
Maslinski graduated fromWarsaw University,Polandin 1982.He was trained in the Institute of Hematology, Institute of Biochemistry andBiophysicsPolishAcademyof Sciences,InstituteofRheumatology-Warsaw, Arrhenius Laboratory –Stockholm, University -Sweden,HarvardMedicalSchool,Boston,USA. His scientific interest were focused on the interaction between immune and nervous systems and cytokine signal transduction. Present scientific interests are immune dysfunction leading to autoimmune diseases, with special focus on the cytokine network, chronic inflammation and natural mechanisms regulating the immune response. Ongoing research carried out in theInstituteofRheumatology,Warsaw,Poland, highlights the role of bone marrow compartment in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. The results of his research have been published in more than 130 publications. Present position: Chairmen of Department of Pathophysiology and Immunology,InstituteofRheumatology,Warsaw. Since 2004 he was elected as a President of the Polish Society of Rheumatology. He is an Editor of the Central European Journal of Immunology (since 2000) and member of Editorial Board of several journals.
Prof. Ramit Mehr is a leader in computational immunology. The work performed in her group has led to several discoveries, which have significantly advanced the field beyond the state of the art, such as those of feedback effects in T cell development, phenotypic reflux in B cell development, biases in T and B cell receptor gene rearrangement and in class switch recombination, explanation of repertoire shift in antibody responses. The group applies modeling and simulation methods – mathematical, computational, agent-based, cellular automata and other methods of spatial modeling, including statistical and bioinformatical analysis techniques – to immunological questions, such as the development, population dynamics and function of B, T and NK cell repertoires. Furthermore, they have developed software tools for analyzing mutations in immunoglobulin (Ig) genes via the construction and quantification of mutational lineage trees. Her lab is currently one of the few which specialize in the study of lymphocyte development and repertoire dynamics.Among other roles, Prof. Mehr has served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Society for Mathematical Biology (SMB) and chair of the SMB publications committee; as the Secretary of the (International) Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)’s special interest group in Life Sciences (SIAG-LS); the vice-president of the Israeli Society for Theoretical and Mathematical Biology; and the Israeli National Council for Women’s Health. She currently serves on the boards of directors of the Israeli Immunology Society and the Israeli Society for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.
Seppo Meri is a Professor of Immunology at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and Head of Research at the Microbiology Diagnostic Laboratory (HUSLAB) of the Helsinki University Central Hospital.Prof. Meri received his medical degree from the University of Helsinki, also completing his doctorate at the same institute. Years 1988-1990 he spent as a postdoctoral researcher in Texas (US) and as an EMBO Fellow at the MRC in Cambridge (UK). In 1989 he received a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene at the University of London.He then returned to Helsinki becoming Docent in Immunology in 1991 and a Specialist in Clinical Microbiology in 1996. From 2001-2003, Seppo Meri was President of the European Complement Network, and from 2001-2008 President of the Scandinavian Society for Immunology. In 2003 he became full Professor of Immunology at the University of Helsinki. Prof Meri’s research aims to understand how and why the complement system contributes to disease pathogenesis; how the system is controlled and how pathogenic microbes and tumour cells escape complement attack. His research targets the abnormalities of complement regulation which lead to a variety of immunological, cardiovascular and rheumatic diseases. He has authored over 200 publications in this area throughout his career and served as Editor of the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, Journal of Immunology and Annals of Medicine; also sitting on the editorial board of numerous immunology and autoimmunity-associated publications. Currently, he is the Secretary General of the International Union of Immunological Sciences (IUIS).
Catherine Sautès-Fridman is Professor of Immunology at University Paris Descartes. During her career she has made significant achievements in the field of MHC, Fc gamma R and tumor immunology. Recently her team discovered the expression and prosurvival role of TLR7 on lung tumor cells and the existence of functional Tertiary Llymphoid Sstructures with good pronostic value in human lung cancers. They also described genetic factors involving regulators of the complement system predisposinging to atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. Strongly promoting Immunology in Europe, she founded in 2006 in Paris the first European Congress of Immunology gathering 5000 immunologists. Catherine Sautès-Fridman, as President of ECI then, succeeded in creating the first pan-european meeting of immunology. involving all national societies in its organization and replacing every three years their annual national congress. ECI is now an ongoing success and is one of the most attended congress of immunology in the world.
Head of Dendric Cell Immunobiology Laboratory
Carlos Ardavín received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University Complutense of Madrid in 1983. He subsequenlty spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Paris and returned in 1985 to the University Complutense of Madrid as Associated Professor at the Faculty of Biology. During 1990-1991 he worked as an invited senior scientist with Ken Shortman at the WEHI in Melbourne (Australia) on the origin of dendritic cells, and from 1993 to 1994 with Robson MacDonald and Hans Acha-Orbea at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Lausanne (Switzerland) on the role of dendritic cells in T cell negative selection, and on the infection by the mouse mammary tumor virus . In 2004 he joined the National Center for Biotechnology as head of the Dendric Cell Immunobiology Laboratory. His research centers on the recruitment and differentiation of dendritic cell precursors, and the acquisition of dendritic cell functional specialization, during microbial infections and allergic reactions.
Bernd Arnold trained as a chemist at the University in Freiburg and performed a PhD in biology at the Max-Planck Institute for Immunobiology in Freiburg. He undertook post-doctoral training with J.F.A.P. Miller at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne and at the Centre d’Immunologie in Marseille-Luminy. At the age 32, he was appointed as a staff scientist at the Tumor Immunology Program at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg joining Günter Hämmerling’s unit. As a visiting scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg he studied in the early 80’s together with Sune Kvist structure function analyses of MHC class I molecules. Since 1990 he is focusing on molecular mechanisms of peripheral T cell tolerance.
Jonathan Braun, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician-researcher devoted to the roles of the immune system in resistance and susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease and cancer. He is a professor and chair of Pathology and Lab Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Braun was raised in Los Angeles, where he focused on violin performance. He was an undergraduate at Stanford University (BS, chemistry and biology), and did his MD and PhD studies at Harvard Medical School with Emil Unanue. After residency in Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a postdoctoral fellowship with David Baltimore at the Whitehead Institute, he joined the faculty at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1985. His research centers on the mechanisms of microbial-immune commensalism in the intestine, and the related search for new strategies of diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. His group is also devoted to new strategies in functional immune assessment, including gene targeting and positron-emission tomography for real-time imaging of immune-mediated inflammation. He has published more than 130 primary research studies, 13 issued patents, and co-founded three biopharma companies. His recent national service includes Chair of the National Scientific Advisory Committee of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, and President of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies. He still play violin when possible.
Professor of Immunobiology
Anne Cooke is Professor of Immunobiology in the Department of Pathology,UniversityofCambridge. Her PhD on immunoglobulin biosynthesis with Arnold Feinstein and Asher Korner was carried out at theUniversityofSussex. Her interest in autoimmunity developed when she went to work with Ivan Roitt in the Immunology Department of the Middlesex Hospital (now UCL). These early studies focussed on the role of regulatory T cells in autoimmune haemolytic anaemia and thyroid disease. Her interest in Type 1 diabetes arose from a collaboration with Joyce Baird at the University of Edinburgh and for many years she has used the NOD mouse model of diabetes to assess factors governing onset of autoimmunity, evaluate strategies for tolerance induction and examine the potential for islet regeneration from stem cells. Collaborations with David Dunne in Pathology, Cambridge and Jenny Nichols in the Centre for Stem Cell Research, Cambridge, as well as those with Herman Waldmann, University of Oxford, have furthered the studies of her group into factors influencing diabetes development and the exploration of strategies to prevent diabetes onset. Anne Cooke is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Society of Biology and holds an Honorary Fellowship at UCL and an Honorary Doctorate at Copenhagen University.
António Coutinho has worked on lymphocyte activation and cell cooperation, selection of immune repertoires, autoimmunity and tolerance, in Stockholm, Basel, Umea and Paris. His early work in the 1970′s provided the first demonstration for a germ-line encoded activation receptor for lipopolysaccharide and for a family of “mitogen receptors” to bacterial ligands; together with his Paris colleagues in the 1980′s, he contributed ample evidence for the “physiology of auto-reactivity”, demonstrating the positive selection of auto-antibodies to the “natural antibody” pool, particularly early in post-natal development; in the 1990′s, his work with Nicole Le Douarin provided one of the first sets of evidence for “dominant tolerance” and for the critical role of “regulatory” CD4 T cells, selected on thymic epithelium, in the establishment and maintenance of natural tolerance to body tissues. Since 1998, he serves as Director of the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Oeiras, Portugal. He now pursues interests related to graduate education in developing countries, to the structure and operation of research institutions, and to the ethos of science practice.
Professor of Inflammatory Disease
Tracy Hussell is Professor of Inflammatory Disease and Director of the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research (MCCIR) at theUniversityofManchester. Her work has established new concepts relating to the control of innate immunity in the lung in the absence, presence or following inflammation. Particular interests include the cross-talk between epithelium and airway macrophages, the innate molecular alterations contributing to bacterial susceptibility following acute and chronic inflammation and therapeutic strategies to rectify prolonged alterations.
Jorge Kalil is Professor of Medicine, head of clinical Immunology and Allergy, Director Laboratory of Immunology, Heart Institute, School of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo and Director of Instituto Butantan. He is also chairman of the board of both Butantan and Zerbini Foundations. Graduated in Medicine from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (1977), Master’s degree in Immunogenetics and Immunology and Doctor of Science in Human Biology, both from the University of Paris VII when he worked in Jean Dausset’s laboratory (Nobel Prize 1980,for HLA). He spent a sabbatical as visiting Professor, Dept. of Pathology, Stanford School of Medicine (1991) and he was International Scholar of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (1991-1995). He was founder and first President of the Brazilian Association of Organ Transplants and he acted as Vice President of the Latin American Association of Immunology and President of the Brazilian Society of Immunology. He was deputy Clinical Director of Hospital das Clínicas and Chairman of Department of Clinical Medicine. He also chaired the XIII International Congress of Immunology. He is vice-President of the International Union of Immunology Societies, President for the 2013-2016 term and member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. Kalil is dedicated to the study of the mechanisms of immune recognition and distinction of self and no self. His academic production registers over 350 articles indexed by ISI. He is the holder of several patents. He was decorated by Brazil’s President as Commander and later with the Grand Cross of the National Order of Scientific Merit. He was also awarded in 2005 with the prize of the TWAS. In the administration of National Science, served in the Support Programme for Scientific and Technological Development (PADCT) of the World Bank as coordinator of the Advisory Committee of Biotechnology, Coordinator of the Technical Group and member of the Steering Committee. He was also coordinator of the Advisory Committee of Biomedicine of CNPq, of the Evaluation Committee of Pronex and member of the Advisory Board of FINEP, among other activities.
Agnes Lehuen is director of the Inserm laboratory “Immunology of type 1 diabetes” localized at Saint Vincent de Paul/Cochin Hospital, University Paris Descartes, France. After obtaining her PhD in Paris, she moved to University of Alabama at Birmingham in the USA to accomplish her post-doctoral training. Dr Lehuen has made important contributions in the field of autoimmunity and more particularly in type 1 diabetes. Her research group discovered that a lymphocyte subset, the iNKT cells, prevents the development of several autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis using mouse models. Her group also showed that iNKT cells are critical to develop an efficient immune response against virus while inhibiting potential damage of infected organs.
Professor Lorenzo Moretta is Full Professor of General Pathology and Pathophysiology at the Medical School, University of Genoa and Scientific Director of the G. Gaslini Institute. Professor Moretta carried out research studies that are considered fundamental in Immunology. He first identified T lymphocyte subpopulations in humans and these studies laid the foundations for understanding the diseases affecting the immune system such as immunodeficiencies and autoimmune diseases. Professor Moretta is usually invited to participate in the major international and national meetings of Immunology as speaker and/or chairman of symposia and plenary sessions. He has often been invited individually to propose nominations for the Nobel prize for Medicine and Physiology and for other prestigious international prizes. Overall, the discoveries of Professor Moretta and his collaborators had a considerable impact on biomedical research, also for their well established applications to immunotherapy of leukemias and, possibly, of solid tumors and to immunodeficiencies, and won Professor Moretta prestigious international prizes.
Professor Frank O. Nestle holds the Mary Dunhill Chair of Cutaneous Medicine and Immunotherapy,at St. John’s Institute of Dermatology, King’s College London. He is a Non Executive Director at Guy’sand St. Thomas’ Hospitals and a member of the Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Executive. He isalso Director of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Society (FOCIS) Centre of Excellence King’s College London and is currently Chair of the British Society for Investigative Dermatology (BSID). His main research interests include the pathogenesis and immunotherapy of inflammatory skin disease and skin cancer. He has given over 350 scientific lectures at national and international conferences. He was a Visiting Professor at the Mayo Clinic, Yale Medical School and Rockefeller University. He is a member of numerous national and international societies. He has published over 150 scientific articles in publications such as Nature, Nature Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Experimental Medicine and Lancet. He has received numerous awards including the Alfred Marchionini Research Award at the 20th World Congress of Dermatology and the American Skin Association Achievement Award at the Tricontinental Meeting of the Societies of Investigative Dermatology.
Professor of Molecular Immunology
Christopher E Rudd is a Professor of Molecular Immunology in the Department of Pathology at Cambridge University, the Head of the Cell Signalling Section and a Principal Investigator at the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research (CIMR). He is also a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow and held previous professorial positions at the Harvard Medical School and Imperial College London before moving to Cambridge. He is the previous recipient of the Cancer Research Institute/Benjamin Jacobson Family Investigator Award, Claudia Adams Barr Research Award and was a Scholar of the Leukemia Society of America. He is presently a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath) and the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci). Professor Rudd is a previous Associate Editor of the Journal of Immunology, and presently serves on the Editorial Boards of Current Biology, Immunology, European Journal of Immunology, Self/Non-Self and is on the Advisory Board of Seminars in Immunopathology. He has served on several NIH and NSF Study sections, the Project Grants Committee of Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the Basic Immunology and Infectious Diseases Panel (BIID) of the Wellcome Trust, London, and is a member of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI), the British Society for Immunology (BSI) and the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) and was the International Secretary for the British Society for Immunology (BSI). He is presently a Council Member of International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS). Professor Rudd’s research focuses on deciphering the signal transduction pathways in T-cells, and the way by which these pathways control various cellular and immune functions. His laboratory was the first to discover the CD4 and CD8-p56lck complexes, the initiators of the phosphorylation and activation cascade in T-cells. His more recent focus has been on the role of adaptor proteins in the make-up of the “inside-out” pathway that controls T-cell adhesion and the movement of T-cells in lymph nodes and signalling via co-receptors such as CTLA-4 and CD28.
René van Lier studied medicine at theUniversityofAmsterdam(1976-1983), and obtained his PhD in 1988 at the same university on research aimed to characterize properties of cell surface receptors expressed on human T cells. He continued working in the field of immunology atCLBfirst as a post-doc later as a group leader (now Sanquin). In 2000, he was appointed as Professor of Experimental Immunology and Head of the Department of Experimental Immunology at Academic Medical Center (AMC) inAmsterdam. In 2010 he became director of research and member of the executive board at Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation. The unifying theme of his research program is the regulation of effector/memory T cell formation in human and mice. The goal is to identify functionally distinct T-cell subsets, study their regulation at the molecular level and define their roles in normal and pathophysiological immune reactions, e.g. persistent virus infections, allo-reactivity and immunodeficiency.
Anna Villa, MD works at the Institute of Genetic Research and Biomedicine , CNR in Milan Italy. She coordinates the Human Genome Department at Istituto Clinico Humanitas,Rozzano (Mi) and the Gene Therapy of Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome (WAS) at TIGET, San Raffaele , Milan. The main focus of her research has been the molecular and cellular dissection of severe combined immunodeficiencies (SCID). Anna Villa has identified the genes responsible for different forms of SCID. During the following years, she addressed her studies to Omenn syndrome, a SCID form characterized by activated T cells and absence of B cells in the presence of high level of IgE. To further address the pathophysiology of this disease, she has generated a mouse model carrying an hypomorphic mutation in Rag2 gene originally found in an Omenn patient. In parallel, she has focused her studies to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of gene therapy of WAS, a severe X-linked disorder characterized by micro-thrombocytopenia, eczema, immunodeficiency, and increased risk to develop autoimmunity. Thanks to the preclinical studies, a lentiviral vector based clinical trial for the human WAS disease is now undergoing at the San Raffaele Institute, Milan. In parallel with the gene therapy studies, she is also studying the pathophisiology of WAS. Finally, she has contributed to the molecular dissection of Autosomal Recessive Osteopetrosis (ARO). The molecular dissection of ARO has important implication not only for the molecular diagnosis, but also for the treatment of the disease.
Graham Anderson gained a BSc (Hons) in Anatomical Studies from the University of Birmingham in 1990. He then studied for a PhD in Immunology as a Wellcome Prize PhD student, continued his research into thymus biology as a Wellcome Prize Fellow until 1994, and was appointed to a lectureship in the Department of Anatomy in 1995. Since then, Graham has continued to work in Birmingham studying the role of the thymus in the development of a self-tolerant T-cell pool. Following project grant support from The Wellcome Trust, and MRC Programme Grant support, Graham was appointed to a Chair in T-Lymphocyte Biology in 1995. He is now a Theme Lead in the Birmingham MRC Centre for Immune Regulation, and his major laboratory interests are the mechanisms that regulate the generation of a self-tolerant T-cell pool within the thymus.
Pr Autran, MD, PhD, has developed key researches on the Immunology of viruses and vaccines. Her major contributions in the immunology of the HIV infection provided first demonstrations of : Immune defenses against HIV: with the first description of Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes specific for HIV (Nature, 1987), and numerous contributions on the specificities and dynamics of Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes directed against HIV and its variants, providing rationale for vaccine developments, Reconstitution of the Immune System: with the first report of Immune Restoration with anti-retroviral therapies (Science, 1997) describing recovery of memory and naïve CD4 T cells, and of memory T cell functions thus opening a new era in the immunology of AIDS & Development of Therapeutic vaccines and Immune-based Interventions in HIV-infection since 1998: (Nat. Rev. Immun. A, 2003; Science, 2000, 2004, 2009: with the development of international programs of therapeutic vaccines and new immune-based therapeutic strategies. Pr Autran has also developed researches on the immunology and immune memory of vaccines against other viruses such as Poxviruses, Influenzae viruses, particularly in immune-suppressed individuals (J Exp Med 2003, J Clin Invest 2010). She also acts as an expert for Vaccines at the French Ministry of Health (Comité Technique des vaccinations) and for the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety.
Rudi Beyaert is full professor at the Ghent University (Belgium) and Associate Director of the Department for Molecular Biomedical Research of the VIB institute, where he is also heading the Unit of Molecular Signal Transduction in Inflammation. His lab studies the molecular mechanisms that control initiation, progression and resolution of inflammation and immunity. More specifically he is investigating signal transduction pathways that control NF-κB dependent gene expression in response to different cytokine receptors (TNF, IL-1), Toll-like receptors, and T cell receptors. Major contributions to the field include the characterization of the ubiquitin-editing protein A20 (TNFAIP3) as a key regulator of innate immunity and inflammation, the identification of ABINs as ubiquitin-binding and NF-κB regulatory proteins, and the discovery of the paracaspase MALT1 as a novel protease and therapeutic target in antigen receptor signaling. Currently his group is trying to further understand the mechanism of action, regulation and physiological role of these molecules using a variety of biochemical, molecular and cellular approaches combined with mouse gene targeting and mouse models of human disease. Rudi Beyaert has published over 170 papers on his research, which received more than 9600 citations.
Director or Research INSERM
Doctor Sophie Brouard is director of research in the INSERM unit located in Nantes (France) and working in Immunology and transplantation. She is an immunologist interested in fundamental and translational questions on the process of rejection and tolerance in transplantation. The central questions her group addresses are: (i) what are the immunological mechanisms involved in rejection and tolerance in human (ii) Is it possible to identify biomarkers for these two processes that would allow a better monitoring of the patients. Before taking her position of Director of research in the INSERM Unit of Nantes, Sophie Brouard is also doctor in Veterinary Science since 1994. Since 2011, she held position of director of the CENTAURE national RTRS transplantation network in France. She received the Bronze medal from the french CNRS national research institute in 2004.
Dr Jérôme Galon is Research Director at INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and leading an INSERM laboratory (Integrative Cancer Immunology) at the Cordeliers Research Center in Paris, France. He was trained as an immunologist at the Pasteur Institute and at the Curie Institute (Paris, France). Between 1997 and 2001 he worked at the NIH (National Institute of Health, Bethesda, USA) on functional genomics, bioinformatics and immunology on fundamental and clinical research. In 1999, he received the fellow Award for Research Excellence at NIH (USA). Recruited at INSERM, Dr Galon directed an interdisciplinary research team between 2001 and 2006. Works from his laboratory on comprehensive analysis of the tumor-microenvironment and bioinformatics demonstrated that the adaptive immune reaction within the tumor was a better predictor of survival than traditional staging based on cancer’s size and spread (N Engl J Med, Science, Cancer Res, JCO, Gastroenterology, Nat Cancer Rev). In 2007, he became Research Director at INSERM, and the head of the INSERM Integrative Cancer Immunology laboratory (Paris, France). Dr Galon was awarded for his work on cancer research, by the French foundation (Schaeverbeke Award 2008), by the Medical Research Foundation (Rose Lamarca Award 2008). He received the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology (Cancer Research Institute, New York, USA 2010), and Award from the National Academy of Science (Simone et Cino del Duca Cancer Research Award, 2011), and Award from the National Academy of Medicine (Gallet et Breton Award, 2011).
Sirpa Jalkanen is Professor of Immunology at the Medical Faculty, University of Turku and a Research Professor of the National Institute of Health and Welfare. After her postdoctoral period at Stanford University she has worked in different researcher positions at the University of Turku, Finnish National Institute of Health and Welfare as well as the Academy of Finland. Recently, she has also worked first as a vice chair and then as a chair of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. She is the director of the National Center of Excellence in Host Defence, director of the MediCity Research Laboratory (the Research Unit of the Medical Faculty, University of Turku), the vice dean of the Medical Faculty and a member of the Research Board at the University of Turku.The main interest of Sirpa Jalkanen’s research group has been in the mechanisms mediating the leukocyte trafficking. In addition, her group has identified molecules that mediate lymphocyte and cancer cell migration into lymphatics. She is an EMBO member and has received several awards and honours such as Eli Lilly award, Maud Kuistila Prize, Anders Jahre Prize, Äyräpää Prize, Klossner Medal and Datta Medal. She has also several positions of trust. She is a member of the board in three big Finnish Foundations financing research In addition she is a member of the board of Orion, the biggest pharmaceutical company in Finland and has been a co-founder of two biotech companies.
Prof. Andrzej Lange graduated with a medical degree with distinction from the Medical School in Wrocław, Poland, where he also completed his doctor of medical sciences thesis and then after a critical review of his scientific activity received the title of doctor habilitatus. He served as an assistant and then associate professor in the Department of Internal Diseases and then Occupational Diseases, where he founded the Laboratory of Clinical Immunology. In 1980 he was offered a position in the Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy of the Polish Academy of Sciences, where he has worked until now as the professor and head of the Laboratory and Department of Clinical Immunology. His international experience started in 1973 as a Leverhulme Fellow in the Department of Immunology of Middlesex Hospital Medical School, London, where he worked under the guidance of Professor Ivan Roitt. During an eight-year period he used to spend three months yearly as a visiting scientist in the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Biology in Borstel, FRG, headed at that time by Prof. Han-Dieter Flad. He has been a short term-visitor and lectured in a number of European and North American scientific institutions including the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Paris University.
I am biophysicist by initial training, but started in molecular biology laboratory under G. Georgiev when I was still a student. I became independent in 1986 and switched to immunological problems, in particular, to physiology of cytokines. I was introduced by K.Rajewsky to fascinating technology of conditional gene inactivation, and my lab has produced many useful engineered mice allowing to define non-redundant functions associated with a particular cellular source of a given protein (cytokine, pro-apoptotic protein, immune receptor). This approach was especially informative for cytokines like TNF which are not only pleiotropic, but may be both detrimental and protective in vivo. We assigned distinct physiologic functions to TNF produced by myeloid cells, T cells or B cells in mice infected by various bacteria or induced to develop autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, colitis or experimental encephalomyelitis. Our findings may lead to a new concept of a safer anti-cytokine therapy which we are currently verifying in mice utilizing novel types of antibody-based reagents. My current positions are at theRussianAcademy of Sciences (head of laboratory) andMoscowStateUniversity (head of the department of immunology). Since 2005 I am also a head of research group at DRFZ,Berlin.
Winfried F. Pickl is associate professor, MD, board certified immunologist and head of the Division of Cellular Immunology and Immunohematology at the Institute of Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria. Dr. Pickl received postdoctoral training in immunology in the laboratories of Prof. Walter Knapp, University of Vienna and in molecular biology in the laboratory of Prof. Brian Seed, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Dr. Pickl has critically contributed to the molecular and functional characterization of T cell activation antigens and monocyte-derived dendritic cells. More recently, he has centered his main scientific interests towards the better definition of the immunological synapse formed between professional antigen-presenting cells and T lymphocytes. Along those lines he and his group have created novel forms of antigen-presenting platforms based on virus-like particles (immunosomes) as well as novel human-relevant model systems for allergy research based on double (human TCR and HLA) transgenic mice. Currently, Dr. Pickl serves as treasurer of the Austrian Society for Allergology and Immunology (ÖGAI) and he will operate as president of the 4th European Congress of Immunology, which will take place under the auspices of EFIS and ÖGAI in Vienna, Austria, from Sept 6-9, 2015.
Professor of Immunology
Reina Mebius obtained her PhD at the VU University in 1991. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow atStanfordUniversityin the lab of Prof. Irv Weissman. Here she became interested in lymphoid tissue inducer cells, which are instrumental for lymph node development. She returned to the VU University Medical Center where she is now a Professor at the Dept. of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology. Her lab is focused on the formation of lymphoid organs, the mucosal immune system, and the role of the microenvironment on immune reactions.
Professor of Experimental Immunology
Kingston Mills is Professor of Experimental Immunology and Director of the Immunology Research Centre, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland He graduate in of Trinity College and trained at as a Postdoctoral Fellow at University College London and the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, before joining the Scientific Staff of the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control in Herts, UK. He returned to Ireland in 1993 to take up an academic position at National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He was appointed to a Personal Chair at Trinity College Dublin in 2001. He heads an active research team of over 20 scientists focusing on T cells and immune regulation, relevant to infection, autoimmunty and cancer. He is co-founder of Opsona Therapeutics, a drug development company focusing on the innate immune system, especially Toll-like receptors.
Peter Openshaw works immune-mediated lung disease, especially that caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza. His work is focussed discovering links between viral infections and wheezing disorders. His research interests include T cell mediated immunopathology, innate immunity, neonatal immunology and immunoregulation. He trained in respiratory medicine and is a consultant physician at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington. He studied immunology at NIMR, Mill Hill (1985-88) and became the founding Director of Imperial’s Centre for Respiratory Infection (CRI) in 2008, bringing together many of Imperial College’s established leaders and groups with expertise in molecular, cellular, animal and human studies of respiratory infections. During the 2009 flu pandemic he was part of the Flu-CIN collaboration and leads the MOSAIC consortium, studying causes of severe influenza in hospitalised patients. He is also investigating the effects of RSV infection in adult volunteers. He is a member of the flu and RSV subcommittees of JCVI and Vice-President of the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI).
Sergio Romagnani was born inGrossetoon April 7th1939. In1986 he became Full Professor of Internal Medicine at sameUniversity of Florence. He is presently Professor Emeritus at the same University. His scientific output consists of more than 400 publications in peer-reviewed journals, with a global impact factor higher than1,900. In2001 he was included by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) ofBaltimorein the list of the first 100 “Highly Cited Researchers” in the field of Immunology from 1981 to 1999. He was also included by ISI among the most quoted 52 Italian researchers in any field of science during the same 20-year period. His number of quotations is presently higher than31,000. In2001 has been named as Honorary Member of the American Association of Immunologists. He has been President of the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS) from 2000 to 2003 and President of the Italian Society of Immunology, Clinical Immunology and Allergology (SIICA) from 2002 to 2005. He has been Scientific Program Coordinator of theEuropeanAcademyof Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) from 2001 to2005. In2004 he has been elected as a Council Member of the International Unit of Immunology Society (IUIS) and in 2005 has been named as Chairman of the Clinical Immunology Committee of IUIS and Member-at-large of the EAACI. In 2005 he has received from the President of theItalianRepublicthe decoration of Great Officer of the Order to the Merit of the Republic.
Bruno Silva-Santos is the head of Molecular Immunology at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM), and professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (Portugal). He developed his PhD thesis on T-cell development at Cancer Research UK (The London Research Institute), within the frame of the Gulbenkian PhD Programme in Biology and Medicine. He then trained as a post-doctoral fellow working on gamma-delta T-cells in the Hayday laboratory at King’s College London. His return to Portugal was supported by an “Installation Grant” from the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), and now he is funded by the European Research Council (ERC). His research is focused on two main areas: T-cell differentiation and T-cell responses to tumours. Regarding the latter, he has identified various NK receptors (including NKG2D and NKp30) as key players in tumour (leukaemia and lymphoma) cell recognition by human gamma-delta T-cells. This body of work was recognised by the Pfizer Award in clinical research (2009); his nomination to the editorial board of OncoImmunology; and the Membership of the European Academy of Tumour Immunology. Bruno Silva-Santos serves as Treasurer in the Direction of the Portuguese Society for Immunology since 2007.