Carmen Vela is the Spanish State Secretary for Research, Development and Innovation since January 2012. Before her appointment, she was the CEO of INGENASA, a biotech company based in Madrid, specialised in animal health. A biochemist with more than 30 years’ experience in immunology, virology and related fields, Ms Vela has authored numerous publications and granted patent applications in the EU and the US. Among other responsibilities, she has been a member of the Advisory Group of PEOPLE (7th European Framework Programme) and of the External Advisory Committee of EUREKA. She was former President of the Spanish Biotechnology Society and of the Spanish Association of Women Scientists and Technologists.
Kurt WüthrichOPENING PLENARY LECTURER, SUNDAY 1 JULY 2018,
Kurt Wüthrich is the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Professor of Structural Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA, and a Professor of Biophysics at the ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland. His research interests are in structural biology and structural genomics. His specialty is nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with biological macromolecules, where he contributed the NMR method of three-dimensional structure determination of proteins and nucleic acids in solution. Kurt Wüthrich’s achievements have been recognized by the Prix Louis Jeantet de Médecine, the Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and by a number of other awards and honorary degrees.
Dario Neri earned a PhD in Chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich) and performed post-doctoral research at the Medical Research Council Centre in Cambridge (UK). He has now been a Professor at the ETH Zürich since 1996. The research of the group Neri focuses on the engineering of therapeutic antibodies for the therapy of cancer and other angiogenesis-related disorders. Other research activities include the chemical proteomic discovery of novel vascular markers of pathology and the development of DNA-encoded chemical libraries. Dario Neri is a co-founder of Philogen (www.philogen.com), a Swiss-Italian biotech company which has brought five antibody-based products into multicenter clinical trials for the treatment of cancer and of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rainer Meckenstock did his PhD in Biochemistry at the ETH Zürich, Switzerland (1993). He then did a Postdoc at EAWAG, Dübendorf, Switzerland, where he developed molecular tools to detect microbial biodegradation processes in the environment. In 1996 he became senior researcher at University of Konstanz, Germany where he worked on microbial ecology of groundwater and anaerobic degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. He then joined the University of Tübingen, Germany where he continued to work on microbiology of groundwater, anaerobic degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and stable isotope fractionation to assess biodegradation. From 2003 – 2014 he was director of the Institute for Groundwater Ecology at the Helmholtz Center München Munich, Germany. Since 2014, he is Professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany where he studies how environmental contaminants are degraded in the environment and how technical solutions can overcome limitations.
Kristala Jones Prather
Kristala Jones Prather is the Arthur D. Little Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. She received an S.B. degree from MIT in 1994 and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (1999), and worked 4 years in BioProcess Research and Development at the Merck Research Labs prior to joining the faculty of MIT. Her research interests are centered on the design and assembly of recombinant microorganisms for the production of small molecules. Prather is the recipient of an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (2005), a Technology Review “TR35” Young Innovator Award (2007), a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2010), the Biochemical Engineering Journal Young Investigator Award (2011), and the Charles Thom Award of the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (2017). Additional honors include selection as the Van Ness Lecturer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2012), and as a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2014-2015).
Twan Lammers obtained a D.Sc. degree in Radiation Oncology from Heidelberg University in 2008 and a Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutics from Utrecht University in 2009. In the same year, he started the Nanomedicine and Theranostics group at the Institute for Experimental Molecular Imaging at RWTH Aachen University Clinic. In 2014, he was promoted to full professor at the faculty of medicine at RWTH Aachen. He has published over 150 research articles and reviews (h-index 46), and has received several awards. He is associate editor for Europe for the Journal of Controlled Release, and serves on the editorial board member of several other journals. His primary research interests include drug targeting to tumors, image-guided drug delivery and tumor-targeted combination therapies.
Christophe Moreau is a Director of Research at the CNRS in the Institute of Structural Biology in Grenoble, France. Holder of a PhD in electrophysiology in 2002, his fields of expertise are protein engineering of membrane proteins, mainly ion channels and membrane receptors, and their functional characterization by electrophysiological methods using Xenopus oocytes. He pioneered the development of original protein-based biosensors designed by linking G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) to an ion channel. The European Research Council (ERC) currently funds an ambitious project involving this technology in collaboration with Prof. Tai Hyun Park and Prof. Seunghun Hong from the Seoul National University, Republic of Korea.
Jens did his PhD at the EMBL from 1997-2000, and after postdocs at EMBL and UCSD, he joined University College Dublin, Ireland as a Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry from 2003-2011, where he established an interdisciplinary research group. In 2011 he moved to Novozymes A/S in Copenhagen as Head of Protein Design, and he is currently Director of Protein Engineering. In this academic life Jens’ research interests centered around understanding protein electrostatics and on predicting the effects of point mutations on protein stability and enzyme catalysis. In his current position Jens works on optimizing enzymes for industrial applications, and on improving the practical workflows that allow us to quickly mature proteins for use in the real world. He believes that the use of new technologies and structure-based analysis of high through-put data holds great promise for improving the way we work with proteins in industrial biotechnology.
Paula Alves is the CEO of iBET, the Head of the Animal Cell Technology Unit and Professor at the NOVA University (ITQB and FCT). She received her Ph.D. at Biochemical Engineering from the NOVA Unversity of Lisbon in 2001 and her B.S in Biochemistry from the Sciences Faculty of the University of Lisbon in 1991. Professor Alves research group integrates cell metabolism understanding with biochemical engineering for the improvement of bioprocesses efficiency and is also focused at developing new tools and technologies for pre-clinical research. The Unit she coordinates uses Animal Cell Technology for research and development in particular for (i) production of complex biopharmaceuticals such as viral vectors, vaccines and recombinant proteins (ii) development of 3D culture systems for toxicity testing using primary cells and stem cells in bioreactors (iii) expand systems biology approaches to organize the complexity of the processes involved in the research described in (i) and (ii). She is currently the President of the ESACT, the European Society for Animal Cell Technology and Member of the Advisory Group for Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 1- European Commission. Paula Alves has published over 230 papers, 30 book chapters and supervised 25 PhD students.
Dr Virginijus Siksnys holds the position of Professor of Vilnius University since 2002 and is Chief scientist/Department head at the Institute of Biotechnology of Vilnius University. He also serves as a Chairman of the Board of Life Science Center of Vilnius University. He is a member of Lithuania Academy of Sciences and EMBO member. Dr. Siksnys has made a major and sustained contribution to the understanding of the structure and function of restriction enzymes. His current research on the CRISPR system for antiviral defense has had a major impact on the field. His studies of the Cas9 protein paved the way for development of novel tools for genome editing applications. His work has been recognized with several awards including the Lithuania National Science Prize (2002, 2017), Warren Alpert Award (2016) and Novozymes Prize (2017). Selected references: Gasiunas G, Barrangou R, Horvath P, Siksnys V. Cas9-crRNA ribonucleoprotein complex mediates specific DNA cleavage for adaptive immunity in bacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012, 109, E2579-86. Tamulaitis G. Kazlauskiene, M. Manakova, M. Venclovas, C. Nwokeoji, A.O. Dickman, M.J. Horvath, P. Siksnys V. Programmable RNA Shredding by the Type III-A CRISPRCas System of Streptococcus thermophilus. Molecular Cell 2014, 56, 506-17. Karvelis T, Gasiunas G, Young J, Bigelyte G, Silanskas A, Cigan M, Siksnys V. Rapid characterization of CRISPR-Cas9 protospacer adjacent motif sequence elements. Genome Biol. 2015 16:253. Kazlauskiene M, Tamulaitis G, Kostiuk G, Venclovas Č, Siksnys V. Spatiotemporal Control of Type III-A CRISPR-Cas Immunity: Coupling DNA Degradation with theTarget RNA Recognition. Mol Cell. 2016 62(2):295-306. Kazlauskiene M, Kostiuk G, Venclovas Č, Tamulaitis G, Siksnys V. A cyclic oligonucleotide signaling pathway in type III CRISPR-Cas systems. Science 2017 357:605-609.
Isabelle André received a PhD in Molecular Chemistry in 1995 from the University of Grenoble (France). She then held a post-doctoral position at the Instituto Rocasolano in Madrid, Spain. From 1997 to 2003, she worked for GLYCODesign Inc., a Canadian biopharmaceutical company. Upon her return to France, she joined the CNRS in 2005 as a Research Scientist. She completed her habilitation at the University of Toulouse and she was promoted to Research Director at CNRS in 2011. She is currently working at the Bioprocess & Bioengineering Laboratory (LISBP-INSA) in Toulouse (France) where she leads the Molecular Modelling & Design group in the Catalysis and Molecular Enzyme Engineering department. She has published >70 research papers, 4 reviews, 3 book chapters and filed 14 patents. Her research interests include understanding enzyme mechanisms and structure–dynamics–activity relationships, developing molecular modelling methodologies to assist protein design, and engineering of biocatalysts for white biotechnology.
Patrick A. Baeuerle
Patrick A. Baeuerle joined MPM Capital in 2015 as a managing director. From 1998 to 2015, he was responsible as Chief Scientific Officer of Micromet, Inc. and Vice President Research at Amgen for the development of BiTE antibody Blincyto®, which was approved in 2014 for therapy of adult ALL. From 1996-1998, he served as head of drug discovery at Tularik Inc., and from 1996-1998 as Professor and Chairman of Biochemistry and Molecular Biochemistry at the Medical Faculty of Freiburg University, Germany, where he did groundbreaking research on transcription factor NF-kappaB. Patrick has published 237 PubMed-listed papers that have been cited more than 65,000 times to date, and has a Hirsh index of 123. He holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Munich, and performed post-doctoral research with Dr. David Baltimore at the Whitehead Institute at the MIT. He is also an Honorary Professor of Immunology at Munich University.
M. Patrick BOISSEAU is currently Programme Manager on Nanomedicine, at CEA-Leti, in Grenoble, France. He supervises the overall preclinical and clinical development of Lipidots® lipid nanocarriers and transfer to industry. Since 2012, he is also head of the Strategic Planning on Healthcare at CEATech, the Technology Research Division of CEA. Patrick BOISSEAU has been elected in Nov 2012 chairman of the board of the European Technology Platform on Nanomedicine, headquartered in Berlin, Germany.
Ian Dodd is Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at the Lancaster Environment Centre. His research aims to improve the sustainability of agriculture, with particular emphasis on the efficient use of water resources. Fundamental studies of how root-to-shoot signals are affected by the soil environment are exploited by (a) identifying genetic variation in crop water use efficiency (b) rootstock-mediated crop improvement (c) altering root architecture (d) different irrigation techniques and (e) applying plant growth promoting rhizobacteria and (f) applying different soil amendments derived from industrial waste streams. These techniques aim to understand the mechanisms by which plants sense changes in the soil biological, chemical and physical environment, how they communicate this information to the shoot to regulate water use, growth and crop yield, and how this knowledge can be exploited to maximize agricultural profit while sustainably using resources. He has published extensively on crop management techniques such as rootzone cooling in tropical aeroponics production, partial rootzone drying and rhizosphere engineering.
Dr. Wolfgang Frieß holds a position as Professor for Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmaceutics at the LMU Munich since 2001. He received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Technology in 1993 and his Pharmacy degree in 1989 from the University of Erlangen. His primary research goals are protein formulation, drug delivery and biomaterials, in particular new analytical tools for protein formulations, freeze-drying of proteins and different local delivery routes. He has worked for several years in academia both in Germany and the US. He is co-editor of the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics and has published over 150 research papers, patents and book chapters.
Christof Holliger is at present full professor of environmental biotechnology at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. After obtaining a PhD from University of Wageningen, The Netherlands, in 1992, he worked as a group leader at Eawag (1992-1998) before joining EPFL as assistant and later associate professor. Being originally trained as biologist, his research is mainly directed towards the microbial aspects of environmental biotechnology, however, not forgetting the applicability of the microbial processes and systems involved. Two main topics characterize the research activity, reductive dechlorination of chlorinated solvents such as per- and trichloroethene by anaerobic bacteria and wastewater treatment by aerobic granular sludge. In the former topic, the biochemical and physiological characteristics of the bacteria involved as well as their ecology are investigated. In the latter topic, research concentrates on the influence of wastewater composition on the most interesting ecosystem with its many different niches due to the redox gradients created in the granular biofilm.
Karin has 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including NCEs, mAbs, vaccines, and cell and gene therapy products. Currently, she holds a position as scientist ATMP development at the cell therapy facility of the Utrecht University Medical Centre hospital pharmacy. Her primary focus is: CMC product development and GMP manufacture of cell and gene therapy products. She has MSc degrees in Biology and Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences from Leiden University, The Netherlands and a PharmD degree from Utrecht University.
Dr. Yu-Chen Hu’s research interests include vaccine development, gene therapy, tissue engineering, cancer therapy and synthetic biology. Dr. Hu's lab has developed the enterovirus 71 (EV71) vaccine based on virus-like particle technology and also paves a new avenue to the use of baculovirus as a novel vector for regenerative medicine. Dr. Hu has won the Asia Research Award, Outstanding Research Award (Ministry of Science and Technology, 2006, 2014), BEST Biochemical Engineering Achievement Award, Wu Ta-You Memorial Award, Outstanding Academia-Industry Research Award and Outstanding Young Investigator Award in Taiwan. He is a fellow of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and a Member of the Tissue Engineering International & Regenerative Medicine Society-Asia Pacific (TERMIS-AP) Council and the Vice President of Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering Society of Taiwan. He currently serves as the associated editor of Current Gene Therapy and deputy editor of Journal of Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Dr. Kara completed BSc Chemical Engineering and BSc Food Engineering studies at Middle East Technical University, Turkey. In 2005, she moved to Germany for MSc study in Biotechnology at Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) with a DAAD–Turkish Education Foundation scholarship. In 2011, she was awarded a PhD degree in bioprocess engineering at the TUHH, Institute of Technical Biocatalysis (Prof. Dr. A. Liese). For her postdoctoral stay, she moved to Delft University of Technology (2011–2013), Biocatalysis Group (Assoc. Prof. Dr. F. Hollmann and Prof. Dr. I.W.C.E. Arends). She started her Habilitation at Technical University Dresden (2013–2015), Chair of Molecular Biotechnology (Prof. Dr. M. Ansorge-Schumacher). Since July 2015, Dr. Kara is a Group Leader for Reaction Sequences in the Institute of Technical Biocatalysis, TUHH. She focuses on design and engineering of biocatalytic cascades in aqueous and in non-conventional media. Her research has been published so far in 37 publications.
Juan M. Lema is Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Fellow of the International Water Association (IWA). Supervisor of 51 PhD Thesis, author of more than 350 papers and book chapters (H index: 50, Scopus) and 11 patents (3 European). Editor of the book: Innovative Wastewater Treatment & Resource Recovery Technologies published by IWA. His current research interests include: Removal of micropollutants from wastewater; Anaerobic co-digestion; Development of innovative wastewater treatment plants; Biorefinery. 36 research projects founded by European Union, Spanish Commission of Science and Technology and Galician Regional Government. He has been the coordinator of the COST Action:”Conceiving Wastewater treatment in 2020” (Water 2020). Coordinator of the Spanish network Novedar_Consolider. 25 relevant research projects with companies in the areas of treatment of industrial and municipal wastewater.
Emilio Montesinos Segui
Emilio Montesinos was born in Cuenca (Spain) in 1956. Currently Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Girona, he earned his doctorate in Microbiology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) in 1982. He has been working at the UAB, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, and later he joined the University of Girona, where he is currently working. He was visiting Lecturer in the Department of Plant Pathology at Cornell University (1994). His area of research and development is focused on Plant Pathology, in the field of biopesticides, mainly in functional peptides (FPs) and beneficial microorganisms, with the main focus on control of plant quarantine bacteria. Novel synthetic FPs with proven efficacy at greenhouse/field level against several plant diseases, have been produced in plant biofactories. Strains of beneficial bacteria producing FPs were also discovered and are under exploitation. He is inventor in several patents, and contributed to the creation of a spin-off company. Member of the Board of the Spanish Society for Biotechnology (SEBIOT), and Honorary Member of the Spanish Society for Plant Pathology (SEF).
Lisbeth Olsson received her PhD degree in Applied Microbiology 1994 at Lund University. She became professor in Quantitative Fermentation Physiology at Technical University of Denmark in 2006 and moved to Chalmers University of Technology in 2008, where she is Professor in Bioprocess Technology. Lisbeth Olsson works in the area of Industrial Biotechnology focusing on design and use of enzymes and microorganisms in processes where plant cell wall material is converted to fuels, chemicals and material. Lisbeth is the Head of the division of Industrial Biotechnology and she is PI in the Wallenberg Wood Science Center (collaboration between Chalmers and KTH) aiming at developing materials from wood for the future. Lisbeth leads the BioBuF, an interdisciplinary large collaborative project where a large biorefinery concept for production of fine and bulk chemicals are put together utilizing both forestry and algal raw materials. Lisbeth Olsson is co-author of more than 180 papers and 5 patents. Lisbeth is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.
Jozef Šamaj is molecular cell biologist working on mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), cytoskeleton and polarized vesicular trafficking in plants. He studied at the Comenius University Bratislava in Slovak Republic and habilitated at the Bonn University in Germany. Since 2010 he is a professor of Botany at the Palacký University Olomouc in Czech Republic where he leads Department of Cell Biology at the Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research. His laboratory is using advanced environmental and super-resolution microscopy combined with cell biological, genetic, proteomic and biochemical approaches to dissect biological roles of MAPKs, cytoskeleton and polarized vesicle trafficking during plant development and stress adaptation.
Dr. Schöneich is the Takeru Higuchi Distinguished Professor for Bioanalytical Chemistry and Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at The University of Kansas. He received his Diploma in Chemistry from the Free University Berlin, Germany, in 1987. Between 1987 and 1991 he worked in the Department of Radiation Chemistry at the Hahn-Meitner Institute for Nuclear Research in Berlin, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1990 from the Technical University Berlin, Germany. He joined the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at The University of Kansas as a post-doctoral fellow in 1991, and as a faculty member in 1992; in 2004, he was a Visiting Professor at the ETH Zürich, Switzerland.
Bernhard Schuster graduated in Biochemistry and Food Chemistry and obtained his PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1995 at the Graz University of Technology, Austria. He was postdoctoral scientist at the Center for Ultrastructure Research, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), and Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Molecular Nanotechnology, Vienna, Austria. He established the research group working on self-assembled nanostructures, in particular on S-layer protein stabilized lipid membrane platforms. In 2004, he received his Habilitation in Molecular Nanotechnology and Biomimetics and became Associated Professor at Department for NanoBiotechnology, BOKU. Since 2011, he is principle investigator at the Institute for Synthetic Bioarchitectures. He is Editorial Board Member of numerious international journals and acts also as Guest Editor. His research interests focuses on biomimetics, self-assembly, functional supported lipid membranes, cell envelope structures of archaea, bioinspired materials, biosensors, nanobiotechnology, and smart nanocarriers for drug targeting and delivery.
Eva Stoger is currently Professor of Molecular Plant Physiology at the Department of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology, which belongs to the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. After completing her PhD at the University of Vienna she worked at the University of Florida, Gainesville, US, at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK, and at the Aachen Technical University (RWTH), Germany. She received several awards including the Golden Grain award from the Cerealiers de France and AGPM (France), and the Sofia-Kovalevskaja Prize awarded by the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation (Germany). Her main research interests are in the area of cereal biotechnology with an emphasis on molecular farming, intracellular protein trafficking and deposition, and the production of high-value recombinant proteins in seed crops.
Beatrix Suess is full Professor of Genetics at the Technical University Darmstadt and dean of the department of biology. She heads the Synthetic Biology Laboratory. She obtained the diploma and a PhD in biology at the University Erlangen/Nuremberg (1998). In 2007 she obtained her habilitation at the same university. In 2000 and 2006, she was research fellow with Prof Renee Schroeder at the University of Vienna and with Prof Ronald Breaker at the Yale University. In 2007, she was appointed as associated professor for Chemical Biology at the Goethe University Frankfurt/Main (2007).She received the Bayerischer Habilitationspreis and the Emmy-Noether-Habilitationspreis of the University of Erlangen. She is associated editor of the journal “RNA Biology” and in the board of directors of the “Aptamer society”.
Dirk Weuster-Botz studied chemical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe (diploma 1986) followed by his doctoral research study at the Institute of Biotechnology of the Research Center Jülich. Since 1991 he was head of the pilot plant facilities at the Research Center Jülich and established his own junior research group on fermentation science. After an industrial research stay (1995 – 1996) at the DSM company in Geleen, Netherlands, he earned his postdoctoral lecture qualification in 1999 at the RWTH Aachen. One year later he was appointed as full professor and chairman of the newly founded Institute of Biochemical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Garching. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journal ‘Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering’ since 2005. Since 2011 he is chairman of the interfacultative Master’s programm ‘Industrial Biotechnology’ at TUM. 2012 he was appointed as member of the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), Germany.
As Chief Technology Officer, Marcel is responsible for Corbion's global R&D organization. He is driving the innovation and technology agenda enabling business development opportunities to support the company's growth journey. Marcel is a part of Corbion's Executive Committee. Marcel Wubbolts holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Natural Sciences from the University of Groningen. Following several positions in academia, he joined DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials based in the Netherlands. Currently, Marcel is CTO and member of the DSM global leadership team. During his 20 years of service at DSM he held several science leadership positions in biochemistry and biotechnology, aiming at developing sustainable production methods for intermediates for pharma, nutritional and materials applications. In addition, he is well connected in the broader biotechnology industry network, amongst others he chairs the Governing Board of the Biobased Industries Joint Undertaking, a Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Biobased Industries Consortium. Marcel Wubbolts is a Dutch national.