SYMPOSIA SPEAKERS

Joseph Arron

Genentech Inc.

Joseph Arron earned an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, completed a combined MD-PhD degree at Cornell University Medical College and the Rockefeller University, and conducted postdoctoral studies at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dr. Arron joined Genentech in 2006, where his laboratory has discovered molecular bases for heterogeneity in asthma and pulmonary fibrosis, enabling target and biomarker discovery for novel investigational molecular therapies and resulting in more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. In addition to supervising translational research in his laboratory, he is Senior Director of Immunology Discovery, a department of 12 laboratories responsible for target discovery and preclinical therapeutic development in inflammatory, autoimmune, fibrotic, and ophthalmic diseases.

Read more

Megan Baldwin

More information to come

Jane Buckner

More information to come

Andy Clark

More information to come

Dawn Bowdish

Dr Dawn Bowdish is an Associate Professor at McMaster University and the Canada Research Chair in Aging & Immunity. Her lab studies how age-associated inflammation alters monocyte and macrophage development and function and how this ultimately increases susceptibility to pneumonia. Her team also studies how the aging immune system and the microbiome interact and how this can contribute to healthy or unhealthy aging. She runs the Preclinical Studies in Aging Laboratory, and is on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Lung Association where she advocates to increase research funding for lung health and to increase lung health in older adults.

Judith Field

CSL Research

Research Scientist, Translational Research Group, Cell Biology & Physiology Department, CSL Research

Judith Field completed her Ph.D. in 2007 in the Department of Immunology, Monash University, where her work focused on investigating the mechanisms of autoimmune disease induction, and the development of potential therapeutic strategies. Judith subsequently moved to the Multiple Sclerosis Division at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health where she most recently held the position of Senior Research Officer, and was Head of the Neuroimmunology and Remyelination Laboratory.

During this time, Judith focused on the genetics, epigenetics and immunology of Multiple Sclerosis, identifying disease-associated genetic risk factors that resulted in altered immune cell gene expression as well as altered disease outcomes in animal models. This work contributed to seminal contributions in the field of Multiple Sclerosis research and include publications in Nature Genetics, PLoS Genetics and Human Molecular Genetics, including the pioneering ANZgene MS susceptibility study and more recently, the discovery of MERTK as a novel MS-risk gene. In 2017, Judith joined CSL Research at the Bio21 Institute as a Research Scientist in the Translational Research Group within the Cell Biology and Physiology Department, where her skills will help build understanding of the genetic and cellular contributions to various human diseases. The Translational Research Group is focused on the preclinical evaluation, demonstration of proof of concept and identification of mechanism of action of lead protein-based therapeutic candidates through the study of in-vitro biology, for the prevention and/or treatment of serious human disease.

Read more

Vera Gorbunova

Doris Johns Cherry Professor of Biology

Department of Biology, University of Rochester

Vera Gorbunova is an endowed Professor of Biology at the University of Rochester and a co-director of the Rochester Aging Research Center. Her research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of longevity and genome stability and on the studies of exceptionally long-lived mammals. Dr. Gorbunova earned her B.Sc. degrees at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and her Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. Dr. Gorbunova pioneered comparative biology approach to study aging and identified rules that control evolution of tumor suppressor mechanisms depending on the species lifespan and body mass. Dr. Gorbunova also investigates the role of Sirtuin proteins in maintaining genome stability. More recently the focus of her research has been on the longest-lived rodent species the naked mole rats and the blind mole rat. Dr. Gorbunova identified high molecular weight hyaluronan as the key mediator of cancer-resistance in the naked mole rat. Her work received awards of from the Ellison Medical Foundation, the Glenn Foundation, American Federation for Aging Research, and from the National Institutes of Health. Her work was awarded the Cozzarelli Prize from PNAS, prize for research on aging from ADPS/Alianz, France, Prince Hitachi Prize in Comparative Oncology, Japan, and Davey prize from Wilmot Cancer Center.

Read more

Prue Hart

More information to come

Masaru Ishii

More information to come

Wolfgang Jarolimek

More information to come

Tim Johnson

More information to come

Richard Kitching

More information to come

Paula Longhi

More information to come

Laura Mackay

University of Melbourne

B Associate Professor Laura Mackay is a Principle Research Fellow at The Peter Doherty Institute at The University of Melbourne, and holds an Adjunct appointment at the Singapore Immunology Network at A*STAR in Singapore. Laura obtained her PhD from The University of Birmingham, U.K. in 2009, before taking up a post-doctoral position with Professor Francis Carbone at the University of Melbourne.

She established an independent group at the Peter Doherty Institute in 2016, where her Laboratory studies memory T cell responses, with a focus on the signals that control tissue-resident memory T cell differentiation, with a view to harness these cells to develop new treatments against infection and cancer. Laura is currently a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and Bill & Melinda Gates International Scholar, a Sylvia & Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation Senior Medical Research Fellow, and a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellow. Her research is supported by several Project Grants from the NHMRC, and she is the recipient of awards including The Michelson Prize for Human Immunology (2018) and The Victorian Young Tall Poppy Award (2016). Laura is a regular co-host on Melbourne Triple R Radio science show Einstein-A-Go-Go, and is the recently appointed President of The Federation of Immunological Societies of Asia-Oceania (FIMSA).

Read more

Suresh Mahalingam

More information to come

Paul McMenamin

More information to come

Lisa F. P. Ng, PhD

Deputy Executive Director, A*STAR Graduate Academy, A*STAR

Senior Principal Investigator, Singapore Immunology Network, A*STAR

Professor and Chair of Viral Immunology, Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, UK

Lisa Ng graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in the United Kingdom in 1995. Following this, she then obtained her PhD in Molecular Virology in coronaviruses in 2002. She joined the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), A*STAR as a postdoctoral fellow where she provided major contributions in the containment, prevention and treatment of epidemic viral infections including SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and avian influenza H5N1 (bird flu). Since starting her own research lab at the Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), she is currently a Senior Principal Investigator and the research interest of her group focuses on the immune responses of arthrogenic arboviruses that are epidemic or highly endemic in the tropical region. These include chikungunya virus, dengue virus, Zika virus and other related alpha- and flavi-viruses. Her team has published in top tier scientific journals and made several key important findings to move the human immunology field forward in controlling chikungunya virus and Zika virus infections. For her previous work and contributions to SARS, she was voted “Most Inspiring Woman” at the Great Women of Our Time Awards for Science and Technology in 2005, and was conferred the Junior Chamber International (JCI) “Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World” Singapore 2013 Scientific and/or Technological Development Award. In recognition of her meritorious research and development efforts on Asia’s infectious diseases, she was conferred the highly prestigious ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) “International Young Scientist and Technologist Award” in 2008. In recognition of her mentoring work for graduate students and scientists, she received the A*STAR “Most Inspiring Mentor Award” in March 2013, and more recently, appointed Deputy Executive Director at the A*STAR Graduate Academy.

In addition to her appointment at SIgN, Lisa holds a secondary appointment at the Institute of Infection and Global Health as Professor and Chair, University of Liverpool, UK since 2013. She also holds adjunct Professorships with the Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore NUS, and at the ‘Duke-NUS’ Graduate Medical School. Lisa is also the Academic Editor for several international scientific journals including Journal Virology, PLoS ONE, Microbes and Infection, Frontiers in Immunology, and Scientific Reports (Nature). Over the years, she has organised and chaired numerous local and international meetings on scientific research, including the Gordon Research Conferences “Infections of the Nervous System” in both June 2013 and 2015 in Hong Kong, and more recently the EMBO Workshop on “Modelling Infection in the Cell” in Jan 2018.

Read more

Catherine Owczarek

CSL

Dr Catherine Owczarek is the Director of the Recombinant Protein Expression Group (CSL Limited) located at the Bio21 Institute in Melbourne, Australia. After gaining a PhD at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra, she completed her post-doctoral studies at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology in Oxford, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne and then was a Senior Research Fellow at the Monash Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. Since joining CSL Limited in 2004 Catherine has led the CSL Research Group’s efforts in the successful development of programs to produce mammalian-derived recombinant proteins and is involved in a range of CSL’s early phase drug discovery campaigns for the prevention and/or treatment of human diseases.

Ethan Shevach

More information to come

Matthew Sleeman

Matthew Sleeman is the VP of the Immunology & Inflammation group at Regeneron. His team supports the development of novel biologic therapies for the treatment of a range of different allergic and autoimmune diseases, such as atopic dermatitis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition his group also works in immuno-oncology to develop new therapeutic approaches for cancer. This team has successfully supported the development of a number of Regenerons approved therapies, such as Dupixent (AntiIL4R), Kevzara (AntiIL6R) and Libtayo (antiPD1). Prior to joining Regeneron Matt Sleeman was a Senior Director of Biology for the Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity Group at MedImmune in Cambridge UK and also held several positions within Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT). Before working in the antibody field, he worked for a New Zealand start up Genesis Research & Development isolating and characterizing novel growth factors and cytokines. Matt Sleeman holds a PhD from the University of Durham, UK.

Jenny Stow

More information to come

Toshiyuki Takai

More information to come

Hiroshi Takayanagi

University of Tokyo

Research Scientist, Translational Research Group, Cell Biology & Physiology Department, CSL Research

Dr. Hiroshi Takayanagi was initially trained as an orthopaedic surgeon and rheumatologist in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The University of Tokyo after graduation from the Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo. Dr. Hiroshi Takayanagi started his basic research career in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo by studying the mechanism of bone destruction in arthritis and moved to the Department of Immunology in the same university.
After awarded Ph.D in 2001 Dr. Hiroshi Takayanagi became Assistant Professor of the Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo (Prof. Tadatsugu Taniguchi). Dr. Hiroshi Takayanagi explored the role of immune molecules such as interferons in the regulation of bone metabolism and revealed the key factors NFATc1 and immunoglobulin-like receptors in osteoclast development. For the period from 2003 through 2012, Dr. Hiroshi Takayanagi fulfilled responsibilities as Professor of Tokyo Medical and Dental University and continued to explore the interdisciplinary field, osteoimmunology. Since 2012, Dr. Hiroshi Takayanagi has served as Professor, Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, focusing on osteoimmunology and pathogenesis of autoimmune disease as well as mechanism of immune tolerance.

Read more

Ranjeny Thomas

More information to come

Ken Walsh

University of Virginia

More information to come

Connie Wong

Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, Monash University

The focus of Dr. Connie Wong's research is investigating the pathophysiology of stroke and the subsequent host inflammatory response. After completing her PhD at Monash University in 2008, Connie was trained in the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases at the University of Calgary in Canada (2008-2012) and returned to Monash University in 2013, before heading her own lab in 2015. Connie has published >40 journal articles, including first/senior author in Science, Nature Immunology and Nature Medicine. Connie was awarded "The Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize" in 2013 and Victorian Tall Poppy award in 2017. Her research is funded by NHMRC and National Heart Foundation. She is a current recipient of the CSL Centenary Fellowship.

Tom Wynn

More information to come

Akihiko Yoshimura

Dr. Akihiko Yoshimura is currently a professor of Keio University School of Medicine. He obtained PhD from Faculty of Science, Kyoto University, Japan in 1986. He became an assistant professor at Oita Medical School in 1985, followed by becoming an associate professor at Kagoshima University in 1989. He trained as a postdoctoral fellow, at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Boston, USA from 1989 to 1991. He became full professor in 1995 at the Institute of Life Science, Kurume University in Fukuoka, Japan, then moved to Kyushu University in 2001. He was appointed a professor at Keio University School of Medicine. in 2008. He is an expert in the field of immunology, especially negative regulation of cytokine signal transduction as well as functions of regulatory T cells (Tregs). His group discovered the CIS/SOCS family in 1997, which negatively regulates cytokine signaling and the Spred family which inhibits the Ras-ERK pathway in 2001. He continued his research on Tregs after moving to Keio University and discovered an essential gene, Nr4a for the development of Tregs. His group recently discovered Tregs in the brain after ischemic brain injury.

Read more