Keynote Speakers 2020

Alex Bullock | Oxford University
Alex Bullock is an Associate Professor at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, working on the structural, functional and chemical biology of proteins mediating phosphorylation and ubiquitylation. Through his interest in BMP signalling he is developing clinical candidates for the treatment of rare diseases, including fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP). Alex obtained his degree and PhD at the University of Cambridge and subsequently held a Wellcome Fellowship for positions at the University of Washington, Seattle and later with Nobel Prize winner Sir Peter Ratcliffe at the University of Oxford for work on hypoxia.
Marelise Eekhoff | Amsterdam UMC
Marelise Eekhoff is an internist-endocrinologist, working as a staff member at the Department of Internal Medicine, department Endocrinology of the University Medical Centers Amsterdam, Netherlands since 2002.She completed her internal medical education at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Leiden, Netherlands and received her PhD in 2004 on the topic "The bone disease of Paget in the Netherlands: Epidemiology, Genetics and Treatment".Since 2002 she has been working as an internist-endocrinologist with a focus on rare bone and endocrine diseases, including outpatient clinical care, education and research. Her expertise is rare bone diseases, in particular fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) since 2010. Marelise and her team focus their research on an integrated approach together with patients, other researchers and companies to find new diagnostic tools and new treatment methods for FOP, with prevention and recovery as the main goal. In collaboration with the large Amsterdam imaging center, a focused imaging instrument, 18F NaF PET / CT, was demonstrated to be the first tool to differentiate whether a flare-up will turn into a heterotopic bone formation or not. This imaging tool is now being used in various clinical trials.
Scott Hollister | Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. Hollister is the Patsy and Alan Dorris Chair in Pediatric Technology and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He directs the Center for 3D Medical Fabrication as well as the Tissue Engineering and Mechanics Laboratory at Georgia Tech. His research interests focus on image-based computational design and 3D biomaterial printing for patient-specific devices and regenerative medicine, including simulation on a multiscale level of implants’ performance and of their impact on patient designs. Clinical application of his work includes airway reconstruction and tissue engineering, structural heart defects, craniofacial and facial plastics, orthopedics, and gastrointestinal reconstruction. He was co-inventor of an airway splint, in both resorbable and permanent versions, that to date has been implanted and saved the lives of 20 children with Tracheobronchomalacia. This work received the attention of several mainstream media like The Today Show, NPR, CNN, the New Yorker, the Doctors Show, CBS Morning News and USA Today, and was awarded the 2013 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Innovation award.
Fadi Issa | Oxford University
Prof Issa gained his medical and doctoral degrees at the University of Oxford and held an NIHR Clinical Lecturer post until 2018. He is currently Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and a Wellcome Trust CRCD Fellow. In addition, he chairs the Transplantation Science Committee of the TTS and is a Lecturer in Physiology at Exeter College, Oxford. Prof Issa has a specific interest in the effects of hypoxia and the HIF system on immune regulation, and how these can be manipulated for therapeutic purposes. His research group, The Transplantation Research Immunology Group (TRIG) is located in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. TRIG has a longstanding focus on understanding the mechanisms that underlie transplantation tolerance and in the development of methods to manipulate the immune system to improve outcomes after transplantation. TRIG is currently running the Phase IIb TWO Study to assess regulatory T cell (Treg) cellular therapy in renal transplantation.
John McDevitt | New York University, USA
John T. McDevitt completed his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Stanford University and is now a Full Professor within the Department of Biomaterials at New York University, a member of NYU’s Bioengineering Institute and a faculty member in the NYU Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering within the Tandon School of Engineering. Professor McDevitt is a pioneer in the development of ‘programmable bio-nano-chip’ technologies, with a strong track record of translating essential bioscience, artificial intelligence and medical microdevice discoveries into real-world clinical practice. He and his team have contributed to over 200 publications and 100 patents / patent applications. Over the past 10 years, Dr. McDevitt has served as the Principal Investigator for 6 major clinical trials and 2 clinical pilot studies, all involving the programmable bio-nano-chip. Through these clinical efforts, mini-sensor ensembles are being developed for major diseases in the areas of COVID-19 disease severity, oral cancer, cardiac heart disease, trauma, drugs of abuse, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer.
Ernst Reichmann | University of Zurich, Switzerland
Ernst Reichmann studied Biology at the Universities of Giessen (Germany) and Bern (Switzerland). In 1988 he obtained his PhD in Bern at the Ludwig-Institute for Cancer Research. In 1989 he started a post-doc (and then became staff scientist) at the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, where he specialized in cell and cancer biology. In 1994 he was offered a group leader position at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in Lausanne (Switzerland). In 2001, he became the head of the Tissue Biology Research Unit (TBRU) in Zurich. He obtained his habilitation (receiving the title of a Privatdozent) in 2004 in the field of experimental surgery, developing and applying his expertise in cell and tissue biology. In 2012 he acquired a professorship at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Zurich (Switzerland). His areas of expertise are cell biology and tissue engineering. The philosophy of the Tissue Biology Research Unit is to undertake basic research to transform its findings into personalized regenerative medicine. The fields of interest of the TBRU are the mechanisms of vascularization, the generation of blood and lymphatic capillary networks and the characterization of the melanocyte compartment in human skin. The TBRU has developed novel dermal and dermo-epidermal skin grafts, which are presently applied in Phase I and II clinical studies.
Marco Viceconti | University of Bologna, Italy
Marco Viceconti is full professor of Computational Biomechanics in the department of Industrial Engineering of the Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, and Director of the Medical Technology Lab of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute. He is visiting professor at the University of Sheffield, UK, where he founded and led for seven years the prestigious Insigneo Institute for in silico Medicine. Prof Viceconti is an expert of neuromusculoskeletal biomechanics in general, and in particular in the use of subject-specific modelling to support the medical decision. He is one of 25 members of the World Council of Biomechanics. Prof Viceconti is one of the key figures in the in silico medicine international community: he founded the VPH Institute, an international no-profit organisation that coordinates this research community, and drove the creation of the Avicenna Alliance, which represent the biomedical industry interests in this domain. He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering. According to SCOPUS he published 348 papers (H-index = 49).
Rachael Relph | My Green Lab,San Diego, USA
Rachael Relph is the Chief Sustainability Officer at My Green Lab. Working with educational and research institutions around the world, Rachael helps scientists adopt greener laboratory practices through our My Green Lab Certification Program, as well as educational and outreach activities. Rachael holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Yale University and previously led sustainability and Design for Environment programs for major life-science companies.
Julian Braun | Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
Julian Braun was a former PhD student of the Berlin-Brandenburg School of Regenerative Therapies (BSRT). He joined the BSRT with the very first cohort of doctoral students of the BSRT and graduated in 2013. Together with other BSRT students, Julian Braun initiated the first BSRT Symposium in December 2010. Julian continued as a postdoc in the BCRT group Regenerative Immunology and Aging, which is headed by Andreas Thiel. Recently, Julian published a nature paper on “SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in healthy donors and patients with COVID-19” as first author, which has attracted much attention in the press. It shows that some healthy individuals possess immune cells capable of recognizing the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. The authors of this nature paper assume that the reason for this might be found in prior infections with ‘common cold’ coronaviruses.