Keynote Speakers

Annamaria Locascio, PhD

Institution: Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Department of Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms (BEOM)
Position: Research investigator
Years in position: 2009 – present

Education: 2017-National Academic Qualification as Associate Professor in Molecular Biology. Since 2002-Research investigator at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples, Italy. 1999-2002-Post-doctoral training in the Neurobiology Laboratory, Cajal Institute, CSIC, Madrid, Spain. 1999 PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathology, University “Federico II” of Naples.
22+ years working with tunicates as models for transgenesis

Davide Seruggia

Davide Seruggia joined Lluis Montoliu´s lab on 1st October 2010 and got his PhD thesis passed, on December 15, 2014. During his stay, also as a post-doc, he authored or co-authored seven scientific publications. Thereafter, he joined Prof. Stuart Orkin´s laboratory at the Boston Childrens Hospital, from October 1, 2015, where he has been working the last years, also very successfully, in complex projects requiring advance CRISPR technology. He has produced several top scientific publications, as first author, and has been involved in numerous other papers also published in very prestigious journals, thereby illustrating again his capacity as successful researcher in different laboratories.

Howy Jacobs

Howy Jacobs is Professor of Molecular Biology in Tampere University, Finland (since 1996). Educated in Cambridge, Glasgow and Caltech, he has spent most of his career studying mitochondria, including mtDNA transactions, the pathophysiology and molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial disease, and the properties of alternative respiratory chain enzymes. His primary experimental model is Drosophila which he applies to study mitochondrial function and dysfunction. As well as winning a number of research awards, Howy is an active member of EMBO and was Chief Editor of EMBO Reports (2009-2014). He has undertaken numerous other tasks in scientific publication, conferencing and public communication.

Professor Kari Alitalo

Dr. Alitalo and collaborators work on translational aspects of vascular growth factors in development, physiology and in human cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, and obesity. – Alitalo and collaborators study angiopoietins and their Tie1 and Tie2 receptor complex, lymphangiogenic growth factor VEGF-C and its receptor VEGFR-3, VEGF-B as a growth factor for coronary and adipose vasculature, and meningeal lymphatic vessels, which they discovered in 2015. The laboratory has developed inhibitors of the VEGFR-3 signal transduction pathway, which are in clinical trials in age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema, and growth factor therapy for lymphedema, which has gone through phase two clinical trials.

Professor Martin Bergo

My group’s focus is on the biochemical and medical importance of the five enzymes that post-translationally modify CAAX proteins (e.g., K-RAS, RAC1, and prelamin A) which are involved in the pathogenesis of common and rare diseases such as cancer, inflammation, and progeria. Over the past 17 years, we have defined the role of the five enzymes; studied how their activities influence disease development; and evaluated their suitability as therapeutic targets. This work also led us into new and unexpected areas including our group’s current main focus: analyzing the role of free radicals and antioxidants in cancer progression and metastasis.

Dr. Qiangge Zhang

Dr. Qiangge Zhang is a Research Scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His current research focus on developing and improving assisted reproduction technology for efficiently generating NHP models for neuroscience and brain disorders research. He has established an up-to-date transgenic platform at MIT and has generated several transgenic marmoset models for Autism, Alzheimer’s disease and Rett syndrome.