First Round of Abstract Submission Ends: Jan 15, 2024
Extended Early Bird Ends: Jan 28, 2024

Plenary Speakers

Prof. Bruce Beutler
UT Southwestern Medical Center, TX, USA
Title: Finding targets for cancer therapy with germline mutagenesis and automated meiotic mapping
Early in his career Bruce Beutler isolated mouse TNF and discovered its inflammatory properties. He also invented recombinant TNF inhibitor proteins that found widespread use in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Then, using classical genetics, and taking the TNF response as a biological endpoint, he identified the mammalian LPS receptor as Toll-like receptor 4, opening a new chapter in the field of innate immunity. These groundbreaking studies of innate immune sensing and response earned Beutler the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (shared with J. Hoffmann and R. Steinman). Subsequently, Beutler developed a new technology known as Automated Meiotic Mapping (AMM), which utilizes germline mutagenesis, phenotypic screening, high speed statistical computation, and machine learning to make positional cloning of induced mutations causing any phenotype an instantaneous process (whereas formerly it required years of work). Using AMM, Beutler has discovered numerous mutations that mitigate diseases, most notably arresting the growth of cancers (both leukemias and solid tumors). These mutations point to new targets for drug development.

Beutler is a Regental Professor, and directs the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.
Prof. Marina Freudenberg
Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg, Germany
Title: Will update soon
1965-1972: Student of medicine at Charles University, Prague, and JW Goethe University, Frankfurt, residency at the University Hospitals, Frankfurt and Freiburg.

1972-2012: Researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Immunology in the field of recognition and defense against infection by the innate immune system and Collaboration with long-time scientific partner and husband, Chris Galanos.

During this period, Marina Freudenberg and Chris Galanos investigated the interaction of microbial components with the host immune system, especially as they relate to endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides, LPS) of Gram-negative bacteria. These studies played a key role in the identification of lipid A as the endotoxically active part of LPS molecules, contributed to the elucidation of the interrelationship between LPS structure and its biological activity, and also to the identification of the metabolic fate of LPS in mammalian hosts. Their experimental work was pivotal in recognizing the prominent role of macrophage-derived, pro-inflammatory mediators in endotoxicity. Their research at the Max-Planck-Institute and their collaboration with Bruce Beutler were part of the effort that led to the identification of TLR4 as the signaling receptor to LPS. By introducing several experimental models, they demonstrated how infection and other pathophysiological conditions may dramatically upregulate the host sensitivity to LPS and thus lead to the development of deleterious LPS effects, of endotoxin shock in the worst case scenario.

Since 2013: Guest professor at the Center for Biological Signalling Studies (BIOSS) Department of molecular Immunology, Faculty of Biology, and Guest scientist in the Dept. of Pneumology, University Medical Center, University Freiburg.
Prof. Michael I. Bukrinsky
The George Washington University, USA
Title: Will update soon
Dr. Bukrinsky is Professor of Microbiology, Immunology & Tropical Medicine and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The George Washington University School of Medicine. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia. He graduated from the 2nd State Medical School in Moscow, Russia, and did his PhD at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Moscow, defending his thesis in 1984. Dr. Bukrinsky is a world-recognized expert on HIV biology and pathogenesis, having published over 200 papers, reviews and book chapters including publications in such top scientific journals as Science, Nature, PLoS Biology and PNAS. He is also an author on 12 US patents. Dr. Bukrinsky was among the first to realize that the ability of HIV to infect macrophages and quiescent T lymphocytes depends on unique capacity of this virus to transport its genetic material through intact nuclear envelope. This discovery identified HIV nuclear import as a novel target for anti-HIV therapeutics. Another major discovery of Dr. Bukrinsky is identification of the mechanism behind high risk of atherosclerosis in HIV patients. He demonstrated that HIV protein Nef affects the function of the main cellular cholesterol transporter ABCA1, thus impairing HDL maturation and reducing its anti-atherogenic activity. This research identified Nef and ABCA1 as therapeutic targets that can be used to treat this dangerous complication of HIV infection. His most recent discovery is a finding that Nef-carrying extracellular vesicles induce long-lasting inflammatory status in myeloid cells, including progenitors. Targeting this phenomenon is essential for HIV cure efforts to avoid persistent inflammation in HIV-infected individuals after elimination of the virus. Dr. Bukrinsky is a winner of the GW Distinguished Researcher award in 2007 and Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Award for Scholarship in 2011. Dr. Bukrinsky’s research has been funded by NIH grants for over 25 years. He is a regular reviewer on several NIH Study Sections, and also reviews HIV-related grant applications for international and US foundations (NHMRC, Australia; Health Research Board, Ireland; Welcome Trust, Great Britain; Israel Science Foundation; AmFAR, USA). Dr. Bukrinsky is a fellow of the American Heart Association. He is an Editor-in-Chief of the Open AIDS Journal and a member of Editorial Boards of a number of virology and medical journals: Virology, Retrovirology, Open Virology, Molecular Medicine. Dr. Bukrinsky mentored a number of graduate and post-graduate HIV researchers, many of whom won prestigious awards and continue as independent investigators in other institutions all over the world.
Dr. Jacques Pouyssegur
University Côte d’Azur, (IRCAN), CNRS, France
Title: Fermentative Glycolysis controls tumor growth, bacterial, viral infections and immunity - Genetic deconstruction and therapeutic perspectives
J Pouysségur graduated from an Engineering School in Biochemistry of the University of Lyon, where he obtained his PhD in 1972. He spent two years as a post-doctoral scientist at the National Cancer Institute of NIH (USA) and established his own research group in 1978 at the CNRS Biochemistry Centre of the University of Nice. After directing the CNRS Institute of Signalling, Developmental Biology and Cancer, affiliated to the Cancer Centre Antoine Lacassagne up to 2008, J Pouysségur, joined the Cancer & Aging (IRCAN) in Nice, and later the Biomedical Department of the Scientific Centre of Monaco (CSM). Jacques Pouysségur has previous experience in bacterial and somatic cell genetics, metabolism, Na-H exchanger, pH regulation, MAP kinase signalling in the context of growth control in mammalian cells. In the last 25 years his group developed a strong interested in hypoxia signalling, oxygen and nutrient sensing and Bioenergetics. He is member of AACR, EACR, EMBO, the French and European Academy of Sciences the French and European Academy of Sciences
Prof. Per Venge
Uppsala University, Sweden
Title: Will update soon
Per Venge is MD and PhD and professor in Clinical Chemistry at the University of Uppsala. He has published more than 600 papers in international scientific journals. The research areas have been the biochemistry and function of neutrophils and eosinophil and clinical and basic studies on related diseases. He has also developed several novel biomarker assays based on his discovery of 12 novel human proteins and refined current biomarker assays in the areas of diagnosis and monitoring of diseases such as asthma and allergic disease, acute infections, acute kidney injury and cardiac disease. His recent achievements relate to the development of several immunoassays for the measurements of HNL (Human Neutrophil Lipocalin) and its variants in biological fluids. The main foci are on the distinction between bacterial and viral infections, monitoring of sepsis and sepsis outcome. Per Venge is the owner of several international patents and the founder of Diagnostics Development a P&M Venge AB company (www.diagnosticsdevelopment.com).
Prof. Johan Frostegård
Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Title: Will update soon
Will update soon