Editor biographies

Daniel Aberdam

Daniel Aberdam

Daniel Aberdam completed his first degrees at Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris, France) and his PhD at the Weizmann Institute (Israël) on the oncogenic potential of homeotic genes, under the supervision of Professor Leo Sachs. He currently holds the position of INSERM Director of Research and Long Term Visiting Professor of the Israeli Institute of Technology (Technion). He is Director of the INSERM Unit U898 (Nice, France) and Director of INSERTECH (Technion). His scientific interests focus on epithelial gene regulation and skin physiopathology. Lately, his group developed strategies to recapitulate in vitro embryonic skin development derived from embryonic stem cell lines. The current projects developed by his teams are centered around the function and regulation of p63, a p53-related epithelial master gene and the use of pluripotent stem cells as cellular models and for cell and gene therapies.

Patrizia Agostinis

Patrizia Agostinis

Dr. P. Agostinis (PA) received her master in Biology at the University of Padova (Italy) and her PhD in biomedical science at the KU Leuven, Belgium, where she became first Research Associate of the Flemish Research Council (FWO) and then became Full Professor at the KU Leuven in 2008. PA is the group leader of the Cell Death Research & Therapy lab, at the Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine. The main research topics explored in her laboratory are the crosstalk between the ER and mitochondria, the molecular mechanisms of ER stress based and therapy-induced immunogenic cancer cell death, and the role of autophagy in cancer cell-stroma cell interactions. PA lab contributed to the molecular understanding of trafficking/emission of damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and other immunomodulators and their in vivo role in antitumor immunity and to decipher the impact of endothelial cell-associated autophagy/vesicular trafficking in tumor angiogenesis and tumor dissemination. PA group is currently developing new anticancer vaccines based on the concept of immunogenic cell death and exploring the crosstalk between stromal cell-associated autophagy and anti-tumor immunity in melanoma.

Gustavo P Amarante-Mendes

Gustavo_Amarante-Mendes

Gustavo P Amarante-Mendes received his MSc and PhD in Immunology at the University of São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil), working under supervision of Mahasti S. de Macedo. As part of the PhD program, he spent two years in Ed Potoworoski's lab, at the Institut Armand-Frappier (Montreal, Canada), working on thymocyte differentiation and apoptosis. From 1995 to 1997 he conducted postdoctoral research in Doug Green's lab, at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (San Diego, USA), working on the molecular mechanisms that control apoptosis in cancer. In 1998 he was appointed Assistant Professor at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, where he became Associate Professor in 2009 and Professor of Immunology in 2013. He spent one sabbatical year between 2003 and 2004 in Seamus Martin's lab, at the Smurfit Institute of Genetics/Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland), working on proteomics of cytotoxic cell granules. His current scientific interests are related to signaling pathways controlling cell death in cancer and in the immune system.

Alexey Antonov

Alexey Antonov

Dr Alexey Antonov received his Biophysics Masters degree in 1997 and Applied Math Ph.D. in 2001, both from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. He underwent postdoctoral work at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology but since 2003 was working at the Helmholtz Center Munich as a senior scientist at the Bioinformatics Institute where he developed novel methods for analyses and interpretation of microarray data. In 2011, he joined MRC Toxicology Unit (Leicester, UK). His scientific interests focus on the development of algorithms and software for various areas of molecular biology, chemical biology and biomedical applications. His current projects are centered on high throughput chemical screens to elucidate potential therapeutic mechanisms of complex diseases.

Rami Aqeilan

Rami Aqeilan

Rami Aqeilan received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He completed his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr Carlo Croce at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and at Ohio State University in Columbus. He joined the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a Senior Lecturer in 2008. Dr Aqeilan's laboratory investigates the physiological role of the WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX) in tumour suppression, progression, DNA damage response, and resistance to anti-cancer treatments. His laboratory also studies the regulation of the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway and its involvement in organ size and tumorigenesis.

Jiri Bartek

Jiri Bartek

Jiri Bartek is the Head of the Genome Integrity Unit at the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. His work focuses on molecular mechanisms of cell cycle control and genome integrity maintenance, and aberrations of these pathways in human diseases, particularly cancer. He obtained his MD and PhD degrees from Palacky University in Olomouc and Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague (both in the Czech Republic), respectively, where he also currently leads Laboratories of Genome Integrity. Before moving to his current position in Copenhagen in 1992, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, and as a group leader at the Cancer Research Institute in Brno and the Institute of Hematology in Prague. Jiri Bartek published over 350 original articles and reviews in the fields of cell and cancer biology, cell cycle regulation and DNA damage response, that are widely cited. His work was acknowledged by a number of prestigious awards in Denmark, Czech Republic and elsewhere, he is a member of editorial boards of multiple biomedical journals and a member of EMBO.

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Nicolas Bazan

Nicolas Bazan

After obtaining his MD in Tucuman, Argentina, Dr Nicolas Bazan was a postdoc at P&S, Columbia University, and Harvard Medical School. In his first lab at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, Toronto, he found that ischemia or seizures cause an increase in free arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acid pools in the brain. He then discovered that the lipid mediator platelet activating factor (PAF) is released by injury and that PAF antagonism is protective in experimental stroke. He identified PAF binding in synaptic and intracellular membranes; defined PAF-mediated regulation of early gene expression; and found that PAF mediates long-term potentiation and memory. He also uncovered that the supply of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA to synapses is liver-regulated and that DHA is retained in photoreceptors by a "short loop" (RPE-to-photoreceptors) and a "long loop" (liver-to-retina). He found that Usher's Syndrome patients have DHA shortage in the blood, implicating the long loop in retinal degenerations. He and his colleagues discovered the synthesis and bioactivity of neuroprotectin D1, which arrests apoptosis at the pre-mitochondrial level, is anti-inflammatory, and is neuroprotective in experimental stroke and Alzheimer's disease models. He found NPD1 is decreased in the CA1 area of Alzheimer's patients. The recognitions he has received include the Javits Neuroscience Award, NINDS, NIH; elected to Royal Academy of Medicine, Spain; elected fellow, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Dublin; and Proctor Medal, the highest honour of The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. He is the founding director of the LSU Neuroscience Center of Excellence, New Orleans. Dr Bazan's research focuses on synaptic signaling in neuronal plasticity, cell survival signaling in epilepsy and ischemia-reperfusion, and inflammatory signaling in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerations.

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Klas Blomgren

Klas Blomgren

Klas Blomgren earned his MD in 1990 and his PhD in neurobiology in 1994 from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. After Postdoctoral training at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Japan, he has focused on mechanisms of perinatal brain injury, radiation-induced brain injury and neurogenesis. He currently works at the Department of Pediatric Oncology, The Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, in Gothenburg and was appointed Professor of Pediatrics in 2008.

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Vladimir Botchkarev

Vladimir Botchkarev

Deputy Director of the Centre for Skin Sciences, University of Bradford
Head of the Laboratory of Skin Development, Regeneration and Carcinogenesis


Vladimir Botchkarev is currently Professor of Cutaneous Biology and Deputy Director of Centre for Skin Sciences at the University of Bradford (UK), and Adjunct Professor of Dermatology at Boston University (USA). Dr. Botchkarev originally studied Medicine at Chuvash State University (Russia), got his PhD in Cell Biology in 1988, and was trained in Humboldt University Berlin in the laboratory of Ralf Paus in 1994-1999. Dr. Botchkarev is running the Laboratory of Skin Development, Regeneration and Carcinogenesis at the University of Bradford (UK) and Boston University (USA).

Botchkarev's current research interests are in epigenetic regulatory mechanisms that control stem cell activity, differentiation and reprogramming in the skin, as well as during skin regeneration and carcinogenesis. Botchkarev published over 100 papers and reviews in top-ranked international journals including Nature Cell Biology, Lancet Oncology, J Cell Biology, PNAS, EMBO J, Cancer Research, Development, J Invest Dermatology, etc. His research program is funded by the grants from the NIH, MRC, BBSRC, and pharmaceutical industry. Vladimir serves as Section Editor for the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Editorial Board Member for Experimental Dermatology, Associate Member of EpiGeneSys, EU-funded world-largest epigenetic consortium, and SID Program Committee member.

Current research programme in Botchkarev's laboratory is focused on epigenetic regulation of skin regeneration, ageing, wound healing, inflammation and carcinogenesis. This programme comprehensively covers the major levels of epigenetic regulation including analyses of the roles of DNA hydroxymethylation enzymes, Polycomb genes, ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers, non-coding RNAs and chromatin architectural proteins in the control of epithelial stem cell activity in normal and diseased skin.

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Thomi Brunner

Thomi Brunner

Thomi Brunner studied Biology (M.Sci. 1989) at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and received his PhD in Immunology in 1992. He then moved to Ja Lolla, California, to work as a postdoctoral fellow. In 1997 he returned to the Institute of Pathology at the University of Bern where he started his own research group on the investigation of immunopathological diseases. In 2000 he became assistant professor, in 2004 associate professor. In 2010 he moved to the University of Konstanz, Germany, where he is full professor and chair in Biochemical Pharmacology. His research interests are related apoptotic cell death and steroidogenesis in inflammatory diseases and tumors of the lung, liver and the intestine. Thomi Brunner is founder and co-organizer of the biannual "Swiss Apoptosis Meeting".

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Martin Bushell

Martin Bushell

Martin Bushell completed his Ph.D. under Dr S. Morley (1996-1999) and first short post-doc under Prof. Mike Clemens (1999-2001) examining the mechanisms by which translation is inhibited during the induction of apoptosis. With a Wellcome Trust International Travelling Fellowship (2001-2005) he spent two years at Stanford University (USA) under Prof. P. Sarnow (the final year was located at University of Leicester with Prof. Willis). He investigated cDNA micro-array analysis of mRNAs that are polysomally associated during apoptosis and successfully identified 200 mRNAs that are co-ordinately regulated during this process and the mechanisms by which these mRNAs are selected for translation. Following a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship, he was made an associate professor at University of Nottingham (2005-2010) to study the control of translation during apoptosis. Interestingly, his group found that all of the mRNAs translationally up-regulated during the induction of apoptosis possessed potential microRNA (miRNA) binding sites within their 3`UTR which led to investigating how miRNAs regulate gene expression. He is now at the MRC Toxicology Unit in Leicester (2010-present) and holds an MRC non-clinical senior fellowship, a program leader position within the Unit and a Readership within the University of Leicester. He is currently investigating how microRNAs and translations are involved in the response to toxic insults, including poor maternal diet and neuronal cell death. His group has determined the basic underlying mechanisms by which microRNAs control gene expression involving eIF4A2, inhibiting the scanning of the ribosome.

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George Adrian Calin

George Adrian Calin

George Adrian Calin received both his MD and PhD degrees at Carol Davila University of Medicine in Bucharest, Romania. After working in the field of cytogenetics as an undergraduate student with Dr Dragos Stefanescu in Bucharest, he completed a cancer genomics training in Dr Massimo Negrini's laboratory at University of Ferrara, Italy. In 2000 he became a postdoctoral fellow at Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA, and while working in Dr Carlo Croce's laboratory, Dr Calin was the first to discover the link between human cancers and microRNAs, a finding considered as a milestone in microRNA research history. He has now developed an independent research group at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and produced a new advance by linking a new class of non-coding RNAs to cancers, namely the ultraconserved genes. He is presently an Associate Professor in Experimental Therapeutics at MDACC and studies the roles of microRNAs and other non-coding RNAs in cancer initiation and progression, as well as the mechanisms of cancer predisposition and explores new RNA therapeutic options for cancer patients.

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Michelangelo Campanella

Michelangelo Campanella

Michelangelo Campanella (Pharm.D.) completed his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology in 2005 under the supervision of Prof. Rosario Rizzuto. In the same year, he moved to the University College London (UCL) supported initially by the Accademia dei Lincei (Rome), the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and then subsequently as a Marie Curie Research Fellow, in the laboratories of Prof. Michael R. Duchen. In 2008 he received a Lectureship in Pharmacology by the Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences of The Royal Veterinary College to create a research group affiliated at the UCL Consortium for Mitochondrial Research. In 2011 he established a collaborative activity with the European Brain Research (Rome) to unravel the metabolic re-adaptations and driven damages associated with the brain's pathologies. His expertise is in cell biology with prevalent focus on mitochondrial function, dependent Ca2+ signalling and molecular regulation of the F1Fo-ATPsynthase. The work of his research group currently aims on the quality control mechanisms of the Macro and Targeted Type of Autophagy, towards mitochondria (or Mitophagy), a process on which the homeostasis of the mitochondrial network depends. Up and downstream steps of mitophagy regulation are investigated in the context of cell transformation or degeneration in order to delineate novel mitochondrial targets for pharmacological intervention.

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Sai-Juan Chen

Sai-Juan Chen

Dr Sai-Juan Chen received her Ph.D from Paris VII University of France in 1989. She is a member of Chinese Academy of Engineering, a member of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), Vice Chair of the Chinese Association of Science and Technology, Director of the State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics and Director of the Shanghai Institute of Hematology. Dr Chen has made significant contributions to the understanding and cure of leukemia. She played a pivotal role in elucidating the pathogenesis of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) and the mechanisms of therapeutic effects of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic trioxide (ATO) on APL. By targeting PML-RAR , an oncoprotein resulting from the disease-specific chromosomal translocation t(15;17), she organized clinical studies to treat APL patients with ATRA/ATO-based combination therapy. Her innovative therapy rendered APL from a highly fatal malignancy to a highly curable disease (5 year event-free survival about 90%). Dr Chen is currently studying another type of acute myeloid leukemia and has discovered small compounds oridonin and Eriocalyxin B to be capable of targeting the oncoprotein AML1-ETO and prolonging the lifespan of leukemic animals. Dr Chen made several important breakthroughs in molecular characterization of genetic abnormalities associated with the pathogenesis of leukemia. She cloned PLZF-RAR fusion gene as a result of a variant translocation, t(11;17), in APL. She also identified several new chromosomal translocations in other types of leukemia, critical to the understanding of leukemogenesis. Dr Chen has published over 300 papers in high impact international journals with over 15000 citations. She received several national awards, including the Second Prize of the National Natural Science Award by State Council of China.

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Jerry Edward Chipuk

Jerry-Edward-Chipuk

Jerry Edward Chipuk is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Case Western Reserve University, and then was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Douglas R. Green, Ph.D. at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology and St Jude Children's Research Hospital. Dr Chipuk then joined the faculty at Mount Sinai and became co-appointed in the Department of Dermatology and the Tisch Cancer Institute. His laboratory is focused on the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis, from both mechanistic and clinical perspectives, and in multiple model systems including general cancer biology, melanoma, and ethanol-induced stress.

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Gennaro Ciliberto

Gennaro Ciliberto

Professor Gennaro Ciliberto has more than 25 years of research management experience and is a Molecular and Cellular Biologist at University of Catanzaro Magna Graecia, Italy. He has been Full Professor of Molecular Biology since 1990 and in March 2012, he was appointed Scientific Director of IRCSS Istituto Nazionale Tumori, "Senatore G. Pascale" in Naples. He has expertise in the areas: control of gene transcription; signal transduction by cytokines and growth factors; somatic gene therapy; cancer cell biology and genetics; as well as immunotherapy of cancer. His past experience at Merck (1991-2009) included responsibilities for several early drug discovery programs (target identification to phase I clinical trials) and membership of several Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) decision-making committees. For 3 years (2006-2009) he was Site Head and Managing Director at "IRBM P. Angeletti" in Pomezia, and manager of approximately 200 staff members. He also had international responsibilities at MRL for Basic Research efforts in Oncology (August 2008 - September 2009). Since 1989, he has been an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). He is co-author of approximately 200 publications in peer-reviewed international journals and is naturally a reviewer and editorial board member of several international journals as well as an editor of textbooks for graduate students.

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Gerald M Cohen

Gerry Cohen

Gerry Cohen is currently Acting Director and Head of the Mechanisms of Apoptosis Group of the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit in Leicester, UK. He is also Honorary Professor of Biochemistry, University of Leicester. His current research interests are in Mechanisms of Apoptosis and the exploitation of this knowledge in cancer chemotherapy. He has worked for many years on mechanisms of apoptosis and the induction of apoptosis by both the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways.

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Gianluigi Condorelli

Gianluigi Condorelli

Gianluigi Condorelli, MD, PhD is Director of the Department of Medicine at the National Council of Research (CNR) in Milan, Italy. The primary focus of his team is on the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac contractility in normal and altered conditions. In particular, how signal transduction interacts with excitation-contraction machinery and, more broadly, cardiac myocyte homeostasis, with the aim to find new molecules that can improve cardiac function in heart failure. The discovery of microRNAs brought a new class of players in the complex network of molecules shaping the cardiovascular phenotype in normal and disease states. The group is involved in the understanding of the role of small non-coding RNAs within this network using conventional molecular and cellular biology approaches. Further research interests of the team are cardiac stem cell biology and tissue engineering and the genetics of complex cardiovascular diseases.

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Nika Danial

Nika Danial

Professor Nika Danial received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, New York, in 1999, and then trained as a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, under the supervision of Dr Stanley Korsmeyer. In 2003, she was promoted to instructor and then granted assistant professorship in the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and the Department of Cancer Biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2012, she became Associate Professor, where she studies the integration of glucose metabolism and apoptosis.

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Bart De Strooper

Bart De Strooper

Bart De Strooper is a Belgian molecular biologist and professor at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Leuven, Belgium). He is head of the VIB Department of Molecular and Developmental Genetics, KU Leuven. De Strooper obtained an MD at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in 1985 and a PhD in 1992. He did a Postdoc at the EMBL in Heidelberg Germany in 1994. He has been VIB Group leader since 1999, and Scientific Director, Department of Molecular and Developmental Genetics since 2007. His research interest is in the fundamental molecular processes that underlay neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. His work has also contributed to insights into general physiological mechanisms, in particular, the understanding of regulated intramembrane proteolysis as an important signaling mechanism in health and disease. His team has demonstrated the role of regulated intramembrane proteolysis in Notch signaling via presenilins, in the regulation of apoptosis via PARL and in psychiatric neurodevelopmental disorder via Neuregulin cleavage by Aph1B γ-Secretase.

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Klaus-Michael Debatin

Klaus-Michael Debatin

Prof. Klaus-Michael Debatin received his M.D. and doctorate degree from the University of Heidelberg, followed by a research fellowship in immunology and training in pediatrics, pediatric hematology/oncology and immunology. From 1990 to 1993 he was a Heisenberg Fellow (associate professor) of the German Research Council (DFG) with projects at the NCI, Bethesda/USA, Hôpital Necker, Paris, and the German Cancer Center (DKFZ). In 1994 he became Head of the Division of Haematology/Oncology of the University Children's Hospital Heidelberg, and Head of Department of Molecular Oncology of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). Since 1997 he is Chairman and Physician-in-chief of the University Children's Hospital and led the DKFZ research department until 2004. Since 2004 he is Dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Ulm. Already in the late 1980s, his research concentrated on the role of apoptosis and apoptosis signalling in diseases. The discovery of the CD95/APO1/Fas system in 1989 was followed by the first description of apoptosis induction in human leukemia cells (1990). Subsequently, the Debatin lab was involved in the identification of the critical role of the CD95 system in deregulated apoptosis in T-cells in HIV infection and genetic diseases of abnormal lymphoproliferation and auto-immunity. His lab was among the first to identify apoptosis signaling as a key feature of cytotoxicity mediated by anticancer agents (1996) and to identify molecular mechanisms regulating sensitivity to cell death induction in tumor cells and has identified an intact apoptosis signaling system as an important prognostic factor in leukemia (2008). The Debatin lab has also made major contributions for understanding sensitivity and resistance in tumor cells and provided first proof of principle for the clinical use of apoptosis sensitizing drugs (2002). Klaus-Michael Debatin received numerous awards including the German Cancer Award (2002) as well as the Descartes Research Prize (EU Science Award) in 2006. He served in many national and international science committees, is an elected member of the German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, and is currently also head of the scientific board of the German Cancer Aid and member of the scientific board of the European School of Hematology. Klaus-Michael Debatin is a regular reviewer for Blood, Cell, Cancer Cell, Cancer Research, Cell Death & Differentiation, Journal of Immunology, Nature Medicine, Nature Cell Biology and Oncogene.

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Grant Dewson

Grant Dewson

Grant Dewson received his PhD in from the University of Leicester (UK) in 2002 on the molecular control of eosinophil apoptosis. He then continued his post-doctoral studies with Prof Gerry Cohen at the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit (Leicester, UK) prior to joining the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (Melbourne, Australia) as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr Ruth Kluck. In 2011 he established his own laboratory at WEHI, in the Cell Signalling and Cell Death Division headed by Prof. David Vaux. His group investigates the fundamental mechanism controlling apoptotic cell death, in particular how the effector proteins Bak and Bax are activated to form the apoptotic pore that damages mitochondria to kill cells.

Key interests:
apoptosis, Bcl-2 family, Bak, Bax, mitochondria, mitophagy, cancer

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Donato A Di Monte

Donato Di Monte

Donato Di Monte received his Doctorate of Medicine and his residency training in Internal Medicine from the University of Bari, Italy. He then completed post-doctoral research training in Biochemistry and Toxicology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and at the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley. From 1997 to 2009 he was Director of Basic Research at the Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, California. In 2010, he joined the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn as a Professor and Senior Research Group Leader. He presently acts as the Center's Deputy Scientific Director. His research interest and expertise is on experimental models and mechanisms of neurodegeneration, with particular emphasis on Parkinson's disease. He is also actively involved in translational studies aimed at developing new therapeutic strategies for disease-modifying intervention.

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Marc Diederich

Marc Diederich

Marc Diederich earned his PhD in molecular pharmacology in 1994 from the University Henri Poincaré Nancy 1, France. After training at the University of Cincinnati, USA, he focused his research on cancer and leukemia cell signaling pathways and gene expression mechanisms triggered by natural compounds with epigenetic-, anti-inflammatory- and cell death-inducing potential. He currently directs the Laboratory for molecular and cellular biology of cancer (LBMCC) at Kirchberg Hospital in Luxemburg. He was appointed associate Professor of Biochemistry at the College of Pharmacy of Seoul National University in 2012. Since 1998, he has been the organizer of the "Signal Transduction" meetings in Luxembourg.

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Volker Dötsch

Volker Doetsch

Volker Dötsch obtained a PhD from the ETH in Zürich (1994) investigating the interaction between proteins and solvent molecules by NMR spectroscopy. As a postdoctoral fellow he used NMR to determine the structure of protein-DNA complexes at the Harvard Medical School (1994-1998). In 1998 he moved as assistant professor to the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). In 2003 he was appointed professor at the Institute of Biophysical Chemistry of the Goethe University in Frankfurt. His research interests focus on the structural and functional characterization of members of the p53 protein family, in particular p63. In addition, his laboratory uses a combination of NMR spectroscopy and cell-free protein expression to investigate the structure of membrane proteins and studies components of non ribosomal peptide synthetases. The main research technique is liquid state NMR spectroscopy and he has developed methods to investigate conformation and dynamics of biological macromolecules in living cells by in-cell NMR.

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Colin Duckett

Colin Duckett

Dr. Duckett is a Professor of Pathology and Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, with an active research laboratory focused on the regulation of NF-κB transcription factor complex and apoptosis in CD30-positive malignancies. He played seminal early roles in the original identification and characterization of NF-κB, and he co-discovered the IAP family of apoptotic regulators and signal transduction molecules. Dr. Duckett is also the Director of Research Programming of the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) at the University of Michigan, a 150 acre campus dedicated to inter-disciplinary research programs. He has served on numerous review panels and editorial boards, and consulted and served on the scientific advisory boards of several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Duckett holds several additional leadership positions within the University: he is the Co-Director of the Cancer Cell Biology Program within the UM Comprehensive Cancer Center and Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Cancer Biology.

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Paul Ekert

Paul Ekert

Paul Ekert is a laboratory head at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for medical Research in Australia. He is also a Paediatrician with a special interest in Molecular Pathology and holds honorary appointments at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the Royal Children's Hospital. His laboratory studies two major themes. The first is the molecular pathways by which cytokine signalling pathways and cell death pathways intersect. The second is the way in which deregulated Hox gene expression contributes to oncogenesis. The laboratory focuses particularly on regulated HoxB8 and HoxA9 expression in myeloid cells.

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Massimo Federici

Massimo Federici

Massimo Federici is currently Professor of Medicine at the University of Rome "Tor Vergata" Medical School and Director of the Center for Atherosclerosis at the Tor Vergata Medical School hospital. After a Medical Doctor degree (1994) he trained in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Rome actively working in both clinical and molecular research. After a post-doc at the Joslin Diabetes Research Laboratory at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, he returned to Rome to start a new laboratory dedicated to the vascular complications of metabolic diseases. Among the major interests and achievements of Dr Federici as a Principal Investigator are: the identification of increased protein O-glycosylation as a common disruptor for insulin sensitivity in vascular and metabolic tissues; the identification of genetic variants disrupting insulin action and endothelial functions; the identification of GATA2 phosphorylation by insulin as a major mechanism explaining macrophage homing to tissues; and finally the identification of TACE activation as a mechanism linking insulin resistance, diabetic complications and atherosclerosis that is now the main topic of his clinical and molecular research. In 2006 he was awarded the Morgagni Prize Silver Award and with the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Rising Star Lecture. As part of his scientific activity he is serving as Associate Editor of Atherosclerosis.

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Gian Maria Fimia

Gian_Maria_Fimia

Gian Maria Fimia Ph.D. is a principal investigator at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases L. Spallanzani. In 1996, he received his Ph.D. in Human Biology at the University of Rome 'La Sapienza,' Italy. Then, he moved to the IGBMC Istitute in Strasbourg, France, in the lab of Dr Paolo Sassone-Corsi to study the regulation of the cAMP pathway and, in particular, the role of the transcription factor CREM in male germ cell differentiation. In 2001, he joined the National Institute for Infectious Diseases L. Spallanzani in Rome, Italy. His current scientific interests are related to the regulation of the autophagic process, with particular focus on the role of autophagy in host-pathogen interaction during viral and bacterial infection.

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Alessandro Finazzi Agrò

Alessandro Finazzi Agro

Alessandro Finazzi Agrò, MD, PhD in Biochemistry has been a Full Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology since 1975 at the Universities of Cagliari, L'Aquila, Rome "La Sapienza" and finally Rome "Tor Vergata" where he served as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and as Rector. He also worked as visiting scientist at the Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill (New Jersey, USA) and at Royal Marsden Hospital (Sutton, UK). He has authored more than 200 papers mainly on the physicochemical properties of redox metalloproteins, the pathophysiological role of hydrogen peroxide and the biochemistry of endocannabinoids and their medical relevance.

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Robin JM Franklin

Robin Franklin

Robin Franklin is Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, UK. He has joint appointments at the Department of Veterinary Medicine and at the Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair. He is Director of the Neural Stem Cell Programme of the Cambridge MRC Centre for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and Director of the MS Society Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair. He obtained both his undergraduate degrees from the University of London; a physiology degree from University College London (1985) and a degree in veterinary medicine from The Royal Veterinary College (1988). His subsequent career has been at the University of Cambridge. During his research career he has been interested in Central Nervous System (CNS) repair mechanisms and primarily in the biology of myelin repair. Current research interests include: cellular and molecular mechanisms of CNS remyelination, in particular identifying the environmental and cell intrinsic factors (especially transcription factors) regulating the differentiation of adult CNS stem cells.

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Lorenzo Galluzzi

Lorenzo Galluzzi

Lorenzo Galluzzi received his M.Sc. in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy) in 2004 and his Ph.D. in Oncological Sciences from the University of Paris Sud/Paris XI (France) in 2008. From 2008 to 2011, he conducted postdoctoral research at the Institut Gustave Roussy (Villejuif, France) under the supervision of Guido Kroemer. From 2012, he works as a Research Manager in the same laboratory. Besides being part of the Editorial Board of Cell Death and Disease, Lorenzo operates as Editor-in-Chief for OncoImmunology and Molecular and Cellular Oncology. He is particularly fascinated by several aspects of mitochondrial cell death, apoptosis, oncometabolism and tumor immunology.

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Atan Gross

Atan Gross

Atan Gross received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He conducted postdoctoral research at Washington University in St Louis and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School. He joined the Weizmann Institute as a Senior Scientist in 2000 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007. His scientific interest focuses on elucidating the mechanisms that balance between cell life and death with a special emphasis on the BCL-2 family members, mitochondria, and the DNA damage response.

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Ya-Jun Guo

Yan Guo

Dr Yajun Guo graduated from the Third Military Medical University in China in 1978 and received his Ph.D. from the Shanghai Second Military Medical University. He did his post-doctoral training in Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of China. He went to Harvard School of Medicine in 1989 as a visiting professor and then, joined the faculty of Case Western Reserve University as an assistant professor in 1993. In 1996, Dr Yajun Guo become a professor in Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in San Diego and relocated his laboratory to Eppley Cancer Research Institute of Nebraska University Medical Center at Omaha in 2000. Starting from 1994, Dr Yajun Guo established the Shanghai Tumor Immunology and Gene Therapy Center as an international research program and in 1999, he enlarged the center into the present International Joint Cancer Institute. From 2009, he has been working as a director of PLA general hospital cancer center. Dr Yajun Guo's Lab focuses on experimental cancer immunotherapy and immunogenetherapy. The ultimate goal of their research will be further developing the novel strategy for generation effective cellular cancer vaccines and monoclonal antibody-based immunotherapy protocols such as it can be translated into clinical treatment for human cancers. Dr Yajun Guo has received many honor and awards and invited to give lectures at many international conferences. His is a distinguished professor and director at Shanghai International Joint Cancer Institute, PLA General Hospital Cancer Center and Chinese National Engineering Research Center for Antibody Medicine. He is also a PI of the National key Basic Research program Project "Structure and function of antibody" and is conducting Seven clinical trials of therapeutic antibodies in China. Currently, Dr Yajun Guo has several visiting professorships in University of West Australia (2008 Rain Professor), Imperial College of London (2008-2010) and several Universities in China.

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Ygal Haupt

Ygal Haupt

Dr Ygal Haupt undertook his PhD studies with Prof. Jerry Adams at the Walter and Eliza Hall institute in Melbourne studying oncogene collaboration in transgenic mice, which led to the identification of Bmi1. This was followed by postdoctoral research with Prof. Moshe Oren at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, where he discovered the degradation of p53 by Mdm2. In 1997 he established his own lab as a faculty member of the Hadassah Medical School at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. Since 2008 he has been located at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center, Melbourne, Australia, where he heads the Tumour Suppression Laboratory. Dr Haupt is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and a VESKI Innovation Fellow. His major research interests are the mechanism and regulation of tumour suppression, with a focus on the regulation of the p53 and PML tumour suppression pathways. Dr Haupt's laboratory also studies the link between E3 ligases and cancer and how to exploit this link therapeutically.

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David Heery

David Heery

David Heery is Professor of Gene Regulation and Head of Molecular and Cellular Sciences at the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham. He graduated with a PhD (1990) from the National University of Ireland for studies of gene regulation in prokaryotes. This was followed by postdoctoral research at the IGBMC Strasbourg (1990-1995) investigating the transactivation functions of retinoic acid and estrogen receptors, and identification of their transcriptional cofactors. During this time he was supported by personal fellowships from EMBO and the Association pour la Recherche sur la Cancer. Following this he was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship at the London Institute where he discovered the LXXLL motif that mediates interactions between Nuclear Receptors and their cofactors. Following the award of a Wellcome Senior Fellowship in Basic Biomedical Sciences (1998-2005), he started a group at the University of Leicester investigating structure-function relationships of histone acetyltransferases such CBP, SRC1, and MOZ. He was appointed to a chair at the University of Nottingham in 2005. Current interests include the role of chromatin modifying enzymes in leukaemia, breast cancer and lung disease, and the discovery of small molecule inhibitors targeting lysine acetyltransferases.

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Marco Herold

Marco Herold

Dr Herold is a Laboratory Head in the Molecular Genetics of Cancer Division at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute (Australia). He is an expert in developing novel mouse models of human cancer using the CRISPR/Cas9 methodology. Therefore Dr Herold has recently been also appointed as the Head of the new Genome Editing Laboratory at WEHI. Dr Herold's PhD at the University of Würzburg (Germany) addressed key questions in apoptosis and cancer. His major research interest is the identification of novel genes involved in apoptosis, and finding new targets for cancer therapy using whole genome CRISPR/Cas9 screening techniques in vitro and in vivo.

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Claudio Hetz

Claudio Hetz

Claudio Hetz was originally trained as Molecular Biotechnology Engineer at the University of Chile and performed his Ph.D thesis in Biomedical Sciences at Serono Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Switzerland. Then he did his postdoctoral training at Harvard University with Stanley Korsmeyer and then Laurie Glimcher. He joined the University of Chile during 2007 and rapidly advanced to Full Professor at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences. He is also adjunct Professor at Harvard and the co-Director of the Biomedical Neuroscience Institute (BNI) at the University of Chile. His research focused on understanding the molecular basis of protein folding stress, its relationship to pathological conditions affecting the nervous system, the generation of new animal models, and the development of prototypic strategies to prevent neuronal damage. He has received important award including the TWAS-ROLAC Young Scientist Prize as outstanding young scientist in Latin America, the FEBS Anniversary Prize, finalist in the Eppendorf and Science Award in Neurobiology, and received the Cell Biology Society prize as the best young scientist of Chile.

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Ricky Johnstone

Ricky Johnstone

Ricky Johnstone is based at Peter MacCallum Cancer Center, Melbourne, Australia where he established the Gene Regulation Laboratory and heads the Cancer Therapeutics Program aimed at bringing together a critical mass of researchers with the aim to translate fundamental research findings into clinical outcomes that will benefit cancer patients. In 2008 Dr Johnstone was appointed as an Assistant Director of Research at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and will play a key role in defining the strategic direction of the research division over the coming years. Using knockout mice, the Johnstone Laboratory is involved in the following research areas: collaborative basic, translational and clinical research into the anti-cancer activities of histone deacetylase inhibitors; basic and pre-clinical characterization of novel apoptosis-inducing therapeutic agents used alone and in combination; use of functional genomics-based screens to identify novel tumor suppressor genes and genes that regulate the apoptotic response to new anti-cancer agents; and characterization of novel signal transduction pathways stimulated by type I and II interferons.

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Bertrand Joseph

Bertrand Joseph

Bertrand Joseph is Professor of Molecular Cancer Biology at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. He earned his PhD from the University of Lille I, France, in 1997 and was then trained as postdoctoral research fellow at the Toxicology Unit, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (1998-2000) and at the Ludwig Cancer Research-Stockholm Branch, Sweden (2000-2003). His current research interests are in the molecular signaling which regulates the decision between life and death at the cellular level and how its deregulation is implicated in human diseases. Investigations are performed in various models of human diseases ranging from cancers to neurodegenerative disorders.

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Mathias Jucker

Mathias Jucker

Mathias Jucker is a Professor of Cellular Neurology and a director at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research at the University of Tübingen, Germany. His department is also part of the German Center of Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE). He studied Neurobiology and did his PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1988 before working as a PostDoc and Research Scientist at the National Institute on Aging, NIH, in Baltimore, USA. He returned to Switzerland as an assistant professor at the University of Basel, and was called to his current position in Tübingen in 2003. Jucker has received several honors and prizes for his research, most recently the Science Prize for Dementia Research of the Academy of Sciences, Hamburg, Germany (2013) and the MetLife Award for Medical Research of the MetLife Foundation, New York (2014). Mathias Jucker´s main areas of research are the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease. He has provided groundbreaking findings in fundamental research, e.g. in promoting the prion paradigm as a unifying pathogenic principle for most age-related neurodegenerative diseases. His laboratory also generated a variety of murine models of Alzheimer´s disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathies and these models are now used all over the world. Particularly noteworthy are his efforts to translate fundamental research into clinical settings exemplified by his biomarker work on murine and human bodily fluids and his commitment to the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) of which he is the coordinator in Germany. Along with his scientific achievements Mathias Jucker has been successful in promoting young researchers. He is also speaker of the Graduate School of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience in Tübingen and has supervised more than twenty-five doctoral students, many of whom have now become themselves group leaders and professors in renowned research institutions.

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Michael Karin

Michael Karin

Dr Michael Karin received his BSc in Biology in 1975 at Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel and his PhD in Molecular Biology in 1979, University of California, Los Angeles. Dr Karin is currently a Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Pathology at the School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, where he has been on the faculty since 1987. He was a cofounder of Signal Pharmaceutical (currently Celgene) and served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Signal Research Division of Celgene. Dr Karin also served as a member of the National Advisory Council for Environmental Health Sciences and has been an American Cancer Society Research Professor since 1999 and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences since 2005. He is a leading world authority on signal transduction pathways that regulate gene expression in response to extracellular stimuli, infection and stress. Key achievements include the definition of cis elements that mediate gene induction by hormones, cytokines and stress, identification and characterization of the transcription factors that recognize these elements and the protein kinase cascades that regulate their activities. Much of Dr Karin's current activity is focused on understanding the link between inflammation, cancer and metabolic disease as well as on understanding the signaling mechanisms used by receptors involved in inflammation (TNF receptors) and innate immunity (TLR2 and NLRs). He has published over 300 scientific articles and is an inventor on over 25 different patents or pending patent applications. Recently, Dr Karin was ranked first worldwide by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) in a recent listing of most-cited molecular biology and genetic research papers published in prestigious journals.

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Thomas Kaufmann

Thomas Kaufmann

Thomas Kaufmann received his Diploma (equivalent to M.Sc.) in Biochemistry in 2000 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2003, both from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He then moved to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, as a postdoctoral fellow within the group of Dr Andreas Strasser (2004-2007). In 2008 he was awarded a Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship to start his own research lab at the Institute of Pharmacology, University of Bern, Switzerland, where he currently holds the position of a group leader. Research interests of his lab cover the mechanisms of apoptosis regulation by BCL-2 family members and inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins, deregulation of apoptosis in cancer and other diseases and biology of myeloid cells (in particular granulocytes).

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Daniel Klionsky

Daniel Klionsky

Dr Klionsky received his PhD degree from Stanford University, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology. He was a Professor of Microbiology at the University of California, Davis until 2000 and held a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997-1998. Dr Klionsky joined the Life Sciences Institute in 2002 and was appointed as the Abram Sager Collegiate Professor of Life Sciences in 2003. He received the Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars from the National Science Foundation in 2003 and was named an Education Mentor by the National Academies in 2006. Dr Klionsky is currently the Alexander G Ruthven Professor of Life Sciences. His research is focused on autophagy in yeast cells, a mechanism for delivering cytoplasm to the lysosome or vacuole. Autophagy plays a role in normal cell physiology and is connected with a range of diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration and microbial infection. Dr Klionsky has produced more than 90 research papers, over 80 review articles, 14 pedagogical papers, two patents, an educational video and a 2004 book on autophagy, and was the editor of three volumes of Methods in Enzymology on auotphagy. Dr Klionsky was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2009.

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Ruth Kluck

Ruth Kluck

Ruth Kluck obtained her PhD at the Queensland Institute for Medical Research (Brisbane, Australia) in 1996, on the biochemistry of apoptotic cell death. In post-doctoral work with Don Newmeyer (La Jolla, USA) she studied how mitochondrial permeability was regulated by the Bcl-2 family, and reporting that Bcl-2 blocks apoptosis by inhibiting cytochrome c release. In 2002 she joined the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (Melbourne, Australia) where her group employs a range of genetic, biochemical and structural approaches to investigate the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis, in particular how Bak and Bax change conformation and oligomerise to form the apoptotic pore.

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Richard Kolesnick

Richard Kolesnick

Richard Kolesnick earned his MD degree in 1978 from the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. Thereafter he did a residency at Montefiore Hospital in New York and a fellowship in endocrinology at New York University. Currently, he is Head of the Laboratory of Signal Transduction and Member of the Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, and a Professor of Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, both in New York. He has over 25 years experience studying lipid signaling and 15 years studying apoptosis. In 1987, Dr Kolesnick proposed the existence of a signal transduction pathway involving hydrolysis of sphingomyelin to the second messenger ceramide, which his laboratory termed the Sphingomyelin Pathway, which signals cell death in select cell types. Since 1991, he has collaborated with the laboratory of Dr Zvi Fuks, former Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Together, they have investigated signaling mechanisms of radiation damage in vivo, and recently proposed that high single dose radiotherapy, an emerging modality capable of curing radiation-resistant cancer, acts via a mechanism different than fractionated radiation, engaging a rapid ceramide-driven wave of microvascular endothelial cell apoptosis that couples microvascular dysfunction to tumor stem cell demise.

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Sergio Lavandero

Sergio Lavandero

Sergio Lavandero obtained his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Chile in 1993 studying the role of basic fibroblast growth factor in the function and development of the rat mammary gland. Sergio Lavandero currently holds a position as full professor in two academic units of the Universidad de Chile (Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Faculty of Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences and The Program in Cell & Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine). He is also Senior Investigator in the Center for Molecular Studies of the Cell at the University of Chile. Sergio Lavandero's scientific interests are currently oriented towards the study of cell signaling pathways involved in cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, death and survival with particular emphasis on osmotic stress, oxidative stress and IGF-1 using modern techniques in cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology. He was the Research Director (1998-2002) and Graduate Director (2002-2004) at the Faculty of Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Chile. He was also the coordinator for the Program for the Development of Scientific Resources in Biological Sciences supported by the University of Chile and the American State Organization (OEA). Finally, he was acting President (2003-2004) and representative (2002-2004) for the area of biological sciences in the Senior Scientific Council FONDECYT/CONICYT in Chile.

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Martin Leverkus

Martin Leverkus

Martin Leverkus obtained his MD degree from Cologne University and completed his medical education as dermatologist in Würzburg, Germany. He did postdoctoral work at Boston University and returned to Germany in 1997 where he established his independent research group in Würzburg. After moving to Magdeburg in 2004, where he held the position of an associate professor for clinical and experimental dermatology, he became Vice-chair and leader of the Section of Molecular Dermatology, Department of Dermatology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, and University of Heidelberg. He has longstanding interest in the regulation of cell death in the skin. His work includes the regulation of and signalling via death receptors (TRAIL, CD95, TNF), intracellular inhibitors of cell death such as cFLIP and IAPs in melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Moreover he has an interest in the question of what the difference is between primary skin-derived cells and their malignant counterparts. More recently his laboratory contributed insight into the field of alternate cell death pathways, necroptosis, and the Ripoptosome.

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Stuart Lipton

Stuart Lipton

Stuart A Lipton, MD, PhD is currently Senior Vice President, Professor, and Scientific Director of the Center for Neuroscience, Aging, and Stem Cell Research at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, with co-appointments at The Salk Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, and UC San Diego, where he is also a clinical neurologist. He completed his clinical and scientific training at Harvard, and a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Torsten Wiesel when Wiesel won the Nobel Prize. Dr Lipton then spent 25 years on the faculty at Harvard before moving to La Jolla in the fall of 1999. He is best known for characterizing the mechanism of action and contributing to the clinical development of the latest FDA-approved treatment for Alzheimer's disease, the drug Memantine (marketed in the US as Namenda). His group also recently characterized the molecular pathways for protecting nerve cells by Erythropoietin (a drug marketed for the treatment of anemia under the names EPO, Procrit, or Epoetin). Lipton, in collaboration with Jonathan Stamler, discovered the chemical reaction termed S-nitrosylation, initially on NMDA receptors, as a ubiquitous redox-regulator of protein function. Recently, S-nitrosylation has been shown to modulate a large number of critical effectors in health and disease. Additionally, Lipton was the first to clone and characterize the transcription factor MEF2C, and showed that it is a redox-regulated effector of NMDA receptor activity, which controls neurogenesis from ES cells and is involved in the etiology of autism-spectrum disorders. In 2004, Dr Lipton won the Ernst Jung Prize in Medicine, considered one of the top fix or six medical prizes worldwide, for his discovery of the mechanism of action of Memantine.

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Carlos Lopez-Otin

Carlos Lopez-Otin

Carlos Lopez-Otin is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of Oviedo (Spain). In recent years, his research team has focused on the study of the mechanisms of tumor progression. This work has led them to the identification of more than 60 novel human proteolytic enzymes. In parallel studies, based on the generation of mouse models of loss-of-protease function, his group has provided new insights into the role of these enzymes in tumor development, including the identification of proteases with paradoxical suppressor-suppressor properties. These in vivo studies have also allowed them to define the roles of proteases in a variety of processes such as iron metabolism, bone development, thermal nociception, or accelerated aging. His group has also established novel molecular links between aging and suppression-suppression and has developed new strategies for treating diseases associated with protease dysregulation. In collaboration with Chris Overall, Carlos Lopez-Otin has introduced the novel concept of Degradome to define the complete set of proteases produced by a cell, tissue or organism, and has developed novel experimental approaches for the global analysis of these enzymes in normal and pathological conditions. He has also contributed to the annotation and evolutionary analysis of diverse mammalian genomes, such as human, mouse, rat, chimpanzee and platypus. Carlos Lopez-Otin is member of many Editorial Boards, Scientific Societies and Committees, including the Royal Academy of Sciences-Spain and The Academia Europaea, and has received several honors including the "Santiago Ramon y Cajal" National Award for Research.

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Anders Lund

Anders Lund

Professor Anders H. Lund received his PhD in 1996 from the University of Aarhus, Denmark, studying retroviral replication and leukemia induction. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam working primarily on the identification of novel oncogenes in mouse models. He joined the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre, University of Copenhagen, as an associate professor in 2004 and became full professor in 2009. His scientific interests include disease-associated microRNAs and cancer-associated members of the PRDM family of proteins.

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Frank Madeo

Frank Madeo

Professor Frank Madeo is based at the Center of Molecular Biosciences, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz, Austria. He completed his PhD thesis on Yeast genetics in 1997, at the University of Tübingen, Germany and became a group leader there. He was awarded a Heisenberg-Fellowship from the German Science Foundation (DFG) in 2003. Since 2004 he has been a Full Professor at the University of Graz, Austria. Frank Madeo discovered and initiated the emerging field of yeast apoptosis and is currently the most cited researcher in the area of yeast programmed death and apoptosis according to ISI science citation index. His research interests focus on the identification of regulators and mechanisms of different modes of cell death (apoptotic, autophagic, and necrotic death) as well as aging mechanisms in yeast.

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Roberto Mantovani

Roberto Mantovani

Dr Roberto Mantovani, Full Professor in Genetics, earned his MD degree in 1985 and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Milan, Italy, in 1989. He was a Post-doc at LGME Strasbourg, France, studying transcription of MHC Class II genes in BLS syndromes. In 1992 he started his lab at the Department of Genetics of the University of Milan. In 1998, he moved to the University of Modena, Italy, as an Associate Professor. He is currently at the University of Milan. Dr Mantovani has always been involved in studies to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying transcription, using the conserved NF-Y factor as a paradigm. More recently, his lab identified the genomic targets of p63 in keratinocytes and is involved in studies to reconstruct the p63-regulated network. He is also interested in developing small compounds that interfere with the activity of transcription factors. He is a co-founder of GeneSpin, a spinoff company of the University of Milan, focusing on the development of ChIP reagents and on systems to detect genotoxic stress in yeast.

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Jean-Christophe Marine

Jean-Christophe Marine

Jean-Christophe Marine obtained his PhD from the University of Liège, (Belgium, 1996), and was a Howard Hugues Medical Institute Fellow at the St Jude Children's Research Hospital (Memphis, USA, 1996-99). He was a Marie Curie Fellow at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO, Milan, Italy, 2000-2003). He became a junior VIB Group leader in 2004 at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and moved his laboratory to the University of Leuven (KULeuven) in 2010 where he is now Professor, senior VIB group leader (Center for the biology of disease) and head of the Cancer Genetics program at the KUL human Genetics Department. He received several national and international prizes, including the EMBO Young Investigator award in 2006, for his work on p53 modifiers. His interests focus on the analysis of pathways governing the genesis, progression and maintenance of cancer with a particular interest in melanoma.

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Seamus Martin

Seamus Martin

Seamus Martin holds the endowed Chair of Molecular Genetics at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He is a PhD graduate of The National University of Ireland and held post-doctoral fellowships at University College London, UK (with Ivan Roitt), and The La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, San Diego, USA (with Doug Green). He is an author of the 11th and 12th Editions of the classic Immunology textbook 'Essential Immunology'. Prof. Martin has received several prestigious national and international awards for his research including: Wellcome Trust Prize Fellowship, Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship, Science Foundation Ireland Investigator awards, The BA Charles Darwin Award (2005), The GlaxoSmithKline Award of The Biochemical Society UK (2006) and The Boyle Medal (2014), Ireland's most prestigious science prize. His lab works on many aspects of programmed cell death (apoptosis), especially the links between cell death, inflammation and cancer. Examples of his work include: the development of annexin V-labeling, which has become the gold standard for measuring apoptosis (Martin et al., 1995), dissecting caspase activation cascades (Slee et al., 1999), oncogenic Ras-initiated autophagic cell death (Elgendy et al., 2011) pro-inflammatory signaling by apoptotic cells (Cullen et al., 2013) and activated Parkin can promote apoptosis (Carroll et al., 2014). He was elected to the Royal Irish Academy in 2006 and the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) in 2009. He is a member of several editorial boards and is Editor-in-Chief of The FEBS Journal.

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Huseyin Mehmet

Huseyin Mehmet

After graduating from the University of Westminster with a BSc in Cell Biology and Immunology, Huseyin obtained his PhD at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre (University of London), studying carbohydrate epitopes as lymphocyte differentiation antigens. He subsequently moved on to the Cancer Research UK Laboratories to study PDGF receptor signaling and the role of immediate early genes in cell cycle regulation. These studies were extended at Cold Spring Harbor Lab and, subsequently, Huseyin moved to College London to investigate the role of PDGF signaling in oligodendrocyte differentiation in Martin Raff's lab. He set up his own research group at Imperial College London and focused on studying the role of apoptosis in neonatal brain injury. Huseyin joined Merck and Co. in September 2006 as Director of Apoptosis Research in Rahway, New Jersey, USA, where he established a biomarker group that combined 'omics' approaches with specific validation using apoptosis models to identify biomarkers of cell death. In April 2008, he was appointed Head of the Diabetes Exploratory Biomarker Group. His group identified and validated target engagement biomarkers for all of the current Diabetes programs. In addition, they validated an exciting new circulating biomarker of beta cells that is elevated in the plasma of diabetes patients. Though preliminary, these findings may finally allow clinicians to monitor the effects of anti-diabetes drugs on islet degeneration over prolonged periods of treatment. In November 2010 Huseyin was appointed to his current post, leading Target Identification and Validation for the Respiratory and Immunology Franchise.

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Pascal Meier

Pascal Meier

Dr Pascal Meier studied for his Diploma (Swiss equivalent to MSc) in Developmental and Molecular Biology and PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. He then moved to the London Research Institute (LRI, former ICRF) at Cancer Research-UK, London, to work as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2000, Pascal started his own research laboratory in the Breakthrough Research Centre based at the Chester Beatty Laboratories in the Institute of Cancer Research, London. He is a member of the Cell Death Society and recently he was awarded membership of the EMBO Young Investigator Program (YIP). Dr Pascal Meier leads the Apoptosis in Cancer Team at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre. He and his colleagues are investigating how to encourage apoptosis to take place in breast cancer cells, to make them more sensitive to treatment. This work could have important implications in the future for expanding treatment options for women with breast cancer.

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Michal Malewiczr

Michal Malewicz

Dr Michal Malewicz received a Masters degree in Molecular Genetics in 1997 from the University of Warsaw (Poland). He did his doctoral work at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany) on activation induced cell death of T-cells, which was accomplished in 2002. Thereafter Michal moved to Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research affiliated with the Nobel Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. While in Sweden Michal performed important studies on the regulation of transcription and DNA repair in neuronal cells. From 2012 Michal has been appointed as Principal Investigator at The MRC Toxicology Unit in Leicester (UK). Michal's lab has interests in mammalian DNA repair and DNA damage response regulation.

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Giovanni Melillo

Giovanni Melillo

Dr Giovanni Melillo obtained a medical doctor degree in 1981 and a specialty in Oncology in 1984 from the University of Naples, Italy. He joined the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology of the National Cancer Institute at Frederick in 1991, where he discovered the presence of a hypoxia response element in the promoter of the inducible nitric oxide synthase gene. In 1996 he joined the Clinical Oncology Program of NCI where he became interested in the role of hypoxia and angiogenesis in tumor progression and in the development of novel targeted therapies for cancer. In 1999 Dr Melillo became Senior Investigator with the Developmental Therapeutics Program of the National Cancer Institute at Frederick where he has contributed to the implementation of a drug discovery and development program targeting the transcription factor Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1. Dr Melillo's laboratory is internationally recognized for the discovery of several HIF-1 inhibitors and has been the first to demonstrate that inhibition of Topoisomerase I is associated with down-regulation of HIF-1 alpha protein in cancer cells. Dr Melillo is currently involved in the development of novel therapeutic strategies targeting hypoxic cell signaling and in the design and implementation of phase I clinical trials of molecularly targeted agents in cancer patients. Dr Melillo serves as Associate Editor of Journal of Molecular Medicine and is on the Editorial Board of Cancer Research, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, and Molecular Cancer.

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Ute Moll

Ute Moll

Ute Moll received her MD from University of Ulm, Germany, and is currently Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Department of Pathology, Stony Brook University, USA where she helps to integrate research programs with clinical programs. Since 2007 she also holds a Visiting Professorship at the Department of Molecular Oncology, University of Göttingen, Germany. She did her clinical training in Anatomic & Clinical Pathology at Stony Brook University and is Board-certified in Pathology. She conducted postdoctoral research with Professor Arnold Levine at Princeton University. Dr Moll's laboratory is focused on the regulation of the p53 tumour suppresser in normal and cancer cells, as well as the role of the p63 and p73 homologs in cancer, development and tissue homeostasis. She has gained international recognition for the discovery of the p53 transcription-independent mitochondrial death program and the characterization of its mechanism of action. Her lab also discovered that the deltaNp73 isoform is oncogenic and frequently upregulated in a broad spectrum of human carcinomas, circumventing the need for p73 gene mutation since it functions as a pan-family inhibitor of p53, TAp63 and TAp73. Another achievement was the discovery that p73 plays an autonomous role in maintaining genomic stability and normal ploidy in cells. Most recently, her lab discovered that loss of p73 expression, which frequently occurs in human non-Hodgkin B-lymphomas, promotes extranodal tumour dissemination which contributes to poor prognosis.

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László Nagy

Laszlo Nagy

Dr Nagy received his M.D. in 1991 and a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology in 1995, both from the University Medical School of Debrecen in Hungary. He did postdoctoral work in the United States with Peter Davies at the University of Texas, Houston, where he holds the title of adjunct professor, and later at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies with Ron Evans. In 1999, he received a Boehringer Ingelheim Research Award, which enabled him to return to Hungary and establish his research laboratory. Dr Nagy was elected EMBO Young Investigator in 2000 and has held a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Biomedical Sciences since 2004. He is currently professor and head of the Debrecen Clinical Genomics Center in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Debrecen, Medical and Health Science Center. He has been elected to membership in EMBO and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2007. Dr Nagy has received HHMI international research scholar awards since 2000. He serves as an editor of FEBS Letters and the European Journal of Clinical Investigation. His works have been cited over 7,300 times. Currently, László Nagy is using molecular, pharmacologic, genetic and genomic approaches to delineate the pathways regulated by nuclear hormone receptors in myeloid cells. These transcription factors play key lipid-handling roles in macrophages and dendritic cells - immune-system cells that control immunity and inflammation. He is using targeted elimination of some of these receptors (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, PPARs and the retinoic acid receptors RARs and RXRs) from mouse macrophages and dendritic cells to determine their effects on models of infectious and chronic inflammatory diseases.

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Pierluigi Nicotera

Pierluigi Nicotera

Pierluigi Nicotera received his MD from the University of Pavia, Italy, in 1982 and his PhD from the Karolinska Institutet in 1986. In 1995 he was appointed Professor of Toxicology at the University of Konstanz, Germany. Between 2000-2009 he was Director of the Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, Leicester, UK. His early research was concerned with the mechanisms of Ca2+-mediated cytotoxicity but now focuses on the mechanisms of cell death in toxic injury and neuronal disease. Currently, Nicotera is Director of a new German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn, Germany.

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Andrew Oberst

Andrew Oberst

Dr Andrew Oberst graduated from Amherst College in 2001, and pursued his graduate studies in Europe, in a collaborative program between the Universities of Rome and Paris. He received his Doctorate in 2006, then completed postdoctoral training at St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. He joined the Department of Immunology as an Assistant Professor in 2012. His research focuses on the immune response to cell death and how cell death occurs. Specifically, how pleiotropic signals lead to cellular survival, apoptosis, or programmed necrosis, and how each outcome influences immune responses in vivo.

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Sten Orrenius

Sten Orrenius

Sten Orrenius received his PhD from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden in 1965 and his MD from the same institution in 1967. He has been on the staff of Karolinska Institutet in various positions since 1967, and was appointed Professor of Toxicology in 1984. He holds honorary memberships in the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Society of Toxicology (USA). He is also a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and a Foreign Associate Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. He has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Stockholm, Turin, Konstanz, Buenos Aires, Paris V and Milan. He was presented the Merit Award by EUROTOX, the Association of European Toxicologists and Societies of Toxicology, in 1997 and was the recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Lifetime Toxicology Scholar Award by the Society of Toxicology (USA). In 2003, Dr Orrenius received the first ECDO Career Award for Excellence in Cell Death Research by the European Cell Death Organization. Dr Orrenius was one of the first scientists working on mechanisms involved in apoptotic cell death. In particular, his early work in this area was dedicated to the role of calcium and endonucleases in the killing of immature thymocytes by glucocorticoids. Most of his more recent work is concerned with mechanisms of cytotoxicity and cell death, with particular reference to the roles of the calcium ion and of reactive oxygen species.

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Pier Pandolfi

Pier Pandolfi

Pier Paolo Pandolfi received his M.D. in 1989 and his Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Perugia, Italy, after having studied Philosophy at the University of Rome, Italy. He received post-graduate training at the National Institute for Medical Research and the University of London in the UK. He became an Assistant Member of the Molecular Biology Program and the Department of Human Genetics at Memorial-Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 1994. Dr Pandolfi grew through the ranks to become a Member in the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at the Sloan Kettering Institute; Professor of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics at the Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences at Cornell University; Professor, Molecular Biology in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Medical College at Cornell University; and Head of the Molecular and Developmental Biology Laboratories at MSKCC. Dr Pandolfi was also the incumbent of the Albert C. Foster Endowed Chair for Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr Pandolfi presently holds the Reisman Endowed Chair of Medicine, and is Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. He serves as the Director of Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Center; Director, Cancer Genetics Program; and Chief Division of Genetics in the Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and is also a Member of the Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr Pandolfi is an elected member of the American Association of Physicians and an Associate Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization. He is the recipient of, among other awards, the American Italian Cancer Foundation Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine, the NIH/NCI MERIT Award, the Fondazione Cortese International Award, the Prostate Cancer Foundation Creativity Award and the Ischia International Award. The research carried out in Dr Pandolfi's laboratory has been seminal at elucidating the molecular mechanisms and the genetics underlying the pathogenesis of leukaemias, lymphomas and solid tumours as well as in modeling these cancers in the mouse. Dr Pandolfi and colleagues have characterized the function of the fusion oncoproteins and the genes involved in the chromosomal translocations of acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL), as well as of major tumour suppressors such as PTEN and p53, and novel proto-oncogenes such as POKEMON. The elucidation of the molecular basis underlying APL pathogenesis has led to the development of novel and effective therapeutic strategies. As a result of these efforts, APL is now considered a curable disease. Novel therapeutic concepts have emerged from this work are currently being tested in clinical trials.

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Josef Penninger

Josef Penninger

Josef Penninger is the Director of IMBA, the largest research institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) to promote excellence in molecular biology and genetic research. He is currently an Adjunct Full Professor of Immunology and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, Professor of Genetics at the University of Vienna, and an Honorary professor of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. He has published more than 300 scientific articles, including reports on master genes in osteoporosis, pain, autoimmune and heart diseases, and the circadian clock. He was named by various entities as one of the 10 most promising scientists in all fields of science, one of the 10 most interesting people in America. He received many prizes including the EU Descartes Prize, the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine, and in 2009 the European Prize for Biomedical Research and the Australian Medal of Science.

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Danilo Perrotti

Danilo Perrotti

Danilo Perrotti is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics, a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University Medical Center (Columbus, OH) and a Scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He is an Associate Editor for Cancer Research, as well as a reviewer for over 40 scientific journals and for international, US federal and private funding agencies. In 1991 he obtained his MD from the University of Rome "La Sapienza" followed by a PhD in Biotechnology in 1997. Since his move to the US in 1993, Dr Perrotti's research interest has been focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for the emergence, maintenance and progression of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) with the ultimate goal of finding molecular targets useful for the development of new therapeutic drugs, through assessing the role of post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression on the phenotype of leukemic stem and progenitor cells.

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Paolo Pinton

Pinton

Dr. Pinton obtained his PhD from the University of Padua (2001) and is currently full professor of General Pathology at the University of Ferrara (Italy) and President of the Italian Society of Cell Biology and Differentiation (ABCD).

Dr. Pinton has an established international recognition in the field of calcium (Ca2+) signaling and and mitochondria involvement in different physio-pathological processes. He obtained novel, unexpected insights in the fields of Ca2+ signaling and cellular metabolism. These new concepts include among others the participation of mitochondria in cellular Ca2+ homeostasis and their role in translating calcium signals into events as diverse as the stimulation of metabolism and induction of cell death, the occurrence of tight signaling interactions between the ER and mitochondria and, for the first time, the role of the oncogene Bcl-2 in reducing Ca2+ transfer from the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria and the importance of that for its mechanism of action as oncoprotein.

Most recently, Dr. Pinton's research has focused on clarification of the mechanisms by which oncogenes and onco-suppressors modify intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis and how these signaling changes at mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs) regulate the process of cell death under different physio-pathological conditions. Thanks also to the work from the Pinton's lab, MAMs have been identified as a critical hub in the regulation of cell death and tumor growth.

The main research lines of his team are: i) Mitochondrial dysfunctions and diseases, ii) Onco-regulators at the MAMs and iii) Molecular identity and regulation of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore.

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Krishna Rajalingam

Krishna Rajalingam

Krishna Rajalingam heads a cell death signalling group at the Institute for Biochemistry II in Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. He received his Ph.D. (2004) in Molecular cell biology from Humboldt University /Max Planck Institute for Infections Biology in Berlin. Krishna's lab is interested in understanding the molecular signalling machinery modulating tumour cell survival and migration. In particular, his lab focusses on elucidating the physiological role of IAPs, biology of RAF kinases and cell death mediated by bacterial toxins. Krishna was an Emmy Noether fellow of the DFG (2007-2012) and subsequently been selected to be a fellow of the Boehringer Ingelheim foundation (2012).

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Giuseppe Raschellà

Giuseppe Raschella

Giuseppe Raschellà graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1976 and in Biological Sciences in 1980 at the University of Rome, Sapienza. He did his post-doctoral training (1984-1985) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Dr Clyde Hutchison's laboratory where he studied the organization of globin genes and Long Interspersed Elements 1 (LINE-1). In 1986 he started his research group at the ENEA Research Center Casaccia in Rome working on the biology of solid tumours of neuroectodermal origin, particularly neuroblastoma. During his research career he has been interested in the role of oncogenes in regulating proliferation, differentiation and survival of tumour cells. His current research interests include the molecular mechanisms of Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) in tumours and the role of microRNAs in metastasis. He served as a member of the Scientific Board of the Italian Association for Neuroblastoma Research (2002-2004). He has been reviewer of several scientific journals among which, Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, International Journal of Cancer, Cellular & Molecular Life Sciences and Cell Death & Differentiation.

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Thomas Rudel

Thomas Rudel

Thomas Rudel received his PhD at the University of Tübingen, Germany. From 1995 to 1997, he did his postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Biology, Department for Infection Biology in Tübingen and at the Scripps Research Institute, Department for Immunology. He then joined the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin as a group leader. Since 2008 he has held the chair of Microbiology at the University of Würzburg, Germany. His current research focuses on the role of programmed cell death in bacterial infection and the connection of infection and cancer development. In particular, he and his co-workers study the molecular mechanism underlying the modulation of host apoptosis by infecting bacteria. This includes studies on bacterial pathogenicity factors targeting mitochondria and components of the host's apoptosis machinery.

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Akira Sawa

Akira Sawa

Akira Sawa is Director of Program in Molecular Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. Akira Sawa is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist initially trained in Japan (University of Tokyo Hospital, under the supervision of Masaaki Matsushita) after graduating from University of Tokyo in 1990. Having received basic research training from Solomon Snyder in the Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, he was first appointed as Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry in 2001. His program covers both basic and clinical research, focusing on schizophrenia and related disorders; and the role for cell death during development and aging, especially cell death triggered by oxidative stress that impact mental functions.

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Giampietro Schiavo

Giampietro Schiavo

Dr Giampietro Schiavo is a senior group leader at Cancer Research UK London Research Institute and Honorary Professor in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at University College London (UK). He studied Chemistry and Drug Technology, and then Biology at the University of Padova, Italy, in the laboratory of Professor Cesare Montecucco. During his studies and in a following post-doctoral training period, he elucidated the mechanism of action of clostridial neurotoxins and their proteolytic activity towards synaptic SNARE proteins. He then moved with the support of a long-term EMBO Fellowship to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York to work in the laboratory of Professor James Rothman, where he studied the network of protein- and lipid-protein interaction of synaptotagmin. In 1997, he founded the Molecular Neuropathobiology laboratory at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London. With his team, he is presently studying the machinery responsible for the endocytosis and axonal transport of neurotrophins and other survival factors. His research efforts have been focused on demonstrating that the impairment of the selectivity and the efficiency of vesicular traffic in neurons constitute a major pathogenic mechanism in neurodegenerative disorders. He is an Editor of the Journal of Cell Science and Deputy Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurochemistry. He has been awarded the "Dott Giuseppe Borgia" award of the Italian National Academy of Sciences in 1993, the International Society for Neurochemistry Young Scientist Award in 1995, the Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation Career Development Award in 2002 and CaRiPaRo Foundation Visiting professorship at the Galilean School of Higher Education in Padova (Italy) in 2009.

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Raffaella Sordella

Raffaella Sordella

Raffaella Sordella received her Ph.D. from The Turin University (Italy). From 2000 to 2006, she conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical University under the supervision of Jeff Settleman and Daniel Haber. From 2007, she started her laboratory at CSHL where she is currently an associate professor. Two challenges in cancer biology guide her work: first, how do tumors become addicted to certain gene products, and second, how do tumors develop resistance to anti-cancer drugs. In particular she focuses on the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is both addictive when mutated and a common source of drug resistance. Using oncogenomic approaches her laboratory identified a novel isoform of the tp53 gene and new targets for the treatment of lung cancer.

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Vuk Stambolic

Vuk Stambolic

Vuk Stambolic is a cancer researcher at the Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the University of Toronto, Canada. Dr. Stambolic is interested in deregulation of signal transduction pathways in cancer with a focus on the biology of the PTEN tumor suppressor and the relationship between obesity and cancer. His laboratory utilizes biochemical and genetic model organism approaches to discover and investigate the mechanistic events underlying tumorigenesis. Dr. Stambolic's work has recently extended into the area of translational cancer medicine, with his active participation in clinical trials aimed at using metformin, a commonly prescribed type 2 diabetes drug, as an anti-cancer agent.

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Anastasis Stephanou

Anastasis Stephanou

Dr Stephanou is a Reader at University College London (UCL) and leads a group in the Medical Molecular Biology Unit. He completed his PhD at the Westminster and Charing Cross Medical School, University of London in 1992. He then did his Post-doctoral training (1992-1995) in the Department of Endocrinology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, USA, working on transcriptional gene regulation. In 1995, he moved as a postdoctoral fellow to the laboratory led by Professor David Latchman at the Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences, UCL where he studied the regulation of heat shock proteins and their cytoprotective properties. During his postdoctoral work, he developed his interest in the Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription (STATs) factors as key regulators of apoptosis. In 2002, Dr Stephanou became a Lecturer at UCL and in 2005 was promoted to a Reader. His main research interests are opposing roles of STAT1 and STAT3 in regulating processes such as apoptosis, cell cycle regulation and autophagy in disease models such as cardiac ischaemia reperfusion injury and also in cancer. He has recently edited a book entitled "JAK-STAT Pathway in Diseases" and is an author for over 100 peer-reviewed articles. Other interests include collaborating with a colleague in the Mechanical Engineering Department at UCL, who has developed a novel technique called bio-electrospraying (BES) for deposition and controlled jetting of primary neonatal cardiac myocytes, primary cardiac and endothelial cells, as well as creating a beating cardiac tissue graft and are hoping to use such protocols for transplantation and treatment of severe heart failure models.

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Nektarios Tavernarakis

Nektarios Tavernarakis

Nektarios Tavernarakis is a Research Director (Professor) at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, in Heraklion, Crete, Greece, heading the Caenorhabditis elegans molecular genetics laboratory. He earned his PhD degree at the University of Crete, studying gene expression regulation in yeast, and trained in C. elegans genetics and molecular biology at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA. His research focuses on studies of neuronal function and dysfunction, using nematodes as a model organism. His main interests are the molecular mechanisms of necrotic cell death in neurodegeneration and senescent decline, the molecular mechanisms of sensory transduction and integration by the nervous system, the interplay between cellular metabolism and ageing, and the development of novel genetic tools for C. elegans research. He is the recipient of a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator grant award, an International Human Frontier in Science Program Organization (HFSPO) long-term award, the Bodossaki Foundation Scientific Prize for Medicine and Biology, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel research award, and is a European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) Young Investigator.

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Boris Turk

Boris Turk

Boris Turk received a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1993. Following a postdoctoral work at The Biomedical Center in Uppsala, Sweden, he received a Ph.D. in Medical and Physiological Chemistry in 1996. He returned to Slovenia and since 1998 he is head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Structural Biology at the J. Stefan Institute and since 2011 professor of biochemistry at the University of Ljubljana. His lab focuses on the understanding of the role of proteases, in particular, lysosomal cysteine cathepsins, in inflammation-associated diseases, including cancer. This includes understanding of the molecular mechanisms of involvement of lysosomes and lysosomal proteases in cell death and related processes with a goal to evaluate their potential in anti-cancer therapy.

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Domagoj Vucic

Domagoj Vucic

Domagoj Vucic, PhD, is a Senior Scientist at Genentech, Inc. in South San Francisco, USA. He obtained his BSc from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, USA. He completed his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr Vishva Dixit. Dr Vucic's laboratory investigates the physiological role of inhibitors of apoptosis (IAP) proteins in tumour progression, maintenance and resistance to anti-cancer treatments. At Genentech, his group is developing IAP-antagonistic compounds that promote death of cancer cells and/or sensitize IAP-expressing tumour cells to pro-apoptotic stimuli such as Death Receptor agonists. His laboratory also studies the biological role of modulators of signaling pathways (e.g. ubiquitination-mediated regulation of NF-κB pathways), and their involvement in cellular processes triggered by TNF family ligands and other pro-inflammatory agents

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Eileen White

Eileen White

Dr. Eileen White received her Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute followed by a Ph.D. in Biology from SUNY Stony Brook. She went on to be a Damon Runyon Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Bruce Stillman and then to a Staff Investigator position at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. There she discovered that one of the oncogenes of the DNA tumor virus adenovirus encoded an inhibitor of programmed cell death or apoptosis (E1B 19K) that this gene was a viral homologue of the human bcl-2 oncogene. She went on to establish that oncogene activation that deregulates cell growth also activates apoptosis, and that coordinate inhibition of apoptosis is an important function that promotes cancer. These findings revealed roles for the p53 tumor suppressor in activating apoptosis and suppressing cancer and for the Bcl-2-related anti-apoptotic proteins blocking apoptosis and promoting cancer.
Dr. White continued her work defining the role and mechanisms of apoptosis regulation in cancer at Rutgers University where she is currently the Associate Director for Basic Science at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is also a Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Dr. White has served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Cancer Institute and other review panels for the National Institutes of Health. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a MERIT award from the National Cancer Institute, the Red Smith award from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigatorship, an Achievement Award from the International Cell Death Society, a Career Award for the European Cell Death Organization, and is an elected Fellow of the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Dr. White has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the Scientific Review Boards for the Starr Cancer Consortium, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). She is on the External Advisory Boards of the Yale, Case, and MGH Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Editorial Board memberships have included Genes & Development, Cancer Discovery, the Journal of Cell Biology, Oncogene, Cancer Prevention Research, Molecular Cancer Research, Autophagy and Cell Death and Disease. She is also an investigator on cancer clinical trials, and is a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry for anti-cancer drug discovery, including former membership on the Scientific Advisory Boards (SABs) for Onyx and Gemin X Pharmaceuticals, and current membership on the SAB for Forma Therapeutics. Current research of the White Laboratory at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is focused on determining the role of the catabolic process of autophagy in protein and organelle homeostasis, and how this recycling of cellular components sustains cancer metabolism and tumorigenesis.

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Anne Willis

Anne Willis

Professor Anne Willis obtained a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Kent (1984). She holds a PhD in Biochemistry (1987) from University of London (Imperial College). Her PhD was carried out in the CRUK laboratories at Clare Hall. She then worked in the University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry (1988-1992) and held a Junior Research Fellowship (1988-1992) and a College Lectureship (1991-1992) at Churchill College Cambridge. She moved to the University of Leicester in 1992 to take up a Lectureship (1992-2000), Readership (2002-2004) and Chair (2004) in the department of Biochemistry. She was also awarded a BBSRC Advanced Fellowship during this period (2000-2005). She moved to the University of Nottingham as Professor of Cancer Cell Biology in 2004 and was appointed BBSRC Professorial Fellow (2008-2013). Her laboratory is interested in post-transcriptional control of gene expression, particularly translational control, and how this process adapts to allow cell recovery following exposure to agents that induce stress.

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Jens Wiltfang

Jens Wiltfang

Professor Jens Wiltfang, MD, is Director of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the university hospital in Essen, Germany. He obtained his MD at the Medizinische Hochschule Hannover in 1986 and his PhD in 1988. He then did four years of basic research in neuroscience and proteinbiochemistry at the Max-Planck-Institute for Experimental Medicine in Göttingen on a post-doctoral fellowship of the German Research foundation (DFG) and a Max-Planck postdoc fellowship. In 1997, he became head of the research groups Molecular Neurobiology and Neurochemical Dementia Diagnostics, Department of Psychiatry, University of Göttingen; his main research topics were identification of new neurochemical dementia markers by clinical proteomics, identification of new drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia (AD), and basic research related to the pathophysiology of AD using transgenic cell culture and animal models. After having received the call for a position as university professor ("C3-Extraordinariat") at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Jens Wiltfang left Göttingen for Erlangen, where he became Vice Clinic Director to the Department of Psychiatry as well as head of the research laboratory for Molecular Neurobiology and Neurochemical Dementia Diagnostics. In 2007, he took over his current position in Essen. Now, his work focuses on the identification of neurochemical biomarkers for early and differential diagnosis of dementia; as well as the development of new drugs for pharmacotherapy of Alzheimer's disease. In addition to the above he's also looking for similarities in insulin signal transduction, Diabetes mellitus type 2 and Alzheimer related dementia.

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Will Wood

Will Wood

Professor Will Wood received a Ph.D. in Developmental Biology from University College London before moving to Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, Portugal, to work as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2006 he started his own research laboratory in the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath (UK) as a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship. He is currently a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bath, where his lab investigates the molecular mechanisms that underlie Drosophila macrophage migration in vivo. He is particularly interested in how these immune cells prioritise competing cues such as damage signals released from wounds and 'eat me' signals arising from apoptotic corpses as well as the guidance cues that direct their developmental dispersal during embryogenesis.

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Jim Xiao

Jim Xiao

Dr Zhi-Xiong Jim Xiao received BS from Sichuan University, PhD from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. He was appointed as Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine in 1996 and promoted to Associated Professor and Full professor. He joined in Sichuan University, China, as Director of Center of Growth, Metabolism and Aging in 2010. His research interest is cell cycle, tumor suppressor proteins and cancer cell biology. He has made important contributions in the mechanisms of tumor suppressors and tumorigenesis. He received numerous awards including Anna Fuller Foundation, American Cancer Society, Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health. His current research focuses on signaling transduction and cancer metastasis.

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Avraham Yaron

Avraham Yaron

Avraham Yaron received his Ph.D. from The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School (Israel) in 2000. From 2000 to 2006, he conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University and Genentech under the supervision of Marc Tessier-Lavigne. From 2006, he works as senior scientist and principal investigator, Weizmann institute of science, Israel Several aspects of axonal degeneration and peripheral neuropathy are his main interests.

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Huang-Tian Yang

Huang-Tian Yang

Huang-Tian Yang is the Associate Director and Professor of the Institute of Health Sciences (IHS), Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. She received her PhD at Yamagata University School of Medicine, Japan. She was a faculty member/research follower at Nantong University School of Medicine, Yamagata University School of Medicine, and NIH/NIA. Since 2000, she has taken current position as a Group Leader in IHS. Her scientific interest focuses on the regulation of physiopathology in myocardial contractility and identification of novel targets and therapeutic intervention for the prevention and treatment of ischemic myocardial injury. The current projects developed by her team are mainly centered around i) regulation of pluripotent stem cell differentiation, especially cardiomyocyte differentiation; ii) roles and regulations of Ca2+ signals in lineage commitment, cardiomyocyte maturation and ischemic injury; and iii) molecular mechanisms and application potential of intermittent hypoxic adaptation- and natural compound-conferred cardioprotection against ischemic injury.

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Junying Yuan

Junying Yuan

Dr Junying Yuan received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University in 1989 and her undergraduate degree from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, in 1982. Dr Yuan carried out her Ph.D. thesis work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the laboratory of H. Robert Horvitz where she studied the mechanism of programmed cell death in the nematode C. elegans. After her Ph.D. studies, she established her own laboratory as a Principal Investigator of the Cardiovascular Research Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Her laboratory made the groundbreaking discovery revealing the functional role of caspases in controlling apoptosis in mammalian cells in 1993. She joined the Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, in 1996 and was appointed a Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School in 2000. Dr Yuan is a fellow of the American Arts and Science and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has made many important discoveries in the mechanisms of cell death. She is a leading world expert on cell death including both apoptosis and necrosis. Her recent works focus on the alternative mechanisms of cell death. Her laboratory identified necrostatins, a family of small molecule inhibitors of necroptosis, a regulated necrotic cell death mechanism.

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Zahra Zakeri

Zahra Zakeri

Dr Zahra Zakeri received her Ph.D. from St. John's University, NY and continued as a post-doctoral fellow and associate research scientist at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons. She taught at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey before moving to Queens College, NY, where she is Professor and Director of the MARC Program. She has served on numerous grant review panels in the US, Ireland, Italy, Belgium, Israel and Iran. She is on the editorial boards of several journals and acts as a reviewer for many other journals. Her research has touched on many areas of cell death, including stress and heat shock genes, ceramide and sphingomyelin, autophagy and phagocytosis, cell death in development and aging, cyclin dependent kinases, the role of apoptosis in teratogenicity, viral manipulation in cell death, and the role of genetic sex on sensitivity to cell death. She has co-edited several books, including two volumes of Methods in Enzymology. She was a co-founder of the first Gordon Conferences on Cell Death, Scientists Without Borders, and the International Cell Death Society, for which she is currently President. She has won several awards, including most recently, "Ambassador for Science" awarded by the International Cell Death Society.

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Gerry Zambetti

Gerry Zambetti

Gerry Zambetti, PhD, is a Member of the Department of Biochemistry and Vice President & Director of Academic Programs in Biomedical Sciences at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis TN, USA. His research focuses on the effectors and mediators of the p53 tumor suppressor signaling pathway. Specific areas of study include genotype-phenotype relationships associated with germline p53 mutations, the impact of these mutations on childhood cancers, and the mechanisms through which p53 induces cell death, for example, the regulation of downstream target genes such as PUMA.

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Jianke Zhang

Jianke Zhang

Jianke Zhang obtained his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Purdue University in the USA, after college education in Microbiology at Northwest University, Xi'an, China. Following a brief postdoctoral training in Biochemistry at Purdue University, he moved to University of California at Berkeley to work as a Special Research Fellow of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America. He then joined the faculty at Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He is currently an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Radiation Oncology, a member of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Jefferson Vaccine Center, and the Director of the Flow Cytometry Facility at Jefferson. He has a long interest in apoptosis and necroptosis mediated by FADD, RIP1 and RIP3 during mouse development and immune responses. He had served a 5-year term as a member of the Editorial Board of J. Biol. Chem., and currently serves as an Associate Editor in Front. Cell. Dev Biol. He served as ad hoc reviewer for Nature Rev. MCB, Nature Rev. Immunol., PNAS, Blood, J. Immunol. and other journals.

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Jingwu Z Zhang

Jingwu Z Zhang

Jingwu Zang received his medical degree in Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine (formerly Shanghai Second Medical University) and went on to earn his PhD in Immunology in Belgium, where he started his illustrious pursuit of a cure for multiple sclerosis through basic and clinical research. He later received an advanced research fellowship award from US National Multiple Sclerosis Society and conducted his postdoctoral research on multiple sclerosis in Harvard Medical School. Dr Zang joined faculty of Neurology and Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine and obtained a US medical licensure through a clinical residency program there. Prior to his career in Shanghai, he had been Professor of Neurology and Immunology and Research Director of Multiple Sclerosis Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. Dr Zang has published about 160 scientific articles in prestigious journals, chapters and books and received many international science awards. He is well known for his pioneering work in T cell vaccination as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, which led to landmark publications in Science. Dr Zang was the scientific founder of Opexa Pharmaceuticals, a spin-off biotech company of Baylor College of Medicine. In his recent career in China, Dr Zang established the Institute of Health Sciences with Chinese Academy of Sciences as the founding director and the Institut Pasteur Shanghai (Chinese Academy of Sciences and Institut Pasteur Paris) as the Chinese founding director. Among other academic positions he held in China are Dean of School of Medical Sciences (Shanghai JiaoTong University) and Director of Shanghai Institute of Immunology. In June 2007, Dr Zang joined GlaxoSmithKline as Senior Vice President to head GSK R&D Center in China.