About the Editors
Italy, Rome - Dr Piacentini is a Full Professor at University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Rome, Italy. He is also President of the Biotechnology Program at the university, is on the Board of Directors for the European Cell Death Organization and is Basic Research Director at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Rome. Since 1993, he has been the Founder and an Editor of the journal Cell Death & Differentiation. He is a journal reviewer for other journals including Brain Research, Cancer Research, Cancer Cell, and Nature. Furthermore, Dr Piacentini has organized several international meetings including the 14th Euroconference on "Apoptosis or Programmed Cell Death". He has co-edited a book entitled "Methods in Enzymology: Programmed Cell Death". His research interest is to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating apoptosis and autophagy under both physiological and pathological conditions. In particular, he is interested in the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease with particular regard to the role of TG2 and mitochondria. He is also studying infectious diseases such as HIV and HCV. With autophagy, he is characterizing the role of Ambra1, a key component of the Beclin1 complex.
KEYWORDS: apoptosis; autophagy; HIV; HCV; Ambra1
China, Shanghai and USA, New Jersey - Yufang Shi is Director and Professor of the Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. He also holds a University Professor title at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He received his Ph.D. in Immunology from University of Alberta in 1992. From 1995 to 2001, he was a faculty member at the American Red Cross Laboratory, Holland and George Washington University. His research team studies i) molecular mechanisms of activation-induced cell death in T cell subpopulations; ii) understanding how immunosuppression is mediated in mesenchymal stem cells; iii) tumor stroma and tumor immunology; and iv) psychoneuroimmunology. He is one of the editors of Cell Research and has served on editorial boards of Journal of Immunology, Oncogene, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Cellular and Molecular Immunology, and the American Journal of Translational Research.
KEYWORDS: Apoptosis in lymphocytes; immune regulation; psychoneuroimmunology; bone-lymphocyte connection
Switzerland, Bern - Simon Hans-Uwe, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Pharmacology and since 2000, has been Director of the Department of Pharmacology, University of Bern in Switzerland. After obtaining a doctoral thesis, he specialized in Clinical Immunology, at the University of Jena, Germany. His Postdoc (1990-92) was completed at the Mount Sinai and General Hospitals, University of Toronto, Canada. Professor Hans-Uwe became a Principal Investigator and Deputy Director (1992-2000) at the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research, University of Zurich, Davos, Switzerland, with "Habilitation" in Experimental Immunology (1996). He also obtained a Doctoral thesis (Ph.D. 1996-2001) at the Department of Pharmacology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Research interests include: (1) Immunopharmacology; and (2) Role of apoptosis and autophagy in inflammatory diseases and cancer. Among other academic and administrative services, he served as President of the Swiss Society of Pharmacology and Toxicology (SSPT; 2004-2007), President of the Swiss Society of Experimental Pharmacology (SSEP; 2005-2008), President of the European Cell Death Society (ECDO; 2007-2009), and President of the Union of the Swiss Societies for Experimental Biology (USSBE; 2007-2010). He is the Editor-in-Chief of Allergy, the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
KEYWORDS: Immunopharmacology; apoptosis; autophagy; neutrophils extracellular traps; eosinophils
France, Villejuif - Guido Kroemer currently serves as a Research Director at INSERM, in the INSERM Unit 848, located in Villejuif, France. Prior to joining the INSERM (1993), he was Senior Scientist of the European Community at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) at the National Center of Molecular Biology (1990-1992) and at the National Center of Biotechnology (1993). He did his postdoctoral training in the Collège de France, Nogent-sur-Marne, France (1988-1989) and at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, after receiving his PhD and MD degrees at the same University in 1985. He also holds a PhD degree in biology (Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain). G. Kroemer is member of EMBO, German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), Academia Europaea and European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He received the 2006 Descartes Prize, the highest scientific distinction of the European Union, for his fundamental discoveries in the field of programmed cell death (apoptosis). He also received one of the Grands Prix from the French Academy of Sciences in 2007, as well as the Carus Medal from the German Academy of Sciences. His interests embrace the role of mitochondria in pathological cell death, the contribution of autophagy to disease processes, and the immune response to dying cancer cells.
KEYWORDS: autophagy; apoptosis; cancer; chemotherapy; tumor immunology
UK, London - Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Medical Molecular Biology Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, and member of the Apoptosis and Cancer Laboratory, Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, Leicester, UK. Scientific interests include all aspects of cell death, especially in relation to the p53 family, the role of STAT transcription factors in cell cycle control and apoptosis and the mechanisms of cytoprotection by the urocortins, particularly in cardiovascular and neuronal pathologies.
KEYWORDS: STAT; apoptosis; p73; urocortin; neurodegeneration
Italy, Rome and UK, Cambridge - Gerry Melino is Head of the Apoptosis & Cancer Laboratory, Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, UK; and Professor of Molecular Biology (Medicine), University of Rome "Tor Vergata". He was awarded the Academia Lincei "Feltrinelli" Prize, the highest distinction by the President of Italy. His scientific interest focuses upon programmed cell death in cancer and skin. On the epidermis he works on the molecular events leading to death of keratinocytes, both in animal models as well as in human pathologies. Gerry's major work investigates the two recently identified members of the p53 family – p63 and p73. The molecular events driven by DNA damage to elicit the function of p63/p73 is investigated in vitro (transcriptional targets, proteosomal degradation, inhibitors) as well in ad hoc transgenic animal models.
KEYWORDS: apoptosis; p63/p73; skin; DNA damage; transgenic animal models
Italy, Rome - 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.
KEYWORDS: neuroblastoma; EMT; microRNAs; zinc finger proteins; apoptosis
Sweden, Stockholm - Boris Zhivotovsky, PhD, Dr Sci, is Professor of Toxicology at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden). He received his PhD in 1975 (in the laboratory of Professor Kaido Hanson) and Dr Sci in Radiobiology and Biochemistry in 1989 in Leningrad (Soviet Union), with both studies investigating molecular mechanisms of radiation-induced death of lymphoid cells. The team was first to describe this phenomenon as an example of programmed cell death. In 1987 he received the USSR State Prize in Science and Technology for development of the theoretical basis of radiation-induced death of lymphoid cells and their use to determine the pathogenesis of radiation sickness. In 1991 he was invited to join Professor Sten Orrenius's group at Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm), where he became a group leader, Associate Professor, Professor, and from 2004 a Head of the Unit of Toxicology. In 2010 he was invited to build a new laboratory investigating apoptosis mechanisms at the Faculty of Basic Medicine, Moscow State University (Russia) and elected as a University Professor. He was first to describe intracellular localization and translocation of caspases, to show that microinjection of cytochrome c can kill cells, to understand that the resistance of small cell lung carcinoma cells and tumors to treatment is partly linked to the absence of expression of caspase-8 and -10, and to present evidence that mitotic catastrophe is not a separate mode of cell death but a process ("prestage") preceding cell death, which can occur through necrosis, apoptosis or autophagy. His recent work is focusing on attempts to increase the sensitivity of lung cancer cells to treatment using regulation of cross-talk between various cell death modalities. He was an organizer of three Nobel Conferences on The Cell Cycle and Cell Death in Disease and several other meetings; received several awards including the Descartes Research Prize (EU Science Award); and was a General Secretary (1999-2007), President-Elect (2007-2010), and President (2010-2012) of the European Cell Death Organization (ECDO). At present he is a member of the Editorial Boards of 8 journals.
KEYWORDS: DNA damage; p53; caspases; ROS; lung cancer