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Plenary Program


The Diabetes Pandemic: Prevention is Primary
Sam Dagogo-Jack (USA)

21/04/2017 at 17:00

DAGOGO Jack Sam PictureSam Dagogo-Jack, MD is the A. C. Mullins Professor in Translational Research, Professor of Medicine, and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN. He is also Director of the Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program and Director of the General Clinical Research Center at UTHSC. Dr. Dagogo-Jack graduated from the University of Ibadan College of Medicine, Nigeria, and completed Internal Medicine residency training at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, University of Newcastle, UK. He was certified Member of the Royal College of Physicians (UK) in 1982, following which he underwent bench research training at the University of Newcastle, earning the Master of Science and the Doctorate in Medicine research degrees before undergoing postdoctoral fellowship training in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Dagogo-Jack’s current research focuses on the interaction of genetic and environmental factors in the prediction and prevention of prediabetes and diabetes. He is Principal Investigator of the Pathobiology of Prediabetes in a Biracial Cohort (POP-ABC)Study, the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) and the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)/DPP Outcomes Study (DPPOS), all funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Dagogo-Jack has served on (and chaired) research grants review panels and study sections for the National Institutes of Health, American Diabetes Association, Medical Research Council (UK), Qatar National Research Foundation, among others. He has served as Editor of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (2009-2014) and Associate Editor of Diabetes Care (2007-2011), and currently serves as Associate Editor of the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, Experimental Biology & Medicine and Frontiers in Endocrinology. Dr. Dagogo-Jack’s publications include 3 books, 24 book chapters and more than 200 scientific papers.

Dr. Dagogo-Jack has been elected to the American Association of Physicians, Alpha Omega Alpha, Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, and Fellowships of the Royal College of Physicians of London, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Endocrinology, and has served as Visiting Professor to more than 100 institutions worldwide. Other honors include the Banting Medal for Leadership from the American Diabetes Association (2015); Dorothy I. Height Mentoring Award in the Biomedical Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine-UTHSC (2015); Max Miller Lecturer, Central Society for Clinical & Translational Research (2014); 1st Prof. M. Viswanathan Gold Medal Oration, Chennai, India (2014); Mark Dodge Lecturer, St. Luke’s Hospital/University of Kansas/University of Missouri, Kansas (2013); Auerbach Lecturer, Norwalk Hospital-Yale Dept. of Medicine (2013); Kroc Lecturer, Ohio State University (2011); Meritorious Achievement Award from the National Medical Association (2009), and the Distinction in Endocrinology Award from the American College of Endocrinology (2008).

Dr. Dagogo-Jack has served on the National Boards of Directors of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American Diabetes Association, and Board of Trustees of the American College of Endocrinology. He is the 2015 President, Medicine & Science, of the American Diabetes Association.


Title: Dysbiosis – Immunoregulation by the Gut (Stewart Cameron Lecture)
Richard Flavell (USA)

22/04/2017 at 10:45

Richard PhotoDr. Flavell is Sterling Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received his B.Sc. (Honors) in 1967 and Ph.D. in 1970 in biochemistry from the University of Hull, England, and performed postdoctoral work in Amsterdam (1970-72) with Piet Borst and in Zurich (1972-73) with Charles Weissmann. Before accepting his current position in 1988, Dr. Flavell was first Assistant Professor (equivalent) at the University of Amsterdam (1974-79); then Head of the Laboratory of Gene Structure and Expression at the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London (1979-82); and subsequently President and Chief Scientific Officer of Biogen Research Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1982-88). Dr. Flavell is a fellow of the Royal Society, a member of EMBO, the National Academy of Sciences as well as the National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Flavell’s research uses gene-edited mice to study innate and adaptive immunity. He co-discovered introns and showed that DNA methylation correlates inversely with, and prevents, gene expression. He was the first to develop reverse genetics; he is a pioneer in the use of this approach. He showed how inflammasomes maintain homeostasis with the gut microbiota. In its absence, dysbiosis and disease result. He showed that dysbiotic microbes drive intestinal inflammation and elicit specific IgA responses that are identified in Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.


Title: Epigenetics in Development and Disease
Susan Gasser (Switzerland)

22/04/2017 at 14:45

sgasser photoSusan M. Gasser is the director of the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, a position she assumed in 2004. In parallel, she holds a professorship at the University of Basel and runs an active research laboratory at the FMI. Prior to joining the FMI, she was a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Geneva.

Susan studied at the University of Chicago and completed her PhD at the University of Basel (Biochemistry; G. Schatz), working on the import of mitochondrial proteins. As a postdoctoral fellow, she studied the long-range folding of the genome in flies and human cells. She identified topoisomerase II as a structural component of mitotic chromosomes, and AT-rich sequences as elements of loop organization. From 1986-2001, as a research group leader at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, she combined genetic approaches and fluorescence microscopy to examine the impact of nuclear organization on genome function – specifically on heritable gene repression in yeast.

Susan Gasser's studies have continued to examine how nuclear organization impinges on mechanisms of repair and replication fork stability and on epigenetic inheritance of cell fate decisions. She exploits the genetics of model organisms in her studies, as well as quantitative live fluorescence imaging. Her laboratory identified mechanisms that tether telomeres and silent chromatin at the nuclear envelope. In parallel, they identified roles for RecQ helicases, checkpoint kinases and ORC in the maintenance of genome integrity. Over the last 10 years she has examined the role of nuclear organization and heterochromatin in the development of the nematode, C. elegans. The laboratory has contributed to our understanding of signals and anchors involved in chromatin positioning, both for active and inactive genes, and for various types of DNA double strand break repair.


From Embryogenesis to Kidney Engineering (Donald Seldin Lecture )
Melissa Little (Australia)

24/04/2017 at 16:30

LITTLE Melissa PictureProfessor Melissa Little heads the Kidney Development, Disease and Regeneration Laboratory at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia. For more than 20 years her research has focussed on the molecular basis of kidney development, renal disease and repair. She is internationally recognised for her work on the systems biology of kidney development and also her pioneering studies into potential regenerative therapies in the kidney. Her work on the developing kidney has driven studies into the recreation of nephron stem cell populations via transcriptional reprogramming and directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. As a result, her research now focuses on the generation of mini-kidneys from stem cells for use in drug screening and disease modelling and bioengineering. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Professor Little’s work has been recognised by many awards, including the GlaxoSmithKline Award for Research Excellence (2005), AAS Gottschalk Medal in Medical Sciences (2004), Eisenhower Fellowship (2006), ANZSCDB Presidents Medal (2015) and a Boorhaave Professorship, Leiden University (2015). A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, she founded Nephrogenix Pty Ltd and from 2007-2008, she served as the Chief Scientific Officer at the Australian Stem Cell Centre. Melissa is Vice President of the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research and a member of Stem Cells Australia. She currently serves as a Special Editor for Development and on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Society for Nephrology, Kidney International and Developmental Biology.


Title: Amyloidosis (Claude Amiel Lecture)
Mark Pepys (United Kingdom)

23/04/2017 at 10:45

PEPYS Mark Picture PassportMark Pepys was educated at Trinity College Cambridge, University College Hospital Medical School and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School London, where his 1986 invention of serum amyloid P component (SAP) scintigraphy for diagnosis and monitoring of systemic amyloidosis created the de facto national referral centre.  In 1999 he was invited to the Royal Free Campus of University College London (UCL), established the Centre for Amyloidosis and Acute Phase Proteins and set up the UK National Health Service National Amyloidosis Centre.  It provides diagnostic and management advisory services for the whole national caseload and many international patients.

His research has been supported by the Medical Research Council, with more than £18 million since 1969, and also by the Wolfson Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and others.  His 2005 invention of the combination of his drug, CPHPC, with antibody to SAP, for treatment of systemic amyloidosis, has been developed since 2009 with GlaxoSmithKline.  Its unprecedented, clinically beneficial, clearance of visceral amyloid deposits was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine and Blood in 2015.  In 2011 he formed the UCL Wolfson Drug Discovery Unit, funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the UK National Institute for Health Research’s UCLH/UCL Biomedical Research Centre, which is also funding the 2016-9 DESPIAD phase 2b clinical trial of CPHPC alone in Alzheimer’s disease.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Founder Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and has been a Council member of both.  He was the 2007 Harveian Orator of the Royal College of Physicians and won the 2007 Royal Society GlaxoSmithKline Prize and 2008 Ernst Chain Prize for Medical Discovery.  He was created Knight Bachelor for Services to Biomedicine in 2012 and was elected Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge in 2014.


Title: Metabolism and Obesity (Brenner/Dirks Lecture)
Philipp Scherer (USA)

24/04/2017 at 10:45

SCHERER Philipp PicturePhilipp Scherer is Professor and Director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Basel, Switzerland, followed by post-doctoral training the Whitehead Institute at MIT in Cambridge. In 1997, he joined the faculty of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he was a Professor for Cell Biology and Medicine. Throughout his career, he has maintained an interest in processes related to cellular and systemic energy homeostasis. He identified adiponectin, one of the first secretory factors to be described that almost exclusively originate in adipose tissue and which is currently widely studied by many different research groups.

Current efforts in his laboratory are focused on the identification and physiological characterization of novel proteins that serve as potential links between the adipocyte, liver, the pancreatic beta cell and the processes of whole body energy homeostasis, inflammation, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Scherer has been on the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center since 2007 as a member of the Departments of Internal Medicine and Cell Biology. He holds the Touchstone Distinguished Chair in Diabetes Research and is a member of the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. He won the 2005 Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the American Diabetes Association and the 2012 O’Donnell Award in Medicine from the Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas. In 2013, he received the Naomi Berrie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Diabetes Research from Columbia University, the Britton Chance Memorial Award of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore and he was awarded the 2015 Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement from the American Diabetes Association.


Title: The New New Genomics: Implications for Understanding and Treating Renal Disease (Hugh de Wardener Lecture)
John Stamatoyannopoulos (USA)

23/04/2017 at 14:45

STAMATOYANNOPOULOS John Picture copyDr. Stamatoyannopoulos' laboratory is using high-throughput molecular and computational technologies to decode the regulatory circuitry of the human and other complex genomes. Major ongoing efforts are (i) to create comprehensive atlases of regulatory DNA encoded in the human and mouse genomes; (ii) to define the regulatory networks that control cell fate and response; (iii) to map regulatory variants associated with common human diseases and define their mechanism(s); and (iv) to develop next-generation technologies for analyzing and reprogramming the regulatory genome.

Dr. Stamatoyannopoulos directs the UW ENCODE Project Center, the Northwest Epigenome Center, and the UW High-Throughput Genomics Center. He holds degrees in Biological Sciences, Symbolic Systems, and Classics from Stanford University, and an M.D. from the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Stamatoyannopoulos completed his medical training at Harvard Medical School, including internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and fellowship in Oncology and Hematology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital.