Speakers

Speakers

  • Ann Ager, MA, PhD, FLSW

    Professor of Cellular Immunity and Immunotherapy in the Division of Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine and Systems Immunity Research Institute, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

    The Ager lab studies how T lymphocytes move around the body to protect against infection, control cancer growth and contribute to neurodegeneration such as in Alzheimer's disease (www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/78679-ager-ann). A major focus has been the regulation of L-selectin/CD62L expression by T lymphocytes and its impact on physiological and pathological T-cell recruitment from the bloodstream into tissues via specialised high endothelial venule (HEV) and inflamed blood vessels. Recent studies have revealed an essential role for L-selectin in the recruitment of killer T cells into flu-infected lungs for virus clearance (www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-35373730). Current studies are exploring pharmacological and genetic approaches to boost L-selectin expression on T lymphocytes to help killer T cells find and destroy viruses. Studies of T-cell homing to cancerous tissues using preclinical mouse models and clinical cancers have revealed a critical role for L-selectin on T cells and neogenesis of cancer-associated HEV blood vessels in limiting cancer progression. Moreover, these studies have revealed a mechanism of improving the efficacy cancer-killing T lymphocytes, such as CAR-T cells, by manipulating expression of L-selectin which is currently being tested in clinical settings.

    Ann gained a PhD from Cambridge University studying inflammatory responses in vascular endothelial cells. After training in microvascular biology with Professor Judah Folkman in Boston, she began her life-long interests in high endothelial venule (HEV) blood vessels and T-cell trafficking as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Bill Ford at the University of Manchester. Ann gained an MRC Senior Fellowship before moving to a Senior Scientist position at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in London where she began working on the homing receptor L-selectin/CD62L and its role in disease. Ann moved to Cardiff University in 2007 as Reader and was awarded a personal chair in 2018. Ann was elected Fellow of the Learned Society for Wales in 2020.

    As Chair Forum and a Trustee of the British Society for Immunology (BSI) and Council member of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS), Ann is an advocate for Immunology to governments and other policy makers.

  • Erica Andersen-Nissen, PhD

    Laboratory Director, Cape Town HVTN Immunology Laboratory (CHIL)

    Dr. Andersen-Nissen directs cellular immunology studies of specimens from HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) studies in Southern Africa. She holds a Senior Staff Scientist position at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and is an Honourary Research Associate at the University of Cape Town in the Division of Medical Virology. Dr. Andersen-Nissen completed her PhD in immunology at the University of Washington in Seattle in June 2006 under the mentorship of Dr. Alan Aderem. She then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Julie McElrath’s laboratory at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center where she profiled innate immune responses induced by candidate HIV vaccines, providing new information about human immune responses to experimental adjuvants and viral vaccine vectors. Erica relocated to Cape Town in January 2013 to start CHIL and is studying innate and adaptive immune responses elicited by HIV and TB vaccines in Southern African populations to identify immune correlates of risk and protection.

  • Gordon Awandare

    Director of West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP); Professor at University of Ghana, Legon

    Gordon Awandare is the founding Director of West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), and a Professor at the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology (BCMB) at the University of Ghana, Legon, where he was head of department from 2013 to 2017. He holds a Masters in Biochemistry from the University of Ghana, and a PhD in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, PA, USA. Awandare did his postdoctoral training at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research, MD, USA. In 2014, he led the establishment of WACCBIP after winning one of the World Bank’s African Centres of excellence grants. Subsequently WACCBIP has won several other big grants, including a Wellcome Trust DELTAS grant, which altogether have contributed equipment, infrastructure, and provided fellowships to about 270 African scientists for Masters, doctoral and postdoctoral training. His research interest is in the molecular and cellular aspects of infectious diseases in Africa, with specialization in the biology of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, and the pathogenesis of its infections in African children. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Prof Awandare’s team have played a leading role in Ghana’s response by providing research data on seroprevalence and genomic diversity of circulating SARS-CoV-2 viruses. He has more than 100 peer-reviewed journal publications in a wide range of journals, including some of the leading infectious diseases and immunology journals. He was a recipient of the Royal Society Pfizer award for 2015 for achievements in molecular and cellular studies of malaria, and science capacity building in Africa. He is a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Biology of the UK. In 2019, he was appointed the first Global Editor for Africa for Experimental Biology and Medicine, the journal of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. He is currently the Chairman of the Governing Council of the CK Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences in Navrongo, Ghana.

  • Abdallah Badou

    Professor of Immunology and Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hassan II University, Casablanca, Morocco

    Dr. Abdallah Badou is a Professor of Immunology and Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hassan II University, Casablanca, Morocco. Dr. Badou has completed his Master’s degree in René Descartes University (Paris, France) in 1994, then his PhD in Immunology in 1998 at Paul Sabatier University (Toulouse, France). Afterwards, He joined the Immunobiology department at Yale University School of Medicine (Connecticut, USA) from 1999 to 2007, as a post-doc then as an associate research scientist. In 2007, He joined Cadi Ayad University in Morocco as an assistant then qualified professor. Since 2014, Dr. Badou was affiliated to the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, where He was promoted as full professor in 2018. His research topics are related to the study of the immune response in inflammation and in the tumor microenvironment. Dr. Badou has a wealthy record of training and supporting young scientists in the US and in Morocco, having mentored over 50 scientists at all levels. He publishes his research in prestigious research journals such as Nature Immunology, Immunity, and PNAS US. Dr. Badou is serving in the editorial board of several international journals. He is currently the Secretary General of the Moroccan Society of Immunology (SMI) and Treasurer of the Federation of African Immunological Societies (FAIS).

  • Mohamed Ridha Barbouche

    University of Tunis El-Manar

    Mohamed Ridha Barbouche is Professor of Immunology and Assistant-Dean Research at the Medical School, University of Tunis El-Manar. He is head of the Clinical Immunology Department and Director of the Research Laboratory LR11IPT02 at the Pasteur Institute of Tunis, Tunisia. He is elected member of the Scientific Council of the University Tunis El-Manar.

    He received his M.D. from the University of Tunis and his Ph.D. from the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France. He trained at the Pasteur Institute and Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris. He was post-doctoral fellow at Cornell University in New York.

    His clinical activity interests are the advanced immunological and genetic investigation as well as the care and genetic counselling for primary immune-deficiencies' patients. His research activity is dedicated to the study of primary immune-deficiencies or inborn errors of immunity as a model for the study of genetic susceptibility to infections and immune-mediated diseases including allergy and auto-immunity, in humans.

    He is member of the Scientific Board of the Pasteur Institutes International Network and member of the Committee for the recruitment and evaluation of scientific staff at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

    He is board member of the Federation of African Immunology Societies and of the African and Arab Societies for Immunodeficiencies. He is elected member of the Council of the International Union of Immunological Societies and member of its Education Committee.

    He produced research work in Immunology including immunodeficiency, immunity to infection, allergy and auto-immunity; more than 120 peer-reviewed publications. He is member of the editorial board of several international immunology journals.

  • Michael R. Betts, Ph.D.

    Professor, Department of Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

    The goal of our scientific research is to gain an understanding of the nature of T cell immune responses to viral pathogens and auto-antigens in humans. Our recent work focuses on the study of T cell responses in human and nonhuman primate lymphoid tissues and fluids, including various regional lymph nodes, spleen, thoracic duct lymph fluid, and oral lymphoid tissues in the context of HIV/SIV infection, vaccination, diabetes, and multi-centric Castleman’s disease. Towards this end, we have developed and adapted many immunological assays for the study of viral-specific immune responses in humans, including intracellular cytokine staining, CTL epitope mapping, CD8+ T cells degranulation measurement, and polyfunctional flow cytometry that are broadly used by the global human immunology research community. This research has allowed us to begin to dissect the mechanisms that control CD8+ T cell effector function in the human and nonhuman primates using a combination of cellular and molecular immunology, including the characterization of CD8 effector lineage-defining transcription factors, factors controlling expression and function of CD8+ T cells, transcriptional analysis of CD8+ T cells, tissue-resident memory T cell responses, and in vivo assessments of T cell dynamics in non-human primates.

  • Patricia A. Darrah, PhD

    Head, TB Unit, National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center

    As intradermal (ID) BCG administered at birth has variable efficacy in preventing pulmonary TB in adults, a major goal of our work is to investigate alternative routes of vaccination that may elicit cellular immunity in the lung sufficient to protect against TB disease. We recently published that BCG given intravenously (IV) elicited robust lung-resident T cell responses and provided a high level of protection against pulmonary TB infection and disease compared to the same dose of BCG given ID or by aerosol. These data establish IV BCG as a benchmark of protection in a highly susceptible rhesus macaque model and provide an opportunity to study immune correlates and mechanisms of protection to facilitate proof-of-concept studies in humans.

    Dr. Darrah received her PhD in Microbiology & Immunology from Temple University School of Medicine in 2001. Since then, she’s worked in the Cellular Immunology Section of the NIH Vaccine Research Center studying how various vaccine platforms shape the magnitude, quality, breadth, and tissue distribution of CD4 and CD8 T cell responses after immunization. Tricia currently leads the VRC TB Unit under Robert Seder & Mario Roederer, investigating the immunogenicity and efficacy of new vaccines against tuberculosis in a pre-clinical nonhuman primate model.

  • Mark M. Davis

    Stanford Institute for Immunology, Transplantation and Infection (ITI), the Avery Family Professor of Immunology, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    Mark M. Davis is the Director of the Stanford Institute for Immunology, Transplantation and Infection (ITI), the Avery Family Professor of Immunology, and a long time Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology with Leroy Hood. He later was a postdoctoral and staff fellow William Paul at the Laboratory of Immunology at NIH before joining the Stanford faculty. He is well known for identifying many of the T-cell receptor genes, which govern specificity for T cells, and work characterizing their binding properties and behavior on cell surfaces, including the demonstration that T cells can detect and respond to even a single antigenic peptide-MHC complex. He and his colleagues also developed a novel way of labeling specific T lymphocytes (“peptide-MHC tetramers”), which is widely used in both clinical and basic immunology studies. His current research interests focus on human immunology, specifically a “systems level” understanding of an immune response to vaccination, infection and autoimmunity, as well as methods to better understand human T cell responses. He has received many honors and awards, including the Gairdner Award, the Paul Ehrlich Award and the King Faisal Prize, among others. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the Royal Society of London.

  • JoAnne L. Flynn, Ph.D.

    University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

    JoAnne Flynn has a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, from the University of California at Davis and a PhD from University of California at Berkeley in Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. Flynn’s first post-doc was with Dr. Magdalene So at the Scripps Clinic Research Institute and then a Howard Hughes Research Associate with Dr. Barry Bloom at Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she began her studies in tuberculosis. Dr. Flynn joined the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1994 and in 2019 was awarded the title of Distinguished Professor. Dr. Flynn directs a NIH T32 Training Program and has multiple grants from NIH and the Gates Foundation. She is a former Editor at Infection and Immunity, and a current Section Editor for PLoS Pathogens and member of the NIH NIAID Board of Scientific Counselors. She served as a Councilor for the American Association of Immunologists and as President in 2018 and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiologists. She has published over 200 papers (see link to publications below). Dr. Flynn won the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Distinguished Mentor Award in 2018. Her research in tuberculosis is focused on immunology, host-pathogen interactions, vaccines, and drugs, and she has developed and used non-human primate models for TB research for more than 20 years. Dr. Flynn’s research uses cutting-edge tools and technologies to investigate the complexities of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, with a particular focus on lung and lymph node granulomas.

  • Michel Fodje

    Canadian Macromolecular Crystallography Facility (CMCF) at the Canadian Light Source

    Michel Fodje is the Beamline Responsible for the Canadian Macromolecular Crystallography Facility (CMCF) at the Canadian Light Source, where he and his team assist structural biologists from Canada and around the world in using synchrotron light to study biological macromolecules. He earned a Master's degree from the University of Buea, Cameroon where he researched vaccine candidates for River-blindness. He later earned a Doctorate in Biophysics from the University of Lund, Sweden, with research focused on understanding the structure and function of proteins responsible for heme and chlorophyll biosynthesis. He is currently serving as the Secretary of the Canadian National Committee for Crystallography.

  • Asma Gati

    Associate Professor of Immunology at the Faculty of Science of Tunis; University of Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia

    Asma Gati is a graduate of the University Paris V, where she received her Master’s degree in 1999 and her PhD in Immunology in 2003. During her doctoral thesis, she studied the implication of NK inhibitory receptor on the susceptibility of tumor cells to T cell lysis at the laboratory of “Cytokines et Immunologie des tumeurs” laboratory, Institut Gustave Roussy, France. In the period of 2004-2006, she carried out her postdoctoral at the laboratory of “Klinik und Poliklinik für Onkologie”, UniversitätsSpital Zürich, Switzerland where she investigated the characterization of the immune response against the melanocyte differentiation antigen RAB38/NY-MEL-1 in melanoma patients.

    Since 2007, she is leading her own research group “Immunity and Cancer” at the laboratory of Genetic Immunology and human pathology at the Faculty of Science of Tunis, University Tunis El Manar. Her research main objective is to decipher the link between obesity and cancer. Dr. GATI is actually the Tunisian National Contact Point (NCP) for the European Innovation Council-Horizon Europe and member of the bureau of the Tunisian society of Immunology.

  • Siamon Gordon

    Glaxo Wellcome Professor of Cellular Pathology (Emeritus) (University of Oxford)

     

  • Joanna Groom

    Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne

    Dr. Groom’s research is focused on how cellular interactions and communication control immune responses. This interest was piqued during her PhD, at the Garvan Institute, investigating the cellular signalling critical to lupus autoimmunity. Her research revealed a novel mechanism of autoantibody production, which was pivotal in licensing the BAFF blocking antibody, Belimumab for lupus treatment. During her NHMRC CJ Martin postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Groom found how chemokine regulation was not only critical for T cell positioning but also unintuitively for T cell priming. Dr Groom is a Laboratory Head in the Immunology Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Her research combines in vivo and 3D imaging methods with transcriptional analysis to discover how cellular interactions lead to protection against diverse pathogenic infections. Dr. Groom’s current work has revealed a pathogen-specific tailoring of T follicular helper responses and how the CXCR3 chemokine system balances T cell fate decisions between effector function and to establish long-term protective memory. By deciphering how distinct T cell interactions define their function, this knowledge can be harnessed to treat and prevent infectious disease and cancer.

  • Reto Guler

    Division of Immunology, University of Cape Town; Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine (IDM)

    Reto Guler is an Associate Professor based at the Division of Immunology, University of Cape Town and an Associate Member of the Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine (IDM). His current research work focuses on the identification of host factors and pathways that are subverted by Mycobacterium tuberculosis to increase its persistence and survival within macrophages with the aim to developing pathogen and host-directed drug therapy for tuberculosis. This includes the identification of statins and host non-coding RNAs as host-directed drug therapy for TB and the role of epigenetics in host immunity to TB. He is the coordinator of the international Statin TB consortium that recently received a prestigious 4.9 million Euro award from the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) to conduct a clinical trial investigating the use of statins to prevent chronic lung inflammation and potentially TB relapse. He is a member of the international FANTOM consortium on genome-wide transcriptome analysis using CAGE transcriptomics (Nature, 2014; 507; Science, 2015; 347). His research further investigates Minor Groove Binders as novel anti-mycobacterial agents and non-ionic surfactant vesicles as a drug delivery system for tuberculosis. In collaboration, he investigates remodelling of mycobacterial peptidoglycan during cell division and in tuberculosis disease.

  • Phil Hansbro

    Director of the Centre for Inflammation, Centenary Institute and University of Technology Sydney

    Professor Hansbro is the Director of the Centre for Inflammation, Centenary Institute and University of Technology Sydney, and is a Conjoint Professor in the Priority Research Centre for Healthy Lungs at the Hunter Medical Research Institute and University of Newcastle, Australia. He is also an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow. He has established internationally recognised research programs in infections, COPD, asthma, IPF and recently lung cancer. His group has developed several novel mouse models of the important diseases (COPD, severe, steroid-insensitive asthma, influenza, COVID, early life infection & lung cancer). He has interrogated these models (immune, histological, pathological, lung function & molecular analysis) to substantially further our understanding of pathogenesis and to develop novel therapies. He performs complimentary collaborative clinical and multi-disciplinary studies and collaborates widely. He publishes extensively in influential journals and he is regularly invited to present internationally including as plenary and to chair sessions. He has a substantial funding record of obtaining nationally competitive grants that support his group. He undertakes substantial mentoring and supervision activities of junior researchers, regularly sits on grant review panels and is on the editorial board of 4 journals. He is an active advocate for respiratory research in lobby groups and is regularly in the press promoting research and funding.

  • Bill Horsnell

     

    Bill Horsnell’s research interests focus on host immunity to parasitic helminth infections. His research addresses how specific cellular and molecular mechanisms regulate host immunity to helminth infection, primarily by using transgenic mouse models. This work has developed into understanding how helminth associated immunity also influences other diseases (including allergy, salmonella, mTBand viral infections) and immune scenarios (such as re-infection, vaccination and maternal transfer of immunity). Bill has also investigated many of these findings in human studies throughout Africa and Europe.

  • Akiko Iwasaki, Ph.D.

    Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology; Professor of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology; Professor of Dermatology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    Professor Akiko Iwasaki’s research focuses on the mechanisms of immune defense against viruses at mucosal surfaces, which are a major site of entry for infectious agents. The knowledge gained in her lab can be used to design more effective vaccines or microbicides to prevent transmission of viral pathogens.

    Professor Iwasaki’s research group developed a new vaccine strategy, termed “Prime and Pull”, that can be used to treat those infected with virus, unlike many vaccines that are given preventatively. This method is currently under phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of high grade cervical lesions caused by infection human papillomavirus (HPV).

    Professor Iwasaki received her Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Toronto and completed her postdoctoral training with the National Institutes of Health before joining Yale’s faculty in 2000. She has received awards and honors, including the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in Biomedical Sciences, the Wyeth Lederle Young Investigator Award, the BD Biosciences Investigator Award, and the Seymour & Vivian Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research. Professor Iwasaki has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 2014, a prestigious honor that provides the researcher long-term, flexible funding that gives them to freedom to explore new avenues of research. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2018, and to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019. Dr. Iwasaki is also well known for her Twitter advocacy on women and underrepresented minority in the science and medicine fields.

    Currently, Professor Iwasaki is directing translational immunology team to investigate the role of immune response in COVID-19 disease outcome. She also co-directs the IMPACT (Implementing medical and public health actions against coronavirus in Connecticut) team to generate an extensive biorepository for specimens collected from patients and health care workers, as well as implementing viral testing in both groups.

  • KONDWANI JAMBO, PHD

    Senior Lecturer in Immunology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM); Group Leader at the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme (MLW)

    Dr. Kondwani Jambo is a Viral and Mucosal Immunologist. He completed his Master of Science degree in Human Immunity in 2005 and then a PhD in Immunology in 2011, from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. Afterwards, he did his postdoctoral training at the MLW and Cornell University, and later returned to establish his research group at the MLW. Dr Jambo was awarded the Wellcome Intermediate Fellowship in 2015 and then the MRC African Research Leader in 2020. His research focuses on understanding immune responses in mucosal tissues including nasal, lung and gut, in the context of HIV infection.

  • Hviid Lars

    Professor at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen

    Lars is a Professor at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology, University of Copenhagen (since 2006). He has conducted research on the immunology and pathogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria since the late 1980s. Lars’ research is mostly based on field studies in Africa – mainly in Sudan and Ghana. In 1991, he co-founded the Centre for Medical Parasitology (CMP) in Copenhagen, which has grown since to becoming a leading hub of European malaria research. For more than 20 years, his research has been focussed mainly on the role of clonally variant parasite antigens, in particular PfEMP1, in malaria pathogenesis and as targets of naturally acquired protective immunity to the disease. Research capacity building and collaboration with colleagues in Africa has been an integral part of his research activities throughout. Lars is an international faculty member at the West-African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), University of Ghana. His laboratory participates in the Legacy project of the Federation of African Immunological Societies (FAIS). He is an elected Fellow of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (FASTMH, Class of 2013).

  • Zaza Ndhlovu, PhD

    Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI); University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN); Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, USA

    Dr. Zaza Ndhlovu, PhD is a viral Immunologist. His academic appointments include a faculty position at Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI), an Associated Professor position at the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) and a full time Assistant Professor at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, USA.

    He received his PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland, and did his post-doctoral training at Harvard University.

    His research focus includes Acute HIV infection, mucosal and tissue immunity. His current research seeks to address the major obstacle to HIV cure by identifying means of enhancing immune responses in tissues where HIV tend to hide to evade detection and elimination by the immune system. If successful, his work will lead to new approaches for achieving an immune-mediated HIV cure.

  • Emmanuel Nji

    BioStruct-Africa

    Emmanuel Nji is the CEO and Co-Founder of BioStruct-Africa, a Swedish not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to bridge a technology gap through knowledge transfer and mentoring of Africa-based researchers using cutting-edge techniques in Structural Biology. Dr Nji's research focuses on determining the structures of drug targets by X-ray Crystallography and Cryogenic Electron Microscopy and utilising the structures for fragment-based drug design. In addition, he is involved in developing new tools to facilitate membrane protein structure-function studies. He has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship to set up a structural biology Lab in Africa.

    He graduated with a PhD from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He pursued Postdoctoral studies at Stockholm University, Sweden, Confo Therapeutics, Belgium and the European Centre for Chemistry and Biology, University of Bordeaux, France. He obtained a BSc. in Biochemistry from the University of Buea, Cameroon and went on to do his Master's thesis at Imperial College, London, UK. He also holds a Master's in Medical Sciences (Global Health) from Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.

  • Luke O’Neill

    Professor of Biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    Luke O’Neill is Professor of Biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He is a world expert on innate immunity and inflammation. His main research interests include Toll-like receptors, Inflammasomes and Immunometabolism. He is listed by Thompson Reuters/ Clarivates in the top 1% of immunologists in the world, based on citations per paper. Professor O'Neill is co-founder of Sitryx, which aims to develop new medicines for inflammatory diseases. Another company he co-founded, Inflazome was recently acquired by Roche.

    He was awarded the Royal Dublin Society / Irish Times Boyle Medal for scientific excellence, the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Life Sciences, The Society for Leukocyte Biology (SLB) Dolph O. Adams award, the European Federation of Immunology Societies Medal and in 2018 the Milstein Award of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy, EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation) and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

  • Andreas Radbruch

    President of the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS)

    Andreas Radbruch, a biologist by training, did his PhD with Klaus Rajewsky at Cologne University. He later became Associate Professor there and was a visiting scientist with Max Cooper and John Kearney at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In 1996, he became Director of the German Rheumatism Research Centre in Berlin, a Leibniz Institute, and in 1998, Professor of Rheumatology at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

    Andreas Radbruch has developed a line of research addressing a molecular understanding of immune reactions and immunological memory. He initially focused on the regulation of antibody class switching in activated B lymphocytes and analyzed the shaping of antibody idiotypes by somatic mutation. His lab developed the MACS technology and the cytometric secretion assay. His work has contributed significantly to our understanding of the imprinting of T lymphocytes for cytokine gene expression. His group has originally described long-lived memory plasma cells, and their maintenance, as well as that of memory B and Th lymphocytes, by stromal cells of the bone marrow. More recently, his lab has identified critical molecular adaptations of Th effector memory cells driving chronic inflammation, and has identified memory plasma cells secreting pathogenic antibodies as a novel target in chronic immune-mediated diseases.

  • Ann Richmond, Ph.D.

    Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, Director of the Program for Cancer Biology, Professor of Pharmacology and Dermatology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and TVHS Department of Veterans Affairs

    Dr. Richmond received her Ph.D. at Emory University followed by postdoctoral work at Emory University School of Medicine. She directs the Program of Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Early in her career her lab identified and characterized one of the first chemokines, now known as CXCL1. Her research goals are to develop and translate new therapeutic approaches for treatment of malignant melanoma and breast cancer. Her lab has developed new strategies for treatment of tumors that respond poorly to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI). They have shown that combining inhibitors of the PI3K/AKT pathway in breast cancer, or inhibitors of the RAS/PI3K/MEK pathways can significantly increase response to ICI therapy and in some instances result in tumor regression. She was awarded the William S Middleton Award in 2016 for outstanding achievement in biomedical research by the Department of Veterans Affairs and she received the Society of Leukocyte Biology Legacy Award in 2019. Her research has been continuously supported by grants from the NIH and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs throughout her career.

  • David G. Russell, Ph.D.

    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Cornell University

    David G. Russell, Ph.D., is the William Kaplan Professor of Infection Biology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Cornell University. He received his BSc. from St. Andrews University in Scotland, and his Ph.D. from Imperial College, London. He has held positions at the Max-Planck-Institüt in Tübingen, NYU Medical School, Washington University School of Medicine and Cornell University. He has spent his entire career looking at host/pathogen interplay and has authored over 230 publications on the subject, including papers in Science and Nature. He has active collaborations with UCT, Cape Town, and AHRI, Durban, South Africa and with the MLW Clinical Research Program, Blantyre, Malawi. He was made an Honorary Professor of Immunology at the Malawi College of Medicine in 2015. His work is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, USA, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

  • Federica Sallusto

    Professor of Medical Immunology at the ETH Zurich and USI; Group leader of the Cellular Immunology Laboratory at the IRB

    Federica Sallusto is an expert in the field of human cellular immunology. Her research has focused on dendritic cell and T cell traffic, mechanisms of T cell differentiation and immunological memory. Among her contributions are the definition of “central memory” and “effector memory” T cells as memory subsets with distinct migratory capacity and effector function, the discovery of Th22 cells as a distinct subset of skin-homing T cells, the characterization of non-classic Th1 cells induced by bacteria and of two distinct types of Th17 cells with pro-inflammatory and regulatory properties. She also developed methods for the analysis of human naïve and memory T cell repertoires based on high throughput cellular screenings of expanded T cell libraries that has been instrumental to identify autoreactive T cells in patients with narcolepsy.

    Federica Sallusto is currently Professor of Medical Immunology at the ETH Zurich and at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in Lugano (joint professorship) and group leader of the Cellular Immunology Laboratory and Director of the Center of Medical Immunology at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Bellinzona.

  • Michal Schwartz

    Weizmann Institute of Science

    Schwartz is Professor of Neuroimmunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science. She served as the president of the International Society of Neuroimmunology (2016-2018). Schwartz received her BSc, cum laude, from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and her PhD in Immunology from the Weizmann Institute. She is the world pioneer in breaking the long-held dogma regarding the relationships between the central nervous system and the immune system. She was the first to discover (1998) that blood-borne macrophages are needed for brain repair, and the unexpected fundamental role of the immune system in supporting life-long brain functional plasticity and neurogenesis. Deciphering the mechanism led her to propose that aging or exhaustion of the immune system plays a key role in perpetuating Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia, and to suggest a novel treatment for AD, which harnesses the immune system to help the brain. The treatment approach is under expedited development towards first-in-human trial, supported by an award from the Alzheimer’s Association with the Gates Foundation. Her insights had significant impact, reflected in her publications in leading journals and high citation number (H factor 110, Google Scholar). Schwartz was twice granted an advanced ERC award, as well as receiving numerous prestigious national and international awards for her outstanding achievements, including the 2002 Friedenwald Award from ARVO, for outstanding contribution to vision research and the Distinguished G. Heiner Sell Memorial Lectureship in 2002 for outstanding achievement in the field of spinal cord injury. More recently Schwartz received the Blumberg Prize for Excellence in Medical Science (2015), and the 2017 Rappaport Prize for Excellence in the Field of Biomedical Research. She was chosen in 2019 as Outstanding Mentor of the Year by the Israeli Neuroscience Society; 15 of her former graduate students currently hold academic faculty positions in Israel, USA, Europe and Australia. In 2019 Schwartz received the EMET prize, one of the most prestigious Israeli awards for academic and professional achievement, and lately she was selected as the recipient of FENS EJN Award, 2022.

  • Tom Scriba, PhD

    Deputy Director, Immunology at the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI), University of Cape Town

    Professor Tom Scriba (PhD) is Deputy Director, Immunology at the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI), University of Cape Town, where he directs the clinical immunology laboratory. He trained at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and Oxford University, UK and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in paediatric and clinical immunology in TB and vaccinology at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), University of Cape Town. Dr Scriba’s research focuses on TB vaccine development, immunopathogenesis of M. tuberculosis infection as well as development of biomarkers of key transition points between the clinical stages of M. tuberculosis infection and disease.

  • Alex K. Shalek, PhD

    Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES); The Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

    Alex K. Shalek, PhD, is a Core Member of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), an Associate Professor of Chemistry, and an Extramural Member of The Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. He is also an Institute Member of the Broad Institute, a Member of the Ragon Institute, an Assistant in Immunology at MGH, and an Instructor in Health Sciences and Technology at HMS. Dr. Shalek received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in chemical physics under the guidance of Hongkun Park, and performed postdoctoral training under Hongkun Park and Aviv Regev (Broad/MIT). His lab’s research is directed towards the development and application of new approaches to elucidate cellular and molecular features that inform tissue-level function and dysfunction across the spectrum of human health and disease. Dr. Shalek and his work have received numerous honors including a NIH New Innovator Award, a Beckman Young Investigator Award, a Searle Scholar Award, a Pew-Stewart Scholar Award, the Avant-Garde (DP1 Pioneer) Award from the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry, as well as the 2019-2020 Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award at MIT.

  • Elia Tait Wojno

    University of Washington Department of Immunology

    Dr. Elia Tait Wojno pursues a passion for immunology research as an Assistant Professor in the University of Washington Department of Immunology. Elia received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, working with Dr. Christopher Hunter in the School of Veterinary Medicine to examine how cytokines regulate immunity to the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. She went on complete a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. David Artis in the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College, focusing on innate immune responses during helminth infection and allergic disease. As an Assistant Professor, first at Cornell University and now at UW, she continues her work in dissecting innate and adaptive immune responses following helminth parasite infection and during allergy, with a special emphasis on cytokines and prostaglandins. Her work aims to inform efforts to develop new therapies and vaccine to combat infectious diseases, particularly diseases caused by parasite infection, and to limit allergic inflammation.

  • ERIC VIVIER, DVM, PHD

    Aix-Marseille University and at the Public Hospital of Marseille (AP-HM)

    Eric Vivier, DVM, PhD, is Professor of Immunology at Aix-Marseille University and at the Public Hospital of Marseille (AP-HM). In addition, he was appointed in 2018, Scientific Director of Innate Pharma, a biotechnology company dedicated to improving cancer treatment with innovative therapeutic antibodies that exploit the immune system.

    He completed his post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School, then joined Aix-Marseille University as professor at the Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML) in 1993 before becoming its director from 2008 to 2017. He is also one of the founders of Marseille-Immunop le, an immunology cluster created in 2014 linking fundamental and therapeutic research, innovation and industrial development on the Aix-Marseille metropole.

    Eric Vivier's work focuses on innate immunity and in particular Natural killer and other innate lymphoid cells, at Ciml, at AP-HM and at Innate-Pharma. Professor Vivier has published over 350 scientific articles and is on the list of the most cited researchers.

    A laureate of the European Research Council (ERC advanced grants), a member of the EMBO, the Acad mie Nationale de M decine and the Institut Universitaire de France, Prof. Vivier has received several awards including those from the Ligue Nationale contre le Cancer (1996, 2004 and 2013) and the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS, 2004).

  • Maria Yazdanbakhsh

    Department of Parasitology

    Maria Yazdanbakhsh heads the department of Parasitology which engages in basic and clinical research and employs an interdisciplinary group of basic and clinical scientists who focus on understanding host-parasite interactions at the molecular, cellular and population level. The knowledge gained is being applied to contribute to 1) development of effective vaccines against parasitic diseases and 2) identification of parasite-derived immune modulatory molecules to control hyper-inflammatory diseases.

    Her specific research has been focused on the interaction of helminths along with other coinfections with their human host, immune modulation and vaccine development. The studies have led to in depth characterization of highly specialized molecules that interact with the human host leading to immune modulation and metabolic change. This knowledge is used not only for anti-parasite vaccine development but also for developing new therapies for hyper inflammatory diseases with focus on asthma and type 2 diabetes. With the establishment of the controlled human helminth infection model which comprises of infecting healthy volunteers, it has been possible to understand the interaction between helminth and malaria infections with their naïve human host. Through decades of work in low to middle income countries, she has developed technology platforms that in a minimally invasive manner can generate large datasets on the effect of environmental factors on more general disease profiles. The work has been carried out by scientists entering PhD and MD/PhD programs from the collaborating centers, forming the basis for sustainable partnerships.

  • Dorothy Yeboah-Manu

    Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research; West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, University of Ghana

    Dorothy is a Professor of Microbiology, at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, and the Deputy Director, West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, University of Ghana. She also lectures at the Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology. Dorothy’s research activities focus on tuberculosis (TB) and Buruli ulcer (BU). Her work in TB sought to understand the biology of Mycobacterium africanum, genomic diversity, determine potential risk factors for infection, such as drug resistance and co-morbidity. The goals of her research in BU have been to improve laboratory diagnosis and therapy by analysing causes of recurrence or treatment failure as well as understanding the ecology of M. ulcerans. Dorothy is also working on zoonotic TB, cholera and AMR. Dorothy is a member of several professional bodies/consortium such as the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, West Africa Network of Excellence for TB, AIDS and Malaria, executive member of the Federation of African Immunological Societies , as well as Chairperson of the Advisory Board of the National TB control program. She received the Royal Society Africa Prize 2018 and is currently an EDCTP Senior Fellow.