Jenefer M. Blackwell
UWA Professor in Genetics and Health, Australia and University of Cambridge, UK
Presentation Title: Understanding pathogenesis of infectious disease through analyses of host genetic risk factor
Jenefer Blackwell (married name: Miles), BSc First Class Honors Zoology (1969) and PhD Population Genetics (1974) at UWA; F Med Sci (2000); Honorary DSc University of Khartoum (2009); ScD University of Cambridge (2010), FAA (2015) has a major interest in the genetic epidemiology of infectious disease.
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She transitioned from postdoc to Reader at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (1975-1991) and was recruited to Glaxo Chair for Molecular Parasitology at the University of Cambridge (1991). In Cambridge, she raised funds to build, and was Founding Director of, the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR); http://www.cimr.cam.ac.uk/). Appointment to Cambridge also coincided with her role in promoting parasite genome projects. She chaired the WHO Leishmania Genome Consortium (1992-2003), promoting funding for genomic sequencing of L. major (Science, 2005), and establishing functional genomics including microarray expression profiling and screens for novel Leishmania vaccines. She has >300 scientific publications, including 195 original articles in refereed journals, 51 invited refereed reviews, 2 unsolicited reviews, 2 books, 22 invited book chapters, 15 consortium papers as a primary author (8x Nature Genetics; 1x Nature; 1x Nature Communications; 1x AJHG), and 31 other consortium papers. She has published primary paper from her lab in Nature, Nature Genetics, Science, PLoS Genet, Lancet Infect Dis, J Exp Med, J Immunol, J Infect Dis, Blood, J Biol Chem, Eur J Immunol, and many other high impact journals in her field. For 328 papers found in Google Scholar at 3 March 2017, she had 15,157 citations, average 46.21, H-index=66. Her contribution to tropical medicine recognized by the Chris Wright Medal (1994), the Leverhulme Medal (2000), election as a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences (Fed Med Sci, 2000), Worldleish 5 – Lifetime Contribution Award 2013, and election as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA, 2015). In 2007 Jennie returned to Western Australia to establish a new Laboratory in Genetics and Health at the Telethon Kids Institute as a Professor of the University of Western Australia. She remains an Affiliated Principal Investigator at CIMR and Senior Scientist in the Department of Pathology at the University of Cambridge where she is currently funded by a UK Medical Research Grant to undertake a genomewide association analysis of cutaneous leishmaniasis from Brazil.
Teresa M. Coque
Ramón y Cajal Institute for BioHealth Research (IRYCIS), Madrid, Spain
Presentation Title: Unraveling the population structure of Enterococcus faecalis: Host-associated differences in core and accessory genomes and adaptation to different environments
Teresa Coque, PhD graduated as a Pharmacist and Clinical Biochemist, and received her PhD in Medical Microbiology from the Complutensis University of Madrid (Spain). After a postdoctoral training at the Internal Medicine Department in the School of Medicine at the University of Texas at Houston in the USA (1993-1995) and the Center for Emerging and Reemerging Pathogens also at the University of Texas at Houston (1996-97), she returned to Spain in 1998.
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Currently, she is Senior Research Scientist at the Microbiology Department of the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital within the Division of Microbial Biology and Infections at the Ramón y Cajal Institute for BioHealth Research (IRYCIS) in Madrid (Spain), leading a research group focused on Population Biology of Human Bacterial Pathogens and their Mobile Genetic Elements. Her special interests and expertise include molecular epidemiology, evolutionary biology, and microbial ecology, with emphasis in the genetic bases for transmission of antibiotic resistance and the adaptation of commensal and pathogenic Gram-negative and Gram positive bacteria to different hosts, MGE being a keystone of such interests. Advanced genomics and metagenomics to be applied on diagnosis of antibiotic resistant bacterial pathogens and as predictive markers of infection in the personalized medicine perspective is becoming a priority of the group.
TMC has published more than 150 articles in refereed journals and 10 book chapters, and regularly participates in international events in the field of antibiotic resistance and plasmid biology. She is a leading investigator of research grants funded by national agencies since 1999 and has participated in eight EU projects since 2001 (Six and Seven EU Framework, Horizon 2020-JPIAMR). Her group also participates in Spanish consolidated Networks at national (CIBERESP, www.ciberesp) and regional level (CCAA Madrid) working on different aspects of antibiotic resistance and ecology of opportunistic bacterial pathogens (epidemiology, public Health, biology of mobile genetic elements and system biology). TMC has directed eight doctoral thesis and coordinates research projects of students within the European programs Leonardo da Vinci (2000- 2008) and Erasmus (2007-) and several universities from Europe and South America. She is member of several international scientific committees and associations, including the Scientific Board Committee of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR, current vice-chair; http://www.jpiamr.eu/about/organisation/scientificadvisoryboard), and the Food- and Water-borne Infections Study Group of the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID, secretary since 2017). TMC is evaluator of competitive research grants funded by national agencies of European, American, and African countries in the field of microbiology and infectious diseases. TMC regularly serves as a referee of journals related to basic and applied microbiology, being member of the editorial board of some of them belonging to the editorial groups Nature and Elsevier.
Keith A. Crandall
George Washington University, USA
Presentation title: Computational approaches to microbiome characterization and infectious disease dynamics
Keith A. Crandall, PhD is the founding Director of the Computational Biology Institute at George Washington University. Professor Crandall studies the computational biology, population genetics, and bioinformatics, developing and testing of Big Data methods DNA sequence analysis. He applies such methods to the study of the evolution of both infectious diseases (especially HIV) and crustaceans (especially crayfish).
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Professor Crandall has published over 260 peer reviewed publications, as well as three books. He has been a Fulbright Visiting Scholar to Oxford University and an Allen Wilson Centre Sabbatical Fellow at the University of Auckland. Professor Crandall has received a number of awards for research and teaching, including the American Naturalist Society Young Investigator Award, an NSF CAREER Award, a PhRMA Foundation Faculty Development Award in Bioinformatics, Honors Professor of the Year award at Brigham Young University, ISI Highly Cited Researcher, and the Edward O. Wilson Naturalist Award. He was also recently elected a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Professor Crandall earned his BA degree from Kalamazoo College in Biology and Mathematics, an MA degree from Washington University in Statistics, and a PhD from Washington University School of Medicine in Biology and Biomedical Sciences. He also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Puyo, Ecuador. email@example.com
Fernando González Candelas
University of Valencia, Spain
Presentation title: Molecular epidemiology and adaptation in the human immunodeficiency virus
Fernando González Candelas, PhD (University of Valencia, 1987) is Professor of Genetics at the University of Valencia and head of the “Evolution and Health” Research Unit at the Cavanilles Institute for Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology at the same university. In addition, he has a joint appointment at the FISABIO-Public Health through the joint research unit “Infection and Public Health” with the University of Valencia and at the CIBERESP (Centre for Networked Research on Biomedicine – Public Health and Epidemiology).
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My main research interests are in population and evolutionary genetics, molecular and evolutionary epidemiology, molecular systematics and genomics, bioinformatics and conservation biology. I am currently working on the molecular evolutionary epidemiology of different pathogens, mainly RNA viruses, such as hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and bacteria, such as Legionella pneumophila, Treponema pallidum, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Our basic approach is the analysis of nucleotide sequence variability at different levels, from intrapatient to world-wide samples, and from particular genes to complete genomes, depending on the specific goals of the different projects. Previously I have studied the population and evolutionary biology of Mediterranean endemic Limonium (Plumbaginaceae) species, by using an array of genetic markers (RAPDs, AFLPs, microsatellites, isozymes) and including the analysis of quantitative traits. I have published more than 180 peer-reviewed scientific papers and written two books.
University of Oxford, UK
Presentation Title: Neisseria genomics: current status and future perspectives.
Odile Harrison PhD, has been studying infectious diseases and the evolution of bacterial pathogens for over 10 years. After graduating with a Microbiology degree from University College London, she pursued a Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology at Imperial College London, where in vivo gene expression of the human bacterial pathogen Neisseria meningitidis was investigated.
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After this, she obtained a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship and worked at a pharmaceutical company in Lyon, France where she researched the diversity of iron acquisition proteins in Neisseria species. At the University of Oxford, Odile has pursued her interest in the population biology of Neisseria including the analysis of whole-genome sequence (WGS) data. More recently, her work has expanded to the analysis of WGS data from other encapsulated bacteria and sexually-transmitted bacterial infections. Odile is an associate editor of the Journal of Infection and is a fellow of the Higher Education academy.
Institut Pasteur, France
Presentation Title: Dynamics and evolution of dengue virus populations within their mosquito vector
Louis Lambrechts is a junior investigator at the Institut Pasteur in the Department of Genomes & Genetics. After graduating at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, Louis obtained a PhD in Ecology in 2006 for his work on interactions between mosquitoes and malaria parasites at University Pierre & Marie Curie. During his postdoc, he was supported by a European Marie Curie fellowship to study interactions between mosquitoes and dengue viruses at the
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University of California in Davis and in the laboratory of Genetics and Evolution of Infectious Diseases in Montpellier. In 2010, he joined the Institut Pasteur where he obtained a permanent CNRS faculty position in 2011 and founded his research group in 2013. Louis is currently involved is several international research programs on dengue and Zika.
Rega Institute, University of Leuven, Belgium
Presentation title: Advances in reconstructing pathogen trait evolutionary history: new approaches and applications
Philippe Lemey is a Professor at the Rega Institute, University of Leuven. His research interests lie in the fields of molecular epidemiology, computational biology and viral evolution. In particular, he has studied the evolutionary processes that shape viral genetic diversity, spanning from large-scale epidemic processes, such as population growth and spatial dispersal, to small-scale transmission histories and within-host evolutionary processes.
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He is the lead author of the second edition of the Phylogenetic Handbook and a two-time ERC grant awardee. His team has made important contributions to the popular BEAST software, acknowledged by the Mitchell prize in Bayesian statistics, and these were instrumental for applications to HIV-1, influenza, rabies and ebola.
Thierry de Meeus
Presently my main areas of investigation concern host and parasite co-structures and the use of molecular markers in ecological inferences, and in particular in epidemiological inferences; and the theoretical and applied population genetics of clonal organisms. The main programs I am currently supervising or undertaking are:
- Population genetics of trypansosomes and their vectors in Western Africa;
- Population genetics of clonal and partially clonal organisms: theory and application to medically or veterinary relevant microbes (trypanosomes, leishmania, yeasts).
- Adaptive polymorphism and habitat preference evolution, the use of population genetics tools for population biology inferences in host parasite systems and the population genetics of clones are thus the main fields in which I am specially qualified.
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I have studied different kind of organisms as parasitic copepods, cestodes, trematodes, fungi, bacteriae, trypanosomes, leishmania, ticks, tsetse flies, gammarid amphipods, marine and fresh water snails, mussels, rats and deer.
During my PhD, I have studied the mechanisms of maintenance of adaptive polymorphism and evolution of habitat preference. I have used field studies, experimental tests and theoretical (analytical and computer simulations) modelling. The biological model consisted in two species of ecto-parasitic copepods and their three hosts (in the Mediterranean), turbot, brill and flounder. The fact that these organisms are marine, naturally involved me into marine biology topics. I also had to develop skills in programming (in Pascal) and in isoenzymatic genotyping.
During my Post-doc in Bangor, I was trained to theoretical population genetics of structured population, in particular as regard to parameter estimation and testing of Wright's F-statistics.
When coming back to Montpellier I kept studying adaptive polymorphism and habitat preference but more and more got involved in population genetic structure of hosts and their parasites. I got involved in studies on host-manipulating parasites as well.
St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute, Russia
Presentation title: Massive human migration and spread of epidemic Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains
Igor Mokrousov, PhD, DSc, is a head of the Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Genetics at the St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute, Russia. His research interests include study of evolution, phylogenomics, and molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other mycobacteria; phylogeography and co-evolution with humans; molecular mechanisms and genotypic detection of drug resistance.
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He received Scientific Prize from International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (2004), Marie Curie fellowship (2007), and several Honors from the Russian Health Service. His research was supported by grants from the Russian Science Foundation, Russian Foundation for Basic Research, NATO Science Program, FEMS, European Commission FP7-Health, Institut Pasteur, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Institute Pasteur, France
Presentation Title: Selection imposed by pathogens and archaic introgression has shaped the human immune system
Lluis Quintana-Murci heads the Unit of Human Evolutionary Genetics at the Institut Pasteur (Paris) since 2007. He earned his Ph.D. in Population Genetics at the University of Pavia (Italy), and his MSc in Biology at the University of Barcelona (Spain). He is a population geneticist whose research focuses on the study of human genetic diversity in the context of genome evolution to the role of host genetic diversity in infectious disease.
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Specifically, the Quintana-Murci laboratory studies the extent to which pathogens have exerted selective pressures on the human genome, particularly at innate immunity genes, as this provides clues to important immunological pathways in pathogen resistance and homeostasis. His laboratory combines molecular and population genetics approaches, with computational modelling and development of new statistical frameworks. Lluis Quintana-Murci has co-authored over 180 publications on fundamental population genetics as well as evolutionary genetics of infection and published 7 book chapters. He has received several awards, including the CNRS Bronze Medal (2008), the Dagnan-Bouveret Award from the French Academy of Sciences (2009), the Debiopharm- EPFL Life Sciences Award (2009), the CNRS Silver Medal (2013) and the Grand Prix of Medicine and Medical Research of the City of Paris (2014). He is a laureate of the European Research Council (ERC) and an EMBO member since 2014.
Eliora Z. Ron
President of IUMS – International Union of Microbiological Societies, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Presentation title: Coping with Antibiotic Resistant Septicemic E. coli
Eliora Z. Ron got her PhD from Harvard University, USA, under the supervision of Professor Bernard D. Davis. Dr. Ron is author of more than 200 publications, including refereed research papers, review papers, books and chapters in books. Dr. Ron has several patents.
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She is now the acting president of the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS) and Professor for Microbiology at Tel Aviv University.
The research activities of Dr. Ron focus on the molecular response of bacteria to stress due to environmental pollution or exposure to the host.
Bioinformatic Unit of the Scientific Institute IRCCS E. Medea, Italy
Presentation Title: Recent insights into the evolutionary history of arenaviruses
Manuela Sironi received her Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from the University of Milan. After an initial focus on the genetics of human neuromuscular disorders, she developed an interest for comparative genomics and for the evolution of non-coding sequences. Since 2007 she has been coordinating one of the research teams at Bioinformatic Unit of the Scientific Institute IRCCS E. Medea.
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In recent years, her research has mainly focused on the evolutionary history of human disease alleles and on the application of evolutionary approaches to study host-pathogen interactions in mammals. Her research interests also include the evolutionary analysis of RNA viruses and of zoonotic pathogens.
Manuela is adjunct Professor at the University of Milan and a member of the ICTV Arenaviriadae Study Group. She published more than 110 papers in peer-reviewed international scientific journals.
Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC), CEA, CNRS, France
Christophe Sola, 58 years old, is a native from Grenoble, France, a father of two children of 23 and 20 years; he holds a PharmD (1984, Grenoble) and a PhD in Life Sciences (1991, Paris).
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He is a former Resident of Lyon’s Hospitals, a former research fellow of the Institut Pasteur, Paris, and of the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal (IRCM). He holded various R&D positions in French (Limagrain Seed Group), German (Boehringer-Mannheim) and American (Parexel Corporation) Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical companies between 1989-1994, before moving back to America, where he spent 12 years as a senior scientist at the Institut Pasteur of Guadeloupe, a member of the International Network of Pasteur Institutes.
Christophe Sola holds since September 2007 a full professorship position in Applied Microbiology at the University of Paris-Sud (UPS) where he created the Infection Genetics Emerging Pathogen Evolution (IGEPE) research team, now part of the microbiology departement of the I2BC (Institute for Integrative Cell Biology, UMR9198- in Gif-sur-Yvette) a joint research institut between the french atomic energy agency (CEA), french national center for research (CNRS) and University of Paris-Saclay,
His main field of interest is Infectious Diseases and Public Health, and in particular tuberculosis, through Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex genetic diversity in relation to anthropology, systems epidemiology, evolutionary genetics, molecular adaptation to drugs, bioinformatics and high-tech molecular diagnostics methods. He is also active in CRISPR (Clustured Regularly Interspersed Short Palindromic Repeats) genetic diversity research for molecular typing of pathogens.
Christophe Sola is the author of around 140 international peer-reviewed papers, and an active member of the Tuberculosis research community (European Society for Mycobacteriology, Euro-Latin American Society for Mycobacteriology). His « H index » is 36 according to ISI web of science.
He was a founder of the Beamedex® SAS company in December 2014, a company based in Orsay, that produces, develops and sales innovative research and diagnostics multiplexed assays for Luminex platforms in a global health perspective ; he is still active as an R&D consultant in Beamedex®.
Frederik Van den Broeck
Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp, Belgium
Presentation Title: The role of founder effects in speciation of parasitic protozoa: a unique Leishmania model in the Peruvian Andes
Frederik Van den Broeck is a post-doctoral researcher at the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine. His main research interest is the use of next generation sequencing and computational biology to understand the evolution and adaptation of eukaryotic parasites in a clinical context. As a population geneticist, he aims to understand the genomics of virulence in (muco-)cutaneous leishmaniasis in Southern America and drug resistance in animal trypanosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa.
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He obtained his PhD at the University of Leuven in 2014 on the disease outbreak dynamics of Schistosoma mansoni in Northern Senegal.
He received multiple grants from the Research Foundation Flanders and the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation for developing novel molecular and computational tools to characterize and understand the most complex mitochondrial genome on Earth, namely that of the protozoan kinetoplast.