Speakers Biographies

Biography: Professor Catherine Bollard

Catherine Bollard received her medical degree at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. She is Board certified both in Pediatrics and Hematology. She worked both in New Zealand and London, England before moving to Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in 2000 where she was Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine and Immunology and the Director of the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center Pediatric Lymphoma Program. In August 2013, she moved to Washington DC to join Children’s National Medical Center and The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She is currently the Bosworth Chair for Cancer Biology, Director of the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research, Professor of Pediatrics and of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine, and Director of the Program for Cell Enhancement and Technologies for Immunotherapy (CETI). She is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and is the immediate Past President of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT). She is on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) and chairs the Non Hodgkins Lymphoma committee of the Children’s Oncology Group. She is an Associate Editor for the journals Blood and Cytotherapy and is a member of the NCI Clinical Oncology Study Section and is a member of the Cellular, Tissues and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Her bench and translational research focuses on improving outcomes for patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and on the development of novel cell therapies for viral diseases and hematologic malignancies.

 

Biography: Dr Alexandra Corbett

Dr Alexandra Corbett has a long-term interest in immunology and immune-microbe interactions. She completed her B.Sc (Hons) at the University of Melbourne, and PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in 2004, followed by postdoctoral research positions at the University of Western Australia and the Bio21 Institute. Her research has included the areas of MHC antigen presentation, viral immune evasion and vaccine targeting.

Since she returned to the University of Melbourne to join Prof. Jim McCluskey’s laboratory at the Doherty Institute in 2012, Alex's work has focused on Mucosal Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells, an innate-like population of T cells restricted by the non-polymorphic non-classical MHC class I-like receptor (MR1). She has made major contributions to recent breakthroughs in the MAIT cell field; the recent identification of a new class of T cell antigen - vitamin-based molecules that activate MAIT cells, and development of MR1-tetramer reagents that specifically identify MAIT cells.

She currently holds a Future Fellowship (Australian Research Council) and is Chief Investigator on 2 NHMRC Project Grants aiming to understand the range of MR1-bound ligands that can activate or inhibit MAIT cells, and the role of MAIT cells in infection.

 

Biography: Professor Peng Li

Dr. Peng li received his B. Sc. in Biology from Tsinghua University in 2006 and obtained his Ph.D from University of Cambridge in 2010. During his study in Cambridge, he found that T-cells at all developmental stages reprogram to natural killer-like cells upon Bcl11b deletion and named the NK-like cells as Induced-T-to-NK (ITNK) cells. It has been demonstrated that ITNKs has potential application in cancer immunotherapy. In 2011, Dr. Peng Li joined Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences as a principal investigator. His lab mainly focuses on the study of pre-clinical cancer immunotherapy.

 

Biography: Professor Frank Griffin

Frank graduated BA(Mod) in Microbiology in 1967 and completed a PhD in Reproductive Immunology at the Vet School (1970) in Trinity College Dublin. He is currently Professor-in-Immunology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Otago. He joined the Department at the University of Otago from Trinity College, as a lecturer in 1973 and retired as professor-in-Immunology in 2016. Frank was Director of the Disease Research Laboratory which enjoyed ongoing research collaborations with AgResearch for more than 40 years. He is currently Emeritus Professor-in-Immunology and Director of Disease Research Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Otago. He is the author of more than 140 refereed and 60 non-refereed scientific publications. He is a consultant to many international committees and consortia in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the United States. Among his modest successes as a researcher, he has developed vaccines and laboratory techniques to diagnose yersiniosis, tuberculosis (TB) in deer and paratuberculosis (Johne’s disease) in cattle, deer and sheep. He was awarded the 1990 NZ Deer Industry Award and the ONZM in 2003, for his contribution to animal health science in New Zealand. He is proud to be part of a team of scientists attempting to enhance New Zealand’s position as a world leader in innovative farming and believes that science should be used to inform issues concerning the welfare, health and quality of our livestock. He was awarded the Pickering Medal for Innovation in Technology, by the NZ Royal Society in 2010 and elected as a Fellow of the NZ Royal Society in 2012. Frank’s earlier work was concerned with control of infection in domestic ruminants, exotic wildlife and zoo animals. His current field of interest explores how stress, host genetics and modern farming practices influence immunity and disease resistance in domestic livestock. An innovative project has been developed recently, to explore immunological aspects of parasitism in domesticated ruminants, with the goal to use immunotherapies to transform Infection into Vaccination au Naturale.

Biography: Yury Goltsev

Dr. Goltsev started his scientific career in biomedical lab (Prof. Wallach, Weizmann Inst. Israel), dissecting the molecular signaling pathways employed by the receptors of TNF/NGF ligand family. During his graduate work he discovered an important component of the cell death signaling network cFLIP(CASH) (Goltsev et al 1997) and also contributed to the identification of a central mediator of apoptosis – caspase-8 (MACH) (Boldin et al 1996). In the course of his graduate research he came to a conclusion that evolutionary perspective (and hence the analysis of gene role across species) may represent the most comprehensive way for understanding the “true” gene function. This idea led him to the Levine lab at Integrated Biology department of UC Berkeley, where he shifted his emphasis to focus on the evolution of patterning transcriptional networks in insects (e.g. Goltsev et al 2004, Goltsev et al 2007, Papatsenko and Goltsev 2011, Goltsev et al 2009). Following postdoctoral training at Berkeley Dr. Goltsev returned to biomedical field as a scientist in Prof. Nolan lab where he developed and used novel methodologies for multiparametric single cell analysis of hematologic malignancies. In Dr. Nolan’s lab Dr. Goltsev single-handedly developed new approaches for RNA based flow cytometry (now distributed as a kit by Affymetrix) and gene expression analysis of cellular subsets isolated based RNA profile. Recently in the course of his studies on architecture of normal and afflicted immune tissues Dr. Goltsev came up with and innovative approach of unlimited multiplexed fluorescent staining of tissue sections (CODEX) effectively enabling in situ histocytometry and niche identification at a qualitatively new level. CODEX is currently believed by leading experts to be one of the most promising tools in dissection of immune microenvironments and cell-to cell interactions in cancer. 

Key Dates:
1 May 2015
Early Bird Registration Open
1 Aug 2015
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