Speakers


Shelley L. Berger, PhD

Dr. Berger is the Daniel S. Och University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and is Director of the Epigenetics Program. She previously was the Hilary Koprowski Professor at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. Dr. Berger earned her PhD from University of Michigan and was a post-doctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Berger's work focuses on novel histone and factor post-translations modifications in chromatin regulation; her lab investigates chromatin mechanisms and their role in physiology during gametogenesis and cellular aging in mammals, and in behavioral specification in social insects. Dr. Berger was Senior Editor at Molecular and Cellular Biology from 2003-2008, and currently on the Editorial Boards of Epigenetics and Chromatin and Epigenomics as well as Editorial Advisor for Nature Scientific Reports. Dr. Berger serves on advisory committees for several research institutions and chromatin-focused biotechnology companies, and has served on international committees to promote an NIH-sponsored Human Epigenome Project and to establish nomenclature for histone modifying enzymes.

Dr. Berger has organized numerous international meetings, including Keystone and FASEB Chromatin Conferences, the EMBL Transcription Conference in Heidelberg, a Cold Spring Harbor Lab/Banbury Conference on Epigenetics, and a new CSH meeting focusing on Chromatin and Epigenetics.

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Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD

Dr. Bluestone holds the A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professorship in Metabolism and Endocrinology and is current Director of the Hormone Research Institute. He joined the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) faculty in 2000. His most recent appointment, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP), occurred In March 2010 to serve as chief academic officer guiding the research and academic enterprise at UCSF, advancing the campus priorities in close collaboration with the Chancellor and the campus leadership team, and overseeing the campus ethics and compliance enterprise.

Prior to his appointment as EVCP, Dr. Bluestone served as the Director of the UCSF Diabetes Center where he emphasized translating basic research in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes into improved therapies for patients. Dr. Bluestone founded and directed the Immune Tolerance Network, a consortium of more than 1,000 of the world's leading scientific researchers and clinical specialists from nearly 50 institutions, with the mission of testing new therapies to promote immune tolerance in transplantation, autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergic diseases.

As an international scientist and leader in the field of immunotherapy, his expertise has helped to clarify the body's immune response on a molecular level, and has catalyzed recent progress in stem cell research, islet cell transplantation and immune tolerance therapies – studies that have been translated into drugs to treat human disease. Throughout his 30-year scientific career, Dr. Bluestone has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications that include prominent papers in Nature, Nature Immunology, Journal of Immunology, and in Diabetes. He has received numerous awards for his work, including his 2006 election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Mary Tyler Moore & Robert Levine Excellence in Clinical Research Award as well as the Gerold & Kayla Grodsky Distinguished Basic Scientist Award from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Cornell Graduate School of Medical Science.

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Chas Bountra, PhD

Chas Bountra is currently Chief Scientist at the Structural Genomics Consortium, Professor of Translational Medicine and Associate member of Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford and Visiting Professor in Neuroscience and Mental Health, Imperial College. Also serves on Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery and MRC Development Pathway Funding Committees, chairs and sits on Scientific Advisory Boards and consults for biotech/pharma and venture capital groups.

His current research focus is elucidation of 3D structures of therapeutically relevant human proteins and chemical probe identification for epigenetic proteins and clinical target discovery.

In his previous role as Vice President and Head of Biology at GlaxoSmithKline he progressed several molecules into clinical studies in AD, MS, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, RA, OA, migraine, IBS, Functional Dyspepsia and acid related disorders. He played a major role in the development and launch of a novel treatment for IBS (Alosetron), and was the first to show the potential of neurokinin NK1 receptor antagonists as anti-emetics.

Chas has published more than 80 papers, 10 patents and has given more than 100 invited lectures on pain mechanisms, GI diseases, Drug Discovery, target validation, translational challenges, structural biology and epigenetic science.

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Shaun R. Coughlin, MD, PhD

Dr. Coughlin received his undergraduate and graduate training from M.I.T. and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. After internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, he moved to the University of California, San Francisco for Cardiology and postdoctoral fellowship. He joined the UCSF faculty in 1986 and is currently Distinguished Professor of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine and Director of UCSF's Cardiovascular Research Institute. In 1991, the Coughlin laboratory's discovery of a thrombin receptor, now known as protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1) revealed the molecular process by which thrombin, a protease, can regulate the behavior of platelets and other cells like hormones do. The laboratory's characterization of PAR1 and other members of the PAR family led to a greater understanding of how cells sense and respond to tissue injury to orchestrate hemostasis, thrombosis and inflammation, and pointed to PAR1 antagonism as a possible strategy for antithrombotic therapy. A PAR1 antagonist is in Phase 3 trials for secondary prevention of MI. The laboratory currently explores the roles of PARs and other G protein-coupled receptors in cardiovascular biology and disease and in embryonic development.

Dr. Coughlin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Sir Colin Dollery, FRCP, FMedsci

Sir Colin Dollery graduated from Birmingham University with honours degrees in physiology and in medicine. He spent almost all his academic career at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital and established one of the world-leading departments of clinical pharmacology. His clinical interest was particularly in the treatment of hypertension both in early phase studies and in the large scale clinical trials conducted by the MRC. Later in his career he was successively Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Dean of the Medical School.

He had a prominent national and international role in clinical pharmacology and pharmacology and was the first (and so far the only) clinical pharmacologist to become President of the International Union of Pharmacology (IUPHAR). Graduates from his department filled many of the professorial chairs of clinical pharmacology in UK and overseas universities. He was the managing Editor of the two volume reference book, "Therapeutic Drugs". He is still a member of the receptor nomenclature committee of IUPHAR (NC-IUPHAR). He served on many public committees in the UK including the Committee on Safety of Medicines, Medical Sub-Committee of the University Grants Committee (Chairman) and the Physiological Systems Board (Chairman) of the Medical Research Council and served 20 years on the Hong Kong University Grants Committee. He was Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Medicine of the University of London during the period when there was government pressure to close a number of the strongest research based teaching hospitals in London and was successful in co-ordinating efforts to convince the government otherwise.

Since his retirement from the University of London in 1996, Sir Colin has been a senior consultant to Research and Development in GlaxoSmithKline, and before that in SmithKline Beecham, for 14 years. This is virtually a full time position. He is particularly concerned with the discovery-development interface when new drugs transfer from the laboratory to early studies in man. In GlaxoSmithKline he is an adviser to Dr Moncef Slaoui, the Chairman of Research and Development. He serves on the committee that reviews protocols for early phases of research in man with new medicines, the Global Safety Board that reviews all issues related to safety, including approval for first administration of a new drug to man and the Pharmaceutical Management Board that makes the major investment decisions about the later phases of drug development.

He was co-Chairman of the ABPI/BIA Working Party on the Tegenero 1412 episode at Parexel, Northwick Park. More recently he co-chaired a joint working party of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Academy of Engineering on Systems Biology and a working party of the Academy of Medical Sciences that produced a report on Safer Medicines.

In 2008 he was awarded the Wellcome Gold Medal of the British Pharmacological Society for his work in clinical pharmacology and in 2009 the Oscar B. Hunter award in therapeutics of the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

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Stephen Friend, MD, PhD

Dr. Friend is the President of Sage Bionetworks. He was previously Senior Vice President and Franchise Head for Oncology Research at Merck & Co., Inc where he led Merck's cancer research efforts. In 2005, he led the Advances Technologies and Oncology groups to firmly establish molecular profiling activities throughout Merck's laboratories around the world, as well as coordinate oncology programs from Basic Research through phase IIB clinical trials.

Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Friend was recruited by Dr. Leland Hartwell to co-lead the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Seattle Project, an advanced institute for drug discovery. While there, Drs. Friend and Hartwell developed a method for examining large patterns of genes that led them to co-found Rosetta Inpharmatics in 2001. Dr. Friend trained with Dr. Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute where he cloned the first cancer susceptibility gene in 1986. Dr. Friend has also held faculty positions at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Harvard Medical School from 1987 to 1995 and at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1990 to 1995. He received his B.A. in philosophy, his Ph.D. in biochemistry and his M.D. from Indiana University.

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Beatrice H. Hahn, MD

Beatrice H. Hahn, M.D. currently serves as Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Hahn received her medical degree from the University of Munich Medical School, and pursued postdoctoral studies at the National Cancer Institute Laboratory of Tumor Cell Virology. She joined the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology at the University of Alabama in 1985.

Her seminal contributions in understanding human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections include developing the first molecular clone of HIV-1, discovering the origins of HIV-1 and HIV-2 in non-human primate species in Africa, determining the pathogenic impact of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection on wild chimpanzee populations, and making fundamental observations in the molecular and virologic characterization of numerous HIV and SIV genes and isolates. Dr. Hahn's most recent work describes groundbreaking studies identifying the origin of Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly form of malaria, in West African gorillas, findings that will spearhead new research to understand host/pathogen interactions that underlie the transmission and pathogenicity of malaria.

In 2002, Dr. Hahn was named one of the top 50 women in science by Discover Magazine. Additionally, she has published over 200 research papers, many of which are senior authored manuscripts in Science, Nature, Cell and other prominent journals.

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James R. Heath, PhD

Jim Heath is the Elizabeth Gilloon Professor and Professor of Chemistry at Caltech, and Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA. He serves as the Director of the NSB Cancer Center, an NCI-funded Cancer Center for Nanotechnology Excellence. He received his Ph.D. in 1988 from Rice University, was a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley between 1988 and 91, and joined the research staff at IBM Watson Labs in 1991. He took a faculty position at UCLA in 1994, and was the founding director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) prior to moving to his current position at Caltech in 2003.

Jim Heath is the Founder of Integrated Diagnostics, Momentum Biosciences, and NanoSys, and is a Board Member at Sofie Biosciences.

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Donald F. Hunt, PhD

Professor Donald F. Hunt joined the faculty at the University of Virginia as an assistant professor in September 1968, and currently holds the rank of University Professor with appointments in both Chemistry and Pathology. In 1992 he was named Virginia's Outstanding Scientist and also received the Pehr Edman Award for outstanding achievements in the application of mass spectrometry to the contemporary microsequence analysis of proteins. The Distinguished Contribution Award from the American Society for Mass Spectrometry was presented to Dr. Hunt in 1994 for his development of electron capture negative ion mass spectrometry.

In 1996 he was the first recipient of the Christian B. Anfinsen Award from the Protein Society for development of new technology in the field of protein chemistry. He received the Chemical Instrumentation Award sponsored by the American Chemical Society in 1997. This award recognizes Professor Hunt for development of instrumentation capable of sequencing peptides and proteins at the attomole level.

In 2000, Professor Hunt was the recipient of both the Frank F. Field and Joe L. Franklin award presented by the American Chemical Society for outstanding achievement in the field of mass spectrometry and the Thomson Medal from the International Mass Spectrometry Society. In 2006 and 2007, Professor Hunt was the recipient of Distinguished Accomplishment Awards from the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) and ABRF, respectively. He received the Distinguished Scientist Award at the University of Virginia in 2010. Professor Hunt is a co-inventor on more than 25 patents and patent applications, and has over 360 scholarly publications to his credit. His h-index is 81 (81 papers with 81 or more citations). This ranks him among the top 120 living chemists.

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Carl June, MD

Carl June is currently Director of Translational Research at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and is an Investigator of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 1979. He had graduate training in Immunology and malaria with Dr. Paul-Henri Lambert at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland from 1978-79, and post-doctoral training in transplantation biology with Dr. E. Donnell Thomas and Dr. John Hansen at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle from 1983 - 1986.

He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. He founded the Immune Cell Biology Program and was head of the Department of Immunology at the Naval Medical Research Institute from 1990 to 1995. He rose to Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Cell and Molecular Biology at the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland before assuming his current position as a tenured Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. He maintains a research laboratory that studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation that relate to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy.

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Isaac S. Kohane, MD, PhD

Isaac (Zak) Kohane is the director of the Children's Hospital Informatics Program and is the Henderson Professor of Pediatrics and Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard Medical School (HMS). He is also the co-Director of the HMS Center for Biomedical Informatics and Director of the HMS Countway Library of Medicine. Dr. Kohane leads multiple collaborations at Harvard Medical School and its hospital affiliates in the use of genomics and computer science to study diseases (particularly cancer and autism) through the perspective of biological development. He also has developed several computer systems to allow multiple hospital systems to be used as "living laboratories" to study the genetic basis of disease while preserving patient privacy. Among these, the i2b2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside) National Computing Center has been deployed at over 52 academic health centers internationally.

Dr. Kohane has published over 200 papers in the medical literature and authored a widely used book on Microarrays for an Integrative Genomics. He has been elected to multiple honor societies including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American College of Medical Informatics, and the Institute of Medicine. He leads a doctoral program in genomics and bioinformatics at the Division of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT. He is also a practicing pediatric endocrinologist and father of three energetic children.

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Jeremy K. Nicholson, PhD, FRSC, FRCPath, FMedSci

Professor Nicholson obtained his BSc from Liverpool University (1977) and his PhD from London University (1980) working on the application of analytical electron microscopy and the applications of energy dispersive X-Ray microanalysis in molecular toxicology. After several London University appointments he was made Professor of Biological Chemistry (1992); Head of Biological Chemistry at Imperial College London (1998) then Head of the Department of Surgery and Cancer (2009).

Professor Nicholson has authored over 500 peer-reviewed papers and many other articles/patents on molecular aspects of complex system failure and the role of the microbiome-host metabolic signalling in disease etiopathogenesis. His work has been recognised by awards such as: RSC Silver (1992) and Gold (1997) Medals for Analytical Chemistry; UK Chromatographic Society Jubilee Silver Medal (1994); Pfizer Prize for Chemical and Medicinal Technology (2002); RSC medal for Chemical Biology (2003); RSC Interdisciplinary Prize (200&); RSC Theophilus Redwood Lectureship (2008); Pfizer Global Research Prize for Chemistry (2006); NIH Stars in Cancer and Nutrition Distinguished Lecturer (2010) and the Semelweiss-Budapest Prize for Biomedicine (2010).

Professor Nicholson was elected Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences in 2010. He currently holds honorary professorships at 7 Universities and at The Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is on the editorial board of several major international science journals and is Consulting Editor for the Journal of Proteome Research. He is a consultant to many pharmaceutical/healthcare companies in the UK, Europe and the USA and is a founder director of Metabometrix, an Imperial College spin-off company specializing in molecular phenotyping, clinical diagnostics and toxicological screening.

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Peter J. Ratcliffe, MD, FRCP, FMedSci, FRS

Peter Ratcliffe is Nuffield Professor and Head of the Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford. He trained as a Nephrologist and was Academic Director of Renal Medicine prior to appointment to the current position in 2004. He heads the hypoxia biology laboratory at the Henry Wellcome Building for Molecular Physiology and has published over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts in hypoxic signalling and related fields. In 2002 he was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society. He was awarded the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2009), and the Canada Gairdner International Award (2010) for his work on mechanisms in cellular oxygen sensing.

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Joseph Schlessinger, PhD

Joseph Schlessinger is the Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and the William H. Prusoff Professor at Yale School of Medicine. He is also the Director of the Cancer Biology Institute at Yale West Campus. From 1990 to 2001, he was chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Professor at New York University Langone Medical Center. He was also the director of the Skirball Institute of NYU from 1998 until 2001. In 2008 he co-founded Kolltan, in 2001 he co-founded Plexxikon, Inc, and he co-founded SUGEN, Inc. in 1991. From 1980 to 1991, Dr. Schlessinger was the Ruth and Leonard Simon Professor in Cancer Research in the Department of Chemical Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. Dr. Schlessinger was research director at Rorer Biotechnology, Inc. in Pennsylvania from 1988 to 1990. He has also held positions at Meloy Laboratories, Inc. in Rockville, Maryland from 1985 to 1988.

Dr. Schlessinger has authored or co-authored more than 490 scientific articles and papers focusing on signal transduction, growth control mechanisms, receptor structure functions and the biophysics of proteins. He is a member of the National Academy of Science, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies, a member of the European Academy of Science, and a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is on the editorial boards of Cell, Molecular Cell, and the Journal of Cellular Biology as well as many other journals.

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Eric Schadt, Ph.D, Pacific Biosciences

Dr. Jonathan Seidman is the Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University ('72) and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His postdoctoral studies were carried out in Dr. Philip Leder's laboratory at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He has been a member of the Genetics Department, Harvard Medical School since 1981.

Dr. Seidman is a member of The Genetics Society of America and the American Society of Human Genetics. He has received several awards including the Gill Heart Institute Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cardiovascular Research (2000), the 12th Annual Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cardiovascular Research (2002) jointly with Christine Seidman, MD, the Lefoulon-Delalande Foundation, Grand Prix for Science (2007) joint recipient with Christine Seidman, MD and the Katz Prize for Cardiovascular Research awarded by Columbia University School of Medicine (2008) jointly with Christine Seidman, MD. He is also a member of the National Academy of Science (2007) and the Institutes of Medicine (2007).

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Jun Wang, PhD

Jun Wang is the Executive Director of the BGI (previously known as the Beijing Genomics Institute). He was instrumental in the 1999 founding and the growth of the BGI Bioinformatics Department, which is now widely recognized as one of world's premier research facilities committed to excellence in genome sciences. Dr. Wang also holds a position as an Ole Rømer professor at the University of Copenhagen.

He has authored 100+ peer-reviewed original papers – of which 38 are published in Nature (including Nature series, 14 as cover story), and Science. Among those 38, WJ is the first/co-first author or corresponding/co-corresponding author for 24 (9 as cover) of them. He has been recognized with an award from His Royal Highness Prince Foundation in Denmark, an Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Top 10 Scientific Achievements in China, and the prize for Important Innovation and Contribution from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on genomics and related bioinformatics analysis of complex diseases and agricultural crops, with the goal of developing applications using the genomic information.

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