SCIENTIFIC SESSIONS

  • Napoleone Ferrara

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    Dr. Ferrara earned his M.D. degree in 1981 from the University of Catania Medical School in Italy. After completing his postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco, he joined Genentech Inc. in 1988. It is there where he spent nearly 25 years working on the isolation, molecular cloning and biological characterization of VEGF-A which resulted in the development of bevacizumab, the first anti-angiogenic agent to be approved by the FDA for cancer therapy.

    His research also led to the development of ranibizumab, which has been FDA-approved for the treatment of multiple intraocular neovascular disorders. In December 2012, Dr. Ferrara joined the University of California, San Diego as a Distinguished Professor of Pathology, Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology & Pharmacology, and Senior Deputy Director for Basic Science of the Moores Cancer Center. His research currently focuses on investigating mechanisms of tumor angiogenesis alternative to VEGF, in particular the role of factors produced by myeloid cells and fibroblasts.

    Dr. Ferrara has authored over 300 scientific publications, which have been cited over 130,000 times according to Google Scholar. He is also the recipient of numerous scientific awards, including the AACR Cain Memorial Award, the Lefoulon-Delalande- Institut de France Prize, the Passano Award, the General Motors Cancer Research Award, the ASCO Science of Oncology Award, the Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award, the Lasker-deBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, the Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, the Economist Innovation Award, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award and the Gairdner Foundation International Award. Dr. Ferrara has been an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA since 2006 and became an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine in 2015.

  • Graziella Pellegrini

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    Graziella Pellegrini is Full Professor and Head of the Cell Therapy Program at Centre for Regenerative Medicine "Stefano Ferrari" of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. She is also co-founder and R&D Director at Holostem Terapie Avanzate S.r.l., having developed Holoclar®, the world's first commercial stem-cell therapy.

    She was awarded for research on central nervous system, on burn patients, for research on ocular pathology and for research on urethra. (Author of several international patents, book chapters and many peer reviewed publications in the major international scientific journals, she was invited speaker or chairman in over two hundreds major international meetings and courses on Stem Cells and Regenerative medicine.)

    Prof. Pellegrini is one of the two inventors of the technology for culture, and transplantation of limbal stem cells for treatment of blindness due to corneal stem cell deficiency, and defended the orphan drug designation and European registration of the therapy. She is currently collaborating to a phase I clinical trial on gene therapy of epidermolysis bullosa.





    Iris Jonkers

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    Iris Jonkers is Assistant professor and Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the Department of Genetics, University Medical Center Groningen, in the Netherlands. Her research focus is the elucidation of the role of the genetic risk factors in Celiac Disease and a better understanding of how genetics contribute to disease.

    How other genetic risk factors rather than the HLA-DQ2.5 and HLA-DQ8 contribute to coeliac disease is not well understood, as the changes in DNA primarily fall within the non-coding genome. In order to better understand these changes, her laboratory takes several approaches at multiple levels. Taken together, these aim to elucidate which molecular pathways are affected by genetics in CeD and to identify potential drug targets to treat this disease.

    Currently, Professor Jonkers is studying how small changes in DNA enriched in celiac patients influence the regulation of gene expression and lead to celiac disease. To answer this question, she has received a Rosalind Franklin Fellowship and a Dutch VIDI-NOW grant.

    The role of genetics in celiac disease: Small changes, big effects

    Celiac disease (CeD) is partly caused by small changes in our DNA. Using a genome wide association study, more than 40 loci containing these changes, or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), have been identified. The main genetic risk factors are the HLA-DQ2.5 and HLA-DQ8 genes, which are necessary but not sufficient to cause CeD. How other genetic risk factors contribute to coeliac disease is less well understood, as the changes in DNA primarily fall within the non-coding genome. Therefore, we focus on elucidating the role of these genetic risk factors in CeD to understand how genetics contribute to disease. We take several approaches: 1. Expression quantitative trait locus analysis on healthy individuals to correlate gene expression changes to genotype in blood-derived immune cells, 2. Functional finemapping of SNPs to identify and understand the role of causal SNPs and the genes they affect in a cell type specific manner, and 3. Profiling the disease-specific cell types derived from CeD patients at a transcriptomic, epigenetic and cytokine level to understand CeD pathology at a molecular level. Together, we aim to elucidate which molecular pathways are affected by genetics in CeD and to identify potential drug targets to treat CeD.

  • Derek Perkins

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    Derek Perkins, Ph.D. is a Consultant Clinical & Forensic Psychologist at West London Mental Health NHS Trust, Professor of Forensic Psychology at Royal Holloway University of London, Co-director of the onlineProtect research group on internet-related sexual offending, and a Trustee of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. He was Head of Psychological Services at Broadmoor Hospital (high secure psychiatric hospital) from 1986-2013, having previously worked in the UK Prison Service and Midland Centre for Forensic Psychiatry. He has worked in secure and community settings on the assessment and treatment of sex offenders, the interface between mental disorder and sexual offending, psychophysiological assessment of sexual interest, child sexual exploitation and sexual homicide.

    The aetiology, assessment and treatment of sexual offenders

    In this talk we will consider the definitions, nature and causes of sexual offending, including different types of offending, their prevalence and changes over time. Issues in offender assessment – case formulation, risk assessment and treatment needs – will be explored using latest research findings and case examples. Finally, we will consider what kinds of interventions are appropriate to tackle different types of sexual offending, ranging through one-to-one therapies, group treatment programs and wider societal responses.



    Klaus Beier

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    Klaus M. Beier studied medicine and philosophy. He is a specialized physician for psychosomatics and psychotherapy and is head of the Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. He is in charge of the undergraduate training of medical school students in sexual medicine as well as the postgraduate training for physicians and psychologists in this field. He is also responsible for the Outpatient Clinic of the Institute which offers assessment and treatment for the full range of sexual disorders and gender dysphoria.

    His main focus in research is the prevention of child sexual abuse. The goal is to encourage self-identified undetected pedophiles to seek professional help in order to avoid committing child sexual abuse or the use of child abuse images. For this purpose, in 2005 he initiated the “Prevention Project Dunkelfeld” which has now extended to 10 additional locations all over Germany. Furthermore, in 2017 he started the internet-based self-management tool “Troubled Desire” for assessment and treatment in case of pedophilia to prevent child sexual abuse.

    Regarding these efforts, in 2017, he was awarded the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany.

    Pedophilia and Sexual Offending against Children: How to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and the Use of Child Abuse Images?

    Pedophilia - a sexual preference for the body scheme of prepubescent children - is defined as a disorder within the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) of the World Health Organization as well as within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association.

    Contrary to popular belief, not all sex offenders who target children are pedophiles, and not all pedophiles commit sexual offences. But quite obviously pedophilia is an emotionally charged and controversial topic, which might be an explanation for putting it out of focus within the Health Care System. Mental health and criminal justice professionals are mostly and worldwide not well trained in terms of assessment methods and intervention techniques available to develop and implement effective policies and practices.

    This is an obstacle for prevention, i.e. proactive strategies to protect children from child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation by online offenses, such as the consumption or distribution of child abusive images (so-called child pornography), which emphasizes the internationally relevant dimension of the issue. The presentation will address key concerns and questions in dealing with this clinical population and offer insights into a primary prevention approach developed in Germany.

  • Chandan Sen

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    Dr. Chandan K Sen is a tenured John H & Mildred C Lumley Professor of Surgery, Executive Director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Wound Center and Director of the Ohio State University's Center for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Based Therapies. He is also the Associate Dean for Industry Partnership at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. After completing his Masters of Science in Human Physiology from the University of Calcutta, Dr. Sen received his PhD in Physiology from the University of Eastern Finland (Kuopio). Dr. Sen trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley's Molecular and Cell Biology department. His first faculty appointment was in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.

    In fall of 2000, Dr. Sen moved to The Ohio State University where established a program on tissue injury and repair. Currently, Dr. Sen is a Professor and Vice Chair of Research of Surgery. A major focus on Dr. Sen's research is to induce tissue plasticity in vivo. He and his collaborators have developed the Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT) technology which was published in Nature Nanotechnology in 2017 and won the 2018 Edison Award for medical innovation. Dr. Sen and his team have published over 300 scientific publications. He has a H-index of 86 and is currently cited over 2100 times every year for a total of over 28000 times.

    Induced Tissue Reprogramming using Tissue Nanotransfection

  • Dermot Maher

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    Dr Maher is Coordinator, Research Capacity Strengthening, at the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases. He is based in Geneva where TDR is hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO). He trained in medicine in the United Kingdom at Cambridge and Oxford, with subsequent postgraduate training in family medicine, internal medicine and infectious diseases.

    He was a specialist physician in Malawi, a TB medical officer with WHO in Geneva, head of a programme of HIV research in Uganda with the Medical Research Council (UK) and Uganda Virus Research Institute, Senior TB Advisor with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Geneva and International Portfolio Manager at the Wellcome Trust in London.

    His professional qualifications are in family medicine, general medicine and public health, and he has a doctorate in public health. He has broad experience in research in developing countries, particularly in TB, HIV and non- communicable diseases. His research expertise is in the following areas: clinical research, operational research, epidemiology, research methodology, health systems research (particularly the links between research and policy) anethics. His main current interest is in strengthening research capacity in low- and middle-income countries.

    Ending infectious diseases in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals

    The long-term epidemics of infectious diseases, such as HIV, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, hepatitis and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), require concentrated global attention for a magnified response sustained over a long period to bring them to an end. Building on the progress made towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a new joint global public health approach to accelerate progress and meet the ambitious global targets set for 2030 for HIV, TB, malaria, hepatitis and NTDs in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such an approach provides the framework for public and private sector delivery of effective clinical and other interventions for improved care and prevention to the large numbers of people worldwide at risk of, or suffering from, these diseases.

    The development of this approach reflects WHO’s global leading role in the overall health contribution to achieving the SDGs and in setting out a new agenda specifically for these infectious diseases for 2016-2030. Drawing on the common elements of the individual disease strategies, the new approach provides opportunities for joint efforts to accelerate achievement of the 2030 targets. The wide range of stakeholders includes clinical care providers, researchers, national governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and development partners.

    This approach to end the epidemics of HIV, TB, malaria, hepatitis and NTDs by 2030 has important policy implications: expanding health service coverage, ensuring equity and respect for human rights, enhancing strategic information, strengthening health systems with integrated delivery of interventions, developing sustainable financing, overcoming technical barriers such as antimicrobial resistance, and promoting research across the spectrum from product development to implementation research.

  • Lorna Role

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    Lorna Role is currently a SUNY Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurobiology & Behavior, at the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. In addition, she is co –director of the Hartman Center for Parkinson’s Disease Research co-director of the Neurosciences Institute.

    Her core scientific question is “What are the mechanisms by which cholinergic signaling modulates synapses, circuits and networks that underlie emotional memories and behaviors?” (e.g. memories associated with strong aversive or appetitive stimuli). The potential translational relevance of Dr. Role’s work includes understanding the fundamental biology of disorders that involve alterations in cholinergic signaling including addiction, early development and continued maintenance and plasticity of cholinoceptive networks, exacerbated cued memory behaviors and cognitive decline.

    In collaboration with a spectacular array of students and postdocs, her laboratory helped bring to prominence the role of presynaptic, ligand-gated ion channels as potent modulators of synaptic transmission and of axonal nAChRs, in particular, as an important site of action for acetylcholine and nicotine. Their studies of molecular regulators of neuronal nAChRs led to the identification of a novel splice isoform of the neuregulin 1 gene – long considered a prominent candidate susceptibility gene for schizophrenia. Dr. Role’s current research aims to dissect the role of cholinergic signaling in the inscription and retention of memories, with particular emphasis on how acetylcholine contributes to the effects of highly salient experiences on learning and memory.

    Modulating memory through controlling cholinergic circuits

    David Erritzoe

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    Qualified as a medical doctor at Copenhagen University Medical School in 2001 and currently holds an Academic Clinical Lectureship in Psychiatry at Imperial College London. Alongside his clinical training in medicine/psychiatry, David has been involved in psychopharmacological research, using brain-imaging techniques such as PET and MRI. Initially working at Columbia University in New York, he then undertook a PhD at University Hospital Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.

    Since 2009, under the mentorships of Profs Anne Lingford-Hughes and David Nutt at Imperial College London, he has conducted post-doc imaging research in the neurobiology of addictions and major depression. Together with Prof Nutt and Dr Carhart-Harris he is also investigating the neurobiology and therapeutic potential of MDMA and classic psychedelics.

    The re-entry of psychedelics in psychiatry & neuroscience - pilot data from Imperial College

    In my talk, I will give a historical and neurobiological basis for this line of work we carry out at Imperial College with psychedelic substances. I will then present and discuss clinical and brain imaging data from our studies with psilocybin, hereunder results from our recent clinical pilot trial in treatment-resistant depression. Finally, I will show some data about personality - both from lab-based studies and clinical and from our global online survey.

  • Michel D. Ferrari

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    Michel D. Ferrari is Professor of Neurology and Chair of the Leiden Centre for Translational Neuroscience at Leiden University Medical Centre, President of the Dutch Headache Society, and past President of the International Headache Society. He received his MD, his specialty certificates in Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology and his PhD on “Serotonin and Migraine” from LUMC.

    Ferrari serves and has served on the executive, scientific and advisory boards of many scientific organisations, is Associate Editor of Cephalalgia and Headache Currents, Senior Associate Editor of Headache, and a regular peer reviewer for high ranking scientific journals.

    His research focuses on the neurobiological, genetic, clinical, epidemiological and therapeutic aspects of “Paroxysmal Cerebral Disorders”, in particular migraine, cluster headache, episodic ataxia, and epilepsy. Ferrari ranks among the global top three most cited scientists on “Migraine and Other Vascular Headaches”. His landmark paper on the first migraine gene (Cell 1996) is the highest cited paper in the field. In 2011, he was awarded the triennial Hartmann Muller Prize for Biomedical Research from the University of Zurich and with the Spinoza LifeTime Achievement Premium (2009), the highest science prize in The Netherlands.

    Mastering Migraine Mechanisms & Management


  • Joan Pere Barret

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    After obtaining the specialist diploma in Plastic Surgery, Dr Barret worked at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA where he developed a clinical research career and obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Research. He also worked at the University Hospital Groningen in the Netherlands, where he obtained his PhD degree and at the St Andrews Centre for Plastic Surgery and Burns in the UK. He returned to Barcelona in 2004 and he was appointed Head of Department and Professor of Surgery.

    His clinical interests include reconstructive microsurgery, burn surgery and reconstruction, facial palsy and facial reconstruction, Face Transplantation (in 2010 he performed the world’s first full face transplant) and regenerative medicine.The research focus of Dr Barret includes Composite Tissue Allotransplantation, Regenerative Medicine including adult stem cell therapies and 3D bioprinting and bioinformatics/digital technology.

    Making surgeons obsolete: from allotransplantation to regenerative medicine and beyond

    Recent advances in Plastic Surgery and Burn Surgery include the utilization of endoscopic aided techniques with invisible scars, the use of matrices and templates, 3D bioprinting, stem cell therapy and composite tissue vascularized allotransplantation. They offer patients minimal discomfort and quick recovery with very low traumatic impact and improved quality of life.

    The application of matrices and templates, cell therapy, and composite tissue allotransplantation has introduced a new paradigm in the treatment of soft tissue defects and bodily deformities. Nowadays, many patients receive regenerative surgery techniques to treat such deformities. Major surgical operations are no longer required with same or even better outcomes. Other advances have made the dream of restorative surgery come true. Reconstruction has evolved into restoration by means of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation. Restoring a face back to normal with Face Transplantation has become a reality. When regenerative surgery has not been proved effective yet, allotransplantation offer an excellent alternative.
    Stem Cells, 3D printing, Face Transplantation and Virtual Reality shall be reviewed in this lecture with the ultimate focus of making individualized regenerative and restorative surgery common practice in the near future.




    Rozina Ali

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    Miss Rozina Ali is an highly trained and experienced consultant plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon, with a special interest in all aspects of breast surgery. Having graduated from St Thomas' Hospital Medical School with first class BSc honours in 1992, Miss Ali went on to pursue postgraduate surgical training at several London teaching hospitals, as well as specialist units such as the Cranio-facial Unit at Great Ormond Street and the Burns unit at Billericay/Chelmsford.

    In 2004, Miss Ali won the prestigious Kroll scholarship to study microvascular breast reconstruction in Belgium and in 2007 she was awarded a 1 year international microsurgery fellowship in Taiwan. Since that time she has enhanced her training with travels to Japan, Australia and China. Miss Ali has been awarded a British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) European scholarship and the Cutler's Surgical Fellowship. She has published and presented extensively on microvascular surgery and reconstructive breast surgery both nationally and internationally.

    Art of Breast Reconstruction

Speed Meeting

Do you have a question to ask our speakers? The Speed Meeting is an informal talk between our pannel of speakers and our participants. It takes place on the morning of the last day of the congress. During this moment, you have the chance to ask world-class speakers about their careers and current scientific research. Every year, we get a very positive feedback from our participants, so make sure you do not miss it!