Confirmed speakers

 

Gordon Keller earned his PhD in Immunology at the University of Alberta and completed a Post Doctoral Fellowship at the Ontario Cancer Institute in 1983. His career has taken him to Basel, Austria, Denver and New York. In 2007, Keller returned to Canada to accept the position of Director, McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Toronto. Dr. Keller is best known for his research in lineage specific differentiation of mouse and human embryonic stem cells. In December 2016, Keller was named scientific co-founder of BlueRock Therapeutics, a next-generation regenerative medicine company.

  Molly Stevens is Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine & Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences at Imperial College London. Her research focusses on designing and developing innovative bio-inspired materials for applications in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and biosensing and has been recognised by over 20 major awards, including the 2016 Clemson Award from the Society for Biomaterials.

 
Yasuhiro Yamada is a Professor at the Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Japan. He earned PhD from Gifu University School of Medicine. He did his post-doctoral research at the Whitehead Institute, MIT. He took up a professorship in 2010 at the CiRA, Kyoto University, and then moved to the University of Tokyo in 2017. He is currently trying to use reprogramming technology to dissect the role of epigenetic regulations on cancer development.   Rick Livesey has recently been appointed as the Chair of Stem Cell Biology, UCL/Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, based in the newly created Zayed Centre for Rare Disease in Children. He is currently a Senior Group Leader at the Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute at the University of Cambridge, where he has been based since 2001. His lab uses human stem cell systems to study human forebrain development, evolution and disease, with a focus on the cellular biology of highly penetrant mutations. That work has also enabled research on therapeutic target identification and validation in neurodegeneration, as well as studies of therapeutic efficacy in human neurons and microglia.
Kristin Baldwin is a Professor of Neuroscience at the Scripps Research Institute and Adjunct Professor at UCSD. Dr. Baldwin’s research aims to develop reprogramming and genome editing techniques to produce cell types to model and treat disease. Dr. Baldwin received a B.S. from Duke University, a Ph.D. from Stanford University and performed postdoctoral studies at Columbia University. She has been named a Pew Scholar, a Kavli Fellow and an NIH Director’s Pioneer Awardee.   Asuka Morizane is Assistant Professor at the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Kyoto. His research interests include the clinical application of stem cell-based therapy for Parkinson’s disease (PD). His group has shown that the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived dopamine neurons can be grafted and survive in the PD model of non-human primates with functional recovery and is currently setting up a clinical trial of cell therapy for PD with human iPSCs.
Alexander Meissner studied Medical Biotechnology at the Technical University Berlin before starting his PhD studies with Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute/MIT in 2002. He completed his PhD in 2006 and spent the next year and a half working with Rudolf Jaenisch and Eric Lander before starting his own lab as an assistant professor in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and as an associate member of the Broad Institute in 2008. He was promoted to associate professor in 2012 and full professor with tenure in 2015. In 2016 he has been appointed as Director and Head of the Department of Genome regulation at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in secondary employment and changed it to his principal employment in 2017.   Isabelle André-Schmutz is a research director at INSERM and co-head of the “human lymphohematopoiesis” lab at Imagine Institute (Paris, France). Her main research focuses are deciphering human hematopoiesis and lymphopoiesis and implementation of innovative cell and gene therapy pre-clinical studies for inherited and acquired disease of the hematopoietic system. Her work has led to the development of an artificial thymus, which will be tested in a clinical trial. Her team also identified new genes involved in severe forms of inherited immune deficiencies in children and demonstrated genotoxicity of anti-viral drugs, such as AZT, used to prevent transmission of HIV during pregnancy.
Keisuke Kaji is a professor and a MRC Senior Non-Clinical Fellow in MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, and interested in molecular mechanisms of reprogramming. His group previously developed a single vector reprogramming system with piggyBac transposon (Kaji, Nature, 2009, Woltjen, Nature, 2009), and identified cell surface markers to track the reprogramming process (O’Malley, Nature, 2013). The group currently aims to dissect the reprogramming mechanisms using CRISPR/Cas9 technology.   Toni Cathomen is Director of the Institute for Transfusion Medicine and Gene Therapy at the Medical Center of the University of Freiburg, Germany. His research activities focus on developing cell therapies based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), improving the effectiveness and safety of designer nucleases (CRISPR-Cas and TALEN), and developing and manufacturing genome edited stem cell and immune cell preparations for the treatment of HIV infection, primary immunodeficiencies and cancer.
Amy Wagers is the Forst Family Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and a Senior Investigator at the Joslin Diabetes Center. Her laboratory investigates how changes in stem cell activity impact tissue homeostasis and repair throughout life, and how stem cells may be harnessed for regenerative medicine using cell transplantation and gene editing approaches.   J. Keith Joung is the Desmond and Ann Heathwood Research Scholar and Pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Joung’s research interests include the development of targeted genome editing and epigenome editing technologies. He has received numerous awards including an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, an NIH R35 MIRA (Maximizing Investigators Research Award), and designation as a “Highly Cited Researcher” in 2016 and 2017 by Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics.
Juergen Knoblich is the deputy director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna. He is a developmental neuroscientist studying human brain development and psychiatric disorders. His group has developed a method for growing human brain tissue in the lab. They can recapitulate human embryonic brain development during the first trimester and analyze the developmental defects leading to neurological disorders.   Amander Clark is Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is a key member of the UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and Co-Director of the UCLA Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derivation laboratory. As an independent investigator, Dr. Clark’s research is focused on germline development and epigenetic reprogramming using human pluripotent stem cells as models.
Alessio Cantore has a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology and is currently Project Leader at the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (SR-Tiget) and Assistant Professor of Tissue Biology at the San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy. His research interests span between lentiviral vector engineering and the biology and translational applications of liver-directed gene transfer.   Grégoire Courtine received his PhD degree from the French institute of health (INSERM) and University of Pavia in Italy in 2003. After obtaining the Chancellor Award during his post-doctoral training at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), he established his own laboratory at the University of Zurich in 2008. He became Associate Professor in the Center for Neuroprosthetics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) in 2012. In 2014, he launched a startup that aims to translate the medical and technological advances gained over the past 15 years into a treatment to accelerate and augment functional recovery after spinal cord injury.
Eva Hedlund obtained her PhD from the Karolinska Institute and thereafter conducted postdoctoral research at UCLA and Harvard Medical School focused on CNS development and regeneration. Since 2011 she is an associate professor at the Karolinska Institute. Her laboratory focuses on elucidating mechanisms of neuronal vulnerability and resistance to identify new molecular targets for the treatment of motor neuron diseases. Her laboratory uses stem cells, genome editing, microfluidics, single cell RNA-sequencing and gene therapy   Deepak Srivastava is President of the Gladstone Institutes, Director of the Roddenberry Stem Cell Center at Gladstone, and Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Srivastava’s laboratory discovered genetic bases for human cardiac septal and valve defects and revealed complex gene networks that regulate progenitor cells to adopt a cardiac cell fate and subsequently fashion a functioning heart. He has leveraged this knowledge to reprogram fibroblasts directly into cardiomyocyte-like cells.
Fiona Watt obtained her DPhil from the University of Oxford and carried out postdoctoral research at M.I.T., Cambridge, USA. The major research interest of her lab is in the interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the regulation of stem cell fate. Fiona is the Director of the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine at King’s College London and is currently on secondment as the Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council.   Robert Kotin is the Scientific Founder and Vice President of Virology and Gene Therapy at Generation Biologics. Kotin spent most of his career in the Intramural Research Program at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a tenure track investigator then as a tenured senior investigator and Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Gene Therapy. After leaving the NIH, Kotin joined Voyager Therapeutics as the Vice President of Virology and Gene Therapy. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and Ph.D. from Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Robert Wood Johnson Medical School) in microbiology.
David Schaffer is a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Bioengineering, and Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also serves as the Director of the Berkeley Stem Cell Center. There, he applies engineering principles to enhance stem cell and gene therapies, work that includes novel approaches for molecular engineering and evolution of new viral vectors as well as new technologies to investigate and control stem cell fate decisions.   Marcos Timón is Head of Service of Biological Products, Advanced Therapies and Biotechnology within the Spanish Medicines Agency (AEMPS). He is the alternate member for Spain at CAT and a member of the BWP. Marcos did his PhD in Madrid and then moved to London as a postdoctoral scientist first and a research fellow later. Back to Spain he worked as CSO at Mologen Molecular Medicines, a subsidiary of Mologen AG before joining AEMPS.
Juan Ruiz is Chief Medical Officer at Abeona Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapies for life-threatening rare genetic diseases. He is responsible for the clinical programs of the company in Sanfilippo A and B as well as Recessive Defective Epidermolysis Bullosa. He studied Medicine and received his PhD at the University of Navarra, where he started his career in gene therapy under the supervision of Jesus Prieto. He was Medical Director at DIGNA Biotech where he developed several candidate drugs for orphan conditions, including an AAV for Acute Intermittent Porphyria.   Silvia Priori is Global Scientific Director of the ICS MAUGERI SpA SB, Full Professor of Cardiology since 2014 in the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of Pavia (Italy), Director of Molecular Cardiology Unit at the Centro National de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III Madrid and at the ICS MAUGERI in Pavia, Italy. She is best known for her work on genetics and pathophysiology of genetic cardiac arrhythmias and for Genetic Therapy.
Beverly Davidson is the Director of The Raymond G. Perelman Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics and a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania. Her research is focused on inherited CNS diseases, with studies directed at defining the pathogenesis of these disorders and developing novel medicines for therapy, including gene replacement and gene silencing strategies for recessive and dominant CNS diseases, respectively.   Dirk Grimm is Professor of Viral Vector Technologies at Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany. For >20 years including a 6-year postdoctoral stint at Stanford University (CA, USA), he has engineered adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for therapeutic in vivo gene transfer. Using high-throughput technologies and combinatorial RNAi/CRISPR expression, his current laboratory tailors AAV vectors for treatment of infectious or monogenic disorders. Another emerging research focus is on the use of targeted AAV vectors for direct in vivo reprogramming of somatic cells in living organisms, with the ultimate aim of in situ tissue repair and regeneration.
Hans Ovelgönne studied biology at the Wageningen agricultural university and received a PhD from Utrecht University on the molecular biology of stress proteins. Hans worked at the faculties of biology and veterinary medicine of Utrecht university, and at the departments of avian virology and mammalian virology of the ID-DLO in Lelystad. Later he joined the national institute for health and environment (RIVM) as a medicines assessor. Currently he works for the Medicines Evaluation Board (CBG), representing the CBG in the in the Committee for Advanced Therapies (CAT) and in the Scientific Advice Working Party at the EMA.   Ana Buj Bello is research director at INSERM and head of the Neuromuscular Disorders and Gene Therapy team at Genethon, France. Her research activities focus on developing AAV-based gene therapies for neuromuscular disorders, in particular congenital myopathies, with a major interest in clinical translation. Her pioneering work on gene replacement therapy for myotubular myopathy has led to the initiation of a clinical trial in patients.
Jennifer Erwin is a molecular geneticist and neuroscientist who studies how environmental and genetic variations affect the human brain in health and disease. Her research group uses a hybrid of human stem cell models, post-mortem tissue and computational approaches to interrogate the contribution of epigenetic and somatic mosaicism to brain development. She competed postdoctoral training with Fred H Gage at the Salk Institute and her PhD training with Dr. Jeannie T. Lee at Harvard.   Shin-ichi Muramatsu is a professor of neurology at Jichi Medical University in Japan. He is also a project professor of Center for Gene & Cell Therapy at The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo. Using AAV vectors, his group has been developing gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. His expertise has contributed to clinical trials of gene therapy for AADC deficiency. He is a founding member of Gene Therapy Research Institution Co., Ltd.
Wing Yen Wong joined BioMarin in March of 2016 as Vice President, Clinical Sciences. She is an accomplished physician in the treatment and management of patients with hemophilia and hemoglobinopathies with over 20 years of experience in pediatric hematology/oncology. Her clinical interests have focused on the immune responses in children with hematologic disorders and immune dysfunction in patients with sickle cell disease. In addition to her deep clinical expertise, Dr. Wong has a proven track record of drug development spanning clinical research to global medical affairs activities to support approved and pipeline therapeutic agents.   Antoine de Vries is Associate Professor at the Department of Cardiology of the Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands. After a 10-year career in virology involving the molecular characterisation of positive-strand RNA viruses, he changed his research focus to the genetic modification of haematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells using adenoviral, lentiviral and hybrid vector technology. Since 2011, Antoine’s team is performing fundamental and applied research on heart rhythm disorders and regeneration with a special emphasis on(i) the use of optogenetics to understand and treat cardiac arrhythmias and (ii) the conditional immortalisation of parenchymal mammalian cells for basic and translational studies.
Didier Trono completed a clinical training in pathology, internal medicine and infectious diseases in Geneva and at Massachusetts General Hospital before working at MIT’s Whitehead Institute, the Salk Institute, the University of Geneva and the EPFL. He now steers the Health 2030 Initiative, a joint venture of the EPFL, the Universities and hospitals of Geneva, Bern and Lausanne to foster the advent of personalised health in Switzerland. Didier Trono’s research has long gravitated around interactions between viruses and their hosts and the development of tools for gene therapy. This led him to epigenetics, where his work on mobile genetic elements and their controllers is providing new insights into human biology and promising leads for precision medicine.   Adrian Thrasher is Professor of Paediatric Immunology and Honorary Consultant Paediatric Immunologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust. He has a long standing research and clinical interest in development and application of gene therapy for patients with primary immunodeficiency, especially Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome (WAS), disorders of innate immunity, and Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome. His team at UCL GOSICH/GOSH are conducting trials of somatic gene therapy for various forms of PID including SCID-X1, CGD, ADA-SCID, and WAS and also research the pathophysiology of primary immunodeficiency syndromes, the actin cytoskeleton in haematopoietic cells, and thymus transplantation.
Kim Champion is the Trials Group Lead for Advanced Therapies at Cancer Research UK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre, London. She has been working on academically sponsored Clinical Trials for 18 years. In 2010 she joined University College London as a Regulatory Manager for Advanced Therapies and 6 years later moved to UCL Cancer Trials Centre to lead a clinical trials team on the Sponsor’s side. The portfolio includes cell and gene therapies, including CAR T-cell therapies.   Michela Gabaldo is Head, Alliance Management & Regulatory Affairs at Fondazione Telethon in Milan and Head of Regulatory Affairs at Fondazione Telethon supporting internal Institutes through the clinical development. She manages gene therapy projects at different stages of development ranging from preclinical, to clinical, to registration and market access. Winner of 2017 edition of TopRA Award in the Future category, Michela offers up to date knowledge of the most recent regulation in ATMPs and is frequently invited as speaker at international events on the subject. She’s currently a member of the IRDIRC Scientific Committee.
Ronald Crystal is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Genetic Medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, where he is also the Bruce Webster Professor of Internal Medicine, Director of the Belfer Gene Therapy Core Facility and Attending Physician at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. His laboratory is focused on in vivo gene therapy.   James Miskin is Chief Technical Officer at Oxford BioMedica Plc. He is a named inventor on several patents in the field and has significant experience in GxP assay development, routine testing, manufacturing, manufacturing development and analytical development. As CTO, James has overall leadership responsibility for both Manufacturing (responsible for routine GMP production, supply chain and oversight of technical programmes) and Manufacturing Development (responsible for manufacturing process development, technical support, new process introduction and technology).
Maria Croyle is Professor of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduate studies formulating recombinant viruses for clinical testing, she developed and patented a novel method for modifying viruses to evade the immune system as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Gene Therap. In 2008, she led an international research team to develop a needle-free adenovirus based Ebola vaccine, patenting a novel method for stabilising the vaccine, reporting the first long-lasting protection with a single dose of the vaccine in non-human primates.   Stuart Forbes is Professor of Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine, at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on how the chronically damaged liver regenerates and how these mechanisms become deranged in liver and bile duct cancer. He is Director of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Edinburgh University, which houses 230+ scientists and clinicians. Stuart is a consultant Hepatologist at the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit and has clinical interests in liver failure, cancer and liver transplantation.
Ron Philip has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in multiple therapeutic categories and global markets at Spark Therapeutics, Pfizer, Wyeth and Merck. Ron Philip is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Global Commercial at Spark Therapeutics and responsible for leading commercial operations which includes sales, marketing, diagnostics, market access and patient services functions for inline products and managing commercial development activities for late stage pipeline assets. Ron earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Drexel University.   Karim Benihoud is professor of Cell Signaling and Immunology at the University of Paris-Sud, France. His has a long-standing interest in adenovirus vectorology and more particularly in the manipulation of adenovirus capsid to control the tropism and toxicities of adenovirus-derived vectors. His laboratory based at Institut Gustave Roussy (Villejuif , France) is currently focusing on i) a vaccination strategy based on epitope display on adenovirus capsid and ii) the combination of oncolytic adenoviruses with chemotherapeutics.
Paola Albertini is the QA manager in GLP SR-TIGET Test Facility, she is responsible for the coordination of the activities to ensure that the GLP quality system is functioning properly and that the GLP facilities and the preclinical studies/activities comply with the quality requirements and standards. As the QA consultant of the Tiget Clinical Lab (TCL), she provides expert advice tabout setting up  new laboratories and developing processes and procedures according to Italian law for conducting Phase 1 clinical studies (according to the Good Clinical Laboratory Practice – GCLP - principles). Since graduating in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Padua, Paola has now worked in Quality Assurance for more than 25 years.   Martina Schüssler-Lenz is an M.D. and Deputy Head, Section Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products at the Paul-Ehrlich Institute and is Chair of the Committee for Advanced Therapies. She completed her clinical training in Mainz and Berlin (Board Certified Internist), and worked as a postdoctoral fellow in tumor biology and immunology in New York (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) and Barcelona (Instituto Municipal de investigacion Medica). Martina is responsible for advising companies on drug development issues, assessing clinical trials and reviewing marketing authorisations, and contributes to the development of guidelines in the ATMP field.
Ian M. MacDonald is a product of the public school system of Canada. His area of clinical and research interest is inherited retinal disorders, in particular, disorders of the macula and choroideremia. With funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions, the Foundation Fighting Blindness Canada, and the Choroideremia Research Foundation, Canada Inc., he led a team that completed, in 2017, the first trial of ocular gene therapy in Canada.   Jean-François Brunet received his PhD in Neurobiology in 1994, at University Joseph Fourier - Grenoble, France, he continued as a Marie Curie European Association Fellow in the Neurosurgery Research Group at the University Hospital in Lausanne (CHUV). He has conducted studies in the field of cell therapy in neuroscience. Since 2009, he is in charge of the Cell Production Center (CPC) at CHUV. Since 2017, he is also vice-president of the Swiss Institute for Cell Therapy.
Alberto Auricchio is an MD and Professor of Medical Genetics at Department of Advanced Biomedicine of the “Federico II” University in Naples. He is also the Director of the Molecular Therapy Program at the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine in Naples. Prof. Auricchio’s research is focused on gene therapy of retinal and metabolic diseases using adeno-associated viral vectors. Prof. Auricchio is a member of multiple editorial, the recipient of several prestigious scientific and has held ERC grants since 2011.   Robert Blelloch is Professor and Vice Chair of Basic Research in the Department of Urology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He is also member of the UCSF Institute of Regeneration Medicine, Center of Reproductive Sciences, and Cancer Center. His research mostly focuses on non-coding RNAs and epigenetic regulation of pluripotency/early mammalian development. More recently, his lab has also developed a very active program researching the role of exosomes in cancer progression.
Matthias Renner is Scientific Assessor for quality and non-clinical aspects of ATMPs at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Germany and German Alternate for the CHMP Biologics Working Party. Prior to joining PEI in 2009, he served as Head for Vector Development and Preclinical Models at Austrianova, Vienna where he was responsible for development of the company´s gene therapy products. Matthias did his Ph.D. and post-doc at the Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany.   Bernhard Gentner is a Group Leader, Translational Stem Cell and Leukemia Research Unit, San Raffaele-Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy and a Staff Haematologist at the San Raffaele Hospital, both in Milan. His research interests include innovative approaches for ex vivo gene transfer into haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, exploiting the myeloid progeny of genetically-engineered HSPC as “gain-of-function” treatment for metabolic storage diseases and cancer and functional intra-tumor heterogeneity and determinants of relapse/non-response to treatment in acute leukaemia
Delphine Fessart is a cell biologist/biochemical who obtained her PhD in Experimental Medicine from the University of McGill (Canada) and currently works as a group leader in "Tumoral Niche and Cancer Development". She developed a dual experience in discovery biology in both academia and industry, and published in top-ranked peer-reviewed scientific journals. Dr. Fessart is an expert in 3D model of stem-cell-derived organoids, tumor niche and secretome.   Marina Cavazzana
Olivier Negre   Rudolf Jaenisch
Sandro Alves   Vincenzo Cerullo is professor in Biological Drug Development, Head of Drug Research Program, HiLIFE fellow, Translational Immunology Programme, University of Helsinki. Since his PhD at the University of Naples, Federico II and a postdoc at Baylor College of Medicine, Vince has raised more than 5 million euros for research, produced tens of scientific papers and patents and has co-founded a multimillion spin-off company together with the University of Helsinki (VALO therapeutics). Vince has been awarded the Outstading Young Investigator award in 2014 by the European Society of Gene and cell Therapy and the Excellence in Research award by the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy in 2015. Vince’s is also involved in science dissemination, through Slush Y Science and a TEDx talk.
Waseem Qasim   Ying Kai Chan is Lecturer in Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School and Research Scientist in Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, both Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunobiology from Harvard Medical School. His research interests are at the interface of viruses and the human immune system, with a focus on molecular engineering of desired viral and immune functions. He is currently exploring innovative technologies to harness innate immunity for therapeutics, including AAV gene therapy and mRNA vaccines.
Eduard Ayuso leads a research team focused on innovative vectorology and viral vector manufacturing and is the scientific advisor of the translational vector core at the INSERM unit “Translational gene therapy for genetic diseases” at the University of Nantes (France). He holds a degree in Veterinary medicine and a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He has expertise in several viral vector platforms for gene therapy, such as adenoviral vectors, helper-dependent adenoviral vectors and adeno-associated vectors and he has made significant contributions to field of in vivo gene transfer in small and large animal models of diseases.   Hiro Nakauchi is Professor, Department of Genetics at Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, and also holds Distinguished Professor position at The Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Tokyo. He has a broad background in stem cell biology and hematology, with expertise in in vivo approaches, molecular and cellular biology, and immunology. Goals of his work are to translate discoveries in basic research into practical medical applications.
Hildegard Büning   Yong Chang is Vice President at Intellia Therapeutics, where he oversees all aspects of preclinical, including pharmacology, bio distribution and PK, toxicology and translational sciences. At Intellia, Yong applies nearly 20 years of biopharmaceutical operating experience to ensure optimal development of the company’s therapeutic candidates, from late-stage discovery to the clinic. Yong received his bachelor’s degree in Pre-Medicine/Biology from Pennsylvania State University and earned his doctorate in Physiology at Pennsylvania State University and worked at MedImmune (AstraZeneca subsidiary) and Aileron Therapeutics prior to joining Intellia.
David Russell   Chiara Bonini is Professor at the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, and Deputy Director of Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, both in Milan. She is a physician scientist, trained in Hemato-oncology and Immunology in Milan, and at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The main research focus of her lab is the development of cell and gene therapy approaches to treat cancer. She pioneered the clinical application of suicide gene therapy applied to allogeneic stem cell transplantation and more recently developed innovative approaches to redirect T cell specificity against cancer with genetic manipulation and genome editing. She is the recipient of several prestigious scientific awards.
Tenneille Ludwig currently serves as the Director of the WiCell Stem Cell Bank overseeing the banking, distribution, and core services operations at WiCell. Dr. Ludwig obtained her Bachelor's and Master’s degrees from Washington State University prior to completing a Ph.D. in embryology and developmental biology with a minor in bioethics from UW–Madison in 2001 and a post-doc with Dr. James Thomson (2001-2007). Dr. Ludwig is a member of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center at the University of Wisconsin, serves on the steering committee for the International Stem Cell Banking Forum (ISCBF), and International Stem Cell Initiative (ISCI) Genetics Study. Additionally, she has served as a Scientific Advisor to multiple boards.    Els Verhoeyen is a Research Director at INSERM, currently PI in two research groups: 1) at the center for international infectiology in Lyon, (France ) and 2) The Cancer institute C3M in Nice (France) and she is the vice president of the French society for gene therapy. Dr Verhoeyen is an expert in development of novel lentiviral vector pseudotypes for the transduction of human T cells, B cells and hematopoietic stem cells for gene therapy purposes as also the engineering of novel vectors for in vivo transduction of hematopoietic cells.