Gregory P. Adams, PhD, CSO, Elucida Oncology, Inc.
Dr. Adams is Chief Scientific Officer of Elucida Oncology, a clinical stage company developing antibody-toxin fusion proteins for the treatment of cancer. In this role he is responsible for guiding the development of the company’s pipeline assets. Before moving to biotech, Dr. Adams was the Director of Biological Research and Therapeutics and previously co-led the Developmental Therapeutics Program at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center in Philadelphia. Dr. Adams is an immunologist with over 30 years of experience in developing antibody-based agents for the treatment and detection of cancer. He received a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of California at Davis in 1991. He joined Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia where he led a laboratory focused on developing antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates for the treatment of breast, ovarian and renal cancer. Dr. Adams serves on the Editorial Boards of Cancer Immunology Research, MAbs and Cancer Biotherapy & Radiopharmaceuticals. He has served on the Scientific Advisory Boards of a number of biotechnology companies including Endo Pharmaceuticals, Symphogen, Avipep, Viventia Bio, AvidBiologics, Xerion, Fabrus, Integral Molecular and YM Biosciences.
Rahmad Akbar, PhD, Researcher, Computational Systems Immunology, University of Oslo
Rahmad is a researcher obsessed with the on-demand synthesis of antibody therapeutics.
Cristobal Almendros, PhD, Sales and Technical Leader - Spain and Portugal, GenScript Biotech (The Netherlands) B.V.
Cristobal Almendros is a highly skilled professional with extensive experience in the field of CRISPR. Over the years, he has worked alongside renowned researchers such as Francisco Mojica and Martin Brouns, gaining a wealth of knowledge and expertise in CRISPR-based technologies. Currently, Cristobal holds the position of a Sales and Technical Leader in Spain and Portugal, where he leads a team of experts to provide exceptional services to clients including protein expression.
Richard Altman, MS, Field Application Scientist, Life Science Solutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Rich Altman has 30 years of experience in protein expression and production. In early 2019, he joined Thermo Fisher Scientific as a Field Application Scientist. Previously, he worked for several pharmaceutical companies, including Amgen, Alexion, Bayer, and Upjohn, on the cloning, expression, purification and characterization of recombinant proteins. This work supported both small-molecule high-throughput screening and protein therapeutic efforts. He received his MS degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.
Jan Terje Andersen, Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Oslo; Research Group Leader, Department of Immunology, Oslo University Hospital
Jan Terje Andersen is a professor in biomedical innovation at Department of Pharmacology, the Faculty of Medicine at University of Oslo, and a research group leader at Department of Immunology, Oslo University Hospital. He is heading the Laboratory of Adaptive Immunity and Homeostasis, which is studying the cellular processes and molecular interplay underlying the functions of the two most abundant proteins in blood, albumin and IgG. By combining structural and biophysical approaches with cellular and in vivo studies, the laboratory is using this in-depth knowledge to design novel albumin and antibody molecules with improved functions. The laboratory is highly innovative and is the research group at the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital with most registered innovations at the technology transfer office, Inven2. The laboratory is extensively collaborating with biotech and pharmaceutical companies. His lab is also located in Sharelab, an incubator for start-up companies in the Oslo Science Park. Jan Terje Andersen has obtained the Fridtjof Nansen Prize for Early Career Achievements, Oslo University Hospital Early Career Award and is an alumni member of the Young Academy of Norway.
John Anderson, PhD, GOSHCC Professor, Honorary Consultant Oncologist, Experimental Paediatric Oncology, University College London
Developing novel immunotherapies for childhood cancer. My research laboratory has a primary focus on addressing the challenges of delivery of targeted immunotherapies to childhood solid cancers. We have evaluated a number of novel approaches for chimeric receptors in T cells including alternate antigenic targets, dual targeting, degrader technologies, and the alternate cellular chassis of gamma delta T lymphocytes. Combination therapies have been forefront in the incremental improvements in survival of childhood cancer over the last 50 years and need to be used in a rationale-focused way with immunotherapies. To that end, our lab collaborates widely to evaluate combinations in animal models that closely resemble the paediatric-equivalent disease. Implementation of new technologies in the clinic requires biomarkers that comprehensively interrogate the tumour microenvironment and evaluate local and metastatic tumour response. To that end I co-lead local and national efforts to use plasma and post-treatment biopsies to evaluate treatment responses.
James R. Apgar, PhD, Associate Research Fellow, BioMedicine Design, Pfizer Inc.
James Apgar is an Associate Research Fellow in the Biomedicine Design group at Pfizer Inc., working in computational structural modeling and design. James obtained his BA in Chemistry from Williams College in 2001, and a PhD in physical chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008. At M.I.T. he worked in the lab of Prof. Amy Keating with a focus on computational protein design and biophysics. After graduate school, James worked for 2 years as a Post Doc and Senior Scientist at Agrivida, Inc., an agricultural biotech and biofuels company, in the area of computational design of glycoside hydrolases and intein-switches. In 2011, James joined Pfizer with a focus on computational design and optimization of antibody and protein therapeutics. His work here has focused on development and implementation of in silico design methods to improve the biophysical and developability properties of antibodies, leading to the discovery and development of better-behaved therapeutics with reduced cycle times.
James N. Arnold, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Tumor Immunology, Kings College London
Dr James Arnold is a Senior Lecturer and runs the Tumor Immunology Group at King’s College London. James started his research career at the University of Oxford, where he studied the complement system under the supervision of Dr Bob Sim. James characterized the interaction of the innate serum lectin, Mannan binding lectin (MBL) with the immunoglobulin family of proteins. During his time in Oxford, James characterized several serum proteins that were not previously appreciated to interact with MBL, including a novel glycoform of IgM. James went on to spend the majority of his Postdoc career with Professor Douglas Fearon at the University of Cambridge in the CRUK Cambridge Research Institute (2007-2012) where he studied a population of cancer associated fibroblasts marked by the expression of fibroblast activation protein alpha (FAP) using murine models of cancer. It was under Professor Fearon’s mentorship that James became interested in tumor immunology and in 2010 become a Fellow of the Cancer Research Institute (NY), Irvington Institute Research Program to investigate a pro-tumoral subset of macrophages he had identified with Professor Fearon prior to moving to King’s College London to start his independent research group. James joined King’s College London as a Lecturer on a European Research Council Start Up grant in 2012 where he established a research team focused on translational approaches to therapeutically target the tumor stroma and harness the anti-tumor immune response. James’ team has an interest in tumor associated macrophages and their role in immune suppression with a particular focus on the various roles of the enzyme heme oxygenase-1 expressed by these cells. James’ lab has also more recently developed an interest in Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) immunotherapy and recently developed a hypoxia-sensing CAR T-cell approach with Dr John Maher (KCL) to limit off-tumor activation of these cells, coined ‘HypoxiCAR’. James was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2019.
Paul-Joseph P. Aspuria, PhD, Director, Cell Therapy, Cell Therapy, Synthekine, Inc.
Paul-Joseph (PJ) Aspuria obtained his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the Women's Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Over the last several years, he has focused on developing CAR T cell therapies within the pre-clinical departments at Kite Pharma, Atara Biotherapeutics, and Synthekine. PJ currently leads the Department of Cell Therapy at Synthekine.
Ziga Avsec, PhD, Staff Research Scientist, Google DeepMind, DeepMind
Ziga Avsec is a research scientist at DeepMind where he leads the genomics initiative within DeepMind’s Science program. He is interested in developing AI systems that can help us better understand the human genome sequence. Prior to that, he obtained his PhD from the Technical University of Munich, supervised by Julien Gagneur.
Alexandra Baer, PhD, R&D Manager for Upstream Development of Mammalian Cells, Recombinant Proteins, Bioneer A/S
Alexandra joined Bioneer in 2021 to establish and optimize workflows for cell line development and upstream process development in CHO to enhance Bioneer's recombinant protein expression services. From her previous position as Team Lead at AGC Biologics she gained solid experience with CDMO work. Alexandra has been working with mammalian expression for 20+ years and holds a PhD from the German Research Center for Biotechnology and the Technical University Braunschweig.
Samantha Bailey-Bucktrout, PhD, Senior Vice President, Akamis Bio
Samantha Bailey-Bucktrout is currently the Senior Vice President and Head of Research at Akamis Bio, leading the development of transformational gene immunotherapy therapeutics for patients with epithelial cancer. Samantha’s previous role was Senior Director of Research and Development at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in San Francisco. Prior to that, Samantha served as Associate Director at Pfizer’s Cancer Immunotherapy Research Unit in San Francisco, leading discovery to clinic programs in oncology and autoimmunity. She has co-authored numerous patent applications and peer reviewed manuscripts. Samantha earned her PhD in Immunology from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K.
Karoline B. Bechtold-Peters, PhD, Senior Strategy & Technology Leader, Pharmaceuticals & Biopharma Process, Novartis Pharma AG
Karoline Bechtold-Peters is pharmacist and holds a PhD from the University of Munich as well as a degree as “Fachapotheker” for Pharmaceutical Technology. She began her industrial career in 1994 at Boehringer Ingelheim in Ingelheim developing solid dosage forms with the focus on powders for inhalation (e.g. Spiriva Inhalet). In 2000, she changed from the small molecule world to biopharmaceuticals building up Formulation Development at Boehringer Ingelheim’s Biberach site. In 2003, Karoline took over the responsibility for global clinical supplies, aseptic process development and process transfer within Boehringer Ingelheim Biopharmaceuticals. Beginning of 2011, Karoline joined F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG in Basel, Switzerland, where she was appointed Head of Clinical Manufacturing, Process Science and Business Excellence. In September 2016, she moved to Novartis in Basel, Switzerland, as Senior Strategy & Technology Leader Pharmaceutics, Biologics Process & Product Development (BPD), TRD/GDD, and was part of the BioFuture team. In 2020, she was appointed Director Science & Technology and integrated into the Global Science Offices network, namely Science Office Drug Product Development. Karoline is active in various associations (American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists AAPS, Parenteral Drug Association PDA and International Association for Pharmaceutical Technology APV) and contributes frequently to conferences in the EU as well as in the US.
Stephen A. Beers, PhD, Professor of Immunology & Immunotherapy, University of Southampton
Stephen Beers is Professor of Immunology and Immunotherapy at the Centre for Cancer Immunology, University of Southampton. He leads a research group studying antibody drugs and their mechanisms of action. The group’s research is currently focussed on two main areas: 1) the mechanisms of action of immunomodulatory mAb, and 2) how the tumour microenvironment affects antibody effector function and how this might be manipulated to enhance patient outcomes. Their work utilises a portfolio of complimentary models incorporating in vitro 3D modelling, appropriate in vivo model systems and primary clinical material.
Jannick Bendtsen, CEO, PipeBio
Jannick is co-founder and CEO of PipeBio, a leading bioinformatics platform for pharma. With an impressive scientific profile and more than 10k citations, he has nearly 20 years of experience in highly successful bioinformatics companies such as CLC bio and Geneious. He leads an innovative company aiming to cure diseases like cancer and COVID-19 by offering a cloud-based bioinformatics platform for faster antibody development.
Maniraj Bhagawati, PhD, Lab Head, Functional Characterization, Large Molecule Research, Roche pRED
Having completed my PhD in Biophysics from the University of Osnabrueck, Germany, in 2012, I carried out my first postdoctoral stint at the Department of Bioengineering, UC Berkeley, USA, where I focused on conformational dynamics of intrinsically disordered proteins. In 2015, I moved back to Germany and joined the Institute of Biochemistry, University of Muenster. Here, with support from an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship, I developed intein-based technologies for application in chemical biology. Since 2020, I have been a part of the Large Molecule Research (LMR) unit at pRED, Roche, where I have been delving into different aspects of biotherapeutic discovery and development, with a focus on biochemical and functional characterization.
Catherine Bladen, PhD, COO, Absolute Biotech
Catherine has more than 20 years’ experience in biochemistry research. She completed her PhD in 2001 at Newcastle University. She previously worked at the Medical College of Georgia identifying proteins involved in DNA repair, Leeds University researching the role of DNA repair in osteoarthritis, and Newcastle University leading a multi-national research project identifying Duchenne muscular dystrophy mutations. Catherine joined Absolute Biotech in 2015 and leads our research and production teams.
Angela C. Boroughs, PhD, Principal Scientist, ArsenalBio
Angela Boroughs received her PhD in Immunology from Harvard University in Dr. Marcela Maus' lab. She has led CAR T cell screening efforts and contributed to the development of T cell therapy programs at Poseida therapeutics and ArsenalBio. She is currently the lead scientist for ArsenalBio's kidney cancer program.
David Bramhill, PhD, Founder, Bramhill Biological Consulting LLC
Dr. Bramhill has over 20 years’ experience in biologics, both in large biopharma and startup biotech companies. He has expertise in isolating and improving antibodies using phage display and other display systems and is an inventor on library design for small scaffolds and bi-specific formats. He also has experience in diverse expression systems for producing antibodies, antibody fragments and scaffolds. Additionally, Dr. Bramhill has extensive experience in ADC development including diverse chemical and biochemical conjugation methods. He has taught numerous technical courses for over 15 years at international conferences and served as a Key Opinion Leader for major BioPharma companies.
Esther C.W. Breij, PhD, Vice President, Head of Translational Research, Genmab BV
Esther Breij has worked on the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies since 2008, with a focus on oncology. She currently leads the global Translational Research department at Genmab, which includes Non-clinical Safety & Toxicology, Translational Research, and Scientific Communication. She works with a team of non-clinical safety experts, translational research leads, scientists, research associates, scientific writers, and other experts to bring novel antibody therapeutics into the clinic. Her team is responsible for design and execution of the non-clinical safety strategy across the Genmab portfolio, ranging from new formats and technologies to late-stage clinical development. Moreover, her team designs and executes the translational strategy for novel antibody compounds in preclinical and clinical development, including the biomarker strategy for first-in-human trials. In addition, Genmab’s scientific communication department, which is embedded in Esther’s team, provides scientific communication and writing expertise for antibody engineering, discovery, and development teams, including regulatory documents, patent application, literature studies, posters, presentations, and scientific manuscripts. Esther worked at AIMM therapeutics from 2009-2011, focusing on discovery of patient-derived antibodies for the treatment of infectious disease and cancer. Esther was trained as an immunologist, obtained her PhD from the Amsterdam UMC (VUMC), and completed her MSc at Utrecht University and the University of Texas.
Ulrich Brinkmann, PhD, Expert Scientist, Pharma Research & Early Development, Roche Innovation Center, Munich
Dr. Ulrich Brinkmann is a member of Roche’s Large Molecule Research organization within Pharma Research & Early Development at the Roche Innovation Center Munich (Penzberg, Germany). His work focuses on protein & antibody engineering, bispecifics, and on delivery platforms for targeted payload delivery. Prior to joining Roche, he served as CSO in functional genomics and pharmacogenetics companies Xantos and Epidauros. His previous work in Ira Pastans Molecular Biology Lab at the NIH/NCI in Bethesda, USA focused on antibody stabilization and engineering technologies, and on generating recombinant immunotoxins for cancer therapy. Dr. Brinkmann is author of numerous publications and inventor of many patents covering recombinant antibodies, pharmaco- & functional genomics, immunotoxins and protein engineering technologies and applications.
Adam J. Brown, PhD, Associate Professor, Chemical & Biological Engineering, University of Sheffield
Adam Brown is an Associate Professor of Biopharmaceutical Engineering at the University of Sheffield. He is also a co-founder and CTO of SynGenSys.
Andrew Buchanan, PhD, FRSC, Principal Scientist, Biologics Engineering, Oncology, AstraZeneca
An experienced multidisciplinary team leader and inspiring scientist. A track record of leading and motivating innovative, matrixed, global complex project and platform technology teams. As a member, leader, or mentor of teams, Andrew has contributed to more than 20 drugs entering first-time in human clinical studies. Of these, three are marketed medicines benefiting patients. With colleagues, he has published over 35 original manuscripts and patents.
Nicola Burgess-Brown, PhD, Director of Enzymology and Protein Engineering, Exact Sciences Innovation
Since September 2021, Nicola has been leading the Enzymology and Protein Engineering Team at Exact Sciences Innovation in Oxford, producing proteins for cancer diagnostic research. Before this, she worked at the University of Oxford for 17 years, initially managing the Biotechnology Group at the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) and more recently, as an Associate Professor and Head of the Protein Production Small Research Facility (SRF) in the Centre for Medicines Discovery (CMD). She led a research group experienced in all aspects of biotechnology, molecular biology, protein biochemistry and technology development who supported the other teams providing protein production and mass spectrometry services for internal and external academic and industrial customers. Nicola obtained a First Class degree in Applied Biochemical Sciences from the University of Ulster in 1997, then worked as a molecular biologist for SmithKline Beecham. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Nottingham in 2001 and then moved back to industry to work on high-throughput cloning and validation of therapeutic cancer antigens for Oxford Glycosciences and subsequently Celltech R&D.
David Calabrese, PhD, Senior Director Cell Line Services, CLD Department - Selexis, KBI /Selexis
David Calabrese is director of cell line services at Selexis, he is responsible for cell line development. David joined Selexis in 2001 directly after finishing his PhD in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Lausanne. He studied resistance mechanisms against antifungal agents and coauthored several papers in this field.
Daniel Chen, MD, PhD, Founder, Engenuity Life Sciences
Daniel S. Chen, MD, PhD, is the Chief Medical Officer for IGM Biosciences, and former Vice President, Global Head of Cancer Immunotherapy Development at Genentech/Roche. He received a BS degree in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1990), a PhD in Microbiology & Immunology (1996) and MD (1998) from the University of Southern California. Daniel completed an Internal Medicine Residency and Medical Oncology Fellowship at Stanford University (2003). He went on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship with Mark Davis in immunology and ran the metastatic melanoma clinic at the Stanford Cancer Center from 2003-2006. At Genentech from 2006-2018, he led the clinical development for atezolizumab, a PD-L1 inhibitor, from the time the program was in research through global approvals in multiple indications worldwide. At IGM, Daniel focuses on the development of novel engineered multivalent and multispecific therapeutics. He serves on the Board of Directors for SITC, gave the keynote presentation at the AACR NCI EORTC Annual Meeting 2014 and presented at the US Congressional Briefing on Immuno-Oncology in 2017. He has continued to publish with academic and industry collaborators in the field of cancer immunotherapy, including the often referenced Chen and Mellman manuscripts, “Elements of cancer immunity and the cancer-immune set point” and “Oncology meets Immunology: the Cancer-Immunity Cycle.”
Yunying Chen, Vice President, Biologics Innovation & Discovery (BID), WuXi Biologics
Yunying Chen is VP at WuXi-Bio, leading the asset out-license team. She has held multiple leading roles at WuXi-Bio Discovery Unit to build technology platforms, lead projects, and be responsible for pipeline and portfolio deployment. She obtained Ph.D. from Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Before joining WuXi-Bio, she was an assistant professor at Karolinska Institute where she had been working in the field of oncology and immunology for more than 10 years.
Kerry Chester, PhD, Professor, Molecular Medicine, University College London
Kerry Chester is a Professor of Molecular Medicine at the UCL Cancer Institute, London, UK. She has extensive experience in antibody engineering and bench-to-bedside development of antibodies, including manufacture for clinical trials. Kerry studied phage-display technology in Sir Greg Winter’s laboratory and her group made the first single chain Fv (scFv) to enter clinic. Kerry’s research interests are in antibody discovery, design and construction of novel antibody-based therapeutics, and the mechanistic interactions of these molecules with their targets. Kerry’s current projects include translational development of antibodies as Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs), Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs), bispecific immune cell engagers, and cancer imaging agents.
Chandramouli Chillakuri, PhD, Associate Director, Protein Engineering, Immunocore Ltd.
Chandramouli Chillakuri is an Associate Director in Protein Engineering department at Immunocore. He is involved in research and development of process and bispecific format engineering. Prior to joining Immunocore 10 years ago, he was a post-doc at University of Oxford working on understanding the structure-function relationship of Integrin and Notch receptors with their ligands. His interest in understanding cell surface receptors started during his PhD at Max-Planck Institute of Biophysics, Frankfurt working on G Protein Coupled Receptors.
Mark L. Chiu, PhD, CSO, Tavotek Biotherapeutics
Mark received his training from: BA Biophysics at UC Berkeley, PhD Biochemistry at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and conducting postdoctoral work at ETH-Zurich and Biozentrum of University of Basel. His work experience has spanned from being an Organic Chemist at Microgenics developing chemical conjugation of enzymes; Chemistry Professor at Seton Hall University getting grants on prokaryotic membrane protein biochemistry; Research Investigator at Abbott Labs on Mammalian Membrane Protein Drug Discovery; Associate Director at Janssen Research and Development leading the Process Analytical Sciences Team responsible for clinical development of biotherapeutics, cell, and gene therapies. He is now CSO for Tavotek Biotherapeutics working on differentiated products for auto-immune and oncology diseases.
Laura Codarri Deak, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Cancer Immunotherapy, Roche Innovation Center, Zurich
Laura Codarri Deak has been carrying out research in the field of immunology since 20 years spanning from autoimmunity to viral-, transplant- and tumor-immunology. Since 2014 she is working in the field of Cancer Immunotherapy as Discovery scientist and Research Project Leader at Roche Innovation Center Zurich. Here she applies the gained knowledge in immunology to identify molecules with the greatest potential to become the next treatment for cancer patients.
James Cooke, PhD, Associate Director, Bicycle Therapeutics
Dr. Cooke is an experienced 20-year science professional in both academia and industry. Currently an Associate Director at Bicycle Therapeutics where he started as a Research Scientist more than 8 years ago. He currently leads a large team of scientists working with Bicycle's phage display platform. In this role, his group focuses on the identification of new Bicycle peptides to fuel the drug development pipeline across many different disease areas. He is also passionate about developing those around him, and seeking new ways to innovate with Bicycle's exciting and versatile technology. Dr. Cooke holds a PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and had post-doctoral training at Queen Mary University London and the MRC in Cambridge.
Christopher R. Corbeil, PhD, Research Officer, Human Health Therapeutics, National Research Council Canada
Dr. Christopher Corbeil is a research officer at the National Research Council Canada (NRC) who specializes in the development and application of computational tools for biotherapeutic design and optimization. He is also an associate member of the McGill Biochemistry Department and teaches classes in Structure-Based Drug Design at McGill University. After receiving his PhD from McGill University, he joined the NRC as a Research Associate investigating the basics of protein-binding affinity. Following his time at the NRC he joined Chemical Computing Group as a research scientist developing tools for protein design, structure prediction, and binding affinity prediction. He then decided to leave private industry and rejoin NRC with a focus on antibody engineering. Dr. Corbeil has authored over 30 scientific articles and is the main developer of multiple software programs.
Jose Luis Corchero-Nieto, PhD, Senior Scientist, Nanobiotechnology Group, CIBER-BBN & University Autonoma de Barcelona
Dr. Jose Luis Corchero graduated in Biological Sciences (Universidad de Barcelona, 1990), and later obtained a Master Degree in Biotechnology (UB, 1993), and a PhD in Biological Sciences (UAB, 1997) in the fields of recombinant protein production, and protein folding and aggregation. He performed a post-doctoral stay (1998-2000) at the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” (CDC, Atlanta, USA), working in the field of development of diagnostic kits for herpes viruses. In November 2000, he incorporated to the R+D section of the company Biokit SA, where he continued to work (2000-2007) in the field of development of diagnostic kits. Since 2007, Dr. Corchero has been a senior researcher at the Networking Research Center on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN). Dr. Corchero's current research mainly deals with the production of recombinant human proteins in mammalian cells as expression system, for their use as therapeutics in the treatment of Fabry disease, and of protein-based nanoparticles as drug delivery systems.
Ana Sofia Coroadinha, PhD, Lab Head, Health & Pharma Division, Animal Cell Technology Unit Cell Line Development and Molecular Biotechnology Lab, IBET
Dr. Ana Sofia Coroadinha has a Degree in Biochemistry (University of Lisbon) and a PhD in Gene Therapy performed at Genethon, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) and iBET, granted in 2005 by ITQB-UNL. Since July 2009 is the Head of Cell Line Development and Molecular Biotechnology Lab at iBET and ITQB-NOVA. She has over 20 years of experience in recombinant viruses and animal cell culture, areas where she has published over 50 peer reviewed papers. Dr. Ana Sofia Coroadinha group research focus on applied virology developing recombinant virus and molecular tools supporting the areas of gene therapy, vaccine development and virology.
Mark S. Cragg, PhD, Professor of Experimental Cancer Biology, School of Cancer Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton
Mark Cragg is Professor of Experimental Cancer Biology in the School of Cancer Sciences at the University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine. He obtained his PhD in 1998 and did his postdoctoral studies at the University of Southampton with Martin Glennie and in Melbourne, Australia, with Andreas Strasser before starting his own group in 2007. His research concerns how therapeutics result in tumour regression with a focus on antibodies and small molecules, with a particular interest in Fc receptors. The aim is to understand how these therapeutics delete tumour cells, how resistance occurs, and how it might be overcome. Over the last decade, he has investigated many different therapeutic agents such as rituximab, bexxar, imatinib, gefitinib, cetuximab, and tarceva, and has been involved in the development of next-generation antibody reagents such as ofatumumab and obinutuzumab, as well as first in class antibodies such as BI-1206. Throughout, the strategy undertaken is highly translational with iterative cycling between in vitro experiments, appropriate in vivo model systems, and primary clinical material. He sits on advisory boards for several charities and institutes, and has published over 190 research papers.
Rebecca Croasdale-Wood, PhD, Director, Augmented Biologics Discovery & Design, Biologics Engineering, Oncology, AstraZeneca
Rebecca is an innovative leader responsible for the implementation of novel and disruptive in silico technologies to increase the speed of discovery and quality of biologics therapeutics. She is an experienced antibody engineer with structural biology expertise and was co-inventor of the CrossMab technology that is now leading the way in approvals for multi-specific antibody therapeutics. She has authored 30+ patents and publications in the field of antibody engineering.
- Machine Learning for Protein Engineering - Part 1
- Innovations in CAR T Therapy and Engineering in vivo Solutions
- Emerging Targets and Therapeutic Approaches
- Advancing Bispecifics and Combination Therapy to the Clinic
- Analytical Characterisation of Biotherapeutics
- Optimising Expression Platforms
- Engineering Antibodies
Paul Dalby, PhD, Professor, Department of Biochemical Engineering; Co-Director, Future Targeted Healthcare Manufacturing Hub, University College London
Prof Paul Dalby is Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Emergent Macromolecular Therapies, Co-Director of the EPSRC-funded Future Targeted Healthcare Manufacturing Hub, and Deputy Head of the Department of Biochemical Engineering at UCL. He also Chairs the Royal Society of Chemistry Biotechnology Interest Group. His research focuses on routes to improve therapeutic proteins for ease of manufacture, formulation and delivery to patients. His work combines protein engineering and formulation, with biophysical characterisation, molecular modeling and simulation, to understand the factors that influence protein stability, and to guide protein engineering for improved properties.
Roger Dawson, PhD, CEO, Linkster Therapeutics AG
Roger has over 11 years of experience in research and drug development working at F. Hoffmann-La Roche. He contributed to the advancement of drug molecules as team player and leader of international and cross-functional teams. Inter alia, Roger served as head of translational protein science, project leader and implemented Roche’s ‘membrane protein platform’. As a renowned drug discovery expert, he led-authored numerous publications in the GPCR, ion channel and transporter field. Roger holds a master’s degree in Chemistry from the TUM and obtained his PhD in Biology at the ETH Zurich. He was awarded Roche’s RPF fellowship and the Swiss Federal Center of Technology and Innovation (Innosuisse) program.
Roberto De Luca, PhD, Head, Therapeutic Antibodies, Philochem AG
Roberto De Luca graduated in Biology at ETH Zurich. He performed his PhD studies at ETH Zurich focusing on the generation of antibody-cytokine fusion proteins for the treatment of tumors. Dr. De Luca is author of several peer-reviewed publications in international scientific journals.
Charlotte M. Deane, PhD, Professor, Structural Bioinformatics, Statistics, University of Oxford; Chief Scientist, Biologics AI, Exscientia
Charlotte is Professor of Structural Bioinformatics in the Department of Statistics at the University of Oxford and Chief Scientist of Biologics AI at Exscientia. She is also a co-director of the Systems Approaches to Biomedical Research Centre for Doctoral Training which she founded in 2009. She served on SAGE, the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and acted as UK Research and Innovation’s COVID-19 Response Director. She has held numerous senior roles at the University of Oxford and until recently was the Deputy Executive Chair of the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. At Oxford, Charlotte leads the Oxford Protein Informatics Group (OPIG), who work on diverse problems across immunoinformatics, protein structure and small molecule drug discovery; using statistics, AI and computation to generate biological and medical insight. Her work focuses on the development of novel algorithms, tools and databases that are openly available to the community. These tools are widely used web resources and are also part of several Pharma drug discovery pipelines. Charlotte is on several advisory boards and has consulted extensively with industry. She has set up a consulting arm within her own research group as a way of promoting industrial interaction and use of the group’s software tools.
Reno Debets, PhD, Professor, Chair, Tumor Immunology Lab, Medical Oncology, Erasmus MC Cancer Center
Reno Debets chairs the laboratory of Tumor Immunology, Department of Medical Oncology, Erasmus MC-Cancer Institute (since 2000). He is a certified Immunologist (since 2005) and professor in T cell immunity and adoptive therapy of tumors (since 2019). Reno Debets’ laboratory consists of 18 people, including PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. Research of his laboratory is involved in 3 activities towards new or ongoing patient studies: • Developing and testing T cell receptor-engineered T cells • Understanding and intervening cross-talk between tumor cells and immune cells in tumor micro-environment • Immune monitoring T cell phenotype and function. See for more details: https://www.erasmusmc.nl/en/cancer-institute/research/researchers/debets-reno
Annemie Deiteren, MD, PhD, Director, Translational Medicine & Clinical Pharmacology, Translational Medicine & Early Development, Sanofi
Annemie Deiteren (MD, PhD) is a clinical pharmacologist with 10+ years of experience in R&D, both in academia and industry. As Director Translational Medicine & Clinical Pharmacology with Sanofi, her focus is the design of the early clinical development plan for IMP in the Immunology & Inflammation Therapeutic Area in a streamlined approach allowing rapid and robust Go/No Go decisions; this includes the design and medical and scientific oversight of Fist-in-Man, Proof-of-Mechanism and Proof-of-Concept studies. Prior to joining Sanofi, Annemie was a Principal Investigator and later the Medical Director of the Janssen Clinical Pharmacology Unit for Phase 1 studies and lead pre-clinical research projects as a post-doctoral researcher and PhD student at Johnson & Johnson, the University of Adelaide (Australia) and the University of Antwerp (Belgium). She obtained her MD from the University of Antwerp (Belgium).
David J. DiLillo, PhD, Senior Director, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
David DiLillo is a Senior Director in the Immuno-Oncology department at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in New York, where he leads a team developing novel immunotherapies to treat cancer. His team is responsible for target discovery and the preclinical development of immune cell-engaging multi-specific antibodies to treat liquid and solid tumors. His team also develops cell-based therapies and works to understand detailed mechanisms-of-action of immunotherapies in order to advance next-generation therapeutics. Dr. DiLillo holds a PhD in Immunology from Duke University, where he studied non-classical B cell effector functions, and he completed his postdoctoral studies in Fc-receptor biology at the Rockefeller University.
Jorge Dias, PhD, Principal Scientist, Alchemab Therapeutics Ltd.
Jorge Dias is a Principal Scientist at Alchemab Therapeutics Ltd. With >10 years’ experience in academia and industry characterizing drug targets and applying a range of drug discovery approaches. Currently, Jorge leads the NGS based antibody discovery platform at Alchemab and the downstream characterization of selected antibodies.
Lisa Dietel, PhD, Scientist, Pharmaceutical and Processing Department, Novel Formats, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG
Lisa Dietel is a Scientist at F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG in Basel. She is a chemist by training and obtained her PhD in pharmaceutical technology from the University of Freiburg in Germany, where she studied the interactions of surfactants with model and bio-membranes. Following that, she moved to Canada and joined the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. Here, with support from an DAAD postdoctoral fellowship, she worked on the stabilization of poorly soluble APIs in an amorphous form to improve their solubility. In 2021, Lisa joined Roche, where she first worked as a postdoc on surfactant-related topics and later as a scientist in pharmaceutical and processing development.
Rakesh Dixit, PhD, President & CEO, Bionavigen
Rakesh Dixit is an accomplished executive, inventor, and scientist with over 35 years of success with top biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Merck, Johnson & Johnson, and Medimmune - AstraZeneca. Currently, he is President and CSO of Regio Biosciences and Bionavigen, LLC. He is a Board Member of Regio Biosciences and a key member of multiple scientific advisory boards. Rakesh is also a chief adviser and consultant for more than 20 companies worldwide. His biopharmaceutical peers selected Rakesh as one of the 100 Most Inspiring People in the Pharmaceutical Industry by PharmaVOICE in 2015. Rakesh received the Most Prestigious Award of Long-Standing Contribution to ADCs by World ADC (Hanson-Wade), 2020. From 2006 to 2019, Rakesh was a Global Vice President of the Biologics R&D at Medimmune - AstraZeneca. Rakesh has unique expertise in developing biologics (e.g., monoclonal antibodies, bispecific biologics, antibody-drug conjugates, fusion proteins, peptides, gene and cell therapies, etc.) and small-molecule biopharmaceuticals. His areas of expertise include discovery, early and late preclinical development, safety assessment, DMPK, and translational sciences. Dr. Dixit conducted extensive graduate and post-graduate training in Pharmacology/Toxicology-Biochemistry with both Indian and USA Institutions (e.g., Case Western Reserve University, Medical College of Ohio, University of Nebraska) and is a Diplomate and Board Certified in Toxicology from the American Board of Toxicology, Inc. since 1992.
Achim Doerner, PhD, Principal Scientist, Protein Engineering & Antibody Technologies, Merck Healthcare KGaA
A biochemist by training, Achim has been working with bispecific antibodies or ADCs and technology development for their effective screening. In one flavour, screening of such and further complex NBEs is realized applying versatile microfluidics and in part in conjunction with mammalian libraries enabling rapid antibody hit discovery and optimization.
Wim H.A. Dokter, PhD, CSO, Byondis B V
Wim has served as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Byondis since 2019. Wim is a seasoned scientist, having operated within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries for more than 20 years. He has a proven track record of leading large international and multidisciplinary teams in drug development programs that successfully reach key milestones, including delivery of several clinical drug candidates in oncology, autoimmunity and diabetes. Preceding his appointment as CSO, Wim was Executive Vice President, Preclinical at Synthon Biopharmaceuticals. Prior to this, he was Director of Pharmacology and Immunology Program Leader at Schering-Plough, which ultimately merged with Merck & Co. (MSD). Before this, he built his R&D career in a progression of roles at Organon. Wim has co-authored 50-plus peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals. He holds an MSc in (Bio)Chemistry and a PhD (cum laude) in Hematology and Oncology from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
Patrick Doonan, Ph.D., Director of Antibody Engineering, Antibody Discovery, XtalPi
Dr. Doonan holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Temple University and has been in the antibody discovery field for over 10 years representing UPenn, Pfizer, GSK, and Janssen. His work has generated several high impact publications and patents from engineering of bispecifics and ADCs across the fields of immunology, oncology and neuroscience. His current work focuses on utilizing AI to engineer highly developable antibodies that can move quickly to the clinic.
Paul Dyer, PhD, Field Application Scientist, Halo Labs
Paul Dyer obtained his PhD in Cell Biology and Drug Delivery Strategies from the University of Greenwich. Following a period in academic research, Paul joined Halo Labs Ltd as an application scientist covering UK and Europe. Building upon his extensive background in medical science, he has been focusing on the development of new applications of particle analysis within the area of biologics, in particular cell therapies, resulting in the release of a new product, the Aura CL™.
Peter Ellmark, PhD, CSO, Alligator Bioscience AB
Peter Ellmark, PhD, is Chief Scientific Officer at Alligator Bioscience and holds an associate professorship in Immunotechnology at Lund University. Dr. Ellmark has more than 20 years’ experience of developing antibodies for immunotherapy of cancer and has a strong track record of developing mono- and bispecific antibodies for tumor-directed immunotherapy of cancer, focusing on the co-stimulatory checkpoint receptors CD40 and 4-1BB.
Christine E. Engeland, MD, PhD, Researcher, Medical & Translational Oncology, Tumor Diseases Center, German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ
Christine E. Engeland completed her MD/PhD at Heidelberg University. Since 2019 she leads a Research Group at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. Since 2020 she additionally holds the Professorship for Experimental Virology at Witten/Herdecke University.
M. Frank Erasmus, PhD, Head, Bioinformatics, Specifica, Inc.
M. Frank Erasmus is the head of bioinformatics at Specifica, Inc. where he specializes in the use of next-generation sequencing technologies and software development to aid in the design of and selection from therapeutic antibody libraries. Formerly, Frank was awarded a national fellowship from the National Cancer Institute for his translational research associated with B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia conducted at the Spatiotemporal Modeling Center and Los Alamos National Labs. He brings over 13 years of experience in both biotechnology and academic settings in the development and characterization of therapeutic antibodies using theoretical modeling, bioinformatics, and experimental approaches.
Sandra Ergueta-Carballo, PhD, Project Coordinator, University of Cambridge
Sandra Ergueta completed her undergraduate studies in Biochemistry and later pursued a Master's in Human Immunology at Universidad Complutense of Madrid. She gained valuable experience by working two years at the autoinflammatory disease group at 12 de Octubre Hospital. Sandra then relocated to Cambridge, UK, where she joined Iontas, a reputable biotech company specialising in therapeutic antibody discovery. She has recently returned to academia to pursue a PhD at Cambridge University under the guidance of John McCafferty.
Andreas Evers, PhD, Principal Scientist, Computational Chemistry & Biology, Global Research & Development Discovery Technology, Merck Healthcare KGaA
Since October 2020, Dr. Andreas Evers is working as Computational and Structural Bioinformatician on NBEs at Merck Healthcare KGgaA. He obtained his PhD in Computational Chemistry with Prof. Gerhard Klebe at Philipps University of Marburg in 2000. He joined Sanofi in 2003, first working in the area of Computer Aided Drug Design on “small molecule” projects and later on therapeutic peptides and proteins. His research activities include implementation and application of in silico approaches to design new molecules with the desired target activity and developability properties.
Stefan Ewert, PhD, Associate Director, Biologics Center, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
Stefan Ewert, Ph.D. joined Novartis in 2004 and holds the position of an Associate Director within the NIBR Biologics Center. He is leading a group responsible for antibody drug discovery at the Basel, Switzerland site using library based and immunization approaches. Before joining Novartis he was instrumental in developing ESBATech’s scFv-based key technology. During his Ph.D. thesis in the group of Andreas Pluckthun at the University of Zurich, Switzerland he published several papers on antibody stability and engineering.
Nicolas Fischer, PhD, CEO, Light Chain Bioscience
Nicolas Fischer obtained a PhD in Biology from the Department of Molecular Biology University of Geneva on the structure and function of photosynthetic complexes. As a postdoctoral fellow he joined the Group of Sir Greg Winter at the MRC Department of Molecular Biology in Cambridge UK to study protein folding and Antibody engineering using phage display. In 2001 he joined NovImmune and led several therapeutic antibody discovery programs that have reached clinical development stage and developed next generation bispecific therapeutic antibodies. After the successful divestment of the FDA approved anti-INFg antibody Emapalumab, Novimmune now focuses on its bispecific technology under the brand Light Chain Bioscience in which Nicolas serves as CEO.
Jens A. Fischer, PhD, Program Manager, Large Molecule Research Therapeutic Modalities, Roche Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED)
Jens has been working in Antibody Research in the Biotech and Pharma Industry for >15 years. He spent many years as a lab head and group leader at Roche Discovery and was also Technical Leader for various preclinical antibody projects. In 2019, Jens joined the Biologics Program Management and is focusing to deliver next-generation antibody and new biotherapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune, infectious disease, and oncology indications.
Jonathan Fisher, PhD, Group Leader, University College London
Dr. Jonathan Fisher holds a medical degree from the University of Southampton and a PhD from University College London. He leads the Innate Immune Engineering lab at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and works clinically in the Teenage & Young Adult Oncology Department at University College London Hospital. Dr. Fisher’s research career has taken him between UCL and the Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute, New York, where he has pursued his focus on the engineering of gamma-delta T cells for cancer immunotherapy.
Jens Frauenfeld, PhD, Founder, CEO, Salipro Biotech AB
Jens Frauenfeld (PhD), CEO and Founder of Salipro Biotech AB. After having studied biochemistry in Germany and in France, Jens pursued his research at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm/Sweden, where he also founded the company. He is a member of the Prins Daniel Fellowship programme from the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.
Annie Frelet-Barrand, PhD, Researcher, MN2S, Institut FEMTO-ST
Dr. Annie Frelet-Barrand studied biochemistry at the University of Franche-Comte (France) and was graduated as MS in 1998. In 2006, she received her PhD degree on MP characterization at the Institute of Plant Biology, Zurich. During her postdoctoral fellowship (CEA Grenoble, France), she developed L. lactis system for functional characterization of MPs. In 2009, she became CNRS Researcher at CEA Saclay, studying MPs involved in liver detoxification. In 2015, she integrated the Institute FEMTO-ST and is now producing and characterizing diverse biological elements from proteins, vesicles, to bacteria and cells, and in particular continuing to develop MP expression and characterization in L. lactis. She published 21 research articles and 4 book chapters (h=17).
Bjorn L. Frendeus, PhD, CSO, BioInvent International AB
Bjorn Frendeus is the CSO of BioInvent, a Swedish Biotech developing antibody-based treatments for cancer immunotherapy. Bjorn got his PhD studying innate immune responses to microbial infection. Over the past decades, he has developed a strong interest in understanding the complex biology of antibodies in relation to their targets, and applying his knowledge to develop better antibody-based medicines. Bjorn’s team conceived and developed the F.I.R.S.T platform from which BioInvent’s current pipeline has emerged. This includes the Company’s proprietary clinical-stage anti-FcgRIIB (BI-1206 and BI-1607) and anti-TNFR2 programs (BI-1808), BT-001 - a clinical-stage oncovirally encoded Treg depleting anti-CTLA-4 antibody co-developed with French vaccine company Transgene, and F.I.R.S.T TAM that BioInvent recently partnered with Pfizer on to develop novel antibodies and targets to tumor-associated myeloid cells with the aim to overcome resistance in the tumor microenvironment. BioInvent is closely collaborating on several of its programs with the Cancer Sciences Division in Southampton, UK, where Bjorn is a visiting professor. Bjorn chairs the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF)’s expert review committee on Infection Biology.
Nathan Frey, PhD, Machine Learning Scientist, Prescient Design, a Genentech Company
Nathan is a Machine Learning Scientist and Group Leader at Prescient Design • Genentech. At Prescient, his focus is on developing and applying machine learning methods to molecular design. Previously, Nathan was a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT, working with the Lincoln Lab Supercomputing and AI groups. He was a National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained his PhD in Materials Science & Engineering. During graduate school, Nathan was an affiliate scientist with the Materials Project at Berkeley Lab.
Norbert Furtmann, PhD, Head, Computational & High-Throughput Protein Engineering, Large Molecule Research, Sanofi
Upon finishing his studies in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Furtmann pursued his interdisciplinary Ph.D. thesis in Computational Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Bonn, focusing on computer-aided design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of protease inhibitors. After starting his professional career at Merck KGaA as Principal Scientist, he joined Sanofi in 2016 as Lab Head for Bioinformatics within the Biologics Research department. Currently, Dr. Furtmann is heading the Data Science & Computational Design group to support the discovery of next-generation protein therapeutics.
Nimish Gera, PhD, Vice President, Biologics, Mythic Therapeutics
Nimish Gera is the Vice President of Biologics at Mythic Therapeutics leading multiple projects to engineer and develop novel antibody and antibody-based drugs in oncology and immuno-oncology. Prior to Mythic, Nimish has over fifteen years of experience in antibody and protein engineering with five years leading bispecific antibody programs in several disease areas such as rare diseases, oncology, and immunology at Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Oncobiologics. Nimish received his PhD degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from North Carolina State University and a B.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.
Debadyuti Ghosh, PhD, Associate Professor, Molecular Pharmaceutics & Drug Delivery, University of Texas, Austin
Dr. Debadyuti (Rana) Ghosh is an Associate Professor in the Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery at The University of Texas at Austin where his lab focuses on engineering and using biomolecules to overcome the biological barriers for drug delivery of diseases including cancer and cystic fibrosis. Rana did his PhD in Bioengineering from Rice University and completed postdoctoral training at MIT. Rana has received new investigator awards from the PhRMA Foundation and the Controlled Release Society, and the lab’s research has been supported by PhRMA Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Emily’s Entourage, NSF, and NIH.
Opher Gileadi, PhD, Head, Protein Science SGC, Karolinska Institute
Opher Gileadi is heading the Protein Science team at the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) unit at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. Opher obtained his PhD at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, followed by a postdoc at Stanford and a Senior Scientist at the Weizmann Institute, where he studied mechanisms of transcription in yeast. He was one of the founding group leaders at the SGC at the University of Oxford, where his team established a pipeline of cloning and expression of human proteins for structural studies, resulting in more than 1300 new protein structures. His group studied a diverse selection of proteins, including DNA helicases and nucleases, transcription factors, protein kinases, signaling proteins and genes linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The SGC is strongly committed to providing basic knowledge on under-studied human proteins, enabling their evaluation as potential drug targets and generating the key reagent to initiate small-molecule development.
Steffen H.J. Goletz, PhD, Full Professor, Deputy Head, Vice Director, Biotechnology & Biomedicine, Danish Technical University
PhD, Professor, Head of RG Biotherapeutic Glycoengineering & Immunology, DTU Bioengineering, Technical University of Denmark. Focus on novel bi- and multispecific antibody and cell-based therapeutics in immunooncology and infectious diseases. After early career in academic research, e.g. MDC in Berlin and MRC in Cambridge, SG founded, lead and matured Biotech companies successfully as CEO and CSO over 17 years before joining DTU as professor, Deputy Head of the Department and Head of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Extensive experience in Strategic & Corporate Development, Investor Financing & Licensing, R&D, patenting and GMP manufacturing, incl. Early Research & Discovery, Preclinical Development, Process Development, Toxicology of Biopharmaceuticals, and Clinical Development and from FIM to larger PhIIb Studies. Heading R&D of biotherapeutic antibodies and proteins, complex antibody engineering, phage display, cellular and molecular glycoengineering, mammalian production cell system engineering, USP and DSP production process development. Heading GMP-production, preclinical and clinical development.
Joao Goncalves, PhD, Full Professor, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Lisbon
Joao Goncalves is Head of the Biopharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Unit and Director of iMed-Research Institute for Medicines and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Professor of Immunology and Biotechnology both part of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, Portugal. Research work focuses on therapeutic antibody discovery and development ranging from autoimmune diseases to oncology. At the center of his biopharmaceutical research, he aims at rational antibody engineering as our approach to validate our theoretical concepts in autoimmune, inflammatory, cancer and infectious diseases. We are interested in biomolecular and biopharmaceutical engineering aiming at the investigation, analysis, and integration of genomic and proteomic data towards the design of therapeutic proteins. This will lead us to guide protein engineering through molecular medicine and bio-nanotechnology in a mid- to long-term timeframe. At the center of our biopharmaceutical development, we aim at rational antibody engineering as our approach to validate our theoretical concepts. Development of better characterization assays and monitoring of antibody therapy in patients, including immunogenicity and pharmacokinetics to biosimilars is current to our work. The evaluation of quality, efficacy and safety attributes of biosimilar antibodies and fusion proteins is at the centre of our clinical collaborations.
Anne Goupil-Lamy, PhD, Science Council Fellow at BIOVIA, BIOVIA, Dassault Systemes
Anne Goupil-Lamy, Ph.D., Science Council Fellow at BIOVIA, obtained her doctorate in Molecular Biophysics from the Sorbonne University, Paris. She has been in charge of BIOVIA' contract research group for many years and today she is involved in many scientific collaborations with industrial partners and academic teams.
Christian Graf, PhD, Fellow, Scientific Office, Novartis TRD Biologics
Christian Graf is a Fellow/Senior Expert at Novartis Technical R&D Biologics and is based in Munich/Germany. He is a chemist by training and obtained his PhD in biochemistry from Heidelberg University (ZMBH) in Germany, studying protein folding and conformational changes of chaperones using mass spectrometric and biophysical methods. In 2009, he joined Novartis Pharma AG in Basel, Switzerland, as a Senior Scientist for protein characterization in the Biologics Analytical Research & Development organization, mainly responsible for the early- and late-phase MS characterization of therapeutic antibodies. He had then several roles as Lab head and Principal Scientist in the Integrated Biologics Profiling unit in Basel, supporting early characterization and developability assessment of numerous innovative biologics pipeline projects. In 2017, he joined the Novartis Analytical Characterization team in Oberhaching near Munich/Germany where he supported the characterization and technical development of biosimilar and clinical NBE candidates, and several innovation and new technology projects. In 2022, Christian has taken on a new role as Innovation Strategy Lead in the Scientific Office of the Global Biologics Analytical Development organization.
Ulf Grawunder, PhD, CEO & Co-Founder, T-CURX
Since 2022 Ulf is co-founder and CEO of T-CURX, a young Biotech company spun out from the University Clinics Wurzburg, Germany, focused on development of next-generation CAR-T cell therapies for cancer patients. In addition, Ulf is also managing partner of Swiss Viopas Venture Consulting supporting Healthcare companies to succeed in the market. Prior to that and since 2012 Ulf was founder, CEO and Board member of NBE-Therapeutics, a Swiss Biotech company developing antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for cancer therapy. NBE-Therapeutics was sold to Boehringer Ingelheim in 2021. Ulf started his Biotech career by co-founding 4-Antibody in 2004, a Swiss therapeutic antibody discovery company, where he initially served as start-up CEO and later as CSO, until the company was sold to US-based Agenus Inc. Ulf is a Biochemist by training, who performed his PhD work at the Basel Institute for Immunology, a formerly Roche-endowed triple nobel-prize in Medicine awarded research institute. After his PhD he did several years of post-doctoral research in the U.S. at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, and the University of Southern California, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles. Ulf also holds a Diploma of Technology Entrepreneurship from the University St. Gallen, School of Business, Switzerland (HSG, Hochschule St. Gallen) and he is Vice-president and Board member of the Swiss Biotech Association (SBA, www.swissbiotech.org).
Victor Greiff, PhD, Associate Professor, Immunology, University of Oslo
Dr. Victor Greiff is Associate Professor for Computational and Systems Immunology at the University of Oslo. His work focuses specifically on the development of machine learning, computational and experimental tools for the analysis, prediction and engineering of adaptive immune receptor repertoires.
Torbjorn Graslund, PhD, Professor, Department of Protein Science, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Professor Torbjorn Graslund holds a Ph.D. in Biotechnology from KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, since 2001. After two years of post-doc training with Professor Carlos Barbas at the Scripps Research Institute, he has been principal investigator at the Department of Protein Science at KTH since 2003. His main research focus is on designing proteins for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. He has a particular focus on oncology applications but is also active in the field of auto-immune diseases. Dr. Graslund is the inventor of several patents in the field.
Benjamin J. Hackel, PhD, Professor, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, University of Minnesota
Ben Hackel is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. He earned degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin (B.S., advised by Eric Shusta) and MIT (PhD, advised by Dane Wittrup) and performed postdoctoral research in the radiology department at Stanford University (Sam Gambhir). Since its inception, the Hackel lab has applied protein engineering technologies to develop physiological molecular targeting agents for molecular diagnostics and targeted therapy, with a focus on oncology and infectious disease.
Richard Hammond, MA MEng., CTO, Sphere Fluidics Ltd.
Richard has over 20 years’ experience in developing cutting-edge commercial products for healthcare and life sciences. He has led R+D programmes in companies such as Alere, Cambridge Consultants, and most recently DNA Electronics. Where, as VP of Technology, Richard led the R&D team to develop a novel fully-automated sample-to-answer in-vitro diagnostic platform using DNA sequencing. Richard holds MA and MEng degrees in engineering from King’s College University of Cambridge.
Bill D. Harriman, PhD, Senior Vice President, Antibody Discovery, OmniAb, Inc.
Bill Harriman is Senior Vice President of Antibody Discovery at OmniAb. Dr. Harriman has more than 25 years of biopharma industry experience in the development of innovative antibody-focused technology and project management. Dr. Harriman joined the OmniAb team in 2017 following Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ acquisition of Crystal Bioscience, where he was Co-Founder and CSO, contributing key technology to enable the development of the OmniChicken platform and overseeing its implementation in corporate partnerships.
Oliver Hartley, PhD, Vice President, Drug Discovery, Orion Biotechnology
Oliver Hartley is Orion's scientific founder. He is the inventor of OB-002 as well as the key technology underlying Orion’s discovery platform. Trained as a biochemist, he completed a PhD in protein engineering (Cambridge, UK) with Sir Gregory Winter (Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 2018). Since then Oliver has worked at the University of Geneva, where he is currently an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, and at the Mintaka Foundation for Medical Research with a role as co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer. His research on peptide engineering and GPCR pharmacology has led to a series of high-profile publications and new intellectual property.
Nathalie Heuze-Vourc'h, PhD, Research Professor, Research Center for Respiratory Diseases, Inserm, UMR
Nathalie Heuze-Vourc’h, Research Director at INSERM, the National Institute of Biomedical Research in France. She leads a multidisciplinary team in the Research Centre for Respiratory Diseases (CEPR, INSERM U1100) in Tours, dedicated to ‘Aerosol therapy and Biotherapeutics for Respiratory Diseases.’ After graduating with her PhD in oncology in France, she focused her research on lung diseases and obtained a postdoctoral position in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine (Dr. Steven M. Dubinett) at UCLA, California. She gained interest in biotherapeutics working in a start-up (Agensys, Inc., Santa Monica, California) developing anticancer monoclonal antibodies and was recruited in 2005 by INSERM as a young research scientist to continue working on this topic. She is currently supervising several projects on the multifaceted aspects of the delivery of biotherapeutics - mostly monoclonal antibodies - by inhalation to treat respiratory diseases, from formulation to preclinical safety, with both academic and private partners. She has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. She is one of the European opinion leaders on inhalation of biotherapeutics and serves regularly as a consultant to the pharma industry on inhalation therapy.
Nathan Higginson-Scott, PhD, CTO, Seismic Therapeutic
Nathan Higginson-Scott is currently the CTO and Senior Vice President of Drug Creation at Seismic Therapeutic, which is integrating machine learning, protein engineering, structural biology, and translational immunology to create therapeutics for diseases of the adaptive immune system. Previously Nathan was Vice President of Biotherapeutics at Pandion Therapeutics, acquired by Merck in 2021, developing tissue-targeted immune modulators. Nathan completed a PhD in molecular immunology at Imperial College London developing biparatopic antibodies via phage display. He then spent a number of years within the Biomedicine Design department at Pfizer Inc. in the UK and USA discovering and engineering biologics for many therapeutic areas including oncology and immunology, as well as technology development including multi-specific antibody platforms and conditional antibody binding.
Rene M.A. Hoet, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer, FairJourney Biologics
Rene Hoet joined FairJourney Biologics in Porto as Chief Innovation Officer in April 2022. Prior to this Rene worked as Chief Scientific Officer at Montis Biosciences (April 2021-Febr. 2022) and Imcheck Therapeutics (Oct 2018- April 2021) developing the first gamma delta T cell activating antibody from preclinical stage into the clinic. Before joining ImCheck, Rene spent 8 years at Bayer AG as Vice President Biologics Research, where his team was responsible for antibody lead discovery and optimization. Between 2008-2010, he was a member of the management team at Genmab and as Senior Director Research led the team Product Related Research, Scientific Communication & Translational Research. Together with his team, he ran the antibody discovery programs and actively supported Genmab’s clinical antibody programs. Rene started his industrial career at Target Quest (acquired by Dyax in 1999) where his last position was Vice President Research and Operational Manager of Dyax SA. He was the driving force for internal antibody lead discovery as well as external collaborations and supported the out-licensing of Dyax’ antibody phage libraries. From these libraries, 3 antibodies have been approved by the FDA & EMA and over 10 antibodies from varies companies are currently in clinical trials. Rene Hoet is also Professor Biopharmaceutics at the University of Maastricht, Netherlands, guiding researchers to use antibodies to bridge the gap between academic research and pharmaceutical applications.
Lovisa Holmberg Schiavone, PhD, Director, Discovery Biology, Discovery Sciences, R&D, AstraZeneca
Dr. Lovisa Holmberg Schiavone is a Director of Protein Science and Discovery Sciences, at AstraZeneca R&D in Gothenburg, Sweden. She received her PhD in biochemistry from Stockholm University, followed by a postdoc at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Assistant Professor at Sodertorn University in Stockholm. Her academic career focused on ribosomes and translation. In 2005, she joined the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. During her time at the SGC, she was responsible for one of the target teams solving structures of human proteins of medical relevance. Since joining AstraZeneca in 2007, Dr. Holmberg Schiavone has been leading different teams responsible for supplying proteins for small molecule projects and other drug modalities. Dr. Holmberg Schiavone´s interests span across discovering new targets and prosecuting novel target classes in drug discovery. She is also interested in building predictive models to predict recombinant protein expression, together with Data Sciences and Quantitative Biology colleagues at AstraZeneca, and external partners.
Marine Houdou, Genetic Engineering Specialist, Polyplus
Marine is a Plasmid Engineering Specialist at Polyplus® with a strong scientific background in cellular/molecular biology and biochemistry. She holds an Engineering degree in Biotechnology, a PhD in Life Sciences followed by postdoctoral experience. Currently she mananges scientific support and consulting for plasmid engineering.
Qingyan Hu, PhD, Associate Director, Protein Formulation Development, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Qingyan Hu received her PhD in chemistry from the University of Toronto in 2005. After 2-year postdoc, she joined Roche Global Formulation Research in 2007. At Roche, Qingyan has led formulation research projects on peptides, siRNA, and small molecules. In 2013, Qingyan joined Formulation development group at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. She is currently an associate director at Regeneron, leading multiple monoclonal antibodies and genetic medicines formulation and drug product development projects in early- and late-stage clinical trials. Qingyan’s research area includes protein formulation and stability, biophysical characterization, compatibility, and in-use stability for clinical administration, etc. Qingyan is also an active member of biopharmaceutical industry forums and professional societies.
Michael Hudecek, MD, Professor, Cellular Immunotherapy of Malignant Diseases, University of Wuerzburg
Univ. Prof. Dr. med. Michael Hudecek performed medical training at the University of Leipzig, Germany, where he also commenced his specialist training in hematology and oncology. In 2007, Michael joined the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle as a post-doctoral research fellow, where he trained in the laboratory of Prof. Stanley R. Riddell and worked on identifying and validating novel tumor antigens in hematologic malignancies, the design and functional optimization of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) constructs, as well as defining optimal cellular compositions of CAR T-cell products. In 2012, Michael was recruited to the Universitatsklinikum Wurzburg, Germany, where he established a translational research program on CAR T-cell immunotherapy. At present, this program comprises physicians, scientists, doctoral students, master students and technicians in a multidisciplinary, international team that performs cutting-edge research with focus on novel transformative CAR technologies, and first-in-man clinical application of novel CAR-T products. Michael is an extraordinary member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, and recipient of the 2017 Artur Pappenheim Award of the German Society for Hematology and Medical Oncology.
Catherine Hutchings, PhD, Independent Consultant
Catherine has spent over 25 years acquiring significant depth of experience in antibody drug discovery and platform applications, working for cutting-edge biotech and pharma companies, such as Cambridge Antibody Technology and Heptares Therapeutics. She has been engaged as an independent consultant since 2015, providing scientific and strategic consultancy to pharma, biotech and investors, with a particular focus on GPCRs, ion channels, immuno-oncology, platform positioning and target/product evaluation. Catherine graduated with BSc Hons in Genetics and Cell Biology from University of Manchester, UK, and a PhD in Biochemistry and Applied Molecular Biology from UMIST, UK.
Nageatte Ibrahim, MD, Vice President, Oncology & Global Clinical Development, MSD
Nageatte Ibrahim is a Vice President of Clinical Research at Merck and oversees the Melanoma, Innovative Strategies, and GI Tumor teams in her capacity as Therapeutic Area Section Head as well as holds a leadership role in the Merck and Astra-Zeneca Alliance. Nageatte has held roles of increasing responsibility over the years at Merck and has a deep interest in advancing effective therapeutics for cancer patients and understanding biologic drivers for enriching responses. Her work and leadership in the clinical development program lead to the expansion of indications, notably, the initial full approval of Keytruda in advanced melanoma worldwide, the first approval for Keytruda in the adjuvant setting for resected stage III melanoma, moving in an earlier disease setting resected stage IIB and IIC melanoma, advanced Merkel Cell Carcinoma and a tumor-agnostic approval for patients with high tumor mutational burden (TMB-H) cancers, are a few of her accomplishments. In addition, Nageatte also leads the cross-functional integration team for the clinical development of Merck’s anti-CTLA-4 antibody, quavonlimab, and the anti-LAG3 antibody, favezelimab. Prior to joining Merck, Nageatte was a clinical director at GSK, where she participated in the full approval filings for dabrafenib and trametinib in metastatic melanoma. Nageatte did her hematology/oncology training at Tufts Medical Center in Boston with research work focused on melanoma and mutational drivers, was a clinical research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and then an attending physician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the Melanoma Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, with an appointment of Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Nageatte is passionate about teaching and mentoring, and in particular, mentoring women in medicine and pharma. Outside of her dedicated career to clinical research, Nageatte enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in the local culture and cuisine, taking photos, spending time with family and friends, and gardening.
Melita B. Irving, PhD, Project Leader, Ludwig Branch for Cancer Research, University of Lausanne
Melita Irving, originally from Canada, has been working in Lausanne, Switzerland in the field of T cell engineering since 2007. In 2013, she became a group leader for T cell engineering at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research of the University of Lausanne. Her research focuses on the development of function and safety enhanced TCR and CAR T cells and concomitant harnessing of innate and adaptive immunity to augment the control of solid tumors.
Sebastian Jaeger, PhD, Senior Scientist, ADCs & Targeted NBE Therapeutics, Merck Healthcare KGaA
Sebastian is a Senior Scientist in ADC Drug Discovery at Merck Healthcare KGaA, Germany. His work focuses on ADC drug release & stability as well as novel antibody-based drug delivery formats. He is a biochemist by training and obtained his doctoral degree in 2022 from Technische Universitat of Darmstadt, Germany where he worked in the group of Prof. Harald Kolmar on Fcabs as a novel antibody-based scaffold for drug conjugates.
Tushar Jain, PhD, Principal Scientist, Computational Biology, Adimab LLC
Tushar Jain is currently an Associate Director of Computational Biology at Adimab. For the past 12 years at Adimab, Tushar has worked on developing machine learning and statistical models to predict developability characteristics of a?ntibodies, design antibody libraries with favorable downstream and PK characteristics. ?In addition, Tushar has a keen interest in interpreting insights obtained from such approaches using structural models to better drive our understanding of antibody behavior.
Bent Jakobsen, PhD, FMedSci, CEO & Founder, Accession Therapeutics Ltd.
Bent is a pioneer of T cell receptor therapy for cancer with over two decades’ experience of establishing and providing scientific direction to leading T cell receptor companies such as Adaptimmune Therapeutics and Immunocore (both now listed on NASDAQ). In his academic career, Bent was Head of the Immune Receptor Group at the Oxford Institute of Molecular Medicine (1993 to 2000) and prior to this worked for the Danish Natural Research Council and at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of the Medical Research Council in Cambridge.
Jonathan Jones, Manager, Upstream Microbial, CPI Biologics
An experienced Upstream scientist with a focus on the process development and scale-up of bioprocesses across a range of cell types and products. Jonathan is familiar with high-throughput upstream process development, design of experiment approaches to process optimisation and process scale-up and validation. At CPI Biologics, Jonathan is a team leader within the upstream team, working across mammalian, microbial and cell free projects, with a passion for tackling digital challenges within bioprocessing.
Phil Jones, VP Discovery, RxBiologics Ltd
Antibody engineer and enthusiast with over 20 years’ experience and leadership roles in technology development and discovery.
Sophia N. Karagiannis, PhD, Professor, Translational Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy, Kings College London
Professor Sophia Karagiannis is a translational cancer immunologist with academic and biotechnology experience in the USA and UK. She heads a cancer antibody discovery team focused on the crosstalk between patient immunity and cancer and on the design of novel therapeutic agents. Key areas of research center on patient-derived B cells and their expressed antibodies, Fc-engineered antibodies of different isotypes, and antibody-drug conjugates for cancer therapy. Her group is the first to design, evaluate and translate anti-tumour IgE class antibodies from concept to clinical testing. Sophia is founder of Epsilogen Ltd, the first immuno-oncology company dedicated to developing IgE-based anti-cancer agents.
Hitto Kaufmann, PhD, CSO & Senior Vice President, Pieris Pharmaceuticals GmbH
Dr. Kaufmann is currently Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President at Pieris Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Kaufmann has over 20 years of experience in research, development and manufacturing of therapeutic biological entities. Prior to joining Pieris, Dr. Kaufmann held several executive positions at Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim. Dr. Kaufmann obtained his PhD in Natural Science, at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology from the Technical University of Braunschweig and The Scripps Research Institute. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the European Society for Animal Cell Technology and as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of IBET, Portugal.
Hubert Kettenberger, PhD, Head, Computational Protein Engineering, Roche
Hubert Kettenberger holds a PhD in structural biology from the University of Munich. After a PostDoc at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry he joined the Large Molecule Research unit of Roche in Penzberg/Germany in the year 2006. Since 2020, he has acted as the Head of Computational Protein Engineering, a department which contributes in silico methods to Roche's therapeutic protein portfolio projects.
Christoph Keysberg, PhD, Research Assistant, Biberach University
I did my undergrad studies in molecular biotechnology at Bielefeld University, Germany, and finished with a Master of Science in 2019. Afterwards I worked at the University of Toronto, Canada, as a research assistant and learned about mass spectrometry and proteomics before starting my PhD in the Group of Prof. Kerstin Otte in Biberach, Germany. In my PhD I worked on novel production techniques for therapeutic extracellular vesicles (EVs) and the role of EVs in CHO bioprocesses, finishing my studies in summer 2023.
Bruce Keyt, PhD, CSO, R&D, IGM Biosciences, Inc.
Bruce received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and pharmacology from Tufts University School of Medicine and his B.S. in Chemistry from Washington University in St Louis. He is a co-inventor on more than 35 U.S. patents and patent applications, and he has a co-authored more than 55 scientific articles. Bruce brings to IGM more than thirty-five years of research, development and management experience in large and small biotechnology companies, including his extensive experience in many phases of early stage drug discovery and development. This experience spans target selection and discovery, in vitro biochemistry, in vivo efficacy models and all other aspects of the pre-clinical development of antibodies and proteins as therapeutic agents.
Agnieszka Kielczewska, PhD, Director, Research, Antibody Discovery and Screening, Biologics Discovery, Amgen, Canada
Dr. Kielczewska holds a PhD degree from McGill University in Human Molecular Genetics. She joined Amgen in 2011, where she currently leads a cross functional team of scientists and focuses on antibody discovery to complex targets by utilizing in vitro and in vivo approaches.
Astero Klampatsa, PhD, Team Leader, Cancer Therapeutics, Institute of Cancer Research
Dr Astero Klampatsa (PhD) is a Team Leader in Cancer Immunotherapy at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK. She graduated with a BSc in Biological Sciences and an MSc by Research in Biomedicine from Lancaster University. She was awarded a PhD in Research Oncology in 2011 from Queen Mary’s College, University of London, UK. As a postdoctoral fellow, she gained expertise in CAR T cell immunotherapy and immunobiology of thoracic cancers at King’s College London, UK, and at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Since 2019, Dr Klampatsa has been leading her own team, the Thoracic Oncology Immunotherapy Group, focusing on developing novel CAR T cell therapies for mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as the immunobiology of these malignancies for identification of markers of response to immunotherapy.
Christian Klein, PhD, Head, Oncology Programs and Department Head, Cancer Immunotherapy Discovery, Roche Innovation Center Zurich, Roche Pharma Research & Early Development, pRED
Christian Klein, Distinguished Scientist, is Head of Oncology Programs and Department Head Cancer Immunotherapy Discovery 3 at the Roche Innovation Center Zurich (Roche Pharma Research & Early Development, pRED). Since 06/2019 he also acts as Site Head of RICZ. He specialized in the discovery, engineering, validation and preclinical development of therapeutic (bispecific) antibodies for cancer immunotherapy. During his 18-year tenure at Roche he has made major contributions to the preclinical development and approvals of GAZYVA(RO) (obinutuzumab, GA101), and to the preclinical development of 19 bispecific antibodies, immunocytokines and antibody fusion proteins entering clinical trials. He led research teams developing Roche’s novel bispecific antibody technologies, e.g., the CrossMAb technology and the immunocytokine and T cell bispecific antibody platforms. He obtained his diploma in biochemistry from University Tubingen and his doctorate in biochemistry from Technical University Munich. In 2017 he completed his habilitation in Biochemistry at the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich, and since then is an external lecturer there.
Sebastian Kobold, MD, Professor, Clinical Pharmacology, Klinikum der Universitat Munchen
Prof. Kobold is a board certified clinical pharmacologist and immunologist. He studied medicine in Germany, Switzerland and France. His postgraduate and residency training took him through Hamburg and Boston to Munich. In Munich, he established his research group focussing on cancer immunotherapy with a focus on T cells and antibodies. Since 2016, he serves as an attending physician in the division of clinical pharmacology at the University hospital of the LMU where he was appointed full Professor and deputy director of the division in 2019.
Shohei Koide, PhD, Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, New York University School of Medicine; Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone Health
Shohei Koide, PhD, is a synthetic protein scientist. His research integrates structure-guided design and directed evolution to create highly functional, but still simple, proteins. He is the inventor of the FN3 Monobody technology, and he has made important contributions to synthetic antibody technologies and to the application of synthetic binding proteins to biology, chemistry, and medicine. His current research focuses on the discovery of cancer therapeutics and on establishing strategies to control "undruggable" targets. Previously, he was Professor at University of Chicago and at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Harald Kolmar, PhD, Professor and Head, Institute for Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Technische Universitat Darmstadt
Harald Kolmar is full professor at the Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Germany where since 2005 he heads the Department of Applied Biochemistry. He holds a PhD and habilitation in biochemistry and molecular genetics from University of Tubingen and Gottingen. His current scientific interests mainly focus on protein engineering and design, nanobiotechnology, antibody engineering, chemical biology and development of tailor-made peptides and proteins for applications in diagnostics and therapy.
Andrew A Kosky, PhD, Sr Director, Technical Development, Genentech Inc
Andrew Kosky, Ph.D., is Senior Director and Head of the Technical Development Leaders in South San Francisco, where he oversees and directs all of the CMC development teams and strategies for the Genentech product portfolio. Andrew joined Genentech in 2009 and has served in a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in Pharma Technical Development, including functional leadership roles in formulation and purification departments, as Technical Leader for Perjeta, and leader of numerous cross-company initiatives and task forces. Since 2012, Andrew has overseen the CMC teams that drove the successful approval and launch of multiple new products and products versions including Perjeta, Kadcyla, Tecentriq, Ocrevus, Venclexta, Cotellic, Lucentis PFS, and Polivy. Prior to Genentech, Andrew was at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, CA, where he was a leader in the Analytical and Formulation Development and a senior scientist and group leader for many years in the Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery organization. Andrew began his career at Synergen Inc. (Boulder, Colorado) in 1991 as a researcher in the Formulation Development and Discovery Research departments. His research has focused characterization of protein degradation pathways and on the interdependence of protein covalent degradation (e.g., deamidation) and protein structure. Andrew holds a B.S. in Physical Science from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
Bertolt D. Kreft, PhD, CSO, Bright Peak Therapeutics
Bertolt Kreft has served as the CSO of Bright Peak Therapeutics since February 2020. He is an expert in cancer drug discovery with >20 years of pharmaceutical and biotech industry experience and a broad background in oncology research covering target validation, biologics, and small-molecule lead discovery, and research supporting pre-IND, early- as well as late-stage clinical development programs. Prior to joining Bright Peak, Bertolt served as Vice President Immuno-Oncology at Bayer AG. From 2009 to 2020, he was responsible for cancer drug discovery efforts at Bayer focused on Immuno-Oncology, antibody-drug conjugates (ADC), and biologics. Bertolt entered the pharmaceutical industry with Schering AG in 1999 where he held positions of increasing responsibility including group leader in target identification & validation. He received a PhD in biochemistry from the Free University Berlin/Charite (Germany), followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He holds a diploma in biochemistry from the Free University Berlin.
Dan Bach Kristensen, PhD, Principal Scientist, Symphogen
Dan Bach Kristensen holds a Ph.D. in biology and B.Sc. degree in chemistry. Dan is specialized in protein chemistry and mass spectrometry, which he initially applied in the field of proteome research in Japan and later in Denmark. For the last 17 years Dan has been working with analytical development in the biopharmaceutical industry, on projects ranging from early discovery through to product registration. Clinical indications include bleeding disorders, neutropenia, autoimmune diseases and oncology. Dan currently works as a Principal Scientist at Symphogen, which is specialized in the development of antibodies and antibody mixtures for the treatment of cancer.
Jurgen Kuball, PhD, Head, Hematology, University Medical Center Utrecht
Prof. Dr. Kuball chairs the Department of Hematology at the University Medical Center in Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) in The Netherlands since 2013. Kuball also chairs the section tumor-immunology within the centre of translational immunology and is scientific co-founder of the UMC Utrecht spin-off company GADETA.
Toon Laeremans, PhD, Co-Founder, Head, Discovery Biologics, Confo Therapeutics
Toon has 20+ years' experience with single domain antibody technology in academics and industry. He was one of the first employees of Ablynx where he worked for more than 8Y as team leader in antibody discovery. In 2010, he joined the Steyaert lab to help setting up the ConfoBody technology. As co-founder, Toon joined Confo Therapeutics in 2015, as Head of Biologics Discovery.
Samuel Lai, PhD, Professor, Pharmacoengineering & Molecular Pharmaceutics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Research in the Lai Lab is at the interface of mucus, immunology, nanotechnology, biomaterials, biophysics, bioengineering, and modeling, with active work in five primary areas: (1) antibody engineering for mucosal applications; (2) elucidating adaptive immune response (i.e. induction of antibodies) against nanomaterials; (3) engineering of bispecific antibodies for immunomodulation of the tumor microenvironment; (4) targeted editing of immune cells; and (5) phage engineering for gene therapy of the microbiome. Lai’s previous research focused on nanoparticle-based delivery of bioactive molecules to mucosal tissues. He helped pioneer the development of mucus-penetrating particle technology, a breakthrough that formed the basis of Kala Pharmaceuticals, launched in 2009. Kala completed its IPO in 2017, and has two FDA-approved drugs based on the technology. His prior inventions have also been licensed by Graybug Vision, which completed its IPO in 2020 and is in late stage clinical development. Since moving to UNC, he has established a rigorous research program at the interface of engineering, immunology, biophysics, and biomaterials. His lab has spun out a number of startups. His pioneering work on muco-trapping antibodies led to the formation of Mucommune, LLC, a startup focused on harnessing antibody-mucin interactions for female reproductive health, and Inhalon Biopharma, a clinical stage company focused on treating acute respiratory infections. He has received numerous prestigious awards for his research, including the NSF CAREER Award and the Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering.
Jae Seong Lee, PhD, Associate Professor, Applied Chemistry & Biological Engineering, Ajou University
Jae Seong Lee is currently an Associate Professor in the departments of Molecular Science and Technology and Applied Chemistry & Biological Engineering at Ajou University, South Korea. Dr. Lee earned his B.S. and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from KAIST, South Korea. His research has focused on the genetic and metabolic engineering of mammalian cells, particularly CHO cells, for high-level production of recombinant proteins. His current research interests are development of efficient, mammalian genome editing technologies and rational design of various mammalian cells, using synthetic biology approaches.
Jason Lehmann, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Marketing, Telesis Bio
Jason is a senior product marketing manager at Telesis Bio. Prior to Telesis Bio he served as the product manager for immunoassays at BioLegend. He completed his doctoral studies in the Biomedical Sciences graduate program at UC San Diego. Jason also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida
Phil Leighton, PhD, Senior Director, Molecular Biology, OmniAb
Phil Leighton is Senior Director of Molecular Biology at OmniAb. He joined the OmniAb team in 2017 following Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ acquisition of Crystal Bioscience. Dr. Leighton has been responsible for the development and validation of lines of transgenic chickens used for the discovery of human antibodies including OmniChicken®, which has been used for antibody discovery programs by pharmaceutical industry partners since 2016.
Viktor Lemgart, PhD, Research Fellow, Tidal Therapeutics, a Sanofi Company
Viktor Lemgart is a Research Fellow at Tidal Therapeutics, a Sanofi Company, leading the development of novel chimeric antigen receptors. With an engineering background from the Technical University of Denmark, Viktor is focused on designing and testing novel CAR constructs that can be used in Tidal's targeted LNP-mRNA platform.
Jeanette H.W. Leusen, PhD, Professor, Translational Immunology, Utrecht University
Dr. Jeanette Leusen received her PhD in 1995 at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), The Netherlands, studying neutrophils. Now she is PI on antibody therapy in the University Medical Center of an academic group of 22 FTE. She has co-authored 135 publications and is co-inventor on 10 patent applications. She is also scientific founder of a company called TigaTx developing engineered IgA for therapeutic application in oncology.
Mattias Levin, PhD, Senior Scientist, Alligator Bioscience AB
Dr. Mattias Levin has a MSc in Biotechnology and obtained his PhD in Immunotechnology from Lund University. He joined Alligator Bioscience 5 years ago, where his work is primarily focused on the discovery of Alligators new antibody-based drug candidates and bringing them from the benchtop into the clinic. Alligator Bioscience is dedicated to development of antibody-based therapeutics, with full focus on novel immune oncology solutions. To facilitate this work, Alligator has a strong technology platform, including its newest addition RUBY™, a novel tetravalent plug-and-play bispecific format with very favorable developability properties.
Giuseppe L. Licari, PhD, Lead Scientist, Computational Structural Biology, Global Drug Product Development - BDC, Merck Serono SA
Since 2022, Giuseppe Licari is a Lead Scientist in Computational Structural Biology within the Global Drug Product Development department at Merck Serono SA, where he focuses on the establishment of computational platforms for the characterization and screening of biologic molecules and on the elucidation of the role of excipients in protein stabilization. In his last position at Boehringer Ingelheim, he contributed to developing approaches for in-silico developability assessments and prediction of protein properties. After acquiring a PhD in Physical Chemistry from University of Geneva in 2018, he held a Postdoctoral position at the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Klaus R. Liedl, PhD, Professor, Head, General, Inorganic, & Theoretical Chemistry, University of Innsbruck
Klaus R. Liedl is full professor of Theoretical Chemistry and heads the Department of General, Inorganic and Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Innsbruck. His education comprises degrees in chemistry, mathematics and law. Currently Klaus R. Liedl’s key academic figures are 325 publications, 7228 citations (<10% self-citations) and h-index of 46. Klaus R. Liedl’s original academic education comprises both degrees in chemistry and mathematics resulting in a Master of Science (Mag.rer.nat.) degree at the University of Innsbruck in 1992. During his PhD he developed a QM/MM method, which allows particles to enter and leave the region of QM description in a consistent way. This method and its newer modification have been applied by numerous research groups around the world, especially, to study solvation processes. In 1993, he was the recipient of the Kurt Godel research grant. Already towards the end his PhD Klaus R. Liedl obtained a tenure- track position at the University of Innsbruck. In 1995, Klaus R. Liedl finished his PhD (Dr.rer.nat) and changed the direction of his research towards the investigation of reaction mechanisms comprising multiple proton transfer. During this time, he performed extensive teaching duties at several Southeast Asian Universities, especially at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok and at the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta. He also started and maintained a close research collaboration with the University of Oxford, including multiple research stays at the University of Oxford resulting in several joint publications in the following years. During these years, also Klaus R. Liedl's interest in biomolecular systems arose, which grew ever since and evolved into the major focus of his research. He has developed and employed a broad spectrum of theoretical and computational methods focusing on molecular interactions and biological systems. Klaus R. Liedl has been tackling scientific questions in close collaboration with academic and industrial partners, ensuring feedback from experimental groups. He has been applying his knowledge and analysis tools to chemical interactions to understand biological interfaces. In 1998, Klaus R. Liedl obtained his habilitation (venia legendi in Theoretical Chemistry) and got tenure as associate professor at the University of Innsbruck. In the following years, his research achievements were recognized, e.g., in form of the Novartis research award, the membership at Scientia Europaea (French Academy of Sciences), the Otto Seibert research award, and the prestigious Hans G.A. Helmann Award of the AG Theoretische Chemie (Deutsche Bunsengesellschaft, Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker). Due to the upcoming challenges arising from the spin-off of Austrian universities from government administration, in parallel, Klaus R. Liedl started to pursue a law degree, which he finished in 2003 (Mag.iur.). In 2006, he obtained a doctorate degree in law (Dr.iur.) focusing on intellectual property rights. This legal knowledge has been very useful ever since, e.g., in contract negotiations with industrial research partners, in the daily management of the department, and last but not least in teaching students about intellectual property rights. Since 2003 Klaus R. Liedl has been a board member of the Austrian Chemical Society heading the Computational Chemistry section. 2012-2019 he also has been the head of the West-Austrian section of the Austrian Chemical Society and since 2012 he is the Austrian delegate at the European Chemical Society Division of Computational and Theoretical Chemistry. International activities comprise, e.g., three months at the American Westcoast, including research visits to Stanford University and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Since 2012 he has been a regular lecturer at the University of Pavia. Novartis awarded Klaus R. Liedl with the Novartis Chemistry Lectureship 2014-2015, which is granted to scientist in recognition of outstanding contributions to organic and computational chemistry, including applications to biology. This lectureship comprised invited talks at all major Novartis research sites worldwide. From 2014 to 2016 Klaus R. Liedl held a guest professorship at the Brazilian Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG, Belo Horizonte), resulting in annual research and teaching visits and exchange of PhD students. In 2012, Klaus R. Liedl became full professor for Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Innsbruck. In 2013, he became head of the Department of General, Inorganic and Theoretical Chemistry and head of the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Innsbruck. He has been reappointed to these positions in 2017.
Lars Linden, PhD, Vice President, Head, Biologics Research, Bayer HealthCare AG
Lars Linden is Head of Biologics Research at Bayer and responsible for all research activities covering antibodies, multi-specifics, therapeutic proteins and AAV biology. Lars joined Bayer in 2007 and has held various positions as lab head, group lead and director in in the Biologics Organization where he was responsible for production of antibody-based research compounds and tools for biologics projects of Bayer’s early research pipeline and also overseeing developability assessments for clinical candidates. Lars has also a track record of successfully leading preclinical research portfolio projects in oncology (ADCs and IO) and ophthalmology. Previously he had worked on structural biology of GPCRs and ion channels in a small biotech environment. Lars did his PhD in Structural Biology at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry/Technical University of Munich.
Troy Lionberger, PhD, Senior Vice President, Business Development, PhenomeX
Troy Lionberger is the Senior Vice President of Business Development at PhenomeX, a life science company that has created a high-throughput, fully automated, microfluidic system capable of performing quantitative assays from cultured cell populations. The PhenomeX Platform
makes it possible to accelerate the pace of science by making high-precision and relevant measurements from only a few cells. In his current role, Troy oversees the development and commercialization of applications of the PhenomeX Platform that impact a diverse number of areas that use cell biology to discovery and manufacture high-value products. Troy’s current technology portfolio includes overseeing the development of capabilities relevant to cell and gene therapy discovery, development, and manufacturing, engineering synthetic microbial strains, and discovering novel crop protection products for agriculture.
Troy completed postdoctoral training in Biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, before which he earned his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Xiaole Shirley Liu, PhD, CEO, GV20 Therapeutics
Dr. X. Shirley Liu graduated summa cum laude from Smith College double majoring in Biochemistry and Computer Science in 1997, and received PhD in Biomedical Informatics and PhD minor in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2002. She is now Professor at the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health. She is the Director of the Center of Functional Cancer Epigenetics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and an associate member of the Broad Institute. Her research focuses on computational cancer epigenetics, and developing algorithms for big cancer data integration and mining.
James D. Love, PhD, Vice President, Automation & Process Optimization, Novo Nordisk AS
Dr. Love is heading an area utilising automation to advance drug discovery and development across the Novo Nordisk value chain. Prior to his work at Novo, he was working in the USA for 15 years at different academic and biotech companies, developing high-throughput methods focusing on antibody development and protein production, in particular integral membrane proteins. Prior to this, he was educated at Oxford and Cambridge University, where he trained as a structural biologist.
Ali Madani, PhD, Founder and CEO, Profluent Bio
Ali Madani is the founder and CEO of Profluent, an AI startup in protein design, based in Berkeley, CA. Previously, he led machine learning research initiatives at Salesforce Research utilizing deep learning, language modeling, and computer vision. Most notably, Ali was the architect of the ProGen moonshot which advances generative modeling for protein design.
Racha Majed, Technical Sales Specialist, Sales, Refeyn
Racha Majed, Technical Sales Specialist. Racha holds a PhD in microbiology and 3 years of experience as a scientist in viral evolutionary biology at University of Cambridge. Racha, at Refeyn, works daily with scientists across the globe to provide them with solutions in biomolecular characterization to advance their research in biomolecular drugs development and launch innovative drugs in the market.
Sara Majocchi, PhD, Discovery Program Leader, Light Chain Bioscience - Novimmune SA
Sara Majocchi is a Discovery Program Leader at Light Chain Bioscience (a brand of Novimmune SA), based in Geneva, Switzerland. She obtained her master’s degree in biotechnology from the ecole Superieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg, Louis Pasteur University, France and her PhD in Life Science from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. After graduation, Sara joined the Research Department of Light Chain Bioscience where her focus was on developing mouse models to support the preclinical development of the first bispecific therapeutic programs targeting CD47. Since 2018, she has been leading the discovery of therapeutic bispecific antibodies, from early discovery to clinical lead candidate selection.
Anna R. Makela, PhD, Senior Scientist, Department of Virology, University Of Helsinki
Anna R. Makela has PhD (2008) in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, and is experienced in the discovery and development of novel biotherapeutics and innovative high-affinity reagents for cancer immunotherapy as well as for viral diagnostics, prophylaxis, and treatment. For the last decade, Anna has served as the Head of R&D (VP) in Finnish biotechnology companies, Next Biomed Therapies, Next Biomed Therapies, as well as Targeted Affinity. She currently acts as a Senior Scientist at the University of Helsinki and as CEO in Pandemblock Oy developing intranasal viral inhibitors.
Carola Mancini, European Field Applications Scientist, BioPharma, Molecular Devices
Carola holds an MSc in biotechnology and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Cell Physiology. She has researched at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam, where she was involved in different cell line engineering projects to study obesity and metabolic disease. In 2016 Carola was involved in a research project investigating potential treatments for prostate cancer at the CICBiogune research institute in Bilbao (Spain).
Mercedes Marquez Martinez, PhD, Technical Coordinator & Acting Scientific Director, Protein Production Platform (PPP) - Nanbiosis, Autonomous, University of Barcelona (UAB)
Graduated in Biology in 1998 and PhD in Biochemistry-Biophysics in 2003 from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). During the PhD I investigated the structural and functional effect of point mutations of the transmembrane protein bacteriorhodopsin. In 2003, as technical head of the Animal Tissue Bank of Catalonia (BTAC) at the UAB, in addition to being in charge of the animal tissue repository, I specialized in the diagnosis and research in veterinary neuropathology. In 2008, as a senior Priocat researcher at CReSA-IRTA, I carried out studies in neuropathology associated with animal prion diseases. In 2010 I also became the technical responsible for the Comparative Murine Pathology Unit (UPMiC) of the UAB from where we offered a complete histopathological diagnosis of laboratory animals. Finally, since 2016 I have been working at the Protein Production Platform (PPP), service of the Nanobiotechnology (NBT) group of the UAB, first as a senior technician and currently also as a coordinator of the service from where we offer a service specialized and personalized in the production and purification of recombinant proteins in different eukaryotic and prokaryotic expression systems. The PPP is part of Nanbiosis, a recognized singular scientific and technical infrastructure (ICTS) at the state level. Furthermore, as a member of the NBT group, I am part of the research group for the development of protein-based nanomedicines. I am also a member of CIBER’s Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN).
Chad May, PhD, CSO, Serotiny, Inc.
Chad is the CSO of Serotiny, a leader in therapeutic multi-domain protein engineering and development of next-generation of cell and gene therapies. Most recently, he was the Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Maverick Therapeutics (acquired by Takeda in April 2021), where he progressed novel solid tumor targeting conditionally-active T cell engagers into first-in-human clinical trials. Prior to that, Chad served as Senior Director of Targeted Immunotherapy for Pfizer, where he oversaw the execution of multiple immuno-oncology programs. He also spent several years at ImClone Systems (acquired by Eli Lilly in 2008) leading several early-stage oncology programs. Chad holds a B.S. in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota and an PhD in Immunology from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, in a joint program with the Sloan Kettering Institute.
Christina Lourdes Mayer, PharmD, President & Principal Consultant, Semivida Research
Christina Lourdes Mayer, PharmD, is currently Owner & Principal Consultant at Semivida Research, where she delivers quantitative clinical pharmacology and early-development strategic consulting services to biotech and pharma companies globally. Prior to Semivida Research, Dr. Mayer served as Clinical Pharmacology Lead at Global Blood Therapeutics, where she led development of anti-P-selectin antibody inclacumab for sickle cell disease. Prior to GBT, Dr. Mayer was at Certara Strategic Consulting, where she supported clients in early and late development of complex biologics primarily in oncology and rare disease. Prior to Certara, Dr. Mayer served as Clinical Pharmacology Lead at Janssen Biotherapeutics, where she played a critical role in advancing biologics products and clinical programs in immuno-oncology -leading the early development clinical pharmacology for CMET/EGFR bispecific antibody amivantamab (RYBREVANT) in non-small-cell lung cancer and for anti-PD1 antibody cetrelimab in combination development across oncology indications. Dr. Mayer earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a two-year fellowship at UNC and GlaxoSmithKline, where she focused on clinical pharmacology and pharmacometrics. Prior to that she completed a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston College.
John D. McCafferty, PhD, Scientific Advisor, IONTAS; CEO and Founder, Maxion Therapeutics
John McCafferty was one of the founders of Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT, now Medimmune) in 1990 and published the first paper/patent describing antibody phage display. After 12 years at CAT he returned to academia at the Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge. In 2012 John formed IONTAS, a small innovative biotechnology company using phage display to develop novel antibody therapeutics. IONTAS have also developed a novel technology for construction of very libraries in mammalian cells by using CRISPR/Cas 9 and TALE nucleases to efficiently direct the integration of a library of antibody genes into single genomic locus within a population of cells.
Mark McCoy, PhD, Principal Scientist, Quantitative Biosciences, MSD
Mark McCoy is currently a Principal Scientist in the Quantitative Biosciences group at Merck & Co, Inc. where he uses structural biology and biophysical studies to understand details of protein structure, function and behavior. His early discovery work on PD-1-antibody interactions provided the first understanding of Keytruda’s mechanism of action. His most recent research is on understanding details of intermolecular interactions of therapeutic proteins which has discovery applications to developability and design as well as development and manufacturability applications that include formulation and coformulation. Prior to joining Merck, Mark worked at the Wistar Institute, the University of Pennsylvania and at the Sterling-Winthrop Pharmaceutical Research institute. He has a Ph.D. from Princeton University and carried out postdoctoral research at ETH-Zurich.
Laura Mele, PhD, Investigator, GlaxoSmithKline
I studied pharmaceutical biotechnology at the University of Parma (Italy), where I also completed my PhD. During my PhD, I spent one year as a visiting student at the University of Cambridge (UK). Following this exciting experience, I decided to pursue my academic career as a postdoc in UCL (UK). My academic research focused on cardiometabolic diseases, studied in both in vitro and in vivo models. I then joined the Antibody Pharmacology team in GSK in 2020. My work focuses on developing new screening strategies to determine affinity and bioactivity of antibodies against membrane targets.
Thierry Menguy, PhD, Head of CMC projects, LinkinVax
Thierry MENGUY is an expert with more than 20 years in Chemistry Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) activities (from preclinical to clinical phase 3) and in preclinical studies of therapeutic proteins including monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) and protein & viral (Poxviruses & Adenoviruses) vaccines for clinical development.
After his Ph.D in “Structure, Function and Engineering of proteins”, he acquired a broad and in-depth knowledge of the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sectors by integrating positions in small to mid-size french Biotech companies like Transgene, Elsalys Biotech (that he co-founded in 2013), Biomethodes and Genodyssee, where he obtained a successful track record in management of internal scientists teams, of R&D’s scientific strategy development, as well as management of outsourced CMC activities to CDMOs.
Enkelejda Miho, PhD, Professor, Dean, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland
Enkelejda Miho is a professor of Digital Life Sciences and dean of the master's program in medical informatics at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. She is head of the Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence in Health (aihealth.ch). The group’s research focuses on the emerging field of artificial intelligence applied to health. The group uses analytics for personalized medicine, drug discovery and development, and support systems in clinics. She is the founder of the ETH spin-off aiNET.
- Machine Learning for Protein Engineering - Part 2
- Machine Learning for Protein Engineering - Part 1
- Innovations in CAR T Therapy and Engineering in vivo Solutions
- Emerging Targets and Therapeutic Approaches
- Advancing Bispecifics and Combination Therapy to the Clinic
- Analytical Characterisation of Biotherapeutics
- Optimising Expression Platforms
- Engineering Antibodies
David Mills, PhD, Senior Director, Preclinical Science, Ambrx, Inc.
Dr. David Mills joined Ambrx as Director of Preclinical Science in 2021, where he is responsible for preclinical discovery efforts for novel antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and immuno-oncology therapeutics. He received a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and went on to study lymphocyte signal transduction and lymphoma molecular pathogenesis as a postdoc at UCSD/Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. Following this academic training, Dr. Mills began his industry career at Arena Pharmaceuticals where he performed pharmacology and MOA studies for small molecule autoimmune/inflammatory disease drug candidates, including Etrasimod and Olorinab. From there, he served as a project leader for multiple antibody and nucleic acid therapeutics at Kyowa Kirin Research in La Jolla. In 2016, Dr. Mills joined the Research Group at Zymeworks in Seattle/Vancouver B.C. where he became therapeutic area head and Director of Oncology, responsible for a diverse ADC, bispecific, and cytokine-fusion pipeline. Outside of work, you can find Dr. Mills surfing, practicing yoga, surfing, eating tacos, or surfing.
Iain H. Moal, PhD, Scientific Leader, Computational Antibody Engineering, GSK
Iain H. Moal is a Scientific Leader in computational antibody engineering at GSK, a role in which he develops and applies computational approaches to the discovery and engineering of therapeutic antibodies by leveraging structural and B cell repertoire NGS data with modelling and machine learning methods. After graduating in Computational Chemistry from the University of Nottingham, Iain undertook his PhD in biomolecular modelling at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, before taking a Marie Curie IEF fellowship at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and a BBSRC Future Leader Fellowship at the EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute.
Charlotte Moser, PhD, MD, MBA, CMO, Deka Biosciences
Dr. Moser is an oncologist who has worked as a clinician and academic researcher for over 25 years and has specialized in drug development for the past 10. She has helped drive the clinical pipeline from early to late stage in larger (Elekta, Roche) and smaller (Augmenix, Kaiku, Artidis, Galera Therapeutics, Nanocan) and currently holds the position of Chief Medical Officer at DEKA Biosciences Inc, using here expertise to drive fast clinical translation of innovative, more effective, and better tolerated immunotherapies.
Vincent Muczynski, PhD, Director, NovalGen
I am a translational scientist driven by innovation and a strong appetite to tackle unanswered questions. My work builds on a very enriching dual position between academia and industry, to develop ground-breaking therapeutics, and address unmet clinical needs. I am currently a Research Fellow at University College London (UCL) - Cancer Institute in the laboratory of Pr. Amit Nathwani, which I joined in 2018. My research activity at UCL explores the translational potential of immunotherapies using the virtually limitless plasticity of antibody engineering, as well as the unique therapeutic potential of AAV-mediated gene transfer as a mean of drug delivery, to design innovative therapeutic strategies for monogenetic and acquired disorders, with a particular interest in haemophilia A and oncology. Since 2019, I also serve as Director of Biology at NovalGen, a clinical stage start-up company spun-out from UCL and developing onco-immunotherapies for haematological malignancies and solid tumour, with a strong focus on T cell redirecting therapies. In this highly dynamic environment, I lead a research team working to develop novel regulation mechanisms designed to improve the safety profile of immunotherapies, establishing proof-of-concept in bispecific antibodies and cellular therapies. Before relocating to the UK, I was a post-doctoral researcher at INSERM in the research group of Dr. Cecile Denis in France, where I was studying the biology of coagulation factor X in relation to the unique mechanism of extracellular reservoir that protects this molecule from accelerated clearance. I was also involved in several projects aiming to develop new therapeutic molecules for the treatment of haemophilia A using engineered coagulation factors. I hold a PhD in molecular and cellular genetic from University Paris 11 - Sud, defended in 2011.
John B. Mumm, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO, Deka Biosciences
After earning his Bachelor’s Degree from Menlo College, John received an MS from Stanford University and a PhD from MD Anderson Cancer Center where he discovered that IL-10 directly activates anti-tumor CD8+ T cells. John conducted post-doctoral work for a year at DNAX Research Institute and became a Scientist at Schering Plough where he developed PEGylated IL-10 (AM0010) as an immunoncology asset. He then founded Targenics, later merged with ARMO Biosciences (briefly a publicly traded company), to clinically develop AM0010 and other immune oncology assets. ARMO Biosciences was acquired by Eli Lilly in 2018 for a $1.6B up-front deal. As a founder and Senior Director of Technical Operations at ARMO, John led the manufacturing and pre-clinical research teams. John served as the Director of Immunoncology R&D at Medimmune LLC and is the author of 28 manuscripts and 52 granted or pending patents. After reviewing the immuno-oncology space for two years at MedImmune and developing such diverse projects as innate and T cell agonists, CAR T and other cell therapy projects as well as novel immunostimulatory antibody drug conjugates, John has most recently founded Deka Biosciences. Deka is the next generation cytokine development company created to solve the challenges associated with harnessing the massive potential of cytokine therapy. With the challenges in developing T cell agonists and cell therapy programs, it is likely that cytokine combinations coupled with targeting modalities administered in conjunction with precision patient selection will be clear value drivers for the pharmaceutical industry for years to come.
Patrizia Murer, PhD, Head, Protein Engineering, Anaveon AG
After her PhD at ETH Zurich on antibody-cytokine fusion proteins for immuno-oncology, Patrizia joined Anaveon as Senior Scientist and continued to gain experience in the field of protein engineering. Today she is Head of Protein Engineering at Anaveon and leading the ANV600 project through late preclinical development.
Michael Nash, PhD, Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biosystems Engineering, University of Basel/ETH Zurich
Professor Michael Nash (University of Basel/ETH Zurich) earned a BS in Cybernetics of Biomedical Systems from UCLA and a PhD in Bioengineering and Nanotechnology from the University of Washington, Seattle. He worked at the Caltech/NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, and the Pacific Northwest National Lab. He trained as a postdoctoral fellow Applied Biophysics at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat (LMU Munich) and was appointed tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Basel and ETH Zurich in 2016. In 2021 he was promoted to Associate Professor for Engineering of Synthetic Systems at the University of Basel (Physical Chemistry) and ETH Zurich (Biosystems Science and Engineering). Michael is a Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator, an ERC Starting and Consolidator grantee, and a member of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and Botnar Centre for Child Health in Basel. His research interests are in developing molecular therapeutic and diagnostic technologies using tools of nanobiotechnology, bioengineering, and biophysical chemistry. His lab focuses on protein engineering, directed evolution, single-molecule biophysics, and the interface between synthetic and biological systems.
Peter Neubauer, PhD, Lab Head, Bioprocess Engineering, TU Berlin
Prof. Neubauer is head of the Bioprocess Engineering Laboratory at TU Berlin which is leading in bioprocess scale up and automated bioprocess development. The laboratory has been selected as a German key laboratory in AI. He is co-author in more than 250 publications and 20 patents and cofounder of the companies BioNukleo, Enpresso and Cell-tainer.
Ahuva Nissim, PhD, Professor, Antibody and Therapeutic Engineering, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London
Graduated in Molecular Immunology in 1992 from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and was trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering in Cambridge until 1995. During this period she developed phage display semi-synthetic human antibody library, the so call ‘Nissim’ library which has been used worldwide. In November 2000 was appointed at Queen Mary University. My studies are interdisciplinary and involve translational research at the William Harvey Research Institute and with intensive worldwide collaborations. My studies have been mostly focused on the mechanisms that lead to the formation of disease tissue-specific pathogenic post-translationally modified proteins and the exploitation of identified pathogenic proteins to develop platform technologies for novel disease - and tissue-specific, diagnosis and targeted treatment.
Morten Norholm, PhD, Research Group Leader, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark
My research team at DTU Biosustain works on bacterial synthetic biology, genome engineering, experimental evolution, and protein production. I have also cofounded the Danish biotech company Mycropt ApS.
Yanay Ofran, PhD, Founder, CEO, Biolojic Design Ltd.
Professor Yanay Ofran is a computational biophysicist and a biotech entrepreneur. His scientific work uses computational approaches to understand, predict and engineer protein interactions. Yanay is the founder and CEO of Biolojic Design. Relying on big-data and machine learning, Biolojic’s platform mimics the way the human immune system makes antibodies to design functional antibodies that provide a precise molecular effect, in the desired micro-environment, at the right time, leading to greater efficacy and lower toxicity, while maintaining impeccable developability, half-life, stability and safety of human antibodies. He is also the co-founder of Ukko, a biotech company that uses computational tools and patient samples to design a novel and safe treatment for food allergies, and to design safe gluten for people with gluten sensitives. In 2020, Yanay co-founded Aulos Biosciences, which became the first company to treat cancer patients with a computationally designed antibody. Prof. Ofran headed the lab of systems biology and functional genomics at Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv.
Simone Oostindie, PhD, Director, Research and Discovery, Gyes B.V.
Dr. Simone Oostindie is Director, Research and Discovery at Gyes B.V., a biotechnology company that focuses on creating a pioneering Multispecific Antibody Platform (MAP) to discover and develop differentiated antibody therapeutics. Before Joining Gyes B.V. in 2023, Dr. Oostindie was a Sr. Scientist in the Translational Research department at Genmab, where she led the translational research and biomarker strategy for Genmab’s (pre)clinical therapeutic antibody candidates. During her career at Genmab, she was involved in the discovery and development of novel antibody technology platforms including DuoHexaBody® and HexElect® and in the preclinical development of multiple therapeutic antibody candidates currently progressing in the clinic. Dr. Oostindie received her PhD in immunology from Leiden University, with a focus on avidity engineering as a rational design principle for potentiated antibody therapeutics.
Carlos Outeiral, PhD, Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Research Fellow, Department of Statistics, University of Oxford
Carlos Outeiral is an Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford, where he is also a Stipendiary Lecturer in Biochemistry. After earning BSc and MPhil degrees in chemistry in Oviedo and Manchester, Carlos completed a DPhil in Statistics at the University of Oxford, developing computational methods to study protein biosynthesis. Carlos' research focuses on developing artificial intelligence methods for in silico protein engineering, aiming to accelerate computational screening of therapeutics for stability and developability. Outside his work, Carlos is interested in Latin dancing, food science, and tech entrepreneurship.
Diego A. Oyarzun, PhD, Reader in Computational Biology, Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh
Diego Oyarzun is a Reader in Computational Biology at the University of Edinburgh. He leads a research team at the interface of biology and computation, with a focus on AI-powered discovery and decision support systems for biomedicine and biotechnology. Diego is Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and the Alan Turing Institute, the UK's national institute for AI and data science. He has received awards from the World Economic Forum and the G20 for his work at the interface of data science and biotechnology. His work relies on techniques drawn from control theory, optimisation, network science, and machine learning, to understand the structure and function of biological processes, with applications in synthetic biology, drug discovery, and fundamental science.
Sungjin Park, PhD, CEO, Onegene Biotechnology
With extensive experience in protein chemistry, Dr. Park has been dedicated to speed delivery of multi-modality drugs to patients. As the founder of Onegene Biotechnology, he leads a team focused on establishing rationales for better treating complex diseases by combining disease targets and chronic inflammation targets. Dr. Park's work in liver fibrosis and advanced NASH has resulted in numerous national and international presentations, publications, and patents. He is the inventor of the UniStac platform technology, which has been critical in this endeavor. In addition to his work with Onegene Biotechnology, Dr. Park also serves as management board member for Onegene Autoparts Group and has been driving significant growth in Korea, India, China, and the US.
Paul Parren, PhD, CSO, Gyes; Professor, Molecular Immunology, Leiden University Medical Center
Professor Paul W.H.I. Parren is dedicated to translating antibody knowledge into innovative therapeutics and technologies. He holds a PhD in molecular immunology from the University of Amsterdam (1992). Professor Parren was an Associate Professor at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. From 2002-2017, he led research and preclinical development at Genmab, and from 2018-2023 he was head of R&D at LAVA Therapeutics, a Nasdaq-traded biotechnology company that develops bispecific gamma-delta T cell engagers to transform cancer therapy. His work contributed to eight approved therapeutic antibodies (incorporated in ten antibody products), including multiple products from the DuoBody bispecific antibody platform. He has a strong publication record with >230 scientific publications (>37,000 citations and an h factor of 102; Google Scholar Jul. 7, 2023) and >220 granted patents in US, EU and JP). He is a tenured Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden. He is CEO of Sparring Bioconsult BV, a consulting company that provides independent drug development advice. He is a founder and CSO at Gyes BV, a start-up company developing multi-specific antibody technologies. He chairs the board of directors of The Antibody Society, a non-profit trade organization that develops initiatives to forward the antibody field.
Noel T. Pauli, PhD, Senior Scientist, Antibody Discovery, Adimab LLC
Noel Pauli is a Senior Scientist of Antibody Sciences at Adimab LLC. He joined Adimab in 2015. Working in Dr. Laura Walker’s group, their research focused on the generation of antibodies against integral membrane proteins and other difficult targets using immunization, single-B cell cloning, and immune library development in both murine and camelid systems. He received his PhD training from the University of Chicago under Patrick Wilson studying the human B cell response to Staphylococcus aureus infection at the resolution of monoclonal antibodies.
Augusto Q. Pedro, PhD, Researcher, CICECO, Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro
Augusto Q. Pedro (AQP, ORCID 0000-0001-8194-6022) is a Junior Researcher at the Aveiro Institute of Materials of the University of Aveiro (CICECO-UAVR, Portugal), contracted under the FCT/CEEC agreement. AQP’s research crosses the boundaries between biotechnology, bioengineering, and health sciences, and mainly comprises the development of efficient and cost-effective purification platforms for a wide range of biopharmaceuticals. He is/was the PI of two FCT-funded projects (mVACCIL and IL2BioPro). Under the framework of the mVACCIL project, integrated mRNA production-clarification platforms based on thermoreversible aqueous biphasic systems are being investigated to overcome the current challenges of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine production, namely by lowering the costs and environmental impact, and improving mRNA stability, yield, and speed of production. AQP has also been involved in creating the UAVR RNA Club, recognized by the RNA Society, and aimed at stimulating and disseminating knowledge in distinct facets of RNA biology.
Matthias Peipp, PhD, Research Head & Mildred Scheel Professor, Stem Cell Transplantation & Immunotherapy, University of Kiel
Matthias Peipp received his PhD at the chair of genetics, Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany in 2003. In 2004, he moved to the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (Kiel, Germany), where he studied effector mechanisms mediated by human EGFR antibodies. In 2006, Matthias moved to the Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Immunotherapy (Kiel, Germany) where he is heading the research division and a research group interested in antibody-based immunotherapy of cancer. In 2015 Matthias was awarded an endowed professorship “Mildred-Scheel-Professorship for experimental antibody-based cancer immunotherapy” funded by the German Cancer Aid. Since 2022, Matthias has headed the Division of Antibody-Based Immunotherapy. His current work is focused on antibody engineering to improve cancer immunotherapy.
Andres Perez Bay, PhD, Senior Staff Scientist, Oncology & Angiogenesis, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Andres Perez Bay is a Senior Staff Scientist at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals focusing on the development of biparatopic antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer. His group exploits intracellular protein trafficking to develop fast-internalizing antibodies that induce degradation of surface oncogenes and improve delivery of cytotoxic payloads to cancer cells. Before joining Regeneron in 2015, Andres worked at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he received his postdoctoral training and later became Instructor in Cell Physiology.
Mario Perro, PhD, Vice President, Head of Oncology Research Department, Ichnos Sciences
Mario Perro has worked in the field of oncology and cancer immunology since 2006. First focusing on Adoptive T cell transfer for the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), in 2015 Mario redirected his studies in the development of bispecific checkpoints and T cell engagers at Roche. Among many drug molecules evaluated, Mario contributed to the characterisation of Glofitamab and the development of Artificial Intelligence approach to investigate Tumour Microenvironment modification induced by a CEA targeted TCE in combination of checkpoint inhibitors. At present, Mario is heading the Oncology Research Department at Ichnos Sciences, focusing on next-generation multi-specific antibodies such as ISB 1442, a CD38xCD47 macrophage engager, and ISB 2001, a BCMAxCD38xCD3 T cell engager.
Martin Pflugler, PhD, CEO, TWYCE GmbH
Martin Pflugler holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Tuebingen and worked as postdoc at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and in the lab of Gundram Jung. He is engaged in discovery, development, and production of bispecific antibodies for more than 10 years and is inventor on several patents describing novel bispecific constructs and current clinical candidates for immunotherapy of cancer.CEO, TWYCE GmbH
Ulrike Philippar, PhD, Senior Director & Head, Oncology & Discovery Hematological Malignancies, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV
PhD in Cellular Biology at the University of Tuebingen, Germany; Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT Cancer Center, Cambridge, USA; 6 years in Oncology R&D at Merck & Co., Boston, USA; since 9.5 years at Janssen Oncology R&D, Beerse, Belgium; current position: Senior Director Oncology, Global Head of Discovery Hematological Malignancies.
Andreas G. Plueckthun, PhD, Professor & Head, Biochemistry, University of Zurich
Andreas Pluckthun, Ph.D., is a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His research on protein engineering has included pioneering work on antibody engineering, the development of ribosome display, new scaffolds (the DARPin technology and Armadillo Repeat Proteins), engineering of stable G-protein coupled receptors towards high stability, and most recently a new retargeting platform for gene therapy. He is member of the German Academy of Science (Leopoldina) and recipient of many international awards and founder of three biotech companies, Morphosys, Molecular Partners and G7(divested to Heptares/Sosei). Trained as chemist in Heidelberg, he received his Ph.D. at UC San Diego, was Postdoc at Harvard, group leader at the Max-Planck-Institute in Martinsried, and then Professor in Zurich. His work has been published in over 475 papers, which have been cited over 50,000 times. He is an inventor on more than 25 patent families.
Nicolas Poirier, PhD, CSO, OSE Immunotherapeutics
Nicolas Poirier has 15+ years of experience in immunotherapy target identification/validation, preclinical and translational drug development and partnership with pharmaceutical companies. He was awarded the Thesis Prize of the journal Le Monde. Nicolas Poirier has been chief scientific officer of OSE Immunotherapeutics since 2016. He joined the company in 2009 as project leader and then as director of scientific programs. Nicolas holds a Ph.D. in immunology and has a strong expertise in the development of immunotherapies. His role at OSE has been to implement innovative therapeutic strategies on new targets and pathways in immunology addressing severe pathologies with high therapeutic need in immuno-oncology and Inflammation, thus making a robust contribution to the Company’s growth. Along with his R&D team, Dr. Poirier continues pursuing the identification of novel preclinical targets and translating them into first-class clinical-stage immunotherapies. He is the author of 50+ high-level international publications and 30+ patents in the area of immunotherapy.
Terence Rabbitts, FRS, FMedSci, Professor, Molecular Immunology, Center for Cancer Drug Discovery, Institute of Cancer Research
Prof. Terry Rabbitts is a molecular immunologist who trained at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge with Cesar Milstein and currently works at the Institute of Cancer Research, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and an EMBO Member. He has been the recipient of the Colworth Medal, the CIBA prize and the Clotten Foundation Prize in recognition for his work on the diversity and rearrangement of human antibody genes, and on chromosomal translocation genes in cancer aetiology and novel approaches to cancer drug discovery.
Miro E. Raeber, MD, PhD, Consultant Physician, Immunology, University Hospital Zurich
I am a physician-scientist trained in clinical immunology with a strong background in basic and translational research, currently working as a consultant physician at the Department of Immunology, University Hospital Zurich, University of Zurich in Switzerland. My research aims to promote anti-tumor immune responses as well reestablishing tolerance in autoimmune diseases applying novel cytokine treatments. To this end, we have discovered that interleukin-2 induces expansion and activation of tumor-infiltrating dendritic cells, thus rendering poorly immunogenic tumors immunogenic. On the other hand, within an investigator-initiated clinical trial we could demonstrate that low-dose interleukin-2 treatment selectively expands regulatory T cells, reducing disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus patients. My current research focuses on this fine line between eliciting potent anti-tumor immune responses and autoimmunity.
Brajesh K. Rai, PhD, Senior Director, Machine Learning Computational Sciences, Pfizer Inc.
Brajesh Rai leads the Machine Learning Computational Sciences Methods Development group at Pfizer. His team develops and delivers innovative computational solutions and machine learning models to advance drug discovery and development efforts in established (small molecules and antibodies) and emerging (mRNA and gene therapy) therapeutic modalities within Pfizer R&D. Prior to joining Pfizer in 2007, Brajesh held postdoc positions at Wyeth and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He received his PhD in physics from Purdue University, where he studied dynamics of active sites in heme proteins using theoretical and experimental techniques.
G. Jonah Rainey, PhD, Senior Director, Protein Engineering, Eli Lilly and Company
Jonah Rainey holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Tufts University and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin and the Salk Institute. He has engaged in discovery, research, and development of bispecific antibodies for more than 15 years. He is an inventor on several patents describing novel bispecific platforms and current clinical candidates that exploit these platforms as well as an author on almost 30 publications. Jonah contributed to research and early development leading to multiple clinical candidates from Phase I and through approved products and led many advanced preclinical programs in oncology, infectious disease, autoimmunity, and other therapeutic areas. Previous industry experience includes MacroGenics, MedImmune/AZ, Oriole Biotech, Gritstone Oncology, and Alivamab Discovery Services. Currently, Jonah is a Senior Director in Protein Science at Eli Lilly & Co.
Alexey Rak, PhD, Head, Biostructure and Biophysics, Sanofi, France
Alexey Rak got his MSc in biology and genetics, and in biochemistry. He then completed PhDs in biochemistry and biophysics working on protein biosynthesis machinery characterization. He did his PostDoc and then held a group leader position at Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology in Germany, working in the field of vesicular membrane trafficking. For this work he was awarded several honors including European Young Investigator Award in 2004. Since 2007, Alexey joined Sanofi in Paris where he has developed new methods to characterize biomolecular interactions as well as new approaches in protein structure determination including cryo-EM and enabling the lead discovery of challenging protein targets. Alexey is heading Bio Structure and Biophysics at Integrated Drug Discovery in Sanofi.
Kathya Rashida de la Luz Hernandez, PhD, Head, Analytical, Center of Molecular Immunology
Kathya Rashida de la Luz Hernandez holds as Doctor’s degree in Biological Science from University of Havana (Cuba) in collaboration with University of Manchester (UK). She is biochemistry, associated researcher and Head of Analytical Department of Process Development Direction in Center of Molecular Immunology, Havana, Cuba. She is also Professor of Biochemical Engineering and "Omics" in the Biology Faculty from University of Havana. She has published more than 20 papers in reputed journals, is co-inventor in one patent of formulation and serving as an editorial board member of repute.
David J. Reczek, PhD, Head of US Operations, Large Molecule Research, Sanofi
Dr. Reczek holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology from Cornell University and has over 20 years industry experience in biologics and small molecule drug discovery research and development. He currently oversees operations for Sanofi's US Large Molecule Research Platform that focuses on the discovery and delivery of innovative biologics to conquer complex diseases via multi-targeting, smart biologics, and intelligent drug design.
Carsten Reinhardt, MD, PhD, Managing Director, Chief Development Officer, Immatics Biotechnologies, GmbH
Dr. Carsten Reinhardt, MD PhD, is a renowned expert in the fields of oncology, immunology, immune-oncology, and neurology. He has long-standing and deep experience in developing therapies and programs dedicated to addressing high unmet medical needs with a focus on next-generation antibodies as well as cell-, gene-, and viro-therapy. Dr. Reinhardt serves as Chief Development Officer for Immatics Biotechnolgies (NASDAQ: IMTX), a leader in T cell therapy targeting cancer. Dr. Reinhardt currently also serves on the Board of Directors for Theolytics Ltd. and Revitope, Inc., and is an adjunct Professor of Pharmaceutical Medicine at the University of Basel.
Kim Remans, PhD, Head, Protein Expression & Purification Core Facility, EMBL Heidelberg
Dr. Kim Remans joined EMBL Heidelberg in July 2015 and is in charge of the Protein Expression and Purification Core Facility. Before that, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Dr. Alfred Wittinghofer in the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology in Dortmund (Germany). Her main research topic was the structural and functional characterization of ciliary transition zone proteins involved in different genetic diseases. Dr. Remans holds a PhD in Bioscience Engineering from the Free University of Brussels (Belgium). During her PhD research she studied different aspects of the lipoprotein transport pathway in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Dr. Remans obtained her master degree in Bioscience Engineering from the Free University of Brussels (Belgium). In this master program, the emphasis was on cellular and genetic biotechnology and how to apply these techniques in different research fields.
Fabian Richter, PhD, Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH
Fabian Richter, an experienced antibody engineer, joined Immatics in October 2019. He focuses on discovering and characterizing T cell receptors using the XCEPTOR® platform. During his Ph.D. and post doc, Fabian significantly contributed to the development of the novel monovalent antibody ATROSIMAB, that entered clinical development in 2021. Passionate about immunoglobulin domains in the context of TCRs, he brings his antibody expertise to the dynamic field of TCR-related therapeutics at Immatics.
Claudia Rinnofner, PhD, Founder & CEO, myBIOS GmbH
Claudia Rinnofner earned her PhD at Graz University of Technology (TUG) in the research group of Prof. Anton Glieder at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology. Her doctoral thesis was devoted to the expression of recombinant proteins in Pichia pastoris employing synthetic promoters. Following her PhD she worked at ACIB (Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology) and at the company bisy. In 2020, Claudia Rinnofner founded the company myBIOS GmbH to facilitate the production of the SARS-COV-2 spike and many more proteins in Pichia.
Esperanza Rivera de Torre, PhD, Assistant Professor, Center for Antibody Technologies, Department of Bioengineering, Technical University of Denmark
Dr. Esperanza Rivera de Torre is an Assistant Professor at the Center of Antibody Technologies at DTU Bioengineering. She received her PhD in Biochemistry from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid (Spain), where she also completed research visits to UMass Lowell (Lowell, MA, USA) and the Abo Akademi (Turku, Finland). Dr. Rivera de Torre is an accomplished researcher with expertise in toxinology, biophysics, and antibody technologies. In 2020, she joined DTU as a postdoctoral researcher, where she focused on developing protein design strategies for broadly-neutralizing antivenoms against snakebites, spider bites, and scorpion stings. Her research aims to understand the molecular basis of toxin-antibody interactions and develop novel therapies to combat venomous bites and stings. Dr. Rivera de Torre is currently starting her own research group, specializing in Immunological Biochemistry.
Francois Romagne, PhD, Scientific Director, MI-mAbs
Engineer and immunologist, I have spent most of my career in industry, first at Immunotech then at Innate Pharma as cofounder but also Chief Scientific Officer for nearly 14 years. Since 2012, I have brought my scientific and industrial experience to this exciting translational research tool that is MI-mAbs. Positioned at the interface of “therapeutic targets discoverers” from research and developers of the biopharmaceutical industry, MI-mAbs generates antibodies against these new targets and validates their efficacy and safety on in vivo models of human disease and in vitro, on human biological samples. MI-mAbs thus allows researchers to validate the therapeutic potential of their discovery and permits industrials to focus their efforts on the most promising drug candidate.
Parallel to that mission, MI-mAbs contributes to the ImmunoTechnology program of Master students, giving them the opportunity to learn about high precision technology such as monoclonal antibodies and their research, diagnostic or therapeutic applications. Our name - MI for Marseille Immunopole and mAbs for monoclonal antibodies - alone summarizes the importance of this dual role in the cluster strategy.
Robert G. Roth, PhD, Director, Protein Expression & Molecular Biology, Discovery Biology, R&D Biopharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca
Robert completed his PhD in biochemistry at Lund University in 2003 and joined AZ as a postdoc. Later he transitioned into a position as protein scientist and became an Associate Principal Scientist in 2011. Since 2017, he has been the Director of the Protein Expression & Molecular Biology team in Gothenburg with the responsibility to generate protein reagents for all downstream applications within BioPharmaceutical R&D.
Alice Rothnie, DPhil, Senior Lecturer, Biochemistry, Aston University
My research interests lie in elucidating the mechanistic functional details of transmembrane and membrane-associated proteins. To date I have predominantly focused on membrane transporter proteins of the ABC superfamily (ATP Binding Cassette), and proteins involved in cellular trafficking, but recently I have expanded this to include secondary active transporters, tetraspanins, ion channels and GPCRs (G-protein coupled receptors). I am really keen to develop new methods and as such have played a major role in developing the SMALP (styrene maleic acid lipid particle) technology for membrane protein extraction, purification, structural and functional characterization.
Joseph Rucker, PhD, Vice President, Research and Development, Integral Molecular, Inc.
Joe Rucker is the Vice President of Research & Development, a co-founder of Integral Molecular and an inventor of Integral Molecular’s founding Lipoparticle technology. Since joining the company, he has led the development of new applications for Lipoparticle technology, including its use in generating novel antibodies against membrane proteins. Dr. Rucker earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jeffrey Ruffolo, PhD, Machine Learning Scientist, Profluent Bio
Jeff Ruffolo is a Machine Learning Scientist at Profluent Bio, where he develops machine learning methods for functional protein design. He obtained his PhD in molecular biophysics at Johns Hopkins University, where he worked in the lab of Jeffrey Gray. During this time, he developed deep learning tools for antibody structure prediction, language modeling, and representation learning.
Aideen E. Ryan, PhD, Associate Professor, Tumour Immunology, Discipline of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, School of Medicine, University of Galway, Ireland
Dr. Aideen Ryan is Associate Professor in tumour immunology at University of Galway, Ireland. She received her BSc in Biochemistry from NUIG and her PhD in Medicine from University College Cork. Her research interests lie in understanding immune suppression in the tumour microenvironment and discovering new combination strategies to activate anti-tumour immunity. Advances in the use of immunotherapy for the treatment of colorectal cancer (CRC), the second most commonly diagnosed and deadly cancer worldwide, have been largely unsuccessful. The key to finding new immunotherapies is in understanding how cells within the tumour communicate with our immune system. Dr. Ryan's laboratory focuses their research on the challenge of studying how stromal cells contribute to tumour progression and aims to gain mechanistic insights into the role of tumour-associated stromal cells in dictating the phenotype and function of immune cells in the tumour microenvironment (TME).
Helmut R. Salih, MD, Professor for Translational Immunology, Medical Director, Clinical Collaboration Unit Translational Immunology, University Hospital Tuebingen and DKFZ Heidelberg, Germany; Co-Founder, TWYCE GmbH
Helmut Salih is hematologist/oncologist and Professor for Translational Immunology at Tuebingen University as well as head of the Clinical Cooperation Unit Translational Immunology at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). For more than 25 years his efforts focus, among others, on the conceptualization, preclinical testing and clinical development of novel immunotherapeutics until the stage of early clinical trials. This is exemplified by presently ongoing clinical studies that evaluate own-developed e.g. peptide vaccinations in CLL patients, but also for COVID-19, as well as improved mono- and bispecific antibodies (e.g., PSMAxCD3 and FLT3xCD3) in prostate cancer, lung cancer and acute myeloid leukemia.
Julieta Maria Sanchez, Instituto de Biotecnologia y Biomedicina, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Since my Ph.D. at Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina, I worked in the supramolecular modulation of enzyme activity in a heterogeneous environment. I applied biophysical techniques and enzyme kinetic analysis. Currently, I study and develop proteins in a supramolecular form with therapeutic functions. As a researcher from Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET) from Argentina, I won an M. Zambrano contract to work in the Nanobiotechnology group from Institut de Biotecnologia i de Biomedicina (IBB) from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain.
Aaron K. Sato, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Twist Bioscience
Aaron is CSO of Twist Bioscience and leads the Twist Biopharma Solutions SSF team. Prior to Twist, he served as Chief Scientific Officer of LakePharma, leading the California Antibody Center, which discovers novel antibody therapeutics for its clients. He also oversaw all discovery research functions both as Vice President of Protein Sciences at Surrozen, and previously, as Vice President of Research at Sutro Biopharma, Inc. He also held director level positions at both Oncomed and Dyax Corp.
Alexander Schinagl, PhD, Founder & CTO, OncoOne R&D GmbH
Alexander Schinagl is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at OncoOne, a biotech company focusing on the development of innovative therapeutics for treatment of patients with solid tumors and inflammatory diseases. He received a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna and is an expert in antibody engineering. Previously, Alexander worked at Baxter, Baxalta and Shire, where he led several discovery projects on antibody-drug conjugates for the treatment of cancers. At OncoOne Alexander leads the design and development of antibodies aimed at the treatment of solid tumors and inflammatory diseases.
Fabian Schmich, PhD, Senior Data Scientist, pRED Informatics, Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH
Data Scientist at Roche Innovation Center Munich, since 2016; PhD in Computational Biology from ETH, 2016; Diploma in Computational Biology from TUM, 2011.
Oliver Schon, PhD, Vice President, Research & Development, BiVictriX Therapeutics PLC
Oliver Schon, PhD, is the Vice President of R&D at BiVictriX Therapeutics, a UK-based SME focused on developing differentiated bispecific ADC medicines. Dr. Schon obtained his PhD in Cancer Research from The University of Cambridge, before joining Sir Greg Winter’s biotech venture, Domantis Ltd. in 2003, which was acquired by GSK three years later. Dr. Schon continued to work at GSK for over ten years, dedicated to developing biologics and cell therapy platforms for use in the clinic until he joined IO-focused American biotech, Agenus, Inc. in 2017. It was here that he amassed considerable CMC and biologics-based therapeutics manufacturing experience, developing numerous bispecific antibodies from discovery up until Investigational New Drug (IND), and beyond. At BiVictriX, Dr. Schon is applying his broad expertise from lead discovery to manufacture, in order to progress differentiated and developable therapeutic ADC candidates to clinical development.
Maren Schubert, PhD, Research Group Leader, Department of Biotechnology, Technical University of Braunschweig
Maren Schubert studied biotechnology at the TU Braunschweig. Afterwards she did her PhD at the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research, optimizing recombinant protein expression in insect cells and developing a fast baculovirus-free expression method. The following two years she was head of the recombinant protein production facility at the Rudolf Virchow Center in Wurzburg, expressing and purifying challenging target proteins. In 2018, she joined the lab of Prof. Stefan Dubel at the TU Braunschweig starting her own group mainly working on antigen and antibody expression in insect cells. More recently she started working on baculovirus-free virus-like-particle expression, developing cell assays used for antibody development and screening.
Jendrik Schoppe, PhD, Senior Scientist, Novo Nordisk
J.S. holds a PhD from the University of Zurich, where he focused on protein engineering and structure determination of G protein coupled receptors in the group of Prof. Andreas Pluckthun. During his research, he successfully determined structures of the NK1, PTH and oxytocin receptor, while also devising a generally applicable method to stabilize GPCRs for structural investigation. J.S. currently works as a specialist in Global Research Technologies at Novo Nordisk, where he bridges the fields of interaction characterization and structure determination of proteins.
Oliver Seifert, PhD, Senior Scientist, Institute of Cell Biology and Immunology, University of Stuttgart
Oliver Seifert holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Stuttgart. He is a senior scientist at the Institute of Cell Biology and Immunology of the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Research interests focus on the design and development of multivalent and multispecific antibody platforms and of recombinant bifunctional molecules for tumor therapy.
Maja Semanjski Curkovic, PhD, Science & Technology Expert, Process Analytical Sciences Tech R&D, Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Maja Semanjski Curkovic holds a PhD in Biochemistry from University of Tuebingen, Germany where she worked in the field of quantitative proteomics. She joined Novartis in 2019 and is currently working with mass spectrometry-based methods as an Expert Science and Technology in Process Analytical Sciences group located in Slovenia.
Laura Sewell, Scientist, Biopharmaceutical Development, AstraZeneca
A bioassay Development scientist as part of AstraZeneca’s biopharmaceutical development for the last 8 years, during my time at AZ and previously Medimmune I have worked on a variety of antibody formats across a range of therapeutic areas. Within the bioassay group I have developed a mixture of binding and cell-based assays to help bring molecules to the market, as well cell-based assay development I have developed several cell lines to use as critical reagents within bioassay. Previous to this I worked in the monoclonal antibody development team at Abcam for 4 years, generating Hybridomas for the production of monoclonal antibodies, with some time working in the purification team.
Melody Shahsavarian, PhD, Digital Biologics Platform, Large Molecules Research, Sanofi
I am the France Site Lead of the Large Molecule Research Digital Biologics Platform at Sanofi. I have been with Sanofi for 7 years during which time I have worked on development of different technology platforms such as implementation of in vitro phage display antibody libraries from immunized mouse models, droplet microfluidics for high-throughput sequencing of antibodies at single cell level, and Next-Generation-Sequencing for immune repertoire profiling. I have a BSc in Bioengineering from the Jacob School of Bioengineering at University of California San Diego and an MSc in Biotechnology from Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble. During my PhD in the Enzymatic and Cellular Engineering laboratory of University of Technology in Compiegne I studied the presence and implication of catalytic antibodies in healthy and disease immune systems using mouse models and high-throughput in vitro display technologies. As part of my current responsibilities, I am leading efforts in developing technologies for deep immune repertoire profiling and application of computational methods for in silico biologics discovery.
Ramesh Kumar Shanmugam, PhD, MBA, Associate Director, Biopharmaceutical Development, AstraZeneca
Ramesh Kumar is a Pharmaceutical Biotechnologist lead with 16+ years of broad cross-functional research and development experiences in patient-centric formulation and drug product process development, tech transfer for both early- and late-stage biologics. Ramesh Kumar specializes in bringing biotech products from early clinical to commercial launch, across various dosage forms and device delivery systems. I enjoy reading and solving puzzles; it helps me to think outside the box and use my imagination.
Lei Shi, PhD, Senior Vice President, R&D, Biointron Biological
Lei Shi, PhD is an SVP at Biointron. Prior to that, he worked for a series of biotech companies, including Virtuoso Therapeutics, Zai Lab, and Bird Rock. Lei has also worked at J&J in antibody discovery technology. He completed his postdoctoral study at MGH and Harvard Medical School.
Hiroki Shirai, PhD, Coordinator, RIKEN Center for Computational Science
Starting with the studies on structural classification of CDR-H3 (1996), I have been studying research on antibody informatics for 30 years. While I was executive fellow (2012-21) at Astellas Pharma, our team marked the best score at the global competition of antibody modeling (AMAII) and constructed a scheme of international industry-academia collaboration centered in the UK at EBI-industry program. Currently I belong to RIKEN Center for Computational Science (2022-), and serve as deputy of the Protein Science Society of Japan (2022-) and as guest professor at Kumamoto University (2022-). Taking advantage of these positions, I am tackling how to integrate deep learning and conventional antibody informatics towards next-gen antibody engineering through industry-academia collaboration.
Michael Siedler, PhD, Section Head, NBE Formulation Sciences & Process Development, Abbvie Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG
Michael Siedler received his Ph.D. in Solid State Chemistry from the University of Hamburg. In 2002 he started at Scil Technology GmbH as a Lab Head in Formulation and Process Development. In 2007 he joined the Biologics Drug Product Development as a group leader at AbbVie (previously Abbott) in Germany until 2010 when he was appointed Head of the Preformulation and Discovery Support Group at the AbbVie Bioresearch Center in Worcester, MA, USA. In 2014 he became a Section Head in the NBE Drug Product Development at AbbVie GmbH & Co KG, Germany and in 2016 he was assigned Head of the NBE High-Throughput and Advanced Formulation Sciences function.
Gabriela de Medeiros Silva, PhD, Research Investigator, Animal Cell Technology, iBET Instituto de Biologia Experimental Tecnologica
Gabriela Silva is a senior scientist at the Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnologica (iBET) in Portugal where she collaborates in various projects including the development of antibodies targeting Notch pathway ligands and studying their role in cancer, as well as investigating immune responses triggered by AAVs. Prior to joining iBET she conducted research in inflammation and cancer on projects aiming to understand mechanisms regulating disease and the activity of therapeutic agents. Gabriela holds a PhD in Biology from the Instituto de Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica (Portugal, 2001).
Savanna Skeeters, PhD, Scientist, Cyrus Biotechnology
Savanna Sharum Skeeters received her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, under the mentorship of Kai Zhang, designing reversible, light-dependent protein-protein interactions (optogenetics) and copper nanoparticles. She was then recruited by Cyrus Biotechnology to lead their Illinois research site, before moving to Cyrus' newly renovated laboratories at their Seattle premises. Dr. Skeeters does early-stage discovery and development of protein-based therapeutics, with a special emphasis on cytokines and their receptors, and interfaces with computational protein engineers to apply cutting-edge machine learning and artificial intelligence methods to create novel and non-immunogenic biologic drug candidates.
Dimitris Skokos, PhD, Senior Director, Cancer Immunology, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Dimitris Skokos, PhD joined Regeneron in 2008 as Staff Scientist and now serves as Executive Director of Cancer Immunology. Dimitris’ team is responsible for developing the next generation of combination immunotherapeutic strategies, including the CD28 costimulatory bispecific antibodies and other foundational antibody medicines to treat cancer. He holds more than 10 patents and 25 publications, and was part of the team that developed the FDA-approved treatment for metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, and Basal Cell Carcinoma, Libtayo. He has had the honor to work with esteemed scientists, George D. Yancopoulos and Roy P. Vagelos. Prior to joining Regeneron, Dr Skokos was a post-doctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University, working with Ralph Steinman (Nobel Laureate, 2011) and Michel Nussenzweig. He received his PhD and Master’s degrees in Molecular Immunology from the Pasteur Institute, University Paris 5, Rene Descartes School of Medicine, and his BSc. in Cellular Immunology and Physiology from University Paris, France.
Georgios Skretas, PhD, Director, Institute for Bio-innovation, Biomedical Sciences Research Center "Alexander Fleming;" Founder & CEO, ResQ Biotech
Dr. Skretas graduated from the School of Chemical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (Greece) in 1998 and received his Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Princeton University (USA) in 2006. He then moved on to the University of Texas at Austin (USA) to carry out post-doctoral research under the guidance of Professor George Georgiou. In 2010, he received a Marie Curie International Reintegration Fellowship to return back to Greece and the National Hellenic Research Foundation. Since then, Dr. Skretas has been Principal Investigator at the Institute of Chemical Biology, where he currently holds the rank of Research Associate Professor. He has recently been awarded with a Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) to develop engineered bacteria that will function as a discovery platform for new drugs against diseases caused by protein misfolding and aggregation. Dr. Skretas is also Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ResQ Biotech, an early-stage drug discovery company established in 2019 at the Patras Science Park.
Kate J. Smith, PhD, Director, UK Protein & Cell Sciences, GSK
I am currently Director of the UK Protein and Cell Sciences department at GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage. My department generates protein and cellular reagents for biopharmaceutical and small molecule drug discovery. I have more than 20 years of experience at GlaxoSmithKline working in early phase drug discovery and structural biology. I have experience discovering small molecule and biopharmaceutical drugs, across a range of disease indications. Before joining GlaxoSmithkline I carried out a PhD at Oxford university and Postdoctoral Research at Harvard University where I studied the structure of MHC and T-cell receptor molecules using X-ray crystallography and Biophysical techniques. Current research interests include structural immunology, immunomodulation, and high throughput expression.
Pietro Sormanni, PhD, Group Leader, Royal Society University Research Fellow, Chemistry of Health, Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge
Pietro Sormanni is a group leader supported by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on the development of innovative data-driven technologies of rational antibody design, to obtain antibodies against targets that have been challenging to access using conventional approaches, and to improve or predict biophysical properties crucial for the successful development of antibody therapeutics. In his work he has established numerous collaborations and industrial partnerships, whose outcomes are beginning to demonstrate that computational approaches can be applied alongside established procedures to streamline antibody development, and to offer time- and cost-effective novel alternatives. Prior to taking up this post, Pietro held a postdoctoral Borysiewicz Biomedical Sciences Fellowship from the University of Cambridge, and obtained a PhD in Chemistry and an MSc in Theoretical Physics.
Oliver Spadiut, PhD, Associate Professor, Integrated Bioprocess Development, TU Wien, Vienna
Oliver Spadiut completed his PhD in Biotechnology at BOKU University, Vienna, Austria, in 2008 before doing a 2-year PostDoc at KTH, Stockholm, Sweden. Since 2010, he has been employed as University Assistant in Biochemical Engineering at TU Wien, Vienna, Austria. In March 2015, he got his Habilitation in “Biotechnology” and is currently Associate Professor and PI of the research group “Integrated Bioprocess Development.” He has published more than 150 papers in reputed journals and is serving as a peer-reviewer for 80 scientific journals.
Philipp Spycher, PhD, CEO, Araris Biotech AG
Philipp Spycher obtained his Master’s Degree and Ph.D. from ETH Zurich (Switzerland) at the interface of Material Science and Protein Engineering. During his post-doctoral work at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI, Switzerland), he introduced the novel approach using transglutaminases for antibody conjugation that led to the discovery of the Araris Linker Technology. Philipp won the PSI Founder Fellowship as well as several other prices and grants to commercialize the technology. He is now leading Araris as CEO and managed to assemble a world-class team of co-founders and co-workers.
Daniel Steiner, PhD, Vice President, Lead Generation, Molecular Partners AG
Daniel Steiner is Senior Vice President Research at Molecular Partners. In his previous role with Molecular Partners, Daniel built the department responsible for DARPin generation for all research pipeline projects, specifically establishing the DARPin platform for systemic PK-extension. While earning his PhD at the University of Zurich under Professor Andreas Pluckthun, Daniel established a novel in vitro selection system enabling the efficient selection of DARPins for complex antigens. In addition to his doctorate studies at University of Zurich, Daniel performed his undergraduate studies at the ETH Zurich and at the Imperial College London.
Pawel Stocki, PhD, Vice President Research, Ossianix
Dr Pawel Stocki is currently the Director of Research at Ossianix. At Ossianix my group is utilising single domain shark antibody fragments to tackle the problem of therapeutic biologics delivery across Blood Brain Barrier. We focus on development and innovation of phage libraries and selection approaches, antibody engineering and optimisation for brain delivery in animal models. Prior to joining Ossianix, I was working at Medimmune on intracellular delivery of biologics. I also worked as Senior Scientist and managing Research Director at Psynova Neurotech, a biotech start-up at the University of Cambridge focused on biomarker discovery and validation for neurological indications.
Julia Su, PhD, Associate Director - BD, WuXi Biologics, Protein Sciences, Protein Sciences, WuXi Biologics
Dr. Su is an accomplished scientist with over 10 years’ research experience in mRNA vaccines, gene cell therapy and immunotherapy. Having transitioned to the commercial side five years ago, she’s highly regarded for expertise in protein/antibody production services. As the Business Development Associate Director of Protein Sciences at WuXi Biologics, she leads pre-clinical protein/antibody drug discovery services on the US east coast, bridging scientific innovation with practical implementation to benefit clients.
Hristo Svilenov, PhD, Associate Professor, Ghent University, Belgium
Dr. Svilenov is currently an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University. His research interests are in the development, formulation and manufacturing aspects of biotherapeutics. Before joining UGent, Dr. Svilenov was a postdoctoral researcher funded by a Peter and Traudl Engelhorn Fellowship and a grant from the Else Kroner-Fresenius Foundation in the group of Prof. Johannes Buchner at the Technical University of Munich. From 2016 to 2019, Dr. Svilenov did his PhD training supported by a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship under the supervision of Prof. Gerhard Winter at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He defended his doctoral thesis with the highest distinctions in Germany (summa cum laude) and received the AbbVie prize and the Carl-Wilhelm-Scheele of the German Pharmaceutical Society for his work. Dr. Svilenov is a pharmacist by training.
David E. Szymkowski, PhD, Vice President Preclinical Operations, Xencor, Inc.
David Szymkowski is currently VP of preclinical operations at Xencor, Inc., serving as a member of the team guiding our most promising research candidates into early clinical development. We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing bispecific antibodies and engineered cytokines as therapies for autoimmune diseases and cancer. Currently, over 20 candidates designed with Xencor's XmAb technology are marketed or in clinical development as wholly-owned or partnered programs. Our partners and licensees include Novartis, Amgen, Genentech, Janssen, Astellas, BMS, Vir, MorphoSys, Alexion, and others. Dr. Szymkowski has been with Xencor for almost 22 years, a span of time unimaginable when he joined the small startup. Prior to becoming a lifer at Xencor, Dr. Szymkowski enjoyed stints as a principal scientist in the inflammation group at Roche in the US, and as a virology program leader at Roche in the UK. He received his B.A. at Johns Hopkins University and his PhD from Penn State, and completed a postdoc at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in the UK.
Sandeep K. Talapatra, PhD, Leader Protein Science, Protein Cell & Structural Sciences, GSK
With 14 years of experience in the field of Protein Science, Dr. Sandeep Talapatra holds a PhD in Molecular Physiology conferred by the Beatson Labs, University of Glasgow, UK. His expertise ranges from academic research to the industry, where he has published extensively in the field of protein science. Dr. Talapatra has pioneered the development of novel targets for recombinant protein production in drug discovery. Currently, at GSK, he is focused on improving protein production by maximizing throughput, success rate, and reducing timelines.
Joshua Tan, PhD, Chief, Antibody Biology Unit, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health
Joshua Tan, Ph.D., is Chief of the Antibody Biology Unit at the Laboratory of Immunogenetics, a Stadtman Investigator and an NIH Distinguished Scholar at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. His research focuses on identifying and characterizing human monoclonal antibodies against infectious pathogens, including Plasmodium falciparum and SARS-CoV-2. His recent work includes the isolation of broadly reactive LAIR1-containing monoclonal antibodies targeting the P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte surface and the design of bispecific antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.
Keenan Taylor, PhD, Senior Scientist, AbbVie, Inc.
Dr. Keenan Taylor is a Senior Scientist in Biotherapeutics at the AbbVie Bioresearch Center in Worcester, MA. He is responsible for the construct design, purification, and delivery of research-grade antigens to advance the Biologics discovery pipeline.
Peter M. Tessier, PhD, Albert M. Mattocks Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences & Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan
Peter Tessier is the Albert M. Mattocks (Endowed) Professor in the Departments of Chemical Engineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, and a member of the Biointerfaces Institute at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware (2003, NASA Graduate Fellow) and performed his postdoctoral studies at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT (2003-2007, American Cancer Society Fellow). Tessier started his independent career as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2007, and he was an endowed full professor at Rensselaer prior to moving to the University of Michigan in 2017. Tessier’s research focuses on designing, optimizing, characterizing and formulating a class of large therapeutic proteins (antibodies) that hold great potential for detecting and treating human disorders ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. He has received a number of awards and fellowships in recognition of his pioneering work: Pew Scholar Award in Biomedical Sciences (2010-2014), Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers (2014-2015), Young Scientist Award from the World Economic Forum (2014), Young Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society (2015) and NSF CAREER Award (2010-2015).
Frederic B. Thalheimer, PhD, Molecular Biotechnology & Gene Therapy, Paul Ehrlich Institut
Dr. Frederic Thalheimer is a senior postDoc Fellow in the Department for Molecular Biotechnology and Gene Therapy at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut in Langen, Germany. He is currently a member of the European Society of Gene & Cell Therapies (ESGCT) and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Gentherapie (DGGT). He has a strong standing in viral vector retargeting and vector design, many working with lentiviral and AAV vectors. 1st place at Langen Junior Science Award 2019, for creating anti-tumoural immune cells in vivo (Pfeiffer et al 2018) for development of in vivo CAR delivery to T cells in a mouse model.
Lena Thoring, Director, Cell line and Bioprocess Development, FyoniBio GmbH
Lena received her PhD in 2017 at Berlin University for Technology before she went to Fraunhofer IZI-BB for Post Doc period. In 2019 she started as a scientist in CLD and USP at Glycotope GmbH and subsequently joined FyoniBio and is now leading the Cell line and Bioprocess group. She was the lead scientist for bulding up the powerful CHOnamite and CHOFlow platforms.
Will Thrift, PhD, Senior Artificial Intelligence Scientist, Genentech
Dr. Will Thrift is a Senior Artificial Intelligence Scientist in the Computational Sciences Department at Genentech. Will's PhD focused on developing deep machine learning methods for surface-enhanced Raman scattering sensors to enable applications in metabolomics. Will joined Genentech in 2019 where he focuses on developing deep machine learning methods for peptide-protein interactions in immunology. His state-of-the-art MHC class i model was the first machine learning model created by Genentech that has been used in a clinical trial to select drugs for personalized medicine.
Sophie Tourdot, PhD, Immunogenicity Sciences Lead, BioMedicine Design, Pfizer Inc.
Sophie received her PhD in T cell vaccine immunology from the Universite Paris Cite, France. Following her postdoctoral trainings at Imperial College London, she worked at the Pasteur Institute on HIV vaccine design, then progressed to Stallergenes-Greer and ITS. There, she led the pre-clinical immunology teams, assessing respiratory allergic diseases desensitization immunotherapy and vaccines for infectious diseases, respectively. She transitioned to the French National Research Institute for Health and Medical Research in 2012 as a key leadership member of the IMI-funded ABIRISK project, a consortium focused on the analysis of underlying biological mechanisms, clinical relevance, and prediction of unwanted immunogenicity of biopharmaceuticals. Sophie joined Pfizer’s BioMedicine department in 2017 where she now leads the Immunogenicity Sciences group, in charge of immunogenicity risk assessment of Pfizer biologics portfolio at all stages of development. She also acts as Director of Scientific Affairs for the European Immunogenicity Platform.
Michael Traxlmayr, PhD, Group leader, CD Laboratory for Next-Generation CAR T Cells, University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences
Michael Traxlmayr obtained his PhD in the field of antibody engineering in the lab of Christian Obinger, at BOKU in Vienna, Austria, followed by postdoctoral studies in the lab of Dane Wittrup at MIT, where he engineered non-antibody-based domains for specific antigen binding. After returning to Vienna, he started to apply his protein engineering skills in the CAR T cell field. For that purpose, he teamed up with Manfred Lehner from the CCRI in Vienna. In their “CD Laboratory for Next Generation CAR T Cells," they engineer novel protein tools to enable regulation of CAR T cell activity with small molecule drugs and to improve CAR T cell specificity. A novel technology for small molecule-regulated CAR control, which emerged from this collaborative project, was recently awarded as the “BOKU invention of the year 2020.”
Dana Tribby, Associate Scientist III, Analytical Development & Gene Therapy Chemistry, Biogen
Dana Tribby is an Associate Scientist in the Analytical Development Department at Biogen. She received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota Duluth and has four years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry working in the gene therapy modality. Her primary role is focused on method development and qualification of analytical assays supporting process development as well as their transfer to QC labs. She has hands-on experience in multiple assays and analytical techniques, with expertise in ddPCR, electron microscopy, and chromatography.
Damian Trojanowski, Dr, R&D Specialist, Antibody Discovery Group, Pure Biologics
Damian Trojanowski, PhD. Molecular biologist, graduated from University of Wroclaw. Connected with academic facilities for several years, then moved to industry. Author of numerous scientific articles. Currently employed at Pure Biologics and responsible for generation and optimization of novel therapeutic antibodies and antibody formats. Professional experience covers the areas of immune-oncology, cell biology, microbiology and molecular diagnostics.
Ryo Uchikawa, Pharmacologist, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Ryo Uchikawa is a researcher at Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., in Japan. He has more than 5 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Currently, he is a project leader on therapeutic antibody projects in oncology. During his career, Mr. Uchikawa has focused on the development, application, and testing of therapeutic antibodies, engineered antibodies, and novel biologics. He received the young investigators award at Japanese Association of Cancer Immunology (JACI) in 2021. He is skilled in cancer immunotherapy and oncology.
Susumu Uchiyama, PhD, Professor, Biotechnology, Osaka University
Dr. Uchiyama, PhD, is Professor in the department of Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan, and is also currently Visiting Professor at Kyoto University and ExCELLS, Japan. His research topics are science-based engineering in the field of solution biophysics of protein and colloidal particles, especially by using various kinds of biophysical methods, such as analytical ultracentrifugation, mass spectrometry (especially native MS and HDX-MS), and calorimetry. His research interests include energetic understanding of immune-related proteins and virus vectors for gene therapy. Container closure system for biopharmaceuticals with better quality and more safety is also in his recent scope. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers, including those in high impact journals, such as Nature and PNAS, and is on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. In addition, Dr. Uchiyama has received Young Investigator Awards from the Protein Society of Japan, and is a member of the organizing committee of the Protein Society of Japan and the project committee of the Japan Association of Animal Cell Technology.
Bernhard Valldorf, PhD, Targeting Director, Targeted mRNA Delivery, EMD Serono
Bernhard Valldorf has a PhD in Biochemistry from the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany where he focused his research on protein engineering and functionalization of scaffold molecules in the Kolmar lab. In 2016 he joined Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany) as a Post-Doc in early formulation development of biotherapeutics followed by a 1.5 year expat at the EMD Serono site in the Boston area. Since 2019 he is a lab head at Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany) in early formulation development of biotherapeutics focusing on small-scale screening approaches.
Marjolein van Egmond, PhD, Professor, Oncology and Inflammation, Surgery/Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, Amsterdam UMC
The research group of Dr. van Egmond studies antibody activation of innate myeloid immune cells, macrophages and neutrophils, with emphasis on understanding the role of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in physiology and pathology. Her research focuses specifically on (1) the contribution of abnormal antibody responses to chronic inflammation and autoimmunity and (2) monoclonal antibody therapy of cancer. Dr. van Egmond’s research is highly translational and she has a cross appointment with the Department of Surgery and the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, to facilitate the rapid progression of preclinical findings into clinical applications.
Pieter Fokko van Loo, PhD, Senior Director, Oncology - Immunology, Merus NV
Pieter Fokko van Loo (first name Pieter Fokko) has 15+ years experience in the field of Hematology and Immunology. First he investigated how transcription factors regulated immune cell development and function. Later, his research focused on the role of B cell receptor signaling components in the onset of B cell malignancies and autoimmunity. At Merus he has contributed to several product candidates evaluated in the clinic, and as program director he leads Merus’ T cell engager platform.
Timo K. Van den Berg, PhD, Senior Director, Immuno-Oncology Research, Byondis
Our main interest is in myeloid cells and their surface receptors in human disease, including cancer, host defense and inflammation. Our laboratory was among the first pioneering groups to describe cloning of the inhibitory receptor SIRPalpha and the first to describe its myeloid-restricted expression. We have since been studying the physiological functions of CD47-SIRPalpha interactions and co-discovered, in parallel with the Weissman group at Stanford University, that CD47-SIRPalpha axis acts as an immune checkpoint in the context of antibody therapy in cancer. The method of interfering with the CD47-SIRPalpha innate immune checkpoint in combination with cancer-targeting monoclonal antibodies in cancer was successfully patented (WO2009/131453), and this was licensed to Byondis with whom we are actively collaborating to develop agents targeting the CD47-SIRPalpha interaction.
Mireille Vankemmelbeke, PhD, Principal Scientist, Biodiscovery, Scancell, Ltd.
After graduating from the University of Ghent, Belgium (BPharm), I gained a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Sheffield Medical School, in 2001. This was followed by several post-doctoral positions, spanning extracellular matrix biology, as well as bacterial toxin research, before joining Professor Durrant’s cancer immunotherapy lab, generating cancer-targeting anti-glycan antibodies. This led to a research programme on antibody Fc-engineering, after which I swapped Academia for Biotech by joining Scancell Ltd. In my current role, I oversee Scancell’s cancer glycan-targeting antibody products (GlyMabTm), and the AvidiMab technology for improved antibody functionality.
Michele Vendruscolo, PhD, Professor, Biophysics, University of Cambridge
Michele Vendruscolo is a Professor of Biophysics and Director of the Chemistry of Health Laboratory at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Cambridge, where he moved over 20 years ago. He is also a founder of Wren Therapeutics, a drug discovery company that targets protein misfolding diseases. His research is focused on the development of rational design methods to optimise the properties of antibodies, in particular those relevant for developability. His innovative methods are widely used and progressively optimised through his extensive network of collaborations with academic and industrial partners. He has published over 500 scientific papers and 11 patents and given over 500 invited lectures at international meetings.
Wouter P.R. Verdurmen, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medical Biosciences, Radboud University Nijmegen
Dr. Verdurmen studied Biomedical Sciences at the Radboud University in Nijmegen (the Netherlands), where he also obtained his PhD on the cellular delivery of biomacromolecules with Prof. Roland Brock, focusing on cell-penetrating peptides. After finishing his PhD cum laude in 2012, he joined the laboratory of Prof. Andreas Pluckthun to work on engineering proteins for cytosolic delivery. In 2016, he moved to the Radboud University Medical Center with an early career grant to start his own independent line of research. In recent years, his work has dealt with various approaches to engineer modular therapeutic proteins for cytosolic protein delivery or to achieve local therapeutic protein production using a viral vector-based approach, mostly focusing on cancer. His work involves the use of advanced microfluidic tumor-on-a-chip systems with innate immune cells to mimic dynamic in vivo tumor characteristics and evaluate immunotherapeutic effects in an in vitro setting.
Bjorn Voldborg, MSc, Head, National Biologics Facility, DTU Bioengineering, Technical University of Denmark
Bjorn Voldborg has more than 20 years of experience working with recombinant protein expression from both academic and industrial settings. Bjorn was team leader in the biotech company Pharmexa A/S, responsible for molecular cloning and expression of protein-based drug candidates. From this, he went to the NNF Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen as Head of the Protein Production Unit, and, since 2012, Bjorn has been heading the CHO Cell Line Engineering project dedicated to the engineering of improved protein production cell factories, and since 2021 he has been heading the Cell Line and Protein Production in the National Biologics Facility at the Technical University of Denmark.
Annelise Vuidepot, PhD, Senior Vice President and CTO, Immunocore
Annelise joined Immunocore (Avidex) when it was founded in 2000 and has played a lead role in the design and engineering of the ImmTAX platform, a novel class of TCR-based bispecifics. She is currently leading Immunocore’s drug discovery pipeline and research to expand the ImmTAX technology further. Before joining Immunocore, Annelise was a postdoctoral researcher in the Biochemistry department at UCL. She gained her PhD in 1998 in Biophysics from the University of Paris.
Klaus Wagenbauer, PhD, Founder & CEO, Plectonic
Dr. Klaus Wagenbauer is the CEO of Plectonic Biotech, where he drives the company forward with a relentless focus making use of the LOGIBODY technology. He is an accomplished physicist whose exceptional work in DNA nanotechnology has earned him several outstanding publications, including Science and Nature. Dr. Wagenbauer has demonstrated a remarkable ability to push the boundaries of what is possible in the field of DNA nanotechnology and is an inventor of several patents that make use of the cutting-edge DNA-Origami technology. Throughout his career, Dr. Wagenbauer has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to the field of biotechnology with numerous awards and accolades. As a founder and partner of several biotech start-ups, he has been at the forefront of developing innovative technologies that have the potential to transform the biotech industry.
E. Sally Ward, PhD, Director, Translational Immunology; Professor, Molecular Immunology, Centre for Cancer Immunology, University of Southampton
Sally Ward completed her PhD research in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University in 1985 under the mentorship of Professor David Ellar. From 1988 to 1990, she carried out research on antibody repertoire technology in Sir Greg Winter’s laboratory at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. In 1990 she joined the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, as an Assistant Professor. From 2002-2014, she was a Professor in the Department of Immunology at the same institution and in 2004 was appointed to the Paul and Betty Meek-FINA Professorship in Molecular Immunology. Since 2014, she has been a Professor at Texas A&M University Health Science Center, and has recently been appointed as Director of Translational Immunology and Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Centre for Cancer Immunology in Southampton, U.K. In 2010, she was a founding co-organizer of the Gordon Research Conference ‘Antibody Biology and Engineering’. She is currently vice president of the Antibody Society. Her interdisciplinary research involves the use of a combination of fluorescence imaging, protein engineering and in vivo studies to develop antibody-based therapeutics to treat cancer and autoimmunity.
Stefan Warmuth, PhD, Vice President, Head CMC, Numab Therapeutics AG
Stefan is responsible for the CMC activities at Numab including protein engineering, analytics, and formulation, USP and DSP development. In his role as project lead, he further managed Numab’s lead program ND021 until FIM. Before joining Numab in 2015, Stefan worked in the pharmaceutical development at CSL Behring, focusing on process development and optimization to support clinical production and up-scaling. Stefan studied biochemistry in Tubingen and Zurich and graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from the ETH Zurich and obtained his PhD in Structural Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Zurich.
Paul Wassmann, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, NIBR Biologics Center, Novartis, Switzerland
Paul Wassmann, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, NIBR Biologics Center (NBC), Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland Analytical technology and strategy lead for NBEs at the Characterization/ Formulation/ Bioinformatics unit (CFB). This role includes evaluation and coordination of implementation of appropriate innovative and strategic concepts in analytical space for challenging and completely new Biologics modalities with main focus on liabilities evaluation of Biologics molecules and their developability assessment. Prior industry experience includes Project management for Biosimilar projects at Solvias AG, Switzerland, and Scientific role in Antibody Engineering and Analytics departments at Glenmark SA, Switzerland. Holds a doctorate in Structural Biology from Biozentrum Basel, Switzerland.
Ernst Weber, PhD, Head, Molecular Design & Engineering, Bayer AG
Dr. Weber is Head of Molecular Design & Engineering in the department of Antibody Lead Discovery and Optimization at Bayer AG. After receiving his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Halle (Germany), he conducted his Postdoc work as an EMBO Fellow at the MRC-LMB in Cambridge, focusing on protein engineering. In 2008, he joined ICON Genetics, where he developed new HTS-compatible molecular biology technologies applicable to the optimization of single proteins, but also complete enzymatic pathways. In 2012, he moved to Bayer AG, where he is responsible for antibody optimization and works as Project Leader in Ophthalmology, Inflammation, and lung disease. Since 2015, he has coordinated the setup of Bayer’s bispecific antibody platform.
Trevor Wilkinson, PhD, Director, Biologics Engineering, AstraZeneca
Trevor is Director in the Department of Biologics Engineering at AstraZeneca. In this role Trevor is responsible for the Protein Sciences Technology Platform Team which delivers high quality Target Proteins and Engineered Cell Lines to Biologics Projects across diverse therapy areas. His previous positions include Associate Director of Protein Sciences at MedImmune, Head of Protein Sciences at Cambridge Antibody Technology and Biochemistry Team Leader at Roche Products Ltd. Trevor holds a PhD in Protein Biochemistry from the University of Southampton and an MBA from the University of Hertfordshire.
Gokhan Yahioglu, PhD, Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Antikor Biopharma Ltd.
Gokhan Yahioglu is co-founder and the Head of Medicinal Chemistry and Antikor Biopharma, a preclinical biotechnology company developing antibody-fragment drug conjugates (FDCs) for difficult to treat solid tumours. He has been instrumental in the development of Antikor's unique technology; an antibody fragment capable of high drug loading which displays excellent PK properties whilst retaining beneficial properties like deep penetration into tumours. He has held post-doctoral positions at Cambridge University and Imperial College London where he co-founded PhotoBiotics, a spin-out developing targeted photodynamic therapy. He has also made significant contributions to the development of intracellular molecular probes, an area where he has published extensively.
Alexander Yermanos, PhD, Lecturer, Systems & Synthetic Immunology, ETH Zurich
Alexander Yermanos is an assistant professor at the University Medical Center, Utrecht, Netherlands and maintains a partial affiliation at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, as a senior scientist and lecturer. His research integrates principles of systems, synthetic, and computational immunology to investigate the adaptive immune response in the context of infection, immunization, and disease. This involves both linking computational and functional properties of adaptive immune repertoires and developing immunogenomics software with applications including single-cell immune repertoire sequencing, phylogenetics, and machine learning. Alex holds a BA in Biochemistry from Columbia University (2014) and an MS in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics from ETH Zurich & University of Zurich (2016). He completed his PhD at ETH Zurich (2020) under the co-supervision of Professors Sai Reddy and Annette Oxenius and performed a postdoc at the University of Geneva in the lab of Professor Doron Merkler.
Mitja Zidar, PhD, Senior Expert Science and Technology, Novartis
I was born on 21.12.1992 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I was fascinated by physics from a young age (right after I gave up on my career as a pilot and a construction machinery operator, as all five-year-olds do). In high school, I received two honourable mentions on International Physics Olympiad, so I went on to study physics and received my PhD in 2020. Today, I am a flexible and resourceful protein scientist combining both experimental and computational techniques on a daily basis at my work in Novartis. My hobbies include reading, learning new languages, and part time teaching as an Adjunct professor at University of Ljubljana.
Stefan Zielonka, PhD, Director and Global Head of Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering, Merck Healthcare KGaA
Stefan works as Director at Merck Healthcare KGaA (EMD Serono), Germany, where he heads the Department Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering (ADPE). He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry as well as a habilitation in biochemistry. Moreover, he acts as Senior Lecturer at the University of Darmstadt.
Patrick Zagel, PhD, Senior Scientist and Lab Head, Analytical Development, Pieris Pharmaceuticals
I have a PhD in chemistry and many years of experience analyzing various therapeutic proteins' biophysical and physicochemical properties. As a senior scientist, I am working with my team on various projects from early clone selection to late-stage CMC development at Pieris Pharmaceutical.
Rob N. de Jong, PhD, Senior Director and Head, Antibody Format Development, Genmab BV
Dr. Rob de Jong has worked in different roles at Genmab since 2007, spanning among others molecular biology, CMC-supportive research, and antibody engineering and is an inventor of Genmab’s HexaBody® and HexElect® technologies. He currently leads Genmab’s Antibody Format Development efforts, aimed at translating biomolecular and structural insights into novel antibody-based platform technologies.
Edward van der Horst, PhD, CSO, Sensei Bio
Edward van der Horst, PhD, is a molecular pharmacologist with a strong focus on antibody drug development across diverse target classes in oncology. He has 20 years of research and development experience from Zenith Epigenetics Ltd., Igenica Biotherapeutics, Inc., OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Tularik, Inc. (now Amgen), and U3 Pharma GmbH (now Daiichi-Sankyo). Dr. van der Horst’s contributions and discoveries have led to the clinical evaluation of several novel drug candidates at Igenica Biotherapeutics and OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, as well as to the first clinical stage anti-HER3 antibody at U3 Pharma GmbH. He received his postdoctoral training at Tularik, Inc., earned his PhD in biochemistry from the Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry and conducted his master’s thesis at Max-Planck Institute of Neurobiology. He graduated with an MS of chemistry from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
Moritz von Stosch, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer, Datahow
Dr. Moritz von Stosch is a thought leader in the area of hybrid modeling for bioprocess development and manufacturing. He is the co-author of more than 40 scientific publications, including the book “Hybrid Modelling in Process Industries.” He is the Chief Innovation Officer at DataHow AG, developing novel approaches for accelerated process development and Managing Director of DataHow LDA. Prior to joining DataHow, Moritz led the Process Systems Biology & Engineering Centre of Excellence at GSK Vaccines, for which he received an Innovation Performance and Trust award and was nominated a change catalyst. He lectured at Newcastle University (England), holds a PhD in Biochemical Engineering from University of Porto (Portugal), and received a Dipl.Ing. in Chemical Engineering from RWTH Aachen University (Germany).
- Antibody-Based Therapies
- Emerging Targets & Approaches
- Membrane Protein Targets
- Safety & Efficacy of Bispecifics
- Advancing Bispecifics
- Engineering Bispecifics
- Optimisation & Developability
- Analytical Characterisation
- Protein Stability & Formulation