Speakers (A-Z)

Andres Metspalu

Professor at University of Tartu

Prof. Andres Metspalu, was a postdoc at Colombia and Yale University in 1981-1982. His main scientific interests are human genetics (1985 EMBL, 1987 MPI West Berlin), genomics of complex diseases and population based biobanks and application of the precision medicine in health care, 1993-1994 at BCM, Houston, as a visiting faculty and year 2000 at IARC, Lyon, France as a recipient of the International VSS Award and in 2012 sabbatical at University of Lausanne. From 1996 to 2008

Brent Schacter

Professor Emeritus at Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba

Dr. Schacter is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine of the University of Manitoba and member of the Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology at CancerCare Manitoba. He has published 83 manuscripts and 100 abstracts and made about 60 invited presentations. From 1993 to 2003 he was President and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba.

Carla Leibowitz

Chief BD Officer at Paige.AI

Carla Leibowitz is Chief BD Officer at Paige.AI. Prior, she led Corporate Development and Strategy at Arterys, the first company to achieve FDA clearances for several products that combine cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

She has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and engineering degrees from both MIT and Stanford.

Catherine Alix-Panabières

Director LCCRH at the University Medical Center of Montpellier

Dr. Catherine Alix-Panabières received her PhD degree in 1998 at the Institute of Virology, University Louis Pasteur, in Strasbourg in France and in 1999, she moved to Montpellier where she did a postdoctoral research at the University Medical Centre. During this last decade, Dr Alix-Panabières has focused on optimizing new techniques of enrichment, detection and characterization of viable circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in patients with solid tumors.

Christa Noehammer

Senior Scientist at AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology)

Christa Noehammer works as Senior Scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology where she has been heading the Molecular Medicine research unit for several years. Holding a master degree in Microbiology and a PhD in Biochemistry she has been working in the microarray field since 1999 being involved in the design, production and data analysis of various microarray types thereby mainly focusing on minimally invasive biomarker discovery for cancer diagnostics.

Christian Werno

Research group leader “Preclinical Therapy Models” at Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM, Division of Personalized Tumor Therapy

Christian Werno is a biologist who got his PhD at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Then he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Fraunhofer ITEM Regensburg Division of Personalized Tumor Therapy.

Since 2015 he is leader of the “Preclinical Therapy Models” research group at Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM, Division of Personalized Tumor Therapy. His group has focused on development and functional testing of CTC-derived in vivo and in vitro models from metastatic cancer patients.

Daniel Grölz

Scientific Associate Director R&D, Sample Technologies Department at QIAGEN

Dr. Daniel Grölz is a Scientific Associate Director of Research and Development at QIAGEN in Hilden, Germany. Dr. Groelz is the R&D project manager who led an international team within PreAnalytiX GmbH to develop the PAXgene Tissue and the PAXgene Blood ccfDNA Systems. He was the leader for the evaluation of the PAXgene Tissue System within the European collaborative grant project, SPIDIA, and manages work packages in two other grant projects to evaluate the PAXgene Tissue and PAXgene Blood ccfDNA Systems for use in routine pathology workflows.

Jane Wilkinson

Senior Director, Genomics Platform Project & Alliance Management at Broad Institute

Jane Wilkinson is a Senior Director at the Broad Institute where she leads the Broad Genomics Alliance Management team. In this role, Jane manages the platform’s external collaborations and alliances, overseeing the successful implementation and execution. She also works to ensure that the platform meets complex goals from a variety of scientific project types with specific deliverables and deadlines of partnerships, as well as serving as an advocate for those partnerships.

Jim Vaught

Editor-in-Chief, Biopreservation & Biobanking

Dr. Jim Vaught spent 14 years at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, most recently as the Chief of the Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch.  He earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Georgia and Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Medical College of Georgia. His additional training and research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Michigan Cancer Foundation were in the areas of chemical carcinogenesis and drug metabolism. He has been working in the field of biobanking and biospecimen science for over 20 years.

Jörg Engelbergs

Scientific-Regulatory Expert and Assessor Biomedicines (Quality, Non-Clinic, Personalized Medicine, CDx)

Jörg Engelbergs, PhD, is currently working for the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (National Competent Authority responsible for human medicines) in Langen, Germany, as assessor for biopharmaceuticals (Quality, Non-Clinic, Biomarkers, Personalized Medicines / Companion Diagnostics).

Karine Sargsyan

Chief Operating Officer at Biobank Graz

Karine Sargsyan, MD, pediatrician and psychologist, is a native Armenian.

She joined the Medical University Graz, Austria (MUG) in 2005 within the scope of an international cooperation project after several years in Children’s Republican Hospital in Yerevan, Armenia where she led the Metabolism, Nutrition and Medical Dietetics department.

Her professional performance has been recognized with more than 15 academic awards. Her expert career outside of academia includes consulting activities for pharma and biotech industry.

Lao Saal

CEO at SAGA Diagnostics

Dr. Saal graduated from Columbia University, New York, with MD and PhD degrees, and has performed cancer research at the National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  He is Associate Professor, Division of Oncology, Lund University, and Heads the Translational Oncogenomics Unit.

Lauren C. Leiman

Executive Director at BloodPAC

Lauren Leiman is currently the Executive Director of the Blood Profiling Atlas in Cancer (BloodPAC), a consortium focused on creating an open database for liquid biopsies to accelerate the development of safe and effective blood profiling diagnostic technologies for patient benefit. Prior to running BloodPAC, she was the Senior Director of External Partnerships at White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force during the Obama Administration.

Marianne Oulhen

Head of Projects at Gustave Roussy

Marianne Oulhen is a biologist engineer at Gustave Roussy. She works in the Dr Françoise Farace’s team in the Translational Laboratory of Rare Circulating Cells (CNRS UMS3655 - INSERM US23 AMMICA) and the Circulating Tumor Cells team at INSERM U981. She has a “Biotechnologies and Biohealth” master’s degree. For the past ten years, she focused her research on circulating tumor cells with the goal of identifying both sensitivity and resistance biomarkers of anticancer therapies.

Matt Humphries

Scientific Lead for Tissue Hybridisation & Digital Pathology at Precision Medicine Centre of Excellence - Queen’s University Belfast

Matt is the Scientific Lead for Tissue Hybridisation & Digital Pathology in the Precision Medicine Centre of Excellence at Queen’s University Belfast. He is responsible for the TH & DP team, whose overarching goal is to deliver projects from clinical trials, programmatic research and industry.

Prof. Matthew Griffin

Professor of Transplant Biology at National University of Ireland, Galway

My primary qualification is in Medicine. My training took me from Cork and Dublin to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, USA where I specialised in the care of patients with kidney disease and organ transplants.

My interest in transplantation resulted in a research fellowship in basic immunology at the University of Chicago, USA following which I spent 9 years combining clinical transplant medicine with laboratory-based immunology research at Mayo Clinic.

Pasquale De Blasio

Executive Vice President and COO at ISENET Biobanking

Pasquale De Blasio, is a recognised International expert in the Biobanking field. Presently he is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of ISENET Biobanking. Founder and CEO of Integrated Systems Engineering, leader in Tissue Microarray and Digital Pathology Platform. He is also the Founding President of ESBB (European, Middle East and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking - www.esbb.org); member of the Marble Arch International Experts Biobanking Group; and Member of ISBER; Member of the GET Consortium; Member of the Qatar Biobanking for Medical Research Committee.

Peadar Mac Gabhann

Managing Director at Biostór Ireland

Peadar Mac Gabhann graduated from the National University of Ireland, University College Dublin with a M.Sc. in Industrial Microbiology. He carried out post graduate research at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) Amsterdam, Biogen at ETH Zurich and the Faculty of Medicine at Kyoto University Japan.

He joined Schering Plough Corporation (Merck Sharpe & Dohme) and was a key member of staff in the start-up of the first world-wide Biopharma facility in Cork for the production of Interferon in 1983. As Director and board member of Schering Plough Japan, he led the company’s research and Asian business development operations.

Reinhard Ortmann

Director Companion Diagnostics at QIAGEN

Reinhard Ortmann is Director Oncology & Precision Diagnostics at QIAGEN and focuses on companion diagnostic commercialization. He is responsible for early companion diagnostic and drug launch preparation and alignment with QIAGEN’s pharmaceutical partners. Reinhard worked for many years in pharmaceutical companies, such as Johnson & Johnson and Chiron Biopharmaceutical, and held various sales and marketing positions covering multiple therapeutic areas.

Selina Gaertner

Medical Affairs Manager EMEA at HTG Molecular Diagnostics

Selina Gaertner is Medical Affairs Manager EMEA at HTG Molecular Diagnostics, where she is since 2016 living the mission to empower precision medicine on the local level by bridging Molecular Profling, Biomarker Signature Development and Molecular Diagnostics with the extraction-free RNA analysis solution HTG EdgeSeq.

Shona Kerr

Project Manager at MRC Human Genetics Unit, Edinburgh

Shona Kerr has more than 20 years of experience in the management of basic scientific research in academia. Her primary interest is in the genetics of quantitative traits using human population and family-based biobanks and linked electronic health record data.

She has spent the last six years at the University of Edinburgh as project manager of the QTL in Health & Disease programme. The QTL (Quantitative Trait Locus) programme leverages the special population structures in Scottish and Croatian cohorts to deliver biological understanding of the causes of variation in complex traits.

Sophie Brouard

Team Leader, Director of Research CNRS

Sophie Brouard (VMD, PhD)leads a team of 32 researchers at the ITUN. After completing her PhD in Immunology and transplantation at INSERM U437, she undertook a Post-doctoral study in the Department of Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA). She joined ITUN in 2000 as Director of research (CNRS).

She received the Bronze medal from the French CNRS national research institute in 2004, the French Society of Immunology prize in 2011, and a distinction from the National French Medical Academy in 2012 for her work on tolerance and biomarkers in transplantation and auto-immune diseases.

Dr. Vincent von Walcke-Wulffen studied at the University of Hamburg. In 2004 he became a research assistant at the Fraunhofer IBMT in the working group "Cryobank". He represented Fraunhofer- at the BBMRI and in the ISO working group.

Since 2010 he is founder and managing director of BioKryo GmbH. BioKryo is a commercial GMP-biobank for the storage of cryopreserved samples for later diagnostic and therapeutic use. Since 2019 BioKryo GmbH is part of the Air Liquide Biobanking Network.

Yong-Jie Lu

Professor in Molecular Oncology at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Yong-Jie Lu completed his medical training and PhD in China. He did his postdoctoral studies 1995-2001 at Institute of Cancer Research, London, where he was promoted to a permanent post of senior staff scientist. In 2003, to set up his own research team for male urological cancer genetic and biomarker studies at Barts Cancer institute, Queen Mary University of London, where he was promoted subsequently to reader and professor.

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