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 Business Development Officer at Paige, where she leads partnership teams across verticals as well as marketing and product strategy. Prior to joining the company, 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.

Catherine Alix-Panabières

Director LCCRH at the University Medical Center of Montpellier

Dr Alix-Panabières is an Associate Professor and the Directorof the Laboratory of Rare Human Circulating Cells (LCCRH) at the University Medical Center of Montpellier and the CREEC – CANECEV CNRS, University Montpellier, France.

She is working in the liquid biopsy field for 22 years and is the expert for the EPISPOT assay, a technology that has been recently improved to detect functional CTCs at the single cell level (EPIDROP). Importantly, Dr Alix-Panabières & Prof Pantel coined for the first time the term ‘Liquid Biopsy’ in 2010 (Trends Mol Med).

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.

Ida Biunno

Professor at Biomedicine at the University of Milano

She holds a Doctoral Degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Milan (Italy) and from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia,PA)She was a researcher at the National Cancer Institute of Milan (Italy) and joined the National Research Council in Milan to work on the Human Genome Project under the coordination of Prof. Renato Dulbecco (Nobel Laureate) and was a visiting scientist at Salk Institute for Medical Reach in San Diego USA.

Jens K. Habermann

Director General at BBMRI-ERIC

As Director General, Jens is the legal representative of BBMRI-ERIC, the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure - European Research Infrastructure Consortium.

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.

Klaus Pantel

Chairman of the Institute of Tumour Biology at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

The pioneer work of Prof. Pantel in the field of cancer micrometastasis, circulating tumor cells and circulating nucleic acids is reflected by more than 550 publications in excellent high ranking biomedical and scientific journals and has been awarded the AACR Outstanding Investigator Award 2010, German Cancer Award 2010, and two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants 2011 and 2019. Moreover, Prof. Pantel is the founder and chairman of the European Liquid Biopsy Society (ELBS).

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.

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.

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

Director EU Medical Affairs & Marketing at HTG Molecular Diagnostics

Selina Gaertner is Director EU Medical Affairs & Marketing 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 many years of experience in the management of scientific research in academia. Her primary interest is in the genetics of complex diseases using human population and family-based biobanks and linked electronic health record data.

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.