Prof. Mathias Uhlén, KTH, Sweden

Talk Title: “The Human Protein Atlas – implications for human biology, drug development and precision medicine”

Prof. Uhlén´s research is focused on protein science, antibody engineering engineering and precision medicine and range from basic research in human and microbial biology to more applied research, including clinical applications in cancer, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases and neurobiology. His research has resulted in more than 650 publications. His group was the first to describe a number of innovations in science including engineered protein A and protein G for purification of antibodies, affinity tags for purification of recombinant fusion proteins, solid phase methods based on magnetic beads for DNA handling using the biotin – streptavidin system, Pyrosequencing leading to the first next generation DNA sequencing instrument (454 / Roche), Affibodies – protein binders aimed for therapeutic applications. Since 2003, he has led an international effort to systematically map the human proteome and transcriptome to create a Human Protein Atlas using antibodies and various omics technologies. He is member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in USA, the Royal Swedish Academy of Science (KVA), the Swedish Academy of Engineering Science (IVA) and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). He is the President of the European Federation of Biotechnology. From 2010-2015, he was the founding Director of the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) which is a national center for molecular bioscience.

Prof. Jennifer Cochran, Stanford University, United States

Talk Title: “Engineering ligands and receptors as next-generation protein therapeutics”

Prof. Cochran is the Shriram Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University. She is a Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, Chemical Engineering and a member of the Cancer Biology, Biophysics, and Immunology graduate programs. Dr. Cochran serves as the Director of the Stanford/NIH Biotechnology pre-doctoral training program, and co-Director of the Stanford NIST pre-doctoral training program. Her research group uses interdisciplinary approaches in chemistry, engineering, and biophysics to study complex biological systems and to develop new tools for basic science and biomedical applications. Dr. Cochran translational interests span protein-based drug discovery and development for applications in oncology and regenerative medicine, and development of new technologies for high-throughput protein analysis and engineering. Dr. Cochran obtained her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Biological Engineering.

Prof. Alois Jungbauer, BOKU, Austria

Talk Title: “Production and purification of non-mab proteins by platform processes”

Prof. Jungbauer received his PhD in Food Technology and Biotechnology from BOKU. He serves as a professor at the Department of Biotechnology at BOKU. He teaches Protein Technology and Downstream Processing and Bioprocess Engineering and is study director of the Ph.D. program Bioprocess Engineering. He also acts as area head of Bioprocessing Engineering and Deputy Director of Research in the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology. He is currently working in the field of bioprocess engineering of proteins, plasmids and viruses. He has published 340 papers on recombinant protein production, bioseparation and advanced materials for bioprocess enginering, 17 patents and 12 book contributions and recently a monograph entitled “Protein Chromatography, Process Development and Scale Up”. He is executive editor of Biotechnology Journal. He acts also as the vice president of research of the European Society of Biochemical Engineering Science.

Prof. Mibel Aguilar, Monash University, Australia

Talk Title: “Membrane affinity for bacterial membranes: a patchy mechanism of disruption”

Prof. Aguilar´s lab focuses on peptide-based drug design, membrane biology and biomaterials. We are developing novel compounds that allow us to exploit the potential of peptides as drugs and are currently applying our technology to new compounds for treatments of cardiovascular disease. Our membrane biology projects involve the development of new methods for membrane protein analysis with application to apoptosis, G protein-coupled receptor function and antimicrobial peptide function. We are also applying our recently developed peptide-based materials to the development of new scaffolds for stem cell growth and tissue regeneration. The long-term aim of these studies is to increase our understanding of the molecular basis of peptide and protein function and allow the rational design of peptide and protein based therapeutics.

Prof. Dane Wittrup, MIT, United States

Talk Title: “Occam’s pharmacokinetics: dosing tumors from the inside out”

K. Dane Wittrup, Ph.D., is the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Associate Director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Dane is responsible for most of the recent advances in directed evolution of biopharmaceutical proteins and display of libraries of antibodies and other binding reagents in yeast. His research interests include pretargeted radioimmunotherapy, biological response modification of EGFR, and immunotherapy of cancer via engineered cytokines and vaccines. Dane’s awards include the Presidential Young Investigator Award of the National Science Foundation (1990–1995), the Allan P. Colburn Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for excellence in publications for an individual under the age of 35 (1998).  He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (1999), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2011), and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering (2011). In 2007, Dane co-founded Adimab, Inc. with Tillman Gerngross of Dartmouth University, and serves as Chief Scientific Officer. In 2009, he co-founded Eleven Biotherapeutics, and serves on its Scientific Advisory Board.

Prof. Sarah Heilshorn, Stanford University, United States

Talk Title: “Protein engineering of multi-functional biomaterials for regenerative medicine”

Prof. Heilshorn is Associate Professor and Otterson Faculty Scholar in the Materials Science & Engineering Department at Stanford University. Her laboratory integrates concepts from materials engineering and protein science to design new, bioinspired materials. These materials are being explored for applications in regenerative medicine, 3D bio-printing, and ex vivo human tissue mimics. She has been selected for the US National Science Foundation Career Award and the US National Institute of Health New Innovator Award. She completed her PhD in Chemical Engineering at Caltech and was a postdoctoral scholar in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Prof. Heilshorn is a fervent supporter of diversifying the engineering community and serves in multiple leadership roles to help achieve this goal. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the Royal Society for Chemistry. She serves as an Associate Editor for Science Advances.

Prof. David Baker, University of Washington, United States

Talk Title: “The Coming of Age of De Novo Protein Design”

Prof. Baker is the director of the Institute for Protein Design, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Henrietta and Aubrey Davis Endowed Professor in Biochemistry, and an adjunct professor of genome sciences, bioengineering, chemical engineering, computer science, and physics at the University of Washington. His research group is focused on the design of macromolecular structures and functions. Dr. Baker has received awards from the National Science Foundation, the Beckman Foundation, and the Packard Foundation. He is the recipient of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, Irving Sigal and Hans Neurath awards from the Protein Society, the Overton Prize from the ISCB, the Feynman Prize from the Foresight Institute, the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, the Sackler prize in biophysics, and the Centenary Award from the Biochemical society. Sixty-five of his mentees have gone on to independent faculty positions, he has published over 500 research papers, been granted over 100 patents, and co-founded 11 companies. Dr. Baker is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also a project leader with The Audacious Project.

Prof. Amy Keating, MIT, United States

Talk Title: “Strategies that enhance SLiM binding to EVH1 domains”

Prof. Keating is a Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering at MIT. Her lab  uses computational and experimental methods to study protein structure, function, and interactions. The “bottom up” approach targets structurally conserved interaction domains and motifs, including coiled coils and Bcl-2 family proteins. Simple structures offer the possibility of obtaining a detailed and predictive understanding of how sequence and structure encode interaction specificity.

Prof. Steven Cramer, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, United States

Talk Title: “A New Tool Set for Examining Preferred Binding Domains of Proteins in Bioseparation Systems”

Prof. Cramer is currently conducting research on several areas related to protein-surface interactions and molecular bioprocessing. In addition, Professor Cramer is known worldwide for his expertise in separations in general. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the International journal Separations, Science and Technology for 20 years. Professor Cramer was the awarded the Alan S. Michaels Award for the Recovery of Biological Products (ACS Division of Biochemical Technology) and the 2016 ACS National Award in Separation Science and Technology. He was also awarded Rensselaer’s School of Engineering Outstanding Professor Award and the Research Excellence Award. Dr. Cramer was given a Presidential Young Investigator award from the National Science Foundation, the Early Career Award from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as well as several teaching awards. Professor Cramer has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Chemical Society and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He has chaired several prestigious meetings including 2 International HIC/RPC Bioseparation Conferences, 2 ACS Recovery of Biological Products Meetings and the Gordon Conference on Reactive Polymers. Prof. Cramer is a consultant for several biopharmaceutical and bioseparation companies. He is also serving on the FDA panel for biosimilars and is the Chair of the Recovery of Biological Products Board. Prof. Cramer has published over 185 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has 12 patents. Importantly, he has produced 50 Ph.D. students who have gone on to leadership positions in the biotechnology industry and academia.

Prof. Rebecca Wade, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, Germany

Talk Title: “Beyond affinity: predicting protein-ligand binding kinetics”

Prof. Wade studied at the University of Oxford (B.A. Hons. in physics, 1985; D. Phil. in Molecular Biophysics, 1988). She then did postdoctoral research at the universities of Houston and Illinois, primarily in biomolecular simulation, before taking up a position as a group leader in the Structural and Computational Biology Programme at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg in 1992. Rebecca Wade set up the Molecular and Cellular Modeling Group at the EML (later EML Research and then HITS) in 2001. She was Adjunct Professor at the International University in Germany in Bruchsal from 2001-2003. She was appointed full Professor at Heidelberg University in 2012 and is a member of the Faculty of Biosciences.

Prof. Andreas Plückthun, University of Zurich, Germany

Talk Title: “Design meets evolution: the quest for modular binding of linear epitopes”

Prof. Plünckthun started his studies of Chemistry at the University of Heidelberg and obtained his PhD from the University of California in San Diego. As a postdoctoral fellow he worked at the Harvard Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. After spending 7 years in the USA, Andreas Plückthun returned to Germany and became group leader at the Gene Center of the University of Munich and at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. He joined the Department of Biochemistry in 1993 as a Full Professor. He received several awards for his research focused on protein engineering and directed evolution, especially of antibodies, engineered binding molecules and membrane proteins. He is co-founder of the two spin-off companies Morphosys (now 400 employees) and Molecular Partners (now about 70 employees) both of which are very successful.

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