Chairman – Dr. Toh Han Chong BSc (Lond), MB Bchir (Cambridge), FRCP (Edin), FAMS
Dr. Toh is Senior Consultant and former Head at the Department of Medical Oncology and now Deputy Director, National Cancer Centre, Singapore. He graduated from the University of London, UK with an intercalated Bachelor of Science in ‘Infection and Immunity’ from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School and qualified as a medical doctor from University of Cambridge, UK. Dr Toh obtained his Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in 2003. He received his medical oncology fellowship training at the Singapore General Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA and at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA. He is also alumni at the Harvard Business School.
Dr. Toh is a recipient of the National Clinician Scientist Award for his pioneering work in cell therapy for cancer and continues to work actively in the field of cell and immunotherapy, the microenvironment and inflammation. Dr. Toh is an Associate Professor and College Master at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and an adjunct Principal Investigator at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR. He has published over 75 peer review journal papers to date including in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, Nature Genetics, Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Molecular Therapy and Stem Cells.
Prof. Zwi Berneman, M.D., Ph.D., FRCP
Prof. Berneman, is Professor of Hematology and Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Hematology at the University of Antwerp and Head of the Division of Hematology at the Antwerp University Hospital. The main focus of his research is vaccination with immunogenic dendritic cells for malignant disease (acute myeloid leukemia, glioblastoma, mesothelioma, metastatic breast cancer) and infections (HIV, cytomegalovirus) and with tolerogenic dendritic cells in multiple sclerosis. His laboratory has pioneered mRNA electroporation as a clinically safe gene transfer methodology and has applied it to the fields of dendritic cells, T-lymphocytes and stem cells. He has been conducting clinical trials with cultured cells as advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP) since 2005. For this, he helped establish the Center for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine (CCRG) of which he is the Medical Director, at the Antwerp University Hospital and for which he obtained a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Certification and Production License for dendritic cells and limbal epithelial cells from the (Belgian) Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products.
Professor Xandra Breakefield Ph.D.
Professor Breakefield is a Professor of Neurology in the Neuroscience Program at Harvard Medical School and Geneticist in the Neurology and Radiology Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. A major emphasis of her laboratory has been on identifying disease genes, and on elucidating the etiology and developing therapy for neurologic diseases and tumors of the nervous system. Recent work in the Breakefield laboratory includes characterization of the nucleic acid content of exosomes (microvesicles) released by tumor cells, including their use as biomarkers in the serum of cancer patients for genetic evaluation of tumors, their ability to carry out horizontal gene transfer to other cells to promote tumor growth; and their potential for tumor therapy.
Professor Breakefield serves on the External Advisory Council for the American Society for Gene Therapy and is Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the NIH NCATS Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium. She received her PhD from Georgetown University and did post-doctoral training at NIH. She has received awards from the McKnight Foundation, the NIH Javits program and the Society for Neuroscience, and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. John Connolly
Dr. Connolly is a Senior Principal Investigator and Director for Translational Immunology at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IMCB). He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Immunology at Baylor University. Dr. Connolly received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Dartmouth Medical School. He was involved in the development of immunotherapeutic preclinical models and clinical trials for Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). He then served as Director of Research Initiatives for Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, a fully translational research institute dedicated to rationally designed vaccines against cancer and infectious disease.
Professor Horace H. Loh Ph.D.
Professor Loh is now a Regents Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota having led the department for 24 years. His field of expertise is the area of opioid drug action: specifically, the neurochemical mechanisms of narcotic addiction and its treatment potential; the molecular nature of opioid receptors and their gene structures; and the pharmacology and functions of endogenous opioid peptides. Prof. Loh is the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Award from Germany. Prof. Loh is also the Associate Editor for the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Current Opinions in Pharmacology, and serves on the editorial board of more than ten other scientific journals. In 1986, Prof. Loh was elected a member of the Academia Sinica of the Republic of China. He currently serves as scientific advisor to the national governments of Taiwan and China and the regional government of Hong Kong. Prof. Loh is also a member of a number of scientific advisory committees around the world. He has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Iowa, and completed a fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco, serving on the faculty in the same Department (UCSF) for 20 years before he moved to Minnesota.
Professor Richard J. Simpson Ph.D., FATSE
Professor Simpson is a Laboratory Head at the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Sciences (LIMS), La Trobe University (Melbourne). He has made major contributions to the field of analytical protein chemistry and pioneered many classical microsequencing strategies and micro-fractionation tools that have been further refined for proteomics. This expertise has made Prof. Simpson one of the out-standing leaders in the field of exosome proteomics. In 2003, he was awarded the Centenary Medal from the Australian Government "For service to Australian society in research and development" and in 2008 received the HUPO (Human Proteome Organization) Distinguished Service Award “For indispensible contributions in his service to HUPO since the inauguration of HUPO in 2000”. Professor Simpson received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and chemistry at Melbourne Univ., Australia in 1974.