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Speakers for Vaccine Antigen Delivery: new approaches to vaccine development

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These are the biographies of some of our accepted speakers.  Not all our speakers are listed here


Jose Martinez Costas, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Jose M. Martinez Costas holds a degree in Biology from the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC). He did his doctoral thesis at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Santiago under the supervision of Professor Javier Benavente. In January 1994 began a postdoctoral fellow at Oxford (UK) in the laboratory of Dr. Polly Roy, where he worked with Bluetongue Virus (BTV). In September 1996 he was awarded a “Contrato de Reincorporación de Doctores y Tecnólogos del Ministerio de Educación” to return to the University of Santiago. Since 2003 he is Associate Professor at USC.


Brendon Yew Loong Chua, The University of Melbourne Australia

Dr Brendon Chua’s research is centered on the development of experimental vaccine delivery systems and creating new ways of improving existing vaccine strategies against infectious diseases. He has held research positions in Australia at Monash University, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the CRC for Polymers, as well as industry placements at the Moredun Research Institute in Scotland and PT Bio Farma in Indonesia. Brendon’s research is presently focused on how innate and adaptive immunity can be harnessed to protect against viral and bacterial respiratory and chronic infections and employing genomics-based approaches to identify correlates of protection.


Ilona Kubajewska, UCL School of Pharmacy, London UK

Ilona was trained in Biotechnology and specialized in Immunology. She received an MSc degree from the University of Warsaw, Poland, in 2007. She gained further research experience at international laboratories in Germany and USA upon being awarded short-term fellowships and started applying her immunological expertise in multi-disciplinary projects with translational focus. Ilona graduated with a PhD from the University of Nottingham, UK, in 2013. In 2014, she was appointed as a Research Associate at the University College London, UK, where she undertook two successive projects in the vaccines and immunotherapies domain: first, developing novel polymeric vaccine adjuvants (2014-2015), followed by developing polymer-based nucleic acid delivery systems (2015-present).


Thomas Mørch Frøsig, National Veterinary Institute, Frederiksberg, Denmark

Thomas Mørch Frøsig  obtained his PhD degree and a profound knowledge of tumor immunology and multicolor flow cytometry in the lab of Sine Reker Hadrup, at Center for Cancer Immune Therapy, Herlev University Hospital, Denmark. After PhD completion in 2014 he moved on to work with Gregers Jungersen at the National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark, as post doc and daily project lead on a project aiming at establishing the pig as a large animal model for anti-cancer vaccination. He is pharmacist of education and has thus also an understanding of drug delivery.


James Moon, Biointerfaces Institute, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

Dr. James Moon is the John Gideon Searle Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His interdisciplinary research program aims to develop novel biomaterials-based strategies to advance fundamental understanding of the immune system and to modulate immune functions, with the ultimate goal of improving vaccines and cancer immunotherapies. He is the recipient of the Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award, the New Investigator Award in Pharmaceutics from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, and the NIAID Research Scholar Development Award.


Gareth R Williams, UCL School of Pharmacy, London, United Kingdom

Gareth received a MChem (Hons) degree from the University of Oxford in 2002. He remained in Oxford for a DPhil (PhD) in materials chemistry, which was completed in 2005. Gareth then spent three years working in science programme management, before returning to Oxford to take up a post-doctoral position in 2009. In September 2010 he joined London Metropolitan University as a Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science, and in November 2012 was appointed to the UCL School of Pharmacy as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Pharmaceutics. Gareth leads a group of around 15 researchers working on drug delivery and vaccine formulations.


Stephen L. Hoffman, Sanaria Inc., Rockville, United States

Dr. Hoffman is Chief Executive and Scientific Officer of Sanaria Inc., a company dedicated to developing a whole sporozoite malaria vaccine, a vaccine that won the 2014 Vaccine Industry Excellence (VIE) Award for “Best Prophylactic Vaccine.” From 1987-2001 he was Director, Malaria Program, Naval Medical Research Center. In 2001 he joined Celera Genomics as Senior VP, Biologics and created a program to utilize genomics/proteomics to produce biopharmaceuticals and personalized medicines. He has held several professorships, is past president of ASTMH, and authored > 410 scientific publications. He was listed as the third most influential person in the world vaccine industry in 2015, and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.


Lakshmi Krishnan, National Research Council of Canada-Human Health Therapeutics Canada


Nirbhay Kumar, PhD, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA


Nikolai Petrovsky, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Australia


Periasamy Selvaraj, Emory University School of Medicine United States

Periasamy Selvaraj received his Ph.D. in India and did his postdoctoral in Immunology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston. Currently, Dr. Selvaraj is a Professor of Pathology in the School of Medicine of the Emory University at Atlanta, GA.  His laboratory focuses on developing cancer and virus vaccines using novel protein transfer approaches. He has published more than 90 research papers in national and international journals. Dr. Selvaraj also serves as Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of Metaclipse Therapeutics Corporation, a biotech company focusing on developing personalized immunotherapy for metastatic cancer.


Edward Wright, University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom


Mei X. Wu, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, United States

Dr. Mei X. Wu is an associate professor in the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Department of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School (HMS).  She received her Ph.D. from Utah State University in 1992 and did her postdoctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, HMS.  Her most recent research areas are focused on new technology development including laser-based vaccine adjuvants, lesion-free and painless skin vaccination, detection of plasma biomarkers via laser-treated skin by surface modified microneedle arrays, and therapeutic potentials of noninvasive low level light for thrombocytopenia.


Huanmin Zhang, USDA, Agriculture Research Service, East Lansing, US

Huanmin Zhang, Ph.D. is a senior research scientist working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service at the Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory. Using a unique genetic resource of highly inbred lines of chickens, his research program focuses on advancing the fundamental understanding of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that confer genetic resistance to tumor virus-induced diseases and vaccine protective efficacy against virus-induced tumorigenesis.


Abina Crean, University College Cork Ireland

Dr. Abina Crean is a Lecturer in Pharmaceutics at the School of Pharmacy, University College Cork (UCC), Ireland. Her research is focused on the development of quality, effective formulations through thorough understanding of constituent materials’ (drugs, vaccines and excipients) properties and processing behavior. A key element of her research is active collaborative projects with pharmaceutical companies. She is a funded researcher in the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Research Centre (www.SSPC.ie) and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (www.PMTC.ie). Prior to joining UCC, Dr. Crean worked as a formulation scientist with Elan Pharmaceutical Technologies and industrial pharmacist with Servier (Ireland) Industries.


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Chair Persons


Gary McLean, Imperial College London, UK


George Carnell, Medway School of Pharmacy, Universities of Greenwich and Kent, Chatham, United Kingdom

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