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Speakers

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Frank Anania
Division of Gastroenterology & Inborn Errors Products
FDA

Frank Anania is a hepatologist who is currently a medical reviewer in the Division of Gastroenterology and Inborn Errors Products (DGIEP) in the Office of New Drugs of the US Food and Drug Administration. Prior to joining the Agency in early 2018, Anania was a physician-scientist who conducted basic biomedical research for several decades in the area of hepatic fibrosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Massimo Pinzani
Professor of Medicine
UCL

Massimo Pinzani is a Professor of Medicine, clinical hepatologist, Director of the UCL Institute for Liver and Digestive Health and the Sheila Sherlock Chair of Hepatology at UCL. Professor Pinzani has served in the governing and scientific boards of major international organization in the area of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, and as Associate Editor of top peer reviewed international journals in the area of Medicine. He is currently Editor in Chief of "Fibrogenesis & Tissue Repair", on open access journal aimed at bringing new acquisitions in the area of fibrogenesis, repair and cancer across different areas of Medicine.

Vincenzo Costigliola
Founder & President
European Medical Association (EMA)

Dr. Vincenzo Costigliola has more than 40 years of medical practice after graduating in Medicine at the University of Naples (Italy), and a post-degree specialization in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care from the Università di Pisa (Italy). He is a Founder & President of European Medical Association (Belgium). He has also co-founded the European Association for Preventive, Predictive and Personalized Medicine, and is current President (Belgium). He was formerly the Chief of Medical Services in the Italian Navy. Over the years, Dr Costigliola has widened his specializations into Rheumatology, Dermatology, Proctology, Oncology, Surgery, Drug Abuse, Emergency Treatment, and Disaster Action

Bevin Gangadharan
Research Associate
University of Oxford

Dr. Bevin Gangadharan is a research scientist in Professor Nicole Zitzmann’s lab in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford. He did his DPhil in Professor Zitzmann’s lab where he used proteomics to identify novel serum biomarker candidates for liver fibrosis in hepatitis C patients. More recently he has helped to discover novel NAFLD biomarkers which are patented. Before joining the Zitzmann group he obtained his BSc in Medical Biochemistry at the University of Surrey which included a sandwich year at GlaxoSmithKline where he used proteomics techniques and looked at ways of improving the representation of low abundant plasma proteins which helps with biomarker discovery. Bevin is also on the editorial board for Biomarker Research (an Open Access publication by BioMed Central).

Daren Ure
Chief Scientific Officer
Hepion Pharmaceuticals

Daren Ure is Chief Scientific Officer at Hepion Pharmaceuticals (formerly ContraVir Pharmaceuticals). Before joining ContraVir, Daren was also Director of Research and Development at Ciclofilin Pharmaceuticals and Senior Research Scientist at Isotechnika Pharma from 2003 to 2014. Daren completed his PhD in Neurobiology at University of Alberta and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Mayo Clinic from 1997 to 2002 where his research was in immunology, virology, and neurobiology on animal models of multiple sclerosis.

David Blakey
Chief Scientific Officer
MiNA Therapeutics

David joined MiNA in 2015 to lead our internal and external research efforts. David has over 25 years of drug discovery and development experience and is an industry leader in the development of oligonucleotide therapeutics. Prior to joining MiNA David held multiple roles at AstraZeneca, most recently Chief Scientist in Oncology. David holds a Ph.D. from London University in Drug Metabolism and Toxicology and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society.

Elias Papatheodorou
Chief Executive Officer
Genkyotex

Mr. Elias Papatheodorou brings with him more than 20 years of experience with private and public biotechnology companies, as well as with The Coca-Cola Company and Philip Morris International. As Chief Business Officer of Covagen AG, he was instrumental in the closing of a CHF46 million series B round and the subsequent acquisition of Covagen by Jannsen Pharmaceuticals, a J&J Company. Previously, Elias was Senior Vice President for Operations and Business Development at Medigene AG. Elias has also served for a number of years as the CEO of novosom AG. During his tenure, the Smarticles technology entered clinical trials in the U.S.A., the company raised funds and closed licensing deals. Finally, he engineered the sale of Novosom's assets to Marina Biotech (MRNA). He received his undergraduate education at Ithaca College, NY, and his graduate education at Cornell University, NY.

Felix Yeh
Scientist
Genentech

Felix gained his PhD from University of Wisconsin and joined as a postdoctoral fellow with Early Discovery Neuroscience at Genentech to study the role of neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease. He is now a scientist in OMNI Biomarker Development to develop new tools to aid in our next generation clinical trials for neurodegeneration.

Ian Rowe
University Academic Fellow & Hepatologist
University of Leeds

Ian is Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds and Consultant Hepatologist at the Leeds Liver Unit.  His primary interests are in the understanding of the outcomes of persons with liver disease, principally through the investigation of the natural history of disease and the impact of specific treatments.

Jacobo Miranda
Postdoctoral Researcher Collaborator
LiSyM

Dr. Jacobo Miranda is a computer scientist and engineer who leads the development of scientific software packages including LipidXplorer and Peakstrainer. He undertakes research and data analysis for LC chromatography and mass spectrometry towards the development and validation of software tools. He is also involved in science communication (FameLab), with the goal of making complex scientific information easier to understand and apply. He has conducted several workshops in the field of data analysis for lipidomics datasets and currently holds a postdoc research position at the Shevchenko Lab at  the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology (MPI-CBG), working collaboratively in Liver Systems Medicine projects.

Jeanette Kusel
Director Scientific Advice
National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE)

Jeanette joined NICE as Director for Scientific Advice in November 2018. She is responsible for the stewardship and growth of the NICE Scientific Advice business unit, which includes all aspects of business development, management, project delivery and governance. Jeanette takes an active role in the sign-off and quality assurance of work across all services offered by the team. She also chairs many of the national and parallel scientific advice meetings for medical device and pharmaceutical product developers. Previously Jeanette held the positions of Head of HTA and Health Economics and Scientific Director at Costello Medical, a consultancy within the life science sector. She has broad research interests across different methods for health technology evaluation and has previously worked on clinical trial design, health economic modelling and quality of life measurement. Jeanette studied undergraduate natural sciences at the University of Cambridge and postgraduate health economics at the University of York.

Jelena Mann
Professor of Epigenetics
Fibrosis Research Group Newcastle University

I am interested in delineating epigenetic signalling pathways that trigger fibrogenesis and in doing so, discovering molecular control of fibrogenesis and associated signalling pathways that can be targeted with new as well as existing drugs. More recently we have also embarked on studies that test the ability of environmental factors to affect transgenerational inheritance of predisposition to liver fibrosis. Adaptation to environmental insults is critical for ensuring fitness and survival of the species, however it is currently not clear if predisposition to development of fibrosis exists or indeed if existence of disease in previous generations alters such predisposition. We have published the first report of the transgenerational epigenetic transmission of protection against liver fibrosis which provides evidence of heritable mechanisms for the rapid adaptation of animals to environmental insults. The lab is now carrying out further characterisation of this newly reported phenomena and its impact on liver disease of various aetiology.

Kari Wong
Senior Study Director
Metabolon

Kari Wong, Ph.D., is a Senior Study Director at Metabolon, Inc. working with clients across the pharmaceutical and biotechnology landscape. Dr. Wong received her doctorate from The University of Chicago in Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition and published manuscripts investigating the impact of the vitamin D receptor in global metabolism.  She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University, where she utilized metabolomics to understand muscle metabolism. Dr. Wong joined Metabolon in 2016, where she has analyzed metabolomic data from both pre-clinical and clinical studies crossing a variety of disease states.  One of her focuses is on understanding the metabolic changes associated with NASH.

Livia Alimena
Director - European Office
Global Liver Institute

Livia Alimena is the Director of the European Office for the Global Liver Institute. Before joining the GLI she was Public Affairs Director at the European liver Patient’s Association and Government Affairs and Advocacy Manager at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Marian McNeil
Chief Operating Officer
Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre

Marian McNeil is the acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operational Officer for Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre. Stratified Medicine Scotland is a platform for collaboration linking Scotland’s expertise, data assets and delivery infrastructure to accelerate the real world adoption of Precision Medicine.

Michel de Baar
Executive Director – Business Development, Licensing, Infectious Diseases, Vaccines, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases
MSD

Michel de Baar has been Executive Director – Business Development, Licensing, Infectious Diseases, Vaccines, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases at MSD since September 2016. Before joining MSD, Michel was Director of Business Development & Communications at the Pirbright Institute and Co-Founder and CBO of Madam Therapeutics, a biotech active in infectious diseases and immunology.

Nicolas Guisot
Research Fellow
RedX Pharma

Nicolas Guisot is an experienced medicinal chemist and project leader with more than 10 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and in academia. His expertise is in synthetic and medicinal chemistry with research experience in oncology, fibrosis immunology & inflammation and various target classes (enzymes, kinases, ion channels). Before joining RedX Pharma in 2013, Nicolas was a contract research chemist at Eli Lilly and Company. He gained his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Salford.

Nikolai Naoumov
Executive Director, Hepatology Sciences & Innovation
Novartis

Nikolai Naoumov works at Novartis Global Drug Development as Executive Director for Hepatology Science and Innovation, based in Basel, Switzerland. His focus is on developing new therapies for patients with liver diseases especially NASH, autoimmune diseases, liver fibrosis and complications of cirrhosis.  In addition to his work at Novartis Global, Nikolai is also Honorary Scientific Advisor to the Foundation for Liver Research in the UK and Board member of the Liver Foundation in Switzerland. Before joining Novartis in 2007, Nikolai was a tenured Professor of Hepatology at University College London and Consultant Hepatologist at University College London Hospitals. Nikolai has been involved in the development and evaluation of many of the new treatments for patients with liver diseases, initially at the Institute of Liver Studies, King’s College Hospital in London and subsequently at the Institute of Hepatology, University College London. Nikolai has more than 200 publications in the fields of liver immunology, treatment of viral hepatitis and liver transplantation. He is Fellow of both the Royal College of Physicians (London) and the Royal College of Pathologists in the UK, and member of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. He joined EASL in 1987, served as member of the EASL Scientific Committee (1991-1994), and was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

Olga Vvedenskaya
Postdoctoral Researcher Member
LiSyM

Dr. Olga Vvedenskaya, a clinical researcher, focuses her research on translational medicine and multi-omics approaches in disease research. She studied medicine, majoring in medical biophysics. As a fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, she investigated the role of oxidized lipids in the development of traumatic brain injury. During her PhD she worked on a proteomic, metabolomic, and genomic analysis of human liver cancer, comparing samples of cancer conditions with mult-iomics data integration and visualization. Currently Olga is a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology (MPI-CBG), Dresden, and a member of Liver Systems Medicine Network, working on clinical lipidomics of NAFLD and NASH.

Peter Traber
Partner
Alacrita Consulting

Peter has had a distinguished career in drug development, research, management, and governance, with demonstrated success in large matrix and small entrepreneurial organizations, including those in the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology, academia, and healthcare. He is adept at strategic planning, designing and leading complex scientific and drug development programs, recruiting and leading effective executive teams, effecting and managing change efforts, building value, and effective communication. Prior to joining Alacrita, Peter was CEO and CMO of Galectin Therapeutics where he brought a galectin-3 inhibitor, a putative anti-fibrotic drug, from a research compound through development to a phase 3-ready program in NASH cirrhosis and built a pipeline of other indications. Before that in the pharmaceutical industry, he was Senior Vice President and CMO at GlaxoSmithKline where he had responsibility for a broad range of therapeutic areas. In academic medicine, Peter ran a basic science laboratory program that made fundamental discoveries in liver and intestinal biology, and he served as Chief of Gastroenterology, Chairman of Medicine and CEO of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Health System. He also was President and CEO of Baylor College of Medicine. Peter has a BS degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan, an MD degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine, and a certificate in business leadership for physicians from The Wharton School.

Richard Torstenson
Director International Clinical Development NASH
Allergan

Richard Torstenson is Director of International Clinical Development for NASH at Allergand. Before joining Allergan, Richard was Global Regulatory Lead and Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist at Novo Nordisk from 2014 to 2018.

Sanjeev Khindri
Acting Chief Medical Officer
Galecto Biotech

Thomas Baumert
Professor of Medicine, Institute of Viral & Liver Disease
Inserm

Thomas F. Baumert, MD is Professor of Medicine, head of the Inserm Research Institute for Viral and Liver Diseases (Inserm U1110), director of the Laboratory of Excellence HEPSYS at the University of Strasbourg and Chair of Hepatology at the Center for Digestive Disease and Hepatology at the Strasbourg University Hospitals. He received his MD from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Following his doctoral thesis at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and his internship in Internal Medicine at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Liver Diseases Branch at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA. He subsequently joined the Department of Medicine at the University Hospital in Freiburg, Germany to become a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist, associate professor and to establish his laboratory focussing on the molecular pathogenesis of hepatitis B and C virus infection. He then relocated to the University of Strasbourg in France as full Professor of Medicine to create and head a new Inserm research unit on virus-host interactions and liver disease and establish a highly recognized program in translational virology and hepatology. He recently finished a sabbatical as a research scholar the BROAD Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, USA and the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston. His laboratory focuses on the modelling and discovery of the cell circuits underlying virus-host interactions, liver disease and cancer. The understanding of the molecular mechanisms of virus-host interactions and disease biology has allowed his laboratory to uncover novel strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic viral hepatitis, chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. He has received several awards including the Hans Popper Young Investigator Award, the Chair of Excellence and Laboratory of Excellence Awards of the French National Research Agency and the Infectious Disease Award of the German Infectious Disease Society. He has been awarded the Prix Galien France and Prix Galien International for the discovery of host-targeting entry inhibitors for HCV infection. He recently received two European Research Council grants (ERC AdG and ERC PoC) for the discovery and development of novel approaches to prevent and treat chronic liver disease. He has published more than 250 scientific articles including N. Engl. J. Med., Lancet, Cell, Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, Cell Host & Microbe, PNAS, J. Clin. Invest. and J. Exp. Med. as a senior author. He is an inventor on 15 patents and patent applications. In his translational work he focuses on novel approaches for HBV cure, treatment of chronic liver disease/NASH and prevention of liver cancer. Research in his laboratory is supported by the European Union (ERC, H2020), the US National Institutes of Health (NIAID and NCI), the Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le Sida, hépatites virales B et C (ANRS), the Agence Nationale de Recherche (ANR), the University of Strasbourg Foundation, as well as industry. He has finished a five-year-term as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Hepatology and serves as a member of the editorial board of several journals in the field of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Virology. He serves as consultant for NASH, liver disease and viral hepatitis for academia and industry.

Trent Ross
Principal Scientist, Metabolism
Pfizer

John O’Neil
Chief Scientific Officer
XYLYX

Marc Goldfinger
Biomedical Scientist
Perspectum Diagnostics

Dr Goldfinger has worked in the field of diagnostic pathology for over 8 years, in both neuroscience and hepatobiliary disease. Dr Goldfinger has recently focused on integrating artificial intelligence into MR applications and digitised histopathology to better understand hepatobiliary disease, and identify novel biomarkers that may better stratify and monitor liver disorders.