University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Austria
Title: Glycans in Host-Pathogen Interactions
Dr. Katharina Paschinger gained her doctorate in 2008 and has been a self-financed FWF Fellow at the Universität für Bodenkultur Wien since 2009. She has led three projects related to glycan diversity in different species, ranging from model and parasitic nematodes to marine species, such as molluscs and echinoderms. Over the years, she has developed and optimized glycomic workflows based on off-line HPLC-MALDI-TOF MS, suitable for discovering a wide range of glycan epitopes, including unusual fucosylated, glucuronylated, sulphated, and zwitterionic modifications of N-glycans, with roles in self/non-self-recognition. She is the author of some 50 original papers, including publications in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics and Nature Communications, as well as various review articles and book chapters. Privately, she is a mother of three children and a passionate gardener and opera lover.
Title: Exploring Glycosylation-dependent Pathways as Modulators of Intestinal Inflammation
Dr. Mariño received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires. She continued her training as a postdoc at the University of Dundee (Scotland, UK) and later, at the National Institute for Bioprocessing, Research, and Training (Dublin, Ireland), integrating her chemical vision of carbohydrates into the biochemistry of glycans and the structural analysis of glycoconjugates in physiological and pathological contexts. After relocating to Argentina, she established the Functional and Molecular Glycomics Lab (Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine). As an Independent Researcher at CONICET, she focuses on how inflammatory conditions could alter the glycome in inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer and whether these changes can promote the establishment of altered lectin-glycan interactions and, in doing so, influence the immune response. Her goal is to capitalize on glycoimmunological mechanisms that could potentially re-wire immune circuits in these pathologies, providing novel opportunities for translational medicine.
Based on her glycoanalytical experience, she also offers consultancies on glycosylation analysis to the Latin American Life Sciences Industry. She received several prizes for her work, including the "Carlos B. Udaondo" award from the National Academy of Medicine (2019). She is the current National Representative for Argentina at the International Glycoconjugate Organization.
Title: Regulation and Protein Selectivity of N-Glycan Branching Enzymes
Professor Yasuhiko Kizuka has been a researcher at Disease Glycomics Team, RIKEN, led by Dr. Naoyuki Taniguchi (2009-2017). He has joined Gifu University (Japan) as an Associate Professor since 2017, and is currently the Director and Professor of Integrated Glyco-Molecular Science Center, Institute for Glyco-core Research (iGCORE) at Gifu University.
Professor Kizuka’s glyco-related contributions include discovery of novel mode of catalytic action of glycosyltransferases, elucidation of glycosyltransferase structures and development of glycosyltransferase inhibitors. His Research Interests are (1) Regulation of glycosyltransferase activity; (2) Substrate protein selectivity of glycosyltransferases; (3) Physiological functions of N-glycan branches.
Title: Glycosyl Hydrolases from the Seeds of Cucurbitaceae
Professor Nadimpalli is a Senior Professor in Biochemistry at University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India. He did his postdoctoral training at DAAD, Wuerzburg and Goettingen, Germany, and has been a faculty at University of Hyderabad since 1986.
His glyco-related contributions include development of novel affinity methods to purify mannose 6-phosphate receptors, discovery of LERP from Drosophila and lysosomal enzymes and their receptors in Hydra. He also identified and purified several plant and animal glycosidases, contributed towards understanding the physiological significance of Cucurbitaceae seed lectins and glycosidases.
His Research Interests are (1) Evolution of lysosomal biogenesis; (2) Legume and non-legume lectins-structure-function relationships; (3) Physiological functions of Plant lectins and glycosidases from legumes and non-legumes.
Title: Regulation of the Biosynthesis of Glycopeptidolipids in Mycobacterium Abscessus
Dr. Guérardel is a senior researcher for CNRS (Lille University, France) and an Invited Professor at iGCORE (Gifu University, Japan). His research focuses on the structure-to-function relationships of complex carbohydrates, from microorganisms to higher eukaryotes, mostly in the context of host-pathogen interaction. His main objective is to understand how the glycans from both host and pathogen fine-tune the infectious process and how they may be used as diagnosis or therapeutic tools, with a keen interest in mycobacterial, fungus, and viral infections. To reach this goal, Dr. Guérardel integrates a wide range of scientific approaches, including synthetic chemistry, structural analysis using NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, structural biology of proteins, and enzymology.
Title: Adaptation of Influenza Virus to Human Airway Receptors
James C. Paulson obtained his Ph.D. (Biochemistry) in 1974 from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and did post-doctoral work at Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, North Carolina, from 1974-78. From 1978-1990 he rose from Assistant Professor to full Professor and vice-chair in the Department of Biological Chemistry at the UCLA School of Medicine, where he developed an interest in analyzing receptor specificity of influenza viruses from different host species. From 1990-1999 he served as Vice President and Member Board of Directors of Cytel Corporation, La Jolla, CA. From 1999-present, he has been Professor, in the Departments of Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemical Physiology, and Immunology and Microbial Sciences at The Scripps Research Institute, in La Jolla, California. He served as acting President & CEO from 2014-2015 and is currently Cecil and Ida Green Professor and Chair of Molecular Medicine. His current research interests include the roles of glycan-binding proteins in the modulation of immune cell signaling and the receptor specificity of mammalian and animal influenza viruses.
Title: Mammalian Lectin Arrays for Characterizing Host-pathogen Interactions
Dr. Drickamer began working in the field of glycan-binding receptors as a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University. These receptors have been the focus of his subsequent research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Oxford University, and currently at Imperial College London. His work on identifying a common carbohydrate recognition led to the definition of C-type lectins as one of the major groups of glycan-binding receptors. His ongoing research is a joint project with Dr. Maureen Taylor. The aim is to develop a broad understanding of the biological roles of sugar recognition. They have used a combination of biochemical, biophysical, and molecular biological approaches to understand how carbohydrate-recognition domains provide selective recognition of glycoproteins and cell surfaces. In addition, they seek to determine how such recognition leads to the targeting of biological functions, such as innate immunity to pathogens, clearance of serum glycoproteins, cell adhesion, and cell signaling, and how genetic variation in sugar-binding receptors causes changes in their molecular properties and hence contributes to human disease. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Drickamer co-authored the textbook Introduction to Glycobiology, designed to introduce the field to students and researchers from other disciplines.
Title: Chemical Glycobiology Studies on Bacterial Pseudaminic Acid
Professor Xuechen Li received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2007. After postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Prof. Samuel Danishefsky at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, he joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Hong Kong as an Assistant Professor in 2009 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014 and Professor in 2018. He currently serves as the Associate Dean (Research & Graduate Studies) of Faculty of Science. The central theme of Professor Li’s research focuses on the chemical biology of synthetic biomolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, and glycoconjugates) to study fundamental biological questions and develop potential therapeutic applications.
Title: Mucin Glycans in the Regulation of Microbial Virulence
Professor Ribbeck obtained her Bachelor’s degree and her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She continued her postdoctoral research at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany, and the Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School. Professor Ribbeck established her independent research group as a Bauer Fellow at the FAS Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University, in 2007 and joined the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT as an Assistant Professor in 2010.
Her laboratory studies the basic mechanisms of biological hydrogels by which mucus barriers exclude, or allow passage of different molecules and pathogens, and the mechanisms pathogens have evolved to penetrate mucus barriers. It hopes to provide the foundation for a theoretical framework that captures general principles governing selectivity in mucus, and likely other biological hydrogels such as the extracellular matrix, and bacterial biofilms. Her Lab’s work may also be the basis for the reconstitution of synthetic gels that mimic the basic selective properties of biological gels.
Professor Yasuhiro Kajihara received his Ph.D. from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1993. He spent two years at the Life Science Research Laboratory of Japan Tobacco Inc. as a postdoctoral fellow. In 1995 he joined Yokohama City University as an assistant professor and was then promoted to associate professor in 2001 and full professor in 2007. At YCU, he developed synthetic methods for oligosaccharides and glycoproteins. In 2009, he moved to the Department of Chemistry at Osaka University. He studies new synthetic methods of glycoproteins in order to understand how oligosaccharides regulate protein functions.
@TAIPEI, AUG 27~SEP 1 2023
Meet our invited speakers for the Satellite Meetings. To learn more about each individual speaker, please click on the photos below. Additional speakers will be added when confirmed.
Title: Deciphering the molecular basis and functional roles of glycan-based immune checkpoints in neurodegenerative diseases
Takashi Angata is an Associate Research Fellow (tenured) at the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica (Taipei, Taiwan). He obtained BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Tokyo (Japan) and received post-doctoral training under Dr. Ajit Varki at UCSD (USA). Thereafter, he joined the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Japan), then moved to Osaka University (Japan) and RIKEN (Japan) before assuming the current position in 2013.
His laboratory investigates the biological roles of sialic acids and the Siglec family of sialic acid recognition proteins. His past contributions to science include the molecular cloning of several members of the Siglec family, the discovery of null polymorphism in the human SIGLEC14 gene and its association with human diseases, the discovery of the possible involvement of Siglec-15 in cancer immunity, and the development of a proximity labeling-based method for the identification of Siglec ligands.
Title: Investigation of abnormal glycosylation in Alzheimer's disease
Professor Yun-Ru (Ruby) Chen is a principal investigator with intensive research experiences in protein misfolding and neurodegenerative diseases. Since 2007 she established her own laboratory in Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica. Her group has been working on amyloids, including amyloid-β (Aβ) and tau in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), α-synuclein in Parkinson’s disease (PD), TDP-43 and dipeptide repeats (DPRs) in FTLD/ALS. Ruby has the expertise to characterize and handle protein aggregates, including Aβ, Tau, TDP-43, and DPRs. She has investigated small compounds and nanoparticles against Aβ aggregation. Moreover, she has produced a unique conformational antibody for TDP-43 oligomers that only recognized the misfolded TDP-43 to facilitate the detection and therapeutic development for ALS/FTLD (2014 Nature Communications; 2015, Annals of Neurology). The monoclonal antibody has obtained US and Taiwan patents (US patent US 9796778 B1). Her group investigated the role of TDP-43 in AD in vitro and in vivo by AD transgenic mice (2020 Nature Communications) and discovered the effect of TDP-43 on Aβ fibrillization. Her group is the first to reveal poly-GA fibrillization (2016 JBC) and discover novel pathogenic mechanisms. Moreover, her group is investigating abnormal glycosylation in AD.
Title: Glycosylation in Dendrite Development and Degeneration
Dr. Cheng-Ting Chien is a distinguished research fellow who has made significant contributions to the field of neuroscience. He obtained his B.S. in Chemistry from National Taiwan University in 1985. He went on to pursue his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry from Stony Brook University, NY, U.S., which he completed in 1993. Subsequently, he pursued his postdoctoral training in Neurobiology at U.C. San Francisco, CA, U.S., from 1993 to 1996.
Dr. Chien's research interests lie in neural development, and he uses Drosophila as the model system. He has focused on various aspects of neural development, including cell fate determination for peripheral sensory neurons and photoreceptors in the compound eye, regulation of protein degradation by Nedd8 modification and removal by the CSN complex in Hedgehog signaling, synapse formation and plasticity, dendrite formation and pruning during development, and glial signaling regulating neuronal activity and degeneration.
Overall, Dr. Chien's research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neural development, and his work has important implications for understanding brain function and dysfunction.
Title: Microglial galectin-3 and neuroinflammation-with a specific focus on neurodegenerative diseases
Dr. Yijuang Chern received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and postdoctoral training in Signal Transduction from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (USA) and Harvard Medical School (USA), respectively. She is currently a Deputy Minister at the National Science and Technology Council and a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at Academia Sinica (Taiwan). Her laboratory focuses on two interrelated research projects: (1) functional characterization of the A2A adenosine receptor (A2AR) and (2) development of novel therapeutic treatments for neurodegenerative diseases (including Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease). Her goal is to develop biomarkers and treatments for neurodegenerative diseases based on the functions and pharmacological properties of A2AR and novel disease pathogenesis. Her studies on A2AR and degenerative diseases have resulted in 27 patents and several patent applications. In addition, Dr. Chern has published 129 papers and five book chapters with an h index of 47.
Title: Galectins as coordinators of membrane repair, replacement, and renewal
Dr. Vojo Deretic is the department chair of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and the director of the NIH-funded Autophagy, Inflammation and Metabolism (AIM) Center of Biomedical Research Excellence. The AIM center aims to promote autophagy research nationally and internationally and to develop a cadre of junior faculty along with senior experts in this area to study fundamental mechanisms and how autophagy intersects with a broad spectrum of human disease and health states. He received his undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral education in Belgrade, Paris, and Chicago. Dr. Deretic’s main contributions to science come from studies by his team on the role of autophagy in infection, immunity, and inflammation. Recently, Dr. Deretic’s group developed the concept of a cellular system termed MERIT for coordinated membrane repair, removal, and replacement. This involves recognition of exposed glycoconjugates on damaged membranes, membrane repair, removal of membranes by autophagy, and replacement of membranous organelles through respective biogenesis programs.
Professor Rita Gerardy-schahn is a Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and the Director of the Institute forClinical Biochemistry at Hannover Medical School, Germany. Her research focus is the molecular characterization of enzymes along the (poly)sialylation pathways of mammalian and bacterial cells. Her team identified central factors along these pathways and invested in establishing tools with which (poly)sialoglycans can be specifically recognized and degraded. They have established constitutive as well as conditional animal models to analyze the functions of enzymes of interest under complex physiological conditions. Over the past seven years, Professor Gerardy-schahn refocused her studies on applied sciences aspects involving the exploitation of characterized enzymes for the production of vaccines.
Title: Modulation of Microglia and Macrophage Activity by Polysialic Acid and its Siglec Receptors
Professor Herbert Hildebrandt studied Biology at the University of Tübingen and received his Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.) from the Free University in Berlin. After positions as a Research Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, he was appointed Professor of Neuroglycobiochemistry at Hannover Medical School in 2006. His research is centered on the role of sialoglycoconjugates in brain and tumor development. The work of the Hildebrandt lab demonstrated the vital impact of polysialic acid on tumor cell growth, brain development, and myelin repair and revealed possible links between altered polysialic acid synthesis and neurodevelopmental predispositions to psychiatric disorders. Current research explores how polysialic acid and its Siglec receptors modulate the activity of microglia and tumor-associated macrophages.
Title: Late domain mediated EV-recruitment of galectin-3
Dr. Ralf Jacob is a Professor at the Department of Cytobiology at the Philipps-University-Marburg in Germany. He is a cell biologist with expertise in subcellular lipid and protein trafficking in epithelial cells. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Düsseldorf and worked in Manchester, Leeds, Dallas, and Hannover afterward. In 2003, he established his group in Marburg. Over the years, he has identified several sorting mechanisms of apical protein cargo and demonstrated the involvement of the β-galactoside binding lectin galectin-3 in apical protein targeting. His work focuses on non-classical galectin secretion and the underlying cytoskeletal tracks.
Title: Conformational GlycoSwitch to Drive the Formation of Galectin-3 Oligomers
Professor Ludger Johannes is Research Director (DRE) at INSERM. He is a member of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (German organization of the academically gifted), Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and German Academy of Science — Leopoldina. At Institut Curie, he has been heading since 2001 the Traffic, Signaling, and Delivery Team, member of the excellence initiative Cell(n)Scale. Since January 2014, he has directed the Cellular and Chemical Biology unit. His research aims at establishing fundamental concepts of endocytosis and intracellular trafficking. The Johannes team has discovered the membrane trafficking interface between early endosomes and the Golgi apparatus, and demonstrated that lectin-induced glycolipid reorganization acts as a driving force in clathrin-independent endocytosis (termed the GlycoLipid-Lectin / GL-Lect hypothesis). The studies of the Johannes team have been published in highly visible international journals, including Cell and Nature. Between 2014-2020, he was the holder of an ERC advanced grant. He also aims at exploiting the discoveries of his team for the development of innovative cancer therapy strategies using the B-subunit of Shiga toxin (STxB) as a "pilot" for the delivery of therapeutic compounds to precise intracellular locations of dendritic cells for immunotherapy, and to tumors for targeted therapy.
Title: Elucidating the in vivo roles of CD33 isoforms within microglia
The primary focus of Dr. Matthew Macauley’s laboratory is the immunomodulatory sialic acid-binding Siglec family of receptors. His group develops innovative approaches to probe Siglec-glycan interactions on cells and tissues and use new insights about the biological ligands of Siglecs to test hypotheses about the roles of Siglecs in controlling immune cell function.
Title: Protein sialylation as a defining factor for hematopoiesis, adult myogenesis and kidney function
Professor Pshezhetsky obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from Moscow State University. In 1989-1992 as a researcher at Moscow State University and Moscow Institute of Medical and Biological Chemistry, he studied genetic diseases of children caused by the inherited deficiencies of lysosomal enzymes. In 1993, he joined the Department of Pediatrics and Biochemistry, University of Montreal, Canada, where he was subsequently promoted to a tenured professor. Currently, he is a Director of the Elisa Linton Laboratory of lysosomal biology at CHU Ste-Justine Research Center, a scientific director of the Medical genetics diagnostic laboratory of CHU Ste-Justine, and an adjunct professor at the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill University. Since November 2022, he has been an Elisa Linton Research Chair in Lysosomal Diseases.
Professor Pshezhetsky received many career awards, including a National Investigator Award, an Award of Excellence in Pediatric Research from the Foundation for the Research in Children's Disorders, and a Champion of Genetics award from the Genes for Cure Foundation. Current research interests include the molecular basis of lysosomal and other inherited metabolic disorders, sialoglycobiology, proteomics, and functional genomics of the cell.
Radboud University medical centre, The Netherlands
Title: Galectin-Mediated Interactions Are Essential in Governing Dendritic Cell Anti-Melanoma Immunity
Dr. Laia Querol-Cano is a tenure-track assistant professor at the Department of Medical BioSciences (the Division of Tumour Immunology) at the Radboud University medical centre (Radboudumc) in the Netherlands. She obtained her Ph.D. at Imperial College London, where she studied the mechanisms driving prostate cancer progression, and continued her postdoctoral training at Leiden University and the Radboudumc. Her research group studies the role that galectins exert in dendritic cells and T cells and how they control cell function via establishing immune complexes with target proteins both at the cell surface and intracellularly. Current directions aim to elucidate galectin function in the immune tumor microenvironment using various patient cohort samples for our studies. To reach these goals, we integrate immunological assays with super-resolution microscopy, biochemical readouts, and mass spectrometry.
Title: Cerebrovascular Glycocalyx Degeneration in Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease
Sophia Shi received a B.A. in Chemistry and Biology from Cornell University and completed her honors thesis in physical chemistry with Dr. Barbara Baird. Sophia is currently a Chemistry Ph.D. student and Bio-X Graduate Fellow at Stanford University. She is co-advised by Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray and Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi, and her Ph.D. research is focused on elucidating novel roles of glycans in brain aging and neurodegenerative disease.
Jian Jing Siew
Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Title: Microglial Galectin-3 Aggravates Tauopathy
Dr. Jian Jing Siew is a Postdoctoral researcher at Academia Sinica. He received his undergraduate education from the University of Malaya and completed his Ph.D. training in the Molecular Medicine Program at Academia Sinica and National Yang Ming University. After graduation, he was awarded the prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship by Academia Sinica. Dr. Siew has a long-term goal of developing mechanism-based therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. His research interests include neuroscience, inflammation, glial biology (microglia), and glycobiology. Dr. Siew employs a variety of research techniques, such as transgenic mouse models, gene knockout, human specimens and human induced-pluripotent stem cell models, bulk/single-cell/nuclei RNA sequencing, mass spectrometry proteomic analysis, and Bioinformatics, to study the roles of microglia in neurodegenerative diseases. His work has led to the identification of novel roles of Galectin-3 and its regulation of microglial function in neurodegenerative diseases. Specifically, Dr. Siew found that upregulated Galectin-3 accumulates in the damaged lysosomes in the microglia of Huntington’s disease, resulting in the dysregulation of inflammation. He also investigated the role of Galectin-3 in tauopathy and found how the presence of Galectin-3 contributes to the learning and memory impairment in tauopathy.
Title: The glycans of glycoconjugates in neuronal processes
Professor Sonnino’s scientific research, described in over 300 documents, has been particularly directed towards understanding the relationships between the structure and function of complex lipids and related components of neuron cell membranes and the role of plasma membranes in neuronal functions and degeneration. Some studies have been carried out on cancer and gangliosides. In particular, he developed analytical procedures for the analysis and preparation of gangliosides, determined the chemical structure of several minor gangliosides and neutral glycosphingolipids, as well as the conformational, dynamic, geometrical, and aggregative properties of the main gangliosides from the nervous system. His research highlighted the role of gangliosides in the organization of sphingolipid-enriched membrane domains, the interaction processes between gangliosides and soluble or membrane proteins, the metabolism of gangliosides, and the role of gangliosides in cell signalling. In more recent years, the main research was devoted to the possible use of ganglioside-deriving glycans for the therapy of neurodegenerative diseases.
Title: Comparative study of the polysialic acid synthesized by ST8SIA2 and ST8SIA4
Professor Chihiro Sato is currently a Director of the integrated-Glyco-Biomedical Research Center (iGMED) at iGCORE at Nagoya University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Science in 1997. Her research focuses on the structure-function relationship of sialic acid (Sia), oligoSia, and polySia from bacteria to humans, based on the molecule-recognizing mechanisms from an evolutional point of view. In her earlier studies, she established original chemical and immunochemical methods for determining the precise structure of oligo/polySia in Sia species, the degree of polymerization, and the mode of linkage. It is especially a unique point that she determined the specificities of tens of existing and newly developed anti-oligo/polySia antibodies. These methods allowed her to demonstrate the occurrence of diverse oligo/polySia structures in nature for the first time. In addition, she demonstrated that polySia could regulate various important molecules through specific binding, which enabled the functional evaluation of polySia quantitatively. She has also demonstrated the relationship between polySia and "genetic and environmental factors" in psychiatric diseases and cancer. Recently, her interest in the oligoSia structure has reached the first indication that Siglecs have the second Sia binding site in addition to the conventional site.
Sean Stowell, MD Ph.D., is the Associate Director of the Harvard Glycomics Center and the Medical Director of the Kraft Apheresis and Cellular Therapies Center, Brigham and Women' s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He received his MD and Ph.D. degrees from Emory University, where he graduated summa cum laude. He is the recipient of the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Trust Career Award for Medical Scientists, and the National Blood Foundation Award for Innovative Research. His research group focuses on fundamental questions at the interface of glycobiology, immunology, microbiology, and transfusion medicine with the ultimate goal of translating findings to improve patient care.
University of Lille, France
Title: Sulfated Glycans That Regulate Microglial Function
Dr. Kenji Uchimura is currently a CNRS Research Director at the Unit of Glycobiology Structure and Functions, University of Lille, France. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Nagoya University School of Medicine in 1999. He discovered the first GlcNAc-6-sulfotransferase during his graduate study in the laboratory of Professor Takashi Muramatsu. Dr. Uchimura then joined the laboratory of Professor Steven D. Rosen at the Department of Anatomy, Program in Immunology, University of California at San Francisco as a postdoctoral fellow. His research focused on cell diapedesis mediated by sulfated selectin ligands and SULFs, novel extracellular endosulfatases that act on heparin/heparan sulfate. Dr. Uchimura became a group leader at National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology and then an Associate Professor at Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine. His honors include the Young Scientist Award of the Japanese Society of Carbohydrate Research in 2006 and the Young Investigator Award of the Japanese Biochemical Society in 2011. His current research interest is the structure and functions of sulfated glycans involved in inflammation and neurodegenerative disease progression.
Title: Intracellular Galectins: Platforms for Assembly of Macromolecular Complexes
Professor John Li-Ming Wang has been the faculty in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University for 40 years. He has had a long-standing interest in lectins: (a) He worked on determining the amino acid sequence and X-ray structure of the plant lectin, concanavalin A (Con A). An analysis of the inhibition by Con A of the mobility of cell surface receptors on lymphocytes provided one of the early lines of evidence for receptor-cytoplasmic/cytoskeletal interactions. (b) His laboratory also investigated the binding and adhesion of the bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum to the roots of soybean plants leading to a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis. This analysis led to the discovery that the galactose-specific binding of rhizobium to soybean cells is mediated by a lectin at one pole of the Bradyrhizobium japonicum cell. (c) Finally, he and colleagues have reported on the phenomenon of dual localization of galectin-3: in the extracellular compartment (cell surface and medium) as well as in the intracellular compartment (cytoplasm and nucleus). In the nucleus, galectin-3 is co-localized with other pre-mRNA splicing factors in nuclear speckles, which are membrane-less organelles formed by the phenomenon of liquid-liquid phase separation.
Professor Betty A. Wu-Hsieh received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology under the mentorship of Professor Dexter H. Howard. She went on to do her postdoctoral research at Columbia University in New York City and later back at UCLA. She established independent research while at UCLA as an assistant immunologist. She later joined the faculty of the Institute of Immunology at the National Taiwan University College of Medicine when her family moved to Taiwan. She recently took retirement as a full professor and now serves as an adjunct professor at the Institute. She took an interest in fungal immunology starting her graduate school days. Her work on fungal immunology focused on the interaction of fungal pathogens with innate cells, including macrophages, dendritic cells, and neutrophils. She also published on the immunopathogenesis of dengue hemorrhage and SARS-CoV1.
Title: Discovery and development of small molecule galectin-3 inhibitors
Dr. Fredrik Zetterberg is a VP of medicinal Chemistry at Galecto Biotech AB, focusing on discovering and developing small-molecule galectin inhibitors targeted at fibrosis and cancer indications. He is the inventor of GB1211, the first orally available galectin inhibitor taken into clinical studies. This compound is currently in development studies for liver fibrosis and several cancer indications. Fredrik has a background from different roles at AstraZeneca, contributing to several clinical candidates and drugs within the cardiovascular and metabolic fields. This includes finding new classes of reversible P2Y12R inhibitors and supporting the development of Brilinta/Brilique/Possia ® (ticagrelor). Fredrik also discovered Cleviprex® (clevidipine) in a collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology and AstraHässle. He is the author of 29 publications and the inventor of over 21 patent applications. His education includes a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Uppsala University (Pher G Andersson and David Tanner) and a master’s degree in chemistry from Gothenburg University.