Title: Glycomics-guided glycoproteomics uncovers new players in the innate immune system
Associate Professor Morten Thaysen-Andersen heads the Analytical Glycoimmunology at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Additionally, he was recently recruited as Visiting Professor at Nagoya University, Japan, to set up a Glycoproteomics lab at the prestigious Institute for Glyco-core Research (iGCORE). Across the two laboratories, his glycobiology-focused research program aims to advance our understanding of the human innate immune system and immune-related diseases, including microbial infections, inflammation, and cancer. His team develops and applies novel glycomics and glycoproteomics technologies using advanced mass spectrometry while drawing on analytical tools in protein and carbohydrate chemistry and methods in immunology, structural biology, microbiology, and molecular and cell biology to unravel fundamental glycobiological processes within the innate immune system.
Title: Targeting Cancer-Associated Sialylation for Cancer Immunotherapy
Dr. Heinz Läubli received his M.D. and Ph.D. at the Institute of Physiology, University of Zürich (Switzerland). He is now an Assistant Professor and a Research group leader at the University of Basel and an Attending physician in the Division of Oncology, and Head of Glycobiology Research in the Department of Biomedicine, at the University Hospital Basel. Dr. Heinz’s research interests are to improve immunotherapy for cancer patients by using translational in vitro and in vivo tumor models, performing correlative analysis of patients treated with immunotherapy, and conducting early clinical interventional trials. His group has been studying the interaction between siaologlycans and their interaction with Siglec receptors on immune cells. It has demonstrated that this pathway can be targeted to augment T-cell stimulation and tumor control. His research goals also include the improvement of cancer immunotherapy by modifying glycans in the tumor microenvironment and glycans of cellular products for adoptive cell therapies, including genetically modified T cells.
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.
The research activity of Professor De Castro is in carbohydrate structural chemistry, and her training in this subject started during her bachelor thesis, which focused on plant polysaccharides. Since then, even though Professor De Castro continued her work on carbohydrate structural chemistry, she shifted her interests and dedicated her activity to the analysis of the bacterial membrane carbohydrate components, paying attention, but not limiting the work, to Gram-negative bacteria and lipopolysaccharides (LPSs). This work has resulted in the development of state-of-the-art chemical and spectroscopical approaches that have been later applied with success to different kinds of carbohydrates, such as those from the bacteria of the gut microbiota or those from the giant viruses. This last topic is Professor De Castro's major field of research.
Professor De Castro is the author/co-author of about 130 peer-reviewed publications, an associated Editor for the journal Carbohydrate Polymers, and a member of the editorial board of Carbohydrate Research, Glycobiology, and Polysaccharides. She fruitfully collaborates with different research institutions, such as the Department of Plant Pathology (University of Nebraska Lincoln, NE, USA) and the Structural and Genomics Information Laboratory in Marseille (France).
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and University, Taiwan
Title: Cancer immunotherapy targeting glycosphingolipids (GSLs)
Alice L. Yu, MD, PhD, is an Academician of Academia Sinica, Taiwan. She is a Distinguished Chair Professor & Deputy Director of the Institute of Stem Cell & Translational Cancer Research at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Professor Emeritus at the University of California in San Diego.
As a pioneer in cancer immunotherapy, Dr. Yu has taken an anti-GD2 monoclonal antibody (Dinutuximab) from preclinical to phase III clinical trial, culminating in its FDA approval for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma in 2015. This marks the first immunotherapeutic agent to target glycolipids worldwide. She has continued to improve the efficacy of anti-GD2 immunotherapy through international collaboration. Her group has demonstrated the adverse impact of Globo H expression on the outcome of patients with hepatoma, cholangiocarcinoma, and gallbladder cancer. She also uncovered the roles of Globo H in cancer as an immune checkpoint molecule and angiogenic factor, providing rationales for the ongoing development of Globo H-targeted immunotherapeutics.
She has received many awards, including the Pediatric Oncology Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in 2020, Excellence in Technology Transfer Award from Federal Laboratory Consortium (USA) in 2016, The 55th Academic Award from the Ministry of Education (Taiwan), Year 2000 "Key to Life" Award, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (USA), etc.
Title: Rethinking the Paradigm: New Roles for Non-Coding RNA in Controlling the Cancer Glycome.
Dr. Lara K. Mahal is the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Glycomics and a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Alberta. Her work focuses on systems-based approaches to understanding glycans, complex sugars that encode information governing human health. She developed lectin microarray technology, a high-throughput method for analyzing glycans that is now widely applied to understand the role of these sugars in a multitude of systems, from clinical cancer research to host-pathogen interactions. She is also known for her ground-breaking work on microRNA regulation, including the discovery of upregulation as a common feature of the miRNA regulatory landscape. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Beckman Foundation Fellowship (2004), NSF CAREER Award (2007), Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2008), NIH Director’s New Innovator Award (2008), the Horace S. Isbell Award (2017) and the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Glycomics (2019). In 2022, she founded the Glycomics Institute of Alberta (GIA) at the University of Alberta.
Title: A Sugar Coat on Neuronal Surface: The Supramolecular Assembly of Glycosaminoglycans and Glycoproteins in Regulating Neuroplasticity
Dr. Jessica Kwok is an Associate Professor in Neuroscience at the University of Leeds. Her lab focuses on elucidating the functions of a pericellular coat called perineuronal net, with the main components being glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and glycoproteins, in the regulation of neuroplasticity. The role of the GAGs in plasticity and axon regeneration has been the main research topic. In the last ten years, her work has played the key role in establishing the mechanism of PNN formation, the interaction of different PNN molecules, and how the interactions define the PNN structure and exert their effects on plasticity. The work has led to the current widely accepted concept that PNNs are crucial in controlling central nervous system (CNS) plasticity. These concepts allow her to design plasticity enhancement treatment for repairing and recovering deficits in the CNS, with a focus on spinal cord injury and memory enhancement.
Title: Leveraging tumor-associated alterations in O-glycosylation for cancer immunotherapy
Dr. Avery Posey is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He received Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (2011) and his postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a classically trained molecular and developmental geneticist and an expert in the development and pre-clinical characterization of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) and other engineered T cell strategies for cancer immunotherapy. His current research is focused on the redirection of T cells to target cancer-specific epitopes, especially glycan haptens and O-glycopeptide epitopes formed through altered glycosylation in cancer cells, investigation of optimal CAR-T signaling for effective anti-tumor responses and durable persistence in solid tumors, and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene-editing strategies for improved engineered T cells (knockout of checkpoint molecules - PD-1, CTLA-4, etc.; HDR knock-in of combination therapies). The major objective of his research is to increase the efficacy of engineered T cells in solid tumors.
Title: Quantitative descriptions of structure-function relationships of glycoSHIELD of coronavirus spike proteins
Dr. Danny Hsu is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica. During his doctorate study at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, he determined the atomic structure of a lantibiotic, nisin, in complex with Gram-positive bacterial cell wall precursor, Lipid II. He coined the term "pyrophosphate case" to explain how nisin targets Lipid II to achieve its antimicrobial activity, providing a blueprint for future antibiotics developments. During his postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge, UK, Danny demonstrated the proof of concept of using solution-state NMR spectroscopy to investigate the co-translational folding of nascent polypeptide chains on the ribosome. His earlier independent research focused on the folding mechanisms and functional implications of topologically knotted proteins. He currently focuses on developing an integrated biophysics and structural biology platform, including cryo-electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, and molecular modeling, to investigate the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of glycoproteins, and coronavirus spike proteins, in particular, and how mutations impact on the SAR in the context of glycosylation.
Title: Synthetic glycan-based vaccines to combat bacterial diseases: from concept to first-in-human data and beyond
Dr. Mulard graduated as an engineer from the ESPCI (Paris, France). She received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University Paris 6 (UPMC, Paris, France) and was trained in glycochemistry and glycan recognition as a postdoctoral fellow at the NIH (Bethesda, MD, USA). She joined the Organic Chemistry Unit at Institut Pasteur (Paris, France), where she set up a group on the Chemistry of Bacterial Carbohydrates. Her current research interests are in the area of peptide chemistry and carbohydrate chemistry. Her research programs deal with the development of chemical tools and bioactive compounds aimed at interfering with molecular phenomena governing infectious diseases. Interfacing Chemistry, Structural Biology, Immunochemistry, and Vaccinology, the special focus has been on investigating a chemistry-driven multidisciplinary strategy toward developing original conjugate vaccines against diarrheal diseases. Dr. Mulard’s major implication in translational sciences and technology transfer has led to the first-in-human Shigella synthetic carbohydrate-based vaccine candidate. Besides actively pursuing promising routes toward the next-generation glycoconjugate vaccines, she is interested in the development of novel therapeutic agents inspired by peptide and carbohydrate scaffolds. Her contribution was distinguished on various occasions, including the 2016 Thérèse Lebrasseur award from the Fondation de France.
@TAIPEI, AUG 27~SEP 1 2023
Meet our invited speakers for the Glyco26. To learn more about each individual speaker, please click on the photos below. Speakers are arranged by the first alphabet of surname but starting from a randomized alphabet each time.
Title: Human Gut Bacteria Tailor Extracellular Vesicle Cargo for the Breakdown of Diet- and host-derived glycans
Dr. Feldman obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, under the supervision of Dr. Armando Parodi. After completing his postdoctoral training in Guy Cornelis and Markus Aebi labs in Switzerland, he joined the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada, as an assistant professor. In 2015 he moved to the Department of Microbiology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, USA. The Feldman lab is interested in microbial glycobiology and bacterial pathogenesis. Dr. Feldman has pioneered the field of bacterial glycoengineering, which is a promising approach for the generation of novel bioconjugate vaccines. He has co-founded two companies (VaxAlta and Omniose) in this area. He is a world leader in studying the human pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii and the biogenesis of bacterial extracellular vesicles. Dr. Feldman is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.