Title: Molecular Signals Controlling the Biosynthesis and Biological Activities of Cell Envelope (Lipo)Polysaccharides in Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Dr. Mary Jackson is currently a Professor of Bacteriology in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology at Colorado State University. She earned a Bioengineering degree and an MSc. Degree from the National School of Agronomy, Rennes, France, in 1994, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology from the Pasteur Institute, Paris, France, in 1998.
Her research focuses on the elucidation of critical pathways leading to the biosynthesis and export of (glyco)lipids, fatty acids, and polysaccharides in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other mycobacterial pathogens of clinical interest to inform novel therapeutic strategies.
Dr. Jackson has published over 185 peer-reviewed scientific articles and serves on numerous grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health and other Federal, private, and non-profit funding agencies globally.
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.
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).
Title: Galectins, Atg8ylation, and Stress Granules in Autophagy and Membrane Stress Response
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.
Title: Targeting POGLUT1 to Promote Biliary Development in Mouse Models of Alagille Syndrome
Dr. Hamed Jafar-Nejad received his M.D. from Tehran University of Medical Sciences and learned molecular biology techniques at a research institute in Iran. After one year at the University of Ottawa, he moved to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He received his postdoctoral training in Notch signaling and Drosophila neurogenesis with Dr. Hugo Bellen. In December 2006, he started his research group, first at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston and later at Baylor, where they continued their studies on the role of glycosylation and deglycosylation in animal development. In recent years, the Jafar-Nejad laboratory has devoted significant effort to understanding the function of human rare disease genes in animal development. These collaborative studies have led to the identification of Poglut1 as a dominant genetic suppressor of the liver phenotypes in a mouse model for Alagille syndrome, the identification of a new form of muscular dystrophy caused by recessive mutations in POGLUT1, and the discovery of several pathways downstream of the deglycosylation enzyme N-glycanase 1 (NGLY1), mutations in which cause a multi-system developmental disorder. This work will likely provide novel insight into how glycans regulate animal development and might help establish new therapeutic approaches for these diseases.
Title: Genome-wide Analysis of Heparan Sulfate Assembly
Dr. Ryan Weiss began his diverse scientific training by earning his B.S. in Chemistry in 2008 at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA, USA. He then received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2015 at the University of California, San Diego, under the supervision of Prof. Yitzhak Tor, where he studied the design, synthesis, and application of small molecule antagonists of heparin- and heparan sulfate-protein interactions. As an NIH K12 postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Jeffrey Esko’s group at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, his research focused on utilizing whole-genome screening methods to investigate the regulation of heparan sulfate biosynthesis. Dr. Weiss began his independent career as an assistant professor at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia in January 2021. Research in the Weiss Laboratory focuses on studying the structure, function, and regulation of complex carbohydrates in human biology and disease. In addition, his lab is dedicated to developing pharmacological and cell-based tools to aid in the discovery of novel targets and approaches for modulating glycan assembly in relevant human disorders.
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: 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: 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: The gel-forming mucins protecting our intestinal and respiratory tracts are densely glycosylated polymeric proteins
Gunnar C. Hansson, M.D., Ph.D. is a Professor in University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He has been working on mucus, mucins, and mucin glycans his whole career, focusing on the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. He has been part of and at the leading edge of developing molecular understanding of mucins over the last 30 years with a focus on their biosynthesis and structure. He and his team discovered that an attached colon mucus layer impenetrable to bacteria separates commensal bacteria from the host and that the chronically diseased lungs are covered with a similar type of mucus. They have studied and discovered that goblet cells making the mucus are more specialized and diverse than previously appreciated. The studied structural variability of glycans on the mucins and their mucin domains are important for commensal bacteria selection and bacterial utilization as a nutritional source. He has founded the Mucin Biology Groups constellation with a total of seven PIs working in the area at the University of Gothenburg (www.medkem.gu.se/mucinbiology).
@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.