Title: Novel Functions of Polysialic in Kidney Development
Dr. Anja Münster-Kühnel studied Biology and Chemistry in a Teacher Education Programme at the University of Hannover in Germany. After the First State Examination in Biology and Chemistry, she received her Ph.D. at Hannover Medical School (MHH) in the Department of Microbiology by cloning the murine enzyme CMP-sialic acid synthase, an essential enzyme in the biosynthesis of sialoglycoconjugates. As a group leader at the Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, MHH, she continued the molecular characterization of this enzyme and the investigation of its nuclear localization. Further, sialylation-deficient constitutive and conditional mouse models have been generated to unravel the biological function of sialoglycoconjugates in the development and immune system, especially for kidney development and operation. Recently she started to investigate novel functions of polysialic acid beyond the nervous system.
Title: Targeting Human Viruses with Broadly Protective Low-Sugar Vaccines
Professor Wong received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from National Taiwan University, and Ph.D. (1982) in Chemistry from MIT. He then worked at Harvard University as a postdoctoral fellow, became an assistant professor at Texas A&M University in 1983, and became a professor in 1987. He was Professor and Ernest W. Hahn Chair in Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute (1989–2006), Director of Genomics Research Center (2003–2006), and President of Academia Sinica (2006-2016). He is currently the Scripps Family Chair Professor of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute with a joint appointment at Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica.
Professor Wong receives numerous awards, including the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, the ACS Claude Hudson Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry, Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, and the Cope Medal, the Wolf Prize in Chemistry. He is a member of Academia Sinica, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
His research interests are in the field of chemical biology and synthetic chemistry, including the synthesis of complex carbohydrates and glycoproteins associated with disease progression. He is the author of over 700 publications (H-index 144) and 100 patents.
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: The human gut microbiota-plant cell wall nexus
Dr. Harry Brumer is a Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories and Department of Chemistry, and an Associate Member of the Department of Botany and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, at the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Brumer’s research interests include the discovery, functional and structural characterization, and biotechnological applications of carbohydrate-active enzymes and carbohydrate-binding proteins. Through close collaboration with geneticists and structural biologists, research in the Brumer group seeks to bring molecular-level insight into the biological processes underpinning carbon flux in ecosystems ranging from the forest to the human gut.
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.
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: New Insights about the Glycan Ligands of Siglecs and their Ability to Control Immune Cells
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: From mucin-type O-glycans to bacterial polysaccharides
Inka Brockhausen received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Toronto, Canada. At Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, she studied both structures and biosynthesis of O-and N-glycans and discovered a number of novel enzymes in the O- and N-glycosylation pathways. As an associate professor at the University of Toronto, her research interest focused on structural and enzymatic glycosylation abnormalities in cancer and cystic fibrosis. Further studies on the link between glycosylation changes in arthritis and inflammatory conditions were carried out at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada. A major interest became the discovery of novel glycosyltransferases in bacteria, in collaboration with synthetic chemists, e.g., Walter Szarek, Ole Hindsgaul, Vladimir Torgov, and others that were instrumental in the synthesis of natural substrate analogs. Glycosylation inhibitors were developed that could alter the biological properties of cells or could be anti-bacterial compounds. Current directions in the Brockhausen lab at the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences aim to understand polysaccharide synthesis in bacteria and fungi and the mechanisms of enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism. Brockhausen also has a keen interest in protein aggregation in neurodegeneration and is a member of the Centre for Neuroscience Studies.
Title: Probing Specific Interactions of Synthetic Heparan Sulfate Saccharides and Disease-Related Proteins
Professor Shang-Cheng Hung received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan (1992). He did postdoctoral research with Professor Andrew Streitwieser at the University of California at Berkeley (1994-1995) and Professor Chi-Huey Wong at The Scripps Research Institute (1995-1998). Professor Hung started independent research at the Institute of Chemistry, Academia Sinica, in 1998 and moved to the Department of Chemistry, National TsingHua University, in 2005. In 2009, he moved back to Taipei and joined the Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, where he was promoted to Distinguished Professor in 2012. His research interests aim to develop new strategies for synthesizing complex carbohydrates such as glycosaminoglycans and sialo-sugars on the cell surface to probe their specific interactions with disease-associated proteins.
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.
@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.