8th Annual National Carbohydrate Symposium Speakers
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Talk: "Progress in understanding the capsule of Cryptococcus neoformans"
Arturo Casadevall, MD, is the Leo and Julia Forchheimer Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. He is Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and served as Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases from 2000-2006. Dr Casadevall received both his M.D. and Ph.D.(Biochemistry) degrees from New York University (NYU) in New York, New York. Subsequently, he completed internship and residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Later he completed subspecialty training in Infectious Diseases at the Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Casadevall’s major research interests are in fungal pathogenesis and the mechanism of antibody action. In the area of Biodefense, he has an active research program to understand the mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization of Bacillus anthracis toxins.
University of Maryland
Talk: "Spreading the neus: sialic acid regulation of innate immunity"
Dr. Cross has three major areas of interest: the development of a vaccine for the prevention and treatment of sepsis; the early interactions of B. anthracis (BA) with the host immune system and the role of sialic acid in innate and adaptive immunity. A previous phase I study with a detoxified endotoxin vaccine complexed to group B meningococcal outer membrane protein revealed that while the vaccine was well-tolerated, it was only weakly immunogenic.
Currently, preclinical studies in murine models as well as clinical studies in human subjects are continuing with this vaccine given in conjunction with novel adjuvants. The relative roles of Toll-like receptors as well as Fc receptors in mediating macrophage killing of B. anthracis is another focus of the laboratory. The ability of the various BA structures (spore and vegetative forms and exosporium) to initiate macrophage signaling pathways leading to the killing of the organism is being characterized, and the effect of anthrax toxins on myeloid function are being defined. Finally, we found that the sialidase (neuraminidase) activity of various cells in the immune system is an essential element of innate and adaptive immunity.
Currently the laboratory is focusing on the mechanisms by which human neutrophil sialidase regulates cellular trafficking in both in vivo and in vitro model systems. These studies rely on endothelial cell culture systems as well as murine models of inflammation.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Talk: "N-glycosylation in Archaea: Sweetness at Extremes"
Dr. Jerry Eichler is a Professor in the Department of Life Sciences of Ben Gurion University in Beersheva, Israel. He obtained his B.Sc. in Physiology from McGill University and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Neurobiology from the Weizmann Institute of Science. His post-doctoral training was performed at the Dartmouth Medical School, where he studied bacterial protein secretion. Work in his laboratory addresses post-translational modifications in Archaea, the third domain of life. The bulk of his current research efforts are directed at understanding archaeal N-glycosylation, relying on Haloferax volcanii, originally isolated from the Dead Sea, as a model system. In addition to defining the N-glycosylation pathways used by Hfx. volcanii and describing the role of N-glycosylation in allowing this organism to adapt to the unique environment it inhabits, the Eichler lab is also developing Hfx. volcanii into a platform for the generation of tailored extremophilic glycoproteins.
Michigan State University
Talk: "Magnetic Glyconanoparticles: a Tool for in vitro and in vivo Detections"
Dr. Huang is an Associate Professor in Chemistry at Michigan State University. The major emphasis of his research group is on chemistry and biology of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates play important roles in many biological processes such as inflammation, tumor metastasis, bacterial and viral infections. While the biological and medicinal importance of complex carbohydrates and glyco-conjugates have been widely recognized, many of the molecular details of how these compounds mediate their functions remain to be elucidated. Building on our strength in synthetic chemistry, we take a multi-disciplinary approach to study this important class of molecules.
Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)
Talk: "Sweet-talk between pathogens and hosts – from structural glycobiology to antiadhesive strategies"
Dr. Imberty is Research Director at the Centre de Recherches sur les Macromolécules Végétales (CERMAV), affiliated to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) based at Grenoble, France.
She graduated in biology from Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. In 1984, she joined the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Grenoble and did her PhD on starch structure. She started modeling studies of protein-carbohydrate interaction during her post-doc in Toronto. Since 1999 she has a senior research position in CNRS-Grenoble and is the head of the Molecular Glycobiology group. She received the Young Researcher Award of the French Carbohydrate Society in 1990, the Whistler award of the International Carbohydrate Organization in 2004, and the Charles Dhéré award in Chemistry from the French Academy of Sciences in 2011.
Her research interests are in the field of structural glycobiology, with main interest on biologically active oligosaccharides and their interaction with lectins and glycosyltransferases. She solved several crystal structures of oligosaccharides and of lectin/carbohydrate complexes. Her main interest is the characterization of the molecular basis of recognition between lectins from pathogens and human glycoconjugates and design of glycocompounds with anti-infectious properties.
Harvard School of Medicine
Talk: " Rethinking glycocojugate vaccines: a knowledge based approach to vaccine design"
Dennis Kasper, M.D. is William Ellery Channing Professor of Medicine and Director of the Channing Laboratory at Harvard Medical School, Institute of Medicine, USA. Dr. Kasper’s group is studying the molecular basis for bacterial pathogenesis from both the host’s and the organism’s perspective. Studies are aimed at the molecular, chemical, and genetic basis for the interactions of the immune system with bacteria and with important bacterial components, particularly capsular polysaccharides and surface or secreted proteins. How the immune system responds to bacterial antigens, particularly carbohydrates, is a major focus of the laboratory. The overall goal is to develop an understanding of host-organism interactions that will lead to new preventive or therapeutic interventions.
Theresa M. Reineke
University of Minnesota
Talk: "Delivery Agents Designed from Core-Shell Carbohydrate-Based Block Copolycations"
Theresa M. Reineke is the Lloyd H. Reyerson Professor of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. She is a materials chemist with research interests in the design and development of macromolecules for biomedical applications. After receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1995, she completed her graduate studies at Arizona State University (M.S. degree) and The University of Michigan (Ph.D. degree) with Prof. Omar Yaghi studying the synthesis and characterization of metal-organic framework materials. After completing her Ph.D. in 2000, she was awarded a National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award to study the synthesis and biological characterization of polymeric nucleic acid delivery vehicles in the laboratory of Prof. Mark E. Davis at the California Institute of Technology. In 2002 she became an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati and in 2008 was promoted to Associate Professor upon joining the faculty of Virginia Tech. In 2011, the Reineke research program relocated to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota where the team is actively engaged in collaborative research with the Polymer Group and researchers in the College of Medicine. The Reineke Research Group is devoted to creative development of synthetic macromolecules for targeted drug, nucleic acid, and diagnostic imaging agent delivery. In addition to running a large research and educational program, Dr. Reineke serves as an Associate Editor of ACS Macro Letters (ACS journal), on the Editorial Advisory Board of Bioconjugate Chemistry (ACS journal), and on the International Advisory Board of Macromolecular Bioscience (Wiley InterScience journal). In addition, Reineke is an active member of the Molecular Conjugates Committee of the American Society of Cell and Gene Therapy, and is the scientific consultant and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Techulon, Inc. The work of the Reineke Group is the founding technology of Techulon, Inc. a start up biotechnology firm located in Blacksburg, VA.
University College Dublin
Talk: "Systems Glycobiology: Genomics, glycomics and clinical markers of disease - the first GWAS study of the human serum N-Glycome "
Professor Pauline Rudd heads up an independent research group in the newly established National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) at UCD. Funded by the government, through the IDA, to the tune of €72m, NIBRT’s research strategy is focused on the design, development and optimisation of bioprocesses for the safe and economic manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. The research programme at UCD applies its findings to the bioprocessing industry in Ireland and state-of-the-art technology for analysis of glycans – sugars which occur in almost every essential biological process.
The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Talk: "Sialoglycans in cell-cell recognition"
Ronald Schnaar, Professor of Pharmacology and Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins, has been performing and directing glycobiology research for nearly 40 years. His research focuses on the functions of glycans and complementary glycan binding proteins at cell surfaces. His studies on gangliosides, the major glycans on nerve cells and axons, revealed their role in axon-myelin interactions, including stabilization of axons and the control of axon regeneration after injury. The latter studies led to successful pre-clinical testing of the enzyme sialidase as a mechanism-based treatment to enhance recovery from spinal cord injuries. In separate studies, in collaboration with Dr. Bruce Bochner (Johns Hopkins), he discovered glycans that regulate allergic inflammation.
Dr. Schnaar has served as Editor-in-chief of the journal Glycobiology, President of the Society for Glycobiology, and Steering Committee Member of the Consortium for Functional Glycomics. In addition to his ongoing studies on the function of gangliosides in the nervous system, Dr. Schnaar directs the Lung Inflammatory Disease Program of Excellence in Glycosciences, a program supported by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute that aims to use glycan recognition to treat asthma and other inflammatory lung diseases.
University of Kentucky
Talk: "The reversibility of glycosyltransferase-catalyzed reactions: New tools and applications"
Dr. Joh Thorson is a Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences , University of Kentucky. Jon received his B.A. degree in chemistry from Augsburg College and a Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from the University of Minnesota. He held a postdoctoral appointment as a Merck Postdoctoral Fellow of the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation at the University of California, Berkeley.
Professor Thorson was also instrumental in establishing the UW National Cooperative Drug Discovery Group, a NCI-funded consortium of UW-Madison scientists seeking to develop new anti-cancer drugs from natural products. His research interests include understanding and exploiting biosynthetic pathways and enzyme mechanisms, bioorganic and chemoselective ligation chemistries, enzyme engineering and evolution. Professor Thorson has also been credited with establishing the general area of natural product glycorandomization and is a co-founder of the Madison-based biotechnology company Centrose.
University of Kansas
Talk: "Biosynthetic and chemoenzymatic synthesis of N-linked glycoconjugates for glycobiology studies"
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. Professor Tolbert completed his Postdoctoral Research at The Scripps Research Institute, his Post Doctorate Fellowship in Biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1998 and his B.S. Chemistry, Purdue University, 1991.
Research in the Tolbert laboratory involves chemistry and biochemistry related to protein modifications with emphasis on protein glycosylation and development of protein therapeutics. A long-term goal of the Tolbert lab is to utilize chemo-enzymatic glycoprotein synthesis and chemoselective protein modification to produce targeted therapies and imaging agents to treat human diseases.
Yvette van Kooyk
VUmc, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Talk: "Glycan Modification of Antigens, Novel Vaccination Strategies for Potentiating Antigen Specific Immunity"
Dr. van Kooyk is a Professor in Molecular Cell Biology in the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology. The aim of her research is focused on unraveling how carbohydrates mediate immune responses. With a specific focus on antigen presenting cells such as Dendritic cells and the recognition of pathogens as well as tumor cells, or self tissue/immune cells. Also the potency of carbohydrates for DC targeting and anti-tumor therapy is investigated.