Keynote Speakers updated

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Due to personal issues, one of the invited key-note speakers has requested to be substituted.

The speakers are:

Helio S. Sader

Helio Sader

Dr. Sader completed his medical school training at the Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP), Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1986 and then joined the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine (UNIFESP) for a residency (1987 – 89) and a fellowship (Master degree, 1990 – 91) in Infectious Diseases. His International fellowship started in 1991 when Dr. Sader trained in Clinical Microbiology in the Department of Pathology at the University of Iowa. Dr. Sader completed his Doctoral (Ph.D.) thesis in December 1993 and achieved the position of Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases). From 1994 to December 2002 he directed the Special Clinical Microbiology Laboratory of the UNIFESP performing antimicrobial resistance, hospital epidemiology, new drug development, and antimicrobial resistance surveillance research for Brazil and the Latin America region. Dr. Sader has authored more than 270 peer-reviewed articles and 25 book chapters. He is Associate Editor of the journals Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease and Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases.


Dennis Kasper

For more than three decades, Dennis Kasper has conducted research in microbiology, infectious diseases and public health while discharging a broad range of administrative and educational responsibilities. Dr. Kasper is the William Ellery Channing Professor of Medicine and a Professor of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kasper has studied the carbohydrates of group B Streptococcus, the foremost cause of serious neonatal bacterial infections and Bacteroides fragilis, an important intestinal commensal and cause of intraabdominal infections and abscesses. His studies innovatively integrate structural carbohydrate chemistry, microbiology, immunology, biochemistry, and genetics. He elucidated the structure of all nine capsular polysaccharides and important surface proteins of group B Streptococcus and their role in pathogenesis and derived a highly immunogenic glycoconjugate vaccine, now in clinical trials. Studying B. fragilis, he discovered capsular polysaccharides on the organism’s surface, which are essential for virulence. Remarkably, Dr. Kasper found that single strains produce eight phase-varying polysaccharides; at least two have a zwitterionic charge motif. Overturning immunologic paradigms, he discovered how one zwitterionic polysaccharide, PSA, is processed via the endosomal MIIC pathway in antigen-presenting cells, depolymerized by NO-dependent deamination, and presented to CD4+ T-cells by MHCII. He then found an essential role for PSA in shaping mammalian immune development by stimulating normal splenic CD4+ T cell numbers, TH1/TH2 balance and thereby directing splenic organogenesis. PSA has potent immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activity stimulating CD4+ T-cell production of IL-10, which protects against inflammatory bowel disease and experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE).  Dr. Kasper’s investigations have opened new fields of research on the role of carbohydrates in shaping immune system development and probing the microbiome for new therapeutics. Dr. Kasper also directs the New England Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research and was the Chairman of the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity. He has served as Executive Dean for Academic Programs at Harvard Medical School, Chair of the NIAID’s Board of Scientific Counselors and as President of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. From 1995 to 2012, Dr. Kasper was the Director of the Channing Laboratory, a research facility with a high international profile, where he played a powerful role in shaping cutting-edge research programs in microbiology and immunology. Dr. Kasper is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science. Since 1990, Dr. Kasper has served as the Infectious Disease Editor for Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine (HPIM). He was Editor-in-Chief of the 16th edition of HPIM and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the 19th edition. He is the author of more than 350 research and clinical publications encompassing an array of topics in infectious diseases and microbiology.


Takema Fukatsu 

Prime Senior Researcher, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST); Professor, University of Tokyo; Professor, University of Tsukuba;

Takema Fukatsu is Prime Senior Researcher and Group Leader of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan, and also Professor of the University of Tokyo and the University of Tsukuba, Japan. In 2013, he was elected to the Fellow of American Academy of Microbiology. He has been studying on diverse insect-microbe endosymbiotic associations using multi-disciplinary approaches including molecular biology, genetics, genomics, physiology, ecology and evolutionary biology. His scientific interest is extremely broad, encompassing diverse sophisticated biological interactions associated with such phenomena as symbiosis, mutualism, parasitism, reproductive manipulation, morphological manipulation, insect sociality, etc. His discoveries include symbiont-mediated insecticide resistance, symbiont that alters insect’s body color, symbiont that broadens insect’s food plant range, symbiont-mediated pest evolution, vitamin B-provisioning Wolbachia endosymbiont, Wolbachia-insect horizontal gene transfers, and many others, which have been published as over 180 papers in scientific journals including ScienceCellPNASPLoS Biol,Curr Biol, etc. publications.html.




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