2019 ICAR INVITED SPEAKERS
Timothy Block is President and Co-founder of the Hepatitis B Foundation; of its research arm, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute; and of the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center. With Barry Blumberg and Raymond Dwek, he began pursuit of antivirals against hepatitis B virus, targeting the HBs antigen in the 1990s, which helped to determine the role of glycan processing in HBs protein folding. More recently, he and colleagues identified small-molecule inhibitors of HBV, some of which are now in clinical-phase human testing by Arbutus Biopharma. He is the scientific co-founder of several life sciences companies, co-inventor on 20 issued patents and 23 applications, and co-author of more than 240 scholarly papers and was elected to the US National Academy of Inventors (2018). In 2017 he was named a “Visionary in Hepatitis” by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2017.
Rhonda Cardin has extensive experience in viral pathogenesis, immunology, and antiviral drug evaluation in small animal models of herpesvirus disease, and is an expert on cytomegalovirus. Her research efforts are aimed at characterizing host and viral genes required for CMV pathogenesis and latency. After receiving her A.B from Washington University in St. Louis and her PhD in microbiology from Louisiana State University, she began her career in cytomegalovirus research as a postdoc in Ed Mocarski’s laboratory at Stanford. In 1994, she moved to Memphis, TN to join the laboratory of Peter Doherty at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, studying murine gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis and immunology, as a model for the human gammaherpesviruses, EBV and KSHV. After working for several years for Parke-Davis and Pfizer, she returned to academia in 2003 and joined the faculty of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. In 2016, she moved to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge, where she continues her CMV research and is Associate Dean for Research and Advanced Studies. She is a co-PI on a NIH contract for evaluating novel antivirals and vaccines in CMV and HSV animal models.
Marina Caskey received her medical degree from the Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil in 1998, and following ID specialty training at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, she joined the Clinical Scholars Program at the Rockefeller University in 2006. Working in Dr. Ralph Steinman’s Laboratory, she characterized the immune response induced by an HIV vaccine which targets HIV antigens directly to dendritic cells. Her current work focuses on the development and clinical evaluation of novel immunotherapeutic strategies against infectious diseases, with a special emphasis on HIV-1. Over the last 5 years, she has led a series of first-in-humans studies with two of the most promising broadly neutralizing anti-HIV-1 antibodies, 3BNC117 and 10-1074, which were isolated in the laboratory of Michel Nussenzweig. They are being developed for potential roles in HIV-1 prevention and therapy, and for their effects on the HIV-1 reservoir and on host immune responses, when given alone or in combination with latency-reversing agents or immune-modulatory molecules.
Marc S. Collett received undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate training in molecular biology and virology at the universities of Michigan, Minnesota, and Colorado and held faculty positions at the U of Minnesota. He has been a corporate officer in several biotech/pharma companies (Molecular Genetics, MedImmune, Pathogenesis, Acambis) and was a co-founder of ViroPharma and founder of ViroDefense, his current position. ViroDefense is assisting the Global Polio Eradication Initiative by developing antivirals against polioviruses. The effort is orchestrated by the Poliovirus Antiviral Initiative, a consortium managed by the Task Force for Global Health and comprised of the WHO, CDC, Rotary International, CBER/FDA, NIAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and ViroDefense. The goal is to develop a treatment that eliminates poliovirus excretion by immunodeficient individuals chronically infected with vaccine-derived viruses (iVDPV), who pose a threat to eradication. Toward this end, ViroDefense now has two drug candidates in clinical trials.
Bryan R. Cullen obtained a B.Sc. in biochemistry from Warwick University in the UK and a M.Sc. in virology from the University of Birmingham before moving to the USA, where he obtained a Ph.D. in microbiology from Rutgers University. In 1987, he was recruited as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator for Duke University Medical Center, where he now holds a James B. Duke Professorship in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. His research interests focus on the use of viruses as genetic tools to understand the molecular biology of eukaryotic cells, particularly RNA sequence-mediated gene regulation. His laboratory is currently studying the regulation of viral mRNA expression by epitranscriptomic modifications and is investigating the use of CRISPR/Cas-mediated gene editing, both as a tool to identify cellular factors that regulate viral gene expression and as a novel treatment approach for chronic diseases caused by DNA viruses. He has published over 320 research papers and is listed by Thomson Reuters as one of the world’s most highly cited scientists.
Robert Gallo is the Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Co-Founder & Director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and co-founder and scientific director of the Global Virus Network. He is most widely known as a co-discoverer of HIV as the cause of AIDS and developer of the first HIV blood test. His research aided colleagues in the development of HIV antiviral therapies, and his discovery that chemokines can block infection and halt the progression of AIDS has influenced thinking on how the virus works against the human immune system and led to use of chemokine antagonists or entry inhibitors in combination therapy. Prior to his work on HIV/AIDS, he was the first to identify human retroviruses and the only known leukemia-causing viruses, HTLV-1 and HTLV-2. In 1976, he and his colleagues discovered interleukin-2, a growth-regulating substance for T cells necessary to study human retroviruses. In 1986, he and his group discovered a new human herpesvirus, HHV-6, which causes roseola and is a strong suspect in the origin of some neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s.
Diane Griffin is University Distinguished Service Professor and former Chairof the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunologyat the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She earned her BA in Biology at Augustana College and her MD and PhD at Stanford University School of Medicine. Her research interests focus on the pathogenesis of viral diseases, particularly measles and arboviral encephalitis. Her studies address issues related to virulence, RNA virus persistence and the role of immune responses in protection from infection and in clearance of infection. She has more than 400 publications and has served on multiple advisory and editorial boards. She is the US Chair of the US-Japan Cooperative Medical Sciences Program and past president of the American Society for Virology and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Association of American Physicians and the American Philosophical Society. She is the Vice President of the US National Academy of Sciences.
Emily Gurley is an infectious disease epidemiologist and Associate Scientist at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health who has been involved in research on Nipah virus since 2004. Her work is multi-disciplinary, drawing on perspectives and methods from applied and academic epidemiology, anthropology, microbiology, and ecology. She earned an MPH from Emory University in 2002 and a PhD in epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University in 2012. She spent 12 years working at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh in Dhaka. She currently leads investigations of Nipah virus transmission and works on the development of behavioral and pharmaceutical interventions to prevent its spread. She is the PI for the Bangladesh component of the PREEMPT project, which aims to predict bat shedding of henipaviruses to prevent spillover events, and serves on the WHO Nipah Virus Taskforce for the development of medical countermeasures.
Frederick Hayden is Stuart S. Richardson Professor Emeritus of Clinical Virology and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville. He received his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1973 and completed training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester, New York. His research has focused on respiratory viral infections, principally the development and application of antiviral agents and other therapeutics. He has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and reviews, and co-edits the ASM textbook Clinical Virology. During 2006-2008 he served as a medical officer in the Global Influenza Programme at the WHO and during 2008-2012 as influenza research coordinator within International Activities at the Wellcome Trust. He continues to serve as a WHO consultant on respiratory and emerging viral infections.
Florian Krammer received his PhD degree from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. He performed postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Peter Palese at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, working on influenza hemagglutinin stalk-based immunity and universal influenza vaccines. He has remained at the Icahn School, and in 2013 he became an independent principal investigator and is currently an associate professor. His work focuses on understanding the mechanisms of interactions between antibodies and viral surface glycoproteins and on translating this work into novel, broadly protective vaccines and therapeutics. The main target is influenza virus, but he is also working on Zika virus, hantaviruses, filoviruses and arenaviruses.
Victoria Olson is Chief of the Poxvirus and Rabies Branch at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. She obtained a BS degree in biochemistry from Michigan State University in 1994 and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001, then joined the CDC in 2002 as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research has focused on poxviruses and their interactions with their hosts, including studies of the causative agent of smallpox, variola virus. She leads the WHO Collaborating Center on smallpox and other poxviruses at the CDC, as well as one of the the WHO Collaborating Centers on rabies. The Poxvirus and Rabies Branch consists of more than 70 scientists who provide diagnostic support, both domestically and internationally, for poxvirus and rabies infections, as well as research to develop medical countermeasures and guidance on their use in public health interventions.
Amadou Sall is the scientific director of the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal, part of the Institut Pasteur International Network. He is a virologist with a PhD in public health, and his research focuses primarily on diagnostics, pathogenesis, ecology and evolution of arboviral diseases and viral hemorrhagic fever. During the past few years he has been an author on reseach reports on many emerging viruses in Africa, including Ebola, monkeypox, yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue and West Nile virus. He is a member of several expert committees for the World Health Organization and the OIE and vice chair of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network steering committee. He is a member of the Senegal National Academy of Science and Technology and has been recipient of the Senegal Presidential Award for Science in 2011 and the UNESCO Prize for Research in Life science in 2015.
Kathie Seley-Radtke is the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Presidential Research Professor for Research, and the University of Maryland’s System-wide Regents Professor for Research. Her research involves using a synthetic organic/medicinal chemistry approach to nucleos(t)ide and heterocyclic antiviral drug discovery and development. Current projects include the investigation of flexible nucleosides/nucleotides known as "fleximers", for use against SARS, MERS-CoV, Ebola, Zika, dengue and yellow fever viruses, among other infectious diseases and cancers. In addition, she has developed a series of heterocyclic anticancer drugs that are currently in preclinical animal studies. She is the immediate past president of IS3NA, and prior to that, she served as president, and secretary for six years. She is also a board member of the International Society for Antiviral Research, as well as an associate editor for Antiviral Chemistry & Chemotherapy, Molecules, and Current Protocols in Chemical Biology.
Jeffery Taubenberger is Chief of the Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Section, and Deputy Chief of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH. Before coming to NIAID in 2006, he served as Chair of the Department of Molecular Pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in Washington, DC, a position he held since 1994. He received a B.S. in Biology from George Mason University in 1982, and his medical degree in 1986 and Ph.D. in 1987 from the Medical College of Virginia. His research interests include influenza virus biology, pathophysiology, characterization of clinical influenza, and development of a universal influenza vaccine. Among his key contributions to the field has been the characterization of the virus responsible for the 1918 influenza pandemic. He has published over 235 papers and 14 book chapters.
Maria Van Kerkhove is an infectious disease epidemiologist specializing in outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging pathogens. She completed her undergraduate degree at Cornell University, her MS at Stanford and her PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her research interests include avian influenza, MERS-coronavirus, Ebola, Marburg and Zika virus, investigating factors associated with transmission between animals and humans, and ensuring that research directly informs public health policy for action. She is currently the MERS-CoV Technical Lead in the High Threat Pathogens Unit of the Health Emergency Program. She previously headed the outbreak investigation task force at the Institut Pasteur’s Center for Global Health, and was earlier employed by Imperial College London in the MRC Center for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, where she worked closely with WHO investigators on influenza, yellow fever, meningitis, MERS-CoV and Ebola virus disease.
Subhash Vasudevan is a Professor and Principal Investigator in the Signature Program for Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-National University of Singapore (Duke-NUS) Medical School. He obtained his PhD at the Australian National University in 1989 and performed postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics and Research School of Chemistry. He first established an independent research laboratory when he became a lecturer in biochemistry and molecular biology at the James Cook University in 1993. He moved to Singapore in 2003 to establish the Dengue Research Unit at the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases, and has been at Duke-NUS since 2007. His major research interests are in antiviral drug discovery against dengue and related flaviviruses, such as Zika. He is an editor for Antiviral Researchand a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Virology.
Yan-Yi Wang is the Director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, one of the leading institutes in the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She received a BS degree in biological sciences from Peking University, an MS in immunology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a PhD in microbiology from Wuhan University. For the past 15 years, her research interests have focused on virus-host interactions, extending from antiviral innate immunity to viral strategies of immune evasion. She has identified multiple key players in these processes, and her publications have been cited more than 2200 times. The Wuhan Institute of Virology performs a range of basic and applied research on infectious pathogens, with an emphasis on highly pathogenic viruses. It includes the first operational BSL-4 laboratory in China.
Scott Weaver holds the John Sealy Distinguished University Chair in Human Infections and Immunity, chairs the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the UTMB Galveston, and is the Scientific Director of the Galveston National Laboratory. He studies arthropod-borne viruses, their transmission by mosquitoes and the development of vaccines. His research encompasses the ecology and epidemiology of enzootic arbovirus transmission cycles, virus-mosquito interactions, pathogenesis, and emergence mechanisms of epidemic strains. Recently he has focused on Zika and chikungunya and viruses, and his chikungunya vaccine, licensed to Takeda Pharmaceuticals, is in late preclinical development. He received the Walter Reed Medal from the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene for distinguished accomplishment in tropical medicine, and the Robert C. Gallo Award for Scientific Excellence from the Global Virus Network. He chairs/co-chairs the GVN Chikungunya and Zika Task Forces, and serves as PI for the CDC-funded Western Gulf Center of Excellence for Vector-borne Diseases.
The International Society for Antiviral Research (ISAR) is an internationally recognized organization for scientists involved in basic, applied, and clinical aspects of antiviral research. The Society main event is the annual International Conference on Antiviral Research (ICAR), a truly interdisciplinary meeting which attracts the interest of chemists, biologists, and clinicians.