Salvatore Albani, M.D., Ph.D.
My fundamental research interest is in understanding human immunity and contributing the knowledge to therapeutic and diagnostic advancements. I have developed several innovative approaches in the area of induction and maintenance of immune tolerance in humans, being responsible for the whole translational process from idea to the conclusion of a Phase II clinical trial in autoimmune inflammatory diseases, which have a large impact on society and individuals. I have been responsible for conception and execution of each of the stages of this complex itinerary, which spans a wide and diverse gradient of technologies and challenges.
These include molecular immunology, lead identification and validation, intellectual property, CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls), IND (Investigational New Drug filings), trial design, data management and analysis, interfacing with Venture Capital and Pharma, leading complex groups in a multi-center setting, etc. The technology platform has applications in diseases that could benefit from a restoration of immune tolerance. This translational research itinerary has been the original backbone of my career, as witnessed by a rich publication trail (among others Nature Medicine, Lancet, JCI, PNAS, Nature Rheumatology, A&R, ARD, etc) and by approximately 100 patents.
Development of high throughput technology platforms is also part of my scientific career. These platforms aim to provide tools for knowledge-based diagnostic and therapeutic decisions (various papers and patents under review).
In addition, I have developed a technology for the identification and manipulation ex vivo of antigen- specific T cells. This technology, named T cell capture, is based on entirely artificial antigen presenting cells. It has applications in immunotherapy of cancer and treatment of infections in an immunocompromised host (Nature Medicine, JI. Blood, A&R, Haematologica, various patents). Combined, these approaches span both ways across the gradient of Translational Medicine, which is evidence of and underscores my dedication to this field.
In my role as an educator, it has been my privilege to mentor many talented individuals, and to provide the right challenges and learning opportunities to help them grow and advance. I seek to expand this even further by helping to create and nurture the next generation of translational scientists. An important step is cultivating in translational professionals the necessary awareness, knowledge and experience to contribute significantly to the advancement of the field.
Berent Prakken, M.D., Ph.D.
Berent Prakken is a professor of immunology and pediatrics at the Utrecht Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. He is co-chair of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Intervention (www.cmci-utrecht.nl). Berent Prakken heads a translational research lab that focuses on regulation of inflammation and biomarker development in human inflammatory diseases. He and his group received various prestigious national and international awards and grants. The Prakken lab hosted a core facility for the Immune Tolerance Network of the NIH, and is an international expertise centre for the luminex technology. Prakken serves as an editor and associate editor of several journals including the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases and the European Journal of Immunology, and is a regular reviewer for most major journals in his field.
Berent Prakken was among others chair of the standing committee of pediatric rheumatology in EULAR, and member of the PRES council and EULAR executive committee. He is member of the steering committee of UCAN (international federation facilitating biological research in arthritis) and (thanks to a 1 million euro grant from the Dutch Arthritis foundation) set up the first international platform for biological studies in arthritis (UCAN-U, www.ucan-u.org). Prakken is member of various (inter)national scientific advisory boards and member of the Dutch National Health Council (Gezondheidsraad). He is coordinator of EUTRAIN, an EU FP7 Marie Curie Integrated Training Network for translational research in pediatric rheumatology. Berent Prakken’s personal commitment is to collaboration and training & education. Unconventional thinking and crossing traditional boundaries inspire him, just as his close friendship with Salvo Albani and the other board members of Eureka. As co-founder and board member he enjoys the journey on which Eureka is taking them.
Norman Rosenblum, M.D, FRCPC
Dr. Rosenblum is Professor of Pediatrics, Physiology, and Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, and Associate Dean, Physician Scientist Training, at the University of Toronto. As Associate Dean, he is Director of the Undergraduate MD/PhD Program and the Postgraduate Clinician Investigator Program, which together consist of over 150 trainees. Dr. Rosenblum is leading reform of the educational pathway for physician scientists at the University of Toronto and is a frequent advisor on clinician scientist career development in Canada and beyond. He served as Associate Chair of Pediatrics (Research), University of Toronto, from 2001-2008 and led the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP) from its inception in 2002 to 2012. Dr. Rosenblum is also a Pediatric Nephrologist and Senior Scientist in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology at The Hospital for Sick Children. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Developmental Nephrology (2005-2019).
The focus of Dr. Rosenblum’s research is molecular mechanisms that control formation of the normal and malformed mammalian kidney. He is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed papers and chapters on this subject. Dr. Rosenblum is the recipient of the 2004 Aventis Pasteur Research Award, the American Pediatric Society inaugural 2006 Norman J. Siegel New Member Outstanding Science Award, the Society for Pediatric Research 2010 Maureen Andrew Award in Mentoring, and the Kidney Foundation of Canada 2011 Medal for Research Excellence. Dr. Rosenblum is a founding member of the EUREKA Institute for Translational Medicine, a member of the EUREKA Board of Directors, and a teacher in the annual Certificate Course.
David Hafler, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Hafler is the William S. and Lois Stiles Edgerly Professor and Chairman Department of Neurology and Professor of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, and is the Neurologist-in-Chief of the Yale-New Haven Hospital. He graduated magna cum laude in 1974 from Emory University with combined BS and MSc. degrees in biochemistry, and the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1978. He then completed his internship in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins followed by a neurology residency at Cornell Medicial Center-New York Hosoital in New York. Dr Hafler was trained in immunology at the Rockefeller University and then at Harvard where he joined the faculty in 1984 and later became the Breakstone Professorship of Neurology at Harvard and was a founding Associated Member of the Board Institute at MIT. In 2009 he move to Yale as the Chair of the Department of Neurology.
Dr. Hafler is a clinical scientist with a research interest in the mechanism of multiple sclerosis with over 370 publications in the field of MS, autoimmunity and immunology. He is a co-founder of the International MS Genetic Consortium a group that identified the genes causing MS. Dr Hafler has been elected to membership in the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Alpha Omega Society, and was a Weaver Scholar of the NMSS. He is a member of the editorial boards for Journal of Clinical Investigation and the Journal of Experimental Medicine, and is co-founder of the Federation of Clinical Investigation and the Journal of Experimental Medicine, and is co-founder of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies and leads the NIH Autoimmunity Prevention Center Grant at Yale. Hafler was a Jacob Javits Merit Award Recipient from the NIH and has won many awards including 2010 Dystel Prize for MS research from the American Academy of Neurology.
Janet Hafler, Ed.D.
Janet Hafler is a Professor of Pediatrics and is the Associate Dean for Educational Scholarship at Yale University School of Medicine. As the Director of the Teaching and Learning Center her responsibilities include developing and implementing medical education and teaching and learning programs for faculty members, students and residents. Over her career she has nurtured a climate in teaching and learning where faculty and residents have been exposed to the cutting edge literature and ideas in medical education. She has focused on assisting faculty and residents in exploring innovative ways to effectively promote learning in both the classroom and clinical settings.
Promoting, influencing and nurturing a climate in which physicians, residents and students can teach — and learn — has been foremost among her career objectives. She has focused on providing an awareness of context for students, residents and faculty, urging them to be innovative in their many teaching environments and encouraging them to explore ways to understand how they can effectively promote learning in their interactions among themselves.
Dr. Hafler runs an active research program applying qualitative research methods in medical education. She collaborates with and mentors clinicians and faculty on the elements of qualitative research in the field of medical education and medical care. In turn, mentored faculty members have learned to develop and demonstrate the tools necessary to effectively teach and lead others. Dr. Hafler has published over 100 book chapters, curriculum materials and original articles in medical education and clinical journals. She has served as visiting professor internationally and has been invited to present regularly at regional and national professional meetings.
Vicki Seyfert-Margolis, Ph.D.
Vicki L. Seyfert-Margolis founded My Own Med in January 2013, based on over two years of work on a database, web and mobile application platform technology for family based co-management of health.
Prior to this, Dr. Seyfert-Margolis was the Senior Advisor for Science Innovation and Policy in the Office of the Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Seyfert-Margolis began her tenure at FDA during the transition of the Obama administration. While at the FDA, she oversaw the development and execution of an agency wide strategic plan for regulatory science. Dr. Seyfert-Margolis worked with President Obama’s Start-Up America and the White House Jobs Council to help shape policies to promote growth within the biotechnology sector of the US economy. She served as the lead FDA representative on the President’s Council of Advisors of Science and Technology (PCAST) study “Propelling Innovation in Drug Discovery, Development and Evaluation”.
Dr. Seyfert-Margolis also oversaw the design and development of both scientific approaches and policies for issues surrounding food safety, including spearheading efforts to develop testing for dispersant and petro-hydrocarbons in seafood following the Deep Water Horizon, mercury in fish guidelines, arsenic in juices and rice, and radiation level detection in foods following the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan.
Prior to the FDA, she served as Chief Scientific Officer at the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN), a non-profit consortium of researchers seeking new treatments for diseases of the immune system. At ITN, Dr. Seyfert-Margolis oversaw the development of over 20 leading edge assay development and centralized laboratory facilities, bringing them to GLP and CLIA compliance. She designed and implemented biomarker discovery studies for over 25 Phase II clinical trials across a broad array of immunologically mediated diseases including autoimmune disorders, allergy, and solid organ transplantation.
Dr. Seyfert-Margolis was also an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. Prior to this, she served as Director of the Office of Innovative Scientific Research Technologies at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, where she worked to integrate emerging technologies into existing immunology and infectious disease programs.
Dr. Seyfert-Margolis completed her PhD in immunology at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, and her post-doctoral fellowship work at Harvard University and the National Cancer Institute.
Maria-Grazia Roncarolo, M.D.
Maria Grazia Roncarolo, MD, is a Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Stanford School of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine, Co-Director of the Bass Center for Childhood Blood Disease and Co-Director of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine.
Her efforts focus on the translation of scientific discoveries in genetic diseases and regenerative medicine into novel patient therapies, including treatments based on stem cells and gene therapy. Dr. Roncarolo, a pediatric immunologist by training, spent her early career in Lyon, France, where she focused on severe inherited metabolic and immune diseases, including severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), better known as “bubble boy disease”.
Dr. Roncarolo was a key member of the first team to carry out stem cell transplants given before birth to treat these genetic diseases. Dr. Roncarolo then worked at the DNAX Research Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Palo Alto, where she contributed to the discovery of novel cytokines, studying their role in the induction of tolerance and promotion of stem cell growth and differentiation. As director of the Telethon Institute for Cell and Gene Therapy at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, Dr. Roncarolo successfully led the first stem cell-based gene therapy trail for SCID patients lacking adenosine deaminase (ADA), a severe life-threatening disorder. The trial, combining gene corrected blood stem cells with low-dose chemotherapy, is now considered the gold standard for gene therapy in inherited immune diseases. She was also the principal investigator in a successful gene therapy trial for Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome.
During her research on inherited immune diseases, Dr. Roncarolo also discovered a new class of T cells, called T regulatory type 1 cells. These cells play a key role in maintaining immune-system homeostasis by preventing autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and helping the immune system tolerate transplanted cells and organs. She recently discovered specific biomarkers for these T regulatory type 1 cells, which will be used to purify the cells for clinical use and for tracking in patients. She was the first to complete a successful clinical trial using T regulatory type 1 cells to prevent severe graft-versus-host disease in leukemia patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Dr. Roncarolo has brought many basic-science discoveries from the bench to patients in the field. She holds eight patents, with six more pending, for methods used in novel cell and gene therapies. She has published more than 280 scientific papers along with 22 book chapters, and her publications have been cited over 20,000 times. She is a Member of the Academia Europaea of Sciences and of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Steven Myint, M.D., Ph.D.
Prof Steven Myint is a physician with global experience in health and biomedical management. He is currently a Senior fellow to A*STAR, and consultant to its commercialization arm, ETPL. He is also Adjunct Professor at Duke-NUS in the Center for Technology, Enterprise and Development. In these capacities he is involved in the commercialization of biomedical and bio-engineering research.
He is also Chairman of Inex Private Ltd. In Finland he is chairman of Plexpress Oy and Inc, a diagnostic technology company with a US subsidiary and non-executive director of Aplagon Oy and Primex Oy, both biotech companies. He was also founding partner of a Finnish Vigo accelerator, Ukko Partners. In addition he is a partner in the Palo Alto based venture fund, Pharma Capital and a non-executive director of Lipid Genomics, a diagnostic company spun out of Johns Hopkins, now based in Boston. Until recently he was also executive chairman of Green Signal Bio, which he developed into one of India’s largest vaccine manufacturers.
He has held non-executive directorships with several organisations in the public and private sectors. He is a former Professor and Dean of Medicine & Health at the University of Surrey and Professor/Chairman of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Leicester in the UK. He has been a biopharmaceutical senior and Board executive as global Medical Director at GlaxoSmithKline and Senior Vice-President for R&D/Chief Medical Officer at BTG International. He has been instrumental in over 50 successful IND and 12 NDA submissions. He was an NHS consultant in UK for over 20 years and is also a former Senior Independent Director, then chairman, of a hospital in the NHS and Board Member of Care International.
He also has experience in the IT sector as executive chairman of Onmedica Group Ltd and Onmedica India Private Ltd (a health/IT and marketing organization). He has also been Chief Executive of the European Federation of Neurological Associations, consultant to several organisations in the medical and financial worlds and member of several national and international advisory boards. He has authored over 120 peer reviewed publications and 6 books. He was also Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Infection for 5 years. He is a Fellow or Member of several societies, including the Institute of Knowledge Transfer, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Society of Medicine. After his own first university spinout in 2005, he has been involved in the development of over 30 SME’s in life sciences and created over $1billion value for shareholders.
Andy Marshall, Ph.D.
Dr. Andrew Marshall has been Chief Editor of Nature Biotechnology since 2000. Since that time, the journal’s impact factor has increased from 11.0 to 43.1. It is currently among the top 10 primary research journals in the world. As well as frequently speaking on biotechnology issues at international meetings, he also regularly heads and organises conferences and symposia for the journal. He has over 24 years of experience in scientific publishing, and was previously Editor of Current Opinion in Biotechnology from 1992 to 1996. He has written over 150 articles and editorials on science and technology for the popular media, including The Economist and Popular Science, and for trade publications. In 2003, he launched Bioentrepreneur (www.nature.com/bioent), a free web portal that provides didactic information and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to start biotech companies. He also runs a series of networking events (SciCafes) in Boston, New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, London and Singapore to promote pioneering translational work by junior faculty. He is currently a Voluntary Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Miami. He obtained his PhD and postdoctoral experience in molecular biology and microbiology at King’s College London and is the recipient of the Helen White Prize.