Distinguished Research Professor in the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. 2004 Nobel Prize in Chemistry shared with Drs. Hershko and Rose).
Aaron Ciechanover was born in Haifa, Israel in 1947. He is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. He received his M.Sc. (1971) and M.D. (1973) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He then completed his national service (1973-1976) as military physician, and continued his studies to obtain a doctorate in biological sciences in the Faculty of Medicine in the Technion (D.Sc.; 1982). There, as a graduate student with Dr. Avram Hershko and in collaboration with Dr. Irwin A. Rose from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, USA, they discovered that covalent attachment of ubiquitin to a target protein signals it for degradation. They deciphered the mechanism of conjugation, described the general proteolytic functions of the system, and proposed a model according to which this modification serves as a recognition signal for a specific downstream protease. As a post doctoral fellow with Dr. Harvey Lodish at the M.I.T., he continued his studies on the ubiquitin system and made additional important discoveries. Along the years it has become clear that ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis plays major roles in numerous cellular processes, and aberrations in the system underlie the pathogenetic mechanisms of many diseases, among them certain malignancies and neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, the system has become an important platform for drug development. Among the numerous prizes Ciechanover received are the 2000 Albert Lasker Award, the 2003 Israel Prize, and the 2004 Nobel Prize (Chemistry; shared with Drs. Hershko and Rose). Among many academies, Ciechanover is member of the Israeli National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Foreign Fellow), the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of the USA (Foreign Associate), the Russian Academy of Sciences (Foreign Member), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS; Foreign Member).
Prof. Gary Schenk
Enzymologist with special interest in the catalytic mechanisms of enzymatic reactions with a view to develop specific inhibitors as drug leads.
Prof. Gary Schenk is an enzymologist with an interest in investigating the catalytic mechanisms of enzymatic reactions with a view to develop specific inhibitors as drug leads. After receiving a Diploma in Chemistry in 1992 from the University of Berne in Switzerland, he joined the University of Queensland (UQ), where he was awarded a PhD in Biochemistry in 1997. After postdoctoral research at UQ, the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (England) and Stanford University (USA) he joined the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at UQ as a lecturer in 2003. Between 2011 and 2013 he held a joint professorship at UQ and the National University of Ireland – Maynooth, and since 2013 he holds a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council. Prof. Schenk has published over 100 publications to date and for his research achievements he was awarded a UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award in 2007 and a prestigious Future Fellowship in 2013.
The main focus of Prof. Schenk’s Research is on a group of enzymes that require metal ions for their function and carry out hydrolytic types of reactions. These enzymes are classified as binuclear metallohydrolases, and members include the metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs), the organophosphate-degrading phosphotriesterases (PTEs), the purple acid phosphatases (PAPs) and ureases. The spectrum of biological functions covered by these enzymes is very diverse. MBLs degrade and thus inactivate most commonly used β-lactam-based antibiotics (e.g. penicillin) and hence have become a major threat to global health care. PTEs have evolved very recently in response to a sharply increasing application of organophosphate pesticides. These enzymes are very effective in detoxifying pesticides (including nerve agents such as sarin and VX) and are thus of immense interest in bioremedial applications. PAPs and ureases are associated with osteoporosis and gastric ulcers, respectively, and consequently these enzymes have emerged as attractive targets to develop new drugs to combat those disorders. In Prof. Schenk group the structure and mechanism of MBLs, PTEs and PAPs are investigated. For MBLs and PAPs his group has been developing potent inhibitors as potential drug leads, whereas for PTEs in vitro evolution techniques were applied to generate mutants with desired catalytic properties. In summary, the work in Prof. Schenk’s group is largely associated with protein chemistry and medicinal chemistry, but he has close collaborations with colleagues in Clinical Research Centres to test the effect of compounds they develop.
University of Louvain – Belgium.
Expert in process design and optimization of pollutant biodegradation and biotechnology for sustainability.
Ghent University – Belgium – Expert on Water management Resources. Head of the Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology – LabMET. Member of International Societies: IAWQ, EFB, EERO, IWA
Mauricio Lopes, a plant geneticist by training, received his BSc degree in Agronomy (1983) from the Federal
University of Viçosa, Brazil, his MS degre in Plant Genetics (1989) from Purdue University, Indiana, USA and his
PhD in Molecular Biology (1993) from the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. He was leader of the Maize
Breeding Program at the Embrapa Maize and Sorghum Center, and Head of Research and Development of the
Maize and Sorghum Center, the Genetic Resources and Biotechnology Center, and the Department of R&D of
Embrapa. He was responsible for the coordination of the process that led to the development and implementation
of Embrapa´s current R&D Management System. Mauricio was also visiting scientist at the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations FAO, in Rome, member of the Scientific Council of Agropolis Foundation, in Montpellier, France, and coordinator of Labex Korea, an international cooperation program of Embrapa in South Korea. He was the Executive Director of Research of Development and he is currently the President of Embrapa.
All degrees in chemical engineering. He worked as a full professor at DUT from 1999 to 2012, and moved to Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) in 2013, working as a distinguished professor in the School of Life Science and Biotechnology with research interest in the cost-effective production of biofuels and bioenergy from biomass resources. He systematically developed the concept for self-immobilized cells through their spontaneous flocculation without consumption of any supporting materials, and established methodologies for strain development, bioreactor configuration and process optimization, taking ethanol fermentation with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as an example. To date, he has co-authored more than 150 research and review articles and 4 invited book chapters, and co-edited 2 volumes for the Springer book series: Advances in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology. He is presently the member of the IUPAC Subcommittee on Biotechnology, executive board member of Asian Federation of Biotechnology (AFOB), and editor of Biotechnology Advances (Elsevier). He also serves on the editorial boards for other scientific journals including Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Journal of Biotechnology, Biotechnology for Biofuels, and so on.
And has been Dean of the Faculty of Science (2009-2012) and Head of the Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences (2002-2008). Prof. Nicotra has relevant international appointments, he chairs the Subcommittee of Biotechnology of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and is Titular Member of the IUPAC Division of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry. He is also the Italian representative in the International Carbohydrate Organization, and scientific evaluator for many international agencies including the European Community.
The scientific interests concern the design, synthesis and characterisation of organic compounds of biological and pharmaceutical relevance; the functionalysation of nanodevices and biomaterials, the study of molecular interactions and their applications in biomedicine. In 2011 he received the Award for innovation in research of the Italian Chemical Society and in 2012 the Berti Medal for the research in Carbohydrate chemistry. The research interests are documented by 177 publications on international scientific journals, 17 chapter of books, 12 patents.
Joan obtained his degree in Biology in 1990 and presented his doctoral dissertation on wastewater treatment engineering in 1996. For his contributions to water resources research and wastewater engineering received in 2008 an award of the Spanish Ministry of Science for the Intensification of Research Activity. He has written over 150 articles in scientific journals.
J. García carries out interdisciplinary research on ecoinnovative treatment systems – a new generation of sustainable environmental technologies that mimicking nature and maximizing eco-efficiency allow treatment of wastewaters and other kinds of wastes. He has worked in the development of ecotechnologies for wastewater treatment and at the same time materials and energy recovery, like constructed wetlands and high rate algal ponds.
He obtained the National Science Prize in 2004 and is President of the Chilean Academy of Sciences. His research work in the Biotechnology field is shown by 201 international scientific publications, 6 international patents and 4 books edited. He has supervised a large number of PhD students (51) in the USA, England and Chile and has had 15 postdoctoral fellows. He was Associate Professor and Director of the Biochemical Engineering Laboratory at Columbia University (New York, 1980-1987) and created such a laboratory in the University of Reading (Reader) in England (1986-1995). He is a member of the Editorial Committee of 7 international scientific journals in biotechnology and bioengineering. He has been Chairman of several international Congresses (France, England) and of the 12th International Biotechnology Symposium (2004) which is the leading event in the field and it is the only time it has been held in Latinamerica. His former students are Professors and Researchers in Universities and Research Centres all around the world (Cornell, Iowa State, Rice, University College London, Campinas and IPT, Guanxi Univ., Porto, Foster Wheeler, Smith, Kline Beecham, Amgen, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Wyeth, Procter and Gamble, Novo Nordisk, Antofagasta Univ., La Frontera and U. of Chile). He is presently Co-Chair of IANAS (InterAmerican Network of Academies of Science) and member of the CSPR (Comm. for Scientific Planning) of ICSU (Int. Council for Science) based in Paris and also Member of the Executive Committee of IAP (InterAcademy Panel, with more than 100 National Science Academies worldwide).
…on bioremediation of environmental pollutants, and biomanufacturing of biopharmaceuticals and biofuels. A Jamaican-born Chinese-Canadian, Murray received his PhD from the University of London and MASc from Toronto followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Edinburgh. He has been an executive director of productive research organizations including the Biotechnology Research Institute at Waterloo. He has been a visiting professor at several prestigious universities including MIT, UC Berkeley, Imperial College and Oxford. To date, Murray has produced 13 books, 10 patents and over 365 papers. He has been a consultant worldwide to industry and government, including DuPont, Pfizer, ICI; NASA, UN. He is the editor-in-chief of the journal Biotechnology Advances (IF 9.599) and the 2011 edition of the six-volume reference work Comprehensive Biotechnology. His honors include the premier awards of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering and the American Chemical Society, Biochemical Technology Division. He is an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and of the Royal Society of Canada, the highest accolade for a Canadian scholar.
Adjunct professor at the Dept. of Biochemistry, Federal University of Pernambuco, afterwards postdoc at the Dept. of Biotechnology 1, Research Centre Jülich. Since 1989 senior researcher / scientist at the German Centre for Biotech Research (GBF), since 2006 renamed as Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI). From 1992 until 1998 scientific director at the Center for Biotechnological Development, Joinville, Brazil within a collaboration programme with the GBF. Actually, head of the Dept. for Scientific Information and Internationalization at the HZI.
Associate Researcher at the Institute of Chemistry of Organometallic Compounds, Italian National Research Council (ICCOM-CNR), Florence.
President of the International Society for Applied Phycology.
Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Phycology.
Italian Delegate at the IEA-HIA (International Energy Agency- Hydrogen Implementing Agreement) New Annex 21 “Bio-inspired and Biological Hydrogen”
Member of the Experts group of the Section on Environmental Biotechnology of the European Federation of Biotechnology.
He was hosted several Scientific Institutions in China, India, Israel, Mexico, Portugal, USA
His research activity is mainly concerned with the physiology and the possible biotechnological exploitation of phototrophic microorganisms.
He has published more than 80 scientific papers, mainly on international peer reviewed journals, ten chapters in books and participated in more than 90 international and national Congresses.
…and Research Associate, Computer Systems Group, University of Waterloo, Shirley Fenton has over 25 years of experience in information technology focused on innovative Internet applications, community information portals, and web-based tools and technology deployment across various sectors. She is active in building research and technology transfer relationships with industry, organizations, and government. Her research interests are Health Informatics, eHealth, BioHealth, Innovative Intelligent Communities, Communities of Practice and Community Information Utilities. She was a key member of the team when Waterloo was named one of the Top 7 Intelligent Communities in 2006 and then the Intelligent Community of the Year in 2007. In 2011, she received the Zonta International Women of Achievement Award for being a “Trailblazer”. She is also the Vice President of the National Institutes of Health Informatics. Shirley is a graduate of the University of Waterloo where she obtained her BES and MA degrees.