Archived Content


PEGS Europe, Speaker Biographies

SC1: From Understanding of Aggregation to Devising of Prevention Strategies 

Tudor Arvinte, Ph.D.,CEO, Therapeomic, Inc. Professor, University of Geneva

Tudor Arvinte, Ph.D., received his academic training in physics at the University of Jassy, Romania, and his Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Düsseldorf, Germany. He performed his doctoral work and postdoctoral stage at the Max-Planck-Institute West Germany and held numerous research positions in Europe and the USA. In 1989 he joined Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals in Horsham, England, and in 1994 he moved to Ciba-Geigy in Basel, Switzerland. Until 2002 he worked as Head of Exploratory Formulation, Novartis Biotechnology Development & Production, Basel. T. Arvinte worked on the characterization and formulation of about 120 protein and peptide drugs. T. Arvinte has over 80 publications and holds 14 patents on formulations of proteins. Since 2001 he is Invited Professor at the School of Pharmacy, University of Geneva. T. Arvinte is also Visiting Professor at the Department of Pharmacy, School of Health and Life Sciences King’s College London, UK. In 2003 T. Arvinte co-founded Therapeomic, Inc., a biotech company focused on developing formulations for biopharmaceuticals in collaborations with pharmaceutical companies.

SC2: Measures to Enhance Half-Life and Stability 

Arne Skerra, Ph.D., Professor, Chair of Biological Chemistry, Technical University Munich; CEO, XL-protein Gmb

Dr. Arne Skerra is Full Professor at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen, where he heads the Institute of Biological Chemistry. He holds a Diplom degree in Chemistry from the Technische Universitaet Darmstadt and a PhD in Biochemistry from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen. After post-doctoral studies at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, and a group leader position at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt am Main he became Associate Professor for Protein Chemistry at the TU Darmstadt. In 1998 he moved to the TU Munich, where he was appointed to the Chair of Biological Chemistry at the Life Science Campus Weihenstephan. Arne Skerra started his scientific career in the field of protein engineering, where he pioneered, together with Andreas Plueckthun, the biosynthesis of functional antibody fragments in E. coli. Since then, he made several other contributions to this area, including the development of the Strep-tag technology for the purification of recombinant proteins. Currently, his main field of research is the design and structural analysis of proteins. One focus is the functional engineering of lipocalin proteins, which laid the basis for the ‘Anticalin’ technology that is commercialized by Pieris AG, a German biotech startup company. Lately, Arne Skerra also became interested in improving the pharmacological properties of therapeutic proteins, in particular plasma half-life, which led to the development of 'PASylation'. In 2009 he founded the biotech startup company XL-protein GmbH to further exploit this technology.

Javier Chaparro-Riggers, Ph.D., Associate Research Fellow, Protein Engineering, Rinat-Pfizer, Inc.

Dinner Short Course5 :Troubleshooting and Engineering of Antibody Constructs 

Instructors: Jonas V. Schaefer, Ph.D., Head, High-Throughput Laboratory, Biochemistry, University of Zurich

Dr. Jonas V. Schaefer is currently heading the High-Throughput Facility of the Department of Biochemistry, automating the Ribosome Display technology and various High-Throughput screenings. With his team, he screens of up to 20’000 clones per week, including various steps from small-scale expression in micro titer plates to large-scale purifications for biophysical analyses. Prior to his current position, Jonas performed his PhD studies with Prof. Andreas Plückthun on the engineering of full-lengths IgGs and other antibody fragments in various academic and industrial collaborations, focusing on aspects of stability, aggregation and unfolding kinetics using many biophysical techniques.

Annemarie Honegger, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Biochemistry, University of Zurich

For the past 19 years, Dr. Honegger has been in charge of protein engineering and design in the group of Prof. Andreas Plückthun. She was involved in the design of the human combinatorial antibody library (HuCALTM) and studied in detail how germline family and individual sequence features correlate with the biophysical properties of various antibody constructs. In various academic and industrial collaborations, she re-engineered troublesome antibody constructs towards better folding and stability.


Stefan Dübel, Ph.D., Director, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Institute of Biochemistry, Technische Universität Braunschweig

Dr. Stefan Dübel is Full Professor of Biotechnology and Director of the respective department at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany. After studies in Biology in Mainz and Heidelberg, and after obtaining his Ph.D. from the Universitiy of Heidelberg, in 1989 he joined the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) where he co-pioneered in vitro antibody selection technologies, resulting in several key inventions including antibody phage display (e.g. US Patent 5849500), human antibody libraries with randomised CDRs (e.g. US Patent 5840479) and bacterial surface  display of antibodies. His lab continued to contribute to multiple topics related to human antibody engineering and phage display, e.g. Hyperphage technology, single chain Fab fragments and targeted human RNases for cancer therapy. Further contributions were made to the fields of infectious disease and cancer reserach, novel recombinant production systems, high throughput antibody generation, various antibody fusion proteins, intrabodies and nanobiotechnology. Prof. Dübel was initiator of the "Antibody Factory" of the German National Gemome Research Network and editor of the "Handbook of Therapeutic Antibodies" and other antibody engineering books. His work resulted in 170+ publications.

Stefan Ewert, Ph.D., Senior Investigator,NIBR Biologics Center, Novartis Pharma AG

Stefan Ewert joined Novartis in 2004 and currently holds the position of a Senior Investigator within the NIBR Biologics Center. After establishment of a process for assessment of technical developability already during the antibody selection process he is currently responsible for antibody phage display selections done in Basel. From 2002 to 2004 he held a lab head position in ESBATech, Zürich, Switzerland where he was responsible for the identification of the current clinical lead antibody fragment ESBA105. He did his Ph.D. in the group of Andreas Plückthun at the University of Zürich, Switzerland on antibody stability.

Shohei Koide,Ph.D., Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Chicago

Shohei Koide is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo. After postdoctoral training as a Human Frontier Science Organization fellow at the Scripps Research Institutes in La Jolla, California, he started his independent research career at the University of Rochester, and he has been at the University of Chicago since 2002. He also serves as a Scientific Director of the Chicago Biomedical Consortium. His research focuses on creating proteins with novel functions and controlling biology with designer proteins. His researchis highly interdisciplinary, integrating technologies in directed evolution, structural biology, protein chemistry, biophysics and cell biology. As the inventor of the widely used FN3 monobody system, he is among the pioneers of non-antibody scaffold technologies.

Jim Freeth, Ph.D., Managing Director, Retrogenix, UK

Jim is Managing Director of Retrogenix, having co-founded the company in 2008. This followed 10+ years in management within the biotechnology (Oxford BioMedica) and pharmaceutical industry (AstraZeneca). He is a biologist by training, and obtained his PhD at Manchester University, UK, in 1997.

Andrew Henry, Principal Scientist, Chemical Computing Group

Andrew Henry studied with Professor Tony Rees at the University of Bath, using homology modeling to help reduce the immunogenicity of therapeutic antibodies.  This work continued at Oxford Molecular and Millennium Pharmaceuticals.  Andrew has worked for Chemical Computing Group customer support group since 2003 and is now a Principal Scientist, focussing on the biologics field.

David Lowe, Ph.D. Fellow, Research & Development, Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering, MedImmune LLC

David Lowe is a Fellow in the Department of Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering at MedImmune Ltd, Cambridge, UK. He joined Cambridge Antibody Technology (later MedImmune) in 1997, working in the laboratory of Dr. John McCafferty. He has over 15 years of experience in the field of therapeutic antibody discovery and engineering, having developed >30 antibodies that have entered pre-clinical development. His research interests include novel combinatorial protein libraries, structural analyses of antibody / antigen interactions, early assessment of protein biophysical attributes / manufacturability and the development of high-throughput methodologies for antibody characterization. Prior to joining CAT, he obtained his PhD from The University of Cambridge.

Oliver Hill, Ph.D.,Vice President, Molecular Biology, Apogenix GmbH

Oliver Hill joined Apogenix GmbH in March 2006. He is an expert for protein engineering and protein expression technologies. Prior to this, he was heading the protein expression and purification group at Graffinity Pharmaceutical Design GmbH (Heidelberg, Germany) from 1999 to 2006 where he was responsible for delivering a broad spectrum of target proteins to be screened with a chemical microarray platform technology. His workscope in former academic R&D-positions at the Lower Saxony Institute for Peptide Research (Hannover, Germany; 1992-1996) and the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology (Jena, Germany; 1997-1998) included gene hunting, protein engineering and the development of recombinant phage display technologies. Mr Hill studied biology at the University of Hannover where he also received in 1997 his Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry.

Javier Chaparro-Riggers, Associate Research Fellow, Protein Engineering, Rinat-Pfizer, Inc.

Arne Skerra, Ph.D., Professor,Technische Universität Munich; Co-Founder, Pieris AG, Germany

Dr. Arne Skerra is Full Professor at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen, where he heads the Institute of Biological Chemistry. He holds a Diplom degree in Chemistry from the Technische Universitaet Darmstadt and a PhD in Biochemistry from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen. After post-doctoral studies at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, and a group leader position at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt am Main he became Associate Professor for Protein Chemistry at the TU Darmstadt. In 1998 he moved to the TU Munich, where he was appointed to the Chair of Biological Chemistry at the Life Science Campus Weihenstephan. Arne Skerra started his scientific career in the field of protein engineering, where he pioneered, together with Andreas Plueckthun, the biosynthesis of functional antibody fragments in E. coli. Since then, he made several other contributions to this area, including the development of the Strep-tag technology for the purification of recombinant proteins. Currently, his main field of research is the design and structural analysis of proteins. One focus is the functional engineering of lipocalin proteins, which laid the basis for the ‘Anticalin’ technology that is commercialized by Pieris AG, a German biotech startup company. Lately, Arne Skerra also became interested in improving the pharmacological properties of therapeutic proteins, in particular plasma half-life, which led to the development of 'PASylation'. In 2009 he founded the biotech startup company XL-protein GmbH to further exploit this technology.

Janine Schuurman, Ph.D., Director, Strategic Research, Genmab B.V.

Dr. Janine Schuurman has been working in the field of Antibody Biology for about 20 years. In 1997 she got a PhD in Immunology from the University of Amsterdam. During her PhD at Sanquin Research she worked on valency aspects of antibodies within the field of Allergy. During this period, studying the biology of IgG4, she and co-workers studied the functional monovalent behavior of normal human serum-derived IgG4. After a few post-doc positions at Sanquin Research and the University Utrecht she started in 2001 at Genmab. At Genmab she has been involved in the development of several therapeutic antibodies as scientist or as project manager.Mainly due to her initiative, fundamental research on IgG4 biology has culminated in the discovery of the DuoBody® technology platform. Current research of Janine focuses on Product Innovation and the development of novel antibody formats such as the monovalent antibody platform UniBody®, the bispecific antibody platform DuoBody® and the enhanced IgG platform HexaBodyTM.

Johan Nilvebrant, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Researcher, Protein Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, Alba Nova University Center, Stockholm

Johan Nilvebrant received his PhD in proteomics in 2012 in the group of Prof. Sophia Hober at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. He holds a master of science in biotechnology and his current research interests focus on protein engineering and small affinity proteins selected from combinatorial libraries by phage- and cell surface display. He has contributed to the development of a new protein scaffold based on an albumin-binding domain derived from streptococcal protein G, which has been engineered to bind several target proteins with a retained binding to albumin.

Vera Molkenthin, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, AbCheck s.r.o

Dr. Molkenthin is the Chief Scientist of AbCheck s.r.o, an Antibody Discovery company located in Plzen, Czech Republic.  AbCheck uses a unique combination of Phage and Yeast Display for Antibody Discovery and has several ongoing collaboration projects with biopharmaceutical companies. Vera was part of the founding team of AbCheck in 2009. Prior to joining AbCheck she was heading the Antibody Discovery group of Affimed Therapeutics in Heidelberg.

Robert Mabry, Ph.D., Associate Director, Antibody Discovery and Bispecific Engineering, Adimab LLC

Dr. Mabry joined Adimab in Lebanon, NH, over three years ago. He now actively manages antibody discovery and bispecific engineering campaigns as part of Adimab’s numerous collaborations with large pharma partners. He has previously held positions at ImClone Systems and ZymoGenetics. As Head of the Protein Display and Screening Group at ZymoGenetics, he focused on high-throughput phage selection strategies and engineering of bispecific antibodies for lead candidates against oncology and autoimmunity targets. Robert graduated from University Texas at Austin with a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2005.

John Haurum, CEO, F-star

John Haurum joined F-star as the CEO in May 2012. Previously he was VP Research, Biologics Products at ImClone Systems, NY, and the Chief Scientific Officer and a co-founder of Symphogen A/S, Denmark. After graduating in 1992, Dr. Haurum received a D.Phil. in immunology from the Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, England. Subsequently, he took up a position at the Danish Cancer Society and completed his medical training. He has extensive research experience in molecular immunology and biochemistry and served as a consultant for several biotech companies. He is a “Pathfinder” and holds a Scandinavian International Management Institute diploma in “Managing Medical Product Innovation”.

Ulrich Brinkmann, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED), Large Molecule Research,Roche Penzberg

Dr. Ulrich Brinkmann heads a New Technology / Protein Engineering unit within Roche Pharma Research in Penzberg, FRG. His Ph.D thesis covered development of expression systems to produce recombinant reteplase. Subsequently, he held positions as Postoc and Associate Scientist at the NIH/NCI (Ira Pastan Lab) focusing on antibody stabilization/engineering and recombinant immunotoxins for cancer therapy. Prior to joining Roche, he served as CSO in Functional Genetics and Pharmacogenetics companies, Xantos and Epidauros respectively. Ulrich Brinkmann is author and inventor of numerous publications and patents in the field of antibody engineering.

Jan Van den Brulle, Ph.D., Director, Discovery Alliances Technologies, MorphoSys AG

Dr. Jan Van den Brulle joined MorphoSys in 2010 via the acquisition of Sloning BioTechnology. As a group leader, he is currently responsible for technology development mainly within engineering projects and for the generation of therapeutic antibodies in projects partnered with pharmaceutical customers. During his time at Sloning he was in charge of the development of the Slonomics technology for the generation of genes and genetic diversity. From 2000 to 2002 he was Head of Molecular Biology at EleGene. Jan received a PhD in Microbiology from the University in Munich in 1999.

Ton Logtenberg, Ph.D.,CEO, Merus B.V.

Dr. Ton Logtenberg holds a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Utrecht where he was a Professor of Immuno-biotechnology from 1996-2003. In 1996, Ton founded and became the CEO of U-BiSys, a biotechnology company that merged with IntroGene to become the publicly listed company Crucell in the year 2000. From 2000-2003, he served as Executive Vice-president and Chief Scientific Officer of Crucell, responsible for Research and Development. In 2006, Ton founded Merus BV, a privately held biotechnology company focusing on next generation therapeutic bispecific human antibodies based on the full length IgG format and currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer of Merus.

Andres Männik, Ph.D., CTO, Icosagen Cell Factory Ltd  
Dr Männik was born in 1972. He graduated from the University of Tartu as a virologist and received his Ph.D. in 2003 with the thesis "Design and characterization of a novel vector system based on the stable replicator of bovine papillomavirus type 1". He has worked in the biotechnology industry, in the field of research and development, since 2000. His main research interests have been related to DNA vaccine development, papillomavirus molecular biology, and the development and production of immunomolecules. Currently, Dr Männik holds the position of CTO at Icosagen Cell Factory OÜ. 

Andreas Plückthun, Ph.D., Director and Professor, Biochemistry, University of Zurich

Andreas Plückthun has been Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Zürich, Switzerland since 1993 and is now Head of Department. He studied chemistry at the University of Heidelberg. He received a PhDfrom the University of California at San Diegoin 1982, was postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University (1982-85) and from 1985 until 1993, group leader at the Genzentrum and Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie in Martinsried. He has written over 350 publications, cited over 18,000 times (h-index 79). In 2003, he was elected to the German Academy of Science (Leopoldina).He received the Young Investigator's Award of the German Industry Fund, the Karl-Heinz-Beckurts-Prize for 2000 (Munich, Germany), the JP Morgan Chase Health Award in 2002 (San Jose, USA) and the Wilhelm Exner Medal 2002 (Vienna, Austria), and together with his colleagues, the Swiss Technology Award 2005 (Bern, Switzerland) and the deVigier Award in 2005. He is co-founder of Morphosys AG (Martinsried, Germany) and of Molecular Partners AG (Zürich, Switzerland).His research field is protein engineering in all flavors: antibodies, novel scaffold proteins (DARPins and Armadillos), and stable membrane proteins.

Luis Borges, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Therapeutic Innovation Unit, Amgen, Inc.

I am a Scientific Director at Amgen with over sixteen years of experience in drug development in the Biotechnology Industry. Prior to Amgen, I worked at Immunex for six years where I gained significant experience in immunology and oncology. My work at Amgen is focused on discovery and development of novel biologic agents for the treatment of cancer and immune disorders. My group is developing new approaches and platforms to improve the therapeutic efficacy of biologics, particularly antibodies and engineered antibody variants. I currently lead a large multifunctional program to developthe next generation BiTE antibodies.I received a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from the University of Lisbon in 1985. In 1988, I was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to pursue a PhD at the University of Washington inSeattle. I studied in the Department of Pathology and after I graduated, I spent three years at Immunex as a Postdoctoral fellow before being hired as a scientist.

Difficult to Express Proteins Europe Bios  


Yves Durocher, Ph.D., Protein Expression Team Leader, Life Sciences, NRC Human Health Therapeutics Portfolio, National Research Council Canada Yves Durocher is a Research Officer at the National Research Council of Canada since 1995. He his also an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Montreal. Since the last 14 years, his research activities have been headed on the development the of large-scale transient gene expression (LSTGE) platforms using HEK293 and CHO cells for protein production. More recently, he has also been focusing on developing and engineering a stable CHO cell line platform for recombinant protein therapeutics manufacturing.

Markus Koglin, Ph.D., Associate Director, Protein Engineering, Heptares Therapeutics 

Dr Markus Koglin 1994-1999 Study of Biology at Ruhr University Bochum (Germany) 1999- 2002 PhD in Biology in Department of Pharmacology at University Clinic Hamburg Eppendorf 2002-2003 PostDoc in Department of Pharmacology at University Clinic Hamburg Eppendorf 2003-2005 Marie-Curie Fellowship with GlaxoSmithKline (Stevenage, UK) 2005-2008 Senior/Principle Scientist with GlaxoSmithKline (Stevenage, UK) 2009-current Snior Scientist/Associate Director Heptares Therapeutics (Welwyn Garden City, UK)

Uday Kishore, Ph.D., Director, Centre for Infection, Immunity and Disease Mechanisms, Brunel University 

Dr. Uday Kishore is currently the Director of the Centre for Infection, Immunity and Disease Mechanisms, Brunel University, London, UK. He carried out his PhD research from Delhi University, India and post-doctoral training at the Salk Institute, California and the University of Oxford, UK. He has been the recipient of fellowships/awards from the NASA, Wellcome Trust, Humboldt Foundation, Medical Research Council and European Commission. He has authored over 80 peer-reviewed research papers, 10 book chapters, 2 international patents, edited three books, and is currently writing a text book on host-pathogen interaction (Wiley-Blackwell). His research interests include understanding the roles of innate immunity (including complement system) in allergy, host-pathogen interaction, pregnancy, neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, and autoimmunity.

Yoshimi Kikuchi, Ph.D., Principal Researcher, AJINOMOTO CO., INC. 

Dr. Kikuchi obtained his Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees from Tohoku University in Japan. Specializing in the field of Molecular Biology and Applied Microbiology, he joined Ajinomoto in 1988. He started his career working on strain development of various amino acids. He then shifted his work towards protein expression in 1998, leading to the invention of Corynex. He is currently the Principal Researcher and Associate General Manager responsible for R&D of Corynex.

David Mead, CEO, Lucigen Corp. 

Dr. Mead is a recognized expert in gene cloning and genomics. He has published 20 professional articles, holds seven patents, and has written over 50 commercial articles in basic and applied molecular biology. He has developed numerous commercially successful technologies, including the TA cloning vectors and kits, which are the world’s most widely used cloning tools.

Fabrizia Fusetti, Ph.D., Research Associate, Biochemistry, University of Groningen 

Fabrizia Fusetti is a senior scientist at the Biochemistry Departments of the University of Groningen. She has participated in several projects with a common focus on membrane proteomics and biotechnology.

Annie Barrand-Frelet, CNRS Researcher, CEA Saclay/iBiTec-S 

I study the structure-function relationship of these proteins in their organism of origin (Arabidopsis thaliana, human) or by heterologous expression in prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems. I obtained my PhD thesis from the University of Zurich in 2006; I was working on the functional studies of plant ABC transporters under the supervision of Dr. Enrico Martinoia. Afterwards, I moved from Switzerland to France and worked for 3 years as a post doctorate in the CEA (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) in Grenoble. I was implicated in the CEA-PM project which consisted into the expression of 20 membrane proteins from various origins and topologies into different expression systems. For my part, I worked with Arabidopsis thaliana and Lactococcus lactis expression systems. I developed a new strategy compatible with Gateway for cloning and further expression in Lactococcus lactis and successfully expressed 13 proteins from various origins and topologies into this bacterium (Bernaudat et al, 2011). We successfully expressed different proteins in their active form, even if they were expressed at very low level (Frelet-Barrand et al., 2010, Catty et al., 2011). In 2009, I have been recruited in the French CNRS in a group working on membrane proteins involved in xenobiotics detoxification where I continue to express membrane proteins in Lactococcus lactis in order to perform structure-function studies.

Imre Berger, Ph.D., Group Leader and Principal Investigator, Structural Biology, EMBL Grenoble 

Imre Berger was trained as a biochemist at Leibniz University and Medical School (MHH) in Hannover (Germany), at the MIT (Cambridge, USA), and at ETH Zurich (Switzerland). He researches multiprotein complexes in human gene regulation. Since 2007. Dr. Berger is Group Leader for structural molecular biology of complexes at the EMBL Grenoble and at the EMBL Genome Biology Unit in Heidelberg. Dr Berger holds joint appointments at the International Research Unit of Virus Host-Cell Interactions (UVHCI) and the recent Unite Mixte de Service (UMS) in Grenoble, and is head of the eukaryotic expression facility (EEF) of the EMBL. Dr. Berger has developed the MultiBac and ACEMBL systems for multiprotein expression. Funded by the European Commission, he has installed EMBL’s leading MultiBac platform for protein complex production. Dr. Berger holds international patents for expression technologies, and received numerous distinctions, including the Swiss Technology Award and the W.A. DeVigier Foundation Award for his innovative research. Together with Dr. Ismail Moarefi (CreLux GmbH, Germany), Dr. Berger is coordinating the new EC FP7 HEALTH ComplexINC project for enhancing production tools for complex biologics in academic and industrial R&D.

Anass Jawhari, Ph.D., CSO, Membrane Protein Alliance 

Anass Jawhari has a strong experience in biochemistry and structural biology of macromolecular assemblies of proteins and antibodies. He holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry & structural biology from Louis Pasteur University (‘Strasbourg, France). After a Ph.D. under the supervision of Professor Dino Moras (IGBMC & French academy of Science), he worked as research associate in the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, US) and in The Gene Center (Munich, Germany) before joining private institutions as Research Investigator, Head of Structural Biology and now Chief Scientific Officer of CALIXAR. He has more than 15 years experience in research & developments projects related to molecular aspects of cancer & infectious diseases.

Frank J.M. Detmers, Ph.D., Director, Ligand Application, Life Technologies 

In 2001, Frank Detmers received his PhD at the department of Molecular Microbiology of the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). From 2001 until 2004 he worked as a post doctoral researcher at the Department of Cell Physiology at the Nijmegen Center of Molecular Life Sciences (NCMLS, Nijmegen, The Netherlands). He joined BAC BV (Leiden, The Netherlands) in 2004 and the focus of his work is immobilization of affinity ligands on solid supports and the development of new applications of the CaptureSelect ligands. Currently, Frank is director of ligand application at BAC, which is since January 2013 part of Life Technologies.

Stefan Schmidt, Ph.D., Vice President, DSP Production, Rentschler Biotechnology 

Dr. Stefan R. Schmidt MBA, currently serves as Vice President at Rentschler Biotechnology, being responsible for the downstream production department. Previously he held the CSO position at ERA Biotech in Barcelona, directing the companys R&D efforts focusing on fusion peptides. Prior to that he worked at AstraZeneca in Sweden where he led the unit of Protein Sciences as Associate Director. In the last 10 years he worked intensively with fusion proteins, just recently publishing the first comprehensive book on that topic.

Karolina Corin, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Electrical and Information Engineering, and Molecular Medicine and Hematology, University of Witwatersrand 

I am currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Witwatersrand, investigating the molecular function of olfactory receptors as well as methods that could potentially make GPCRs easier to crystallize. I received my PhD in 2011 from MIT (Advisor: Dr. Shuguang Zhang). My doctoral work focused on methods of expressing milligram quantities of soluble, stable, and functional olfactory receptors, as well as characterizing the receptors that were expressed and purified.


Germaine Fuh, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Antibody Engineering, Genentech, Inc.

I am a Senior Scientist in Antibody Engineering department with adjunct appointment with Early Discovery Biochemistry department, Research and Early development group (gRED) at Genentech, a member of Roche group. The current focus of my research team is developing tool and technology for antibody engineering with the ultimate goal of generating effective antibody therapeutics with desired properties. We developed combinatorial antibody phage libraries based on information on antibody structures and natural human antibody sequences. Some antibodies from the libraries have now entered clinical trials. We recently developed technology to engineer Two-in-One antibodies where each antigen-binding site is capable of robust binding activity toward two different molecules and enable the option of developing one antibody that is conventional antibody in molecular properties yet capable of effecting on two disease mediators.

Jason Baum, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Research, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Jason Baum currently serves as a Principal Scientist at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. Since 2010 he has worked on the discovery and development of MM-141, a novel bispecific antibody co-targeting IGF-1R and ErbB3. Jason is currently responsible for coordinating diagnostic assay development efforts at Merrimack. Prior to joining Merrimack, Jason was a Product Scientist at Cell Signaling Technology where he managed the production, purification and characterization of many of Cell Signaling’s key antibodies. He received his Ph.D. from Boston University, where he uncovered the role of novel cell death pathways in Drosophila oogenesis.

Nicolas Fischer, Ph.D., Head, Research, Novimmune SA

Nicolas Fischer earned a PhD in Biology from the Department of Molecular Biology University of Geneva on the structure and function of photosynthetic complexes. As a postdoctoral fellow he joined the Group of Sir Greg Winter at the MRC Department of Molecular Biology in Cambridge UK to study protein folding and Antibody engineering using phage display. In 2001 he joined NovImmune and led several therapeutic antibody discovery programs that have reached clinical development stage. He is now heading the Research Department and developing next generation bispecific therapeutic antibodies.

John W. Blankenship, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Applied Research, Emergent Biosolutions

John Blankenship has been working on bispecific antibody development at Emergent BioSolutions and Trubion Pharmaceuticals for the last five and a half years, focusing on applications of bispecific antibodies in oncology (selective retargeting of T cells against tumors) and autoimmune disease (selective delivery of anti-inflammatory signals to dendritic cells). John obtained a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. from the Scripps Research Institute prior to doing postdoctoral studies at the Universite de Montreal and Genentech. John’s research group at Emergent focuses on antibody engineering and pre-clinical efficacy studies of investigational drugs.

Alessandro Angelini, Ph.D., David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Alessandro Angelini did his Ph.D. between the research group of Prof. Giuseppe Zanotti at the University of Padua (Italy) and the group of Dr. Darren Hart at the EMBL, Grenoble (France)where he worked on the biochemical and structural characterization of some virulence factors of the human pathogen Helicobacter pylori. In 2008 he joined the group of Prof. Christian Heinis at the EPFL, Lausanne (Switzerland), as a post-doctoral associate, working on the development of bicyclic peptide structures for the inhibition of cancer associate urokinase-type plasminogen activator protease. He is now a post-doctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Karl Dane Wittrup at MIT, Cambridge, MA (USA). His current research interest is the generation of multi-specific antibodies able to disrupt the complex tumor-promoting intercellular signaling between cancer and host cells within the tumor microenvironment.

Michael Kragh, Ph.D., Director, Antibody Pharmacology, Symphogen A/S

Dr. Michael Kragh is Director of Antibody Pharmacology at Symphogen. Symphogen is a biotechnology company located in the Copenhagen area that is developing antibody mixtures for treatment of cancer. Michael Kragh is responsible for all IND-enabling pharmacology and toxicology studies. Michael Kragh holds a PhD in cancer biology from University of Copenhagen, and he has been working with cancer therapeutics for more than 15 years.

Maria Wendt, Ph.D., Senior Scientific Consultant, Biologics, Genedata

Maria Wendt, Ph.D., works as a Senior Scientific Consultant at Genedata A.G. Dr. Wendt develops data management solutions for biopharma and biotech companies to support their biologics drug discovery and development programs. This includes biologics registration and workflow support solutions covering antibody and protein screening and engineering, protein expression and purification, and assays and analytics. She earned her Ph.D. at Iowa State University in chemical engineering.  


Andrea van Elsas, CSO, BioNovion B.V.

Dr. Andrea van Elsas is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of BioNovion, seeded in 2012 as a proof-of-concept (POC) enterprise developinginnovative antibody therapeutics for immune oncology. He trained in immunology and cancer immunotherapy in Leiden (Netherlands, PhD thesis in 1996). As a Dutch Cancer Society Fellow, he studied theuse of anti-CTLA-4 to modulate anti-tumor T cell activityat UC Berkeley from 1997 to 1999. From 1999 onwards he worked at Organon, Schering-Plough and Merck, in his latest appointment serving as Head Oncology Biologics Discovery in Cambridge, MA, and POC Team Leader directing the translation of novel immune modulating biologics to early clinical application in cancer.

Laura Gualandi, Ph.D., Philochem A.G.

Laura Gualandi, studied Bio technology at University of Bologna (Italy) and achieved her degree defending the thesis in 2005. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Brescia (Italy) in 2010, where she studied the role of angiogenic factors (FGFs and VEGFs) in cardiovascular development. During her post doctoral training at Uppsala University (Sweden), her research has been focused on the molecular mechanisms that regulate VEGF mediated vascular perme ability. SinceMay 2011 she is research scientist at Philochem AG where she is responsible for the isolation and pre-clinical characterisation of monoclonal antibodies targeting tumor associated antigens.

Robert Mashal, CEO, NKT Therapeutics

Dr. Mashal is President CEO of NKT Therapeutics. Before joining NKT Therapeutics, Dr. Mashal was President of Alinea Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, he was a partner at Boston Millenia Partners, a venture capital firm where he focused on investment opportunities in life sciences. He served as a Director of EpiGenesis Pharmaceuticals, Novalar Pharmaceuticals, GlycoFi, Sapphire Therapeutics, CoApt Systems, Protein Forest, and Cardiomems. He was previously a Program Executive with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he led cancer drug development strategy and oversaw pre-clinical/clinical development, marketing, regulatory, and business activities. He was also a member of the Joint Research Committee for the $800 million Vertex-Novartis collaboration. Prior to that, Dr. Mashal served as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, and a faculty member and Attending Physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham & Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Mashal is a diplomate in both internal medicine and oncology. Dr. Mashal is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Ekkehard Moessner, Ph.D., Group Leader, Protein Engineering, pRED, Roche Glycart A.G.

Graduated in chemistry. PhD in molecular biology at ETH Zurich. Postdoc at the university of Zurich in antibody engineering. Joined Glycart in 2003. Glycart was acquired by Roche in 2005. Since then head of Protein Engineering.

Timothy B. Lowinger, Ph.D., CSO, Mersana Therapeutics, Inc.

Dr. Lowinger joined Mersana in 2008, and is responsible for all pre-clinical research and development as well as CMC for Mersana’s clinical programs XMT-1001 and XMT-1107. He has over eighteen years of experience in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry and brings a wealth of international experience to his role in leading Mersana’s Research team. From 1993 to 2007, Dr. Lowinger held a number of positions at Bayer Pharmaceuticals in the US, Germany, and Japan, where he contributed to the discovery of more than 15 pre-clinical and clinical candidates in a variety of indications. Most notably, he led the discovery team that invented and advanced Nexavar® (sorafenib), a pioneering anti-angiogenic, anti-cancer agent that is approved for indications including renal and hepatocellular cancer, and he is also a co-inventor of key intellectual property covering Stivarga® (regorafenib). Later, as the VP and Department Head of Chemistry Research in West Haven, he managed a department of over 140 scientists in the disciplines of medicinal, analytical, computational, combinatorial and synthetic chemistry, focused on the discovery and clinical proof-of-concept of new therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, diabetes and obesity. He also served as VP of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Angiotech Pharmaceuticals where he managed a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers focused on developing polymer-based pharmaceutical products for local administration as well as medical devices incorporating pharmaceutical agents. Dr. Lowinger has a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and he was a Merck Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ohio State University in the labs of Professor Leo A. Paquette. Tim has published over 40 scientific papers and is a co-inventor on over 30 patents.

David Jackson, Ph.D., Principle Scientist, ADC Discovery, Igenica, Inc.

Biography: I am a currently a principal scientist and ADC program leader at Igenica, a small pharmaceutical company in Burlingame California that is focused on antibody therapeutics for cancer.I have over 15 years of experience in thepharmaceutical industry, primarily in antibody and small moleculedrug discovery and preclinical development. Prior to joining Igenica in 2011, I led multiple project teams at Genentech from early discovery through IND and was the ADC project team leader from 2003-2006 when Trastuzumab-DM1 was selected for clinical development. I am co-author of 34 publications in primary journals and co-inventor on more than a dozen world and US patents. I began my career at UC Berkeley where I received my Ph.D. in Chemistry for research on Catalytic Antibodies.

Pavel Strop, Ph.D., Associate Research Fellow, Protein Engineering, Rinat- Pfizer, Inc.

Dr. Strop received his Ph.D. in 2002 from Caltech, where he worked on structural elucidation of mechanosensitive ion channels. Afterwards, he moved to Stanford where he studied proteins involved in synaptic transmission. In 2008, he joined Rinat-Pfizer's protein engineering department where he develops and applies novel technologies including bispecifics and antibody drug conjugates.

Marion Blomenröhr, Ph.D., Program Manager Biopharmaceuticals, Synthon Biopharmaceuticals

Marion Blomenröhr, Ph.D., works since 2013 as Program Manager at Synthon Biopharmaceuticals, heading one of the ADC programs. Two years before she started as Sr. Project Manager at Synthon where she led generic drug development projects. Prior to joining Synthon Marion worked with Organon (2004), Schering Plough Research Institute (2007) and Merck Research Laboratories (2009) with various responsibilities within R&D. Her post-doctoral fellowship at the University Medical Centre Utrecht (The Netherlands) was focused on cancer signalling (2001-2004). Her Ph.D. training at Utrecht University was in the field of molecular pharmacology (1996-2000). In 1996 Marion received a degree as Medical Biologist at the Utrecht University (MS). In 1991 she started her studies in Biology and Chemistry at Bielefeld University (Germany)

Martine Piccart, M.D., Ph.D., Head, Medical Oncology, Jules Bordet Institute; Chair, ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology)

Martine J. Piccart, MD, PhD, is Professor of Oncology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Director of Medicine at the Jules Bordet Institute, in Brussels, Belgium. Earning her medical degrees at the ULB and oncology qualifications in New York and London, she is also member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine. With a primary interest in breast cancer and drug development, Dr. Piccart is a leader in international research collaboration and is the principal or co-principal investigator of many clinical trials, including HERA, MINDACT and ALTTO. She is co-founder and chair of the Breast International Group (BIG), uniting 49 academic research groups from around the world and running over 30 trials under its umbrella. BIG’s research programs include the European Commission supported TRANSBIG consortium of 28 institutions in 11 countries (running with the EORTC the MINDACT trial) and NeoBIG, an innovative biomarker and drug development program focused on neo-adjuvant trials. (Dr. Piccart is active in numerous professional organizations. Since January 2012, she has been President of the ESMO. She is immediate past-president of the EORTC, president-elect of ECCO and served on the ASCO Board. (Co) author of more than 390 publications in peer-reviewed journals, she has received numerous prestigious awards for her research contributions including the Jill Rose Award (New York), the William L. McGuire Award (San Antonio) and, recently, the Umberto Veronesi Award for the Future Fight against Cancer (Cancun). She will receive next June the prestigious David Karnofsky Award at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago.)

Robert Lutz, Ph.D., Vice President, Translational Research & Development, ImmunoGen, Inc.

Robert Lutz is currently the Vice President of Translational Research and Development at ImmunoGen, Inc. For the past 12 years, he has been involved in the research and development of ImmunoGen’s new generation of antibody-maytansinoid conjugates that combine tumor-targeting antibodies with powerful anti-cancer compounds. Dr. Lutz joined ImmunoGen in 1992 and conducted target discovery research in the area of apoptosis and cell survival with ImmunoGen’s subsidiary, Apoptosis Technology Inc.Prior to 1992, he was a Research Fellow at the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in Denver, Colorado.  Dr. Lutz obtained his doctorate in biochemistry from Brandeis University in 1987.

High Throughput Protein Expression Bios 


Bernadette Byrne, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Division of Molecular Biosciences, Imperial College London 

Bernadette Byrne- Reader (Associate Professor) in Molecular Membrane Biology completed a BSc in Zoology at the University of Liverpool followed by a PhD in Reproductive Endocrinology at the University of Aberdeen. An interest in the molecular mechanisms of hormonal regulation led her into the field of protein biochemistry with a specific interest in the challenging area of membrane proteins. She undertook a three year post doc at the MRC Reproductive Sciences unit in Edinburgh attempting to overproduce a G-protein coupled receptor followed by a two year post doc at Uppsala University in Sweden extending these studies. In 2000 she moved back to the UK and in 2001 was appointed to a Lecturership at Imperial. She was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2007 and Reader in 2011.

Jonas Schaefer, Ph.D., Head, High-Throughput Laboratory, Biochemistry, University of Zurich 

Dr. Jonas V. Schaefer is currently heading the High-Throughput Facility of the Department of Biochemistry, automating the Ribosome Display technology and various High-Throughput screenings. With his team, he screens of up to 20’000 clones per week, including various steps from small-scale expression in microtiter plates to large-scale purifications for biophysical analyses. Prior to his current position, Jonas performed his PhD studies with Prof. Andreas Plückthun on the engineering of full-lengths IgGs and other antibody fragments in various academic and industrial collaborations, focusing on aspects of stability, aggregation and unfolding kinetics using many biophysical techniques.

Bruno Coutard, Ph.D., Architecture et Fonction des Macromolécules Biologiques (AFMB), UMR CNRS and Aix-Marseille University 

Bruno received his Ph.D. in 2007 from Marseille University with a Specialization in Biotechnology.  Since 2008 he has been at CNRS, AFMB Lab-Marseille University.  Since 2009 he has been the leader of the “Derived viral products, proteins and cDNA” work package. He is also co-leader of the “Antiviral targets in complex with RNA and inhibitors” project.

E. Neil Lewis, CTO, Malvern Instruments & Head, Malvern Bioscience Development Initiative 

Dr. E. Neil Lewis: Received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Polytechnic of Wales in the UK and did his postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA. He was tenured by the NIH in 1992 holding the position of Senior Biophysical Researcher. He is the founder of several high technology companies, including Spectral Dimensions, Inc., a company that developed hyperspectral imaging systems, and he has been at the forefront of the development of these technologies. He has authored more than 70 papers, book chapters and patents and has received numerous awards for his contributions including the Meggers Award in 1992, and again in 1994, presented by the Society for Applied Spectroscopy; the Heinrich Award in 1995 presented by the Microbeam Analysis Society; the Washington Academy of Sciences Outstanding Contribution to the Physical Sciences Award in 1997 and the 2004 Williams-Wright Award presented by the Coblentz Society to a person who has made significant contributions to the field of vibrational spectroscopy while working in industry. In 2007 he was awarded an Honorary D.Sc. from the University of Glamorgan, and in 2009 he received the Association of Analytical Chemists Anachem Award for outstanding contributions and leadership in the area of spectroscopic imaging. In 2011 he received the Ernst Abbe Memorial Award presented by the New York Microscopical Society for contributions to the field of microscopy. After the sale of Spectral Dimensions, Inc. to Malvern Instruments Ltd. he was appointed to Malvern’s Board of Directors and holds the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Director, Bioscience Development Initiative.


Scott Lesley, Ph.D., Director, Protein Sciences and Biotherapeutics, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation 

Scott Lesley is the Director of Protein Sciences and Biotherapeutics at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF).  He joined GNF as one of the first scientists in 1999 and has been responsible for the development of platforms for high-throughput protein technologies and structural biology.  He has over 20 years of experience in protein technologies.  His current responsibilities include overseeing a portfolio of antibody, non-antibody and ADC projects along with associated core protein technologies.  He received a Ph.D in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin and has over 150 peer-reviewed publications.

Louise E. Bird, Ph.D., Division of Structural Biology, Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine, University of OxfordSince 2006 Louise has been a Senior Research Scientist OPPF-UK responsible for the Molecular Biology and Expression Screening pipelines in OPPF-UK, this includes managing the daily running of the process and also technological development

Philippe Mondon, Ph.D., CTO, MILLEGEN SA 

Philippe Mondon, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), at MilleGen SA since 2000 working in the therapeutic antibody development for cancer treatment. Dr Mondon received his PhD of Molecular Biology at Grenoble University (France). After three years as a researcher at the NIAID of the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, USA), he joined the 2 founders of MilleGen in January 2000 and has developed the business and scientific activities of MilleGen over the past 13 years.

Trevor Wilkinson, Ph.D., Associate Director, Protein Sciences, MedImmune, Ltd. 

Trevor holds the role of Associate Director, Protein Sciences in MedImmune. In this role Trevor manages a team which is responsible for the delivery of recombinant proteins (both antibodies and antigens), customised stable cell lines, protein analytics and protein structure/interaction analysis to support Drug Discovery projects. His previous positions include Head of Protein Sciences at Cambridge Antibody Technology and Biochemistry Team Leader at Roche Products Ltd working in the Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Virology therapy areas. Trevor holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Southampton and also an MBA from the University of Hertfordshire.

Marijn van der Neut Kolfschoten, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Crucell Vaccine Institute, Janssen Center of Excellence for Immunoprophylaxis
Marijn van der Neut Kolfschoten holds a position as Senior Scientist in the Antibody and Vaccine Lead Discovery Department of the Crucell Vaccine Institute (CVI). He is involved in the characterization and selection of drug candidates in different therapeutic areas. In 2007 he joined Crucell (The Netherlands) as a scientist. Before he was a post-doc researcher at Sanquin (Dutch Blood Supply Foundation) involved in structure-function studies of human IgG. In 2003 he finished his Ph.D. research in biochemistry at the University of Leiden.


David O’Connell, Ph.D., Director, Masters Programs in Biotechnology, School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research, University College Dublin; Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research, UCD Belfield 

My lab is focused on molecular processes in biotechnological applications, their optimisation and improvement. I have patented a novel affinity tag system that relies on high affinity interaction of protein subdomains in the presence of calcium and this platform technology is currently being licenced to companies in the biosensor and bioprocessing sectors.  We also have developed protocols for the development of synthetic antibodies and  the analysis of these antibodies on human protein arrays for their potential off target behaviour and toxicity. As Director of MSc. Programmes in Biotechnology and Business at University College Dublin, I liaise with many companies from small start-ups to established multinational companies and method development and optimisation is a productive collaborative topic which will be discussed in my presentation.

Christian Löw, Ph.D., Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institute 

Christian completed his Ph.D. in 2008 in the Department of Physics at the University of Halle-Wittenberg.  He is currently a postdoc at Karolinska Institute spending the majority of his time in research.

Michiel Akeroyd, Ph.D., DSM Biotechnology Center, The Netherlands 

Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. We apply customized experimental workflows, using state-of-the-art robotics and MS instrumentation, which can address the analytical challenges at the DBC. These challenges include coping with analytes in complex biological matrices ranging from low micro-grams to high grams per liter for many different markets. DSM’s life science products include e.g. enzymes, anti-biotics, vitamins, poly-unsaturated fatty acids, yoghurt strains and bio-based chemicals. High-throughput cloning, growing and screening of microorganisms form the basis for new and improved bio-based product scouting. I joined DSM beginning 2005 directly after my chemistry studies at Utrecht University. I did my major in phospho-proteomics at Prof. Albert Heck’s lab. My main activities at the DSM Biotechnology Center (DBC) include further development and integration of proteomics and protein analysis in the biotechnological R&D of DSM. I’ve build up a broad experience in protein and peptides separation techniques, as well as mass spectrometric (MS) technologies required for quantitative protein analyses, intact molecular enzyme characterization and the development of high-throughput workflows to search for microbial over-expression. Currently, proteomics and high-throughput protein identification are well embedded in the projects at the DBC.

Manuel Fuentes, Ph.D., Scientist, Medicine, Centro de Investigacion Del Cancer(CIC) – University of Salamanca, CSIC 

Manuel Fuentes graduate in Chemistry and Biochemistry by the University of Salamanca (Spain). After his Master in Biotechnology at University of Bielefeld (Germany), he joined at Biocatalysis Department at National Spanish Research Council (Madrid, Spain) for his PhD Thesis, entitled “Design and development of conjugation and immobilization methods of biomolecules for diagnostic methods useful in Genomics and Proteomics”. Afterwards, he moved to Harvard Institute of Proteomics at Harvard Medical School ( Boston, EE.UU.), during almost 6 years, when he was working on biomarker and drug discovery in tumor and autoimmune pathologies by using a combination of high-throughput label-free proteomics approaches. In 2009, he joined as a scientist at Cancer Research Center at University of Salamanca, where his research is focused on biomarker and drug discovery in hematological diseases, mainly for personalized medicine. Manuel Fuentes is co-author of 80 peer-reviewed papers ( ISI web of Knowledge) in international journals, 9 licensed international patents,  10 book chapters, and more than 50 invited lectures in national and international meetings.


Hubert Kettenberger, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Large Molecule Research, Roche Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED)

Hubert Kettenberger is a Principle Scientist in the Large Molecule Research division of Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) at Roche, Penzberg. He studied chemistry at the universities of Regensburg/Germany and Sussex/UK and received his PhD in structural biology from the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich. After a PostDoc at the Max Planck Institute in Martinsried/Germany he joined Roche in 2006. His main fields of expertise include the biochemical and biophysical characterization of therapeutic proteins, as well as the computational and experimental determination of the stability of such proteins (“developability assessment”).

Bernhard Helk, Ph.D., Head, New Technologies, Biologics, Novartis Pharma AG

Bernhard Helk is Head of New Technologies at Novartis Biologics/Process Sciences. He received a masters degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of Erlangen/Germany and a Ph. D. in Biochemistry from University of Bayreuth/Germany. He performed postdoctoral research with Prof. U.L. Raj Bhandary at MIT.At Novartis, Dr. Helk has held positions of increasing responsibility in the area of analytics and development of therapeutic proteins. His research interest includes folding, purification, characterization, and stabilization of proteins. Currently, Dr. Helk is leading a unit that searches and evaluates new technologies related to manufacturing and formulation of proteins for pharmaceutical applications. He is also leading several collaborations with industrial and academic partners aimed at the development of disruptive new technologies.

Jonas V. Schaefer, Ph.D.,High-Throughput Laboratory, Biochemistry, University of Zurich

Dr. Jonas V. Schaefer is currently heading the High-Throughput Facility of the Department of Biochemistry, automating the Ribosome Display technology and various High-Throughput screenings. With his team, he screens of up to 20’000 clones per week, including various steps from small-scale expression in micro titer plates to large-scale purifications for biophysical analyses. Prior to his current position, Jonas performed his PhD studies with Prof. Andreas Plückthun on the engineering of full-lengths IgGs and other antibody fragments in various academic and industrial collaborations, focusing on aspects of stability, aggregation and unfolding kinetics using many biophysical techniques.

Trevor J. Hallam, Ph.D., CSO, Research & Development, Sutro Biopharma, Inc.

Dr. Hallam brings more than 25 years of experience in drug discovery and development toSutro. Most recently, he was executive vice president of research & development and executive officer at Palatin Technologies where he was responsible for discovery and clinical development and led the development of several INDs for drug candidates in a variety of therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Sutro, Dr. Hallam held several senior management positions at AstraZeneca, most recently vice president, biologics (respiratory and inflammatory diseases), vice president, U.S. medical affairs, and vice president, preclinical research and development, respiratory and inflammation, Sweden. He began his pharmaceutical career at Smith Kline & French Research, U.K., followed by senior management positions at Glaxo Group Research, U.K., Roche Research Centre, U.K., and Rhone Poulenc Rorer, U.S. Dr. Hallam conducted his post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Timothy J. Rink, M.D., Sc.D., at the Physiological Laboratory, University of Cambridge after receiving his Ph.D. in biochemistry from King's College, University of London.

David Lowe, Ph.D. Fellow, Research & Development, Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering, MedImmune LLC

David Lowe is a Fellow in the Department of Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering at MedImmune Ltd, Cambridge, UK. He joined Cambridge Antibody Technology (later MedImmune) in 1997, working in the laboratory of Dr. John McCafferty. He has over 15 years of experience in the field of therapeutic antibody discovery and engineering, having developed >30 antibodies that have entered pre-clinical development. His research interests include novel combinatorial protein libraries, structural analyses of antibody / antigen interactions, early assessment of protein biophysical attributes / manufacturability and the development of high-throughput methodologies for antibody characterization. Prior to joining CAT, he obtained his PhD from The University of Cambridge.

Arieh Gertler, Ph.D., Professor, Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, Hebrew University in Jerusalem

Prof. Arieh Gertler got his Ph.D degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (Israel) where after post-doctoral training in the University of Toronto (Canada) served as a Lecturer and then as a Full Professor till his retirement in 2004.  After his retirement he continued in his basic research of cytokine action and in parallel founded a small Biotech company (Protein Laboratories Rehovot, Ltd.) producing recombinant protein of research grade. Prof. Gertler has published over 250 papers and reviews in peer-reviewed journals and his lab produced over 400 recombinant native and mutated proteins. His latest achievements are development of potent antagonistsof leptin and interleukin 22.

Birgit Bossenmaier, Ph.D., Principle Scientist, Discovery Oncology, Roche

After receiving in 1989 a diploma degree in biology from Munich University, Birgit Bossenmaier worked until 1993 as PhD student on v-verbB signaling in Axel Ulrich's lab at the Max Planck institute in Martinsried. As postdoc she first joint Waldemar Kolanus’ lab at the Genecenter in Munich investigating T-cell receptor signaling and then did a second postdoc in Hans Häring´s lab working on insulin receptor signaling. She joined the diabetes research unit of Roche in 1995 and has later focused her drug development career within Roche on oncology again. Besides leading for many years now a lab focused on HER biology, she is preclinical science leader of the anti HER3 antibody (RG7116) project which is currently in the clinical phases of development. Her additional roles and responsibilities in the Roche Discovery Oncology organization in Penzberg are focused on different new programs in the field of tumor biology and tumor microenvironment.

Noam Shani, M.D., KAHR Medical, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem

Dr. Noam Shani is the CEO of KAHR Medical. Before joining KAHR Medical, Dr. Shani was Vice President of R&D for Medgenics (AIM: MEDG) and for Compugen (NASDAQ: CGEN). Dr. Shani received both his master's and Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science, and did his postdoctoral research fellowships at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore

Syd Johnson, Ph.D., Vice President, Antibody Engineering, MacroGenics, Inc.

Syd Johnson, Ph.D., V.P. of Antibody Engineering at MacroGenics, Inc., has over twenty years of experience in the antibody engineering field.  Prior to joining MacroGenics in 2001, he spent eleven years at MedImmune, Inc., where he led the preclinical efforts to develop humanized monoclonal antibodies.  Dr. Johnson is the inventor of Synagis, MedImmune’s anti-RSV product, which is still the only licensed monoclonal antibody product for prevention of viral infection.  Prior to that, he worked for six years at Genex Corporation, during which time he was involved in pioneering work in the development of single chain Fv technology for the production of antibody fragments in E. coli.

Ignacio Dolado, Ph.D., Program Leader, Research Oncology, Molecular Partners A.G.

Ignacio Dolado is senior scientist and preclinical project leader at Molecular Partners (Zurich, Switzerland). He leads the oncology receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) project platform. This aims to exploit the unique properties of DARPins to generate anti-RTK therapeutics with new mechanisms of action, superior efficacy, and ultimately with a differentiated therapeutic profile. His most advanced project will achieve New Medical Entity (NME) in 2013. Prior to joining Molecular Partners in 2009, Ignacio worked as a scientist at the Spanish Cancer Centre in Madrid (Spain) and at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg (Germany).Ignacio has several peer-reviewed publications in the field of molecular oncology, and one patent covering the therapeutic use of DARPins in oncology.

Tariq Ghayur, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, DVD – Ig & Novel Biologics, Abbvie, Inc.

Tariq Ghayur received his Ph.D (1987) in Immunology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He did his post-doctoral training at McGill (1987-’88) and Dana Farber Cancer Institute (1988-’90).  He joined AbbVie Inc. in 1990 (former BASF Pharma and Abbot Laboratories). He has worked on both small molecule and therapeutic antibody discovery programs, mainly target validation and candidate selection. Since 1996 he has initiated and/or worked on several therapeutic antibody programs for treatment of immunological, neurological, and metabolic diseases. From 1998-2004, he led two therapeutic antibody discovery project teams and delivered 2 drug development candidates. In 1998, Tariq initiated the dual – targeting biologics program at AbbVie. He received Abbott’s “President’s Awards” in 2004 and 2008, Abbott's "Chairman's Award" in 2008 and Researcher of the Year award in 2012. Currently, as a Senior Research Fellow, he leads the dual/multi - targeting & novel biologics Initiative at AbbVie. He also initiated a program at AbbVie Bioresearch Center (ABC, Worcester) that encourages and enables scientists, at all levels of the organization, to explore novel ideas and initiate new drug discovery programs and/or develop novel technologies. He holds several patents and is the author of several peer-reviewed scientific publications.

Steven Grant, Ph.D., Manager, Biopharm Discovery, Biopharm Research & Development, GSK (Domantis)

Steven is currently a Manager within GlaxoSmithKline’s Biopharm R&D Unit.  Prior to joining GSK, Steven worked at Domantis on various human Domain Antibody projects, joining as one of the initial research scientists in 2001 and then subsequently transferring to GSK following its acquisition of Domantis in 2007.  Steven did his PhD at the University of Aberdeen followed by 2½ years working at Unilever Research on various llama VHH antibody projects; leaving in 2001 to join Domantis.

Kathleen Hefferon, Ph.D., Scientist, Cell and Systems Biology, University of Toronto

Kathleen Hefferon received her PhD in Molecular Virology at the University of Toronto. She worked as a post-doc at  the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research and later as the Director of the Human Metabolic Research Unit in the Division of Nutritional Science at Cornell University. Most recently, Kathleen has written two books on agricultural Biotechnology. Research Interests: virology, biotechnology, vaccines, nutrition, global health.


Protein Optimization Bios 

Dominic Esposito, Ph.D., Director, Protein Expression Laboratory, SAIC-Frederick 

Dr. Esposito is currently the Director of the Protein Expression Laboratory (PEL) at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research in Maryland.  The 26 employees in the PEL generate proteins of interest to investigators at the National Cancer Institute and other NIH facilities, and invent and develop new technologies for protein expression and production.  Prior to his role as director, Dr. Esposito led the Clone Optimization Group in the PEL for 9 years and was responsible for the generation of over 15,000 expression clones, 400 new expression vectors, and several technological innovations in protein expression. Dr. Esposito received his B.A. in Chemistry at La Salle University in Philadelphia, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School.  Dr. Esposito previously worked for Life Technologies, where he helped to develop the Gateway recombinational cloning system.

Paula M. Alves, Ph.D., Director, Animal Cell Technology Unit, Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica Oeiras, Portugal 

Prof. Paula Marques Alves, CEO of iBET, Principal Investigator at ITQB‐New Univ. Lisbon and Associate Professor at FCT‐New Univ Lisbon. PhD in Biochemical Engineering (2001). Vice‐ President of the ESACT‐European Society for Animal Cell Technology. 152 published papers; 12 book chapters. The Unit she coordinates uses Animal Cell Technology for research and development in particular for (i) production of complex biopharmaceuticals such as viral vectors, vaccines and recombinant proteins and, more recently, stem cells for therapy (ii) development of 3D culture systems for toxicity testing using primary cells and stem cells in bioreactors (iii) expand systems biology approaches to organize the complexity of the processes involved in the research described in (i) and (ii).

Jan-Willem de Gier, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Center for Biomembrane Research, Stockholm University; CSO, Xbrane Bioscience AB 

PhD at the Dept. of Microbial Physiology of the Vrije Universteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. PhD advisor: Prof. Adriaan Stouthamer.

  • Post-doc with Prof. Gunnar von Heijne at the Dept. of Biochemistry & Biophysics of Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Currently, JWdG is Assoc. Prof. at the Dept. of Biochemistry & Biophysics of Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Main research interests: membrane protein biogenesis and biotechnology, and protein production in E. coli.
  • Co-founder of the biotechnology companies Xbrane Bioscience AB and Abera Bioscience AB.

Thomas Schmidt, Ph.D., COO, IBA GmbH 

Thomas Schmidt studied biology in Munich and completed his studies with a Diploma thesis on antibody engineering in the laboratory of Prof. Plueckthun. After that he entered the department of Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Michel at the Max-Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, where he worked on his PhD thesis in the laboratory of Prof. Skerra. There he focused his research activities on molecular recognition and invented, together with Prof. Skerra, the Strep-tag technology for detection, purification, and assay of recombinant proteins. In July 1994, he was appointed by IBA, where he further developed this technology, transformed it into successful products, and managed their commercialization.

Athena Wong, Ph.D., Scientist, Early Stage Cell Culture, Genentech, Inc. 

Scientist at Genentech, leading a group that performs transient transfections to generate recombinant proteins for research studies. Postdoc at Salk Institute (La Jolla, CA), PhD from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. B.S. from University of California at Davis.

Robert Roth, Ph.D., Associate Principal Scientist, Reagents and Assay Development, AstraZeneca, Sweden 

Robert Roth is an Associate Principle Scientist at AstraZeneca based in Mölndal, Sweden. After completing a Ph.D in Biochemistry at Lund University he started as a Post Doc at AstraZeneca in 2003. For the first couple of years he worked with the expression and purification of membrane proteins as part of the initiative to establish this capability within the company. After that he had several roles concerning different aspects of protein expression in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. Since 3 years he is responsible for the scientific and technical development of protein expression activities supplying protein reagents to preclinical activities ranging from structural biology to testing of therapeutic proteins in animal disease models.

Peer Heine, Ph.D., European Field Applications Scientist, MaxCyte, Inc.Dr. Heine studied Neurobiology in Mainz (Germany) and obtained his PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt am Main (Germany).  Following a postdoctoral position at Duke University in North Carolina, Dr. Heine worked for several years at Lonza as a Scientific Product Specialist focused on Transfection.  Since 2011, Dr. Heine has been with MaxCyte, Inc., where he serves as the European Field Applications Scientist.

Michaela Simcikova, Ph.D., Researcher, Prazeres Laboratory, Department of Bioengineering, Instituto Superior Técnico 

Michaela Simcikova is a PhD candidate of MIT Portugal Program, Bioengineering Systems. Her work aims to develop Minicircle Production Technology to generate sufficient amount of minicircle DNA delivery non-viral vectors, containing exclusively therapeutic expression cassette, in the field of DNA vaccination, gene therapy and transient gene expression in mammalian cells. She has been realizing her work at Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon under supervision of Gabriel Monteiro and Miguel Prazeres in Nucleic Acid Research Lab with strong background in biomolecules purification and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge in Metabolic Engineering Lab of Kristala Jones Prather.  She received her integrated master degree at Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague at 2008. She is interested in technology transfer and has been recognised as semi-finalist in MIT 100K business plan contest 2012 organised by Sloan business school.

Sofia Costa, M.S., Researcher, Centre of Biological Engineering, University of Minho 

Sofia Costa is a Biomedical Engineer that has recently finished her PhD graduation in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Minho (Braga, Portugal) under the supervision of Prof. Lucília Domingues, and at National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge (Oporto) under the supervision of Dr. António Castro.  Sofia had the opportunity to study and develop a novel fusion tag for efficient soluble protein expression and purification in E. coli. She worked with several recombinant proteins from different sources (parasite, human, mouse, and yeast) that have important biomedical and diagnostic applications. Her main research interests include recombinant protein production in Escherichia coli, novel fusion systems for protein overexpression and difficult-to-express proteins with biomedical applications.

Stefano Gustincich, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Neurobiology, SISSA 

Stefano Gustincich obtained his PhD in Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology at SISSA, Trieste, Italy, studying genes involved in the negative control of cell proliferation. He was awarded a Long-term EMBO fellowship to work as a post-doctoral fellow at the department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. He developed a transgenic mouse model to study the function of dopaminergic neurons of the retina, a rare neuronal cell type involved in the control of light adaptation. In 1998, he became Instructor in Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School where he developed techniques to study gene expression in single cells. He has been honoured with the career development award by The Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation to join the Sector of Neurobiology at SISSA as a principal investigator. Since 2005 he has been an Associate professor in Physiology at SISSA. His laboratory applies functional genomics techniques to study brain function in health and disease with special emphasis on the dopaminergic neurons of the Substantia Nigra and Parkinson’s disease. In 2011 he was awarded the Italian national prize for Innovation in biotechnology. He has published more than 60 papers with an h index of 24. He is the co-founder with Dr Carninci of the RIKEN venture TransSINE Technologies to commercialize SINEUP molecules as tools to increase protein synthesis ( and of the Italian start-up PARKscreen to develop transcriptome-based biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases.

Isaura Simoes, Ph.D., Molecular Biotechnology Unit, CNC/Biocant 

Isaura Simões completed her PhD in biochemistry at the University of Coimbra in 2004 and pursued post doctorate studies at Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of Coimbra (CNC). In 2006 joined Biocant-Biotechnology Innovation Center and was involved in the implementation of the Molecular Biotechnology Unit, where she currently develops different research lines focused on plant and prokaryotic aspartic proteases and protein expression systems. Was an invited professor at the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Coimbra in 2008/2009 and, since 2010 is a research scientist in CNC. She is also co-founder of the spin-off Cynara Lda, a company dedicated to the development and commercial valorization of enzyme-based technologies

Subinay Ganguly, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Team Leader CMC, Janssen R & D, Johnson & Johnson  

Dr. Subinay Ganguly is currently leading the CMC development of alternative scaffold protein therapeutics at Janssen R&D.  Prior to joining his current position, Dr. Ganguly led cross functional CMC teams at Centocor R&D to advance biologic molecules to early clinical development.  At Centocor he also led development of stable CHO and myeloma cell lines for production of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and other therapeutic proteins.  His group developed novel expression technologies to improve production level and product quality. Prior to joining Centocor, he was a Group Leader at Bristol-Myers Squibb, a Senior Investigator at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, and an Associate Research Scientist at Yale University School of Medicine.  He received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Calcutta, India and postdoctoral training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and MIT.

 Filomena Silva, Ph.D., CICS-UBI–Health Sciences Research Centre, University of Beira Interior 

Filomena Silva is currently a post-doc researcher at the Health Sciences Research Centre, University of Beira Interior where she is developing her project in the Food Biotechnology area. She is also the head of the Flow Cytometry facility, being currently involved in several research projects regarding the applications of flow cytometry to microbiology for bioprocess monitoring and for the evaluation of natural antimicrobials mode of action in bacterial and fungal cells. Prior to her post-doc, Filomena performed her PhD studies in plasmid DNA production processes, focusing in the development and application of flow cytometry and real-time PCR as bioprocess monitoring techniques for the evaluation of cell viability and plasmid segregational stability. 

Simone Balzer, Ph.D., Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology, Department of Biotechnology, NTNU 

  • B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Molecular Biotechnology from Aachen University (aka RWTH Aachen) in 2006 and 2008, respectively
  • Master of science position at SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, Sector of Biotechnology and Nanomedicine in Trondheim, Norway, from 2008-2009 working in the field of prokaryote molecular biology (recombinant expression of proteins in E. coli, enzymology, genome sequencing and metabolic engineering of methylotrophic Bacillus methanolicus)
  • Currently finishing my PhD degree at NTNU Trondheim where I apply and modify different regulated promoter systems for recombinant expression in gram-negative bacteria with particular focus on XylS/Pm and its 5´-UTR
  • At the same time, I hold a researcher position at SINTEF (same department as above) continuing to work in the field of metabolic engineering of methylotrophic bacteria and to apply my expertise in recombinant expression of proteins in the field of biorefineries