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Professor Michael J. Ryan
Affiliation: William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, USA
Subject area: Nephrology and Circulation, Vascular Biology
Biography: Professor Michael Ryan is the Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Hospital, and a Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, SC. Professor Ryan’s laboratory has made research contributions in two major areas. The first relates to understanding how immune system activation mechanistically promotes the pathogenesis of hypertension. Evidence suggests that human hypertension is associated with immune dysfunction including the production of autoantibodies commonly associated with autoimmune disease. Using an experimental model of the autoimmune disorder systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Professor Ryan’s laboratory has contributed significantly to the understanding of both renal and vascular mechanisms during SLE, and how they are influenced by inflammatory cells and mediators. The second relates to understanding mechanisms that lead to increased cerebral vascular risk during preeclampsia. Patients with preeclampsia have increased risk for developing stroke, cerebral oedema and seizure with mechanisms that remain unclear. His laboratory has recently focused on an experimental model that mimics characteristics of preeclampsia and demonstrates an important role for impaired cerebral vascular tone, blood flow autoregulation, and inflammatory cytokines in this process.
Professor Philip C. Calder
Affiliation: Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
Subject area: Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition
Biography: Professor Philip Calder is Professor of Nutritional Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and of the Association for Nutrition and has been a member of the Biochemical Society since 1987. Professor Calder is currently President of The Nutrition Society and President-Elect of the Federation of European Nutrition Societies. His research investigates the importance of specific nutrients in maintaining optimal cell and tissue function across the life course and the application of the findings in public health and clinical situations. Professor Calder has received several awards for his work including the ESPEN Cuthbertson Award (2008), the BAPEN Pennington Award (2015), the Danone International Prize for Nutrition (2016) and the DSM Lifetime Achievement Award in Human Nutrition (2017). Professor Calder was Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Nutrition (2006-2013) and is currently an Associate Editor of several journals including the Journal of Nutrition and Clinical Science.
Professor Mark Cooper
Affiliation: Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Subject area: Diabetes
Biography: Mark Cooper is Professor of Diabetes and head of the Department of Diabetes within the Central Clinical School at Monash University. Professor Cooper's research interests are in diabetes and its three major complications: kidney disease, heart disease and blindness. Professor Cooper has received many awards and is an eminent researcher in the field of diabetes and its complications. His work has profoundly improved our understanding of this disease and has been of direct benefit to millions of sufferers around the world. His distinguished body of research has led to new treatments for sufferers of diabetes that are today considered standard. He has played a key role in translating exciting discoveries in the laboratory to clinical care with seminal studies defining various treatment strategies to reduce the burden of diabetic complications.
Professor Christian Delles
Affiliation: Institute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
Subject area: Cardiovascular System
Biography: Christian Delles studied medicine at the Universities of Freiburg, Germany, and Innsbruck, Austria. He undertook his MD research in Professor Paul Dietl's lab at the Department of Physiology in Innsbruck and joined Professor Roland Schmieder's group at the Department of Nephrology, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, in 1997. Here he worked on renal haemodynamics in arterial hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases; pathophysiology of endothelial dysfunction; and pathophysiology of left ventricular hypertrophy. In parallel he completed his specialist training in Internal Medicine. He joined the British Heart Foundation Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre in 2003 as a Research Fellow funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and became Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Physician in 2005. He became a Reader at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences in 2011 and is currently Professor of Cardiovascular Prevention and Deputy Director of the BHF Centre of Excellence.
Professor Satoru Eguchi
Affiliation: Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA
Subject area: Vascular Biology
Biography: Satoru Eguchi MD PhD FAHA started his academic career as a physician scientist in Japan concentrating on cardiovascular endocrinology in 1989. His research has been specifically focused on cardiovascular G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signal transduction and its functional significance linked to cardiovascular diseases. In 1994, he joined the laboratory of Dr Tadashi Inagami (Vanderbilt University), a highly recognized scientist in the area of renin-angiotensin research. After gaining invaluable experience, Professor Eguchi successfully completed his postdoctoral training in 1996. His Journal of Biological Chemistry 1998 publication with Dr Inagami regarding the EGF receptor transactivation mechanism by angiotensin II (Ang II) in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) has been sited more than 400 times, which helped him become independent and obtain extramural funds. Since then, Professor Eguchi and his research group have been recognized as one of the leading authorities of Ang II signal transduction and the functions linked to vascular pathophysiology.
Associate Professor Rayna J Gonzales
Affiliation: Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Translational Cardiovascular Research Center, The University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, USA
Subject area: Cerebrovascular Biology, Gonadal Sex Steroid Biology
Biography: Rayna Gonzales is an associate professor of vascular biology and inaugural member of the newly established Translational Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix (UACOMP). She received her post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Sue P. Duckles at the University of Irvine in the field of vascular pharmacology and her research was supported by an American Heart Association (AHA) Postdoctoral Fellowship. She then received AHA Scientist Development Award and was recruited to the UACOMP as a founding faculty member in 2007 where she established her independent research program. Gonzales’ research contributions are centered around understanding cerebrovascular pathogenesis of ischemic injury. Current research areas of interest include i) investigating the influence of gonadal sex steroids on the regulation of hypoxia- or ischemia-induced inflammatory signaling pathways in the cerebral vasculature and ii) determining the impact of selective sphingosine-1 phosphate receptor modulation on endothelial and smooth muscle health and function during ischemic injury. Her lab utilizes in vitro human brain vascular cell models and an in vivo experimental stroke model to study mechanisms associated with endothelial activation, barrier integrity loss, and vascular inflammation in the setting of acute ischemic stroke.
Professor Mansoor Husain
Affiliation: MaRS Centre, Toronto, Canada
Subject area: Cardiovascular System, Vascular Biologyy
Biography: Professor Mansoor Husain is Executive Director of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is also Director of the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and an attending Staff Cardiologist at the University Health Network. Professor Husain was the gold medallist in Medicine at the University of Alberta, completed his clinical training at the University of Toronto, and undertook postdoctoral training in the Program of Excellence in Cardiovascular Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His current research aims to elucidate the molecular bases of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis and heart failure, with a particular emphasis on identifying therapeutic targets involved in pathophysiology. Professor Husain’s research has improved our understanding of the cardiovascular mechanisms of glucagon-like peptide-1 and related anti-diabetic drugs.
Professor Karin Jandeleit-Dahm
Affiliation: Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Subject area: Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition
Biography: Professor Karin Jandeleit-Dahm is a clinician scientist and has been involved in cardiovascular research in the area of diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease for more than 15 years. She is the Deputy Head of the Diabetes Department at the Central Clinical School, Monash University, leads her own laboratory ‘Diabetes and Kidney Disease’, as well as leading a Research Group at the German Diabetes Centre in Duesseldorf, Germany. She holds Professorships of Medicine at Monash University and with the University of Hannover, Germany and has previously been President of the Australian Atherosclerosis Society. Her clinical appointments include the Alfred Hospital and the Baker Diabetes Clinics. She has recently been awarded a fellowship of the Australian Academy for Health and Medical Sciences. Her main research area focuses on the micro-and macro-vascular complications in diabetes. She has developed and published on new models of diabetes-associated accelerated atherosclerosis and aims to identify novel targets to better treat and prevent cardiovascular disease in diabetes. Her work has been published in high-impact journals including Circulation, Circulation Research, the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Diabetes and Diabetologia. She serves on several Editorial Boards including Diabetologia, PLos One, Clinical Science, the Journal of Molecular Medicine and the Internal Medicine Journal of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Australia.
Professor Jonathan Lamb
Affiliation: Imperial College, London, UK
Subject area: Infection and Immunity, Inflammation and Oncology
Biography: Jonathan Lamb returned to Imperial College in 2009 to the Chair of Immunoregulation in the Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, having previously been the Professor of Immunology at St Mary's Hospital Medical School/Department of Biology at Imperial College from 1990 to 1997. During the interim period he was the Professor of Respiratory Science at Edinburgh University and Head of UK Human Biomarker Laboratory, GlaxoSmithKline, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge. Following undergraduate degrees at Edinburgh and Oxford Universities he completed his PhD in immunology in 1980 at London University. Jonathan has been a scientific board member for a number of organizations including the Medical Research Council, World Health Organization, and ARC (Australian Research Council) and is currently a member of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council pool of experts. Professor Lamb’s research interests focus on the regulation of inflammatory responses, in particular how the host deciphers and integrates internal and external signals that determine the outcome of protective and pathogenic immunity. Understanding the underlying mechanisms that lead to inappropriate immune responses has potential applications in the longer-term by contributing to the development of new treatments of a variety of diseases. In order to address these scientific questions, he is using zebrafish to model mammalian disease phenotypes and to study host inflammatory responses in real-time from the molecular to whole organism level.
Professor Isabelle Leclercq
Affiliation: UCLouvain, Brussels, Belgium
Subject area: Gastrointestinal Tract and Liver
Biography: Professor Isabelle Leclercq graduated from the Medical faculty of the University of Liège in Belgium in 1991. She received clinical certifications in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and completed a PhD (1997 UCLouvain, Belgium). She then moved to Sydney, Australia for a 5 years research post-doc fellowship in Geoff Farrell’s lab, pioneer in experimental approaches to study the pathogenesis of liver diseases associated with obesity. In 2003, she returned to Belgium to establish her research lab and take responsibilities at the faculty of medicine. She is currently head of the laboratory of Hepato-gastroenterology at the Institute for Experimental and Clinical research at UCLouvain. She is president of the Doctoral school in experimental and clinical research at UCLouvain. She is full professor at the faculty of Medicine and teaches histology, physiology and pathophysiology of the digestive system and hepatology. Isabelle Leclercq’s research interests focus on the understanding of the pathogenesis of liver diseases from disease mechanisms to preclinical studies with a specific interest for liver diseases associated to obesity. She is also fascinated by liver healing and regeneration and new approaches to alleviate liver insufficiency in chronic liver diseases and prevent post hepatectomy liver failure.
Associate Professor Meena Madhur
Affiliation: Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Vanderbilt University, USA
Subject area: Immunology, Hypertension and Cardiovascular System
Biography: Dr. Madhur is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Divisions of Clinical Pharmacology and Cardiovascular Medicine and an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Madhur’s research focuses on the interplay between the immune system and hypertension, including renal, vascular, and cardiac complications of hypertension. Dr. Madhur’s laboratory, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and American Heart Association (AHA), has defined pathways by which the T cell derived pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin 17A (IL-17A), regulates renal sodium transporters and how salt influences T cells in hypertension. Her group also identified a novel role for IL-21 in hypertension and vascular dysfunction and showed that the IL-21/IL-17A axis is important in human hypertension.
Professor Maria Luisa S. Sequeira Lopez
Affiliation: School of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA
Subject area: Nephrology and Circulation; Vascular Biology; Developmental Biology
Biography: Maria Luisa S. Sequeira-Lopez, MD. FAHA, is the Harrison Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Biology at the University of Virginia. Dr. Sequeira-Lopez received her MD from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina (1990), completed a Pediatric Residency (1994) and Fellowship (1997) at the Hospital Garrahan, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Next, she joined the University of Virginia, School of Medicine, USA (1998) for a postdoctoral training in kidney development and renin cell differentiation and obtained a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship, followed by continuous funding from the National Institute of Health. Her research program examines the fundamental contributions of kidney vascular development to disease and regeneration with a special focus on renin cells. She identified the earliest progenitors for all cells in the kidney vasculature and the mechanism whereby they differentiate into renin cells, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells. Her work has demonstrated a crucial role of kidney vascular progenitors in tissue regeneration with enormous implications in kidney disease and hypertension.
Professor Ilja Striz
Affiliation: Department of Clinical and Transplant Immunology, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic
Subject area: Infection and Immunity, Inflammation and Oncology
Biography: Professor Ilja Striz graduated from the Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague in 1983 and during his following affiliation at the Institute of Chest Diseases in Prague completed his PhD and received clinical certifications in Internal Medicine and Medical Immunology. After visiting Ruhrlandklinik in Essen, Germany in 1990, he worked at the Pulmonary and Critical Care, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, USA (1993-1995). Currently, Professor Striz is Head of the Department of Clinical and Transplant Immunology at the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) and Professor of Immunology at the 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague, and is Vice-President of the Czech Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology and of the Czech Immunological Society. Professor Striz´s research interests focus on cytokine interactions of innate immune cells, particularly macrophages and epithelial cells. In addition to transplant immunology as the main topic, he is also involved in projects dealing with autoimmune or allergic diseases.
Professor Jennifer C. Sullivan
Affiliation: Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Augusta, USA
Subject area: Cardiovascular Biology, Nephrology, Vascular Biology
Biography: Professor Jennifer Sullivan is the Dean of the Graduate School at Augusta University and Professor of Physiology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Professor Sullivan’s laboratory is focused on gaining greater understanding of the mechanisms controlling blood pressure in males and females. Her most recent work has focused on the role of the immune system in the control of blood pressure. Evidence suggests that human hypertension is associated with immune dysfunction. Using a number of rodent experimental models of hypertension, Professor Sullivan’s laboratory has established that biological sex impacts the T cell profile, and greater anti-inflammatory T regulatory cells are critical to the ability of females to limit increase in blood pressure contributing to sex differences in hypertension. Additional studies are focused on renal ischemic injury as a model of acute kidney injury. Professor Sullivan is examining both sex differences in the recovery of renal function following an ischemic insult, and the impact of ischemic injury prior to pregnancy on maternal and fetal outcomes.
Professor Ross Vlahos
Affiliation: RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Subject area: Respiratory System
Biography: Professor Ross Vlahos is a Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Respiratory Research Group in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. He has a long-standing interest in respiratory diseases, in particular asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). His research has included the effects of existing and novel anti-asthma drugs on airway hyper-responsiveness and airway wall remodelling. More recently, Professor Vlahos’ research aims to identify novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of COPD and its comorbidities (e.g. skeletal muscle wasting, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cognitive dysfunction). Professor Vlahos has co-authored more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, has had continuous National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia funding since 2001 and has played a major role in commercially funded work that has confidentiality/patent agreements. He has served on numerous national (e.g. NHMRC Australia) and international (e.g. Medical Research Council UK) Grant Review Panels, various international conference committees (e.g. American Thoracic Society, European Respiratory Society) and is currently on the Board for the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT).
Professor Zhiming Zhu
Affiliation: Center for Hypertension and Metabolic Diseases Department of Hypertension and Endocrinology, Chongqing Daping Hospital, Chongqing Institute of Hypertension, China
Subject areas: Vascular Biology; Hypertension; Metabolism
Biography: Professor Zhiming Zhu is Director of Center for Hypertension and Metabolic Diseases, Department of Hypertension and Endocrinology, Daping Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing Institute of Hypertension, China. Professor Zhu received his medical degree in 1985 and Master of Science in Cardiology from the Third Military Medical University, Chongqing in 1988 and obtained his doctorate degree from Faculty of Medicine, Muenster University, Germany in 1993. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship and as a Research Associate at Department of Cell Biology and Physiology in University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA from 1994 to 1997. He is a Visiting Professor in Riley Heart Research Center at School of Medicine in Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in 2002. Professor Zhu’s research interests focus on the mechanism and treatment of hypertension and metabolic syndrome. Of special interest is the role of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases. He is a Fellow of American Heart Association and Fellow of International Society of Hypertension. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers.