Invited speakers


Keynote speakers

Olivier Soehnlein

Oliver Soehnlein is Professor for Vascular Immunotherapy at the Institute of Cardiovascular Prevention (IPEK) at the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich, Germany. After having received his M.D. in 2004 from the University of Erlangen, Germany, he continued his research at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, where he received his Ph.D. in Physiology in 2008. Thereafter, he was recruited to the RWTH Aachen University, Germany and in 2011 to the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich where he leads a research group focusing on the cellular interplay between myeloid cell subsets in acute and chronic inflammatory conditions. Since 2012 he also acts as VIDI laureate at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands to investigate the role of neutrophil apoptosis in atherosclerosis.  

Jagat Narula

Jagat Narula MD, PhD, MACC, FRCP is a Philip J. and Harriet L. Goodhart Professor of Cardiology at the Zena & Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Chief of Cardiology of St. Luke’s & Roosevelt Hospitals of Mount Sinai, Director of Cardiovascular Imaging for the Mount Sinai Health System, and Associate Dean of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai.

Dr. Narula after completing his fellowship training Cardiology and PhD in Cardiovascular Immunology from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, relocated to Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 1989. In Boston, he completed cardiology, heart failure & transplantation, and nuclear cardiology fellowships and joined the Cardiology faculty. In 1997, he moved to Hahnemann University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, where he was Thomas J. Vischer Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Cardiology, Vice-Chairman of the department of Internal Medicine, and Director of Heart Failure & Transplantation Center. In 2003, he joined University of California, Irvine School of Medicine as Chief of the Division of Cardiology, Associate Dean for Research, and Director of the Cardiovascular Center of the UC Irvine’s Douglas Hospital. He was also the Director of Memorial Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Memorial Hospital, and Medical Director of the UC Irvine’s Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology. Dr. Narula moved to Mount Sinai in March 2011.

Dr. Narula is nationally and internationally acclaimed investigator with a focus on translational research from bench to bedside, and population sciences and global cardiovascular health. His major contributions to the field of cardiovascular medicine have included the description of the phenomenon of heart muscle cell suicide (apoptosis) in heart failure, identification of vulnerability of atherosclerotic plaques to rupture causing acute coronary syndromes, and developing recommendations for cardiovascular disease prevention in low- and middle-income countries. He has invoked all invasive and noninvasive imaging modalities including molecular imaging for the study of myocardial disorders and plaque characteristics. His research has been funded, in part, by the grants from National Institutes of Health. He is considered to be a true translationist and a rare investigator who has the distinction of publishing in the best basic science and the best clinical medicine journals including Science, Nature Medicine, PNAS, New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet.  He is actively involved in population-based heart attack prevention programs such as HAPPY [Heart Attack Prevention Program for You].

Confirmed speakers

Bent Brachvogel
Ph.D., Professor,Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Experimental Neonatology, University of Cologne

Bent Brachvogel studied biology at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, and completed his Ph.D. studies at the Institute for Experimental Medicine. He received a training in transgene technologies at the Institute for Mammalian Genetics in Munich and was awarded a DFG-postdoctoral fellowship to study the biology of matrix homeostasis in the Cell&Matrix Biology Unit of the Murdoch Children Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. He was appointed an independent group leader at the Institute for Biochemistry in Cologne, Germany, in 2006 and was promoted to a full professor in Experimental Neonatology at the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in 2013. Bent Brachvogel is a board member of the German Society for Matrix Biology and managing editor of the Journal for Negative results in Biomedicine.

His research focuses on the interaction of the cell surface with extracellular proteins and the consequences for mesenchymal stem cell differentiation during skeletal and vascular development. He uses system biology approaches to study the skeletal development and was able to link changes in the cartilage extracellular matrix to impaired hematopoietic cell differentiation and function. Bent Brachvogel’s research also elucidates posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms of vascular cell interaction and he identified novel miRNAs modulating matrix-dependent neoangiogenesis.

Alain R. Brisson

Alain R. Brisson has successively held positions as Research Engineer at the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (Grenoble; 1981-1986), Director of Research at INSERM (University of Strasbourg; 1987-1994), Professor of Chemistry (University of Groningen; 1994-2001), and is currently Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Bordeaux. Since 2011, A. Brisson is member of the Institut Universitaire de France. His group “Extracellular Vesicles and Membrane Repair” at the UMR-CNRS CBMN develops two main research projects, focusing 1) on the characterization of the role of cell-derived vesicles in plasma and other body fluids, in health and disease, and 2) on the elucidation of the role of annexins in membrane repair. His group has major expertise in electron microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, flow-cytometry, biochemistry, protein chemistry and nanoparticle synthesis.

Annete Draeger
Medical studies in Aachen, Hamburg, Lausanne & Melbourne, MD in Hamburg

Postdocs in Cambridge (MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology), Munich (Inst. of  Pathology, University of Munich) and Salzburg (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Inst of Molecular Biology)

Since 1995 Head of the Department of Cell Biology at the Inst. of Anatomy, University of Bern, Switzerland.

Research Interests: Annexins in plasma membrane repair and cellular damage control. Bacterial toxin-sequestration as a non-antibiotic treatment option. 

Carlos Enrich

Carlos Enrich, Ph.D. in Cell Biology is Full Professor of Cell Biology at the Department of Cell Biology, Immunology and Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona, and group leader “Cellular Compartments and Signalling” at Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona. Spain. He got hisB.Sc., Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Spain (1977) and his Doctor’s degree (Ph.D.) at University of Barcelona (1983). Employment History:1977-1986 Assistant Prof, Dep Cell Biology and Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona Spain; 1986-1987 Research Associate, National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK; 1986-1997 A/Prof, Dep Cell Biology and Pathology Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona; 1992-1993 Visiting Prof, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA. From 1997 is Professor at the Department of Cell Biology, Immunology and Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Spain; 2002-2005 Head of Department; 2006 Visiting Prof, Center for Immunology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Volker Gerke
Volker Gerke is a Professsor of Biochemistry at the Centre for Molecular Biology of Inflammation at the University of Münster. 

He studied Biochemistry at the University of Hannover and carried out his PhD work at the Department of Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen (supervisor Klaus Weber). From 1985-1987 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Joan Steitz at Yale University in New Haven. In 1988 he moved back to the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen to start a junior research group working on annexins and other calcium-binding proteins. Thereafter (in 1994) he joined the faculty of the University of Münster Medical School where he works on the role of membrane organization and transport in cell differentiation and migration. Volker Gerke is member of the Cell Biology panel of the German Research Association (DFG) and the advisory board of the German Society of Cell Biology. He is also one of the coordinators of the Cluster of Excellence Cells in Motion, CiM, of the University of Münster.

Thomas Grewal

After completing his PhD on gene regulation in Germany in 1993, Associate Professor Thomas Grewal studied lipoprotein receptors during postdoctoral fellowships at the Heart Research Institute (HRI, Sydney) and the Clinical Research Institute (Montreal, Canada). From 1997-2003, Thomas Grewal led a research group investigating LDL endocytosis at the University Hospital Eppendorf (Hamburg, Germany) and later (2003-2007). He then established a research group at the Centre for Immunology (CFI, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney), working on cholesterol transport, lipid raft formation and EGFR/Ras signalling. Thomas Grewal joined the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney in October 2007.

A multi-disciplinal approach combining biochemistry, molecular cell biology with advanced cell microscopy and more recently, mouse models, examines the link between lipid/membrane transport and signal transduction to understand fundamental processes that coordinate spatiotemporal signaling in health and disease. Annexins, in particular annexin A6, serve as models for scaffolding proteins that coordinate cholesterol transport, formation of cholesterol-rich microdomains, endo-/exocytic pathways and localisation/activity of signaling complexes and receptors. Major contributions include the potential tumor suppressor activity of annexin A6 in breast and head and neck cancers with oncogenic EGFR and Ras/MAPK activity (Oncogene 2005, 2009 and 2012). Other studies identified the regulatory role for annexin A6 in late endosomal cholesterol transport, with consequences for caveolae formation (Traffic 2007, J Biol Chem 2008), influenza infection (mBio 2013), and SNARE function in secretory pathways relevant for cell migration (Mol Biol Cell 2011, Cell Reports 2014). Recent work examines cardiovascular and liver disease and lipid droplet formation in Annexin A6 ko-mice and how Annexin A6 affects plasma membrane order in live cells (Brit J Pharmacol 2014).

Katherine A. Hajjar

Dr. Katherine Hajjar is Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Pediatrics in Medicine, the Brine Family Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.  

Dr. Hajjar received her undergraduate degree from Smith College, and her MD degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  She completed clinical training in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where she also served as Chief Pediatric Resident.  She returned to Johns Hopkins for fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.  At Weill Cornell, Dr. Hajjar served as Chair of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, and is currently the Associate Dean for Research.

Dr. Hajjar is the author of more than 125 original papers and monographs on the molecular basis of fibrinolysis and annexin biology.  Her studies have demonstrated the role of annexin A2 in cell surface fibrinolytic assembly, and its role in fibrin clearance and angiogenesis in genetically engineered mice. She defined the role of annexin A2 in human hemostasis (acute promyelocytic leukemia) and thrombosis (antiphospholipid syndrome and cerebral thrombosis).  In addition, she defined the unexpected role of annexin A2-mediated fibrin clearance in promoting pathologic angiogenesis in a model of retinopathy of prematurity and diabetic retinopathy.  Her current research explores the role of the annexin A2 complex in secretion of macromolecular proteins, hemostasis, vascular permeability, and inflammation.

Dr. Hajjar is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the American Clinical and Climatological Association, and she is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  She is the recipient of an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association, the Syntex Scholar Award, the Irvine Page Award from the American Heart Association, and the Key to Life Award from the Children’s Blood Foundation. She has served as President of the New York Society for the Study of Blood, the Interurban Clinical Club, and the Harvey Society.  She has organized numerous international meetings and workshops, and served on multiple review panels, study sections, and editorial boards.  

Mitsumori Kawaminami

Dr. Mitsumori Kawaminami is Professor of Veterinary Physiology, at School of Veterinary Medicine of Kitasato University, Japan

I first got involved with Annexin A5 (ANXA5) in 1991. We accidently found that ANXA5 is expressed in the anterior pituitary gland of rats. At that time, ANXA5 was called lipocortin V and there was no report of its pituitary expression. So, I started to study its physiological function in the pituitary gland in relation to hormone secretion. Over the years, my lab has clarified that ANXA5 is expressed in gonadotropes and folliculo-stellate cells in the anterior pituitary gland via immunohistochemistry, its expression is augmented after ovariectomy and gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulates the expression of ANXA5 mRNA in gonadotropes. We found suppression of ANXA5 expression results in retardation of GnRH stimulation of gonadotropin release. In addition to this series of research on pituitary ANXA5, we showed that pregnancy loss occurs in ANXA5 null mice due to platelet thrombus in the placenta. Furthermore, we have observed that GnRH stimulates ANXA5 expression in the corpus luteum, Leydig cells, mammary epithelial cells, islet and the prostate gland, so far. Pituitary ANXA5 is still our main concern and we are currently studying the physiological function and mechanisms of ANXA5 under the effects of local GnRH in various tissues. 

My university is located at Towada City, in the northern region of the main island of Japan. It is close to Lake Towada National Park and a good place for bicycling, which is my favorite activity these days. I welcome communication and collaboration. I am looking forward to seeing you at the forthcoming conference at Maastricht.

Lina HK Lim
Lina graduated with an undergraduate degree in Pharmacology at King’s College London.  She received her Ph.D in 2000 under the guidance of Professor Roderick Flower and Dr Mauro Perretti at the William Harvey Research Institute in London. She did her post-doctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School and returned to Singapore in 2003 as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physiology, National University of Singapore.  She is currently an Associate Professor and leads the Inflammation & Cancer Laboratory situated in the Immunology Program, Life Sciences Institute.  Her lab’s research program is focused on signaling pathways and host factors involved in innate immunity (1), infectious disease and cancer (2,3) with a focus on annexins. She has secured over $3.5 million in grant funding as a principal investigator and has over 35 internationally peer reviewed paper.

Hartmut Luecke
Hartmut “Hudel” Luecke (born in Göttingen, Germany) is a structural biologist with an emphasis on membrane proteins and structure-based drug discovery.  He received his B.S. from Heidelberg University (Physics, Chemistry & Computer Science), his Ph.D. from Rice University in 1990 (Macromolecular Crystallography) and performed postdoctoral work with Robert Huber at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried.  He spent the next three years at the Stanford Synchrotron as a Structural Biologist before joining the faculty at the University of California, Irvine. in 1996, where he is Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Computer Science.  He is also the founding director of the UC Irvine Center for Biomembrane Systems.

Reginald O. Morgan
Reg is Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the University Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain. His research there focuses on the bioinformatic analysis of gene families and the study of protein interaction properties. His academic degrees were from the University of Toronto, Queen's Pharmacology, and McGill Physiology (PhD 1981) at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal in Canada. His postdoctoral training continued in eicosanoid regulation of insulin secretion in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan and the Department of Pharmacology at the Medical College of Virginia. He was a Visiting Associate during 5½ years with Kevin J. Catt in the Endocrinology and Reproduction Research Branch of NICHHD-NIH Bethesda and pursued independent research on signal transduction involving annexins as Research Scholar for 3½ years at Children's National Medical Center and George Washington University in Washington DC.

The Annexin Laboratory in Oviedo combines experimental molecular biology research under the direction of Dr. Pilar Fernandez (Reg’s wife) with the computational modeling of annexin structure, function and evolution. The objective is to decipher the key functional features, mechanisms and specific roles of diverse and divergent annexins by comparative genomic analysis of the 3 domains of life, now including representatives from bacteria and archaea. Current studies aim to characterize the cellular context of genomic and epigenetic regulation and to associate the consequences of protein modification and network interactions with specific annexin functions and pathologies, especially for the calcium-independent annexins A9 and A10, first identified in this laboratory. The discovery of bona fide receptors and direct genetic links to clinical or population phenotypes represenst a pending challenge to define the true biological role(s) of annexins. 

Stephen E. Moss
Professor Steve Moss holds the Norman Ashton Chair of Biomedical Research at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, where he also founded and was until 2009 the Head of the Division of Cell Biology. He obtained his PhD from Heriot-Watt University in 1986, before moving to a research fellowship at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now CRUK) labs in central London. It was here that he began his work on annexins in the lab of Mike Crumpton, and where as a post-doc, he organised the first annexin symposium that formed part of a Biochemical Society meeting in Aberdeen. In 1990 he took up a Lectureship in the Department of Physiology at University College London, progressing to a Readership in 1995 and then to a Chair in 2000 upon his move to the Institute of Ophthalmology. Since 2000 his interest has focused on the retina, and while continuing his basic science studies on annexin biology he has developed new research programmes aimed at the development of therapeutics for the treatment of age-related macular disease, and new diagnostic tools for glaucoma. His research is funded by grants from the Wellcome Trust, Fight for Sight, the MRC, BBSRC and the British Heart Foundation, and he directs a major industrial collaborative project with GSK. Professor Moss has served on the editorial boards of several journals, he is a member of many learned societies, and recently completed a term of office as President of the European Calcium Society. He is currently Vice-Dean for Enterprise in the Faculty of Brain Sciences at UCL, where he actively promotes new partnerships between academia and industry, and the commercialisation of research.

Mauro Perretti
Since 1991 Dr Perretti has been interested in studying the process of white blood cell trafficking with a initial focus on Annexin A1 (then called lipocortin). Determining the impact of endogenous Annexin A1 in human neutrophil biology (Nat Med 1996) forged the pioneering concept of ‘endogenous anti-inflammatory mediators’ (recapitulated in a groundbreaking 1997 review) that has contributed to the current appreciation of the impact of the resolution of inflammation, or its lack of, in the context of human inflammatory pathology. Over the last decade his interests have branched out on the investigation of specific endogenous mediators and pathways (e.g. melanocortins, galectins, calcitonin and, more recently, resolvins and chemerin peptides) – mainly studied in the context of experimental and human arthritis, sepsis and reperfusion injury, all in all making an internationally recognised contribution to the resolution of inflammation research area.

Presently, the focus of Dr Perretti group is on pro-resolving receptors (e.g. ALX/FPR2; MC1R and MC3R, ChemR23) attempting to understand their physio-pathology and define their pro-resolving signature, using mouse and human cells, models of acute inflammation and proof-of-concept experiments in models of disease, with the ultimate aim to inform innovative therapeutic approaches to exploit the resolution concept. Dr Perretti long-term aim is to add Resolution Pharmacology to the textbooks of Pharmacology of next decade.

Jacob Rand
Dr. Jacob Rand currently serves as Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Vice Chairman for Laboratory Medicine and Director of the Clinical Laboratories at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City.  His background has included training in pathology, clinical medicine, hematology, and postdoctoral laboratory research. He has had a major interest in the enigmatic autoimmune condition known as the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), and specifically in elucidating the mechanisms by which autoantibodies from APS patients trigger thrombosis and pregnancy losses. Together with collaborators, Dr. Rand developed a base of evidence for  the concept that APS autoantibodies disrupt annexin A5 crystallization of anionic phospholipids and thereby accelerate phospholipid-dependent coagulation enzyme reactions. His more recent work has included studies of the effects of synthetic antimalarial drugs on APS immune complexes and annexin A5 crystallization and the demonstration that annexin A5 binds to lipopolysaccharide and attenuates its endotoxin effects.

Carles Rentero
At present, Carles Rentero is a postdoctoral research associate in the Laboratory of Membrane Trafficking, Signalling and Proliferation lead by Prof Carlos Enrich and Assistant Professor at the Dept. of Cell Biology, Immunology and Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Spain. He got his BSc in Biology in 1999 and his PhD in Genetics in 2004, both at the Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona. It was then when he first joined Prof Carlos Enrich lab for 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow and studied Annexin’s regulation of cellular signalling and trafficking. In 2006 Dr Carles Rentero joined the Membrane Cell Biology group lead by Prof Katharina Gaus (Center for Vascular Research, the University of New South Wales, Australia) as a post-doctoral research associate, where he studied the membrane raft’s cellular signalling regulation and specialized in advanced microscopy techniques such as TIRFM, laurdan-two photon and PALM/STORM super-resolution microscopy. In 2009 Dr Carles Rentero was granted with a post-doctoral fellowship and re-joined Prof Carlos Enrich lab at the University of Barcelona. There he came back to Annexin’s field, studying the effect of cholesterol cellular homeostasis in cellular trafficking and the role of AnxA6 in the regulation of the plasma membrane architecture using state-of-the-art microscopy techniques such as TIRFM, STED and PALM super-resolution microscopy. At the same time Dr Carles Rentero is co-leading with Prof Carlos Enrich a liver regeneration project based on AnxA6 knock-out mice that has introduced him into the liver metabolism field.

Ursula Rescher
Ursula Rescher heads a Research Group associated with the Institute of Medical Biochemistry at the Centre for Molecular Biology of Inflammation in Münster, Germany. Professor Rescher´s group is focused on the complex molecular and cellular mechanisms that control the host inflammatory response, especially the signaling events at membrane-bound compartments in the cell that lead to changes in cellular structure and function. She is particularly interested in the biological functions of proteins of the annexin family in the normal and the pathophysiological state. Ursula Rescher joined the Münster Medical School after receiving a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Bonn, Germany.

Jamboor K. Vishwanatha
Special Assistant to the Provost, Center for Diversity and International Programs, Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, Director, Texas Center for Health Disparities, Director, Institute for Cancer Research University of North Texas Health Science Center Fort Worth, Texas USA

Dr. Vishwanatha is a Special Assistant to the Provost for the Center for Diversity and International Programs, Professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, Director of the Texas Center for Health Disparities, and Director of the Institute for Cancer Research at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. 

Dr. Vishwanatha received his Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of South Carolina in 1983. Dr. Vishwanatha’s research is in cancer molecular biology, experimental therapeutics and nanotechnology.  His laboratory is investigating role of Annexin A2 and its associated proteins in the development of aggressive prostate and breast cancers.  He is developing nanotechnology-based therapies for breast and prostate cancer metastases. Dr. Vishwanatha has shown the inverse correlation of Annexin A2 with Her-2 in triple negative breast cancers and demonstrated the important role of exosomal Annexin A2 in angiogenesis and cancer metastasis.

As the director of the Texas Center for Minority Health, Education, Research and Outreach (Texas Center for Health Disparities), a Center of Excellence funded by the National institutes of Health, he has directed health disparity research, education and community outreach programs.  For the past 10 years, he has organized the annual Texas Conference on Health Disparities that attract national speakers and participants.  He is actively involved in programs to diversify the biomedical research workforce.  He is one of 4 principal investigators funded to establish the National Research Mentoring Network by NIH.  He serves on the external advisory committees for St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas; Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama; and Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia.  He has been an active member of the GREAT Group, SACNAS and ABRCMS.

Egle Solito
Egle Solito heads the Immunobiology group at Queen Mary University London (William Harvey Research Institute) studying the impact of peripheral inflammation on the immune cell trafficking across blood brain barriers. Her long-term interest in the biology and pharmacology of Annexin A1 started during her PhD in Italy. She was than awarded an EU fellowship and joined the Institut Cochin de Genetique Moleculaire, in Paris, France. Here she continued her studies on the Annexin A1 transcriptional regulation in cell transformation and differentiation. In 2000, she joined Imperial College London, UK, where she continued her interest in annexin A1 biology under the sponsorship of the Wellcome Trust. Her recent work on the role of ANXA1 in Multiple Sclerosis (PNAS Feature article) has opened important avenues for the exploitation of this molecule pharmacologically or as biomarker for early diagnosis.

Asma Nusrat
Prof Nusrat started her carreer as postdoc at Brigham and women’s hospital, Harvard Medical School. After being an Assitant Prof of Pathology at Harvard she continued her carreer as Associate Professor of Pathology at Emory University, Atlanta. Next, she became full Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at Emory University. Prof Nusrat is currently Professor and director of the experimental pathology deparment at the University of Michigan.

Prof Nusrat has a longstanding interest in studies directed at understanding basic mechanisms of intestinal epithelial barrier regulation and repair during inflammatory states in the gut. Our group demonstrated that pro-inflammatory cytokines induce endocytosis of AJC proteins thereby compromising epithelial barrier function. We defined the mechanisms by which tight junction proteins in the JAM family regulate epithelial permeability. Our studies on the biology of intestinal epithelial desomosomes determined important roles of desmosomal cadherins, Dsg2 and Dsc2 in controlling intestinal epithelial proliferation and migration. In modeling intestinal epithelial wound closure, we identified key regulatory pathways that control coordinated migration and proliferation of the intestinal epithelium required for repair of the epithelial barrier during mucosal inflammation. We defined the critical role of small GTPases as well as membrane raft-associated integrins and annexin family members in controlling intestinal epithelial wound closure. We identified expression of formyl peptide receptors (FPRs) in the intestinal epithelium that not only signal to promote epithelial wound repair in response to endogenous ligands involved in resolution of inflammation but also serve as pattern recognition receptors for commensal bacteria to regulate intestinal epithelial homeostasis and repair. Over the past several years, we have extended our studies to in-vivo and ex-vivo mouse models of inflammation that have provided key insights into the relationship between signaling pathways linking inflammatory cytokines to Wnt- catenin signaling that play critical roles in regulating epithelial proliferation and wound repair during colitis.

Johan Frostegård 
Johan Frostegård holds MD, PhD in experimental medicine and B.A in the History of Economics. Johan is a Professor of Medicine and Head of the Unit for Immunology and Chronic Disease at IMM, at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. He is leading a group of 10-15 research associates. 

He is a specialist in internal medicine and rheumatology and is a senior consultant at the Department of Emergency Medicine, at the Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge.
His research has since long its focus on immune mechanisms in atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and also autoimune diseases. The research group has reported that natural antibodies against phosphorylcholine (anti-PC) have protective properties, in the mentioned conditions and that another phospholipid-targeting protein, Annexin A5, has anti-inflammatory and atheroprotective properties.

Prof.Frostegård is also an academic entrepreneur with a record (Athera Biotechnologies, Sweden). He is an inventor in about 30 patents/patent applications, several granted and around 130 original scientific publications as well as several book chapters. He was a Principal Investigator of CVDIMMUNE, a European consortium with focus on immunological mechanisms for diagnostics/therapy in cardiovascular diseases, Principal Investigator in “Innovations for future health”, VINNOVA, Sweden. Currently, Johan is leading a major working package within the PRESISADSES project_ Initiative for Innovative Medicines.

He is an author with several published novels in Swedish and a recently highly acclaimed book “ Almost all about mankind-and a little more” by the Karolinska University Press, Stockholm Sweden.