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Peer Bork

EMBL - European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Title: Microbiome analysis for human and planetary health

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Peer directs the Heidelberg site (>1000 employees) of EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory) and works in the areas of computational biology and microbiomics. He holds a number of honorary doctorates and professorships and received several important awards.

He has published about 700 research articles, among them more than 80 in Nature, Science or Cell, and is among the most cited researchers in the world (>340.000 citations, H-factor of 236). Peer co-founded five successful biotech companies and is proud that more than 60 of his former associates hold group leader positions in prominent institutions all over the world.

Ileana Cristea

Princeton University

Title: The virus microenvironment: Dynamic cellular communication during viral infection

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Ileana Cristea is the Henry L. Hillman Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. Her laboratory investigates host cell responses to human viral pathogens. She has been at the forefront of bridging developments in mass spectrometry-proteomics to important findings in virology. Her laboratory has contributed to the emergence of the field of nuclear DNA sensing in immune response, has defined organelle remodeling events during viral infections, has described the first characterization of a virus microenvironment, and has discovered antiviral factors for therapeutic intervention. Dr. Cristea is Past-President of US HUPO and Chair of the Infectious Disease Initiative of HUPO.

Melissa Haendel

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Title: Debate on medical data sharing and privacy protection

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Melissa Haendel is the Chief Research Informatics Officer at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical School. Her background is in molecular genetics and translational informatics, with a focus over the past decade on open science and semantic engineering. Dr. Haendel’s vision is to weave together healthcare systems, basic science research, and patient-generated data through the development of data integration technologies and innovative data capture strategies. Dr. Haendel’s research has focused on the integration of genotype-phenotype data to improve rare disease diagnosis and mechanism discovery.

Yves Moreau

KU leuven

Title: Debate on medical data sharing and privacy protection

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Yves Moreau’s research focuses on machine learning for the integration of complex data in clinical genomics and drug discovery: (1) federated analysis of real-world clinical and genomic data, (2) data fusion algorithms for the identification of pathogenic genetic variation in rare genetic disorders and liquid biopsies, and (3) data fusion for drug discovery and drug design. He is also engaged in a reflection on how information technology and artificial intelligence are transforming our world. In particular, he is actively pushing back against abuses of DNA databases as a tool of mass surveillance.

Jussi Taipale

University of Cambridge

Title: Towards predicting gene expression from sequence

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Professor Jussi Taipale obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Helsinki in 1996 and continued at the University of Helsinki for his post doctorate before moving to Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD, USA). Since 2003, he has headed an independent research laboratory focusing on systems biology of growth control and cancer. He has published more than 100 scientific articles of which 22 are in the most prestigious scientific journals (Nature, Science and Cell), won numerous awards and grants (e.g., Anders Jahre Prize for Young Researchers, EMBO Young Investigator, ERC Advanced Grant and Vetenskapsrådet Distinguished Professor Program) and is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of genomics and systems biology. In 2012, Professor Taipale was elected as Member of the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet, which awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In 2017, he took up the position of Herchel Smith Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, UK and also maintains research groups at University of Helsinki, Finland and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

The Taipale group’s main expertise is in high-throughput biology – particularly in combining both experimental and computational approaches. The principal aim of the group is to understand two systems-level questions that are presently poorly understood: the mechanisms that control growth of tissues and organisms, and the rules that specify how DNA sequence determines when and where genes are expressed. The group has experience in high throughput screening using cDNA (Varjosalo et al. Cell 2008), RNA interference (Björklund et al. Nature 2006) and CRISPR (Haapaniemi et al., Nature Medicine 2018), and computational and experimental methods to identify causative regulatory variants and mutations (see Yin et al., Science 2017; Zhu et al., Nature 2018; Jolma et al., Cell 2013 and Nature 2015; Yan et al., Cell 2013 and Nature 2021). In addition, the Taipale group has extensive expertise on mouse models of gene and regulatory region function (see Dumont et al., Science 1998; Ma et al., Cell 2002; Hallikas et al. Cell 2006; Sur et al., Science 2012).

Sarah Teichmann

Wellcome Sanger Institute

Title: Mapping the human body, one cell at a time

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Sarah Teichmann is a systems and genome biologist who heads the Cellular Genetics programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge. Sarah did her PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, was a Beit Memorial Fellow at University College London, and returned to the LMB to start her own group in 2001. In 2013, she moved to the Wellcome Genome Campus, jointly with the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute and the Sanger Institute, and Sarah has been Head of Cellular Genetics at the Sanger Institute since 2016.

Sarah’s research group develops and applies cell atlasing technologies to map human tissue architecture in order to understand health and disease. In 2016, Sarah co-founded the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) consortium, which she continues to co-lead. The HCA aims to create comprehensive reference maps of all human cells and now includes thousands of members from across the world. Sarah is also Director of Research at the Physics Department at the University of Cambridge. Amongst her honours, Sarah is an elected EMBO Member, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Fellow of the Royal Society.

Fabian Theis

Computational Health Center, Institute of Computational Biology ICB

Title: Generative AI for modeling single-cell responses

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Fabian Theis studied Mathematics and Physics and has PhDs in Physics and Computer Science. After different research stays abroad he was a Bernstein fellow leading a junior research group at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, located at the Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organisation at Göttingen. In 2007 he became junior group leader at the Helmholtz Center Munich and associate professor at the Technical University of Munich.

Fabian Theis is director of the Helmholtz Munich Computational Health Center, scientific director of HelmholtzAI and director of Biomedical AI at the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus. Also, he is full professor at the Technical University of Munich, holding the chair ‘Mathematical Modelling of Biological Systems’ and he is associate faculty at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK.

Professor Dr. Dr. Fabian Theis received numerous honours and awards such as one of the prestigious Advanced Grants from the European Research Council (ERC) for his project ”DeepCell.” and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2023 by the German Science Foundation (DFG), the highest endowed German science prize.

Additionally, in 2022 Fabian Theis was accepted for a membership in the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and was appointed to the Board of Directors of Human Cell Atlas, Inc. and to the Human Cell Atlas Organising Committee. In 2023 he was elected as ISCB fellow, honouring his outstanding AI-based Biomedical Research

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