Ross Cagan, PhD
Senior Associate Dean for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA
Ross L. Cagan, PhD, is Professor of the Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology and Director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics. He is also Senior Editor of Disease Models and Mechanisms and co-founder of Medros Inc.
Dr. Cagan's laboratory focuses on the use of Drosophila to address disease mechanisms and therapeutics, primarily for cancer. Their work helped validate vandetanib as a therapeutic for Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma, combined Drosophila genetics and medicinal chemistry to develop a new generation of lead compounds that emphasize "balanced polypharmacology", and identified novel mechanisms that direct transformed cells into the first steps towards metastasis.
Combining these basic research approaches, Dr. Cagan has established the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics, in which new tools including 'personalized Drosophila avatars' are developed and used to screen for personalized drug cocktails. Working with co-directors Marshall Posner and Eric Schadt, the CPCT is designed to treat patients with drug combinations that best address the tumor's complexities.
Barbara Engelhardt, PhD
Princeton University, USA
Barbara Engelhardt is an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at Princeton University since 2014. Previously, she was at Duke University where she had been an assistant professor in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and Statistical Sciences. She graduated from Stanford University and received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, advised by Professor Michael Jordan. She did postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago, working with Professor Matthew Stephens. Interspersed among her academic experiences, she spent two years working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a summer at Google Research, and a year at 23andMe. Professor Engelhardt received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, and the Walter M. Fitch Prize from the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. She also received the NIH NHGRI Pathway to Independence Award, a Sloan Faculty Fellowship, and an NSF CAREER award. Her research interests involve statistical models and methods for analysis of high-dimensional data, with a goal of understanding the underlying biological mechanisms of complex phenotypes and human diseases.
Peter Kharchenko received a PhD in biophysics at Harvard University, studying gene regulation and metabolic networks under the advisement of George Church. He then completed a four-year postdoctoral fellowship in computational biology and genomics in the laboratory of Peter Park. His lab specializes in development of statistical and computational methods for analysis of genomic data, including single-cell genomics, as well as application of these approaches to studies of normal and cancer tissue organization.
Daphne Koller (PhD) is the CEO and Founder of insitro, a startup company that aims to rethink drug development using machine learning. She also co-founded and led Coursera, the largest platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs). Daphne was the Rajeev Motwani Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where she served on the faculty for 18 years. She has also been the Chief Computing Officer of Calico, an Alphabet company in the healthcare space. She is the author of over 200-refereed publications appearing in venues such as Science, Cell, and Nature Genetics. Daphne was recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2012 and Newsweek’s 10 most important people in 2010. She has been honored with multiple awards and fellowships during her career including the Sloan Foundation Faculty Fellowship in 1996, the ONR Young Investigator Award in 1998, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 1999, the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award in 2001, the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2004, and the ACM Prize in Computing in 2008. Daphne was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2011 and elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014 and of the International Society of Computational Biology in 2017. Her teaching was recognized via the Stanford Medal for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research, and as a Bass University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.
Xiaole Shirley Liu received PhD in Biomedical Informatics and PhD minor in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2002. She is now Professor of Statistics, Biostatistics and Computational Biology at Harvard University, Director of the Center of Functional Cancer Epigenetics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, associate member of the Broad Institute, and Visiting Professor of Bioinformatics at Tongji Univ. She is a member of the ENCODE consortium and the lead investigator for the Cancer Immune Data Common from National Cancer Institute. Her research focuses on algorithm development and integrative modeling of high throughput genomic data to understand the specificity and function of regulator genes in tumor development, progression, drug response and resistance. She is especially interested in genomics and bioinformatics approaches in cancer epigenetics, cancer immunology, and CRISPR screens for translational cancer research. Her lab developed widely used analysis algorithms for transcription factor motif discovery, ChIP-chip/seq, CRISPR screen, and tumor immune repertoire data analysis. Her computational modeling helped the understanding of ER, AR, FoxA1, XBP1, JARID1B, PBAF regulation as well as BET bromodomain inhibitor, gamma secretase inhibitor, CDK4/6 inhibitor, and immune checkpoint inhibitor function in different cancers in different cancers. Dr. Liu has an H-index of 79 according to Google Scholar statistics and has published over 50 papers in Nature, Science or Cell series journals. She is the recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship, the Richard E. Weitzman Outstanding Early Career Investigator Award from the Endocrine Society, the Claire W. and Richard P. Morse Research Award, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Investigator, the Yangtze River Scholar and 1000 Talent Scholar in China. She has successfully mentored sixteen trainees to start tenure track faculty positions.
Miriam Merad, M.D.; Ph.D. is the Mount Sinai Chair professor in Cancer Immunology and the Director of the Precision Immunology Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
Dr. Merad obtained her MD at the University of Algiers, Algeria. She did her residency in Hematology and Oncology in Paris, France and obtained her PhD in immunology in collaboration between Stanford University and University of Paris VII. She was recruited to Mount Sinai in 2004 and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with Tenure in 2007 and to Full Professor in 2010 and in 2014, she obtained an Endowed Chair Professor in Cancer Immunology.
Dr. Merad’s laboratory studies the contribution of macrophages and dendritic cells to Cancer and Inflammatory disease in mice and Human. Dr. Merad’s pioneering work mapping the regulatory network of dendritic cells (DCs) resulted in identification of a lineage of DC, the CD103+ DC, that is now considered a key target to improve antiviral and antitumor immunity. Another of her key discoveries is that, contrary to the previously-held beliefs that monocytes are precursors of macrophages, she found that tissue-resident macrophages in fact arise from embryonic precursors that take residence in tissues prior to birth and are maintained independently of adult hematopoiesis. These insights are now being used to develop novel macrophage and dendritic cell-specific targets for the treatment of Cancer and Inflammatory diseases. Dr. Merad has authored more than 160 primary papers and reviews in high profile journals. Dr. Merad receives generous funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for her research on innate immunity and their contribution to human disease, and belongs to several NIH consortia. She is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and lectures around the world on her work.
Ana Pombo investigates how the 3D folding of chromosomes influences gene expression in mammalian development and disease, and epigenetic mechanisms that prime genes for future activation. She received her DPhil from University of Oxford (1998, UK) where she identified transcription factories in mammalian nuclei. She was awarded a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (UK; 1998-2002), and started leading her research group in 2000 at the MRC London Institute for Medical Sciences, Imperial College London (UK). Her laboratory moved to the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, at the Max Delbrueck Center (Berlin, Germany) in 2013, and she was appointed Professor (W3) at Humboldt University of Berlin. Her lab has developed Genome Architecture Mapping (GAM), an exquisite technology to map the 3D structure of chromosomes genome-wide. GAM is uniquely powerful to quantify the higher-order complexity of 3D genome and the study of rare cell types directly from tissue, avoiding dissociation, including from precious human biopsies. These developments open a huge field of potential applications to identify the
genes affected by disease-associated genetic variants present in non-coding parts of the genome, through long-range chromatin contacts.
Dr. Ren is Member of the Ludwig Cancer Research (LCR), Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Director of the UCSD Center for Epigenomics. Dr. Ren obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1998, and subsequently conducted postdoc research at the Whitehead Institute. He joined the faculty at LCR and UCSD in 2001, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007 and to Full Professor in 2009. Dr. Ren is studying how gene expression is regulated in mammalian cells, and how its dysregulation leads to cancer and other human disease. His lab has developed transformative tools and concepts for global analysis of transcriptional control elements and chromatin organization. He is a recipient of the Chen Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in Human Genetic and Genomic Research, and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Adam Siepel is a Professor in the Watson School of Biological Sciences and Chair of the Simons Center for Quantitative Biology at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, with adjunct appointments at Cornell University and Stony Brook University. Originally trained as a computer scientist, Siepel has done influential work in molecular evolution, human population genetics, and transcriptional regulation. He was a member of the faculty of the department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology at Cornell University from 2006-2014 and has been at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 2014. Siepel is a winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, a Packard Fellowship, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and a Sloan Research Fellowship.