Speakers for SCSB's 6th annual meeting

Prof. Alan Russell from Carnegie Mellon University (US), Prof. Peter Tompa, from Vrije Universiteit (BE) and more a comming to Hafjell for the SCSB's 6th annual meeting.

Plenary speakers:

Prof. Alan Russell, Carnegie Mellon Uni. [Key note speaker]

Alan Russell is a professor of surgery -- and of chemical engineering. In crossing the two fields, he is expanding our palette of treatments for disease, injury and congenital defects. We can treat symptoms, he says, or we can replace our damaged parts with bioengineered tissue. As he puts it: "If newts can regenerate a lost limb, why can't we?"

Within the scientific community, Dr. Russell has participated on 24 advisory boards. Since the outset of his career, he has received numerous prestigious awards for his contributions to research, teaching and public service. These awards include R&D 100 Award – 2000 (R&D Magazine), three Carnegie Science Center Awards for Excellence – 2000 to 2006, sixteen consecutive appearances in Who's Who in Science and Engineering – 1992 through present, the Gilbreth lectureship from the National Academy of Engineering – 2004, and the Cockroft Rutherford lectureship from the University of Manchester – 2007, the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Manchester – 2008, #32 in Rolling Stone's "Top 100 People who will change America" – 2009, and the American Chemical Society's Pittsburgh Award – 2010.

Prof. Peter Tompa, Vrije Uni. Brussel

Peter Tompa is a professor in structural biology. His focus of our research is the phenomenon of structural disorder of proteins. It has been recently recognized that regions of proteins or even full-length proteins exist and function without well-defined 3D structures, which challenged the classical structure-function paradigm and called for studies aiming at understanding this phenomenon in detail. These studies have shown that structural disorder is prevalent in eukaryotic proteomes and disordered proteins carry out unique functions. Due to their frequent involvement in regulatory and signaling functions, structural disorder also plays important roles in serious diseases, such as cancer and neurodegeneration.

His contribution to the study of structural disorder has already progressed way beyond simply establishing the disordered status of a protein. His idea is that detailed experimental and theoretical characterization of the structural ensemble of disordered proteins in isolation, their structure in complex with their physiological partner(s), and the thermodynamics and kinetics of their interactions with their partners, hold the key to understanding these proteins and extending the structure –function paradigm to the disordered state.

Prof. Aldo Boccaccini, Uni. of Erlangen-Nuremberg/Imperial College

Aldo Boccaccini is a professor of Materials Science and Engineering. The research activities of Prof. Boccaccini are in the broad area of glasses, ceramics and polymer/glass composites for biomedical, functional and/or structural applications.

He has also developed the electrophoretic deposition technique for production of nanostructured materials and composites with defined surface topography with potential use in the biomedical field.

Assoc. Prof. Ólafur E. Sigurjónsson, Reykjavik Uni.

Ólafur E. Sigurjónsson’s research focuses on developing clinical grade methods for expansion and differentiation of stem cells. His lab runs the only clinical cell therapy service in the country, harvesting, processing and storage of hematopoietic stem cells that are used as a autolgous support method in patients undergoing strong chemotherapy for myelomas, lymphomas etc.

He is currently working on analyzing the role that chitooligosaccharide play in expansion of mesenchymal stem cells and bone and cartilage differentiation and the role that chitosane like proteins play in bone and cartilage differentiation.

Assoc. Prof. Alamelu Sundaresan, Texas Southern Uni. /NASA Johnson Space Center

Alamelu Sundaresan’s research focus is on the biological effects of microgravity and radiation on astronauts. Bone loss has been documented for many years in microgravity (1-2% a month). Increased bone loss and risk of fractures is an identified risk in the Bioastronautics critical roadmap for long term cosmic missions to the moon and mars. In vitro drug screening both in 1g, microgravity and artificial gravity is essential to adequately address countermeasures for bone loss.

She has developed a 3D cell culture using a specialized rotating-wall vessel culture system to address a more physiologically relevant model to the human body. The use of the cells by themselves also eliminates confounding variables such as neuroendocrine stress found in vivo.

Published Dec. 3, 2012 12:00 AM - Last modified Apr. 23, 2014 4:16 PM