The Fourth UKEV forum meeting - Birmingham University

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Plenary speakers

Professor Alain Brisson

University of Bordeaux, France.

Alain R. Brisson has successively held positions of Research Engineer at the CENG-Grenoble (1981-1986), Director of Research at the INSERM Institute in Strasbourg (1987-1994), Professor of Chemistry at the University of Groningen, Pays-Bas (1994-2001), and then Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Bordeaux and group leader at the CNRS Institute of Chemistry and Biology of Membranes and Nano-objects (CBMN). Since 2011, he has been nominated member of the Institut Universitaire de France.

His main research interests have been to reveal the molecular and supramolecular structure of protein and protein-membrane complexes, to elucidate the basic principles of their assembly in order to understand how they work. "Seeing is believing" is a central dogma of his research.

His current interests concern small membrane vesicles derived from activated cells, called extracellular vesicles (EVs), microvesicles or exosomes. EVs are considered to play major physio-pathological roles in coagulation, inflammation and cell-cell communication and to participate in various diseases, CVD, cancer, auto-immune diseases. In addition, EVs raise high interest for their potential bio-medical applications, as biomarkers, vaccines or drug delivery systems. Our objectives are to provide the "true" images and numbers of EVs in health and disease, and to develop diagnosis assays based on EVs. These questions are investigated by molecular imaging methods -cryo-electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and fluorescence microscopy-, physico-chemistry -flow-cytometry, QCM-D-, biochemistry and protein chemistry.

Stefano Pluchino, MD, PhD

University Reader in Regenerative Neuroimmunology and Honorary Consultant in Neurology, Dept of Clinical Neurosciences - Division of Stem Cell Neurobiology, Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, UK

Stefano Pluchino received his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Siena, Italy, and additional training at Cambridge University, UK.

He is University Reader in Regenerative Neuroimmunology (2016) and Honorary Consultant in Neurology. Hes also non-tenured Professor of Regenerative Neuroscience at the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milano (Italy; since 2005) and adjunct Associate Professor in Neurology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington (USA; since 2008). Stefano Pluchino has been awarded the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (FISM) Rita Levi-Montalcini prize for outstanding research in MS (2007) and the International Royan Award for outstanding research in Stem Cell Biology and Technology (2010). Dr Pluchino is a 2009 Italian Ministry of Health Young Investigator Awardee and 2010 European Research Council (ERC) Starting Independent Researcher and member of the Division of Stem Cell Neurobiology, within the Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

The major contribution of Stefano Pluchino’s studies has been the demonstration of the [constitutive vs inducible] immune modulatory functions of somatic neural stem cells (NSCs). He has published >80 papers on high impact journals that include Nature, Cell Stem Cell, Nat Cell Biol, PNAS, PLoS Med, PLoS Biol, Brain, Ann Neurol, J Neurosci, Nat Rev Neurosci and Physiol Reviews. He sits on the advisory board of international scientific journals and funding bodies and he is inventor in several patents. His publications have received >5000 citations, having an H index of >30.

His major recent focus has been the exploitation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating the therapeutic plasticity of NSCs in inflammatory CNS diseases such as multiple sclerosis, ischemic stroke, and spinal cord injury. Current projects in his lab are exploring the different modalities by which transplanted NSCs engage programs of cell-to-cell communication with cells in the host microenvironment.