International Advisory Board

Professor Chas Bountra, University of Oxford, UK

Chas Bountra is Professor of Translational Medicine in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine and Associate Member of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford. He is also a Visiting Professor in Neuroscience and Mental Health at Imperial College, London. Chas is an invited expert on several government and charitable research funding bodies, and an advisor for many academic, biotech and pharma drug discovery programmes.

Professor Tony Cass, Imperial College, UK

Tony Cass is Professor of Chemical Biology in the Department of Chemistry and Institute of Biomedical Engineering.  He trained originally as a chemist with degrees from the Universities of York and Oxford. His research interests are in the field of analytical biotechnology both in the use of molecular engineering and design to produce new reagents for biosensors and bioanalysis and in microfabrication for device structures. He pioneered the use of synthetic electron transfer mediators for enzyme biosensors and his work in this area led to the development of the first electronic blood glucose measuring system, commercialised by MediSense Inc. (now part of Abbott Diagnostics), and the award of the Royal Society's Mullard Medal (along with Professor HAO Hill FRS and Dr MJ Green) and a Chemical Landmark Award (with Professor HAO Hill FRS and Dr Graham Davis).

Professor Alex Doemling, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Alexander Doemling is Professor of University of Groningen and chair Drug Design Group. As a Feodor Lynen stipendiat funded by the Humboldt foundation he spend his postdoc time with Nobel Laureate Barry Sharpless at The Scripps Research Institute. His research interest include the development of computational and experimental techniques of early drug discovery. Dömling is a strong believer in structure-based drug design and is thus working on multiple targets in the area of immune-cancer, inflammation, infectious disease and orphan diseases. He is author of over 200 publications, reviews, books and patent applications. As an innovator and serial entrepreneur he is founder of several biotechnology companies.

Professor Kristina Djinović-Carugo, University of Vienna, Austria

Kristina Djinović-Carugo is Professor of Structural Biology at University of Vienna and Head of research group Structural Biology of Cytoskeleton. Professor Kristina, joined the Max F. Perutz Laboratories in 2004, and since 2009 heads the Department for Structural and Computational Biology. She also leads the Center for Optimised Structural Studies, a joint venture between University of Vienna, Vienna Campus Biocenter Facilities, the Institute of Molecular Pathology and BIOMIN, and is vice-speaker of the International PhD Program “Integrative Structural Biology”, a cooperation of the University of Vienna, the Medical University of Vienna and the Institute of Molecular Pathology.  Professor Kristina’s group focuses on structural biology of the cytoskeleton. Muscle proteins, in particular the striated muscle sarcomere compartment Z-disk, have a striking number of protein-protein interactions and are of special interest to her and her group.

Professor Ryszard Frackowiak, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Ryszard Frackowiak was until recently a Director of Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Head of Service of Neurology, CHUV University Hospital. Professor Richard Frackowiak was studied medicine at the University of Cambridge where he first became interested in the neurosciences. His research interest is the functional and structural architecture of the human brain in health and disease. He has pioneered the development and introduction of positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging and prosecuted a research programme dedicated to understanding the organisation of human brain functions, but his focus has been on plasticity and mechanisms for functional recuperation after brain injury and the patho-physiology of cerebral neurodegenerations. Most recently he have introduced computerised image classification for diagnosis and treatment monitoring into clinical science.

Prof. Vivienne Gianinazzi-Pearson, Technopôle Agro-Environnement Agronov, Bretenière, France

Vivienne Gianinazzi-Pearson has achieved major milestones in defining symbiosis-driven functional cellular integration, host genetic determinants of symbiosis, mycorrhiza-induced stress resistance mechanisms, fungal gene components in symbiosis regulation and symbiosis ecotechnology, with emphasis on mycorrhiza symbioses. Professor Gianinazzi-Pearson obtained her PhD at Sheffield University (UK) and held positions of Scientific Officer at Rothamsted Experimental Station (UK), CNRS Research Director (Dijon FR), Team Leader and Head of Department (CNRS/INRA/University), Guest Professor (Key Chinese Universities) and Managing Editor of Mycorrhiza. She is presently Co-ordinator of the International Bank for Glomeromycota, and Scientific Advisor for Biotechnology Start-Ups (FR) and IFS (NGO, SE).

Professor Bill Hansson, Max Planck Society, Germany

Bill Hanson is Vice president of the Max Planck Society. Professor Hansson worked as postdoc at the University of Arizona and returned 1990 to a junior professorship in Lund. In 1992 he became Associate Professor and from 2000 until 2001 he was a Professor for Chemical Ecology at Lund University (2000). From 2001 he was Professor and Head of the Chemical Ecology department at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Alnarp, Sweden, until he was appointed Director and Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany in 2006. He is head of the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology. In 2010 the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena appointed him Honorary Professor. Hansson’s research focuses on neuroethological aspects of insect-insect and insect-plant interactions. 

Dr Tim Hammonds, Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories, UK

Tim Hammonds is Deputy Director of  Discovery at Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories in London. Tim has been in his current role at CRT-DL since April 2014. He leads multiple aspects of translational drug discovery and has strategic responsibility for the Cancer Biology Advisory Board and the design, planning, negotiation and management of multi-site academia-industry alliances. During his 16 years at CRT, Tim has been central to establishing our small molecule drug discovery capabilities. Tim joined CRT-DL after 5 years postdoctoral enzymology research at the University of Leicester. He has a degree in Pharmacy and a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry and microbiology from the University of Nottingham.

Professor Robert Huber, Max Planck Society, Germany

Robert Huber in 1971 became a director at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry where his team developed methods for the crystallography of proteins. In 1988 he received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry jointly with Johann Deisenhofer and Hartmut Michel. The trio were recognized for their work in first crystallizing an intramembrane protein important in photosynthesis in purple bacteria, and subsequently applying X-ray crystallography to elucidate the protein's structure. The information provided the first insight into the structural bodies that performed the integral function of photosynthesis. This insight could be translated to understand the more complex analogue of photosynthesis in cyanobacteria which is essentially the same as that in chloroplasts of higher plants. In 2006, he took up a post at the Cardiff University to spearhead the development of Structural Biology at the university on a part-time basis. Since 2005 he has been doing research at the Center for medical biotechnology of the University of Duisburg-Essen. 

Professor Jacek Kuźnicki, International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw, Poland

Jacek Kuźnicki is Director of the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw, Head of the Laboratory of Neurodegeneration and a corresponding member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Kuźnicki’s research team is interested in molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular mechanisms of Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, disorders of calcium and beta-catenin signalling, as well as searches for new biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. Part of this research is carried out with the use of a model organism Danio rerio.

Professor Avigdor Scherz, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Avigdor Scherz is Professor at Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Prof. Avigdor earned his BSc, MSc and PhD (attained in 1981) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in physics, chemistry, and biophysics, respectively. He did postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana and at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 1983, he joined the Weizmann Institute, currently as a member of the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. He served as Director of the National Avron-Even Ari Minerva Center for Research in Photosynthesis. In the last 5 years the lab of Prof. Scherz has also been developing novel approaches for the treatment of keratoconus and degenerative myopia, which impair vision and may result in blindness. In the field of photosynthesis, Prof. Scherz’s group has recently resolved structural elements that enable different organisms to perform photosynthesis in extreme conditions; the group has developed a new thermo-tolerant species for increased biomass and hydrogen production.

Professor Grzegorz Węgrzyn, University of Gdansk, Poland

Grzegorz Węgrzyn is a Head of Deparment of Molecular Biology at Universty of Gdans. He is the Chairman of the Committee of Molecular Cell Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences. He is engaged in studies on molecular biology, genetic diseases, DNA biochips and microbial genetics. He led the research team that developed a new, and also the first effective treatment for Sanfilippo disease, allowing to stop the destructive processes of the disease. In recognition of these studies, he was the winner of the competition "Gdynia without barriers", organized for several years by the city of Gdynia.

Professor Eva Jakab Toth, CNRS, France

Eva Jakab Toth is Director of the Centre for Molecular Biophysics in Orléans, France. Professor Jakab Toth is author of 144 scientific publications in internationally renowned journals, 13 book chapters and three patents, and co-editor of the book “The Chemistry of Contrast Agents in Medical Magnetic Resonance Imaging”,  published  by  Wiley  &  Sons,  2001,  2nd edition  2013. Her research interests concern the development  of  paramagnetic metal complexes as potential contrast agents (high efficiency and smart molecular imaging probes) in Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Professor Eva Jakab Toth was member  of  the  Scientific  Advisory  Board  of  the  Max  Planck  Institute  for  Biological  Cybernetics, Tubingen, Germany (2007-2016) and since 2011 she is member of the Scientific Council of the Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, Strasbourg, France.