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Our mission is to develop a radically new approach for the treatment of severe, chronic autoimmune diseases.

Scientific Advisory Board

EvaMartinez

Prof. Eva M MARTINEZ-CACERES, M.D., Ph.D.

Head of the Immunology Division and Associate Professor of Immunology at the Autonomous University Barcelona (Spain)

Eva Martínez-Cáceres, MD (University of Valencia, Spain), trained as specialist in clinical Immunology (Clinic Hospital, Barcelona, Spain), obtained her PhD on the role of CD27 in human thymus (U. Barcelona, UB, 1993). Her post-doctoral research (The Netherlands Cancer Institute) was devoted to analyse mechanisms of human T-cell development. In 1996 she moved back to Barcelona, (Vall d’Hebron Hospital), where she started her research on the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). In 2001 she moved to Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, as consultant immunologist, where she expanded her scientific interest to other autoimmune diseases, mechanisms of immunological tolerance and diagnostic immunology.

Her research focuses on the analysis of immunological mechanisms of peripheral tolerance. By using in vitro and animal models, her group aims at identifying new biomarkers for disease monitoring and prediction of treatment response, in the context of immune-mediated diseases. Since 2007 she has been involved in the development of cell-based tolerance-inducing therapies for autoimmune diseases, specifically MS. Her group has developed a tolerogenic cellular product consisting of autologous monocyte-derived tolerogenic dendritic cells loaded with a pool of myelin peptides to treat MS patients. This therapy has been tested in animal models of MS and a Phase I/IIa clinical trial is ongoing in active MS patients (Clinicaltrial.gov NCT02903537).

Currently, she is Head of the Immunology Division and Associate Professor of Immunology at the Autonomous University Barcelona (UAB). She has chaired the European COST Action A-FACTT (Action to Focus and accelerate cell-based tolerogenic Therapies) (www.afactt.eu) (2014-2017) and currently is the Vice-president of the Spanish Society of Immunology.


ChantalMathieu

Prof. Chantal MATHIEU, M.D., Ph.D.

Chair of Endocrinology at University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven and Chair European Diabetes Forum (Belgium)

Chantal Mathieu is a physician-scientist who has contributed to the field of diabetes and endocrinology both on the basic and the clinical research side. Her work in animal models of type 1 diabetes has established 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 as immune modulator and her demonstration of the potential of Lactococcus Lactis as carrier tool for peptides and proteins was the basis for a worldwide clinical trial in people with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes. Her research group was amongst the first to demonstrate the relevance of post-translational modifications of beta-cell peptides and proteins in autoantigen generation in murine and human type 1 diabetes. Her clinical work involving new products and treatment paradigms in diabetes, like new insulins, adjunct therapies in type 1 diabetes and diagnosis of gestational diabetes as well as her educational skills have made her a prominent speaker in international fora. Finally, her organizational skills were instrumental in shaping diabetes care in Belgium, promoting shared-care, positioning of diabetes education and reimbursement of novel technologies. She is a co-author of several consensus papers, including the 2018-19 ADA/EASD Consensus on glucose lowering therapies in type 2 diabetes. She leads presently the private-public partnership INNODIA sponsored through the EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (www.innodia.eu). This pan-European INNODIA project is a consortium of over 40 academic and industry partner institutions and 50 satellite clinical recruitment centers on biomarker discovery and interventions targeting prevention and arrest of type 1 diabetes. She has, from the beginning of the INNODIA project, put the people and families living with type 1 diabetes at the center of the work, through the establishment of the Patient Advisory Committee. Since 2018, she is (senior) vice-president of EASD (www.easd.org), chair of postgraduate education where she established an e-learning platform (www.easd-elearning.org) and since 2020 she chairs the European Diabetes Forum (www.eudf.org).


MarcelleVanMechelen

Dr. Marcelle VAN MECHELEN, Ph.D.

Independent senior scientific advisor in the fields of vaccine, autoimmunity, oncology and regenerative medicine (Belgium)

Marcelle Van Mechelen is a seasoned senior scientific executive with over 30 years of experience in vaccinology and immunology.

Marcelle obtained her PhD immunology and started her scientific career as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Free University of Brussels and Erasme Hospital in Belgium.

During 20 years, she led various multidisciplinary teams at GlaxoSmithKline Vaccine focusing on preclinical and clinical research, exploring fields such as new vaccine design and mechanism of protection against infectious diseases, auto-immune diseases and cancer. In her functions at GSK, Marcelle headed research on mechanism of actions of adjuvants, deciphering interlink between innate and adaptive immune response induced following vaccination, and led the development and implementation of preclinical and clinical immune monitoring tools.

Since 2015, she has been as senior consultant supporting biotechnology companies in the fields of vaccine, autoimmunity, oncology and regenerative medicine.


MarkAnderson

Prof. Mark ANDERSON, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor in the UCSF Diabetes Center (San Francisco, USA)

Dr. Anderson is a Professor in the UCSF Diabetes Center and is a leading expert in the understanding of autoimmune diseases and their underpinnings. His major scientific contributions involve unraveling the mechanisms by which a key transcription factor called Aire promotes immune tolerance. He continues to make significant contributions in this area of research and even has developed translational approaches to his findings that involve manipulating this key tolerance mechanism. As a leader in the translation of Immunology to human health, Dr. Anderson is a co-founder of ImmunoX, a novel program to harness the immune system for human health at UCSF and he is also President of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS). He is a practicing Diabetologist and serves in an advisory capacity for the translation of immunology to autoimmunity including service as a Deputy Director in the Immune Tolerance Network, a NIH-sponsored multi-center clinical trial consortium whose focus is on manipulating tolerance in autoimmunity, allergy, and transplantation. He has also served as chair of the Hypersensitivity, Autoimmune and Immune-mediated Disease (HAI) study section for the National Institutes of Health and was recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Anderson also serves as Director of the UCSF MD/PhD training program and as Interim Director of the UCSF Diabetes Center.


BartLambrecht

Prof. Bart N. LAMBRECHT, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at Erasmus MC and at UGent, and director of the VIB Inflammation Research (Belgium)

Bart N. Lambrecht obtained an MD (1993) and PhD (1999) in Medicine at Ugent and specialized in Pulmonary Medicine (2002) at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He is Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at Erasmus MC and at UGent, Belgium, and since 2012 the director of the VIB Inflammation Research Center, hosting 350 scientists. He is a multiple ERC grant awardee and serves on the editorial board of Trends in Immunology and Journal of Experimental Medicine. He has (co)authored 356 papers in the field of asthma and allergy and respiratory viral infection.Together with Prof. Hamida Hammad he leads a research unit of 25 people. The research in their unit is centered around the role of antigen-presenting in asthma and respiratory viral infection. They study how DCs and macrophages get activated to bridge innate and adaptive immunity in the lung and cause inflammation in response to allergen inhalation or exacerbations by respiratory virus. They focus on the traditional immunological functions of APCs, but the research team is also known for their approach on how epithelial cells and innate immune cells communicate with APCs to cause or perpetuate disease. Their research strategy is to continuously develop new tools and therapeutic targets, so that they can tackle questions in an innovative and competitive manner.Their ultimate goal is to find novel ways to prevent and treat asthma, and to achieve this goal they set up early stage collaborations with Biotech and Pharma, to take their ideas to the clinic. Since the COVID-19 crisis, he has initiated two large multi-center trials on new immunomodulators in COVID-19, the SARPAC trial testing the effect of inhaled GM-CSF; and the COV-AID trial addressing the impact of early interleukin-1 and -6 blockade in COVID-19. A full list of publications can be found at https://biblio.ugent.be/person/801000968239


AdrianListon

Dr. Adrian LISTON, Ph.D.

Senior Group Leader at the Babraham Institute (Cambridge, UK)

Adrian Liston is Senior Group Leader at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge. His PhD research was on T cell tolerance and diabetes with Professor Chris Goodnow at the Australian National University, followed by post-doctoral research on regulatory T cell biology with Professor Sasha Rudensky at the University of Washington. From 2009-2018, Liston ran his independent laboratory and founded two core facilities, on flow cytometry and CrispR, at the VIB and the University of Leuven, in Belgium. In 2019, Liston relocated his research team to the Babraham Institute, in Cambridge, UK.

The Liston laboratory currently works on understanding the interaction between the immune system and the tissues, in particular the brain. The laboratory has previously worked on autoimmune genetics, diabetes, primary immunodeficiencies, the thymus and regulatory T cells. Adrian Liston has been awarded the Francqui Chair, Eppendorf prize and three ERC grants, among other honours.

Adrian Liston has published more than 160 scientific papers, with over 9000 citations, including key publications in the fields of:

  • thymus biology (Liston et al, Nature Immunology 2003; Liston et al, JEM 2004; Papadopoulou et al, Nature Immunology 2012)
  • diabetes (Liston et al, Immunity 2004; Nature Genetics 2016)
  • immunodeficiency-autoimmunity (Siggs et al, Immunity 2007; Liston et al, Nature Reviews Immunology 2008)
  • human immunology (Carr et al, Nature Immunology 2016; Masters et al, Science Translational Medicine 2016)
  • regulatory T cell biology (Liston et al, JEM 2008; Linterman et al, Nature Medicine 2011; Pierson et al, Nature Immunology 2013; Liston and Gray, Nature Reviews Immunology 2014)
  • neuroimmunology (Pasciuto et al, Cell 2020)

For a complete list of laboratory publications, click here.


PatrickVermersch

Prof. Patrick VERMERSCH, M.D., Ph.D.

Vice-president for research in biology and health at the University of Lille (France)

Patrick Vermersch studied medicine at the University Hospital in Lille, France, where he graduated in neurology. He then completed his education in more basic research fields, mainly in cellular biology between 1990 and 1994 with a PhD focused on biochemical abnormalities associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. He has also conducted research related to the characterisations of post-transcriptional anomalies of Tau proteins. His research interests then turned to multiple sclerosis (MS). In the year 2000, he created with colleagues the first MS network in northern France to improve both care and research into MS.

Prof. Vermersch is in a department of neurology at the University of Lille, which deals with MS and other neuroinflammatory diseases. The department’s principal scientific interests are neuroimmunology and markers of disease evolution. In 2019 he became a board member of the European Charcot Foundation.

Prof. Vermersch is currently vice-president for research in biology and health at the University of Lille. His current areas of interest are prognostic markers of MS, development of new therapeutic targets and neuroimmunology in general. He participates in many therapeutic protocols on MS as member of steering committees. He has published approximately 420 scientific papers as author or co-author.


MichaelVincent

Dr. Michael VINCENT, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Vice President and CSO of Inflammation and Immunology at Pfizer (USA)

Mike Vincent, MD, PhD, is Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Inflammation and Immunology Research Unit, leading the scientific pipeline for Rheumatology, Gastroenterology and Dermatology specialties through the end of phase 2. 

Dr. Vincent earned his BA, PhD, and MD degrees from Indiana University.  He completed his residency and began his post-doctoral and rheumatology training at the University of Vermont, completing his fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  His research while on faculty at Harvard centered on human T cell-dendritic cell interactions, and basic mechanisms of autoimmunity.

Since joining Pfizer in 2011, he has held several scientific leadership roles, most recently as Clinical Head for Pharmatherapeutics in Cambridge, MA.  Over this period, he has had responsibility for clinical and translational science in the Inflammation and Immunology, Rare Disease and the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Research Units, and the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation.

Before joining Pfizer, Dr. Vincent held positions of increasing responsibility within Medical Sciences at Amgen, ultimately leading early clinical development for the Immunology and Neuroscience therapeutic areas.

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