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Invited Speakers


Invited Speakers

Juan Amaral

Juan Amaral

Juan Amaral
Staff Scientist. National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health. Office of the Scientific Director. Ocular and Stem Cell Translational Research Unit.

A swine model of RPE-injury induced retinal degeneration used to test the efficacy of a human iPSC-RPE transplant

Obtained medical degree from Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1983, residency in Ophthalmology and Research and Clinical Fellowship in vitreo-retinal diseases and surgery at the Jorge Malbran Argentinean Ophthalmologic Foundation. Twelve years of clinical experience in vitreo-retinal diseases and surgery. Special focus in the diagnosis and treatment of neo-vascular, degenerative and inflammatory posterior segment eye diseases. Incorporated to the Intramural program of the National Eye Institute in 2002, main focus the design and development of animal models of degenerative chorioretinal diseases in mammals to test the efficacy of novel treatments for eye diseases. Since 2013 works in the Ocular and Stem Cell Translational Research Unit developing a swine model of RPE-injury retinal degeneration mimicking the dry form of age related macular degeneration (main cause of irreversible visual loos in the elderly population) as well as surgical techniques for RPE scaffold implantation using a human iPSC-RPE patch and in-vivo functional studies to test its ability recovering the damage retina.

Doug Burrin

Doug Burrin

Doug Burrin
Research Physiologist, USDA-ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center; Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine

New Insights into Pediatric Nutrition and GI Development using Piglets

Doug Burrin obtained his B.S. degree in animal science at Purdue University and Ph.D. in animal science at University of Nebraska. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the USDA-ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center (CNRC) in Houston where he is currently appointed as a Research Physiologist with USDA-ARS and Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Burrin is recognized for his research in the area of human and domestic animal nutrition, metabolism and gastroenterology. Dr. Burrin has been a leader in use of pig as a translational, dual purpose animal model. His research on nutritional and hormonal regulation of gut development, growth and nutrition has impacted both human pediatric gastroenterology and swine nutrition. Dr. Burrin has received national awards for his research in the area of pediatric nutrition and gastroenterology including the Mead Johnson Award from the American Society for Nutrition and the Growth and Development Award from the American Society for Animal Science. He is internationally-recognized for his NIH-funded research on the function of glucagon-like peptide 2 and the role of parenteral nutrition on neonatal intestine and liver development. Dr. Burrin has more than 180 publications and currently serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Physiology-GI & Liver Section, and is a past board member of the Journal of Nutrition, Journal of Animal Science and Domestic Animal Endocrinology.

Dan Carlson

Dan Carlson

Dan Carlson
Recombinetics

Gene edited swine models and solutions for regenerative Medicine.

Dan is a “farm kid” from southwestern Minnesota that took an interest in biotechnology when his family began planting GM crops in the 90’s.  In pursuit of this interest, Dan attended the University of Minnesota where he earned a PhD in Animal Sciences with an emphasis in biotechnology and molecular genetics.  The focus of his research is the refinement and application of methodology for genetic engineering in livestock.  Through his 13 years in biotechnology research, Dan has led the development of transposon systems and gene-editing technology in livestock.  Dan is the Vice President of Development at Recombinetics where he directs the application of gene-editing to develop products while continuing to innovate in the field of genome engineering and develop intellectual property.

Harry Dawson

Harry Dawson

Harry Dawson
Senior Scientist

Comparative Nutrigenomics of the Pig, Mouse and Human

Dr. Harry Dawson earned his Ph.D. in Nutrition from Pennsylvania State University in 1998. He completed his post-doctoral work in the Laboratory of Clinical Immunology at the Gerontology Research Center of the National Institute on Aging in 2001. Since 2001, Dr. Dawson has worked in the Diet Genomics and Immunology Laboratory in the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center.  He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a former Associate Editor of the Journal of Nutrition. Dr. Dawson conducts studies on the interactions between nutritional factors (primarily vitamin A and D) and immune function or inflammation in swine as surrogates for humans. He has also conducted several large-scale comparative genomic analyses of the porcine immunome and inflammasome.  He maintains the Porcine Translational Research database, a bioinformantics database devoted to cross-species (mouse-pig-human) model comparisons.

Juan Carlos Izpisua-Belmonte

Belmonte John

Juan Carlos Izpisua-Belmonte
Roger Guillemin Chair & Professor; Salk Institute

Keynote Address- Biomedicine: Stem Cells and Organ Generation: In vitro and In vivo approaches

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte obtained his pharmacology degree at the University of Valencia, and  a Ph.D.  at Universities of Bologna and Valencia. He conducted postdoctoral studies at the EMBL, Heidelberg and UCLA in Los Angeles. He has been at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies since 1993. Izpisua Belmonte is interested in elucidating the cellular and molecular basis of embryonic development as well as in tissue/organ regeneration. His early work helped to understand fundamental genetic and cellular principles that govern vertebrate development and tissue and organ regeneration. They constituted the basis from where he has developed discoveries and new methodologies for regenerative medicine

Rodney Johnson

Rodney Johnson

Rodney Johnson
Professor of Integrative Immunology and Behavior, Department of Animal Sciences; Director, Division of Nutritional Sciences

Developmental origins of altered stress resilience:  The yin and yang of microglia activation

Dr. Rodney Johnson is a professor of integrative immunology and behavior in the University of Illinois Department of Animal Sciences and Director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences. His research investigates how perinatal infection, nutrition, and birth weight affect brain and cognitive development; and how aging results in neuroinflammation and deterioration of brain health.  Johnson has published over 135 peer reviewed papers and is a University Scholar. Johnson earned a B.S. from Truman State University and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. After postdoctorate training at Iowa State University, he joined the University of Illinois faculty in 1993.

Kiho Lee

Kiho Lee

Kiho Lee
Assistant Professor; Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA

 

Kiho Lee graduated from Seoul National University with a Bachelor's degree in Animal Sciences. Then he received MS and PhD from Purdue University. After working on his postdoc training at University of Missouri-Columbia, he joined Virginia Tech in 2013 where he is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences. Dr. Lee’s lab currently focuses on early embryonic development using the pig as a model. Understanding mechanisms underlying the dynamic changes that occur during embryonic development can lead us to develop more efficient ways to generate and manipulate embryos in vitro. One of his main research interests is to identify the mechanism of epigenetic reprogramming by oocytes after fertilization. Specifically, he is interested in how oocytes can modulate the status of DNA methylation during early embryo development. His group also focuses on developing optimal use of gene-editing systems to introduce targeted modifications during embryogenesis.

Jonathan Lightner

Lightner Jonathan

Jonathan Lightner
Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D  Genus plc

Keynote Address- Agriculture: Agriculture: Genome Editing for Agricultural Applications

Jonathan is a world renowned molecular geneticist, whose career has encompassed R&D, regulatory and commercial activities. He joined Genus plc in October 2013 from Pioneer Hi-bred International Inc, a DuPont business, where he was Vice President of Agricultural Biotechnology, leading a global team focused on new genetic solutions to enhance agricultural productivity. He obtained his Doctorate in Plant Physiology at the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Washington State University in 1994. He also holds a Masters in Systems Engineering from Iowa State (2009) and an MBA from the University of Iowa (2009). He has been issued over 40 patents in key areas related to crop improvement.  Some of the results of his Ph.D. work are currently commercialized in improved oilseed products such as Plenish® Soybean.  He has extensive leadership experience extending from discovery research through to commercial development of new technologies. In addition to his CSO role he is a strategic advisor to Benson Hill Biosystems, a biotech startup applying cloud biology to the challenge of enhancing crop productivity and a co-owner Maggie’s farm, a small family farm in Wisconsin.

Adam Moeser

Adam Moeser

Adam Moeser
Associate Professor and the Matilda R. Wilson Endowed Chair of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University

Neuro-immune Mechanisms in Early Life Stress Induced Gastrointestinal Disease

Dr. Moeser is an Associate Professor and the Matilda R. Wilson Endowed Chair of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University. Dr. Moeser received his B.S. degree in Veterinary and Animal Sciences from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2000; MS degree (Swine Nutrition) in 2001, a PhD (Gastrointestinal Physiology) in 2006, and a DVM in 2008 from North Carolina State University. Dr. Moeser's research program is focused on the pathophysiology of stress-induced gastrointestinal disorders in animals and people. Utilizing large animal and rodent biomedical models, Dr. Moeser’s research is targeted on the elucidating factors and mechanisms by which early life stressors impact the developmental trajectory and lifelong function of the GI system and its role in disease susceptibility. Dr. Moeser has established a nationally and internationally-recognized research program. Since 2008, he has published over 40 peer-reviewed scientific papers, given 60 invited research presentations, and have been continuously funded by the NIH, USDA and industry. In recognition of his research achievements, Dr. Moeser was awarded a young investigator award by the American Gastroenterological Association and the Research Recognition Award by the American Physiological Society.

Muhammad Mohiuddin

Muhammad Mohiuddin

Muhammad Mohiuddin
Chief, Transplantation Section, Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Program, NHLBI/NIH

Impact of genetic engineering of donor pigs on the outcome of xenotransplantation

Dr Muhammad Mohiuddin is currently a chief of transplantation section of Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Program at National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of National Institute of Health. Before joining NIH in 2005 he held faculty positions at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Rush University, Chicago. Dr Mohiuddin is an elected councilor of International Xenotransplantation Association / TTS. He is a member of prestigious societies; The Transplantation Society and American Society of Transplant Physicians. He reviews manuscripts for journals; Transplantation, Transplant Immunology, xenotransplantation, Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, etc. He has received several NIH and non-NIH grants during his academic career. His recent work in cardiac xenotransplantation was highlighted widely in press throughout the world.

Anne Moon

Anne Moon

Anne Moon
Professor, Department of Molecular and Functional Genomics, Weis Center for Research, Geisinger Clinic;Professor of Pediatrics and Human Genetics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City Utah (adjunct) 

Swine Models of Congenital Heart Disease for Basic and Translational Research

Anne Moon is a physician-scientist and professor at the Weis Center for Research, Geisinger Clinic.  Her  research program is focused on understanding the roles of Fibroblast Growth Factors and Tbx3 in normal embryonic development, senescene and cancer. Dr. Moon’s laboratory generated and employed mouse models of human cardiac and limb defects, such del22q11 and Ulnar-mammary syndrome. Her lab applies molecular and biochemical approaches in mouse models to dissect the mechanisms that control cell fate and survival during normal and abnormal morphogenesis and cancer.  Her research expertise includes molecular genetics, developmental and molecular biology, cardiovascular development and disease, and mouse models of human disease.

Robert Nicholls

Robert Nicholls

Robert Nicholls
Professor of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Porcine Models of Neurobehavioral Genetic Disorders

Dr. Rob Nicholls obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne (Australia), his doctorate (D.Phil.) at the University of Oxford (UK), and did his postdoctoral research at Children’s Hospital of Boston/Harvard University where he began his research related to Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) in 1987 (with the late Professor Samuel Latt) and in 1989 his work first identified a role for genomic imprinting in human disease in PWS. Dr. Nicholls independent career has taken him from the University of Florida (1990-1993), Case Western Reserve University (1993-2000), the University of Pennsylvania (2000-2005), and since 2005 to Pittsburgh, PA. Career achievements include a PWSA lifetime achievement award in 2013 for his work on PWS, in late 2013 he cycled from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean (across the sourthern USA) to raise awareness and funds for PWS research, and his publications have been cited over 15,000 times. Major scientific discoveries in PWS include genetic subclasses, imprinted genes, DNA methylation, imprinting mechanisms, and animal models. The latter now include, working with Dr. Randy Prather and colleagues, the development of swine models of PWS and other neurobehavioral genetic disease.

Jon Oatley

Jon Oatley

Jon Oatley
Director of the Center for Reproductive Biology and an Associate Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University

Germline transplantation in pigs

Jon M. Oatley, Ph.D. is the Director of the Center for Reproductive Biology and an Associate Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University. Dr. Oatley obtained his Ph.D. from Washington State University in 2004, was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Ralph Brinster at the University of Pennsylvania, and began as an independent investigator in 2007. His research focuses on deciphering the mechanisms that regulate formation of the germline stem cell pool in mammalian testes during development and maintenance of the population in adulthood. Because the actions of the germline stem cell pool provide the foundation for continual spermatogenesis, Dr. Oatley’s research is related directly to understanding fundamental processes that underpin male fertility. Another major interest is the development of advanced methodologies for improving food animal agriculture through reproductive processes. Dr. Oatley’s honors include the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, the Baron Lecturer in Reproductive Biology Award from the University of Florida, the Young Andrologist Award from the American Society of Andrology, and the New Investigator Award from the Society for the Study of Reproduction. Dr. Oatley has served the profession as chair of the membership committee in the Society for the Study of Reproduction and as a current standing member in the CMIR study section of NIH.

Jorge Piedrahita

Jorge Piedrahita

Jorge Piedrahita
Randall B.Terry Jr., Distinguished Professor of Translational Medicine; Director, Comparative Medicine Institute

Summary of 2014 Conference 

Dr. Jorge Piedrahita is a Professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University. He is also the Director of the Comparative Medicine Institute (CMI), a university-wide institute that incorporates over 180 faculty members. Dr. Piedrahita obtained his M.Sc. in Reproductive Physiology and his Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of California. He then moved to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he completed his Postdoctoral training in stem cells and homologous recombination. He started his academic career at Texas A&M University where he rose from Assistant Professor to Full Professor. He has been at NC State since 2002.  His laboratory is primarily interested in the behavior of stem and progenitor cells in vitro and in vivo, and the development of large animals models of use in human and veterinary regenerative medicine. Towards this end, his research combines techniques in functional genomics, stem cells, cell biology, embryo manipulation, and molecular biology.

Randall S. Prather

randall prather

Randall S. Prather
Curators' Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia; Director of the National Swine Resource and Research Center

Welcoming Remarks

Dr. Prather is a Curators’ Professor and Distinguished Professor of Reproductive Biotechnology at the University of Missouri, where he also serves as Associate Leader of the Food for the 21st Century Reproductive Biology Cluster. Since 2003, Dr. Prather has also provided leadership for UMC’s National Swine Research and Resource Center as its Co-Director. He earned his BS and MS from Kansas State University, and PhD and Postdoc from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 1982 Dr. Prather’s research has focused on the early mammalian embryo. The laboratory has made over 1,000 cloned pigs representing wild types and over 40 different genetic modifications, including the generation of the first alpha 1,2, galactosyltransferase knockout pig. More recently we are using the CRISPR/Cas9 system to edit the genome in the in vitro produced zygote.

Chris Rogers

Chris Rogers

Chris Rogers
Exemplar Genetics

Translational Utility of Porcine Disease Models

Dr. Chris Rogers is the Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Exemplar Genetics. He received his PhD in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University focusing on gene therapy. He then completed post-doctoral training at the University of Iowa where he and colleagues created the first knockout and knockin models of a human disease in a large animal species – cystic fibrosis in pigs. This work led to the founding of Exemplar Genetics in 2008. The company is focused on the development and characterization of large animal models of human disease and providing housing, husbandry, and logistical support for research using these models. At Exemplar Genetics, Dr. Rogers has generated models of cardiovascular disease, cancer, cardiac arrhythmia, muscular dystrophy, several neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, and polycystic kidney disease, among many others. Exemplar Genetics was acquired by Intrexon in 2015.    

Larry Schook

Larry Schook

Larry Schook
Edward William & Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor of Animal Sciences and Radiology

The Oncopig Cancer Model (OCM): A Platform for Transitional, Translational and Transformative Advances in Cancer Research

Lawrence B. Schook, Edward William and Jane Marr Gutsgell Professor of Animal Sciences and Radiology, previously served as the Vice President for Research at the University of Illinois, overseeing the technology commercialization and economic development activities across the University’s three campuses. Previously he served as founding Director, UIUC Division of Biomedical Sciences and the founding Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) Theme Leader for Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering. Schook is currently funded by the NIH, Korean Government and the DOD to develop the pig as a biomedical cancer model. He has appointments in radiology, bioengineering, nutritional sciences, veterinary pathobiology, pathology, surgery, the IGB and the Beckman Institute. Schook is founding Board member that developed UI LABS, a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he currently serves on the Boards of Trustees for Albion College, the National Academy of Sciences Institute for Laboratory Animal Science Council, the Current Water Innovation Cluster Board, and the Illinois Technology Association Internet of Things Council. He previously served on the Board of Managers for the Fermi and Argonne National Laboratories, and Illinois Governor Quinn’s Innovation Council.

Sean Stevens

Sean Stevens

Sean Stevens
Senior Director, Synthetic Genomics, La Jolla, CA, United States

Building a pig genome from ground up

Dr. Stevens currently leads a group of more than 20 investigators at Synthetic Genomics Inc., developing next generation technologies for organ xenotransplantation.  This $100M collaboration with the Lung Biotechnology subsidiary of United Therapeutics will alleviate critical unmet needs in organ transplantation and expand efforts at SGI for the development and implementation of innovative cell-based and biologic immunotherapies.

Dr. Sean Stevens has led the design, creation, and use of complex genetically-modified mammalian platforms for discovery of biologic and cell-based therapies and disease modeling.  Dr. Stevens and his teams have applied the advanced genomic technologies he has developed to meet crucial health needs, such as;

  • Antibody therapeutics in therapeutic multiple areas, including; sarilumab, targeting interleukin 6 receptor, and dupilumab, targeting interleukin 4 receptor, the latter receiving a “breakthrough therapy” designation.
  • Creation of genetically-modified mouse platforms for antibody therapeutic discovery licensed and in use at 12 of the top 20 pharmas worldwide.
  • Genome engineering of a large variety of complex loci to facilitate creation and assessment of therapeutic proteins and cell therapies in vivo, such as T cell receptor, Fc receptor, HLA and receptor-ligand complexes.

Dr. Stevens is an inventor on >170 US patents and applications, is the author of numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters, and speaks at conferences worldwide. He has previously served as co-principal investigator on a Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health grant and currently acts as scientific consultant for biotech and pharma companies and investor groups, as well as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Siamab Therapeutics.

Bhanu Telugu

Bhanu Telugu

Bhanu Telugu
Assistant Profesor, University of Maryland

Setting the Stage – Breaking New Frontiers. Perspectives from a Young Investigator

Bhanu Telugu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a “Visiting Scientist” in the Animal Bioscience and Biotechnology Laboratory at USDA, ARS, Beltsville. Dr. Telugu is also a founding member, President & CEO of RenOVAte Biosciences Inc, a livestock biotechnology company. Dr. Telugu obtained his DVM from College of Veterinary Science in Tirupati, India in 2001, and a PhD from University of Missouri in 2008. Following a brief postdoctoral fellowship, also at University of Missouri, he started his laboratory at University of Maryland in 2012 . The laboratory has two research interests, Genetic engineering/ Biotechnology and Reproductive Biology. The laboratory employs genome editing tools such as CRISPRs, and cells of embryonic origin for site specifically altering the genome in large animal models g for agricultural and biomedical "Dual pupose" applications.

Bruce Whitelaw

Bruce Whitelaw1

Bruce Whitelaw
Genus Chair of Animal Biotechnology and Interim Director, The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh

Engineered Nucleases (ZFNs/TALENs/CRISPR). The Changing Landscape in Generation of Swine Models

Bruce is currently Interim Director of The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. Where he holds the Genus Chair of animal Biotechnology. Building from early work in transgenic livestock as bioreactors of human biomedical proteins in milk, Bruce has pioneered the use of lentivirus vectors for transgene delivery and more recently genome editors for precise genetic engineering of livestock. He seeks to apply this technology in the field of animal biotechnology, specifically to develop novel ways to combat infectious disease in animals, evaluate strategies to enhance overall reproductive efficiency, devise novel protein production systems and explore opportunities to develop new treatments of disease through appropriate genetically engineered animal models. Bruce is a member of the BBVA Foundation’s Frontiers of Science Award in Biomedicine Jury, is Editor-in-Chief of Transgenic Research; on the Scientific Advisory Board of Roslin Technologies Ltd, Immunogenes Ag and Recombinetics Inc; a Director of Edinburgh Research and Innovation (a University of Edinburgh subsidiary) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

Kristin Whitworth

Kristin Whitworth

Kristin Whitworth
Research Scientist, University of Missouri

Gene Editing of CD163 Protects Pigs from PRRSv Infectivity

Kristin Whitworth is a research scientist at the University of Missouri. She completed her B.S. in agriculture from Illinois State University and a M.S. and PhD from the University of Missouri. Kristin focused her PhD work on transcriptional profiling pig preimplantation embryos and extraembryonic membranes and on the use of histone deacetylase inhibitors to improve cloning efficiencies. Kristin is now heavily focusing her research efforts on the use of gene editing tools such as CRISPR/Cas9 to create pig models for both disease resistance and biomedicine.

Eckard Wolf

Eckhard Wolf

Eckard Wolf
Head, Institute of Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center, LMU Munich

An Update on Xenotransplantation Research

Eckhard Wolf studied Veterinary Medicine at the LMU Munich, Germany (1982-87). Since 1995 he is Head of the Institute for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, since 2003 Director of the Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis (LAFUGA), and since 2014 Director of the Center for Innovative Medical Models (CIMM), LMU Munich. His lab is specialized in the generation and characterization of genetically engineered pigs as models for human diseases (diabetes mellitus, rare monogenic diseases) and as organ donors for xenotransplantation. E.W. is Speaker of the Transregio Collaborative Research Center “Biology of xenogeneic cell, tissue and organ transplantation – from bench to bedside” funded by the German Research Council. He was elected as member of the International Xenotransplantation Association Council for 2013-2017. He is Vice Dean for Research, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, LMU Munich. E.W. is Member of the German National Academy of Sciences – Leopoldina (since 2000) and Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (since 2014). He is Researcher at the Meiji University International Institute for Bio-Resource Research and Chair of the EU COST Action BM1308 “Sharing Advances on Large Animal Models – SALAAM”.

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