E. Dale Abel
Carver College of Medicine
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA, USA
Dr. Abel graduated with an MBBS with Distinction from the University of the West Indies, after which he obtained a D.Phil. in Physiology from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He received post-doctoral training in Internal Medicine at Northwestern University and trained in Endocrinology at Harvard Medical School—Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Prior to moving to the University of Iowa in 2013, Dr. Abel was Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Utah, where he held the H.A. and Edna Benning Presidential Endowed Chair in Medicine. Dr. Abel has been the recipient of numerous scholastic honors and recognition throughout his career, starting with his Rhodes Scholarship (1986), the Van Meter Award of the American Thyroid Association (2001), an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association (2003), the Distinguished Mentor Award of the University of Utah (2011), the Gerald Aurbach Award for Research excellence from the Endocrine Society (2012), and most recently his election to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine (2015). He is a world-renowned speaker and expert, having presented his work at numerous national and international symposia.
The Abel laboratory’s research interests include My laboratory is focused on: (1) Elucidating the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for cardiac failure in diabetes. (2) Elucidating the molecular signals that coordinate the mitochondrial and metabolic adaptations to cardiac hypertrophy. (3) Elucidating the mechanisms by which insulin and growth factor signaling regulate myocardial autophagy and the adaptation of the heart to stress. (4) Elucidating the metabolic mechanisms for platelet dysfunction in obesity and insulin resistant states. Dr. Abel’s research program has been continually funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1995, and also by the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Diabetes Association, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Mark E. Anderson
Dept of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD, USA
Mark Anderson is the William Osler Professor of Medicine, the director of the Department of Medicine in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and physician-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. A 1981 honors graduate in biology from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Anderson received his Ph.D. in physiology and his M.D. from the University of Minnesota. He then completed his internal medicine residency and fellowships in cardiology and clinical cardiac electrophysiology at Stanford before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt in 1996. In October 2005, he moved to the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and in 2009 was named chairman and department executive officer of internal medicine. In 2012, he became director of the Cardiovascular Research Center.
An outstanding scientist, teacher and caregiver, Dr. Anderson has focused his research on the role of the protein CaMKII (Ca2+/calmodulin dependent kinase II) in heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias, a cause of sudden cardiac death. He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and book reviews, and has been an invited speaker throughout the United States and in more than a dozen nations.
Donald M. Bers
Dept of Pharmacology
University of California Davis
Davis, CA, USA
Dr. Donald M. Bers is the Joseph Silva Endowed Chair for Cardiovascular Research, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at University of California, Davis (since 2008). He obtained his BA in Biology from the University of Colorado, and his Ph.D. in Physiology from UCLA. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Edinburgh University, Scotland and started his faculty career at UCLA. He rose from Assistant Professor to Professor and Associate Dean of Biomedical Sciences at the University of California, Riverside from 1982-92. He was recruited to Loyola University Chicago as Chair of Physiology (1992-2008), where he built a strong Physiology Department, and held the DePauw endowed Chair.
Dr. Bers’ research focuses on many of Ca2+, Na+ and ion channels in cardiac myocytes as nodal control points in cardiac electrical activity, excitation-contraction coupling, myofilament activation, mitochondrial Ca/energetics, calmodulin, CaMKII and GPCR signaling, and excitation-transcription coupling. This has always been with an eye toward both integrative aspects of cardiac function/ clinical relevance, drilling down to more fundamental quantitative mechanistic understanding. Bers has combined quantitative biophysical, molecular and cellular approaches to develop a comprehensive and rigorous framework that constitutes our modern understanding of the detailed Ca signaling in intact cardiac myocytes. His group has developed detailed computational models of cellular ion transport and electrophysiology, which are educational tools, predictors of complex system behavior and aid in sharpening experimental hypotheses to enrich our understanding of cardiac function. Dr. Bers also collaborates with many other research groups locally, nationally and internationally, contributing to synergistic progress in cardiac research. He has also mentored over 100 Ph.D. students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty members, and led academic departments and large multi-institutional research teams.
Dr. Bers has authored more than 440 research articles, mostly in top notch journals with high impact (h-index 104; >39,000 citations) and wrote a definitive renowned single-author book Excitation-Contraction Coupling and Cardiac Contractile Force. He leads several NIH grants, including a Program Project Grant, MERIT award, T32 Training Grant and R01 grants. He was an elected Founding Fellow of the ISHR, AHA and Fellow of the Biophysical Society and AAAS. Other include the Thomas W. Smith Memorial Lecture (AHA), Janice Pfeffer Distinguished Lecture Award (ISHR), Distinguished Achievement Award (AHA-BCVS), Distinguished Scientist Award (AHA), Debrecen international Award for Molecular Medicine and Burdon Sanderson Lecturership (Oxford University). He has given ~300 invited research seminars and presentations at universities and national/ international scientific meetings.
Heping (Peace) Cheng
The Institute of Molecular Medicine
Professor Heping (Peace) Cheng received degrees in applied mathematics and mechanics, physiology, and biomedical engineering from Peking University, China, where he served as a faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering before earning his Ph.D. degree in Physiology in 1995 from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. He then joined the NIH Intramural Research Program as a senior staff fellow in 1995 and was selected as a tenure-track investigator in 1998. In November, 2004, he became a senior investigator and the head of the Ca2+ Signaling Section in the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science, National Institute on Aging, NIH. He participated the Cheung Kong Scholars Programme (cell biology) in 2000 and is now a full-time senior investigator of IMM, PKU. His current research focus is on the mechanism, regulation, and biology of mitochondrial “superoxide flashes”.
Dept of Physiology
University of Melbourne
Parkville, VIC, Australia
Prof. Lea Delbridge heads the Cardiac Phenomics Laboratory in the Department of Physiology at the University of Melbourne. Her research goals are to understand structural and functional cardiopathology in different forms of diabetic and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Her current work is supported by National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Research Council funding. Lea has published ~ 120 peer reviewed papers in many top-discipline journals. She completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne, and had training positions at Dalhousie University (Halifax, Canada) and at Loyola University (Chicago, USA) as an International Fellow of the American Heart Association. Lea is elected World Council Secretary General of the International Society of Heart Research (ISHR) and was President of the Australasian ISHR Section 2007-2013. She is an elected Fellow of the Cardiac Society of Aust & New Zealand and Council member of the Australian Physiological Society (AuPS). She is an editorial board member for a number of international journals, including J Molecular & Cellular Cardiology, Frontiers in Physiology and the Am J Physiol (Heart).
Christine Des Rosiers
Montreal Heart Institute
University of Montreal
Montreal, QC, Canada
Dr Des Rosiers is a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Université de Montréal and is also Director of the Montreal Heart Institute Metabolomics Laboratory. The focus of her research is on the role of metabolic alterations in the pathogenesis of disease, particularly heart disease. She has over 25 years of research experience in metabolic investigations using stable isotope and mass spectrometry-based methodology. She specifically gained recognition for the development of these methods for the metabolic and functional phenotyping of the ex vivo working mouse heart. The application of these methods has revealed a “subclinical” defect in NO/cGMP signaling in dystrophic hearts and this led to the testing of a new potential therapeutic approach with sildenafil in this condition. More recently, the benefits of the protein kinase MK2, a p38 MAPK downstream target, was revealed in diabetes-induced metabolic alterations and contractile dysfunction. Since 2009, building on her expertise in metabolism, she has taken the direction of the Metabolomics Platform at the Montreal Heart Institute. She is now leading several metabolomics initiatives as part of multidisciplinary translational projects aiming at the discovery of biomarkers of disease development or treatment response in various conditions, which include diabetes as well as heart, mitochondrial and inflammatory bowel disease. These recent activities came with major challenges in technological and methodological developments such as the implementation of a workflow for untargeted lipidomics using LC-MS. Work conducted in her laboratory has received continuous support from various funding agencies (CIHR, Genome Canada, CFI, FRQS, NIH) and has led to 125 published research articles and training of >80 students. She is a founding member of the SHVM and Associate Editor of the American Journal of Physiology-Heart & Circulatory Physiology since 2011. Additional contributions include participation in or chairing of various grant review committees (CIHR, CDA, NIH, FRQS).
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY, USA
Dr Florin Despa is on the faculty of the Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences at The University of Kentucky. Research in his laboratory focuses on deciphering the pathobiology of the interaction between the pancreatic hormone amylin and components of the cardiovascular system. Specifically, Dr. Despa investigates the role of amylin oligomerization in triggering signaling events that promote inflammation and pathologic cardiac remodeling. To address these questions, Despa laboratory integrates biochemical investigations of human tissues with clinical data, physiological analyses and in vivo phenotyping using genetically engineered rodent models. Work in his lab is funded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute on Aging, National Science Foundation, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association and Alzheimer’s Association.
Fabio Di Lisa
Dept of Biomedical Sciences
University of Padua
Fabio Di Lisa is Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Padova, Italy. He has provided significant contributions elucidating the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in cardiac diseases.
Prof. Di Lisa started his scientific activity characterizing mitochondrial alterations in ischemia/reperfusion. He found that the mitochondrial membrane potential is maintained during anoxia using ATP produced by glycolysis, so that mitochondria changes from ATP producers into avid ATP utilizers. He also demonstrated that myocardial failure could be the result of a reduced Ca2+ uptake rather than Ca2+ overload. He demonstrated that calpain-catalyzed cleavage of troponin I and T is modulated by their phosphorylation, and their fragments are linked by transglutaminase. By developing methods to study the PTP in isolated cells and intact hearts Prof. Di Lisa characterized the occurrence of transient and prolonged openings demonstrating that the latter modality is involved in cell death. In addition, PTP opening was causally related to NAD depletion and loss of viability induced by reperfusion. Regarding oxidative alterations, Prof. Di Lisa demonstrated that the oxidation of myofibrillar proteins correlates linearly with contractile impairment. This relationship has been extended to muscular dystrophy. Concomitantly he provided evidence that reactive oxygen species are produced mostly within mitochondria, especially by monoamine oxidases (MAO). MAO was shown to contribute to maladaptive remodeling highlighting also the potential therapeutic efficacy of MAO inhibition. This concept has been further documented in muscular dystrophy.
Prof. Di Lisa has been the President of the European Section of the International Society for Heart Research (ES-ISHR) from 2005 to 2008. During this term, in 2007 he organized the ES-ISHR meeting in Padova and co-organized the World ISHR meeting in Bologna. He was elected Fellow of the ISHR in 2007. In 2014 he received the Keith Reimer Award of the ISHR. At present, he is a member of the International Council of the ISHR.
Dept of Medical Biology
UIT-the Arctic University of Norway
Anne D. Hafstad is an Associate Professor in Cardiovascular Physiology at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø, Norway). She studied Biology at UiT and completed her PhD in Medical Physiology in 2007. The PhD thesis focused on obesity/diabetes-induced changes in cardiac mechanoenergetics, using simultaneous measurements of oxygen consumption, substrate utilization and functional parameters in isolated working hearts. During the post-doctoral period, she continued this work and examined how exercise training affected cardiac metabolism and energetics in obese models, with a specific focus on the role of exercise intensity. In the last few years, she has studied the role of redox signaling in the diabetic heart and its potential impact on cardiac metabolism, efficieny and development of ventricular dysfunction. In 2012, she received a 3-year research fellowship from the Norwegian National Health Association and spent one year (2012-2013) as a visiting scientist in the laboratory of Professor Ajay Shah at Kings College (BHF Centre of Research Excellence, London, UK) to study the role of NADHP oxidases in diabetic cardiomyopathy. Hafstad has published a number of scientific papers on the topic of cardiac metabolism, diabetes/obesity and exercise training in addition to scientific reviews focusing on the role of redox signaling in the heart.
Dept of Internal Medicine
College of Medicine Chung-Ang University
Seoul, Republic of Korea
Dr Jaetaek Kim received his MD in 1992 and PhD in diabetic retinopathy from the Graduate School of Chung-Ang University in 2001. He completed post-doctoral training with Dr. Dale Abel at University of Utah in USA. At this time his interests shifted from the eye to the heart, particularly cardiac metabolism and how it is regulated by insulin and IGF-1 signaling. In 2011, he became a full professor at Chung-Ang University in Seoul, Korea, where he is the Division Chief of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the Department of Internal Medicine. The current goals of Dr. Kim's laboratory are to understand how insulin, IGF-1, and their cognate receptors control myocardial contractile protein quality and heart rhythm using various models for cardiac-specific inducible and/or conditional gene targeting.
Walter J. Koch
Lewis Katz School of Medicine
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Dr Walter J. Koch (Ph.D., Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 1990) is the inaugural holder of the William Wikoff Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. He is the Chairperson of the Department of Pharmacology and Director of the Center for Translational Medicine. Dr. Koch started his career at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine where he received his PhD in Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics 1990 under the mentorship of Dr. Arnold Schwartz. He then went to Duke University Medical Center and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as a postdoctoral fellow (1990-1995) in the lab of Dr. Robert Lefkowitz (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2012). He then was recruited to start a molecular cardiovascular biology laboratory in the Department of Surgery at Duke in 1995 and advanced to tenured Full Professor in 2001. In 2003 he was recruited to lead the newly established Center for Translational Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University and successfully built that Center before moving it to Temple in 2012. The Koch lab studies molecular mechanisms for cardiac injury and repair focusing on G protein-coupled signaling in the heart and also development of novel molecular strategies to repair the heart including gene therapy and stem cell mediated regeneration. His research work has revealed the novel roles G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) play in cardiac injury and repair. Manipulating these GRKs, and targeting them with therapeutics, could lead to new treatments for heart failure patients. In fact, inhibition of one GRK, GRK2, in the heart has led to the reversal of heart failure. This has been shown to occur by using a gene therapy approach in pre-clinical studies in both small and larger animal models and this methodology is one step away from human clinical trials. Dr. Koch heads a large laboratory group that is well funded and has trained over 5 fellows in the last 20 years. Numerous awards and honors have recognized Dr. Koch’s research over recent years including the International Society for Heart Research 2011 Outstanding Investigator Award, the Jefferson Medical College Inaugural Career Achievement Award in Biomedical Sciences in 2010, the American Heart Association Thomas Smith Memorial Lecture and Award for Cardiovascular Signaling in 2009, and the 10-year MERIT award running through 2019. Dr. Koch naturally is quite active within his field as he has chaired NIH and AHA Study Sections and he has been Chair of BCVS at AHA and is currently the Chair of the AHA’s Council Operations Committee. He also is an Associate Editor of Circulation Research.
Dept of Biomedical Sciences
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Old Westbury, NY, USA
Qiangrong Liang obtained his medical degree in China and PhD degree with Dr. Paul Epstein in the University of North Dakota. He did postdoctoral research under the guidance of Dr. Jeff Molkentin at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He is currently an Associate Professor at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. His research interest has been focusing on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie acquired heart disease, cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. His past research has provided novel insight into the pathophysiological roles of several signaling pathways in the heart, including transcription factor GATA4, c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p21-activated kinase (PAK1). Current research in his laboratory is addressing three questions: why diabetic patients are more susceptible to heart failure, how a widely-used anti-cancer drug may contribute to heart failure, and how caloric restriction can protect the heart. Central to each question is the role of mitochondria. Using both cell culture and genetically modified animal models, Dr. Liang is investigating the molecular underpinnings of mitochondrial quality control processes including mitochondrial biogenesis, fission/fusion and mitophagy.
Institute of Biophysics
Chinese Academy of Sciences
2009-present • Visiting Professor, Nanjing University, China
2008-present • Professor/Principal Investigator, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
2002-present • Visiting Professor, Guizhou University, Guiyang, Guizhou, China
1999-2008 Research Assistant Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75235-9039, USA
1998-1999 • Instructor, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75235-9039, USA
1997-1998 • Assistant Instructor, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
1994-1997 • Postdoctoral Fellow, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75235- 9039, USA
1987-1994 • Ph.D., Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA
1985-1987 • Lecturer, Guizhou University, Guiyang, Guizhou, China
1982-1985 • MS, National Academy of Light Industrial Science, Beijing, China
1978-1982 • BS, Guizhou University, Guiyang, Guizhou, China
Lipid droplets, a cellular organelle that is involved synthesis, storage, and metabolism of neutral lipids, have recently been linked to metabolic syndromes and biofuel development. Our lab focuses on lipid droplet biology. We established a method to isolate lipid droplets and have conducted proteomic studies of the organelle from animal cells, skeletal muscle tissue, bacteria, and C. elegans. We identified a structurelike protein, MLDS from bacteria and a marker protein from C. elegans. In addition, we also carried out a lipidomic analysis for animal lipid droplets. Recently, we conducted a comprehensive study including genome sequencing, comparative transcritomes, and proteomic analysis for an oleaginous bacterium, and established a bacterial model system to study lipid droplets. Our current projects include:
1) Molecular mechanisms of lipid droplet formation and dynamics: we try to identify the common property of lipid droplet structure-like proteins and study how they regulate lipid droplet formation and dynamic changes.
2) Cellular energy homeostasis and metabolic syndromes: we focus on the effects of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids on insulin signaling; we also determine the changes of lipid droplets in metabolic syndromes.
3) Biofuel storage in microorganisms: we study how lipid droplet formed and its regulation mechanism, and try to build a photosynthetic bacterium to produce bio-oil.
Chan Bae Park
Dept of Physiology
Ajou University School of Medicine
Suwon, Republic of Korea
Dr Chan Bae Park is Assistant Professor of Ajou University School of Medicine. He studied biological science in Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology (KAIST) and achieved his phD in 2000. In 2002, he joined Dr. Nils-Goran Larsson’s group (Karolinska Institutes, Sweden) and studied mitochondrial DNA transcription factors using gene knockout mouse strains. Now he is interested in the regulatory mechanisms of mitochondrial biogenesis in cardiac cells. He is especially interested in manipulation of mitochondrial function through substrate supply.
Dept of Biomedical Engineering
Eindhoven University of Technology
Dr Jeanine Prompers is Associate Professor of Biomedical Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) in the department of Biomedical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (the Netherlands). She has a background in high-resolution MRS with a Master degree followed by a Ph.D. in 1999 from the Radboud University Nijmegen (the Netherlands). After a post-doc with Prof. Brüschweiler (Clark University, USA), she joined the laboratory of Prof. Nicolay at Eindhoven University of Technology in 2002 to set up an in vivo MRS group. Her research focuses on the study of derangements in tissue lipid metabolism and mitochondrial function, which play a central role in e.g. type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease. To this end she develops multi-nuclear in vivo MRS methods for both pre-clinical and clinical applications. Recent research highlights include the development of robust localized 1H MRS and 31P MRS of the fast-beating mouse heart, enabling a detailed analysis of metabolic responses brought about by metabolic perturbations and genetic defects. In 2008, she received a prestigious personal career advancement VIDI award from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). She recently took on a new position at the University Medical Center Utrecht (the Netherlands), where she will be involved in the development of a dedicated 7 Tesla MR scanner for metabolic imaging (META-scan).
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, IL, USA
Gangjian Qin, MD, FAHA, is Professor, Director of the Molecular Cardiology Program, in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has recently relocated from the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute, Northwestern University, where he served for 9 years as assistant professor and tenured associate professor. Dr. Qin’s research program is dedicated to defining the molecular mechanisms that underlie cardiovascular biology and contribute to the recovery from cardiovascular disease, and to translating the results from these basic science investigations to clinical applications. A portion of his research focuses on the transcriptional networks and genetic pathways that control the growth and function of blood vessels. His lab for the first time described the roles of the E2F oncogenes in the ischemic angiogenesis and blood pressure regulation. Another focus of Dr. Qin’s research is to improve the reparative capacity of endogenous stem cells, including bone marrow stem cells and cardiac stem cells, for the treatment of ischemic heart disease. His work has contributed to the advancement of the field by characterizing the molecular interactions between bone marrow stem cells and their microenvironment and by establishing the significance of specific mobilization of stem cells in the ischemic tissue repair. Most recently, his group has revealed a pivotal role of oxidative metabolism in stem cell differentiation into vascular endothelial cells. Additionally, Dr. Qin’s lab has identified a unique population of cardiac stem cells in the rodent heart and systemically evaluated the impact of ischemia/hypoxia on their regenerative capacity. Other ongoing research in Qin lab includes epigenetic mechanisms of cardiac differentiation of embryonic and induced-pluripotent stem (ES and iPS) cells, development of peptide-based nanoparticles for enhancing the therapeutic benefit of human CD34+ cells in pre-clinical models, and novel signaling pathways linking adipogenesis and obesity. Dr. Qin has published over 90 original research articles in major international journals as well as numerous reviews, book chapters, and editorials. He serves on the editorial boards of 12 international journals in the fields of stem cell biology and cardiovascular sciences and as an expert reviewer for over 40 biomedical journals. Dr. Qin also serves in the review of grant applications for the NIH, VA, AHA, CASIS, and a number of international funding agencies. His research is supported by NIH, AHA, and the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Prof. Rebecca Ritchie [B.Sc(Hons), PhD; FCSANZ; FAHA] is the Head of Heart Failure Pharmacology at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne Australia, a position she has held since 2008. She holds a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia Senior Research Fellowship, and an adjunct appointment at the Department of Medicine of Monash University. Prof. Ritchie is internationally-recognised for her contributions to cardiac pharmacology, particularly with respect to understanding the causes of heart failure (a major cause of death worldwide), and identifying new drug strategies for delaying or arresting its progression. Her research is aimed at achieving therapeutic breakthroughs for preserving myocardial function in response to diabetes, myocardial infarction and other causes of adverse cardiac remodelling. Suppression of inappropriate upregulation of reactive oxygen species in the myocardium underlies much of her career research achievements to date. Prof. Ritchie was awarded her PhD in Oct 1994 in the Dept of Medicine of the University of Adelaide. Her postdoctoral training, at Wayne State University (Detroit MI United States 1995-1997), the Howard Florey Institute (1997-2002) and Baker IDI (2002-2007) encompassed development of several experimental models of cardiac pathology. Numerous relevant pre-clinical in vivo models of ischaemic, diabetic (encompassing both type 1 and type 2) and other cardiomyopathies are now established in her laboratory. Prof. Ritchie has established a national and international reputation for her contributions to cardiac pharmacology, as recognised by the 2012 Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT) Achievement Award and the 2013 Diabetes Australia Millenium-Type 1 Diabetes Award. Her international profile in the cardiac pharmacology field has been recognised by numerous prestigious speaking invitations, including multiple World Congresses, including Cardiology, Diabetes, Coronary Artery Disease, Pharmacology, as well as those of the International Society for Heart Research. She was elected Fellow of the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2013. Prof. Ritchie has been the recipient of continuous peer-reviewed research funding since 1999, and has in excess of 70 publications to date. In addition, she has made significant contributions to peer review, scientific discipline and policy in Australia, through service on review panels (including NHMRC [2012-ongoing], the Heart Research Council of New Zealand [2015-ongoing], the Heart Foundation of Australia[2015-ongoing]), as well as service to ASCEPT (2000-2014, including serving as Honorary Secretary [2004-2008]) and to Science & Technology Australia (2008-2014, including serving as Chair of Policy [2010-2014]).
College of Life Sciences Wuhan University
Bao-Liang Song is a professor and the dean of College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University in China. Dr. Song’s lab works on cholesterol homeostasis that is closely related to cardiovascular disease. His group identifies that LDL-cholesterol transport through lysosome-peroxisome membrane contacts. He has dissected the molecular pathway of intestinal cholesterol absorption and identified most of the protein in this process. He has uncovered the mechanism of sterol-regulated degradation of HMG-CoA reductase, which is a major feed-back regulation of de novo cholesterol biosynthesis. His group also finds betulin, a small molecule, which can decrease both cholesterol and fatty acid levels by inhibiting SREBP pathway. Prof. Song was awarded by the national natural science fund for distinguished young scholars and the major national scientific research project chief scientist in 2009. In 2013, he received the Arthur Kornberg Memorial Award and was selected for New Century Talents Project. He was elected as the Yangtze River scholar Professor and was awarded the Provo McGonagall Innovation by the Chinese Society for Cell Biology. Besides, Prof. Song also worked as the Associate Editor for J. of Molecular Cell Biology and an Editorial Board Member for J. Biol. Chem.. He has authored or co-authored over 40 publications in Cell, Nat. Med., Cell Metab., PNAS, Nat. Commun., etc.
Dr Wang is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pathology at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. His research focuses on the role of mitochondria in metabolic and heart diseases. His work has led to the discovery and characterization of single mitochondrial flashes, which are transient and reversible accelerations of mitochondrial metabolism in individual mitochondrion of living cells. This ground breaking work has been cited over 400 times and opens up a new field on cellular energetics and mitochondrial function regulation. His current research projects include dissecting the role of mitochondrial respiration deficiency in heart disease and the role of mitochondrial dynamics in cardiovascular physiology and pathology. Dr. Wang received his medical degree and his PhD degree from Peking University Health Science Center. His research is supported by grants from NIH, American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association (ADA). Dr. Wang has published more than 40 peer-reviewed research and review papers. He is the recipient of the 2015 Gail Patrick Innovation Award from ADA.
Dr Brian Wong received his PhD in cardiovascular pathology from the University of British Columbia and since 2011, has been a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Vascular Metabolism under the mentorship of Prof. Dr. Peter Carmeliet at the Vesalius Research Center, University of Leuven, Belgium.
Dr Wong is currently studying how blood endothelial cells alter their metabolism during differentiation to lymphatic endothelial cells, and how this switch in metabolism facilitates cell differentiation through the epigenetic regulation of gene transcription via histone acetylation. This work utilizes transgenesis in zebrafish and mice, state-of-the-art ChIP-sequencing and metabolic flux assessment to support these novel findings.
Dr Wong will present work, on behalf of Prof. Dr Carmeliet, on how endothelial cells change their metabolism during vascular branching and the therapeutic potential of targeting endothelial metabolism for anti-angiogenic strategies. The role of several key metabolic enzymes in endothelial cell biology and angiogenesis in vivo are under investigation.
Yang Kevin Xiang
Dept of Pharmacology
University of California at Davis
Davis, CA, USA
Yang Kevin Xiang is a professor of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California at Davis Medical School. Dr. Xiang received his Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology in 200 at Oregon Health Science University. From 2000-2004, he took postdoctoral training with Dr. Brian Kobilka (2012 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry) in Stanford University of Medical School before joining the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign as an assistant professor. Dr. Xiang also held an associated professor position in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign before moving to the University of California at Davis in 2012.
Dr. Xiang’s research focuses on the insulin and adrenergic signaling networks in physiology and diseases, has received funds from National Institute of Health, American Heart Association, Alzheimer’s Association, VA Merit Award, and NTCS. He has published broadly in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and alzheimer’s diseases in journals such as science, Nature, Cell, PNAS, EMBO J, and JBC. He is a member of American Heart Association, American Society of Pharmacology, Experimental and therapeutics, and American Society of Biochemistry of Molecular Biology.
Institute of Molecular Medicine
Dr Rui-Ping Xiao was trained as a physician-scientist in both China and the United States. She received her M.D. and medical training at Tong-Ji Medical University, China. In 1988, she went to the United States, and spent 20 years in National Institute on Aging (NIA), NIH, from a postdoctoral fellow to a tenured Senior Investigator and the Chief of the Receptor Signaling Section. Overlapping with her training at NIH, she also completed her Ph.D. study in the Medical School of University of Maryland from 1991 to 1995. Additionally, in 2005, she was invited by Peking University to serve as the Founding Director of the Institute of Molecular of Medicine (IMM) at Peking University (initially as a volunteer), and became a full-time returnee through the Chinese 1000-elite Program in 2010.
Dr. Rui-Ping Xiao is the Director of the Institute of Molecular of Medicine (IMM) at Peking University and the Peking University Chair Professor. Dr. Xiao’s research has been focused on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, with a major emphasis on a translational approach to take bench discoveries into clinically relevant situations. Ongoing research directions include signaling pathways involved in metabolic syndrome and associated cardiovascular complications. Currently, Dr. Xiao serves as a Council Member of the International Society of Heart Research and an Associate Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and an Editorial Board Member of multiple international top journals.