List of confirmed Keynote Speakers

Marc Dalod

Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy,
Aix-Marseille University, France

CV: Dr Dalod is heading the team “Dendritic cells and antiviral defense” at the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML) in Marseille, France. His investigations are mainly focused on understanding which combinations of dendritic cell (DC) types and activation states promote protective antiviral or anti-tumoral immunity, and how. He trained for Ph.D. under the supervision of Drs. Elisabeth Gomard and Jean-Gérard Guillet, at Cochin Hospital, in Paris, France, from 1996 to 2000, studying CD8+ T cell responses to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). He discovered that anti-HIV-1 CD8+ T cell responses appear to be delayed and blunted during primary infection as compared to responses described against acute infections with Epstein-Barr virus or Measles virus (Dalod et al. J Clin. Invest. 1999). He hypothesized that HIV-1 infection was compromising the cross-talk between innate and adaptive immunity. Thus, he decided to join the laboratory of Pr. Christine A. Biron (Brown University, Providence, RI, USA) to perform his post-doctoral training examining the role of DCs and natural killer cells in antiviral immunity in mice, from 2000 to 2002. There, in collaboration with Giorgio Trinchieri, Carine Asselin-Paturel and colleagues (Schering-Plough, Dardilly, France), he contributed to the discovery and first in vivo functional study of mouse plasmacytoid DCs (Asselin-Paturel et al. Nat. Immunol. 2001; Dalod et al. J Exp Med. 2002; Dalod et al. J Exp Med. 2003). In 2003 he joined the CIML where he has been leading a team since 2004. He contributed to pioneer the use of comparative genomics to align immune cell types across tissues and species (Robbins et al. Genome Biol. 2008; Crozat et al. Immunol. Rev. 2010). He uses this strategy to identify conserved gene modules instructing the ontogeny and functional polarization of these cells, and to increase the likelihood of translation to other vertebrate species of the discoveries made in the laboratory mouse model (reviewed in Vu Manh TP et al. Investigating Evolutionary Conservation of Dendritic Cell Subset Identity and Functions. Front Immunol. 2015). This work has been largely performed in collaboration with Dr. Isabelle Schwartz-Cornil for animal species of agronomical interest and with Drs. Anne Hosmalin for humans and non-human primates.

John Hammond

The Pirbright Institute,
Pirbright, United Kingdom

CV: John Hammond obtained his PhD in comparative immunology from the University of St Andrews before moving to Stanford University in 2003 to study the NK (natural killer immune cells) receptor evolution in mammals. In 2009 he moved to The Pirbright Institute with a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Institute fellowship to study NK cells in ruminants.
He now leads the Immunogenetics Group at the Institute studying the mechanisms and consequences of genetic variation on the mammalian immune system. The current focus is on the biology and evolution of immune cell receptors such as major histocompatibility (MHC) class I, NK cell receptors and immunoglobulins (antibodies) in livestock. As in humans all these molecules are highly diverse, but there are significant differences in how this diversity is generated and functions in ruminants.


Jayne Hope

The University of Edinburgh,
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

CV: Professor Jayne Hope obtained a BSc (Hons) degree in Biological Sciences (Microbiology) from the University of Birmingham in 1991, and a PhD degree from the University of Manchester in 1994. She then carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Manchester (1994-1996) and Kings College School of Medicine and Dentistry (1996-1997). Between 1997 and 2011 Professor Hope was employed at the Institute for Animal Health where her research focused on research into innate and adaptive immune mechanisms in cattle specifically in relation into bovine tuberculosis. She joined The Roslin Institute in August 2011 and continues to lead a research group focussed on the study of innate immune responses to Mycobacteria and other bovine pathogens. As part of this research Professor Hope leads Immunological Toolbox activities to generate and validate tools and resources for ruminant immunology.


Bernd Kaspers

Ludwig Maximilian University,
Munich, Germany

CV: Bernd Kaspers graduated in Veterinary Medicine in 1986 from the University of Munich and received his Doctorr of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1989. In 1991 and 1992 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the United States Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, MD where he did research on the immune response to coccidosis before returning to Munich. Since 1997 he is a Professor for Animal Physiology at the University of Munich, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. He has more than 30 years of research experience in animal physiology and immunology which is documented by more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. He is co-editor of “Avian Immunology” published in a 2nd edition in 2014. His work involves research on both the innate and adaptive arms of the avian immune system with a particular focus on host-pathogen interaction, immune system maturation and mucosal immunity.


Artur Summerfield

VetSuisse Berne,
Bern, Switzerland

CV: Professor Artur Summerfield is a veterinary immunologist with particular interest on the biology antigen presenting cells including dendritic cells, macrophages and B cells of pigs and ruminants. In addition, his research aims to identify pathways for immune stimulation, and to understand the mechanisms of how viruses induce disease and evade the host immune response with a focus on phagocyte-pathogen interaction.
He studied veterinary medicine in Berlin and obtained his PhD 1994 in Tübingen at the Federal Research Center for Viral Diseases (now Friedrich-Löffler-Institute) Germany. He then moved to the Institute of Virology and Immunology in Mittelhäusern, Switzerland first as postdoctoral scientist and deputy head of the Cell Biology Department. In 2006, he became head of the Laboratory of Immunology and in 2010 of the Research Department at this Institute. In 2013, he was nominated Professor of Veterinary Immunology at the Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Bern


Geert Wiegertjes

Wageningen University Research,
Wageningen, The Netherlands

CV: Geert Wiegertjes, formerly personal professor at the Cell Biology and Immunology group, now heads the Aquaculture and Fisheries (AFI) group at Wageningen University & Research (since March 2018). As such, his personal interest in fish immunology has broadened to include the interaction between fish nutrition and health in aquatic production systems. As head of AFI he plays a supportive role for research on both management of fisheries ecology as well as research on aquaculture. He underscribes the urgent and global need for a sustainable production of (shell)fish products in a world where demands for seafood are rising rapidly. To meet these increased demands, there is a strong need to find bio-inspired solutions to maintain Blue Growth and unravel critical factors limiting aquaculture and seafood production.


Download an overview of the program structure: Preliminary Programme