This 2-day virtual event organized across the Asia Pacific region aims to serve as a platform to share scientific knowledge and provide a discourse on the topic of infectious disease and immunity. Throughout the event, we will be focusing on the following themes:
Esteemed speakers from these fields will be presenting their latest research, and you are encouraged to interact and have your questions answered during the Q&A and panel sessions.
At Merck, our purpose is to solve the toughest problems in life science by collaborating with the global scientific community – and through that, we aim to accelerate access to better health for people everywhere. We look forward to having you join us for this informative and timely event!
Klaus-Reinhard Bischoff is head of Research Solutions at the Life Science business of Merck. In this role, he oversees research and development, marketing, product management and business development as well as commercial geographies and operations, strategic accounts, strategic distributors and customer excellence.
Previously, Bischoff was executive vice president and head of the Global Research & Applied Solutions commercial area at the Life Science business of Merck, and before that was head of Lab Commercial Americas. Prior to his appointment to lead Lab Americas, Bischoff oversaw the business’ €1.1 billion global Lab Solutions unit, where he had full responsibility for Lab Solutions' three business fields. He also oversaw the organization‘s entire emerging market business and had direct responsibility for Merck’s Life Science business in China and India.
Prior to the acquisition of Millipore in 2010, Bischoff served as president and country manager of the Merck group companies in Taiwan; general manager of the cosmetics business of Merck and division manager of the Chemicals division for Merck S.A., Rio de Janeiro. Bischoff started his career with Merck in 1986 as a product manager in the company's Pigments business.
Outside of Merck, Bischoff has a commitment and passion for German and American cultures. He serves as a member of the German-American Business Association where he fosters transatlantic knowledge and encourages German-American business.
Bischoff holds a degree in business administration from the University of Cooperative Education in Mannheim, Germany. He is married and has two children.
Patrick Schneider is the chairman of the Life Science Innovation Board of Merck, and is the Head of Strategy, Business Development and Innovation for the sector’s Research Solutions business unit. He has a passion for interdisciplinary collaboration and deriving value from all sources of innovation. Patrick has a Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Arizona University and a Ph.D. in Biology from University of California, Irvine.
Jerome Kim, M.D., is the Director General of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and an international expert on the evaluation and development of vaccines. His depth and breadth of scientific experience span basic research through advanced clinical development. IVI’s oral cholera vaccine is used around the world to prevent this deadly diarrheal disease. IVI’s typhoid conjugate vaccine, tech-transferred to SK bioscience and PT Bio Farma, is completing Phase III testing. IVI is working on several different vaccines against COVID-19, including the clinical testing of Inovio’s DNA vaccine at Seoul National University Hospital and Genexine’s COVID-19 vaccine at Severance Hospital. Dr. Kim was Principal Deputy and Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Pathogenesis ,in the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) and also served as the Project Manager for the HIV Vaccines and Advanced Concepts Evaluation Project Management Offices, U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, Fort Detrick, MD. He led the Army's Phase III HIV vaccine trial (RV144) which was the first demonstration that an HIV vaccine could protect against infection, as well as subsequent studies that identified laboratory correlates and HIV sequence changes associated with vaccination.
Dr. Kim has authored over 250 publications and received the John Maher Award for Research Excellence from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in 2013 and the Department of the Army R&D Award for Technical Excellence (2013). Dr. Kim is also an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and at Yonsei University Graduate School of Public Health and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii, with high honors in History and highest honors in Biology, and received his M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine.
Prof Ooi is the Deputy Director of the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.
Prof Ooi trained in medicine at the University of Nottingham and then completed his PhD studies at the Department of Microbiology, National University of Singapore. He holds a concurrent appointment in the SingHealth Duke-NUS Global Health Institute, as well as joint Professorships at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, both at the National University of Singapore.
He co-directs the Viral Research and Experimental Medicine Centre at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre (ViREMiCS), which aims to develop molecular endpoints for use in viral disease therapeutic and vaccine trials. He received the Clinician-Scientist (Senior Investigator) Award by the National Medical Research Council of Singapore, in 2010, 2014 and 2019. "
Prof. Dexi Chen works as director of Beijing Institute of Hepatology since 2010, mainly focusing on molecular and cellular biology of infectious diseases, and the mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis induced by HBV. Prior that, he was leading the HIV research lab, You`an hospital. Till now, Prof. Chen and his team have published more than 70 papers. With his outstanding contribution, Prof. Chen received plenty of honors including: The State Council special allowance Award, The second prize of Chinese Medical Science and Technology Award, etc.
Dr. Sujatha Sunil heads the Vector Borne Diseases Group at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, India. Her research focus is on vector borne diseases with specific interest on host-vector-pathogen interactions. She has a unique blend of research expertise that encompasses virus evolution, virus-host interactions and host response to infection using high throughput omics platforms and advanced molecular biology techniques.
Dr. Sunil received her PhD in Bio Medical Sciences from the MGR Medical University, Tamil Nadu and has both industrial and research experience in the field of genomics and translational research. She has served in several organizations such as the All India Institute of Medical Research, Ganga Ram Hospital, National Institute of Malaria Research, TCG Group of Companies, University of Texas Medical Branch, TX and is a recipient of several national and international awards including Fulbright Professional excellence award, the Ramanujan Fellowship and the Young Scientist award from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
Dr Shee-Mei Lok is a Professor in the Emerging Infectious program in Duke-NUS, Singapore. She was also a National Research Foundation (NRF) fellow (2009-2014) and is now a NRF Investigator. She is a structural virologist specializing in x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. Her research interest focuses on the structural changes of flavivirus particles during its infection cycle and the effect of anti-viral therapeutics on them. She obtained her MSc and PhD in NUS and conducted her post-doctoral training in Purdue University under the supervision of the late Hanley Prof Michael Rossmann. Her laboratory made significant discoveries in the understanding of the structures of the Zika and dengue viruses, the morphological variants of dengue viruses, also how potent human antibodies neutralize flaviviruses and the structural changes of flavivirus during maturation.
John Cai is the founder and Chairman of Academy of China Healthcare Innovation Platform (CHIP). He was the ex-Director of CEIBS Centre for Health Care Management and Policy at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). For nearly 30 years he has been involved in teaching, research and consulting work at university level of China and U.S., as well as consultant for companies and governments in the field of health economics and health policy. He received his Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, and MA in Economics at Fudan University. Professor Cai participated in the design, implement and evaluation of the first comprehensive Health Care Reform Plan (Massachusetts) in the U.S. and working actively in the design of the latest China’s National Health Care Reform Plan. Professor Cai received 1990 Sun Ye-fang National Economic Science Prizes-Best Paper Award (China’s top economic award), 2002 Most Outstanding Abstract Award by Academy for Health Services research and Health Policy Annual Research Meeting in Washington D.C.
Dr. James Trauer is a practising respiratory, sleep, general and public health physician - and head of the Epidemiological Modelling Unit for the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. To-date, most of his research has focused on TB epidemiology and control, but his Unit has recently shifted its focus to include a strong interest in the COVID-19 pandemic. James also has clinical and research interests in cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, influenza, non-tuberculous mycobacterial diseases and behavioural sleep disorders. Methodological approaches used in these areas include deterministic and stochastic modelling, agent-based simulations, applied mathematics, Bayesian inference, statistics, epidemiology, health economics, computer science and data visualisation.
His Unit has close links to the World Health Organization, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and domestic Australian government departments. In collaboration with these organisations, they have developed several modelling tools to support policy makers and public health professionals to understand and fight infectious disease threats better. These projects have been undertaken in collaboration with countries including Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Bhutan and Mongolia.
James collaborates closely with researchers at James Cook University through their modelling platform for TB control in high-burden countries (the Australian Tuberculosis Modelling Network or AuTuMN) and have been on the Steering Committee of the TB Modelling and Analysis Consortium (the global body responsible for the coordination of TB modelling and epidemiology).dengue viruses, the morphological variants of dengue viruses, also how potent human antibodies neutralize flaviviruses and the structural changes of flavivirus during maturation.
Dr. Erfan Ibrahim is the Founder and CEO of The Bit Bazaar LLC (TBB) (http://tbbllc.com ) since August 2001. TBB offers a full suite of professional services in IT, networking, communications, cybersecurity, and business management to service providers, corporate enterprises, academia, healthcare, and government agencies.
Erfan’s professional career spans over 32 years and includes experience using mathematical modeling in scientific research, developing engineering solutions in the energy sector, teaching science and technology courses at University level, building industry consensus in smart grid standards for interoperability, designing and testing secure architectures for industrial control systems and doing business development work in the biotechnology sector.
During his 3-decade career Erfan has worked for Lawrence Livermore National Lab, UCLA, Pacific Bell, Jyra Research, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). At EPRI he led the Smart Meter and Cybersecurity R&D Programs during 2008 – 2011 for electric utility and high-tech companies. At NREL he developed the cybersecurity program from a proposal to a multi-million-dollar R&D program for the national lab.
Erfan’s current activities include assisting utilities, vendors, integrators, government agencies and enterprise customers secure their critical infrastructure from cyber threats. Erfan is also working with industry experts on an innovative approach to build smart communities (~1,000,000 people) powered by small modular nuclear reactors (SMR) and hydrogen and using desalination and electric furnaces to meet fresh water and recycling needs. In his spare time, he is applying his expertise in mathematical modeling to get a better understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people globally.
Erfan has a Bachelor of Science in Physics with honors from Syracuse University in 1983, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering with emphasis in
PhD Utrecht University, Medical Microbiology (2016)
MBioMedSci University of Auckland, Cancer Immunology (2009)
BMedSci University of Auckland, Immunology and Microbiology (2007)
Dr. Debojyoti Chakraborty is a senior scientist at CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, where he works on developing gene editing tools for addressing biological questions ranging from therapeutic correction of monogenic disorders to understanding the role of lncRNA expression during developmental processes.
Sidney is CEO of DxD Hub and Senior Advisor at A*ccelerate. DxD Hub focuses on accelerating productisation of innovative diagnostic technologies. To address testing and management needs of COVID-19, DxD Hub developed and deployed conventional RT-PCR test Fortitude, serological test cPass, saliva collection and transport media, Lucence's SAFER and direct PCR test RESOLUTE. DxD Hub has the capability to rapidly translate R&D output from public and private sectors, into deployable products in hospitals. Fortitude was the first diagnostic kit to be granted provisional authorisation by Singapore’s HSA and is now deployed in more than 40 countries globally. RESOLUTE is first-of-its-kind completely extraction-free RT-PCR based test that completes sample-to-result in an hour. A serial entrepreneur with experience in R&D, starting companies and investments prior to joining A*STAR, Sidney continues to be involved in med-tech and innovation. She cofounded multiple companies, serves as non-executive board member of several companies, and as a reviewer on various diagnostics/medtech funding schemes.
Tomoji Mashimo was born in Japan in 1971. After earning his PhD in Human and Environmental Studies from Kyoto University in Japan in 2000, he did postdoctoral work at Pasteur Institute, Department of Immunology, in France and identified the gene responsible for West Nile virus susceptibility in mice. Since 2003, he has joined the National BioResource Project for the Rat in Japan and became an associate professor in Institute of Laboratory Animals, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University. In 2015, he moved to Institute of Experimental Animal Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University and launched Genome Editing Research and Development Center to support researchers for generating gene targeting mice and rats. At present, he is a professor in Laboratory Animal Research Center, Institute of Medical Science, university of Tokyo. He is also now a vice-president of the Japanese Society for Genome Editing (JSGE). His main topics of science are an establishment of novel gene editing tools and generating prominent humanized rat models.
Prof. Rajiv Khanna obtained his doctorate degree from India and undertook his post-doctoral training at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane Australia. He is currently appointed as the Senior Scientist and Group Leader of Tumour Immunology Laboratory and also holds Senior Principal Research Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. He has been awarded Order of Australia in 2017 and has been elected as a Fellow of Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. He has extensive expertise in clinical trial design, vaccine design and adoptive immunotherapy.
He has published more than 200 scientific papers in leading journals including many invited reviews and book chapters. Over the last decade Prof. Khanna has successfully translated his research towards the development of novel immune-based therapeutic strategies for the treatment of cancer patients and transplant recipients with viral complications. He has successfully completed multiple adoptive immunotherapy clinical trials and is currently leading three clinical trials aiming to test therapeutic efficacy of T cell-based therapies for virus-associated cancers such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma and glioblastoma. He has collaborated with Australian and International biotech industry to develop novel therapeutic and diagnostic tools. One of the best examples is QuantiFERON-CMV kit (co-developed with Cellestis Inc.) for predicting infectious complications in transplant patients. This kit has been CE marked in Europe for clinical diagnostic application and is currently under review with FDA (US). Currently, he is also collaborating with international biopharmaceutical organizations to develop a prophylactic vaccine against human cytomegalovirus which is associated with glioblastoma and birth defects in new born babies. Prof. Khanna has successfully attracted independent funding from various agencies (including NH&MRC and National Institutes of Health)
Dr. Sanjay Singh serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. Previously, Dr. Singh had been working with National Institute of Health, USA. Dr. Singh has been associated with Gennova since 2006. He is a graduate in Science from Lucknow University and a post graduate degree in Science (Biochemistry) from the University. He also holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow.
Ryuichi Morishita, M.D., Ph.D., graduated Osaka University Medical School in 1987, and received Ph. D. from Osaka University in 1991. After following postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine, he served as an Assistant Professor, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Osaka University Medical School from 1994 to 1998. Then, from 1998 to 2003, he was Associate Professor, Division of Gene Therapy Science, Osaka University Medical School. Then, he became Professor & Chairman of Division of Clinical Gene Therapy, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University Medical School from 2003 to present.
Professor Morishita received over 20 awards from various academic societies including Harry Goldbratt Award in Council of High Blood Pressure, American Heart Association, Award in Japanese of Japan Medical Society, Sato Award in 27th annual meeting of the Japanese Circulation Society and Invitrogen-Nature-Biotechnology Award.
Professor Morishita is currently on the editorial board of over 30 scientific journals including Open Medicine Journal (Editor-in-Chief), Gene Therapy, ATVB, Circulation and Hypertension. He has published over 400 original articles and review papers, primarily on gene therapy and molecular biology in cardiovascular disease. In addition, Professor Morishita is a Board Member of numerous medical organizations, including Japanese Society of Gene Therapy, Japan Society of Vascular Medicine, Japanese Society of Anti-aging and others.
He is currently Strategic Advisor of Headquarter for HealthCare Strategy (Chief is Shizo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan). He is also Special Advisor of Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City. He also worked as a member of Intellectual Property Committee of Koizumi & member of Committee for Regulation Reform (Advisor Committee of Shinzo Abe Prime Minister of Japan). His professional activities & appointments include Committee for Industry-Academia Relationship, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Japan, Vice Chairman, Bio-Venture Association Originated from Universities, and others.
Dr. Anissa Boumlic, Head of Global Vaccine & Plasma Segments, Bioprocessing in the Process Solutions, Life science division of Merck is with Merck for 10 years and held different technical, marketing and business development roles after 5 years’ research experience in infectious diseases. Dr. Boumlic is focusing on developing go to market strategies and partnering with the industry to advance biomanufacturing. She’s also a member of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative board and is renowned in the field of biologicals, vaccines and gene therapy. Dr. Boumlic is a Biotechnology engineer by training and holds a PhD degree in Molecular and cellular biology combined with Biochemistry and Biotechnology from the Universities of Strasbourg and Thessaly.
Dr. Krishna Ella Graduated from University of Agriculture Science and Ph.D, from University of Wisconsin-Madison (1987-1992) and returned back to India in 1996 to start Bharat Biotech along with his wife Suchitra Ella. Bharat Biotech believes in working on neglected diseases since many neglected diseases turns out to be a pandemic disease.
Bharat Biotech being located India working on future problems of pandemic. The company has developed more than 16 vaccines and producing highest number of viral vaccines in the developing world (11 vaccines), Bharat Biotech was the first company in the developing world to develop Rotavirus vaccine ROTAVAC ® and also the first company in the world to develop Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine TYPEBAR TCV®. Bharat Biotech sold more than 9 Billion doses of vaccines all over the world.
The company also done a human challenge studies at Oxford for TYPEBAR TCV®. Bharat Biotech received more than 300 million dollars as a Grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Welcome Trust and many Governments for the various clinical programmes. Bharat Biotech is the only company from the developing world having carried out clinical trials in more than 6,00,000 volunteers and conducted clinical trials in more than 8 countries.
BBIL was the first company to file a global patent on Chikungunya and Zika Virus vaccine in the world. On our efforts to control the COVID-19 we are working on three difference platform technologies and two of them have already completed animal challenge studies and in various phases of clinical trials.
Heather Hargett has over 20 years of marketing, research and commercial experience in the Life Science industry. Currently, Heather is the Head of Biology Technical Marketing, Research Solutions for Merck Life Science. In this role, she explicitly drives harmonization and collaboration across biology business fields and acts as a liaison with all research and applied product areas and commercial teams. Heather is recognized as being a resilient and creative leader able to work in a fast-paced, challenging cross-cultural environment fostering a customer-centric focus with a solutions-based mindset.
In her research career, Heather worked on HIV-1 reverse transcriptase using multiple biophysical characterization techniques to gain a better understanding of the DNA/RNA-protein interactions involved in HIV-1 replication. As a postdoctoral fellow, she employed various proteomic approaches to identify and characterize post-translational modifications related to cardiovascular disease.
In her marketing career, Heather has been focused on developing and executing programs that address key customer challenges via robust technical content, product application and workflow training, and customer-driven product innovation. These efforts have been reinforced through the creation of workflow/cluster association digital tools.
Heather joined the legacy Sigma-Aldrich organization as a life science specialist working closely with academic researchers to leverage innovative technology in the areas of gene editing/ gene silencing and proteomics, helping them to achieve their research goals.
Heather holds a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH.
Farhad Shafiei has been involved with the Life Science sector for over 25 years including academic and industry stints. Currently, Farhad is Head of Commercial Marketing - Asia Pacific, within the Applied Solution’s Advanced Analytical and Industrial and Testing Business for Merck Life Science. In this role, he oversees the development and execution of key marketing strategies including digital marketing and launch of innovative products and services for the APAC market. He also manages the analytical laboratories and sales specialist teams across APAC countries. His passion is to bridge the gap between industry multi-nationals in Life Science/Pharma, academia and governments to solve tough problems for patients and consumers.
In his research career, Farhad was a cancer scientist working on deciphering the signaling pathways and epigenetic regulation implicated in the development of breast cancer, bowel cancer and endometrial cancer. He has published in numerous scientific journals including Nature Oncogene.
Prior to his career in Merck, Farhad was the Business Manager of Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia and Facility Manager of Next Generation Sequencing and Genomics laboratory at the Liggins Institute.
Farhad also undertook his postdoctoral fellowship at the prestigious Liggins Institute at University of Auckland, New Zealand. Farhad holds a Ph.D. degree (2004) in Molecular Medicine from University of Auckland, New Zealand and a Certificate in Management (2008) from the New Zealand Institute of Management and Leadership.
Vibhu Jain has over 20 years of marketing, product management, digital transformation, and R&D in the Life Science industry. Currently, Jain is Head of Commercial Marketing- Asia Pacific, Research Solutions for Merck Life Science. In this role, he oversees the development and execution of key marketing strategies, digital marketing, customer-centric program developments, and launch of innovative products and services for the APAC market. His passion is to drive data-based decision making in the organization to deliver higher customer satisfaction.
In his research career, Jain worked on quorum sensing, the pathogenesis of Vibrio cholerae, and Vibrio cholerae interaction with Entamoeba histolytica. In his marketing career, he has been instrumental in developing & executing strong integrated marketing strategies by leveraging conventional and digital marketing channels. He also focuses on developing programs like experience labs for higher scientific engagement between life science researchers and Merck. As a techno-commercial, he believes that for the advancement of science, we need to accelerate collaboration between Industry & Academia, and digital tools can play a critical role in this transformation.
Prior to his career in Merck, Jain was Head of Marketing and Business Development for Corning Life Sciences in India and was instrumental in executing the growth strategy for the company. In that role, he had worked on several projects with various vaccine manufacturers in India for cell-based vaccines.
Jain holds a Ph.D. degree in Infectious diseases area from the Institute of Microbial Technology, (CSIR-IMTECH), India, and an MBA from Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis, US. He has also completed a technology-led entrepreneurship program from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India.
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