Committee

To download the Program Committee brochure here.


  • Emily Hollister

    Dr. Emily Hollister is a microbial ecologist and serves as the Vice President for Information Technology & Analytics at Diversigen, Inc. Prior to joining Diversigen, Dr. Hollister served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Baylor College of ...

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  • Ivan Brukner

    Dr Ivan Brukner entered into genomic era back in 1989 (ex-Yugoslavia), trying to describe and solve repeating sequence "branching motif problem" in building whole genome sequence. Next 5-10 years, his research was targeting sequence-dependent DNA structural problems, where ...

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  • Philip Geis

    Philip A. Geis is a native Texan who earned bachelor and doctor of philosophy degrees in microbiology and mycology from The University of Texas. Between these efforts, he served in the US Army with final duty as clinical microbiologist for the Army's 45th field hospital APO ...

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  • Jonas Korlach

    Jonas Korlach was appointed Chief Scientific Officer of Pacific Biosciences in July 2012. He was previously a Scientific Fellow, supporting commercial development of the PacBio RS II system and performing research aimed at developing new applications for SMRT technologies. He ...

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  • Neil Osheroff

    Neil Osheroff received a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry from Hobart College in 1974 followed by a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Northwestern University in 1979. His doctoral dissertation on the mechanism of action of cytochrome c was under the direction of ...

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  • Marilyn Roossinck

    Dr. Roossinck received a PhD in 1986 from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Microbiology and Immunology, studying Hepatitis B virus, on an National Institutes of Health fellowship. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University, where she began studying ...

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  • John Thomas

    Professor Emeritus John G. Thomas, PhD, is recognized as an "International Educator and Global Microbiologist " (www.globalbugs.com) having lectured in more than 43 countries while a clinical microbiologist in pathology (Professor), dentistry (Clinical Professor) and ...

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  • Glenn Tillotson

    Glenn is a Senior Vice President at Cempra Inc in Chapel Hill, USA. He is trained in medical microbiology and infectious diseases and almost 30 of pharmaceutical industry experience in various areas including clinical research, commercialization, scientific communications ...

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SEP 11 - 12 2019

Microbiology & Immunology 2019



 

Our 5th Annual Microbiology and Immunology Virtual Event is now available On Demand!  Participants can explore and discover new concepts, tools and techniques to apply to their ongoing research and diagnostics. 

Microbiology and Immunology cover an array of industries and disciplines, encompassing various research areas including pharmaceuticals, medicine, agriculture, and space. The development of new techniques and the ability to sequence organisms without the need to grow them in the laboratory has opened up a new world of microbial diversity and complexity we know little about. 

The tracks for this years event include:

  • Earth and Human Management of Our Microbial Wealth
    • Metagenomics
    • Microbial Communities
    • Viromes
  • Emergency Diagnostics
  • New Methods and Emerging Trends
    • New Approaches to Vaccines
    • Antimicrobrial Resistance
  • New Insights into Virology
    • Virus-Host Interactions
    • Virus-Vector Interacations
    • Advances in Structural Virology


Our virtual conference allows you to participate in a global setting with no travel or cost to you. The event will remain open 6 months from the date of the live event.  The webinars will be available for unlimited on-demand viewing.  This virtual conference also offers increased reach for the global microbiology community with a high degree of interaction through live-streaming video and chat sessions.

Continuing Education
LabRoots is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® Program. By attending this event, you can earn 1 Continuing Education credit per presentation for a maximum of 30 credits.

Use #LRmicro to follow the conversation! 
 

 


Speakers
  • Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, FitBiomics
  • Professor Emeritus, WVU School of Medicine Certified, "High Complexity Clinical Laboratory Director" (HCLD)(ABB)
  • Assistant Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Director, Associate Director, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, UNC School of Medicine
  • BMed Sci, BMBS, DTM&H, MSc, FRCP, Executive Director, GARDP
  • Research Director, Mason Laboratory of Integrative Genomics, Weill Cornell Medicine, Co-Chair NASA geneLab Microbiome, Executive Director MetaSUB
  • Scientist V, Bioinformatics and Applied Genomics, Bioscience Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Director Scientific Collaboration , Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, Professor of Otolarynology-Head and Neck Surgery, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Assistant Professor & Director, Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology, Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Research Alliance for Microbiome Science Registry, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • GeneLab Project Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Director of Cryo-EM Imaging Facility, Pennsylvania State University
  • Director of Global Product Management, Genome Analysis, QIAGEN
  • Research Assistant Professor, Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology, Department of Neurobiology, Northwestern University
  • Field Application Scientist, MGI Americas
  • Roland Rueckert Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Virology, UW-Madison
  • Full Member (Professor) Department of Infectious Diseases, St Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Michigan State University
  • Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia, and Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru

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Agenda
  • SEP 11, 2019 06:00 AM PDT
    Find out how GARDP is redoubling its efforts to accelerate the development and delivery of new and improved antibiotics
    Speaker: Manica Balasegaram
  • SEP 11, 2019 06:00 AM PDT
    Powerful Species-Level Identification and Quantification by Weighted Analysis of All, Rather Than One, 16S Hypervariable Regions
    Speaker: Seth Crosby, MD
  • SEP 11, 2019 07:30 AM PDT
    Keynote Presentation: Mining Athlete Microbiomes for Next Generation Probiotics
    Speaker: Jonathan Scheiman, PhD
  • SEP 11, 2019 09:00 AM PDT
    Microbial Detection Total Solution Based on MGISEQ High-Throughput Sequencing Platform - Accelerating the Application of Metagenomics in the Screening and Prevention of Infectious Disease
    Speaker: Kin Kuok, PhD
  • SEP 11, 2019 09:00 AM PDT
    Using metagenomics and bioinformatics to investigate bacterial-fungal interactions
    Speaker: Patrick Chain, PhD
    Sponsored By: Illumina
  • SEP 11, 2019 10:30 AM PDT
    Genomic characterization of emerging carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae infections at a public hospital in Lima, Peru
    Speaker: Pablo Tsukayama, Ph.D
    Sponsored By: QIAGEN
  • SEP 11, 2019 10:30 AM PDT
    Structural analysis to understand the molecular mechanism for CPV species-jump
    Speaker: Susan Hafenstein, PhD
  • SEP 11, 2019 12:00 PM PDT
    Understanding Astrovirus Pathogenesis: Who Knew Viruses Had Toxins?
    Speaker: Stacey Schultz-Cherry, PhD
  • SEP 11, 2019 01:30 PM PDT
    Development of Machine Learning Algorithms to Data Mine Meta-Omic Characterizations of Complex Microbiota
    Speaker: Garth Ehrlich, PhD, FAAAS
    Sponsored By: PacBio
  • SEP 12, 2019 06:00 AM PDT
    Using the NASA GeneLab Data System to Study the Metagenomes of Spaceships and Their Occupants
    Jonathan Galazka, PhD
    GeneLab Project Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center
    Daniela Bezdan, PhD
    Research Director, Mason Laboratory of Integrative Geno...
    Peng Jiang, PhD
    Research Assistant Professor, Center for Sleep and Circ...
  • SEP 12, 2019 07:30 AM PDT
    Keynote Presentation: Microbial Centric Aging: A Paradigm Shift
    Speaker: John Thomas, PhD
  • SEP 12, 2019 09:00 AM PDT
    Investigating the common bean microbiome
    Speaker: Nejc Stopnisek, PhD
  • SEP 12, 2019 09:00 AM PDT
    Meningitis & Encephalitis: Overview, Epidemiology, and Diagnostics
    Speaker: Kevin Alby, PhD, D(ABMM)
    Sponsored By: DiaSorin
  • SEP 12, 2019 10:30 AM PDT
    Analysis of human gut microbiomes and antibiotic resistomes of pediatric patients undergoing stem cell transplantation
    Speaker: Jonathan Jacobs, PhD
    Sponsored By: QIAGEN
  • SEP 12, 2019 12:00 PM PDT
    Multi-Omic Approaches for the Study of Vaginal Microbial Communities
    Speaker: Jennifer Fettweis, PhD
  • SEP 12, 2019 01:30 PM PDT
    Gender Parity in Virology Conference Speaker Selections
    Speaker: Ann Palmenberg, PhD
  • New Methods and Emerging Trends
  • SEP 11, 2019 06:00 AM PDT
    Find out how GARDP is redoubling its efforts to accelerate the development and delivery of new and improved antibiotics
    Speaker: Manica Balasegaram
  • Earth and Human Management of Our Microbial Wealth
  • SEP 11, 2019 06:00 AM PDT
    Powerful Species-Level Identification and Quantification by Weighted Analysis of All, Rather Than One, 16S Hypervariable Regions
    Speaker: Seth Crosby, MD
  • SEP 11, 2019 07:30 AM PDT
    Keynote Presentation: Mining Athlete Microbiomes for Next Generation Probiotics
    Speaker: Jonathan Scheiman, PhD
  • SEP 11, 2019 09:00 AM PDT
    Using metagenomics and bioinformatics to investigate bacterial-fungal interactions
    Speaker: Patrick Chain, PhD
    Sponsored By: Illumina
  • SEP 11, 2019 10:30 AM PDT
    Genomic characterization of emerging carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae infections at a public hospital in Lima, Peru
    Speaker: Pablo Tsukayama, Ph.D
    Sponsored By: QIAGEN
  • SEP 11, 2019 01:30 PM PDT
    Development of Machine Learning Algorithms to Data Mine Meta-Omic Characterizations of Complex Microbiota
    Speaker: Garth Ehrlich, PhD, FAAAS
    Sponsored By: PacBio
  • SEP 12, 2019 06:00 AM PDT
    Using the NASA GeneLab Data System to Study the Metagenomes of Spaceships and Their Occupants
    Jonathan Galazka, PhD
    GeneLab Project Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center
    Daniela Bezdan, PhD
    Research Director, Mason Laboratory of Integrative Geno...
    Peng Jiang, PhD
    Research Assistant Professor, Center for Sleep and Circ...
  • SEP 12, 2019 07:30 AM PDT
    Keynote Presentation: Microbial Centric Aging: A Paradigm Shift
    Speaker: John Thomas, PhD
  • SEP 12, 2019 09:00 AM PDT
    Investigating the common bean microbiome
    Speaker: Nejc Stopnisek, PhD
  • SEP 12, 2019 10:30 AM PDT
    Analysis of human gut microbiomes and antibiotic resistomes of pediatric patients undergoing stem cell transplantation
    Speaker: Jonathan Jacobs, PhD
    Sponsored By: QIAGEN
  • SEP 12, 2019 12:00 PM PDT
    Multi-Omic Approaches for the Study of Vaginal Microbial Communities
    Speaker: Jennifer Fettweis, PhD
  • Emergency Diagnostics
  • SEP 11, 2019 09:00 AM PDT
    Microbial Detection Total Solution Based on MGISEQ High-Throughput Sequencing Platform - Accelerating the Application of Metagenomics in the Screening and Prevention of Infectious Disease
    Speaker: Kin Kuok, PhD
  • SEP 12, 2019 09:00 AM PDT
    Meningitis & Encephalitis: Overview, Epidemiology, and Diagnostics
    Speaker: Kevin Alby, PhD, D(ABMM)
    Sponsored By: DiaSorin
  • New Insights into Virology
  • SEP 11, 2019 10:30 AM PDT
    Structural analysis to understand the molecular mechanism for CPV species-jump
    Speaker: Susan Hafenstein, PhD
  • SEP 11, 2019 12:00 PM PDT
    Understanding Astrovirus Pathogenesis: Who Knew Viruses Had Toxins?
    Speaker: Stacey Schultz-Cherry, PhD
  • SEP 12, 2019 01:30 PM PDT
    Gender Parity in Virology Conference Speaker Selections
    Speaker: Ann Palmenberg, PhD
Speakers

  • Jonathan Scheiman, PhD
    Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, FitBiomics
    Biography
      Jonathan is a co-founder and the CEO of FitBiomics, a biotechnology startup that is sequencing the microbiome of elite athletes to identify and isolate next-generation probiotics for applications in consumer health and nutrition. Jonathan was formerly a research fellow in George Church's lab at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, at Harvard, where he worked on transformative sequencing technologies and programmable cellular engineering. Having played Division I college basketball at St. John's University and coached inner city public high school basketball, one of Jonathan's long-term goals is to use sports as a medium to inspire the next generation of scientists.
    • John Thomas, PhD
      Professor Emeritus, WVU School of Medicine Certified, "High Complexity Clinical Laboratory Director" (HCLD)(ABB)
      Biography
        Professor Emeritus John G. Thomas, PhD, is recognized as an "International Educator and Global Microbiologist " (www.globalbugs.com) having lectured in more than 43 countries while a clinical microbiologist in pathology (Professor), dentistry (Clinical Professor) and Graduate School Education (Adjunct Professor) for 54 years , his translational research emphasizing biofilms and medical devices. He has focused upon micro 3-D- bio Printing of contour fitting gauzes using bio-plastics and unique Prebiotics with Therapeutic Bacteria (Beneficial Bacteria) for chronic wound intervention (SMarT Gauze); this integrates a common pathway, visualized through his 'Microbial Clock' and recently created Center of Hologenomic Clinical Studies (www.globalbugs.com/Hologenomic Center) which underscores a "Dual Citizenship" and co evolution of symbiotic microbes and human ecosystems. "MICROBES MATTER". His Probiotic Solutions integrates Computer Decision Support for Probiotic (Beneficial Bacteria) Guidelines combining AI, Artificial Intelligence and Precision Medicine, expanded recently to emphasize Aging, hypothesized now as a disease by the NIH. He has over 50 publications, multiple book chapters and significant grant support. His military obligation (1969-71)(wounds) and his sabbatical at Cardiff University, Wales, UK (2007)(oral health, biofilms) have remained a driving catalyst. He has been a member of the American Dental Association Scientific Advisory Committee for 8 years and American Society of Microbiology for 54 years. As Faculty at 3 national (Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rutgers University and West Virginia University) and 2 international Universities ( National University of Singapore and Cardiff University) during his career , he has received multiple Alumni and University awards for research and Student Mentoring ; retiring from West Virginia University in 2013 after 23 years as Professor Emeritus , he presently is expanding his research/teaching utilizing the advanced resources of the Allegheny Health Network (Center of Excellence in Biofilm Research) and Carnegie -Mellon University, Pittsburg, PA, and Mass. Gen. Hospital (Dept. of Anesthesia and Critical Care) with Harvard University, Boston, MA, all under the umbrella of his Global Microbiology Consulting. (GMC) (www.globalbugs.com). He was Acting Director of Microbiology, Laboratory Medicine, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, 2013-2016.
      • Kevin Alby, PhD, D(ABMM)
        Assistant Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Director, Associate Director, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, UNC School of Medicine
        Biography
          Dr. Alby is currently the Assistant Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, the Director, Bacteriology and Susceptibility Testing, and the Associate Director, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He received his Phd at Brown University in Pathobiology, and his BS from Marquette University in Clinical Laboratory Science. He has certifcations with the American Board of Medical Microbiology, as well as the American Society for Clinical Pathology. He has received Awards aand Honors as follows; Forty under Forty, American Society for Clinical Pathology, ASM Raymond W. Sarber Award Recipient, John G. Peterson Pre-doctoral Fellow, Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, Joukowsky Family Outstanding Dissertation Award, and the Eukaryotic Cell Outstanding Young Investigator Award. Dr. Alby has also written many hundreds of publications and reviews.
        • Manica Balasegaram
          BMed Sci, BMBS, DTM&H, MSc, FRCP, Executive Director, GARDP
          Biography
            Dr Manica Balasegaram is GARDP's Executive Director and has been instrumental in leading GARDP through its three-year incubation to an independent legal entity, during which time GARDP launched four programmes and built a skilled and dedicated team with expertise from a range of sectors and backgrounds. Manica trained as a medical doctor at the University of Nottingham, UK from where he started his career in internal and emergency medicine. From 2001 onwards, he worked as a doctor and researcher in several countries in Sub- Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. He also gained significant experience working in humanitarian emergencies and responses, largely with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). At the end of 2007 he joined the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative as Head of Leishmaniasis Clinical Program - a position he held for four years before returning to MSF as Executive Director of their Access Campaign. He joined GARDP in June 2016 and is currently a board member of the Medicines Patent Pool as well as of FIND's Scientific Advisory Committee. Manica's experience spans clinical and public health practice in infectious diseases and international work on health policy & access to medicines. He has served on numerous technical and health policy panels and expert groups. He also has substantial experience in conducting and overseeing clinical trials and drug development projects.
          • Daniela Bezdan, PhD
            Research Director, Mason Laboratory of Integrative Genomics, Weill Cornell Medicine, Co-Chair NASA geneLab Microbiome, Executive Director MetaSUB
            Biography
              Dr. Daniela Bezdan is currently working as the Research Director of the Mason Laboratory of Integrative Genomics at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. She is involved in multiple diverse projects in urban metagenomics and NASA microbiome/omics studies (ISS space station, NASA Twin Study & Mars rover). She is particular interested in development of novel next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and bioinformatic solutions on earth and in space. Daniela just accepted a Co-Chair for the NASA GeneLab Microbiome Innovative and is currently Executive Director of the International MetaSUB consortium with 220 members from more than 25 countries. Her academic pedigree includes the EMBL in Heidelberg (Germany), the Max-Planck-Institute in Tuebingen (Germany), UCSD (USA), the University of Kyoto (Japan), the CRG/EMBL in Barcelona (Spain) and the Weill-Cornell-Med in New York (USA). Daniela Bezdan also accepted a new position as the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Bumrungrad International Hospital but will remain affiliated with Weil Cornell Medicine and NASA GeneLab.
            • Patrick Chain, PhD
              Scientist V, Bioinformatics and Applied Genomics, Bioscience Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory
              Biography
                Patrick Chain directs the Metagenomics Applications, and the Bioinformatics and Analytics Teams in the Bioscience Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory and co-manages the Division's Genomics Program. His research group both develops novel algorithms and methods in bioinformatics and metagenomics, and applies them to both applied organism detection and sample characterization and to more basic research questions in a range of 'biomes', from human and other eukaryotic microbiomes, to the study of environmental ecosystems. He was awarded a B.Sc. and M.Sc. at McMaster University and a Ph.D. at Michigan State University. He has previously led microbial genomics and microbial interactions groups at the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and at LANL focuses his research on metagenomic applications and data analysis.
              • Seth Crosby, MD
                Director Scientific Collaboration , Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine
                Biography
                  Seth Crosby is the Director of Science Collaboration in the Department of Genetics at Washington University. Crosby works with groups within and outside the University to leverage technology to achieve research and clinical goals. He has been at Washington University for 16 years. During that time, he directed the Department of Genetics Microarray Core, which is now part of GTAC and then GTAC, itself, during its first two years. Prior to that he was the Director of Translational Research at the Genome Center (now the McDonnell Genome Institute). Prior to his tenure at Washington University, Dr. Crosby worked in the field of genomics and drug discovery at Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer and Pharmacia.
                • Garth Ehrlich, PhD, FAAAS
                  Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, Professor of Otolarynology-Head and Neck Surgery, Drexel University College of Medicine
                  Biography
                    Dr. Ehrlich is Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCoM) in Philadelphia, PA, USA. He also directs: the Center for Genomic Sciences (CGS); the Center for Advanced Microbial Processing (CAMP); and the Center for Surgical Infections and Biofilms within the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease at DUCoM. In addition, he directs the Core Genomics Facility for the Drexel University as a whole. CGS scientists utilize a broad array of comparative genomic techniques and bioinformatic tools, many developed in-house, to identify and characterize both virulence genes within pathogens, and susceptibility genes to pathogens within their hosts. Dr Ehrlich is also one of the founders of the field of Clinical Molecular Diagnostics (MDx), having been involved in the original application of PCR for the detection of human retroviruses in 19851. He founded the MDx Division at UPMC and used these experiences to author the first textbook/lab manual for infectious disease (ID) MDx2. Together with a team of like-minded pioneers he was one of the founders of the Association for Molecular Pathology and served as the first co-chair of the ID section. Dr Ehrlich counts among his major contributions to science the mapping and cloning of several major human disease genes3,4, and the re-writing of much of our understanding of chronic bacterial pathogenesis5,6. The latter began with his promulgation of the biofilm paradigm to explain many facets of chronic mucosal microbial infections7-9. Working with Chris Post, he started his explorations into chronic middle-ear disease in children in the early 90's which he has since repeatedly generalized such that it is now widely accepted that the vast majority of all chronic microbial infections are biofilm-associated10,11. He also advanced the Distributed Genome Hypothesis (DGH12,13) to explain the enormous clinical variability among strains of a bacterial species, which together with the biofilm paradigm form the bases for his rubric of Bacterial Plurality6. His work in human genetics combined with the laboratory resources necessary to test the DGH have resulted in his having played a role in the development of several waves of genomic technology over the last quarter century including microsatellite mapping, microarrays, and next-generation sequencing. More recently he has developed the concept of bacterial population-level virulence factors and has for the first time within the field of bacterial genomics used statistical genetics and machine learning algorithms approaches to identify unannotated distributed genes that are associated with virulence. These computational methodologies provides a non-biased, top-down approach to prioritize the annotation of hypothetical genes14. Coincident with the recent relocation of his research enterprise to DUCOM he founded CAMP which functions as a collaborative multi-discipline facility for exploitation of a suite of technological advances, many developed within the CGS, which permit the identification, cloning, heterologous expression, and biochemical verification of commercially important biosynthetic and biodegradative pathways from what he refers to as the "Genomic Dark Matter". This approach came out his successful collaborative studies with Dr. David Sherman at the University of Michigan wherein they used multiple omics technologies (and developed the term meta-omics) to isolate and characterize all of the genes for a novel biosynthetic pathway for an important anti-cancer drug from an unculturable endosymbiotic bacterium of a tunicate15. Over the past several years Dr Ehrlich has overseen the development of a novel ultra-high-fidelity microbiome assay that provides quantitative, species-specific analyses of microbial consortia using whole-gene 16S amplification and sequencing on the Pacific Biosciences third generation long-read sequencing platform16. When combined with a state-of-the art bioinformatics pipeline that takes advantage of novel pathway- algorithms and a custom database, developed in-house, this system provides unprecedented accuracy. In collaboration with Dr Curtis Harris at the NCI, Dr Ehrlich and his team applied this high-fidelity microbiome assay to identify bacterial species-specific changes to the lung microbiome associated with a specific TP-53 mutation - providing the first microbial biomarker for cancer17. Dr Ehrlich's lifelong interest in emergent MDx and "omic" technologies led to his recent appointment as Director of the Meta-Omics Core Facility at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, a consortium NCI-designated Cancer Center involving Thomas Jefferson University and Drexel University. Dr Ehrlich's latest paradigm-changing hypothesis is that Alzheimer's disease results from a combination of chronic bacterial infections of the brain (primarily originating from the periodontium) and the brain's anti-microbial and inflammatory responses to these infections. Dr. Ehrlich was elected as fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2014 and has won numerous awards for his research and teaching.
                  • Jennifer Fettweis, PhD
                    Assistant Professor & Director, Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology, Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Research Alliance for Microbiome Science Registry, Virginia Commonwealth University
                    Biography
                      Jennifer M. Fettweis, Ph.D. is the founder and director of the Research Alliance for Microbiome Science (RAMS) Registry and assistant professor in the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Virginia Commonwealth University. From 2009-2019, she served as the project director for two projects funded through the NIH's Human Microbiome Project: the Vaginal Human Microbiome Project (VaHMP) and the Multi-Omic Microbiome Study: Pregnancy Initiative (MOMS-PI). Dr. Fettweis was awarded a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Virginia Commonwealth University. As an international leader in the microbiome science, Dr. Fettweis studies how the microbiome impacts risk for pregnancy complications with a focus on the microbiome's influence on health disparities. She also investigates how human health is influenced by the transmission of the microbiome from mother to child and across generations.
                    • Jonathan Galazka, PhD
                      GeneLab Project Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center
                      Biography
                        Dr. Jonathan Galazka is Project Scientist of the NASA GeneLab project at NASA Ames Research Center. Jonathan received a PhD in Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley where he studied biomass degradation and conversion by filamentous fungi and yeasts. He performed a postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon State University where he studied the mechanisms of heterochromatin establishment, and the role of heterochromatin in maintaining genome structure. In addition to his work on GeneLab, Jonathan is developing synthetic biological solutions to NASA's technological needs.
                      • Susan Hafenstein, PhD
                        Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Director of Cryo-EM Imaging Facility, Pennsylvania State University
                        Biography
                          Susan Hafenstein Is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and the Director of Cryo-EM Imaging Facility at Pennsylvania State University. Her work focuses on using cryo EM to learn more about how viruses interact with the host.
                        • Jonathan Jacobs, PhD
                          Director of Global Product Management, Genome Analysis, QIAGEN
                          Biography
                            Jonathan Jacobs Ph.D. has over 18 years of experience in bioinformatics, molecular genetics, and microbial genomics. In 1999, he received his BSc. in Plant Biology from the University of Arizona's College of Agriculture, and in 2006 he earned his PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Jacobs was then awarded a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, where his research focused on epigenetic control of gene expression. Following his postdoc, he obtained several patents in cell line engineering while a scientist in MedImmune's Antibody Discovery & Protein Engineering group. He later went on to join MRIGlobal to lead applied genomics programs. For eight years, Dr. Jacobs led MRIGlobal's pathogen genomics and bioinformatics team, developing systems for mobile pathogen diagnostics, microbial forensics, and point-of-need field testing. He was also the genomics team lead for U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency's S2S/PanGIA program: a deployable metagenomics system for use in clinical diagnostic and environmental surveillance laboratories. Dr. Jacobs joined QIAGEN in 2018 as Director of Global Product Management, Genome Analysis, where he is leading the development road-map for CLC bio, a portfolio of enterprise level bioinformatics software solutions.
                          • Peng Jiang, PhD
                            Research Assistant Professor, Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology, Department of Neurobiology, Northwestern University
                            Biography
                              Dr. Peng Jiang is a Research Assistant Professor at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology, Northwestern University. Dr. Jiang's research uses systems biology and multi-omics approaches to understand sleep and circadian rhythms and their roles in mammalian health and disease. His most recent and current work includes multiple NASA-supported projects to study the role of the gut microbiome in mammalian physiology during spaceflight. The ultimate goal of these projects is to enable microbiome-based approaches to mitigate risks to astronaut health during long-term space explorations. Dr. Jiang is also a member of NASA GeneLab Microbe Analysis Working Group (AWG).
                            • Kin Kuok, PhD
                              Field Application Scientist, MGI Americas
                              Biography
                                Kin Kuok is the Field Application Scientist of MGI Tech Co., Ltd. (MGI), a subsidiary of BGI Group. Dr. Kuok has more than 5 years of hands-on experience in the next-generation sequencing field. Dr. Kuok obtained his Ph.D. degree at the University of Toronto, Canada, with a focus on molecular biology.
                              • Ann Palmenberg, PhD
                                Roland Rueckert Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Virology, UW-Madison
                                Biography
                                  Ann Palmenberg received her BS degree (Chemistry) from St. Lawrence University in 1970, and her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Biochemistry, 1975), working in the laboratory of Paul Kaesberg. She received postdoctoral training with Charles Weissmann (Zurich) and Roland Rueckert (Madison). As the PI of a continuously funded (NIH) independent research program at the UW-Madison since 1978, Ann is now a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and the Institute for Molecular Virology. Her work on the molecular biology of positive-sense RNA viruses, particularly picornaviruses in the cardiovirus and enterovirus (rhinovirus) genera, has achieved international stature for its breadth and content. She has expertise in computational modeling of protein:protein interactions, bioinformatics (sequence analysis), recombinant protein expression, protein purification, protein detection, enzyme assays (activity and complex formation ),and structural biology (crystallography, NMR, cryoEM). She has published extensively on these topics, both for research and technical audiences. She is an expert in RNA biochemistry, RNA dynamics, and RNA evolution. She teaches virology, bioinformatics and molecular modeling at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
                                • Stacey Schultz-Cherry, PhD
                                  Full Member (Professor) Department of Infectious Diseases, St Jude Children's Research Hospital
                                  Biography
                                    Dr. Schultz-Perry's introduction to influenza pathogenesis began as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Virginia Hinshaw at the University of Wisconsin. Given her PhD training as a cellular biochemist with an emphasis on wound healing and extracellular matrix-growth factor interactions in the Department of Pathology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, her postdoctoral studies focused on understanding the viral and cellular factors involved in influenza virus-induced apoptosis. She was specifically interested in how highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses induced extensive damage. These studies led to a faculty position at the Southeast Poultry Research Lab (USDA-ARS) studying HPAI. The timing of the move corresponded to the 1997 HPAI outbreak in humans in Hong Kong. During her 5 years at the USDA, she was intimately involved in the H5N1 outbreak in terms of diagnostics, epidemiology, surveillance, and pathogenesis and worked closely with the CDC. They were also one of the first laboratories to begin working with turkey pneumovirus; closely related to human metapneumovirus. In 2002, she accepted a tenure-track faculty position at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health where her laboratory continued to focus on pathogenesis. She also identified and characterized a novel antiviral peptide that blocks influenza attachment. Their patent was recently licensed by a small influenza company. After receiving tenure at Wisconsin, St. Jude offered her a faculty position that she could not refuse. At St. Jude, her laboratory is part of the Center for Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance and the World Health Organization Collaborating Center. They are continuing with basic research studies but have also initiated surveillance efforts throughout Latin America.
                                  • Nejc Stopnisek, PhD
                                    Postdoctoral Scholar, Michigan State University
                                    Biography
                                      Nejc Stopnisek is a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University. His research revolves around the use of Next-Generation Sequencing, metabolomics, bioinformatics, and physiological methods to characterize soil and plant associated microbial communities, uncover their functional importance, and decipher molecular and metabolic mechanisms underpinning their responses to anthropogenic perturbations and climate change processes. Recently his work is focused on unravelling the beneficial microbes of the common bean and their integration in plant breeding strategies. Before joining Michigan State University, Dr. Stopnisek worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Washington, applying synthetic microbial ecology approaches to better understand syntrophic interactions in anaerobic systems. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Zurich, Switzerland and Undergraduate diploma from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
                                    • Pablo Tsukayama, Ph.D
                                      Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia, and Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
                                      Biography
                                        I am a Peruvian microbiologist with a long-standing interest in infectious diseases affecting Latin American populations. My research training and interests lie at the interface of clinical microbiology, bioinformatics and infectious disease epidemiology. In 2015, I obtained my PhD in Molecular Microbiology at Washington University in St. Louis under the guidance of Dr. Gautam Dantas, where my thesis work lead to a research article in Nature. Later, as a Chevening Scholar, I obtained an MSc in Public Health in Developing Countries at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 2017, I returned to Peru to establish my research group at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, where I had obtained my BSc degree 11 years earlier. As principal investigator of the Microbial Genomics Laboratory, I lead an interdisciplinary team of biologists, veterinarians, physicians and epidemiologists working on the genomic surveillance of bacterial pathogens relevant to Peruvian public health. I currently mentor four graduate students and six undergraduate researchers. I am currently supported by UPCH's 'return scholarship,' aimed at foreign-trained Peruvian scientists wishing to establish their research groups at UPCH. As a new investigator, I am committed to conducting rigorous science relevant to Peruvian public health and providing a supportive and nurturing environment for my team.
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