Speakers

MEET OUR SPEAKERS

Dr. Benedetta Bodini MD, PhD

Sorbonne Université, Paris Brain Institute ICM, CNRS, Inserm

 

Paris, France

Prof. Diego Centonze MD, PhD

Dipartimento di Medicina dei Sistemi
Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata
Neuromed

 

Roma/Pozzilli – Italy

Diego Centonze is Full Professor of Neurology at the Department of Systems Medicine of the University of Rome Tor Vergata and Director of the Unit of Neurology at the IRCCS Neuromed in Pozzilli (IS), Italy. He also leads the Synaptic Immunopathology Laboratory at Tor Vergata University. His research interests are related to the role of synaptic transmission and plasticity in the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis and of its experimental model, and to the mechanisms of the neurodegenerative damage and of mood disturbances in neurological diseases. Prof. Centonze graduated in Medicine at the University of Rome La Sapienza in 1994, specialised in Neurology in 1999 and in Psychiatry in 2006 at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. He obtained his PhD in Rehabilitation Medicine in 2012. Prof. Centonze is author of around 530 peer-reviewed papers published in international journals of Neuroscience, Neurology and Psychiatry. H-index (Scopus): 83.

Prof. Francesco Cucca MD

Full Professor of Medical Genetics
Director Unit Clinical Genetics,
Sassari University Hospital

 

Sassari, Italy

Prof. Maja Jagodic PhD

Professor of Neuroinflammation
Department of Clinical Neuroscience (CNS)
Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM)
Karolinska Institute (KI)

 

Stockholm, Sweden

Maja Jagodic completed her MSc at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, in Molecular Biology and Physiology specializing in Experimental Medicine in 1999. Upon obtaining the Swedish Institute scholarship, she moved to Sweden where she completed her PhD degree at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm in 2004 studying genetic predisposition to autoimmune diseases. After thesis defense, she spent a year at the Karolinska Institute gaining skills in human genetics. Already towards the end of her PhD, Maja became fascinated by the field of epigenetics. At that time, epigenetic mechanisms, which orchestrate genome activity in response to environmental cues, were strongly implicated in the etiology of complex inflammatory diseases but virtually unexplored. Maja was awarded a Wenner-Gren postdoctoral fellowship to study epigenetic mechanisms in cancer at the University of Cambridge, UK. In 2008, she was awarded an Assistant Professor position by the Swedish Research Council her pioneering research in epigenetics of neuroinflammation and she returned to Sweden to initiate studies of epigenetic mechanisms in Multiple Sclerosis. She was appointed a group leader at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in 2012, she became an Associate Professor in Experimental Medicine in 2014 and a Professor of Neuroinflammation in 2021. Her research group thrives in the field of translational neuroimmunology focusing on the mechanisms underlying neuroinflammation and neuronal loss in Multiple Sclerosis and other inflammatory diseases with similar complex etiology. This builds on her expertise in functional genetics, human genetics and epigenetics of inflammation. Her group utilizes state-of-the-art molecular and analytical methods to elucidate functional states of discrete cells in unique clinical cohorts, followed by functional studies in advanced experimental models, with the goal to reveal the etiology of neuroinflammatory diseases and improve their management through novel treatments and specific biomarkers. Her excellent scientific quality and leadership is recognized by multiple awards (e.g. the Best PI at KI award, 2015), fellowships and grants (e.g. the ERC-consolidator grant, 2019; the Wallenberg grant, 2020, multiple EU Horizon2020 grants) and by her membership in renowned constellations of experts in neuroimmunology, genetics and epigenetics. 

Prof. Isabel Leite MD, DPhil, FRCP

Group of Neuroimmunology and Department of Clinical Neurology
John Radcliffe Hospital

 

Oxford, UK

Dr. Marianna Spatola MD, PhD

Fundació Clínic per la Recerca Biomèdica – IDIBAPS Research Institute

 

Barcelona, Spain

Marianna Spatola was born in 1982 in Italy. She is an MD PhD, neurologist and researcher, currently working as Postdoc Junior Leader by la Caixa Foundation in the Neuroimmunology Unit (Laboratory of Dr Dalmau) at IDIBAPS Research Institute, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain. Her research aims to establish the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the development of immune-mediated neurological syndromes, such as autoimmune encephalitis, with a particular focus on understanding the role of viruses in triggering brain autoimmunity. She obtained her medical degree (M.D.) from the University of Turin (Italy), completed her Neurology residency and obtained her PhD in Life Science at the University of Lausanne (CHUV, UNIL, Switzerland), and her post-doctorate at Harvard University in Boston (USA). She is author of more than 30 publications in international peer-reviewed scientific journals and is member of the Editorial Board of the journal Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation. She has broad experience as speaker at numerous international congresses (in Europe, USA, India) and is active member of teaching and training programs, for instance as director of the course “Autoimmune paraneoplastic neurological syndromes” at the American Academy of Neurology Meeting since 2021. Moreover, she has covered leadership roles as junior chair at scientific sessions (American Academy of Neurology, European Academy of Neurology) or workgroup (European guidelines for the treatment of Autoimmune Encephalitis), as well as member of steering committee (Italian Network of autoimmune Neurology). Since her pre-doctoral training, she has obtained over $ 1.000.000 in grants to support her research, and has mentored 3 pre-doctoral students and supervised several others (Master students, post-doc trainees). She has been awarded the Faculty Prize from the University of Lausanne in 2018, the Neuroscience Research Scholarship from the American Academy of Neurology in 2018, and the Neurovirology Lectureship Award from the International Neurovirology Society in 2020.

Prof. Ari Waisman PhD

Institute for Molecular Medicine
University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University

Mainz, Germany

Degree program:
  • 1983 – 1986, Life Sciences, B.Sc., Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, IL
  • 1986 – 1988, Genetics, M.Sc., The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, IL

 

Doctorate:
  • 1989 – 1994, Immunology, Ph.D, Mentor: Prof. E. Mozes, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, IL

Academic/Professional career:
  • Since 2011, W3 Univ. Prof. and Director, Institute for Molecular Medicine, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
  • 2010 – 2011, Acting Director, Institute for Molecular Medicine, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
  • 2005 – 2010, W2 Univ. Prof. in the I. Medical Department, University Medical Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz
  • 2001 – 2005, Independent Group Leader, Laboratory for Molecular Immunology, Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • 2000 – 2001, Research Associate, Department of Immunology, Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • 1996 – 2000, Postdoctoral research with K. Rajewski, University of Cologne
  • 1994 – 1996, Postdoctoral research with L. Steinman, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
  • Since 2023 Coordinator, TRR 355
  • Since 2023 Member, Scientific Council of the Institute Pasteur, Paris
  • Since 2022 Deputy Director, IMB International PhD Program
  • Since 2022 Steering committee, SPP 2395 microglia
  • Since 2019 Editorial Board, Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation
  • Since 2019 Director of the International Master of Biomedicine of the Universities of Mainz, Strasbourg and Luxembourg
  • Since 2018 Steering Committee, SFB 1292
  • Since 2018 Editor in Chief, Journal of Molecular Medicine
  • Since 2018 Elected member of the board of German Society for Immunology (DGfI)
  • 2015 – 2018 Coordinator, ERA-NET NEURON MELTRA-BBB
  • Since 2015 Steering Committee, IMB International PhD Program
  • 2015 – 2022 Editorial Board, Cellular Immunology
  • Since 2014 Editorial Board, Acta Neuropathologica
  • 2013 – 2016 Coordinator, EU ITN NeuroKine
  • Since 2012 Advisory Board of Novartis on the role of IL-17A linking psoriasis with cardiovascular diseases
  • Since 2012 Director, Master program in Biomedicine of the University of Mainz
  • 2012 – 2016 Elected member of the International Advisory Board of the International Society of Neuroimmunology (ISNI)
  • Since 2012 Steering Committee, TRR 128
  • Since 2010 Associate Editor BMC Immunology
  • 1998 – 2000 The European Community Long Term Fellowship
  • 1996 – 1998 The Human Frontier Science Program Fellowship (HFSPO)
  • 2020 Reinhart Koselleck-Projekt
  • 2016 Sobek Prize (International Multiple Sclerosis Prize)
  • Postdocs: 15
  • PhD Students: 29
  • Master Students: 20
  • Bachelor Students: 27
  • MD Students: 7

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