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KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

William Fenical obtained his PhD from the University of California, Riverside and his is distinguished professor of oceanography and pharmaceutical sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. His career in marine natural products has spanned 50 years ever since his early work on the pigments of abalone shells. Fenical has more than 475 publications in marine natural products and 200 of these have involved developing the field of marine microbial chemistry. Among many awards and honors, he is the recipient of the Paul Scheuer Award in Marine Natural Products Chemistry (1996), the International Society of Chemical Ecology’s Silver Medal Award (1997), the Ernest Guenther Award in Natural Products from the American Chemical Society (2006). In 2008, Bill was elected as Fellow of the American Association of Science (AAAS). And in, 2015 was elected the scientist of the year by the San Diego Regional American Chemical Society.
Vassilios Roussis, Professor at the Department of Pharmacy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, has over 30 years of research experience in the isolation and structural identification of secondary metabolites with pharmacological activity from marine macroorganisms and microorganisms. In the last years, he has been actively involved in the preparation of nanoscaffolds based on marine biopolymers for biomedical applications. He is author of more than 180 publications and 5 patents and his research has been funded through national and European research grants. He has served for two years as Chairman of the Phytochemical Society of Europe. In 2015 he received the PSE – Bruker Award “in recognition of his outstanding contributions to chemistry, structure and function of marine natural products”.
Jon Clardy obtained his BS degree from Yale University and his PhD from Harvard University – both in chemistry. He has served on the Chemistry Department faculties of Iowa State University and Cornell University, and he is currently the Hsien Wu & Daisy Yen Wu Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. His research has focused on naturally occurring biologically active small molecules, their macromolecular targets, and their roles in biology and medicine. His current interests involve the molecular underpinnings of complex symbiotic systems involving both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, bacterial influences on animal and plant development, bacterial communications, and the influence of the human gut microbiome on human health and disease. He currently lectures in graduate courses and teaches a Freshman Seminar entitled Psychoactive Molecules from Babylon to Breaking Bad to Harvard undergraduates.
José María Fernández Sousa-Faro has been a Professor of Biochemistry at the Complutense University of Madrid and the University of Santiago de Compostela, he obtained an MBA from the IESE Business School in Madrid. Dr. Fernández Sousa-Faro has over 90 scientific articles and patents in the field of biochemistry, drug discovery and molecular biology. With more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, he has held positions within the executive management of ICI-Farma, Antibióticos, Zeltia and Pharma Mar. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Antibiotics, Penibérica, Biolys, ICI-Farma, Pescanova, Transfesa, Cooper–Zeltia, ICI-Zeltia and Banco Guipuzcoano. He founded Pharma Mar in 1986 and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive President of Pharma Mar.
Bradley Moore is Professor of Marine Chemical Biology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Chair of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UC San Diego. As an author of over 200 publications, his research focuses on understanding how marine organisms construct complex bioactive molecules with an eye toward biomedicine, biotechnology and biodiversity. Dr. Moore is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Academy of Microbiology, former President of the American Society for Pharmacognosy, Director of the Scripps Center for Oceans and Human Health, and the recipient of the Arthur C. Cope Scholar prize from the American Chemical Society (2013) and the Natural Product Chemistry award from the Royal Society of Chemistry (2018).
Pedro Leão heads the Cyanobacterial Natural Products Team at CIIMAR (University of Porto, Portugal). He graduated in Biochemistry at the University of Porto (2005) and obtained his PhD in the same University in 2010 where he studied the chemical ecology of cyanobacteria under the supervision of Vitor Vasconcelos. He then focused on the discovery, chemistry and biosynthesis of new natural products from marine cyanobacteria, and did postdoctoral stays at Scripps Oceanography (with Bill Gerwick) and Harvard University (with Emily Balskus). In 2017 he was awarded an ERC Starting Grant and established his lab at CIIMAR. His research is focused on uncovering the rich chemistry and enzymology that is encoded in cyanobacterial genomes. He has published two book chapters, over 30 articles in international peer-reviewed journals and has two patent applications.
Jaclyn Winter obtained her B.S. in Chemistry and Molecular Genetics from the State University of New York College at Fredonia and obtained her Ph.D. in Marine Natural Product Biosynthesis under the guidance of Professor Bradley Moore at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her dissertation focused on elucidating the biosynthesis of halogenated natural products isolated from marine-derived actinomycete bacteria. After graduate school, Jackie carried out a postdoctoral appointment with Professor Christian Hertweck at the Hans Knöll Institute in Jena, Germany where she isolated and characterized bioactive natural products from filamentous fungi. For her second postdoctoral appointment, Jackie joined the laboratory of Professor Yi Tang at UCLA where she explored the biosynthesis of fungal polyketides. In 2015, Jackie joined the Medicinal Chemistry Department as an Assistant Professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Utah. Her current research is focused on exploring the biomolecular chemistry of natural products produced by marine-derived filamentous fungi and halophilic actinomycetes.

 

Leticia Costa-Lotufo is a full professor and head of the Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, and University of São Paulo. Her lab is focused on the discovery of new anticancer compounds from Brazilian marine biodiversity and studies on their mechanisms of action. Recently, she started a multidisciplinary project to access marine microorganisms diversity and biotechnological potential along the Brazilian coast and islands. Dr. Costa-Lotufo’s activities include the supervision of undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. She has published book chapters, review articles and more than 240 articles in peer-reviewed journals. In 2017, Costa-Lotufo was nominated as member of the Academy of Science of São Paulo State.

Eric Schmidt is Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Droschkey Endowed Chair in Pharmacy at the University of Utah. Following graduate work with John Faulkner at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Craig Townsend at Johns Hopkins University, he focused on symbiosis and biosynthesis in marine invertebrate animals.

Emmanuel Theodorakis received his B.Sc. Degree in Chemistry from the University of Athens, Greece and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. Degrees from Paris XI University in France.  His M.Sc. studies were performed at the Institute of Chemistry of Natural Products and his Ph.D. studies at Texas A&M University.  Following a postdoctoral appointment at The Scripps Research Institute, he joined the faculty at the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of California San Diego, where he is currently a Professor and the T. G. Traylor Scholar.  In addition to teaching, he supervises a group of students and postdoctoral researchers and collaborates with several scientists in the biological and medical field. His research efforts focus on small molecule-based drug discovery including natural products and synthetic analogues thereof as drug leads.
Guy Carter, Ph. D.  is Chief Scientific Officer of Biosortia Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery of novel compounds from aquatic microbial consortia.    His previous industrial experience was as Vice President of Chemical Technologies at Wyeth/Pfizer.  In this role at Wyeth he was responsible for Natural Products Discovery, which included all aspects of this program from the acquisition of biodiversity, microbiology and fermentation through chemical isolation and genetic engineering.  In 30 years of research in industry he discovered numerous biologically active natural products, two of which led to commercial products. As a result of this research he is named as an inventor on 21 issued US Patents and as a co-author on more than 120 publications.  Dr. Carter has been active in the scientific community as well, serving on editorial boards of the Journal of Antibiotics, Journal of Natural Products, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, and Natural Products Reports.  He was a member of the NIH Synthetic and Biological Chemistry B Study Section 2005-2008.   He is a former President of the American Society for Pharmacognosy (ASP), and was recently elected as an ASP Fellow.
Angelo Fontana is a Research Director of the National Research Council of Italy(CNR). He works at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry (ICB) of Pozzuoli (Naples) as leader of the Bio-Organic Chemistry Unit (BOCU) with a scientific focus on the exploration and exploitation of marine genetic resources for biotech applications. Angelo Fontana has a national qualification as full professor in organic chemistry and is guest professor of the Second Military Medical University of Shanghai (China). He received a post-doctoral scholarship from the “Japan Society for Promotion of Science” at the University of Hokkaido in Sapporo (Japan) and has been appointed as visiting scientist and staff member at the Chemistry Department of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Canada). Member of several international committees for the promotion and study of marine natural products, in 2009 he received the Apivita Award from the Phytochemistry Society of Europe (PSE) for the contribution in the field of natural products. The research activity is summarized in almost 190 papers, 5 patents on biotechnological products and various communications at international conferences. In 2016 he co-founded BioSEArch, a biotech startup company for the development of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and nutraceuticals from marine natural products.
Georg Pohnert studied Chemistry at the University of Karlsruhe. He then moved to the University of Bonn where he pursued his doctoral studies in the Group of Prof. W. Boland. Part of this work, which was focused on the pheromone chemistry of brown algae was carried out at the University of Washington, in the laboratories of Prof. Heinz G. Floss. In 1997 he joined the groups of Prof. Bruce Ganem and Prof. David B. Wilson at the Cornell University in Ithaca where he stayed as a postdoc working on the biochemical and biophysical characterisation of the E. coli P-protein with focus on the phenylalanine receptor site. He was then appointed to a group leader position at the Max-Planck-Institute for chemical ecology in Jena, Germany where he started his independent research carrier on algal defence reactions. In 2005, he was appointed as assistant professor at the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. He moved in 2007 to the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena where he was appointed as chair in Instrumental Analytics. A Lichtenberg Professorship was awarded to him by the Volkswagen Foundation. Currently Georg serves as vice president for research at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.