Home - Plenary Speakers


Prof. Philip Cohen


University of Dundee, Scotland


The Impact Of Kinase-Inhibiting Drugs For The Treatment Of Cancers And Other Diseases


Philip trained at University College London and spent two years at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA before joining the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, Scotland in 1971, where he still works. He was a Royal Society Research Professor from 1984-2010, Director of the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit from 1990-2012, and Director of the Scottish Institute for Cell Signalling from 2008-2012. He founded the Division of Signal Transduction Therapy (DSTT) in 1998, which still operates today and is Europe’s longest running collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical industry. Philip is best known in science for helping to pioneer the field of “Protein Phosphorylation”, a biological control mechanism that regulates most aspects of cell life. He identified enzymes that became the targets for new drugs to treat cancer and arthritis and worked out a major part of the signalling pathway by which insulin converts glucose in the blood to its storage form glycogen in muscles. 15 years ago, he switched his research to study how innate immune s signalling pathways are regulated by the interplay between protein phosphorylation and protein ubiquitylation reactions. Philip’s major awards include the Prix Van Gysel of Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine (1992), the Swiss Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine (1997), the Pfizer Award for Innovative Science in Europe (1999), the BristolMyersSquibb Distinguished Achievement Award in Metabolic Medicine, the Rolf Luft Prize of the Karolinska Institute, Sweden (2006), the UK Medical Research Council’s Millennium Medal (2013) and the Albert Einstein World Award of Science from The World Cultural Council (2014). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Edinburgh and London (1984), receiving their Royal Medals in 2004 and 2008, respectively. He has also been been elected a Foreign Associate of the National Academies of Sciences of the USA (2008) and Australia (2014). Philip has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Linkoping (Sweden), Debrecen (Hungary) and Madrid (Spain) in Europe and the Universities of Strathclyde, St Andrews, Abertay and Dundee in Scotland. In 2023 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scottish Life Science Industry and the lifetime achievement award in Higher Education from The Herald newspaper.

Dr. Masabumi Shibuya,


University of Tokyo, Japan


VEGF and VEGF-Receptor system: its involvement in cancer, inflammation and preeclampsia


Born Sept. 5, 1944. 1970, M.D., Univ. of Tokyo, School of Med. 1976-1979, Research Assoc., Dept. Chem., Inst. Med. Sci., Univ. Tokyo (IMSUT) 1979-1982, Postdoc. The Rockefeller Univ. New York 1982-1990 Assoc. Prof., Dept. Genetics, IMSUT. 1990 to 2007, Professor, IMSUT (2007 March, retired) 2007 April. Moved to Tokyo Medical and Dental University (Visiting Prof.) 2007 June Emeritus Professor of the University of Tokyo. 2008 Oct. Vice President, Jobu University 2013 April President, Jobu University (until now) Degree: M. D. (March 31, 1970), Ph.D. (June 22, 1977) Speciality and Research Field of Interest Angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in cancer and inflammation. VEGF and its tyrosine kinase receptors Anti- and pro-angiogenic therapy Honors and Academic Activities Fogarty International Research Fellowship, NIH (1979-1981) Japanese Cancer Association “Tomizo Yoshida” Award (2005) Princes Takamatsu Cancer Research Award (2007) Recent invitation for special lecture in international symposium - 3rd Beijing International Symposium on Tumor Microenvironment (2015) - MM Seminar, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Peking University, China (2010) - Invited discussion leader, chairman, “Advances in VEGF Biology in Angiogenesis” in Gordon Research Conf., USA (2009) - Int. Symposium on the Molecular and cellular mechanisms of angiogenesis, Chester Univ., UK (2009) - 7th Int. Symposium on the Biology of Endothelial Cells, Vienna, Austria (2009) Major works: Isolation and characterization of VEGFR-1 (Flt-1) gene (1990), first mutant form of EGFR gene in human cancer (1988) and v-fps oncogene (1982).

Dr. PierLuigi Mauri


Institute of Technologies for Biomedicine National Council of Research (ITB-CNR), Italy


Clinical Proteomics for improving Pharmacology and Pharmaceutics investigations – from biomarkers to molecular mechanisms


PIER LUIGI MAURI has set-up a proteomics laboratory based on gel- and label-free approaches, including computational tools proteomics-based, for characterizing biomarkers and related pathways, useful to make diagnosis and predict the effect of therapy (Responder vs Non Responders). He is director of research and chief of Proteomics and Metabolomics Laboratory at ITB-CNR. He is deputy to lead the Italian Proteomics Community in ELIXIR European Infrastructure, and co-founder of Prometeo, CNR Proteomics Network. He collaborates with a number of universities, hospitals and research centers. He is co-author of more than 200 scientific manuscripts and 11 Chapters in Books, he has participated in numerous international congresses, including as invited speaker.

Prof.Ji-Kai Liu


Anhui University Of Chinese Medicine, China.


Exploring Chemical Space: New Natural Products And Bioacitivities Of Medicinal Fungi


Prof. Dr. Ji-Kai Liu is a Professor and Director of the Academic Committee, Anhui University of Chinese Medicine, Hefei, China. He acquired his Ph.D. degree at Lanzhou University in 1988. Following this, he served at Sun Yat-Sen University as a faculty member until 1995. During the period 1993–1994, he was an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of the Saarland in Germany. From 1996–1997 he worked as a Senior Scientist at the Pharmaceutical Research Center of Bayer AG in Wuppertal, Germany. In 1997, he was appointed as a full Professor of Natural Products Chemistry at the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and served as a Vice President of KIB and Director of the State Key Laboratory of Phytochemistry and Plant Resources in West China during the period 2006–2014. Then he moved to the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan, China as a Professor and Dean during 2015-2023. He has published over 500 scientific papers in many leading internationally recognized peer reviewed journals including Chem. Rev., Nat. Comm., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., PNAS, JBC. He is the author of a book entitled “Mycochemistry”, and has been named as a co-inventor for more than 30 patents. Professor Liu has received an array of honors and awards, such as the Hundred Talent Program of CAS (1995), the Bayer-CAS Award (2002), the National Natural Science Prize (2003, 2nd Class; the Central People’s Government of China), and was named as Chief Scientist of the 973 program. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of “Natural Products and Bioprospecting”, and is an Editorial Board member for six other international journals. His research field focuses on bioactive compounds obtained from higher fungi, and includes aspects of natural product chemical biology, total synthesis, and biosynthesis.

Dr. Abdulkareem Mohammed AlMomen,


King Saud University, Saudi Arabia


Alpha Lipoic Acid As A Gentle Chelating Agent


2001 International Board of Metal Toxicology Germany 1988 American Board of Internal Medicine – Hematology University of Toronto, Canada 1986 American Board of Internal Medicine University of Toronto, Canada 1986 Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada in Internal Medicine University of Toronto, Canada 1976 MB, BS, KSU Current Appointments: 2019-Present 2018-Present 2010-Present 2010- Present Publications: Memberships Research Interests: Chief Medical Officer, Consultant in Medicine-Hematology Consultant in Metal Toxicology National Blood and Cancer Center Chairman of the Scientific Committee of Saudi Board of Adult Hematology, Saudi Commission for Health Specialties Vice President, Saudi Scientific Hematology Society Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Applied Hematology  130 Research papers in peer reviewed Medical Journals  300 Abstracts in local and International Conferences Saudi Society of Hematology, Saudi Society of Blood Disorders, Saudi Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Saudi Society of Transfusion Medicine American Society of Hematology, European Hematology Association International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis, World Federation of Hemophilia, Mediterranean League Against Thrombosis Thrombosis and Hemostasis, Transfusion Medicine, Anemia Sickle Cell Disease Metal Toxicology

Dr. Antonio Zorzano


University of Barcelona, Spain



Dr. Rosario Rizzuto


University of Padua, Italy



Rosario Rizzuto is Professor of General Pathology and Chairman of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Padua. From 2015 to 2021 he was the Rector of the University of Padua. He is currently the President of the National Center for Gene Therapy and RNA-based Drugs, funded by the Italian Recovery Plan with €320,036,606.03. and grouping researchers from 47 public and private research centers. Prof. Rizzuto's research activity has been focused on the study of cellular signaling pathways, and in particular of intracellular calcium ion homeostasis in physiological and pathological conditions. Early in his career, he developed an innovative method to induce the expression of luminescent (equorin, luciferase) or fluorescent (GFP) proteins in cell organelles. This technique made it possible for the first time to quantitatively assess the concentration of calcium ions in specific organelles (endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, Golgi apparatus), demonstrating, for example, the role of mitochondrial calcium signals in apoptosis, the role of the Golgi apparatus as agonist-sensitive store and to estimate the calcium concentration in the ER and in the subplasmalemmal cytosolic rim. A seminal contribution was the demonstration of the calcium microdomains occurring in the contact sites between the ER and the mitochondria, the first demonstration of privileged signalling interactions between intracellular organelles (Science 1998, >1800 citations). More recently, he identified the protein channels responsible for mitochondrial Ca 2+ and K + fluxes. By bioinformatic screening of a database of mitochondrial gene products and in vitro and in vivo validation, a 40 kD protein was identified as the mitochondrial Ca 2+ channel, the Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter, MCU). This discovery (Nature 2011, >1500 citations) was followed by the identification of the accessory components of the MCU, and of the ATP-sensitive mitochondrial K + channel (mitoKATP), proposed as the primary regulator of ischemic pre- conditioning (Nature 2019). Overall, Prof. Rizzuto authored more than 320 publications in international journals listed by Pubmed (>50,000 citations; h-index 109, from Scopus). Prof. Rizzuto received multiple awards, including the Chiara D'Onofrio Prize, the Biotec Award, the Theodor Bucher Medal and in 2014 the Antonio Feltrinelli Award from the Accademia dei Lincei. Prof. Rizzuto gave >300 invited talks at international conferences and seminars at research institutions. He is a member of the Academia Europaea, of Accademia dei Lincei and of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). He acts as reviewer for funding agencies (BBSRC, Wellcome Trust, UMDF, etc.) and top international journals (Nature, Science, Cell, etc.). His research activity was funded through the years by National and International agencies, such as the European Research Council (Ideas Advanced "Mitocalcium" project), the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC), Telethon, the Ministries of Education and Health and the Cariparo and Cariplo Foundations.

Prof. Francesco Peri


University of Milan, Italy


Modulating innate immunity with small molecules: a new generation of vaccine adjuvants and immunotherapeutics


Full professor of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Milano-Bicocca, he also holds a permanent professorship at the Ecole Nationale Superieure (ENS) of Lyon (France). President of the MicrobiotaMi association (, and Delegate of the Rector for the University of Innovation Foundation (, an organism devoted to the valorization of innovation and to decisional support to University start-ups. Founder and head of scientific board of the academic spin-off CP2 Biotech (March 2020), whose focus is the valorization of new drug hits and the development of innovative therapeutic approaches to vaccine adjuvants and inflammatory diseases. Research interests: drug discovery and development, chemical biology, in particular the use of small organic molecules to interrogate biological systems. His group developed and patented innovative modulators of the innate immunity receptor TLR4. Some of this compounds are in preclinical phase of development as vaccine adjuvants and a collaboration is ongoing with Croda/Avanti Lipids to enter the veterinary market. Other first-in-class drug leads against heart failure were discovered, in collaboration with the company Windtree (USA), now in clinical phase of development. Is group published more than 120 papers and he is inventor in more than 10 patents, he delivered more than 50 invited lectures to international congresses, H index = 35 (scopus), 41 (Google Scholar). Grants: 2015-2018 coordinator of Horizon 2020-funded MSCA-ETN project TOLLerant, GA n 642157, 2016-2018 PGR00216 grant from MAECI, with South Korea (prof. Sung You Hung, Ulsan); 2019-2023: unit coordinator in the MSCA-ETN project BactiVax (

Prof. Yue-Wei Guo


Shanghai University, China


Secondary Metabolites from Hainan Marine Invertebrates: Chemical diversity, Biological function and Drugability


GUO is currently a Professor at School of Medicine, Shanghai University (China). He received his Bachelor degree from Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (China) in 1982,Master degree from China Pharmaceutical University in 1988, and Ph.D degree from Naples University (Italy) in 1997. He was then a postdoctoral researcher in Istituto di chimica Biomolecolare-CNR (Italy) from 1997 to 1999 and visiting professor in Hokaido University (Japan) from 1999 to 2000. His research interests mainly focus on the chemistry, chemoecology and bioactivity of the secondary metabolites from marine benthic invertebrates (molluscs, sponges and coelenterates etc.) and flora. He has authored over 450 original research papers and reviews in peer- reviewed and SCI-indexed journals and 14 invited book chapters for international/national publishers such as Wiley and American Scientific Publishers etc. He has received several international or domestic awards in recognition of his scientific work, such as “Paul-Scheuer-Award” (2010).