Speakers Bios

Speakers Bios

Unraveling Cyno DNA: Mapping a Path to Better Research Models; Pennington, NJ & Online; May 10, 2012

Global Head of Molecular Toxicology
Non-Clinical Safety, pRED
F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Basel Switzerland

Ulrich Certa was born in Büren, Germany in 1953. He received his Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Göttingen (FRG) in 1978 and a Ph.D. degree in 1981 in Developmental Biology. From 1982 until 1985 he joined Michael Grunstein’s lab at UCLA Los Angeles as a postdoctoral fellow working on yeast histones. In 1985 the joined the central research laboratories at F. Hoffmann-La Roche in Switzerland working on Malaria vaccine development. Since then, he was involved in numerous research projects with focus on genomics and implementation of novel technologies such as microarrays or next generation sequencing. In 2007 he was appointed as Professor of Molecular Genetics at the Medical Faculty at the University of Basil. In 2008 he joined the department of preclinical safety where he is currently global head of Molecular Toxicology. His current research focus is the genomic and genetic characterization of animal models as a step towards improvement of drug safety in humans. Prof. Certa has published more than 90 peer-reviewed papers and serves as Editor-in-Chief for the journal Microarrays.

Senior Principal Scientist
Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ

Siew Ho obtained her Ph.D. in organic chemistry with the Nobel Laureate Professor Donald Cram at UCLA. She then obtained her post-doctoral training with William DeGrado (currently at U. Pennsylvania) in the area of protein biochemistry. During the early years of her career at Central Research, DuPont Pharmaceuticals, Siew utilized her training with Professor DeGrado and worked in the area of peptide-based biomaterials, with applications to lipid membranes and non-linear optical materials. In the 1990s, while still in Central Research at DuPont, she moved into the area of DNA and RNA-based oligonucleotides, utilizing these molecules for validation of gene targets for drug discovery. Her laboratory engaged in all aspects of oligonucleotides research including oligo design, oligo synthesis and purification, cell—based and in vivo studies. She has been at Bristol-Myers Squibb since 2002. At BMS, Siew continues to use antisense and siRNA oligonucleotides not only to validate gene targets, but also to address questions of compound toxicity and drug metabolism to name a few applications. Her projects are currently in the therapeutic areas of diabetes, atherosclerosis, obesity, neuroscience and oncology, and her in vivo studies are conducted in various rodent species and non-human primates.

Principal Scientist, Division of Virology
National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC),
A Centre of the Health Protection Agency, UK

2001-date: Principal Scientist, NIBSC

1994-2001: Post-doctoral research fellow, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, UK:  retroviral pathogenicity

1990-1993: PhD studentship, University of Leicester, UK: molecular genetics

Research area: Infection and pathology of primate RNA viruses.

My research interests are centered on RNA viruses that may result in persistent infection. Broadening our knowledge of viral pathogenesis, host genetic susceptibility and host immune responses, my group aims to better understand correlates of immune protection and apply these to the design of immunotherapeutic strategies in models of human infectious disease. We work on the macaque model of HIV/AIDS and the tamarin model of HCV infection. I am involved in the scientific management of a breeding colony of cynomolgus macaques. This has enabled me to direct the creation of both SPF colonies of Indonesian macaques and genetics-led breeding groups for the production of MHC-defined Mauritian macaques for research.  Dr. Rose has published numerous scientific publications.

Professor of Biological Anthropolgy
University of California, Davis, CA

David Glenn Smith is a Professor of Biological Anthropology on the faculty of anthropology of the University of California at Davis. He is director of the Molecular Anthropology Laboratory and holds a staff scientist appointment at the California National Primate Research Center. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, a Certificate in Population Studies from the East-West Population Institute of the University of Hawaii, Manoa campus in Honolulu, M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and pursued postdoctoral research in human genetic epidemiology at the Human Genetics Department of the University of Michigan Medical School and the Institute for Cancer Research of the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. His past interests and research have focused on studies of the transmission of and susceptibility to diseases, population genetic processes and the biogeography and phylogenetic history of both human and non-human primates, the breeding and management of captive colonies of non-human primates and the influence of social structure and behavior on population structure.  Current interests include the phylogeography of genus Macaca, genetic evidence for circumstances pertaining to the settlement of the New World, the use of both modern and ancient DNA to assess ancestor-descendant relationships and characterization of the genomic structures of regional populations of species of genus Macaca.

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