Title: An interface is worth a thousand pictures: An integrated systems approach to glycobiology
Dr. Daniel Bojar is a tenure-track assistant professor at the Wallenberg Centre for Molecular and Translational Medicine & the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, focusing on machine learning and data science in the field of glycobiology. He obtained his Ph.D. in mammalian synthetic biology at ETH Zurich and continued his postdoctoral training in computational biology at MIT & Harvard University. His group develops and applies methods to discover sequence-to-function associations and biological roles of glycans via a broad set of approaches from machine learning, data science, and bioinformatics. Daniel was awarded a Branco Weiss Fellowship - Society in Science, as well as a Foresight Fellowship, and was recognized as a "Rising Star" by the journal Advanced Science. He was also featured on the 2022 Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list for work in Science & Healthcare.
Title: The gel-forming mucins protecting our intestinal and respiratory tracts are densely glycosylated polymeric proteins
Gunnar C. Hansson, M.D., Ph.D. is a Professor in University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He has been working on mucus, mucins, and mucin glycans his whole career, focusing on the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. He has been part of and at the leading edge of developing molecular understanding of mucins over the last 30 years with a focus on their biosynthesis and structure. He and his team discovered that an attached colon mucus layer impenetrable to bacteria separates commensal bacteria from the host and that the chronically diseased lungs are covered with a similar type of mucus. They have studied and discovered that goblet cells making the mucus are more specialized and diverse than previously appreciated. The studied structural variability of glycans on the mucins and their mucin domains are important for commensal bacteria selection and bacterial utilization as a nutritional source. He has founded the Mucin Biology Groups constellation with a total of seven PIs working in the area at the University of Gothenburg (www.medkem.gu.se/mucinbiology).
Title: Regulation and Protein Selectivity of N-Glycan Branching Enzymes
Professor Yasuhiko Kizuka has been a researcher at Disease Glycomics Team, RIKEN, led by Dr. Naoyuki Taniguchi (2009-2017). He has joined Gifu University (Japan) as an Associate Professor since 2017, and is currently the Director and Professor of Integrated Glyco-Molecular Science Center, Institute for Glyco-core Research (iGCORE) at Gifu University.
Professor Kizuka’s glyco-related contributions include discovery of novel mode of catalytic action of glycosyltransferases, elucidation of glycosyltransferase structures and development of glycosyltransferase inhibitors. His Research Interests are (1) Regulation of glycosyltransferase activity; (2) Substrate protein selectivity of glycosyltransferases; (3) Physiological functions of N-glycan branches.
Title: C-Mannosylation of Proteins: Specificity and Function
Dr. Hans Bakker is a glycobiologist with expertise in glycosyltransferases. He received his Ph.D. at the VU Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and worked in Zurich, Switzerland, and Wageningen, the Netherlands, afterwards. Since 2001, he has worked at Hannover Medical School in Germany. Over the years, he has identified several new genes encoding glycosyltransferases, including the xylosyltransferases responsible for the glycosylation of Notch EGF repeats and, more recently, the first C-mannosyltransferase, the enzyme responsible for unique glycosylation of tryptophans in proteins. His laboratory has established several specific methods to characterize C-mannosyltransferases and their target proteins from Caenorhabditis elegans and mammals in vitro and cellular systems. After cloning the C-mannosyltransferase in 2013, he could establish that C-mannosylation assists in protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum and is important for the temperature stability of proteins. Whereas C. elegans has one C- mannosyltransferase, four homologs are present in mammals. His group could show that different mammalian C-mannosyltransferases have distinct fine specificity.
Title: New Insights about the Glycan Ligands of Siglecs and their Ability to Control Immune Cells
The primary focus of Dr. Matthew Macauley’s laboratory is the immunomodulatory sialic acid-binding Siglec family of receptors. His group develops innovative approaches to probe Siglec-glycan interactions on cells and tissues and use new insights about the biological ligands of Siglecs to test hypotheses about the roles of Siglecs in controlling immune cell function.
Title: Protein-Carbohydrate Interactions in Infection and Cancer Biology
Dr. Ute Krengel studied Chemistry in Göttingen (Germany) and obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg in 1991 (structure and molecular mechanism of p21ras). After positions in Toronto (Canada), Groningen (The Netherlands), and Gothenburg (Sweden), she moved to Oslo (Norway), where she has held a full Professorship since 2006. She is particularly interested in molecular mechanisms of diseases, including infectious diseases and cancer, focusing on receptor interactions and enzymes. She currently serves as the Norwegian Block Allocation Group for Synchrotron Research coordinator and as a Norwegian representative of the International Glycoconjugate Organization.
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and University, Taiwan
Title: Cancer immunotherapy targeting glycosphingolipids (GSLs)
Alice L. Yu, MD, PhD, is an Academician of Academia Sinica, Taiwan. She is a Distinguished Chair Professor & Deputy Director of the Institute of Stem Cell & Translational Cancer Research at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Professor Emeritus at the University of California in San Diego.
As a pioneer in cancer immunotherapy, Dr. Yu has taken an anti-GD2 monoclonal antibody (Dinutuximab) from preclinical to phase III clinical trial, culminating in its FDA approval for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma in 2015. This marks the first immunotherapeutic agent to target glycolipids worldwide. She has continued to improve the efficacy of anti-GD2 immunotherapy through international collaboration. Her group has demonstrated the adverse impact of Globo H expression on the outcome of patients with hepatoma, cholangiocarcinoma, and gallbladder cancer. She also uncovered the roles of Globo H in cancer as an immune checkpoint molecule and angiogenic factor, providing rationales for the ongoing development of Globo H-targeted immunotherapeutics.
She has received many awards, including the Pediatric Oncology Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in 2020, Excellence in Technology Transfer Award from Federal Laboratory Consortium (USA) in 2016, The 55th Academic Award from the Ministry of Education (Taiwan), Year 2000 "Key to Life" Award, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (USA), etc.
Title: Leveraging tumor-associated alterations in O-glycosylation for cancer immunotherapy
Dr. Avery Posey is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He received Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (2011) and his postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a classically trained molecular and developmental geneticist and an expert in the development and pre-clinical characterization of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) and other engineered T cell strategies for cancer immunotherapy. His current research is focused on the redirection of T cells to target cancer-specific epitopes, especially glycan haptens and O-glycopeptide epitopes formed through altered glycosylation in cancer cells, investigation of optimal CAR-T signaling for effective anti-tumor responses and durable persistence in solid tumors, and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene-editing strategies for improved engineered T cells (knockout of checkpoint molecules - PD-1, CTLA-4, etc.; HDR knock-in of combination therapies). The major objective of his research is to increase the efficacy of engineered T cells in solid tumors.
The research activity of Professor De Castro is in carbohydrate structural chemistry, and her training in this subject started during her bachelor thesis, which focused on plant polysaccharides. Since then, even though Professor De Castro continued her work on carbohydrate structural chemistry, she shifted her interests and dedicated her activity to the analysis of the bacterial membrane carbohydrate components, paying attention, but not limiting the work, to Gram-negative bacteria and lipopolysaccharides (LPSs). This work has resulted in the development of state-of-the-art chemical and spectroscopical approaches that have been later applied with success to different kinds of carbohydrates, such as those from the bacteria of the gut microbiota or those from the giant viruses. This last topic is Professor De Castro's major field of research.
Professor De Castro is the author/co-author of about 130 peer-reviewed publications, an associated Editor for the journal Carbohydrate Polymers, and a member of the editorial board of Carbohydrate Research, Glycobiology, and Polysaccharides. She fruitfully collaborates with different research institutions, such as the Department of Plant Pathology (University of Nebraska Lincoln, NE, USA) and the Structural and Genomics Information Laboratory in Marseille (France).
Title: Novel Functions of Polysialic in Kidney Development
Dr. Anja Münster-Kühnel studied Biology and Chemistry in a Teacher Education Programme at the University of Hannover in Germany. After the First State Examination in Biology and Chemistry, she received her Ph.D. at Hannover Medical School (MHH) in the Department of Microbiology by cloning the murine enzyme CMP-sialic acid synthase, an essential enzyme in the biosynthesis of sialoglycoconjugates. As a group leader at the Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, MHH, she continued the molecular characterization of this enzyme and the investigation of its nuclear localization. Further, sialylation-deficient constitutive and conditional mouse models have been generated to unravel the biological function of sialoglycoconjugates in the development and immune system, especially for kidney development and operation. Recently she started to investigate novel functions of polysialic acid beyond the nervous system.
@TAIPEI, AUG 27~SEP 1 2023
Meet our invited speakers for the Glyco26. To learn more about each individual speaker, please click on the photos below. Speakers are arranged by the first alphabet of surname but starting from a randomized alphabet each time.
Title: Targeting Human Viruses with Broadly Protective Low-Sugar Vaccines
Professor Wong received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from National Taiwan University, and Ph.D. (1982) in Chemistry from MIT. He then worked at Harvard University as a postdoctoral fellow, became an assistant professor at Texas A&M University in 1983, and became a professor in 1987. He was Professor and Ernest W. Hahn Chair in Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute (1989–2006), Director of Genomics Research Center (2003–2006), and President of Academia Sinica (2006-2016). He is currently the Scripps Family Chair Professor of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute with a joint appointment at Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica.
Professor Wong receives numerous awards, including the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, the ACS Claude Hudson Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry, Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, and the Cope Medal, the Wolf Prize in Chemistry. He is a member of Academia Sinica, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
His research interests are in the field of chemical biology and synthetic chemistry, including the synthesis of complex carbohydrates and glycoproteins associated with disease progression. He is the author of over 700 publications (H-index 144) and 100 patents.
Title: Fingerprinting disease by mass spectrometry
Professor Manfred Wuhrer studied Biochemistry at Regensburg University and obtained his Ph.D. in 1999 at Giessen University, Germany. Subsequently, he joined the Leiden University Medical Center, where he was appointed assistant professor in 2005 and associate professor in 2008. In 2013, he was appointed full professor of Analytics for Biomolecular Interactions at VU University Amsterdam. In 2015 he continued his career as Head of the Center for Proteomics and Metabolomics at LUMC, Leiden. He focuses on the development of mass spectrometric methods for glycomics and glycoproteomics and their application in clinical research and biotechnology. Clinical applications cover the fields of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, longevity, as well as various infectious diseases.
Title: Genome-wide Analysis of Heparan Sulfate Assembly
Dr. Ryan Weiss began his diverse scientific training by earning his B.S. in Chemistry in 2008 at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA, USA. He then received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2015 at the University of California, San Diego, under the supervision of Prof. Yitzhak Tor, where he studied the design, synthesis, and application of small molecule antagonists of heparin- and heparan sulfate-protein interactions. As an NIH K12 postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Jeffrey Esko’s group at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, his research focused on utilizing whole-genome screening methods to investigate the regulation of heparan sulfate biosynthesis. Dr. Weiss began his independent career as an assistant professor at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia in January 2021. Research in the Weiss Laboratory focuses on studying the structure, function, and regulation of complex carbohydrates in human biology and disease. In addition, his lab is dedicated to developing pharmacological and cell-based tools to aid in the discovery of novel targets and approaches for modulating glycan assembly in relevant human disorders.