Day 2 :
University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Time : 9:30-10:15
Jiangwen Zhang graduated from Johns Hopkins University with PhD. He has worked at Harvard University Genome Center as Senior System Biologist for years before joining University of Hong Kong in 2013. His lab has broad interest in genetic and epigenetic regulation in development and diseases. Currently, his lab is focusing on epigenetic regulation of tumorigenesis. His lab employs high through-put ‘omics’ assays and large scale computation to dissect the gene regulatory network and signaling pathways involved in oncogenesis.
Master Regulator (MRs) collectively orchestrates the regulatory program of almost all critical biological processes involved in development and homeostasis. Deregulation of MRs has been demonstrated to result in a wide variety of diseases, including cancer. Therefore, identification of MRs in context-specific condition may provide new insights into the underlying mechanism of oncogenesis. In this study, we develop a web server named MR4Cancer, which aims to identify potential MRs regulating the differentially regulated genes critical for the initiation and progression of cancers. Based on over-representation analysis (ORA) or gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), it outputs five categories of ranked MRs: Transcriptional regulators, recurrently mutated genes, kinases, phosphatases, proteins from protein-protein interaction (PPI) network. Gene Ontology and pathway analyses are also conducted to assist function annotation of MR candidates. For transcriptional regulators, user can browse its expression level of tumor and normal samples, relation to cancer hallmarks, and effect of gene mutation on its activity and expression. More importantly, our tool provides network visualization for above results, especially interactions between MRs and their targets. Users can interactively customize the network and save high quality figures for their publications. We hope that this user-friendly and powerful web application could help biologists gain deep insights into the key regulators of oncogenesis with profound implication in cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and therapeutic intervention. MR4Cancer is freely accessible at: http://cis.hku.hk/MR4Cancer/.
University of Miami, USA
Time : 11:00-11:30
Working as a Professor of Pathology at University of MIAMI Health system. Finished PhD in 1985 from University of Rochester. My interests lie in understanding the relationship between the immune system and pathogens. More specifically, I am fascinated by the interactions between CD8+ T cells and the AIDS virus. This involves a comprehensive knowledge of the MHC class I molecules of humans and non-human primates. I have developed a program to understand this relationship over the past 20 years. More recently, I have devoted considerable time and effort to HIV vaccine development.
My laboratory in collaboration with the laboratories of Esper Kallas (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Dennis Burton (Scripps, USA) has recently developed a program in Zika virus diagnostics, prevention and treatment. In collaboration with the Kallas Laboratory, we have been able to develop a serological diagnostic test for prior Zika exposure. We have also developed a pregnant Indian rhesus macaque animal model of Zika infection that causes fetal demise. Our collaborator in Brazil Myrna Bonaldo (Fio Cruz Institute Rio de Janeiro) isolated Zika from the urine of a pregnant woman during the recent 2016 epidemic of Zika in Rio. This particular isolate appears to be highly pathogenic for AG129 mice and causes fetal demise in pregnant Indian rhesus macaques. Recently, we have completely prevented Zika infection (1,000 pfu of the highly pathogenic primary isolate of a strain of Zika from Rio de Janeiro) in Indian rhesus macaques with a cocktail of three neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (nmAbs) developed by Tom Rogers in Dennis Burton’s group. We have now re-challenged these animals with 10,000 pfu of the Paraiba strain of Zika. At this time, day 50 post-infusion of our cocktail, the nmAbs are at approximately 50 ug/ml. We are also starting an nmAb treatment experiment (nmAbs delivered at d3 post-infection) in 5 pregnant macaques. We are hoping that this will mimic a pregnant woman coming into her physician’s office with acute Zika infection. Currently, there are no treatments for Zika-infection. I will report the data from these new challenge studies.
Saveetha Dental College and Hospitals, India
Keynote: Association of 3’UTR gene polymorphisms of TLR4, NLRP3, miRNA and periodontitis in South Indian ethnicity
Time : 12:05-12:35
G Kaarthikeyan did his Post-graduation in Periodontics and Implantology from Saveetha Dental College in 2007. He is working at Saveetha University as faculty since 2007. He is currently working as Professor and Clinic Head at Saveetha Dental College. He has more than 30 publications in various national and international journals. He has presented papers and posters at various international conferences. He has delivered many guest lectures as well as invited speeches for many conferences. His area of research involves the role of genetics in inflammatory disease and regenerative periodontics. He is the Editor of the upcoming journal - International Journal of Periodontal Rehabilitation. He is a Reviewer of many indexed journals and Editorial Board Member of few journals.
Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of multifactorial etiology. Although Gram negative anaerobes are essential in initiating the disease, many other factors determine the course and progression of the periodontal destruction. Among the various risk factors, the genetic component of the host plays a major role in periodontal destruction. The microbial agents are first screened by the pattern like receptors – Toll like Receptors (TLR) and the signals are processed intracellularly by Nod like receptors - NLRP3. Thus the aim of my study was to analyze the association of 3’UTR polymorphisms of TLR4, NLRP3 gene and the micro RNAs regulating these regions. The subjects were stratified into three groups - Chronic periodontitis, aggressive periodontitis and controls. The sample size was 240. DNA extraction from blood samples done and the polymorphisms were analyzed using real time PCR. The TLR4 (rs11536889), NLRP3 (rs10802501), miR-146a (rs2910164) were analyzed in this study.