Alisdair B. Boraston received his BSc. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1993. He obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology under the supervision of Professors Doug Kilburn and Tony Warrren at UBC in 2000 then, after a brief post-doctoral research appointment in the UBC Biotechnology Laboratory, he spent 1.5 years in England training as an NSERC-funded Post-Doctoral Fellow in the York Structural Biology Laboratory, University of York, UK, under the supervision of Professor Gideon Davies. In 2003, he began a position in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at The University of Victoria as an Assistant Professor and was ultimately promoted to Professor in 2014. Group research interest is in structural glycobiology and its application to the analysis of protein-carbohydrate interactions in enzymes that modify carbohydrates or proteins that non-catalytically bind them. One major area of investigation is molecular pathogenesis whereby the roles of bacterial proteins in recognizing and/or modifying host glycans during infection are examined. A second key topic of study is the enzymatic breakdown of marine and terrestrial plant cell walls by microbes and how the unique building blocks of these polymerized sugars are funneled through novel metabolic pathways. Recognitions include an EWR Steacie Memorial Fellowship (2012-14), he held the Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Molecular Interactions (2003-2013), and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award (2008-2013).
Dr. Chantelle Capicciotti received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Ottawa in 2014 under the supervision of Prof. Robert Ben where she worked on designing small molecule carbohydrate-based ice recrystallization inhibitors for use as novel cryoprotectants. In 2014 she joined the laboratory of Prof. Geert-Jan Boons for post-doctoral research studies at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (CCRC), University of Georgia where she developed chemoenzymatic strategies for the synthesis of complex glycans and developed a cell-surface glyco-engineering methodology using modified sialic acid derivatives. In 2018 she moved to Queen’s University as an Assistant Professor and Queen’s National Scholar in Precision Molecular Medicine, jointly appointed in the Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical and Molecular Sciences. Her research interests are at the interface of organic chemistry and biochemistry, with an interest in understanding how glycans/glycoproteins interact with binding-proteins at a cellular level to elicit biological function, and on developing glycan-based approaches for biomarker identification, disease diagnosis, imaging techniques, and cell-based therapies.
Dr. Cheng received his M.S. degree in Chemistry from National Tsing-Hua Univ (1993).,Taiwan, and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from University of California, Davis, CA, USA (1997-2002). He then worked in Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, USA as a postdoctoral fellow (2002-2004). Dr. Cheng started his independent career as Assistant Research Fellow at the Genomics Research Center at Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan in 2004 and became Associate Research Fellow in 2010. Dr. Cheng is a recipient of the Skaggs postdoctoral Fellowship (2002) and the distinguished lectureship award (Natural products synthesis), The CSJ (Chemical Society of Japan) Asian International Symposium, Japan in 2007. The major research efforts of Cheng’s group are directed toward the development of rapid synthetic strategies for preparing natural product-like or -inspired molecules such as structurally diverse iminosugars, which can be applied to modulate sugar-processing enzymes or study lysosomal storage diseases.
Dr Larissa Dirr is an Early Career Research Fellow of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and works at the Institute for Glycomics, Australia under the supervision of Prof Mark von Itzstein. She completed her PhD at Griffith University, Australia and undertook her Pharmacy studies at Saarland University, Germany. Dr Dirr is a glycovirologist and structural biologist specialising in the discovery and characterisation of novel inhibitors for human respiratory viruses using a multi-disciplinary approach. Her aim is to identify and study viral glycoproteins as antiviral targets for drug discovery and design. She is a Chief Investigator of the German Australian iCAIR project (Fraunhofer International Consortium for Anti-Infective Research) that works towards the development of new anti-infective therapies. She has been recognised through the Glycomics Early Career Research Excellence Award last year and was invited to the 2nd Australian Respiratory Virology Meeting in 2017. This year she was invited to be an NHMRC review panel member and promotes science at a wider community level as a member of the Queensland science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Education Network.
Prof Michael Jennings works in the fields of bacterial genetics, bacterial pathogenesis, vaccine development and glycobiology. His undergraduate and postgraduate degrees (PhD 1990) are from Griffith University, Australia. His post-doctoral training was in the laboratory of Prof Richard Moxon at the University of Oxford (1992-1996), supported by a Beit Memorial Fellowship for Medical Research. In 1997 he took up a faculty position at the University of Queensland. In 2009 he returned to Griffith University to take up the position of Deputy Director and Principal Research Leader at the Institute for Glycomics. He is currently an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow. He has made major contributions to understanding virulence factor function and regulation in a range of bacterial pathogens, including the discovery of epigenetic regulation systems call phasevarions. His current work focuses on the role of glyco-interactions in infectious disease.
Dr. Chun-Hung Hans Lin is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Academia Sinica, Taiwan. He has served as the Director for the Department of Academic Affairs and Instrument Service since 2017. Dr. Lin received his B.S. in Chemistry from National Taiwan University in 1990 and his PhD in 1995 under the supervision of Prof. Chi-Huey Wong from the Scripps Research Institute, USA. After two years of postdoctoral training in Harvard Medical School with Prof. Christopher T. Walsh, he returned to Taiwan as an Assistant Research Fellow of the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Academia Sinica. He was promoted to a Research Fellow in 2007. He has been an Adjunct Professor at National Taiwan University since 2008.
Dr. Lin’s research interests cover the fields of chemical biology, enzymology, carbohydrate chemistry and glycobiology, with a special emphasis on the drug discovery of glyco-related enzymes/proteins. Dr. Lin and his research team were the first to develop the most potent inhibitor of L-fucosidase (a sugar-hydrolyzing enzyme) with structural information, and to demonstrate the role for l-fucosidase in the control of Helicobacter pylori–infected gastric diseases.
Dr. Ma received his B.S. (1992) from National Taiwan University, and M.S. (1996) and Ph.D. (2000) degrees in Chemistry from University of Pennsylvania. He was at University of California, San Diego and the Scripps Research Institute as a postdoctoral fellow (2001-2004). Dr. Ma is a recipient of the Skaggs Postdoctoral Fellowship (2001), the Keystone Symposium Scholarship (2002), the TWAS Young Affiliate (2009-2013), Academia Sinica Significant Research Achievements (2009), the Academia Sinica Award for Junior Research Investigators (2010), the Young Scholar Award of Tien-De Li Biomedical Foundation (2011), Academia Sinica Career Development Award (2013), Exceptional Merit in Academic Award Taiwan Rotary Foundation (2014) and Taiwan Bio-Development Foundation endowed Chair in Biotechnology (2014). His expertise is in structural biology of membrane proteins and glycoproteins. Recent research interests cover new antibiotics against drug-resistant bacterial infections, universal influenza vaccines, and drug discovery in infectious diseases and cancers.
Lara K. Mahal is a Professor of Chemistry at New York University (NYU). She was a Regents Scholar, graduating with Highest Honors and a B.A in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) in 1995. She obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley (2000) with Prof. Carolyn Bertozzi. She was a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor James Rothman at Sloan-Kettering Institute (2000-2003), before starting her first independent position at the University of Texas at Austin in 2003. Post-tenure in 2009, Professor Mahal moved to NYU, where she is currently a faculty member. Her work has focused on the study of glycosylation using systems-based approaches and creating tools for such studies, including lectin microarray technology and the miRNA proxy approach. For her work she has received numerous awards including the Beckman Foundation Fellowship (2004), NSF CAREER Award (2007), Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2008), NIH Director’s New Innovator Award (2008) and the Horace S. Isbell Award (2017).
Dr. Triggs-Raine is presently Professor and Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics at the University of Manitoba. She is also a member of the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, Scientific Director of the University of Manitoba Central Animal Core Facilities for the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and a member of GlycoNet, a Network of Centres of Excellence in carbohydrate research. Dr. Triggs-Raine has served on numerous National, University and provincial research organization committees and plays an active role in peer review. Her research program focuses on the molecular basis and treatment of human genetic disease and she has contributed to this field for almost 30 years. She is recognized internationally for her work on hyaluronan metabolism and disorders that result from defects in its degradation. Hyaluronan is a large glycosaminoglycan that is abundant in the matrix that surrounds cells. It is widely used in cosmetics, medical procedures, or as a treatment to relieve the pain associated with osteoarthritis. Members of her laboratory have characterized the effects of a deficiency in hyaluronan breakdown in both humans and mice. This has led to the identification of humans with both hyaluronidase 1 and more recently, hyaluronidase 2, deficiency. Using animal models of these deficiencies her laboratory has demonstrated an important role for the normal degradation of hyaluronan for organ development and tissue maintenance.
Dr Thomas Ve is an Early Career Research Leader and ARC DECRA Research Fellow at the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Australia. He obtained his MSc in Molecular Biology from the University of Bergen, Norway in 2006. He then moved to the University of Queensland, Australia for his PhD in Biochemistry. In 2011 he took up a Post-Doctoral position at the University of Queensland and made key contributions towards characterising mechanisms of activation and suppression of Toll-like receptor signalling. In 2015 he was recruited to Griffith University where he is using a multidisciplinary approach, combining X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM, and other biological, and biophysical techniques to characterise signaling mechanisms in innate immunity and cell death pathways, and pathogen infection strategies involving binding to host cell glycans.
Dr. David Vocadlo is a professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. He holds a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Chemical Biology at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and is also Co-Director of the Centre for High-Throughput Chemical Biology at SFU. He received his PhD from the University of British Columbia and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley. Vocadlo joined SFU in 2004 where he and his team focus on developing new chemical tools to improve our understanding of how carbohydrates influence cell function, with particular emphasis on their roles in neurodegenerative diseases. His research at the interface of chemistry and biology spans fundamental research through to translational preclinical studies. He and his team have been recognized with a number of national and international awards. Based on his SFU research he co-founded Alectos Therapeutics, which since partnered with Merck to advance compounds to the clinic to combat neurodegenerative diseases.
Shih-Hsiung Wu is a Distinguished Research Fellow of the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. He received his Ph.D. in 1987 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (Prof. Charles J. Sih). He became an Associate Research Fellow (1988–1991) at Academia Sinica. In 1991, he was promoted to Research Fellow (1991-2008) and became a Distinguished Research Fellow in 2008. His research interests focus on the structure-functional relationship of biomolecules including polyketides, glycoconjugates, polysaccharides and the development of bacterial conjugate vaccines.