Christopher Clarke - Stony Brook University, USA
Chris Clarke graduated in 2001 with a BSc (Hons) Physiology with Biochemistry from the University of Salford, UK and obtained his PhD in Medicine in 2005 from the University of Manchester, UK. For his postdoctoral training, he moved to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina to study sphingolipid metabolism where he obtained a postdoctoral fellowship to for his research on the roles and regulation of neutral sphingomyelinase-2. In 2011, Chris moved to Stony Brook University, New York as a senior research scientist in the Lipid Cancer laboratory where he developed his research interests on sphingolipid metabolism in cancer. After successfully obtaining a number of foundation and pilot grants in this area, he was promoted to Assistant Professor of Research in the Cancer Center in 2017. Chris’ work is broadly focused on two areas. The first focuses on the interplay between oncogenes and sphingolipids to develop a mechanistic understanding of how reprogramming of sphingolipid metabolism is functionally coupled to tumorigenesis. The second is to understand the role that sphingolipids play in chemotherapeutic toxicities. The long-term goals of both projects are to leverage this knowledge to guide the development of sphingolipid-based therapeutics that are effective at the treatment of metastatic cancer and can enhance the efficacy of existing treatments.
Giovanni D'Angelo - École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Giovanni D’Angelo graduated in 2003 with a MSc in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Naples, Italy and obtained his PhD in Cell Biology in 2008 from the Consorzio ‘Mario Negri’ SUD, Santa Maria Imbaro, Italy. For his postdoctoral training, he moved to the Telethon Institute for Genetics and Medicine in Naples, Italy to study sphingolipid metabolism and intracellular lipid trafficking. In 2012, Giovanni moved to the Institute of Protein Biochemistry, at the National Research Council of Italy in Naples as a principal investigator. In 2018 Giovanni moved to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) where he is now Assistant Professor and Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Chair on Metabolism, Giovanni’s main interest is understanding the meaning of compositional variability in cell membranes by studying the mechanisms by which the lipid composition is determined.
Liana C. Silva - Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Liana Silva graduated in Biochemistry in 2001 at the Faculty of Sciences, Universidade de Lisboa (UL), Portugal, and obtained her PhD degree in Chemistry (Molecular Biophysics) in 2006 at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST-UL). She developed her post-doctoral project at the interface between molecular biophysics and biochemistry as a research fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS), Israel and at the IST (2007-2009). In 2009, she was awarded a Ciência 2008 Research position to set her research team focused on Molecular & Cellular Biophysics at the Faculty of Pharmacy from the UL. Liana has an interdisciplinary background in biochemistry and cell biology, quantitative photophysics and molecular biophysics. Her research is multidisciplinary and bridges membrane biophysics and cell biology. She is interested in understanding the role of membrane biophysical properties in cell function and pathology. Her research is focused on membrane lipids and their interplay in biological membranes, aiming at evaluating their role in membrane organization and function, and to provide the molecular tools to develop improved therapeutics.