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ANNUAL CONFERENCE  ::  All Participants  ::  Keynote Speakers 2016

Keynote Speakers 2016

Dr. Arturo Casadevall
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Thoughts on the origin of microbial virulence

Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D., is Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and Chair of the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Previously he served as Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Einstein, from 2000-2006 and as Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology from 2006-2014. Dr. Casadevall received both his M.D. and Ph.D. (biochemistry) degrees from New York University. Subsequently, he completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York. He then completed subspecialty training in infectious diseases at Montefiore and Einstein. The author of over 650 peer-reviewed scientific papers, Dr. Casadevall’s major research interests are in fungal pathogenesis and the mechanisms of antibody action. In the area of biodefense, he has an active research program to understand the mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization of Bacillus anthracis toxins. In recent years Dr. Casadevall has become interested in problems with the scientific enterprise and with his collaborators shown that misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted publications.  He has suggested a variety of reforms to the way science is done.  Dr. Casadevall is the editor-in-chief of mBio, the first open access general journal of the American Society of Microbiology, and is on the editorial board of several journals including the Journal of Infectious Diseases and the Journal of Experimental Medicine. He has also served in numerous NIH committees including those that drafted the NIAID Strategic Plan and the Blue Ribbon Panel on Biodefense Research.  He served on the National Academy of Sciences panel that reviewed the science on the FBI investigation of the anthrax terror attacks of 2001.  He has also served as a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity from 2005-2014 and currently co-chairs the NIAID Board of Scientific Counselors. In 2008, he was recognized the American Society of Microbiology with the William Hinton Award for mentoring scientists from underrepresented groups.  He has been elected to AAAS Fellowship, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association of Physicians and the National Academy of Medicine (Institute of Medicine).  Most recently, Dr. Casadevall was newly appointed a Commissioner to the National Commission on Forensic Science, the United States Department of Justice. 

Dr. Grant Jensen
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA

Dr. Jensen was born in 1970 and grew up in the science-focused town of Los Alamos, New Mexico.  After high school he studied physics and math at Brigham Young University, where he later graduated as valedictorian. After college Grant entered an M.D./Ph.D. program at Stanford University, and earned his doctorate in Biophysics working on electron microscopy of RNA polymerase and other protein complexes with Dr. Roger Kornberg (who later won the Nobel prize for structural studies of transcription).  Opting not to finish his medical training, instead Grant continued his work in protein electron microscopy as a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell post-doctoral fellow under the supervision of Dr. Kenneth Downing at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.  Here his interests expanded to include electron tomography of whole cells.  Grant became an Assistant Professor of Biology at Caltech in July, 2002. At Caltech his research has focused on three main areas: the ultrastructure of small cells, the structural biology of HIV, and the development of cryo-EM technology. Among his awards and honors are that he was chosen as a Searle Scholar in 2004, as Chair of the American Society of Microbiology's Division of Cell and Structural Biology in 2007, and as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 2008. He was given tenure in 2008 and promoted to full Professor in 2010. Since then he has served as a member of the Institute for Defense Analysis' Defense Science Study Group. Together with his colleagues he has now published ~100 papers (see http://www.jensenlab.caltech.edu/publications.html). His lab has developed a searchable tomography database and populated it with ~25 thousand cryotomograms of over 100 different viral and microbial samples. Meanwhile his teaching has centered on biophysical methods, including most recently the creation of a 10-hour online course "Getting started in Cryo-EM."  He and his wife Angela live with their six children in Arcadia, California.

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