Day 1 :
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, USA
Time : 09:40-10:25
Luis Ulloa has completed his Postdoctoral studies from Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center. He is currently an Associate Professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, USA. He has published more than 75 papers in renowned journals and serves as an Editorial Board Member of prestigious scientific journals.
Sepsis remains a leading cause of death in hospitalized patients, despite the efficacy of the new antibiotics and the major advances in modern hospitals. These mortality rates remain high because new antibiotics are efficiently controlling the infection, but they do not control inflammation. Sepsis is one of the most lethal examples of inflammation as the overzealous systemic inflammation becomes more dangerous than the infection itself. Currently, most of the therapies are largely supportive and there is no effective treatment for severe sepsis. We reported that electrical vagal stimulation controls inflammation and improves survival in experimental models of sepsis. But, the clinical implications of this mechanism were limited by the surgical procedure required for electrical nerve stimulation. We recently reported that neuronal stimulation with transdermal neurostimulation prevented systemic inflammation and improved survival in experimental sepsis. Neurostimulation inhibited the production of inflammatory factors by inducing the production of dopamine from the adrenal medulla. From a pharmacological perspective, dopamine inhibited macrophage’s activation via D1-like dopaminergic receptor. Clinically, neural stimulation through neurostimulation is a promising strategy to control inflammation, but its efficacy is questioned due to the placebo effect. We also studied the effects of transdermal nerve stimulation with electroacupuncture in anesthetized patients during surgery, analyzing blood samples collected under general anesthesia to avoid any placebo effect. Electroacupuncture during surgery reduced the postoperative use of analgesics, physiological stress, hyperglycemia and inflammatory responses to trauma.
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Keynote: Saponins from leaves of Quillaja brasiliensis, a new source of immunoadjuvants with low toxicity: Biotechnological strategies for improving yields
Time : 10:25-11:10
Arthur Germano Fett-Neto received a PhD in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry at the University of Toronto, Canada. He spent two years as Research Associate at Dartmouth College (USA), working on Plant Molecular Genetics. After two years as Visiting Professor, he joined the faculty of UFRGS, where he has been a Full Professor of Botany since 1999. His research interests have a focus on trees, including plant secondary metabolism (mostly indole alkaloids and terpenes), and adventitious root development. He has authored over 75 papers, 19 book chapters, edited 3 books, and is inventor of 6 patents.
Quillaja brasiliensis (Quillajaceae) is a native tree of southern Brazil, popularly known as soap tree. The barks of its congener species Q. saponaria are one of the main sources of saponins of industrial interest, mostly due to the immunoadjuvant properties of these secondary metabolites in vaccines. Saponins from leaves of Q. brasiliensis are remarkably similar to those of Q. saponaria barks, constituting a readily renewable source of biomass. These facts prompted investigations on the immunoadjuvant activity of Q. brasiliensis leaf saponins. The leaf aqueous extract and purified saponin fractions obtained from it showed strong immunoadjuvant activity with low toxicity in mouse experimental vaccines against bovine herpes virus 1 and 2, poliovirus, bovine viral diarrhea virus and rabies. Effective propagation protocols for Q. brasiliensis were developed from seeds, as well as by clonal strategies such as micropropagation and minicuttings. Callus and cell suspension cultures accumulating saponins were also established. Studies on the regulation of saponin biosynthesis in leaves revealed increased production upon specific stress conditions and signaling molecule treatments. Leaf postharvest procedures were also developed, further increasing saponin yields. Among the most stimulant treatments, considering both the pre and postharvest stage, were exposure to UV-C, osmolytes, salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, ultrasound, and leaf mechanical damage. These results indicate that saponin accumulation in this species may be involved in general defense responses against biotic and abiotic stresses. The combined approaches of sustainable plant biomass generation, saponin yield elicitation, and proof of immunoadjuvant activity in vaccines against different pathogens provide a solid platform for the industrial application of Q. brasiliensis and its saponins.
- Medical Biotechnology and Bimedical Engineering
Bioinformatics and Biosensors
Market Analysis of Biotechnology
Bioinformatics and Biosensors
Location: Lorangerie II
University of Sharjah, UAE
Glaucia C. Pereira
Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines, Iceland
University of Sharjah, UAE
Title: Mutation spectrum of common deafness: Causing genes in patients with non syndromic deafness in UAE population
Time : 11:30-12:00
Dr. Tlili received his Ph.D. in biology engineering from National Engineering School of Sfax, Sfax university, Sfax-TUNISIA in 2007. During his Ph.D., he worked on genetic of deafness in Tunisian population. He spent two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pasteur institute (France). Dr. Tlili joined the Department of Applied Biology, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE as a Full-time Assistant professor. He taught several courses in biology including Mendelian genetics, general biology, molecular biology, human molecular genetics and supervised several undergraduate and graduate students to conduct their research projects at his laboratory. Dr. Tlili has published several scientific papers through different research proposals granted as principal and associate investigator, in different abstracted, refereed and indexed Journals. Most of these papers were in the area of human molecular genetics. Also he has participated in several local, regional and international meetings to present his work as a talk or as a poster.
Dr. Tlili is quite interested in working at a prestigious institute of high standards both in academic and research because this will give him the opportunity to establish a research network involving different laboratories in UAE and abroad.
Congenital genetic disorders are important at all levels of health care due to their significant burden on affected individuals and societies. They may be caused by genetic factors or be triggered by environmental exposures. High prevalence of consanguineous marriages is present in many communities throughout the world, especially countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Due to high consanguinity rates in these populations an increased rate of congenital monogenic disorders, particularly non syndromic autosomal recessive hearing loss (NSAHL) were noticed. This condition accounts for a substantial numbers of birth defects and disabilities among live births in UAE. Therefore, unravelling the genetic causes of NSAHLs is of great value for families and society as a whole. To provide accurate genetic testing and counseling in the UAE population, we investigated the molecular etiology of non syndromic deafness in UAE deaf population. Unrelated affected individuals with hearing impairment (n=60) were recruited for this study. Two common deafness-related genes, GJB2 and mtDNA 12SrRNA were analyzed using all exon sequencing. GJB2 mutations were detected in 15% (9/60) of the entire cohort. The mutation rate of mtDNA 12SrRNA in this group was 5% (3/60). These findings show the specificity of the common deaf gene mutation spectrum in UAE. According to this study, there were specific hotspot mutations in UAE deaf patients. Comprehensive sequencing analysis of the two common deaf genes can help portray the mutation spectrum and develop optimal testing strategies for deaf patients in UAE.
Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines, Iceland
Time : 12:00-12:30
Glaucia C Pereira is a Principal Investigator in Machine Learning and Bioinformatics at the Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines. She is a former Member of Imperial College London and a past Researcher Visitor at the University of Cambridge, where she worked with microfluidics and computational bio-fluid mechanics applied to cardiovascular inflammation. She has also worked for both the Spanish and the Brazilian government, as a Researcher. She is currently applying knowledge from biomedical engineering, mathematics and computational systems engineering, while leading projects in the field of biotechnology, aiming at advancing knowledge in basic sciences and translational biomedicine.
Cellular functions related to the maintenance of homoeostasis are regulated by shear forces sensed by endothelial cells. The endothelial cells sense local changes in shear stress. The resulting signals are either transduced into chemical responses or transmitted to the surroundings to regulate the cellular activity. In the current literature, models of blood flow applied to the characterization of atherosclerotic plaques consider blood as a Newtonian fluid because of the characteristic length of the domain. At predilection sites for plaque deposition, the diameter of the blood particles is much smaller than the normal arterial diameter. However, under disease condition, the proportions can dramatically change due to a reduction greater than 80% in the arterial cross-section, in cases of severe stenosis. Here we show that in diseased arteries, the local particle concentration can peak at locations associated to high inflammation. We found that such locations are correlated to the vulnerable plaque phenotype, which is prone to rupture. Our results demonstrate that at locations of high particle concentration, blood particles change the shear stress distribution and magnitude. Therefore, the non-Newtonian blood flow assumption provides new insights in the characterization of plaque built up. These results are combined to in vitro experiments that suggest the influence of blood particles in the activity of cytokines. An unbalance in pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines has been associated to an increase in inflammation and, consequently, in the volume of plaques forming. We anticipate our work to be a starting point for a more sophisticated multi-scale model, which combines experimental findings and computational modeling to characterize arterial segments affected by atherosclerosis. Such model includes a coupling between the distending arterial wall and the non-Newtonian blood flow.
Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie, Germany
Title: Protein-protein and peptide-protein interactions to elucidate protein and cell structures as well as to modulate pharmacological barriers
Time : 12:30-13:00
Ingolf Blasig studied biology and biochemistry in Leipzig from 1970-74. His diploma thesis was on cancer research at the Robert-Rössle-Hospital in Berlin, his dissertation dealt with the pharmacology of myocardial infarction at the Academy of Sciences (1984). He obtained his venia legendi for investigations on myocardial dysfunction at the University of Halle in 19992. From 1993-95, he was awarded project leader at the NIH, USA. Since 1992 he has been head of the independent research group for Molecular Cell Physiology at the FMP and is teaching at the universities in Potsdam and Berlin.
Pharmacological barriers are formed via extracellular loops (ECLs) of tight junction (TJ) proteins, such as claudins (Cldns). Thus, Cldn petidomimetics were designed as drug enhancer of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Cldns, transmembrane proteins, limit paracellular permeation of pharmaceuticals. The tightening is achieved by protein-protein interaction between Cldn-ECLs from opposing cells. Consequently, modification of Cldn integrity by the respective peptidomimetics is proposed to enhance drug delivery through the BBB. The Cldn1 and Cldn5 derived peptides C1C2 and C5C2 were tested for structural, binding and barrier modulating properties. C1C2 revealed a beta-sheet flanked by an alpha-helix, a structure modeled in the Cldn1-ECL1 also. C1C2 affected the TJ strand morphology and transiently increased the permeability through a cell culture model of the BBB. Redistribution of various Cldns from TJs to cytosol suggested interactions with other Cldns subtypes also. FRET measurements verified heterophilic interactions between different Cldns isoforms. Analysis in TJ-free HEK-293 cells transfected with Cldn1, -2, -3, -4 or -5 identified Cldn1 and 5 as direct targets. Binding measurements (microscale thermophoresis) with full-length Cldns and recombinant ECLs confirmed these findings with kd-values in nanomolar range. Association studies of peptides and recombinant ECLs on live-cells further confirmed the target selectivity. Freeze-fracture electron microscopy exhibited alterations in the TJ-architecture of Cldn5 by drastic P to E face transition and altered shape of the Cldn1 TJ-network with enhanced number of parallel strands. C5C2 increased the permeability of a brain endothelial cell barrier. Transmission electron microscopy showed opening of interendothelial TJs. Binding of C5C2 to Cldn5 showed also nanomolar affinity. C5C2 administration in mice resulted in concentration and time dependent BBB opening (marker uptake into brain, magnet resonance imaging). In summary, the Cldn peptidomimetics C1C2 and C5C2 transiently enhanced the paracellular permeability of Cldn1 and Cldn5 expressing cell barriers by affecting TJ localization and structure. The findings recommend Cldn peptidomimetics as templates to elucidate molecular and cellular TJ structures and as candidates to improve drug delivery to the brain.
Amazonas Federal University, Brazil
Time : 14:00-14:30
Rosana Zau Mafra has completed her Masters in Natural Resources Economics. She is a Professor at Department of Economics and Analysis, Social Studies Faculty of Amazonas Federal University (UFAM), Brazil.
This research aimed to evaluate the alternative extraction process of bergenin from Endopleura uchi. Valuing a technology means to quantify its monetary value and can be used to sell and/or license technologies, analyze risks of investing in R&D and prioritize R&D projects. There are several methods to Valuate and they vary according to the company, the technology, the strategies adopted, etc. and can be analyzed from the perspective of the buyer or seller. To achieve the goal stated for this research, it was necessary to discuss the technology transfer process, identify the methods of valuation existing, characterize the object of study technology and apply the quantitative data related to the technology (extraction process) to the valuation method chosen. The valuation method used was the Discounted Cash Flow as it is a widely discussed approach and taught at universities, along with the cost approach, among different methods of valuation. It was collected data related to revenues, costs and expenses, taxes, etc., in order to get the required cash flow and their respective discount rates and therefore valuate the technology. Given the uncertainties and risks from the innovative process, it was possible to calculate the terminal value (TV) of technology, which is highly scalable when succeed. Based on its terminal value (TV) (near to U$ 6,000.000) and estimates of revenue (more than U$ 400,000), this technology is highly profitable both for transfer and/or for production.
Federal University of Maranhão, Brazil
Title: Biotechnological approaches for the production of anticancer compound shikonin and their derivatives from Arnebia euchroma (Royle) Johnston
Time : 14:30-15:00
Sonia Malik is currently working as a Professor at the Federal University of Maranhao, Department of Biology, MA, Brazil. She has won many awards and recognitions for her work. Her international experience includes various programs, contributions and participation in different countries for diverse fields of study. Her research interests reflect in her wide range of publications in various national and international journals. She is the Editorial Board Member and Reviewer of scientific journals.
Shikonin and its derivatives are the commercially most important naphthoquinones pigments, known for their wide range of pharmaceutical properties including anticancer activities. These compounds have also been used traditionally as natural dyes for coloring silk, in cosmetics and as food additives. Arnebia euchroma (family Boraginaceae) is considered as one of the sources of shikonin derivatives. It is a perennial herb of alpine belt and distributed between 3000-4200 m in drier areas. Aseptic cultures of A. euchroma were established from rhizome buds and shoots were cultured in liquid and agar-gelled medium supplemented with various concentrations and combinations of plant growth regulators. To study the production of shikonin derivatives, cell were cultured in production medium and culture conditions as well as media components were standardized to get the optimum production of compounds. To enhance the production of these compounds from cell culture, attempts were made to genetically transform the cells. Cell suspension cultures of A. euchroma were observed to produce increased amount of shikonin derivatives in two phase culture system and their scale up studies in bioreactor showed the possibility of its large scale production to meet its growing demand by various pharmaceutical industries. Thus, the present study would help in conservation of this medicinal plant species which is at the risk of becoming extinct and can meet the ever increasing demand of shikonin derivatives for their commercial production.
German University in Cairo, Egypt
Title: Chlorophyllin derivatives mediated PDT: A new ray of hope in the horizon for cancer treatment
Time : 15:00-15:30
Iman Emam Omar Gomaa has completed her BSc in Biology at the Faculty of Science, Cairo University. She has obtained her Master’s degree from Panum Institute, Copenhagen University and completed her PhD at the Medical School of the Technical University of Munich, Germany. She did four years of Postdoctoral studies at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, USA and the Faculty of Medicine, Marie Curie University, France. Currently she is an Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Biotechnology Sector, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, German University in Cairo. She has published more than 20 papers in reputed journals.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an approved clinical treatment with minimal invasiveness for different types of cancers. It has the advantage of high selectivity towards tumor tissue and lack of severe and systemic complications with the possibility of harmless repetitive applications. Its mechanism of action involves activation of a photosensitizer (PS) by an appropriate monochromatic light source with long wavelength for deeper tissue penetration. Chlorophylls are photosynthetic pigments present in all organisms that convert light energy into chemical energy. The tetrapyrrolic ring structure of chlorophylls show high level of light absorption in the red region of visible light, activation of chlorophyllin derivatives results into generation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that cause tumor cells toxicity and subsequent tumor regression. Therefore, PDT has been used for targeting several accessible tumors. It has been also used in treatment of precancerous and cancerous dermatological diseases. In our studies, we were able to prove the distinctive role of chlorophyllin derivatives as highly efficient photosensitizers at both in vitro and in vivo PDT approaches. In comparison to the conventional chemotherapeutic drugs, no major alterations to the normal physiological condition have been detected. Additionally, successful PDT approaches in tumor cells killing were also achieved via liposomal delivery system of chlorophyllin derivatives. Mechanisms underlying PDT mediated tumor cells killing and in vivo tumor regression have been also investigated. Attempts towards the development of an efficient drug delivery system for improved tissue permeation, has been also conducted in an established murine tumor model for possible future clinical applications.
Indian Statistical Institute, India
Time : 15:30-16:00
Rajat Kumar De is a Professor of Indian Statistical Institute, India. He has obtained his PhD degree from the same Institute in 2000. He was a Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the Whitaker Biomedical Engineering Institute, Johns Hopkins University, USA, during 2002-2003. During the last 10-12 years, he has been working in the area of bioinformatics and in silico systems biology. Recently, he has started working on Big Data Analytics in the domain of bioinformatics and systems biology. He has published about 85 research papers in international journals, conference proceedings and edited books and co-edited two books.
Obesity is an epidemic of the 21st century. It continues to expand in western countries and paradoxically even in the countries where poverty and malnutrition are major problems. No age group is exempted from obesity due to different reasons, i.e., diet, life style and genetic component among others. In this talk we describe how a computational model can be formulated to understand the mechanism of the development of ER stress and associated disorders on the onset of obesity. For this purpose, we collected extensively ER and ER stress related pathways information to construct a set of global pathways by including other related pathways, like apoptosis, diabetes, inflammation, protein degradation and obesity. With all these pathway database and literature, we design an integrated pathway, through mining strategies, to form a biochemical pathway related to ER stress and obesity. We find out the control points regulating the activity (i.e., ON or OFF through feedback inhibition) of the integrated pathway. We also find out the genes coding for the enzymes catalyzing the reactions in the pathway. The talk will also describe design of a database containing all this information. The pathways in the database will then be subjected to network analysis. We use flux balance analysis, control theory and machine learning methodology to develop the model of the pathway as well as to analyze the pathways/networks. The properties of the pathways/networks are very important from therapeutic point of view, as in simple terms, they have the power to control the whole system.
Universidade Federal do Parana, Brazil
Title: Linear peptides of Mycobacterium leprae antigens identified by SPOT synthesis indicate possible targets for serum diagnosis of leprosy
Time : 16:20-16:50
Juliana Ferreira de Santana was graduated in Biotechnology at Universidade Federal de Uberlandia. She has published two scientific papers. Her Master in Bioprocesses and Biotechnology Engineering was initiated in 2015 at Univesidade Federal de Parana.
Leprosy is a chronic granulomatous infection that affects the skin, nasal mucosa and peripheral nerves caused by the Gram-positive and obligate intracellular Bacillus, Mycobacterium leprae. The clinical manifestation of the infection with M. leprae will depends on the immune condition of the host. To become the multidrug choice therapy easier, according to WHO, the disease is divided into two categories: Paucibacillary and multibacillary leprosy. The paucibacillary patients present low antibody titers and predominant cell-mediated immunity. Contrastingly, multibacillary patients have a cell-mediated immunity inefficient with high antibody titers to M. leprae antigens. It will be interesting to identify and characterize biomarkers and antigens for a nearly diagnosis of leprosy of both categories of patients. Thus, our strategy was to realize an epitope mapping of seven proteins from M. leprae by using an array-based oligo-pepdide scanning (SPOT synthesis) onto a cellulose membrane probed for reactivity with sera from leprosy patients. No protein has reactivity with sera from healthy volunteers while four proteins have shown reactive spots when assayed with sera from leprosy patients. One of them was the 85B antigen from M. leprae previously identified by our group as an immunodominant protein after being mimicked by conformational peptides (mimotopes) by using Phage Display. After chemical synthesis, we hope the linear peptides found here could identify leprosy patients by simple assays like as ELISA, independently of their categories.
Middlesex University School of Science & Technology, UK
Title: A proteomic study on the responses to arsenate stress by an acidophilic fungal strain Acidomyces acidophilus WKC1
Time : 16:50-17:20
Wai Kit Chan has been captivated by science and environmental issues since in high school and became focused on protecting the environment from pollutants. He is currently pursuing his PhD at the Middlesex University under Dr. Diane Purchase. His research focuses on bioremediation in metalloids contaminated soil using extremophiles species, such as fungi, isolated from an extreme environment and the application of proteomics techniques. Prior to enrolling at Middlesex University, he holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management and BSc in Biotechnology both from University of Sunderland.
An arsenic-resistant fungal strain, Acidomyces acidophilus WKC1 was isolated from waste roaster pile of a disused tin mine in Cornwall (UK) that was found to contain 18970 mg kg-1 arsenic (As). These tin mining areas are inhospitable due their extreme environmental conditions such as acutely acidity and high concentrations of heavy metals/metalloids, particularly arsenic. The A. acidophilus WKC1 strain exhibited remarkable tolerance to high arsenic concentration for instance, it can tolerate As(V) up to 22500 mg L-1. A comparative protein responses analysis of A. acidophilus WKC1 exposed to arsenic and its control was performed using hybrid quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometer. This proteomics approach revealed the mechanism behind the outstanding resistance and tolerance of A. acidophilus WKC1 against arsenic toxicity. When A. acidophilus WKC1 strain was exposed for 24 hours to 500 mg L-1 of sodium arsenate (Na2HAsO4), the enzymatic activities showed increased glutathione reductase, catalase and superoxide dismutase activities but reduced glutathione transferase activity. A total of 262 differentially expressed proteins were detected, of these 175 were up-regulated and 63 were down regulated following exposure to arsenic. These proteins included ones know to be involved in cellular stress responses, energy production, transport and proteins/enzymes synthesis when exposed to arsenic. In addition, 14 proteins were switched off and 10 proteins were switched on in the presence of arsenic. As far as we are aware this is the first report on proteomic study using A. acidophilus strain and next generation semi-quantitative mass spectrometry in arsenic resistance.