Virtual FISV Symposium on
SARS-CoV-2 Biology and COVID-19

Virtual FISV Symposium on
SARS-CoV-2 Biology and COVID-19

Current research and perspectives

16 September 2020

16 September 2020

Main Speakers

Ralf Bartenschlager

University of Heidelberg
Heidelberg, Germany

Ralf Bartenschlager

Andrea Carfì

ModeRNA Inc.
Cambridge, MA, USA

Andrea Carfì

Andrea Carfì is Head of Research ModeRNA Therapeutics, where he leads the Infectious Disease Research team to discover and advance mRNA based vaccines and therapeutics against infectious disease targets.

Andrea Carfì is Head of Research ModeRNA Therapeutics, where he leads the Infectious Disease Research team to discover and advance mRNA based vaccines and therapeutics against infectious disease targets.

Andrea Crisanti

University of Padua
Padua, Italy

Andrea Crisanti

Edward Holmes

The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Edward Holmes

Eddie Holmes is an ARC Australian Laurate Fellow and Professor at the University of Sydney. Prior to that it was an NHMRC Australia Fellow at the University of Sydney, which he joined in 2012. Eddie received his undergraduate degree from the University of London (1986) and his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (1990). Between 1993-2004 he held various positions at the University of Oxford, including University Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology and Fellow of New College. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) in 2015 and of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2017. In 2017 he won the New South Wales Premier’s Prize for Science and Engineering (Biological Sciences).

Eddie Holmes is an ARC Australian Laurate Fellow and Professor at the University of Sydney. Prior to that it was an NHMRC Australia Fellow at the University of Sydney, which he joined in 2012. Eddie received his undergraduate degree from the University of London (1986) and his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (1990). Between 1993-2004 he held various positions at the University of Oxford, including University Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology and Fellow of New College. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) in 2015 and of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2017. In 2017 he won the New South Wales Premier’s Prize for Science and Engineering (Biological Sciences).

Dmitry Korkin

Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester, MA, USA

Dmitry Korkin

Antonio Lanzavecchia

University of Italian Switzerland
Lugano, Switzerland

Antonio Lanzavecchia

Johan Neyts

Rega Institute for Medical Research
Leuven, Belgium

Johan Neyts

Melanie Ott

University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, CA, USA

Melanie Ott

A native of Germany, Melanie Ott is a senior investigator at Gladstone Institutes, as well as a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco (UCSF). She is passionate about using viruses to find fundamental new biology in host cells. Known for her studies of the HIV Tat protein and viral latency, she also discovered a critical role of lipid droplets in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and defined how protein acetylation regulates T cell function. Her research is relevant for efforts to eradicate HIV from patients, to alleviate fatty liver disease in chronic HCV infection, and suppress autoimmunity in patients with Type 1 Diabetes. She recently shifted part of her research efforts to study the new SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
Prior to joining Gladstone in 2002, Ott started her own research group at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany. She earned an MD from the University of Frankfurt/Main in Germany, and a PhD in Molecular Medicine from the Picower Graduate School in Manhasset, New York. She is a member of the Association of American Physicians and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. She is also a recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Public Service from UCSF for her community student outreach work at Gladstone. Ott also helped establish the PUMAS (Promoting Underrepresented Minorities Advancing in the Sciences) internship program at Gladstone, which seeks to increase diversity in STEM and won the Educator of the Year award from the California Life Science Association.

A native of Germany, Melanie Ott is a senior investigator at Gladstone Institutes, as well as a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco (UCSF). She is passionate about using viruses to find fundamental new biology in host cells. Known for her studies of the HIV Tat protein and viral latency, she also discovered a critical role of lipid droplets in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and defined how protein acetylation regulates T cell function. Her research is relevant for efforts to eradicate HIV from patients, to alleviate fatty liver disease in chronic HCV infection, and suppress autoimmunity in patients with Type 1 Diabetes. She recently shifted part of her research efforts to study the new SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
Prior to joining Gladstone in 2002, Ott started her own research group at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany. She earned an MD from the University of Frankfurt/Main in Germany, and a PhD in Molecular Medicine from the Picower Graduate School in Manhasset, New York. She is a member of the Association of American Physicians and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. She is also a recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Public Service from UCSF for her community student outreach work at Gladstone. Ott also helped establish the PUMAS (Promoting Underrepresented Minorities Advancing in the Sciences) internship program at Gladstone, which seeks to increase diversity in STEM and won the Educator of the Year award from the California Life Science Association.

Graziano Pesole

University of Bari Aldo Moro
Bari, Italy

Graziano Pesole

Graziano Pesole has since long carried out research activity in the fields of bioinformatics, comparative genomics and molecular evolution. His current research interests are focused on bioinformatics application for the management and analysis of next generation sequencing data, obtained also at single-cell resolution, including: i) genome assembly and annotation; ii) transcriptome profiling of the protein coding and non-coding portion of the genomes (e.g. miRNAs and lincRNAs), including the characterization of novel splicing isoforms, to investigate gene expression in healthy and disease conditions and identify diagnostic and prognostic molecular biomarkers; iii) Detection and functional assessment of disease-causative mutations; iv) ChIP-Seq analysis for the characterization of epigenetic signatures in healthy and disease conditions; v) RNA editing studies; v) Metagenomics analysis to investigate the microbial composition of clinical and environmental samples and their functional role.
He has developed several specialized databases including UTRdb/UTRsite collecting mRNA untranslated sequences and related regulatory motifs involved in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, ASPicDB and SpliceAID-F, information resources for alternative splicing analysis, ITSoneDB for DNA metabarcoding analysis of eukaryal microbiome, and REDIportal, a comprehensive database of A-to-I RNA editing events in human.
He has also developed widely used analysis software and algorithms which are available as standalone software or through the web including: 1) PatSearch, for the detection or regular expression patterns and structural motifs in nucleotide sequences; 2) CSTminer/GenoMiner, for the blind identification of coding and non coding conserved sequence tags through the pairwise comparison of genome sequences; 3) Weeder, for the discovery of transcription factor binding sites and other regulatory elements, by detecting over-represented nucleotide patterns in nucleotide sequences; 4) RNAprofile, for the discovery of conserved sequence/structural motifs in unaligned RNA sequences; 5) Exalign, for comparative analysis of exon-intron gene structures; 6) ExpEdit and REDITOOLS: for exploring RNA editing from NGS data; 7) WEP and CoVaCS, for the characterization of nucleotide sequence variations through the analysis of whole-exome sequence data; 8) RAP and NGS-Trex, for transcriptome profiling and differential expression analysis from RNA-Seq data; 9) BioMaS, a modular pipeline for Bioinformatic analysis of Metagenomic AmpliconS; 10) MetaShot, an accurate workflow for taxon classification of host-associated microbiome from shotgun metagenomic data; 11) A-Game, for functional metagenomics analyses.
He leads an interdisciplinary research group including molecular biologists, computer scientists and mathematicians.
He coordinated research units in several research projects funded by national (MIUR, CNR, Telethon, AIRC, AISM, ARISLA) and international (EU, NIH) agencies, and has filed several international patents.
He is Section Editor for the journal BMC Bioinformatics and member of the editorial Board of other international journals (Nature Scientific Reports, Nucleic Acids Research – Genomics and Bioinformatics, BMC Genomics, Computational Biology and Chemistry, Briefings in Bioinformatics; Comparative and Functional Genomics), co-author of books on Bioinformatics, Genomics and Molecular Biology published by Italian (Zanichelli, Ambrosiana, Gnocchi) and international (Wiley) editors. He has been one of the founders and past-president of the Italian Society of Bioinformatics and is currently the head of the Italian node of ELIXIR infrastructure for Bioinformatics and member of the Scientific Committee of Cluster Alisei.

Graziano Pesole has since long carried out research activity in the fields of bioinformatics, comparative genomics and molecular evolution. His current research interests are focused on bioinformatics application for the management and analysis of next generation sequencing data, obtained also at single-cell resolution, including: i) genome assembly and annotation; ii) transcriptome profiling of the protein coding and non-coding portion of the genomes (e.g. miRNAs and lincRNAs), including the characterization of novel splicing isoforms, to investigate gene expression in healthy and disease conditions and identify diagnostic and prognostic molecular biomarkers; iii) Detection and functional assessment of disease-causative mutations; iv) ChIP-Seq analysis for the characterization of epigenetic signatures in healthy and disease conditions; v) RNA editing studies; v) Metagenomics analysis to investigate the microbial composition of clinical and environmental samples and their functional role.
He has developed several specialized databases including UTRdb/UTRsite collecting mRNA untranslated sequences and related regulatory motifs involved in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, ASPicDB and SpliceAID-F, information resources for alternative splicing analysis, ITSoneDB for DNA metabarcoding analysis of eukaryal microbiome, and REDIportal, a comprehensive database of A-to-I RNA editing events in human.
He has also developed widely used analysis software and algorithms which are available as standalone software or through the web including: 1) PatSearch, for the detection or regular expression patterns and structural motifs in nucleotide sequences; 2) CSTminer/GenoMiner, for the blind identification of coding and non coding conserved sequence tags through the pairwise comparison of genome sequences; 3) Weeder, for the discovery of transcription factor binding sites and other regulatory elements, by detecting over-represented nucleotide patterns in nucleotide sequences; 4) RNAprofile, for the discovery of conserved sequence/structural motifs in unaligned RNA sequences; 5) Exalign, for comparative analysis of exon-intron gene structures; 6) ExpEdit and REDITOOLS: for exploring RNA editing from NGS data; 7) WEP and CoVaCS, for the characterization of nucleotide sequence variations through the analysis of whole-exome sequence data; 8) RAP and NGS-Trex, for transcriptome profiling and differential expression analysis from RNA-Seq data; 9) BioMaS, a modular pipeline for Bioinformatic analysis of Metagenomic AmpliconS; 10) MetaShot, an accurate workflow for taxon classification of host-associated microbiome from shotgun metagenomic data; 11) A-Game, for functional metagenomics analyses.
He leads an interdisciplinary research group including molecular biologists, computer scientists and mathematicians.
He coordinated research units in several research projects funded by national (MIUR, CNR, Telethon, AIRC, AISM, ARISLA) and international (EU, NIH) agencies, and has filed several international patents.
He is Section Editor for the journal BMC Bioinformatics and member of the editorial Board of other international journals (Nature Scientific Reports, Nucleic Acids Research – Genomics and Bioinformatics, BMC Genomics, Computational Biology and Chemistry, Briefings in Bioinformatics; Comparative and Functional Genomics), co-author of books on Bioinformatics, Genomics and Molecular Biology published by Italian (Zanichelli, Ambrosiana, Gnocchi) and international (Wiley) editors. He has been one of the founders and past-president of the Italian Society of Bioinformatics and is currently the head of the Italian node of ELIXIR infrastructure for Bioinformatics and member of the Scientific Committee of Cluster Alisei.

Viviana Simon

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, NY, USA

Viviana Simon

Martin Walsh

Diamond Light Source
Didcot, United Kingdom

Martin Walsh

Susan Weiss

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Susan Weiss

Susan Weiss obtained her PhD in Microbiology from Harvard University working on paramyxoviruses and did postdoctoral training in retroviruses at University of California, San Francisco. She is currently Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Microbiology and Co-director of the Penn Center for Research on Coronaviruses and Other Emerging Pathogens at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked on many aspects of coronavirus replication and pathogenesis over the last forty years, making contributions to understanding the basic biology as well as organ tropism and virulence. She has worked with murine coronavirus (MHV), MERS-CoV and most recently SARS-CoV-2. Her work for the last ten years has focused on coronavirus interaction with the host innate immune response and viral innate antagonists of double-stranded RNA induced antiviral pathways. Her other research interests include activation and antagonism of the antiviral oligoadenylate-ribonuclease L (OAS-RNase L) pathway, flavivirus- primarily Zika- virus-host interactions and pathogenic effects of host endogenous dsRNA.

Susan Weiss obtained her PhD in Microbiology from Harvard University working on paramyxoviruses and did postdoctoral training in retroviruses at University of California, San Francisco. She is currently Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Microbiology and Co-director of the Penn Center for Research on Coronaviruses and Other Emerging Pathogens at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked on many aspects of coronavirus replication and pathogenesis over the last forty years, making contributions to understanding the basic biology as well as organ tropism and virulence. She has worked with murine coronavirus (MHV), MERS-CoV and most recently SARS-CoV-2. Her work for the last ten years has focused on coronavirus interaction with the host innate immune response and viral innate antagonists of double-stranded RNA induced antiviral pathways. Her other research interests include activation and antagonism of the antiviral oligoadenylate-ribonuclease L (OAS-RNase L) pathway, flavivirus- primarily Zika- virus-host interactions and pathogenic effects of host endogenous dsRNA.