The Seymor and Vivian Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research
Alberto Mantovani, Ph.D.
Istituto Clinico Humanitas
President, Fondazione Humanitas per la Ricerca
Professor of General Pathology
School of Medicine
Humanitas University, Italy
Alberto Mantovani has been actively involved in the fostering of science and scientific policy in Italy at various levels, with a focus on Immunology, Vaccines, Public Health, and Biomedicine, taking public stands on several issues including quackery whenever appropriate. He regularly contributes to the most authoritative Italian daily newspapers (eg Corriere della Sera; Il Sole 24 Ore) and magazines (Espresso and Panorama). He wrote a book (I Guardiani della Vita, Dalai Editore, 2011) on Immunology and Health targeted to lay public and contributed to scientific (eg SuperQuark; TGR Leonardo; Radiotre Scienza) and general radio and television programs. To promote science awareness and policy he cofounded the association “ Gruppo2003” of Italian highly cited scientists (http://www.gruppo2003.it) and together with astrophysicist Tommaso Maccacaro founded the website http://www.scienzainrete.it.
For several years now, bibliometric analyses have indicated that he is the most quoted italian scientist. He has over 69.00 citations. A recent ranking indicates that he is the most quoted Italian scientist working in Italy (http://www.topitalianscientists.org/Top_italian_scientists_VIA-Academy.aspx;) and one of the 10 most quoted immunologists worldwide (H-index ISI 117; Scopus 134; Google Scholar 154) http://www.tisreports.com/products/19- Top_scientists_in_the_world___the_Via_academy_compilation.aspx
Honorary Life Membership
Eleanor Fish, Ph.D.
Toronto General Research Institute
Eleanor Fish is a long-standing member of the ICIS, having joined the ISICR in 1982. Since then she has been active on a number of Society Committees, including Nomenclature, Membership and, most recently as co-Chair of the Awards Committee. Eleanor has been on the Organizing Committee of a number of our annual meetings – co-hosting the Toronto and Chicago Meetings - and assisting with the Jerusalem, Cleveland, Cairns, Shanghai, Montreal, Geneva, Vienna and most recently, the Melbourne Meeting in 2014. Eleanor was elected President of ISICR in 2008 and received the Seymour & Vivian Milstein award in 2010. Eleanor has served on the ISICR and ICS councils.
Eleanor received her undergraduate B.Sc. degree in Biological Chemistry from the University of Manchester, England, and her Master of Philosophy in Virology from King’s College, University of London, England. She received her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto, Canada. She is currently Professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto, is a Senior Scientists in the Toronto General Research Institute, Toronto and Director of the Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre at the University Health Network, Toronto. She is Associate Chair of International Initiatives & Collaborations in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto. She is an Adjunct Scientist at Women’s College Hospital, Toronto and Visiting Professor in the Department of Immunology at Moi University, Kenya.
Eleanor is the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Women’s Health & Immunobiology, a McLaughlin Scholar and was elected as a Fellow to the American Academy of Microbiologists. In 2012, she received the Canadian Society for Immunology Investigator Award, in recognition of her excellence in research throughout her career and her mentorship and in 2015 the Canadian Society for Immunology Cinader Award. The Cinader award is the premier scientific award provided by the CSI. The prize is awarded to an Immunologist working in Canada who is an exceptional researcher and also has something extra. Her nomination cites not only her outstanding research contributions but the depth and breadth of her contributions to the community through training, leadership, collaboration and international activities.
She is currently on the editorial boards for the Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, Viruses, and Arthritis & Rheumatology. Her work has been published in many scientific journals, including the Journal of Immunology, Experimental Hematology, Circulation, Blood, Nature, PNAS, JAMA, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Journal of Virology, Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Nature Immunology, Trends in Immunology, Journal of IFN and Cytokine Research and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
A focus of Eleanor’s research is the investigation of host-pathogen interactions at the cellular and molecular level, specifically in the context of viruses and interferons. During the 2003 outbreak of SARS in Toronto, she initiated studies to investigate the therapeutic potential of interferon in SARS patients. Encouraging results have directed her group’s efforts toward examining interferon activity against a number of emerging infectious diseases, such as avian H5N1 and pandemic H1N1 influenza viruses. Most recently, her studies have focused on investigating the therapeutic effectiveness of interferon treatment for Ebola virus disease, with a clinical trial ongoing in Guinea. Eleanor is a member of a WHO Working Group to evaluate the therapeutic effectiveness of different vaccine and antiviral interventions against Ebola virus. Another focus of her work relates to understanding the immune mechanisms that drive autoimmunity, related to rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Most recently, Eleanor has initiated research studies in breast cancer, within the context of understanding how chemokine-driven alterations to metabolism influence the growth and metastasis of breast tumors.
Another facet related to Eleanor’s research activities involves global outreach, specifically to resource poor regions. For many years, as Visiting Professor, she has been involved in curriculum development and mentoring both Faculty and students in the Department of Immunology at Moi University in Kenya. This extends now to the ongoing development of basic science courses with relevance for trainee MDs, nurses and dentists. She has made these courses available to different institutions across Kenya. In addition, she has established an international initiative – Beyond Science Initiative - that sees undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Toronto communicating with students around the globe as mentors as well as activists in the area of social justice; To foster partnerships among the next generation of global scientific leaders who will appreciate cultural sensitivities and global responsibilities.
The Milstein Young Investigator Award
Dr. Gough moved to New York University to undertake post-doctoral training in Professor David E. Levy's laboratory (Lewis A. Schneider Professor and Associate Dean for Collaborative Science). Dr. Gough developed his interest in STAT3 cancer biology in Professor Levy's laboratory it was here that we found that the transcription factor STAT3 translocates into the mitochondria. This mitochondrial pool of STAT3 does not alter the transcription of STAT3-target genes, however it regulates metabolic activities which are required for transformation by the Ras oncogenes. Mitochondrial STAT3 augments the activity of the electron transport chain, lactate dehydrogenase, and ATP production.
Dr. Gough returned to Australia in September 2012 to start his laboratory at Monash University. His research program is supported by grants and a fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
She received her Ph. D from University of Tokyo for work on the pathogenesis of IL-17-producing innate-like cells, such as gd T cells and innate lymphoid cells, in autoimmune diseases. She found that IL-17-producing gd T cells play a crucial role in the development of arthritis in IL-1Ra KO mice, a good model for rheumatoid arthritis. She also found that activated CD4+ T cells directed gd T cell infiltration into joints, in a chemokine-dependent manner. These findings provide significant conceptual advances into the pathogenic mechanisms in which the cross talk between adaptive and innate immunity causes the development of autoimmune diseases in a coordinated manner.
In addition, she has found that Rag2 KO-IL-1Ra KO mice spontaneously develop colitis with a high mortality. She has demonstrated that excess IL-1 signaling and IL-1-induced IL-17 production, which is induced by innate lymphoid cells, have important roles in the pathogenesis of colitis in these mice in which Treg cells are absent.
While she was Ph.D. student, based on her accomplishments, she was accepted as a research fellow supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
The Christina Fleischmann Award to Young Women Investigators
The Sidney & Joan Pestka Graduate and Post-Graduate Awards for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research Sponsored by PBL InterferonSource
Jan Pencik is originally from Brno, Czech republic (the city where Gregor Mendel, the father of modern genetics, invented his famous 'Mendelian's laws'). He obtained his Master Degree in Biochemistry from the Faculty of Science, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic, working on the molecular mechanisms controlling cell cycle in mouse and human embryonic stem cells. Right after graduation, he joined the lab of Prof. Stephan Nussberger (Stuttgart, Germany) to study mitochondrial proteins and their cellular signaling networks.
He was then accepted as a doctoral student in molecular Signal Transduction at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria under the mentorship of Prof. Lukas Kenner at Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research, Clinical Institute for Pathology at the Medical University of Vienna & Laboratory Animal Pathology, the University for Veterinary Medicine Vienna.
While working with Prof. Lukas Kenner, he became interested in the crosstalk of JAK/STAT signaling with the ARF-MDM2-p-53 tumor suppressor pathway. His recent work has characterized a novel role for IL-6/STAT3 signaling and ARF in regulating senescence, cancer and metastic progression. Analyses of patient samples indicated that STAT3 and ARF are useful as prognostic markers for high risk prostate cancers. This study was recently published by Nature Communications (doi: 10.1038/ncomms8736) and was selected as an important research highlight by Nature Urology (doi:10.1038/nrurol.2015.205). He is currently finalizing his PhD thesis, which will be presented in autumn 2015.
Pestka Post-Graduate Award
The Journal of Biological Chemistry/Herbert Tabor Young Investigator Award
Following completion of her postdoctoral training, in 2005 Dr. Nurieva joined the Immunology Department at MD Anderson Cancer Center as an Instructor and in 2008 she was promoted to Assistant Professor (non-tenure track). Dr. Nurieva has made a number of major contributions to the T helper cell research field, including seminal findings regarding how the E3 ubiquitine ligase Grail regulates T cell activation and tolerance. Another key contribution she has made is in regard to the elucidation of the developmental regulation of Th17 cells and its function in inflammation. In addition to Th17 cells, she has contributed to the identification of a new T helper lineage, follicular helper T cells and to the characterization of the transcriptional requirement for their development and function. Her findings were published in Nature, Science and Immunity.
In light of Dr. Nurieva’s excellent scientific expertise and significant contribution in the immunology field, in 2011 she was promoted to a tenure-track Assistant Professor position. As an independent scientist, Dr. Nurieva’s main research goal is to understand the molecular basis of T cell mediated immune responses with focus on the regulation of cytokine expression and how abnormal immune regulation leads to autoimmunity and inflammation. Recently, she contributed in the identification and characterization of factors that control expression of Th2-related cytokines. Particularly, she has determined that E3 ubiquitine ligase Grail controls Th2 development and Th2-mediated allergic inflammation by targeting STAT6 for degradation. In addition, she determined the transcriptional regulation of IL-4 expression in Tfh cells. Importantly, she demonstrated that IL-4-expressing Tfh cells could trigger allergic inflammation. Outcome of these studies will help us to better understand our immune system and potentially will lead to the development of novel targeted treatments for immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.