Steven Jacobsen, Ph.D. Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Jacobsen is a professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology at the University of Califorina, Los Angeles. He conducts his work primarily on epigenetics research focuses including cell memory, or the process by which dividing cells inherit states of gene activity. Dr. Jacobsen’s research targets those epigenetic modifications of chromatin including cytosine DNA methylation and histone modifications, much of which stems from the discovery of a series of hypermethylated epigenetic alleles (SUPERMAN) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Dr. Jacobsen is an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on DNA methylation with a proven publication record in many top-tier journals.
Alexander Meissner, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Harvard University
Dr. Meissner is a senior associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and an associate professor in the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. Dr. Meissner is also a principal faculty member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and a Robertson Investigator at the New York Stem Cell Foundation and is a participant in a project on cellular reprogramming in collaboration with the Klarman Cell Observatory. Dr. Meissner’s laboratory uses genomic tools to study developmental and stem cell biology with a particular focus on the role of epigenetic regulation. Dr. Meissner and his colleagues have pioneered next generation sequencing technologies to study the epigenome in both normal development and disease states.
Gerd Pfeifer, Ph.D. Professor, City of Hope
Dr. Pfeifer is a professor and Lester M. and Irene C. Finkelstein Chair in Biology, Department of Cancer Biology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope. Dr. Pfeifer has been active in the areas of epigenetics and genetic toxicology and has authored over 280 publications on the subject. Among his scientific achievements are the demonstration of a molecular mechanism of how tobacco smoking causes lung cancer and the discovery of the RASSF1 tumor suppressor gene. His lab has developed the MIRA assay, a technique for genome-scale DNA methylation profiling. Currently, the characterization of the novel modified DNA base 5-hydroxymethylcytosine is a major priority in his laboratory. Among his many achievements, Dr. Pfeifer is a recipient of the NIEHS MERIT award.
Martin Schwemmle, Ph.D. Professor, University of Freiburg
Dr. Schwemmle is a professor in the Department of Virology within the Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene at the University of Freiburg. Dr. Schwemmle’s laboratory primarily focuses on the investigation of the mechanisms of viral pathogenesis in humans in an effort to develop novel diagnostic tools and to better understand how specific viruses impact human health. Dr. Schwemmle studied in Europe (Germany, Switzerland) as well as the United States, receiving the Hans-Greibach Award as well as multiple research fellowship awards. He has served as Guest Editor, for Virus Research, and as the Editor for the Archives of Virology. He is widely recognized for his work in virology, especially on Influenza and Borna Disease Viruses, and maintains an impressive publication record in the subject.