Joachim Aerts is head of the department of Pulmonary Medicine since January 2018. His main research focus is on fundamental, translational and clinical research in immuno oncology, with a strong focus on lung cancer and mesothelioma.
As PI and as co-investigator, prof. Aerts is involved in many studies both human and animal. These projects are funded by funding agencies and pharmaceutical companies.
Prof. Aerts is leader of the core network on mesothelioma and board member of the European Reference Network on Rare Respiratory Diseases (ERN-Lung). He is a frequent invited speaker on international conferences, and he is scientific committee member of multiple national and international societies, such as the NVALT, EORTC, ASCO, ESMO, IASLC, ETOP, AACR, ERS and ATS. Prof. Aerts is co-author of >200 articles in international peer reviewed scientific journals.
Deputy Chief and Attending, Thoracic Surgery
Vice Chair for Translational Research, Department of Surgery
Head, Solid Tumors Cell Therapy, Cellular Therapeutics Center
Co-Director, Mesothelioma Program
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY.
My research focuses on tumor immunology, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, oncolytic viral therapy, and combination immunotherapy for cancers. Over the years, we have developed clinically-relevant orthotopic pleural mesothelioma mouse models and modelled biological therapies in these models. This research has yielded mechanistic data that has been translated and is now in CAR T-cell and combination immunotherapy clinical trials for patients with pleural mesothelioma.
My research has progressed to clinical trials and resulted in >210 publications including in Cancer Cell, Cancer Discov, FASEB, J Clin Invest, J Clin Oncol, J Natl Cancer Inst, Nat Med, and Sci Transl Med. In addition to serving on medical journal editorial boards, I am the Deputy Editor for Molecular Therapy Oncolytics. I serve as a member of national peer-review committees including NCI, DoD, PCORI, National health institutions of Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. I am an elected member of the Fleischner Society, American Society of Clinical Investigation, and American Surgical Association. I serve on international committees including the American Society of Cell and Gene Therapy, NCI thoracic cancers steering committee, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. In my laboratory, I mentor MDs, MD/PhDs, and PhDs in thoracic oncology research, including visiting scholars from international institutions.
Prof Fraser Brims is a Consultant Respiratory Physician and Head of Department at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Director of Early Years Clinical Skills at Curtin Medical School. He is chair of the WA Mesothelioma Registry and is Deputy Director of the Institute for Respiratory Health where he heads the Occupational and Respiratory Health research group. His has a clinical and research interests in occupational and asbestos related diseases, and early lung cancer detection. He leads the WA Asbestos Review Program, the largest lung cancer early detection program in Australia.
Luana Calabrò presently works as clinical associate at the Medical Oncology and Immunotherapy Unit, Center for Immuno-Oncology, University Hospital of Siena, Italy.
She obtained her MD from the Medical School, University Hospital of Messina, Messina, Italy (1995). In 1996, Dr Calabrò held a Postdoctoral position at the Department of Biomedical Science and Oncology, Hospital of Orbassano, Torino, Italy. In 1999, she obtained her Board Certification in Haematology. During 2000–2001, Dr Calabrò, held a Postdoctoral position at the Cancer Bioimmunotherapy Unit, Department of Medical Oncology, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Aviano, Italy. She subsequently held the position as researcher in charge of the Flow Cytometry Laboratory, Department of Hematology, Oncology and Molecular Medicine, National Health Institute, Rome, Italy (2001–2004), culminating in her current appointment as Clinical Associate (since 2004). In 2008, Dr Calabrò obtained her Board Certification in Oncology. She has authored more then 70 international scientific publications in books, monographs, and peer-reviewed Journals including Lancet Oncology, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy, J Immunotherapy, J Clin Oncol, Clin Cancer Res, Cell Death Differ, Plos One. Additionally, She is Co-Investigator for numerous solid malignant Phase 1–3 trials with immunotherapeutic agents and new pharmacologic agents, particularly focused on thoracic neoplasms, Dr Calabrò’s research interests include antigenic profiling of human tumour cells and their interaction with the immune system, Her preclinical and clinical research activities are supported by national and international granting bodies.
She was member of the Society of Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), and of The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). She is presently member of the Italian Network for the bio-immunotherapy of cancer (NIBIT), and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).
Dr. Cengel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania and the Executive Director of the Penn Mesothelioma and Pleural Diseases Program. His clinical practice centers on use of ionizing and non-ionizing (photodynamic therapy) radiation for thoracic and neuroendocrine cancers. His research centers on combining dosimetry, organ system physiology and immune/growth factor signaling to understand, predict and modulate the therapeutic index of radiotherapy.
Liz has enjoyed over 35 years of clinical practice at the University Hospitals of Leicester, 19 of them in thoracic oncology. Currently she is a Consultant Nurse at UHL and is also Head of Services for Mesothelioma UK, the national charity for Mesothelioma.
Liz’s interests within thoracic oncology have always focused on developing the nursing contribution, within the multidisciplinary team, to improve outcomes but also the patient and carer experience across the whole cancer pathway.
Clinically Liz is a core member of the Leicester Thoracic Oncology Multi-disciplinary Team who provide a comprehensive mesothelioma management service to over 200 patients per year.
To meet demand locally and nationally Liz developed an interest in Mesothelioma which resulted in her being the founder of Mesothelioma UK. This national charity was initially hosted by the University Hospitals of Leicester. It has established itself as an essential part of the UK Mesothelioma landscape as a centre of excellence providing specialist information, support and education. The Charity has an annual income of over £1.2m which it uses to fund: - 30 Clinical Nurse Specialist in NHS hospitals around the UK, comprehensive national audit, research grants and provide an extensive range of information, support and education resources.
Liz has held several Honorary university positions, is very active in terms of research, promoting nursing as a career and in pre and post graduate education.
Liz has served 10 years as a committee member (2 years as chair) for the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses, 14 years on the British Thoracic Oncology Group steering committee, is a current member of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and is proud to be a founding member of the International Thoracic Oncology Nursing Forum.
Liz has individually, and joint authored a number of publications about lung cancer and mesothelioma and gives up to 25 lectures a year at regional, national and international meetings.
Liz’s contribution has been recognised through several awards. Nurse peers awarded Liz Cancer Nurse Leader of the Year in 2007 and the British Thoracic Oncology Group awarded her a 10 Year Achievement Award in 2012. In HRH Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday honours list in June 2019 Liz was invited to become a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of her services to patients and cancer research.
Dr. Melvin Chin is a medical oncologist who divides his time between clinical work at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and translational research at the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases (NCARD) in Western Australia. He has a clinical interest in mesothelioma and a keen research interest in cancer computational biology. Currently, his research focuses on computational approaches for biomarker discovery in mesothelioma using bulk and single-cell genomics.
Dr. Jane Churpek is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Medical Oncology, and Palliative Care at The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Carbone Cancer Center. Dr. Churpek is a hematologist/oncologist and hereditary cancer expert whose clinical focus is on identifying cancer prone populations and optimizing early detection and cancer prevention for these individuals. She runs a translational research program focused on defining the contribution of rare genetic variation on risk of cancer, how inherited variants interact with environmental exposures to contribute to cancer initiation in those at risk, and how they impact tumor biology and response to treatment.
I am a senior scientist, coordinator of the preclinical research laboratory of the Center for Immuno-Oncology, University Hospital of Siena.
I received a Master’s degree in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Technologies in 2005 from the University of Trieste, and a PhD in Clinical Sciences and Technologies in 2009 from the University of Udine.
My research interests include cancer immunotherapy and epigenetics.
I have authored more than 25 publications in books, monographs, and peer-reviewed Journals including Nature Biotechnology, Cytokine & Growth Factor Reviews, Clinical Cancer Research, Journal of Translational Medicine, Cancer Research, Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy, British Journal of Cancer; and supervised more than 10 Master degree and PhD theses.
I was awarded a Gianni Bonadonna prize for New Drug Development in Oncology at the 2nd International Michelangelo Conference: Promises and challenges of developing new drugs in oncology. Milan, 2013.
David is a Chief Cancer Officer, New South Wales and the Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Institute, NSW, the state’s cancer control agency. The agency is responsible for prevention, screening, improved cancer services, and funding of research infrastructure. David is Professor of Palliative Medicine at University of Technology Sydney, the Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Palliative and Supportive Care, Flinders University and Associate Director (Research) at the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre, University of Hull, England. Research includes clinical trials and use of large datasets to understand better the impact of life-limiting illnesses on patients and caregivers. Research into chronic breathlessness is a particular area of expertise.
He is the principal investigator for the Australian national Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC) which has randomised more than 2000 people to phase III symptom control studies, and supports an active international phase IV collaborative with data on more than 1150 people from 11 countries. These studies have been shown to influence clinical practice. He is a foundation partner in the Australian national Palliative Care Outcomes Collaborative (PCOC), an initiative to improve palliative care clinical outcomes through point-of-care data collection.
David has published more than 550 peer-reviewed articles, editorials and books. He is senior associate editor of Journal of Palliative Medicine and Editor of the 5th and 6th editions of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine. David is a former president of Palliative Care Australia and the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia.
Chair of Thoracic Medical Oncology,
Director, Leicester Mesothelioma Research Programme
Cancer Research UK Centre Experimental Medicine Centre
University of Leicester and
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, UK
Dean Fennell is a Professor & Consultant in Thoracic Medical Oncology, and Director of the Leicester Mesothelioma Programme based at the University of Leicester/University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. He is an internationally recognised key opinion leader in thoracic oncology and is currently leading the UK portfolio of studies in relapsed mesothelioma including the pivotal phase III immunotherapy study CONFIRM, and world's first stratified umbrella study for mesothelioma, MiST. He is a planning committee member of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), mesothelioma taskforce member for the IASLC, member of the Cancer Research UK population research committee, and steering committee for the British Lung Foundation mesothelioma research network. He has been past-president of the International mesothelioma interest group, past-chair of the NCRI mesothelioma subgroup, and co-author of both the European and UK mesothelioma treatment guidelines. Prof. Fennell is currently the Leicester lead for the groundbreaking Cancer Research UK TraceRx/Darwin/PEACE phylogenetic studies. Prof. Fennell held two prestigious CRUK clinician scientist and MRC doctoral fellowships. He originally trained in pharmacology (1st class) and medicine at UCL where he was awarded several prizes. He completed medical training in the London Golden circuit (Hammersmith, Brompton, Guy's, St Thomas's), and completed his specialist training at Barts Hospital. Prof. Fennell has published over 100 peer reviewed articles in journals including The Lancet, Lancet Oncology, New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Nature Reviews Cancer, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Jordan Gruber is a young Mechatronic/Robotics Engineer and founder of Frontier Microscopy, a rapidly growing business that equips industry with technology to accelerate asbestos abatement, improve traceability, and improve safety. He is an accomplished international speaker who thoroughly enjoys sharing his unique perspective and create new opportunities to improve lives across the world.
Dr. Seiki Hasegawa is a Professor, Departments of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Japan. He performs all kind of general thoracic surgery, including extended resection of lung cancer, minimal invasive thoracic surgery, and particularly, mesothelioma surgery. He graduated from Kyoto University in 1983 and spent 6 residency years at the Shizuoka City Hospital and the National Himeji Hospital. He spent 4 years in his post-graduate course during 1989-1983, including two years at the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Washington University, St. Louis as a transplant research fellow during 1991-1993.
Then he worked 3 years as an assistant professor of the Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Kyoto University. In 1998, he moved to the Department of Thoracic Surgery, Kyoto University and successfully started Lung Transplant Program.
Dr. Hasegawa moved to the Department of Thoracic Surgery, Hyogo College of Medicine in 2004. He started the Hyogo College of Medicine Mesothelioma Surgery Program and has performed more than 200 curative-intent surgery for mesothelioma. Since 2017 he has been the Chief, Department Surgery, and also the Professor, Department of Thoracic Oncology, Hyogo College of Medicine.
He is currently the President of the Japan Asbestos Mesothelioma Interest Group, an Advisory Board of IASLC Staging Committee, and a Board Member of the Japanese Association for Chest Surgery and the Japanese Association for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
Dr. Cathy Henshall MN, RGN, MA, PhD is a National Institute for Health Research 70@70 Senior Nurse Research Leader and is responsible for improving the capacity and capability of nurses to undertake research across the UK. She is also a Senior Nursing Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University and the Head of Research Delivery at Oxford Health NHS Trust. Cathy holds an honorary contract with the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford. She is a Principal Investigator on numerous studies and her research interests include cancer survivorship, self-management, mental health and workforce development, with a particular interest in lung cancer and mesothelioma care. Cathy was awarded grant funding from Mesothelioma UK in 2018 and 2019 to carry out research exploring ways to improve mesothelioma follow up pathways, from the perspectives of patients and clinicians. Cathy is on the editorial board of BMC Health Services Research and the Journal of Clinical Nursing. Her clinical background is in oncology nursing.
Dr. Astero Klampatsa graduated with a PhD in Research Oncology (focused in mesothelioma apoptotic and hypoxia pathways) from University of London, UK, in 2011. She then worked as a Research Associate in the CAR Mechanics lab, Department of Oncology at King’s College London, where she got trained in the development and preclinical use of CAR T cell therapies for mesothelioma. Her research was supported by grants from the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund. In 2013, she was awarded a BRC STEM Early Career Award, which allowed her to train as a visiting fellow in vitro 3D mesothelioma models at the Lung Biology Center, UCSF, USA. From 2015-2019 she worked as a Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Professor Steve Albelda’s lab at Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (Penn), USA. Her research focused on developing CAR T cell therapies for mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as the immunobiology of these malignancies with a focus on the function of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). She joined the Institute of Cancer Research in London, UK as a Team Leader in October 2019. Her Thoracic Oncology Immunotherapy Group focuses on developing new CAR T cell therapies for mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as investigating phenotypic and functional aspects of the immunobiology of mesothelioma for identification of markers of response to immunotherapy. She has been a visiting senior lecturer at King’s College London since 2015. She is a member of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG), the European Association of Cancer Research (EACR) and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).
A/Prof Sonja Klebe is a senior staff specialist in Diagnostic Pathology at Flinders Medical Centre and a Clinical Academic Associate Professor at Flinders University. She has a special interest in pleuropulmonary pathology and molecular pathology with a focus on mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases.
Sonja graduated from Medicine at the Free University of Berlin, with a MD in Biochemistry. She completed a PhD in Immunology and Gene Therapy at Flinders University in Adelaide in 2000 and obtained her Fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Pathologists (RCPA) in 2005.
She is a Member of the International Mesothelioma Panel, the Pulmonary Pathology Society and the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) and IASLC staging committee. She is also a member of Lung Expert Group for development of Lung Cancer Structured Reporting Protocol for the RCPA and heads the mesothelioma structured reporting. She regularly serves as an expert on diagnosis in mesothelioma to the courts. She has been an invited speaker for the Australian Society of Cytology Annual Conference, the Australian Lung Cancer Conference, World Lung Cancer Conference and the Australasian Pleuropulmonary Society as well as COSA.
She has successfully supervised 7 honours and 5 PhD students to completion. Her interests have focussed on clinically relevant basic research applications, and her 7-year appointment as Chief Examiner for the RCPA underscores her standing as an expert in pathological processes. She has published 5 book chapters and over 100 peer-reviewed publications.
Professor Kang, Seong-Kyu is Chair of Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Gachon University Gil Medical Center (GUGMC) in Incheon, Korea. Dr. Kang worked for the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA) from 1992 to 2016 and served as Vice President and Director General of Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute (OSHRI).
He is Vice President of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) and the fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini. He launched the journal of Safety and Health at Work (SH@W) indexed in SCIE/SSCI/SCOPUS and serves as the Editor-in-Chief. He is Non-executive Vice President of the Korea Industrial Health Association (KIHA). He was the key responsible person of 31st ICOH Congress held in Seoul in 2015.
Dr. Kang graduated from the Chung Nam National University and completed his residency from the Yonsei University Severance Hospital. He was an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer at the US NIOSH. He holds specialties of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Family Medicine.
Professor Loic Lang-Lazdunski graduated from Xavier Bichat Medical School, University of Paris in 1991. He trained in General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Paris rotation. He was awarded an MD in 1996 and a PhD in Experimental Surgery in 2000. He started his career as Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Paris in November 1998. He was recruited at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Trust in London in 2003, where he created and led one of the largest mesothelioma programs in Europe. He was awarded a Chair in Mesothelioma at King’s College London in 2012. He has been involved in several important surgical trials in mesothelioma: MARS, MesoVATS, EORTC-L1205, and has helped colleagues develop mesothelioma programs throughout the world. He pioneered the technique of total pleurectomy/decortication and hyperthermic pleural lavage with povidone-iodine in malignant pleural mesothelioma and has recently reported his 15-year experience with this approach showing no surgical mortality and impressive 5-year survival in more than 150 consecutive patients. He has a keen interest in basic science and molecular oncology in mesothelioma. At present, he collaborates with colleagues and researchers in the National Centre for Mesothelioma Research, Imperial College London to study tumour heterogeneity, mesenchymal transition, genomics and help identify new targets in mesothelioma.
Professor Lee is a clinician scientist whose research program uniquely combines laboratory and clinical research with an active tertiary clinical pleural service which he directs. His track record includes 290+ publications, total citations of >8900, and H-index of 50. He has been an invited speaker in 100+ conferences in 30 countries. His work has changed clinical practice in many aspects of pleural diseases especially in malignant effusions, pleural infection and pneumothorax. He plays a significant role in establishing pleural medicine as a new respiratory subspecialty and has trained many next generation pleural specialists worldwide.
I am a tenured Consultant and Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Immunology and Department of Molecular Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I work as a translational physician-scientist investigating thoracic malignancies. My interests are tumor immunology, viro-immunotherapy, immune mediated complications of cancer immunotherapy and the development of imaging biomarkers for thoracic malignancies.
I am the Director of the Mayo Clinic Lung Nodule, Mass and Adenopathy Clinic, a co-leader of the multi-disciplinary Thoracic Malignancy Service Line and the current chair of the Mayo Clinic Mesothelioma Interest Group.
As a prior Mayo Clinic and V Foundation Scholar and Mayo Clinic Cancer Center K12 and NCI K23 recipient, my research has been centered around the investigation of the safety and therapeutic effects of the intrapleural administration of the measles virus in pleural mesothelioma. I am currently developing a Phase I/II study investigating the role of the intrapleural administration of measles infected NK-cells in patients with malignant pleural effusions and pleural mesothelioma.
Furthermore, I am the co-PI of a DoD funded Lung Cancer Research Program Idea Development Award which resulted in the development of a novel model to distinguish benign and malignant indeterminate lung nodules. Furthermore, I am a co-inventor of the Computer Aided Nodule Assessment and Risk Yield (CANARY) software allowing the virtual biopsy and non-invasive risk-stratification of lung adenocarcinomas.
In collaboration with Drs. Aaron Mansfield and George Vasmatzis from Mayo Clinic, we have used a Mate-Pair sequencing approach that was optimized at Mayo Clinic for the detection of chromosomal rearrangements, to characterize these events in pleural mesothelioma. We have demonstrated that mesothelioma is characterized by frequent chromosomal rearrangements that have significant neo-antigenic potential and would potentially be missed by whole genome sequencing. We are currently exploring the potential applications of these rearrangement associated neo-antigens as predictive biomarkers and potential targets for immunotherapy.
During the past 4 years I have been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF). For the past 3 years I have been serving as the Chair of the MARF SAB. Furthermore, I have been an active member of the IASLC Mesothelioma Task Force and I am currently serving on the IASLC Mesothelioma Committee.
Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography (84 Publications): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/tobias.peikert.1/bibliography/public/
Oluf Dimitri Røe is a specialist in medical and radiation oncology from Norway, currently a Professor at the Department of Clinical and Molecular Research at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim Norway. His main research interests have been a combination of clinical and basic cancer research (translational), including biomarkers for early detection of cancer, predictive and prognostic biomarkers, genome-wide analysis and mechanisms of treatment resistance.
The research has been focused on mesothelioma, but recently also lung and gastric cancer. He has co-authored 56 peer reviewed articles and has been invited speaker to many international and Nordic conferences.
The prospective HUNT biobank in Levanger, Norway, is one of the largest biobanks in Scandinavia with serum and clinical data from approximately 120 000 subjects. He is PI of the Cancer-Biomarker-HUNT Project that aims at discovery of biomarkers in serum for detection of lung cancer and mesothelioma in an early stage.
Currently, his group developed a novel validated clinical risk prediction model and online calculator for lung cancer, the HUNT Lung Cancer Model, which now combines SNP and pre-diagnostic microRNA to refine the screening and diagnostic model. This project is designated EARLYSCREEN.
Since 2013 he was appointed Associate Professorat the Aalborg University Hospital in Aalborg, Denmark. Aalborg, the major and capital city in the Northern Jutland Region has hosted the only asbestos factory (Eternit) in Denmark and processed 80% of all asbestos imported to Denmark. The long term effects of the asbestos use is that the age-standardised incidence rate for men with mesothelioma in the Region of Northern Jutland in 2008-2009 is approximately 2-3-fold higher than in the other four Danish Regions, and his group recently discovered the environmental impact on the risk of mesothelioma in women.
Charles B. Simone, II, MD, FACRO is a Research Professor and the Chief Medical Officer of the New York Proton Center and a Full Member in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is an internationally recognized expert in using proton therapy to treat mesothelioma and other thoracic malignancies and for reirradiation, and in developing clinical trials and innovative research in thoracic radiation oncology and stereotactic body radiation therapy.
Prior to coming to NYPC, Dr. Simone was Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Director of the Penn Mesothelioma and Pleural Program, and Director of Clinical Research and Operations in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Penn. He was then appointed Medical Director of the Maryland Proton Treatment Center, and at University of Maryland, he also served as Chair of the Clinical Research Committee for their Comprehensive Cancer Center, proton therapy Fellowship Director, and Director of the Stereotactic Radiation Therapy Program. He completed his undergraduate and medical school training at University of Pennsylvania and residency in radiation oncology at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, where he served as chief resident.
Dr. Simone is a National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Department of Defense funded investigator who has published >320 scientific articles and chapters, given >200 scientific lectures to national and international audiences, and is the national Principal Investigator or Co-Chair of 7 NIH-funded cooperative group trials (4 NRG Oncology, 1 SWOG, 1 ECOG-ACRIN, 1 PCG). He is a three-time Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology Educator of the Year Award winner. Dr. Simone Chairs the Proton Collaborative Group (PCG) Executive Committee; PCG Lung Committee; ASTRO Lung Resource Panel Committee; ACRO Recruitment Subcommittee; and NCI/Radiosurgery Society GRID-Lattice-Microbeam-Flash Radiotherapy Clinical Working Group. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Palliative Medicine.
Daniel H. Sterman, M.D., is the Thomas and Suzanne Murphy Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the Departments of Medicine and Cardiothoracic Surgery at the New York University School of Medicine, and Director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine and Director of the Multidisciplinary Pulmonary Oncology Program at NYU Langone Health in New York City. He was previously lead clinical investigator in the multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Research Group at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Principal Investigator of the Clinical Trials Project for the NCI. Dr. Sterman’s research interests are related to the treatment of thoracic malignancies, specifically as they apply to the synergy of molecular medicine, tumor immunotherapy and novel technologies in Interventional Pulmonology. Over the past 20 years, he has focused on the translation of laboratory discoveries from the bench to the bedside: conducting multiple human clinical trials of gene therapy and vaccine therapy for lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other pleural malignancies. More recently, as Director of the NYU PORT (Pulmonary Oncology Research Team), Dr. Sterman has expanded his research interests into assessment of the immune microenviroment of tumor-draining lymph nodes, as well as the development of local intra-tumoral and intra-nodal immunotherapies.
Dr Jim teWaterNaude is a Public Health Medicine specialist who qualified from the University of Cape Town and the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. He has training in clinical medicine, epidemiology, biostatistics, public health and occupational medicine, has taught at Diploma and Master’s level and examined at Fellowship level. He has research experience in assessing occupational and environmental exposure data and in assessing the effects of dust on mineworkers, and has published and presented internationally in these areas. He has practiced in rural, peri-urban and urban South Africa, in public, academic and NGO sectors. He has led and analysed a randomised clinical trial in tuberculosis, and been involved in and analysed 2 large cross-sectional studies - in manganese and in gold miners. He is currently in independent medical practice, on retainers for the Asbestos Relief Trust, the Kgalagadi Relief Trust and the Q(h)ubeka Trust, all of which compensate victims of dust diseases as a result of past mining activities of asbestos (the Relief Trusts) and of gold. More recently, he has become involved in the surveillance of ex-coal miners, a neglected issue in Southern Africa. He serves on the Board of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group, as Treasurer and also chairs their public policy committee. He owns and runs Diagnostic Medicine, a public interest, academically-inclined medical firm, and does or arranges regular peer-to-peer teaching activities.
Dr. Raffit Hassan is a Senior Investigator and Chief of the Thoracic and GI Malignancies Branch at the National Cancer Institute, NIH. Dr. Hassan’s research interest is focused on developing mesothelin-targeted immunotherapy for cancer with a particular focus on malignant mesothelioma. Work done by his laboratory has validated mesothelin as an attractive tumor antigen for cancer therapy and he has played a key role in bringing mesothelin directed therapies to the clinic. In addition, the Hassan Lab is conducting laboratory and clinical studies to exploit mesothelioma genetics for cancer prevention and therapy. Dr. Hassan is a recipient of several national and international awards for his work on mesothelioma including the Pioneer Award from the Mesothelioma Foundation and the Wagner Medal from the International Mesothelioma Interest Group.
Dr. Marc de Perrot is a Thoracic surgeon at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, and Professor of Surgery and Immunology at the University of Toronto in Canada. He is the Director of the Mesothelioma Program at University Health Network and Lung Site Lead at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The Mesothelioma Program at Princess Margaret is one of the largest program in Canada and provides multidisciplinary care to mesothelioma patients from across the country. Marc de Perrot is also a senior scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. His research focuses on the integration of immunotherapy in multimodality therapy for mesothelioma with a specific focus on the impact of hypofractionated radiation on the immune system. His work in collaboration with Dr John Cho, radiation oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, led to the development of an innovative concept using a short course of hypofractionated hemithoracic radiation before surgery (the SMART approach). This approach could provide an ideal platform for immunotherapy in mesothelioma.
E/Prof. Ken Takahashi is the Director of the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, Sydney, Australia. Ken is Emeritus Professor of the University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, and former professor of the Concord Clinical School, The University of Sydney. He has been engaged in epidemiological studies of occupational diseases in general and asbestos-related diseases (ARD) in particular. He has been leading many international cooperative efforts on asbestos/ARD including the Asian Asbestos Initiative (AAI) and consultancies for the WHO, the ILO and the UNEP. Ken is the former President of the Asian Association for Occupational Health, former Board Member of ICOH and former Executive Council Member of the Collegium Ramazzini. He is currently a designated Member of the Roster of Experts for the WHO under the International Health Regulations.
Professor Isabelle Opitz is an academic thoracic surgeon and the Director of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. After holding a prestigious Professorship of the Swiss National Science foundation for research on malignant pleural mesothelioma for six years, she now holds an Associate Professorship ad personam for thoracic surgery, in particular for pulmonary vascular disease at the University of Zurich. She was awarded with several national and international prizes and has acquired more than 5 million Euro grant for her own research. She is an author of over 75 original publications, multiple reviews and book chapters. Isabelle Opitz has been an invited speaker at both European and International Conferences including the annual conference of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) and previous iMig conferences. Beside her general thoracic surgery activity with focus on malignant pleural mesothelioma, other interests are lung transplantation and pulmonary endarterectomy for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. She is a member of numerous societies and is currently treasurer of the European Society of Thoracic Surgery. Furthermore, she is member of the editorial board of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
Dr. Yoshitaka Sekido graduated from the Nagoya University School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan, in 1985 and obtained his M.D. degree. After three years of internship at a local hospital, he joined the Graduate School of Nagoya University School of Medicine and obtained his Ph.D. In 1992, he started working as a postdoctoral fellow in John D Minna’s lab at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA, and was promoted to the post of Assistant Professor in 1997. In 1998, he became Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Preventive Medicine, Nagoya University Hospital, Nagoya, Japan. In 2005, he was elected as the Chief of the Division of Molecular Oncology (renamed as the Division of Cancer Biology) of the Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute (ACCRI), Nagoya, Japan. He has served as the Vice-Director of ACCRI since 2013. He is also a Professor of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, Nagoya Graduate School of Medicine.
After his discovery of the frequent NF2 mutations in malignant mesothelioma cells (Cancer Res, 1995), he has long been engaged in basic research on mesothelioma. His works involve genomic analysis, epigenetic analysis, and cellular biological analysis of mesothelioma cells. His group has reported a dozen papers related to the significance of the Hippo pathway inactivation for the development and progression of mesothelioma.
He is a board member of the iMig. He serves as the Conference Chair of the 1st Conference of the Japan Asbestos Mesothelioma Interest Group being organized on September 21 and 22, 2019. The organization was established in February 2019.
Dr Nicola Waddell is head of the Medical Genomics Group and Coordinator of the Cancer Program at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. She is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and genomics researcher who is an expert in the analysis of genomic data. She is a co-lead of the Ethics, Legal and Social Implications Project within the Queensland Genomics Health Alliance (QGHA) and a member of the QGHA Community Group. She is also a member of Australian Genomics and the International Cancer Genome Consortium. She leads the genomics of several national cancer genome projects including oesophageal cancer and mesothelioma. She is a co-founder and Board member of genomiQa, a company that offers whole genome analysis to clinicians. Dr Waddell is keen to see genomics implemented into the clinic to improve patient outcomes.
Dr. Jennifer Sauter is a Thoracic Pathologist and Cytopathologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY. She has an academic interest in the pathology of malignant pleural mesothelioma and has been engaged with the international mesothelioma pathology community over the past several years. In addition to the International Mesothelioma Interest Group, she is also actively involved with the International Mesothelioma Panel. She had a prominent role in a recently published proposal regarding the histologic classification of malignant pleural mesothelioma, an effort supported by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the European Network for Rare Adult Solid Cancers, and is the lead author for the diffuse malignant mesothelioma chapter of the upcoming 5th edition of the WHO Classification of Tumours of the Lung, Pleura, Thymus and Heart. Original research efforts include studying the histopathology of mesothelioma and developing prognostic and predictive biomarkers to assist in guiding improved treatment of these tumors.
Dr (Willem) Joost Lesterhuis is an NHMRC RD Wright Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia and a Simon Lee Research Fellow at Telethon Kids Institute. He has a background as a dual-trained medical oncologist and basic researcher in tumour immunology and cancer biology.
His research focuses on identifying new effective treatment combinations in mesothelioma and sarcoma, focusing on immunotherapy, and combining several lines of research; cancer immunology, systems biology, pharmacology/drug discovery and translational oncology.
Joost obtained his MD at the Free University in Amsterdam 2001, and completed his medical oncology specialisation and his PhD in cancer immunology at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands in 2010. From 2011-2012 he was a visiting post-doc at the University of Western Australia.
Since 2013, he has been a fulltime research fellow at the School of Biomedical Sciences at UWA, with special focus on cancer immunology research.
Arnaud Scherpereel (MD, PhD) is Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Head of the Pulmonary and Thoracic Oncology Department in Lille University Hospital (CHU), France for 11 years. He is routinely taking care of all respiratory patients but with a special focus in Thoracic Oncology and Pleural Diseases, including malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). He coordinates the French National network of expert centers for MPM (“NET MESO”).
Pr Scherpereel is highly involved in education at the local (assistant of the Dean of Lille Medical School), and national levels (current President of the French National College of Respiratory Medicine). In the European Respiratory Society, he was the Thoracic Oncology Assembly Secretary, and the chair of two European Taskforces on MPM management. He was the recipient of the 2019 Gold Medal for Thoracic Oncology. He also belongs to many Scientific Boards: IFCT, SPLF, ELCWP, IASLC, and mostly iMig (President-elect, 2018).
His main translational research topics include tumor angiogenesis, immunology and innovative anti-tumor treatments (cell therapy, PDT…), and non-invasive tools for lung cancer or MPM screening or early diagnosis (blood/exhaled breath biomarkers (VOCs), web-reported symptoms). He has been (Principal/Co-) Investigator of many clinical trials for MPM and lung cancer patients since 2003. Pr Scherpereel presented over 100 communications in international meetings. He is (co)author of 160 original publications in peer-reviewed journals, including internationally-known publications.
Professor Anna Nowak is a Medical Oncologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH) and Professor within the School of Medicine, University of Western Australia, with longstanding research and clinical interests in malignant mesothelioma. She is a clinician scientist with interests in translational tumour immunology and imaging research, as well as an active clinical trialist in mesothelioma. She is the Director of the National Research Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases (NCARD) in Australia, a member of the IASLC mesothelioma staging committee, and a current iMig board member.
Melissa Culligan is a Clinical Instructor in Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Director of Clinical Research for the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center. She serves as the Chair of the International Society of the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) Nursing and Allied Health Professionals Committee and the IASLC Continuing Medical Education Committee and as a former Chair and current Steering Committee members for the International Thoracic Oncology Nursing Forum. She received her undergraduate degree from Wilkes University and went on to receive a Masters of Science degree from Drexel University College of Medicine in area of Clinical Research. She has more than 30 years of experience working in the field of thoracic surgery with a special focus and expertise in caring for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma and advanced stage lung cancer. She is the co-author of multiple peer-reviewed papers on the topics of lung cancer and mesothelioma and has lectured nationally and internationally on the nursing care of patients undergoing thoracic surgery. She has a special interest in clinical trial development and management for thoracic oncology patients and leads multiple surgery-based clinical trials at the University of Maryland Medical Center. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. Her doctoral research is focused on the standardization of and outcomes measurements for patients undergoing lung-sparing surgery for malignant pleural mesothelioma.
David Waller was a Consultant Thoracic Surgeon and Honorary Senior Lecturer in his home town at the University Hospital of Leicester for 20 years and moved to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London in 2017 to lead their mesothelioma and emphysema services. He has a specialist interest in mesothelioma having published over 60 peer reviewed articles and chapters on the subject and been a steering committee member and lead participant in 3 randomized surgical trials : MesoVATS, MARS and MARS2 ( in which Barts is the leading recruiter). He has promoted the transition from extrapleural pneumonectomy with the wide application of extended pleurectomy/decortication as the surgical option of choice. He has been Chair of the National Cancer Research Institute Mesothelioma group in UK and IMIG Conference President in 2016. He is a Councillor of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons for whom he has also organized the Postgraduate Course and. He has served a committee member of the British Thoracic Oncology Group ; the Executive Committee of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain, the Specialist Advisory Committee for Training and has worked with NHS England in the commissioning of mesothelioma services. He was amongst the young pioneers of VATS in UK 25 years ago and is now, as a grandfather, exploring the applications of robot assisted thoracic surgery.
Dr. Joseph S. Friedberg is the Charles Reid Edwards Professor of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Thoracic Surgeon-in-Chief for the 13-hospital University of Maryland Medical System. Dr. Friedberg received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania College of Engineering and Applied Science, majoring in bioengineering, and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Board certified in both general and thoracic surgery, he completed his general surgery training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and his cardiothoracic training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He holds multiple patents, is a funded researcher, has published extensively, lectures both nationally and internationally, and has performed mesothelioma lung-sparing surgery demonstration operations nationally and internationally. He is on the Board of Directors of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMig), the Mesothelioma Subcommittee for the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), and the Scientific Advisory Board for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF). His primary clinical and research interests are improving current treatments, and developing new treatments, for mesothelioma and other pleural malignancies.
Professor Derek Richard is Scientific Director of the Cancer & Ageing Research Program (www.carp.org.au), and Director of Drug Discovery Queensland (www.tciq.org.au) at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. He has published over 100 manuscripts including work in Nature, Molecular Cell, Nature Communications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Genes & Development. He co-founded drug discovery companies CARP Pharmaceuticals and CARPE VITAE Pharmaceuticals. His research centers on the link between the DNA Damage Response, ageing and cancer. His research spans basic discovery biology through to translation into clinical practice.
Dr Reid is a molecular biologist specialising in translational cancer research. He has worked in both academia and biotech, and has translated laboratory findings into clinical trial. As Senior Scientist (and later Deputy Director) of the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) and Associate Professor at Sydney Medical School (The University of Sydney) from 2009-2018, he led translational research focused on malignant pleural mesothelioma. In 9 years at ADRI he established a translational research team investigating the molecular and cellular biology of malignant pleural mesothelioma – with a particular focus on microRNAs – identifying new molecular biomarkers and therapeutic targets. During this time he published over 50 papers, presented at many national and international conferences, and was awarded more than $7M in peer-reviewed grant support. His lab’s preclinical research findings led to a successfully completed phase I clinical trial of an experimental microRNA-based therapeutic approach for malignant mesothelioma patients, work recognised by the award for “Excellence in Translational Cancer Research” at the Cancer Institute NSW’s 2014 Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research. Having returned to New Zealand in June 2018, Dr Reid is now Senior Lecturer in Department the Pathology at the University of Otago where he leads projects investigating the roles of microRNA biology in the pathogenesis of mesothelioma, lung cancer and melanoma.
Ann-Marie leads the Clinical Genomics group at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. She is a bioinformatician with >10 years experience in the interpretation of multiple-omics data, including whole genome sequencing, transcriptomics and methylomics in human inherited diseases and cancer research. Her team works across many cancer projects to develop methods for the interpretation of somatic mutations, copy number and structural variations and to integrate expression and methylation analyses. Her research interests focus on understanding the intricacies of genomic heterogeneity of cancer and how that affects response to therapy.
Prof Kenneth O’Byrne is a Medical Oncologist and Clinical Scientist working at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Translational Research Institute (TRI) laboratories on the PAH campus where he is co-director of the Cancer and Ageing Research Program (CARP) www.carp.org.au. He is the founder of the British Thoracic Oncology Group (BTOG), co-founder of the European thoracic oncology platform (ETOP), a member of the ESMO immunology and immunotherapy education committee and of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) fellowship committee and is on the board of the Thoracic Alliance for Cancer Trials (TACT). He is co-chair of the advanced lung cancer sub-committee of the Australasian Lung cancer Trials Group (ALTG). He has published over 350 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has patented novel anti-cancer therapeutics and predictive biomarker tests developed in Australia and Ireland.
Dr. Carolyn McIntyre is a Certified Exercise Physiologist working in the Exercise Medicine Research Institute at Edith Cowan University. Dr McIntyre’s research program aims to understand the how exercise can be used to advance cancer management. Specifically, Dr. McIntyre works with mesothelioma physicians to find out how exercise can improve the lives of people with mesothelioma. Her research brings together expertise in exercise science, exercise psychology, and clinical cancer care to provide an innovative approach to current issues in cancer survivorship.
Nick Maskell undertook his DM thesis on pleural diseases in Oxford prior to taking up a consultant post at North Bristol NHS Trust in 2003. His research interests include clinical trials in pleural disease, mesothelioma and patient safety during pleural procedures. He leads the pleural service at North Bristol NHS Trust and the Bristol Pleural Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Bristol. He is the Chief Investigator for a number of pleural randomised controlled trials. He co-chaired the 2018 BTS mesothelioma guidelines and is one of the chairs for the forthcoming BTS pleural disease guidelines.
Ruth E. Hubbard is a Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Queensland, Consultant Geriatrician at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and Head of School for PA-Southside Clinical Unit. She has published widely on the inflammatory aetiology of frailty, the difficulties of measuring frailty in clinical practice and the relationships between frailty and obesity, smoking, socioeconomic status and exercise. Based on the impact of her publications, she is currently ranked number 3 in a list of frailty experts worldwide (http://expertscape.com/ex/frail+elderly). As a passionate advocate for her discipline, she is promoting academic geriatrics among Advanced Trainees, medical students and Allied Health colleagues. She is currently supervising 4 PhDs, 2 MPhils and numerous medical student projects. She has generated more than $9.3 million in grant income in the last 5 years, including as CIA on 2 NHMRC Project Grants.
Dave Hodgkin has been the Managing Director of Humanitarian Benchmark Consulting (HBC) for the last 15 years, based out of Melbourne in Australia and Yogyakarta in Indonesia. HBC provides technical expertise in disaster preparedness, response and coordination to the shelter and housing sector across the Asia Pacific region. Dave is currently engaged by the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) as a specialist adviser to the Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs, supporting them in their role coordinating shelter assistance in the ongoing disaster responses to the 2018 earthquakes in Palu and Lombok. Dave first became concerned about asbestos in the 2004 Aceh tsunami response and has provided technical advice on the issue to a range of agencies in disasters since. Prior to working in disaster Dave was an award winning licensed multi-story Australian Builder and licensed asbestos remover. His postgraduate qualifications are from ANU in Environmental Science, (Human Ecology, Resource and Environmental Management) and he is a recipient of the Australian National Overseas Humanitarian Medal.
Professor Francoise Galateau Salle
2015-at present time Head of MESOPATH in the Department of Biopathology Cancer Center Leon Berard Lyon France
2013-2015 Professor of University in Pathology: class exceptional, Faculty of Medecine Caen
2005- 2015 Head of the Department of Pathology, CHU Caen
1998-Present Co-leader of the axis ASBESTOS in the INSERM team BIMU 1086 CHU Caen
2005- present Head of the Frozen tissue bank [Tumorotheque Caen Basse Normandie
1998-2006 Member of the Faculty council of Caen
1998-2010 Member of the medical board CHU CAEN
1998- present Head of the French Mesothelioma Panel for malignant pleural mesothelioma and rare peritoneal tumors (MESOPATH)
2005- present Head of the MESONAT national multicentric mesothelioma Registry
2005-present Head of the BBRC on mesothelioma INSERM N°8
1998- present Head of the pathological arm of the « Programme National de Surveillance des Mésothéliomes » PNSM-InVS (french NIH)
2009- present Head of the National Referral Center for mesothelioma MESOPATH
2011- present Head of the national multicentric clinico-biological, and epidemiological database and virtual national frozen tissue bank MESOBANK
1998-present Head of the International Mesothelioma Panel IM@EC ( International Mesothelioma Excellence Center )
2011-present Member of the principal panel IASLC / TNM classification and staging for pleural tumours
2004 : WHO classification of lung, pleura and heart tumors. (Roggli V-Churg A, Galateau Salle F, Travis DW)
2015 : WHO classification of lung, pleura, thymus and heart (Galateau Salle F, Churg A, Roggli V, Travis DW).
2010-present Expert of the Canceropole Nord Ouest for Biobanking and Telepathology
2010-present Member of the Scientific committee of the Canceropole Nord Ouest
Member the French quality insurance structure AFAQAP
Editorial Board Archiv Pathol Lab Med – Editorial Consultant of European Society of Pathology
Expert at the National Cancer Institute
2019-2020 WHO classification of Tumours 5th edition. Member of the Editorial board Classification and Editor for the Chapter of pleural tumours
Topics of research:
Benign versus malignant mesothelial proliferation, Mesothelioma classification, predictive biomarkers in mesothelioma, Molecular and Microenvironment in mesothelioma, Biobanking, DATABASE, Telepathology, Lung cancer, Environmental Pathology, Artificial Intelligence in Pathology.
246 publications reported in Pubmed up to now with recently paper’’ on Deep learning-based classification improves prediction of patient out come in Nature Medecine in 2019’’ and ‘’EURACAN/IASLC proposals for updating the Histologiacl classification of pleural mesothelioma:towards a more multidisciplinary approach in JTO 2019’’.
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