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  • Invited speakers
  • Douglas HANAHAN

    Laboratory of Translational Oncology, EPFL, ISREC, Lausanne

    M. Celeste SIMON, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania

    M. Celeste Simon, Ph.D. is the Scientific Director of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor's degree from Miami University and completed a Ph.D. in biochemistry at Rockefeller University in 1985. She conducted postdoctoral research with Joseph Nevins at Rockefeller and then Stuart Orkin at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Simon became an Assistant Professor of Medicine/Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at the University of Chicago in 1992. In its first National Competition, she was named an Assistant Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1994, remaining an HHMI investigator for twenty years, until August, 2014.

    In 1999, Dr. Simon moved to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and was one of the founding laboratories of the newly formed Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute (AFCRI) there. She was promoted to Associate Professor of Cell and Developmental biology in 1999, and full Professor in 2006. In 2007, she became the Scientific Director of the AFCRI. Dr. Simon's research is focused on how cells sense and respond to changes in the availability of molecular oxygen and nutrients. This affects normal development, physiology, and numerous diseases, such as the growth of solid tumors. The Simon Laboratory is studying how O2 sensing impacts tumor angiogenesis, inflammation, metabolism, metastasis, and overall disease progression. She is studying both animal models and cancer patient samples with the ultimate goal of developing novel strategies to treat tumors such as pancreatic cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, and colorectal cancer. Dr. Simon currently directs a laboratory of 20 individuals, including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, and research technicians. The AFCRI employs 400 researchers working in roughly 30 independent laboratories. Dr. Simon has received numerous awards recognizing her research, such as the Fouad Bashour Award for Distinguished Physiologists, Stanley N. Cohen Award for Biomedical Research, and Elliot Osserman Award from the Israel Cancer Research Fund. In 2014, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the Board of Directors for the American Association for Cancer Research.


    Cancer Research Center of Toulouse (CRCT)

    Sébastien Britton

    Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology, Toulouse

    Madalena Tarsounas

    Genome stability and tumourigenesis, University of Oxford

    Yves Pommier

    Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda


    Fabrice André (Gustave Roussy, Villejuif)

    Fabrice André, MD, PhD, received his MD in Grenoble in 2002, and a PhD in Biotechnology from Paris University in 2005.

    He is a past recipient of Young Investigator and Career Development awards from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and is currently Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.

    His research work in the field of biomarkers and personalised therapies focuses on biomarker discovery, development of targeted agents and implementation of personalised medicine. His team includes 70 people working on basic sciences, bioinformatics, biotechnologies and clinical research. He is also leading phase I-III trials testing targeted agents in the field of breast cancer and large national trials testing implementation of high throughput technologies in the health care system.

    Professor André has published more than 200 peer reviewed papers, including papers in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Nature Medicine, Science, Lancet Oncology and Journal of Clinical Oncology, either as main or co-author.

    Professor André is chairman of the biomarker group at UNICANCER (French cooperative group) and was a member of several scientific committees for international meetings, including SABCS, AACR, ECCO, ESMO, and IMPAKT.

    Professor André has been a member of the Annals of Oncology Editorial Board (2010-2013), Associate Editor since 2014 and in September 2017 became Editor-in- Chief.

    He has been a member of the ESMO Educational Committee since 2009, he was coordinator (2012-2014) and member (since 2015) of the ESMO Breast Cancer Faculty. Professor André was also a member of the ESMO Cancer Research Faculty, 2012-2014; and is currently chair of the ESMO Translational Research and Precision Medicine Working Group.

    Julie Guillermet, Cancer Research Center of Toulouse (CRCT)

    Julie Guillermet-Guibert, team leader of SigDYN is an Inserm Researcher since 2009. The question underlying the following matter, "Which are the distinctive features of cancer cell signalling in physiological conditions and how can we use this knowledge for therapy?", has been the driving force in her career. After obtaining her PhD in 2005, Julie decided to continue her training in UK under the supervision of Prof. Bart Vanhaesebroeck, first in Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research and later in Queen Mary University London (London). During this period, Julie strengthened her knowledge of the biological basis of cell signalling and the utilization of mouse models to mimic a pharmacological intervention. She joined Inserm in 2009 as a permanent researcher with the main objective of studying the unique biological features of cancer cell signalling first in vivo, then modelled ex vivo with an emphasis on the specific pancreatic and ovarian biology. She was awarded an Habilitation by the University Paul Sabatier - Toulouse - in 2015 and then a Jean-Marie Lehn Excellence Prize in 2018 for her work towards a better understanding of resistance to signal-targeted therapies in pancreatic cancer.

    Jean-Christophe Marine

    VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology, Leuven

    Nikhil C. Munshi

    Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

    Eric Vivier, CIML, Centre d’Immunology de Marseille-Luminy (CIML), Marseille

    Éric Vivier, DVM, PhD, is Professor of Immunology at Aix-Marseille University and at the Public Hospital of Marseille.
    Prof. Vivier was appointed Scientific Director of Innate Pharma, a biotechnology company dedicated to improving cancer treatment with innovative therapeutic antibodies that exploit the immune system.

    Eric Vivier is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Maisons-Alfort and received his PhD in Immunology from the University of Paris XI. He completed his post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School, then joined Aix-Marseille University as professor at the Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML) in 1993 before becoming its director from 2008 to the end of December 2017.

    He is also one of the founders of Marseille-Immunopôle, an immunology cluster created in 2014 linking fundamental and therapeutic research, innovation and industrial development in the Aix-Marseille region.

    Eric Vivier's work focuses on the functioning of Natural killer lymphocytes (NK) and other innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). Professor Vivier has published nearly 300 scientific articles and is on the list of the most cited researchers (https://clarivate.com/hcr/ ).

    A laureate of the European Research Council (ERC advanced grants), a member of the Académie Nationale de Médecine and the Institut Universitaire de France, Prof. Vivier has received several awards including those from the Ligue Nationale contre le Cancer (1996, 2004 and 2013) and the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS, 2004).

    He is also a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur.

    Jean-Jacques Fournié

    Cancer Research Center of Toulouse (CRCT)


    Christian Frezza, MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge
    Dr. Christian Frezza is Programme leader at the MRC Cancer Unit, Cambridge Cancer Center, at the University of Cambridge, UK. He studied Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Padova, Italy, and gained his MSc in 2002, after a period of research on mitochondrial toxicity induced by photoactivable anticancer drugs. Christian then joined the laboratory of Luca Scorrano in Padova to start a PhD on mitochondrial dynamics and apoptosis. In 2008, he moved to the Beatson Institute of Cancer Research in Glasgow as recipient of an EMBO Long Term Fellowship, where he investigated the role of mitochondrial defects in tumorigenesis. He moved to the MRC Cancer Unit in 2012 as tenure track Group Leader and became a Programme Leader in 2017. His laboratory is mainly interested in investigating the emerging connection between cancer and metabolism, with a particular focus on mitochondrial metabolism. By using a combination of biochemistry, metabolomics, and systems biology he investigates the role of altered metabolism in cancer with the aim to understand how metabolic transformation regulates the process of tumorigenesis. His aim is to exploit these findings to establish novel therapeutic strategies and diagnostic tools for cancer.

    Laurent Le Cam, Institut de Recherche en Cancérologie de Montpellier (IRCM), Montpellier

    Laurent Le Cam is a research director at INSERM and a group leader at the Institut de Cancérologie de Montpellier since 2008. He initially studied different mechanisms driving cell proliferation, in particular those related to the activity of cyclins and cyclin-dependent-kinases (CDKs), first in Montpellier as a PhD student at the Institut de Génétique Moléculaire de Montpellier in Dr. C. Sardet's group, and then as a post-doc in Pr Sicinski's laboratory at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. After realizing that many cell cycle regulators he was studying also control cell metabolism, he decided to move to the field of onco-metabolism which is currently the main focus of his laboratory. More specifically, L. Le Cam's team is interested in new regulatory mechanisms of the p53 pathway, a tumor suppressor pathway that plays essential roles in carcinogenesis as well as in several human developmental syndromes. In the past years, his laboratory identified atypical functions of several key components of the p53 pathway (p53, E4F1 and MDM2) in cellular metabolism and demonstrated that these metabolic networks are implicated not only in carcinogenesis but are also important for normal tissue homeostasis.

    Marina Konopleva, Department of Leukemia, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

    I am a Physician-Scientist, Professor, and active member of the clinical faculty in the Departments of Leukemia and Stem Cell Transplantation. My laboratory is studying novel agents in acute myeloid and lymphocytic leukemias, focusing on BCL-2 targeting and agents targeting leukemic microenvironment and metabolism. I have extended my research to include clinical translational investigations and have developed clinical trials based on laboratory discoveries. These include BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax, inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation, CXCR4 inhibitors, AKT and mTOR inhibitors and hypoxia-activated prodrugs. I have also been an active mentor to trainees including undergraduate, medical and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows who have trained under my direction in support of my various laboratory grants and projects.