Plenary Speakers

Plenary Lecture Ⅰ

Prof. Kam W. Leong
Columbia University
Nonviral gene editing,
Drug and gene delivery, Inflammation, Tissue-on-Chip
Kam W. Leong is the Samuel Y. Sheng Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, where he focuses on three major research directions: 1) Nonviral gene editing in vivo; 2) Biomaterials-assisted modulation of inflammation; 3) Human-tissue chips for disease modeling and drug screening. He has published ~450 manuscripts and holds more than 60 issued patents. He is the recipient of the Founder’s Award of the Society for Biomaterials in 2022, the Editor-in-Chief of Biomaterials, and a member of the USA National Academy of Inventors, the USA National Academy of Engineering, and the USA National Academy of Medicine.

Design of Biomaterials for Inflammatory Diseases
Inflammation plays an important role in responding to danger signals arising from damage to our body and in restoring homeostasis. Controlling the inflammatory response is a major strategy in managing diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, and wound healing. While conventional drug therapies are the norm in tackling inflammation, biomaterials are increasingly proposed to join the battle. Through drug delivery strategies, biomaterials potentiate the efficacy of anti-inflammatory drugs by improving bioavailability and diminishing side-effects. Applied in inhibitory or scavenging strategies, they reduce inflammation by removing the pro-inflammatory factors. For instance, the scavenging approach may be applied to inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus, which are increasingly linked to inappropriate and chronic activation of inflammatory cells. A central event in the pathogenesis of these diseases appears to be an aberrant activation of innate immune sensors, most prominently the Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs), by nucleic acids that are released from dead and dying cells. In this presentation, I will discuss the application of nucleic acid-binding polymers in the configuration of either soluble polycation or cationic nanoparticle to scavenge these nucleic acids as a molecular strategy to combat inflammation.
Plenary Lecture Ⅱ

Prof. Jung-Hye Roe
Seoul National University
Genomics, Microbiology, Molecular biology
Ph.D. in Molecular Biology (1984), University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
Assistant, Associate, Full Professor (1986-present), Department of Microbiology, and School of Biological Sciences (2000-present), Seoul National University
Dean, Office of Research Affairs (2004-2006), Seoul National University
Fellow, Korean Academy of Science and Technology (2008-present)
Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology, USA.(2010-present)
Editorial Board, Annual Rev. of Microbiology, Annual Reviews, USA. (2012-2017)
Founding Chair, Diversity Council, Seoul National University (2016-2018)
President, National Research Foundation of Korea (2018-2021)
Korea Science Award (Biological Sciences), Presidential Award, 2011.

Bacterial Response to Oxidants and Antibiotics: Novel Strategies from Actinobacteria
Among the three domains of life, bacterial domain exhibits widest diversity in genomic information, and hence metabolic and regulatory pathways. Studies from a limited number of model organisms, therefore, can only reveal very limited snapshots of the vast complex life phenomena of bacteria adapted to diverse living environments. In addition to studies from Escherichia coli representing proteobacteria, and Bacillus subtilis representing firmicutes, works from Streptomyces coelicolor representing actinobacteria have revealed many ingenious strategies that this group of bacteria adopt to survive and prosper under various stressful conditions. Streptomycetes are producers of more than 50% of known natural antibiotics. Not only displaying outstanding versatility in producing diverse secondary metabolites, they also harbor ingenious ways to respond to endogenous as well as exogenous chemical stresses that include oxidants and antibiotics they encounter in their life cycle in soil environment. In this talk, novel strategies that streptomycetes and actinobacteria employ to survive under oxidants and antibiotics will be presented. Some of these features are conserved across actinobacteria that include corynebacteria and mycobacteria, shedding light on solving industrial and medical problems caused by these bacteria.

Keywords: redox, antibiotics, chemical stress, regulatory circuits, antibiotic resistance
Plenary Lecture Ⅲ

Prof. Nicholas A. Kotov
University of Michigan
Biomimetic nanostructures
Nicholas A. Kotov is Irving Langmuir Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan. He is a well-known pioneer of biomimetic nanostructures and self-assembled nanomaterials. He is heading now an international team of scientists working on practical implementations and theoretical foundations of biomimetic nanostructures. Chiral nanostructures represent a focal point in his current work with translation to physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine. Nicholas is a recipient of more than 50 awards and recognitions including ACS Award for Outstanding Achievements in Nanoscience (ACS), Newton Award (Department of Defense), MRS Medal (Materials Research Society), and UNESCO Medal for Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies. Nicholas is a founder of seven startups that commercialized biomimetic nanostructures for energy, healthcare and automotive industry.

Chirality and Complexity of Self-Assembled Nanostructures with Strong Chiroptical Activity
The observation of strong circular dichroism for nanoparticles and their assemblies have developed into a rapidly expanding field of chiral inorganic nanostructures. These studies encompass a large family of mirror-asymmetric 3D constructs from metals, semiconductors, and ceramics, with multiple chiral geometries with characteristic scales from Ångströms to millimeters. Their chiroptical properties cover multiple bands in electromagnetic spectrum [1–3] and reach record g-factors [1,2, 4]. What also emerged in the recent studies is the possibility to form very complex bio-similar structures using nanoscale components with chirality at both molecular and nanometer scales. This talk will address the question about the relationship between chirality and complexity which is academically intriguing and technologically relevant. Synthetic methods, theoretical approaches and spectroscopic techniques enabling one to deciphering the underlying relations between chirality and complexity will be described taking an example of hierarchically organized particles with twisted spikes and other morphologies from polydisperse Au-Cys nanoplatelets [1]. The complexity of these supraparticles is higher than biological counterparts or other complex particles as enumerated by graph theory (GT). The design principles elaborated for Au-Cys nanoplatelets have been extended to engineering of other complex nanoassemblies such as coordination complexes between Cd and peptides and peptide assemblies, where new chiroptical phenomenon – chiral phonons – was observed [3]. These findings open a pathway to a large family of particles with complex architectures and unusual chiroptical, chemical, and biological properties. Their applications include polarization-based drug discovery platforms for Alzheimer syndrome [2], materials for chiral photonics and drug testing [3], and chiral antiviral vaccines [4].

[1] Jiang, Z.-B. et al, Science2020368, 642-648.
[2] Jun Lu, et al, Science2021371, 1368-1372.
[3] Choi. W, Nature Photonics2022, published March 21.
[4] Xu. L, Nature2022, 601, 366–373.

Plenary Lecture Ⅳ

Prof. Jeffrey A Hubbell
The University of Chicago
Tissue remodeling,
Drug delivery,
Immunological tolerance
Jeffrey Hubbell is Eugene Bell Professor in Tissue Engineering at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering of the University of Chicago. Previous to moving to Chicago, he was on the faculty of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL, where he served as Director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Dean of the School of Life Sciences), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and University of Zurich, the California Institute of Technology, and the University of Texas in Austin. He holds a BS from Kansas State University and a PhD from Rice University, both degrees being in chemical engineering. He was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2010, the National Academy of Inventors in 2014, the National Academy of Medicine in 2019, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021.

Hubbell uses biomaterials and protein engineering approaches to investigate topics in regenerative medicine and immunotherapeutics. In regenerative medicine, he focuses on biomaterial matrices that mimic the extracellular matrix and on growth factor - extracellular matrix interactions, working in a variety of animal models of regenerative medicine. In immunotherapeutics, he focuses on nanomaterials in vaccines that target lymphoid-resident antigen presenting cells and on protein engineering approaches to deliver antigen to the spleen and liver for inverse vaccines to induce tolerance to protein drugs and in autoimmunity. His interests are both basic and translational, having founded or co-founded six biomedical companies based on his technology, namely Focal, in Boston, acquired by Genzyme; Kuros Biosciences, in Zurich, in the domain of regenerative medicine; Anokion and Kanyos Bio, in Boston, both in the domain of immunological tolerance; Clostra Bio, in Chicago, in the domain of food allergy, founded together in with Prof. Cathryn Nagler at the University of Chicago; Arrow Immune, in the domain of cancer immunotherapy, founded together with Jun Ishihara at Imperial College London and Melody Swartz at the University of Chicago; and HeioThera, in the domain of autoimmunity and inflammation, founded together with Jun Ishihara at Imperial College London.

Materials and Protein Engineering for Modulating Immunity and Tolerance
Adaptive immune responses are triggered particularly powerfully in the lymph nodes and in the lymphoid tissues associated with mucosae. We are developing nanomaterials to exploit interstitial flow from the site of administration to the lymph nodes, using the nanomaterials to carry both antigen and adjuvant biomolecules. We are particularly interested in therapeutic vaccination in cancer, and we have determined that the tumor-draining lymph node is a particularly opportune lymphoid target for cancer vaccination.  We are exploiting nanoparticles formed by emulsion polymerization and formed by self-assembly from block polymer amphiphiles and water-soluble polymers as these delivery vehicles for both antigen and adjuvant molecules, creating multifunctional platforms that can be adapted to a wide variety of antigens.
In addition to inducing adaptive immune responses, so-called inverse vaccination to induce antigen-specific tolerance is of high interest.  We are exploring biological and polymer approaches to deliver protein antigens in a tolerogenic manner, including targeting antigen to the surfaces of erythrocytes after injection, based on the premise that apoptosis cell debris is cleared tolerogenically, along with exogenous antigen cargo it may carry. We have shown the ability to induce antigen-specific anergy as well as T regulatory responses, working in models of autoimmunity and of immune response to protein drugs. The liver is a target of particular interest, and we are thus developing polymers that can target antigen, tolerogenically, to particular cell populations in the liver.  

1. Wilson, D. S. et al. Antigens reversibly conjugated to a polymeric glyco-adjuvant induce protective humoral and cellular immunity. Nature materials 18, 175–185 (2019).
2. Gray, L. T. et al. Generation of potent cellular and humoral immunity against SARS-CoV-2 antigens via conjugation to a polymeric glyco-adjuvant. Biomaterials 121159 (2021) doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2021.121159.
3. Wilson, S. D. et al. Synthetically glycosylated antigens induce antigen-specific tolerance and prevent the onset of diabetes. Nature Biomedical Engineering 3, 817–829 (2019).
4. Damo, M., Wilson, D. S., Watkins, E. A. & Hubbell, J. A. Soluble N-Acetylgalactosamine-Modified Antigens Enhance Hepatocyte-Dependent Antigen Cross-Presentation and Result in Antigen-Specific CD8+ T Cell Tolerance Development. Front Immunol 12, 555095 (2021).

Keywords: Vaccine, immunity, inverse vaccine, tolerance, antigen, delivery