Please join us LIVE at the Meeting and engage directly with the experts for lively and informative discussions on the Science of HBV Cure.

Invited Speakers

Prof. Lim Seng Gee

Chairman, Singapore Hepatitis Conference

Prof. Lim Seng Gee

Chairman, Singapore Hepatitis Conference

Professor Seng Gee Lim, FRACP, FRCP, FAMS, MD, is Director of Hepatology at the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, National University Health System, Singapore, and was previously Chief of Division. He graduated in 1980 from Monash Medical School completed his research MD at the Royal Free Hospital. He is a member of the editorial boards for Liver International, Journal of Viral Hepatitis, Hepatology International, Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, and Evidence Based Internal Medicine Solutions, He is also on the advisory board of Gilead Sciences, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Bristol Myers Pharmaceuticals, Merck Sharpe and Dohme Pharmaceuticals, Springbank, Abbvie and Abbott Diagnostics.

He is currently chairman of the Singapore Hepatology Conference and Science of HBV cure conference, and was previously the Chairman of the Asia Pacific Association for Study of the Liver (APASL) Liver Week 2013 Congress. He served as Governing Council member from 2014-2018 of the International Association for Study of Liver (IASL), and has been appointed to the AASLD Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Council in 2018. He is faculty at the Asia Pacific EBM workshop. His research includes clinical trials of new treatments for chronic hepatitis B and C, and translational research in viral hepatitis, involving molecular biology and immunology of hepatitis B. He has over 207 peer review publications and has been awarded over $36 million in grant funding for his research, including a recent award of a $25 million National Translational Clinical Research grant in 2015 to investigate eradication of HBV. In 2018 he was awarded the NMRC Clinician Scientist Award for research in HBV.

Dr. Carolina Boni

MD, Laboratory of Viral Immunopathology, Unit of Infectious Diseases and Hepatology, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Parma, Parma, Italy

Dr. Boni is physician at the Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria of Parma and Contract Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Parma. 

Dr. Boni’s research is mostly focused on the characterization of the immune mechanisms responsible for viral persistence and liver damage in chronic HBV infection with the final objective of developing new immune therapeutic strategies for chronically infected patients.

She has published 40 original articles (4556 citations; H index =26) and presented the results of her research in the field of hepatitis virus infections at several national and international meetings.

She provided original contributions to the HBV immune pathogenesis field, in particular for the characterization of the immunological correlates of protection in acute and chronic HBV infection and for the definition of new biomarkers to assess and predict the effect of a novel immune therapies.

Dr. Thomas Tu

Dr. Thomas Tu is a molecular biologist with a particular focus on integrated Hepatitis B virus DNA and its role in disease progression. He currently leads a research group at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research in the Storr Liver Centre (Sydney, Australia), where his team focuses on persistent forms of the Hepatitis B virus (covalently closed circular DNA and integrated HBV DNA). He is particularly passionate about developing a HBV cure and mitigating the associated liver cancer, as he himself lives with chronic Hepatitis B. Dr. Tu is currently President of the Australian Centre for Hepatitis Virology (ACHV), the premier Australian society for hepatitis virus researchers. He is also board member of Hepatitis Australia, guiding the strategic direction of the peak national advocacy body for people with liver disease. Finally, Dr. Tu is founder and Executive Director of HepBCommunity.org (a global support network for people affected with HBV), guiding people through their HBV diagnosis and linking them with trustworthy scientific and medical information.

Prof. Massimo Levrero

Professor of Medicine, Sapienza University, Centre de Recherche en Cancerologie de Lyon (CRCL) Lyon, France

Massimo Levrero is Professor of Medicine at the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCLB1), Lyon, France, and Praticien Hospitalier in the Service d’Hepatologie et Gastroenterologie – Hopital de la Croix Rousse – Hospices Civils de Lyon. He leads a Research Unit on” Epigenetics and Epigenomics of Hepatocellular Carcinoma”, at the Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Lyon (CRCL) – INSERM U1052 in Lyon, France. He also serves as Associate Member at the IIT – Sapienza Center for Life NanoScience (CLNS) in Rome and he is on leave of absence from the Department of Internal Medicine (DMISM) at the Sapienza University of Rome, where he had his research activity and academic practice in hepatology until 2014.

Professor Levrero trained and completed his residency at Sapienza before holding posts at the University Paris VI and the Institut Gustave Roussy in Paris. He has acted as Scientific Secretary of EASL (European Association for the Study of the Liver) and he currently presides the CSS12 study session on basic and translational research on viral hepatitis at the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (ANRS). He is a founding member and seats in the Governing Board of ICE (International Coalition to Eliminate HBV).

He is actively involved in clinical research and treatment of HBV and HCV chronic hepatitis, and he served as Network Coordinator and/or Primary Investigator in a number of research projects and clinical studies. HBV research focuses on the epigenetic regulation of cccDNA function and HBV replication, the identification of new targets for anti-¬‐viral therapy and on liver oncogenesis in HBV-¬‐ related hepatocellular carcinoma. Additional research interests include signal transduction and transcription in the liver; IFN transcriptome; chromatin modifiers in solid tumours development and progression.

Professor Levrero is the author of over 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including Nature, Nature Medicine, Nat Cell Biol, Nature Communications, Science, J Clin Invest, J Exp Med, Mol Cell, PNAS USA, Cancer Res, Oncogene, EMBO J, J Biol Chem, Sci Rep, Gastroenterology, J of Hepatology, GUT, Hepatology, J of Virology, Virology, J Gen Virol, J Infect Dis, Blood.

Dr. Fabien Zoulim

Medical Director of the Hepatology

Fabien Zoulim obtained his M.D. in Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Lyon Medical School in 1991. He has also obtained a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology and was trained as a post-doctoral researcher at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. He is Professor of Medicine at Lyon I University since 1997. He is currently Medical Director of the Hepatology Department at the Hospices Civils de Lyon, and Scientific Director of the Department of Immunology and Virology of INSERM Unit 1052 where he is leading the team on ‘Antiviral therapy of viral hepatitis’. Dr Zoulim has served as an Associate Editor for Journal of Hepatology and is currently Associate Editor for Gut. He also served as an expert in the microbiology study section of the INSERM and is currently head of the clinical viral hepatitis study section at ANRS. He served as a Governing Board member of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). Dr Zoulim received the William Prusoff award of the International Society for Antiviral Research. Furthermore, he has been the scientific coordinator of a European community-funded Network of Excellence on the management of antiviral drug resistance and is currently head of the ANRS “HBV cure” program in France. Fabien Zoulim is a recognised expert in the field of viral hepatitis and antiviral therapy. He has published more than 350 articles (H index 63, Web of Science).

Prof. Antonio Bertoletti

Antonio Bertoletti, MD is an expert in the field of viral hepatitis, with a specific interest in the immunopathogenesis of HBV infection. He began working in viral hepatitis as a medical student at the University of Parma (Italy). During his MD specialization (1991) in Infectious Diseases he spent two years at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla) characterizing for the first time the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) specific cytotoxic T cell response in man. He returned to the University of Parma, where he worked in the Department of Infectious Diseases as a Clinical Scientist continuing his study of human HBV specific T cells. Dr. Bertoletti then joined (1995) the MRC Unit in the Gambia, as Senior Immunologist, to study HIV-2 specific T cell Immunity before accepting a position of Senior Lecturer at “The UCL Institute of Hepatology” at University College of London (UK) (1997). In 2006 he moved to Singapore where he was the Director of Infection and Immunity Program at the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (A*STAR) until 2013 before moving, as Full Professor, at the Emerging Viral Disease Program at Duke-NUS Medical School. He also maintains an Adjunct Position at the Singapore Immunology Network, (A*STAR). He won for two consecutive terms the Singapore Translational Research Awards (2013 and 2018). In 2015 he founded Lion TCR Pte (http://liontcr.com), a biotech company developing immune- based treatments for virus-related cancers (HBV-HCC and EBV related malignancies) and chronic viral infections. This immune therapy utilizes T cell receptors engineered T cells targeting viral antigens express in cancer cells. The company has been the first to initiate and run clinical trials (Phase I and II) for the treatment of HBV-related HCC relapses in liver transplant patients and in primary HCC in Singapore and China. At present he is Chairman of the Board and major shareholder. His current research is focus on the development of new immunological based therapies (TCR- redirected T cells) for the treatment of HBV chronic infection and Hepatocellular carcinoma and on the characterization of antiviral Immunity in chronic HBV patients. In the last 6 months, after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, his laboratory has been actively involved in the characterization of SARS-COV2 specific T cell immune response (Le Bert et al, Nature 2020, 584: 457-62) in COVID-19 and SARS convalescent and healthy individuals.

Professor Edward Gane

Prof. Ed Gane, MBCHB, MD, FRACP, FRSNZ, FAASLD, MNZM
New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit
Auckland City Hospital, New Zealand

Dr. Gane is Professor of Medicine at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, Hepatologist and Deputy Director of the New Zealand Liver Unit at Auckland City Hospital.
Dr. Gane trained in hepatology at the Institute of Liver Studies, King’s College School of Medicine, London, where he completed his MD on the pathogenesis of hepatitis C-related liver injury. Dr Gane chairs the Ministry of Health committee responsible for HCV elimination and co-wrote the first New Zealand National HepC Action Plan.
Dr. Gane is an investigator for many international clinical trials with particular interest in early phase development of new direct acting antiviral therapies against chronic hepatitis C, hepatitis B, NASH and HCC. He has published over 600 papers in peer-reviewed journals including The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr Gane is a member of APASL, EASL, ILTS, ILCA and AASLD and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Hepatology
In 2011, Dr Gane received the New Zealand Health Research Council (NZHRC) annual Beaven Medal and in 2014, the NZHRC annual Liley Medal.
In 2011, Dr. Gane was awarded Member of the Order of New Zealand for Services to Medicine.
In 2017, Dr Gane was named as New Zealand Innovator of the Year for his work towards HCV elimination in New Zealand.
In 2018, he was elected to the Royal Society of Medicine.

Prof. Pei-Jer Chen

Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Taiwan University and Hospital.

No 7 Chung-Shan South Road,
Taipei, Taiwan

Professor Chen was appointed Director of the Hepatitis Research Center at the National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei in 2001-2003, and now the faculty for Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Taiwan University. He was the President of Taiwan Association for Study of the Liver (TASL) from 2012 to 2013. He served as the President of Taiwan Society of Virology from 2016-2018.

His research interests focus on the molecular virology and immunology of hepatitis viruses, and the genetic and genomic study of hepatocellular carcinoma. Professor Chen’s clinical research covers the natural history of chronic viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma, and also explores and conducts new therapies and trials for both diseases. He has published over 630 articles in the areas of hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

He serves in the Editorial Board of Gastroenterology between 2017-2019. From 2001 to 2006 and then 2010-2011, was a member of the editorial board of the journal Hepatology and is reappointed from 2019-2021. In 2000, Professor Chen was awarded the International Research Scholar in Infectious Diseases by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for a period of five years. He has been elected into Academia Sinica in year 2006, and become the TAWS member in year 2011.

Prof. Sharon Lewin

AO, FRACP, PhD, FAHMS

Professor, The University of Melbourne; consultant infectious diseases physician, Alfred Hospital and Royal Melbourne Hospital and a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellow.

She is an infectious diseases physician and basic scientist. She completed her medical degree and PhD in virology at Monash University in 1996 and her post-doctoral fellowship with Dr David Ho at Rockefeller University in 1999. Her research focuses on understanding why HIV persists on treatment and developing clinical trials aimed at ultimately finding a cure for HIV infection. She has also had a long standing interest in the natural history and management of HIV-HBV co-infection. She has published over 300 publications and given over 1200 major invited talks on HIV cure. She has received multiple national and international awards for her HIV-related research and community engagement. In 2014 she was named Melburnian of the Year and Clarivate Web of Science high citation researcher. She is President-Elect of the International AIDS Society and will be President in 2022-2024.

She leads a large national network funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia called The Australian Partnership in Research for Infectious Disease Emergencies (APPRISE) which focuses on pandemic preparedness and started in Australia in 2016. Scientists from the Doherty Institute were the first to isolate and share the SARS COV2 virus outside of China and have a broad program of research focused on testing, treatments and vaccines for COVID19.

Dr Willam Delaney

William Delaney, PhD joined Assembly as Chief Scientific Officer in May 2020. Prior to joining Assembly, he most recently served as Executive Director, Biology at Gilead. During his 20-year career at the company, he headed the Viral Hepatitis & Herpes Discovery Biology Groups and served as the Research Therapeutic Area Head for HBV. He began his career as a Research Scientist, Clinical Virology at Gilead and later transitioned into Drug Discovery where he held positions of increasing responsibility. Over the course of his career, he has contributed to the development of several marketed products, including Hepsera®, Viread®, and Vemlidy® for HBV and Sovaldi®, Harvoni®, Epclusa®, and Vosevi® for HCV. He earned a BS in Biotechnology from the University of Delaware and a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the Penn State College of Medicine. In addition, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL), Department of Research & Molecular Development.

Dr. Shihyun You

Senior Director

Shihyun You, Ph.D. is a Senior Director heading HBV research at GlaxoSmithKline.  She has more than 20 years of experience in viral infectious diseases and thirteen years of industry experience in the drug discovery and development including HCV and HBV.   She earned a MS in genetic engineering from SungKyunKwan University, South Korea and a PhD on dengue virus replication from University of Kansas Medical Center.  She obtained postdoctoral training focusing on HCV with Prof. Charlie Rice at the Rockefeller University.

Andrew Valliant

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Vaillant is the Chief Scientific Officer at Replicor Inc. He has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of nucleic acid chemistry, virology and drug development and is the discoverer of nucleic acid polymers (NAPs). Dr. Vaillant has authored numerous research publications, reviews, and patents on the use of NAPs in various infectious diseases. His research focuses on the development of NAPs to achieve functional cure of HBV and HDV and the role of HBsAg loss and transaminase flares in achieving functional cure of HBV. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute and holds a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Shahzada Khan

Dr. Shahzada Khan, a Senior Scientist at Gilead Sciences, has more than 15 years of biomedical research experience in an array of research fields including innate and adaptive immune responses to infectious agents, oxidative / nitrative stress responses, and viral / bacterial disease pathogenesis. Shahzada obtained his PhD in medical sciences from Kumamoto University Japan and postdoctoral training at Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, CA. At Gilead Sciences, he is currently involved in discovery research and development of immunotherapeutic agents for treatment of chronic HBV infection.

Professor Man Fung Yuen

MD, PhD, DSc

Professor Yuen is now the Chair and Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in the University of Hong Kong. He obtained his first bachelor degree of medicine in 1992. He further pursued his academic excellence through the achievement of obtaining 3 doctoral degrees including Doctor of Medicine with Sir Patrick Manson Gold Medal in 2001, Doctor of Philosophy in 2005 and Doctor of Science in 2017.

Professor Yuen’s research interests include prevention, natural history, serology, virology and treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C, and hepatocellular carcinoma. He is one of the top internationally renowned researchers in the field of hepatitis B disease. He has now published more than 490 papers in world renowned medical journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Nature Medicine, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Lancet Oncology.

As a world-class clinician scientist, Professor Yuen is now leading most of the international trials examining new drugs including antiviral and immunomodulatory agents for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. He is also actively performing cutting edge research on novel markers for hepatitis B infection and occult hepatitis B infection.

With all these international academic and professional achievements, Professor Yuen is an invited member serving as key opinion leader for several international coalition committees on hepatitis B disease.

Prof. Pietro Lampertico

Pietro Lampertico, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Gastroenterology, Director of the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Division, and Head of the A.M. e A. Migliavacca Center for the Study of Liver Disease at the University of Milan in Italy. He graduated from the State University of Milan with degrees in medicine and surgery and performed postdoctoral research in the Department of Experimental Pathology at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Upon returning to Milan, he completed training in liver diseases and internal medicine. He received his PhD in clinical methodology from the University of Milan. Dr Lampertico’s clinical and research interests include viral hepatitis, metabolic liver disorders, autoimmune liver disorders, hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatic fibrosis, portal hypertension, fatty liver disease, liver transplantation, and alcoholism. He has special expertise in caring for patients with chronic cirrhosis due to untreated hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections, optimizing long-term outcomes for cirrhotic patients undergoing antiviral treatment, and managing antiviral resistance to oral nucleos(t)ide analogues. A well-published scholar, Dr Lampertico serves as a reviewer for numerous top-tier journals in his field, including Lancet, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Gut, and the Journal of Hepatology. He is a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD), the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), the Italian Association of Liver Study (AISF), and the Italian Society of Gastroenterology (SIGE), among many other professional societies. He speaks frequently at international conferences about liver diseases, especially on the natural history of HBV and antiviral treatment, and is involved in national and international HBV clinical trials.

Dr. Ram DasGupta

Ramanuj DasGupta joined A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) in 2014 where he is now a Senior Group Leader. DasGupta obtained his Ph.D. in Developmental and Stem cell Biology at the University of Chicago followed by postdoctoral studies at the Harvard Medical School. The major focus in the DasGupta laboratory is to explore fundamental mechanisms of cancer evolution and implement “Response-driven Precision Oncology” in the clinic by utilizing next-generation, multi-omic single cell and spatial transcriptomic technologies.

Dr. Gaston Picchio

Dr. Picchio joined Arbutus Biopharma in October 2018 and serves as the Company’s Chief Development Officer. Previously, Dr. Picchio was with Janssen R&D, bringing with him over thirty years of basic and clinical experience in the field of human virology, and sixteen years of industry experience dedicated to the development of antiviral drugs including drug approvals for the treatment of HIV (etravirine and rilpivirine) and HCV (telaprevir and simeprevir). In 2015, Dr. Picchio was a recipient of the Johnson Medal for the development of telaprevir and simeprevir and combinations thereof. Prior to joining Arbutus, Dr. Picchio served in various senior management positions at Janssen R&D, including Vice President—Scientific Innovation Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Vice President—Hepatitis Disease Area Leader and Vice President—Clinical Virology Infectious Diseases & Vaccines. Dr. Picchio also spent time in academia working at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, CA, on HIV and EBV pathogenesis. Dr. Picchio received a Masters in Molecular Biology from University Centro de Altos Estudios en Ciencias Exactas, Buenos Aires, and a PhD degree from University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dr. Simon Fletcher

Simon Fletcher is an Executive Director at Gilead Sciences. He received his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Cambridge (UK) and performed post-doctoral studies at Roche. He then moved to Anadys Pharmaceuticals where he worked on developing immunomodulatory therapies to treat chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In 2009, he moved to Roche where he led drug discovery and translational research teams working towards the development of a functional cure for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Since 2012, he has worked at Gilead Sciences, where he leads a group focused on developing novel therapies for HBV and other chronic viral infections.

Dr. Oliver Lenz

Oliver Lenz, PhD is Senior Scientific Director Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at Janssen Infectious Diseases, part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. He is the global virology lead for the development of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) therapeutics from pre-clinical through clinical development. Prior to his work in HBV he was involved in the discovery of the HCV protease inhibitor simeprevir which he supported subsequently through clinical development until post-approval. He obtained his PhD at the University of Marburg, Germany mainly working on hemorrhagic fever viruses and did a postdoctoral fellowship at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) at Grenoble, France on HIV GP41 structural biology. He is author of more than 70 peer reviewed papers.

Dr. Steve Hood

Steve Hood PHD, FRSB, GSK Senior Fellow.
Senior Scientific Director in Bioimaging at GSK

Steve Hood received a PhD in Molecular Toxicology from the University of Surrey in 1993 and joined Glaxo Group Research as an Industrial Post doc in the Molecular Biology department. 29 years and a couple of mergers later, Steve is now a senior Scientific Director in Bioimaging, responsible for the external imaging collaborations that are members of the Bioimaging Expertise Network (BEN). As part of this network, Steve is also Co-Director of the GSK Centre for Molecular Imaging (COMI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where he works closely with Professor Stephen Boppart and his team.

In addition to his “day job”, Steve has spent most of the last 2 decades working on GSK’s diverse oligo portfolio and has supported projects ranging from inhaled SiRNAs, TLR antagonists, DMD exon skippers (Prosensa) and ASOs for TTR and HBV with Ionis. Steve was also Industrial co-lead of the IMI COMPACT consortium that ran from 2012-17 and evaluated delivery mechanisms for oligos and peptides.

Dr. Filippo Canducci

Dr. Filippo Canducci graduated in Medicine at Catholic University in Rome in 2001, specialized in Clinical Microbiology at San Raffaele in Milano where after his PhD led his independent research team until when he left academia for industry. Before transitioning to pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Canducci has obtained the National Habilitation for Full Professor in Clinical Microbiology, he was invited as lecturer and speaker in many national and international meetings, published peer-reviewed papers in many prestigious journals including The Lancet, NEJM, PNAS, Nature Comm, Science Adv, JID, EID, AIDS, J of Immunology. After an MBA, he founded two startups and was a member of the scientific board of a Small Biotech focused on antibiotic discovery. He is now Project Leader for immunology and virology assets including TLR7 and Senior Medical Director at Roche.

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