PROFILE OF SPEAKERS

Prof. Kazutoshi Mori
Professor, Department of Biophysics, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Japan

Kazutoshi Mori, is an eminent Japanese molecular biologist known for research on unfolded protein response. Currently, Professor at the Department of Biophysics in the Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Japan, he has numerous publications in cellular and molecular biology. He has extensively worked on how millions of proteins are created and secreted in the cell after undergoing folded and other functional modifications, for which he was awarded the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award along with Peter Walter in 2014. A recipient of many prestigious prizes in Science including the Osaka Science Award, the Canada Gairdner International Award, Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon from the Emperor of Japan, Uehara Prize and Asahi Prize, Dr. Mori's lab is performing extensive research in the field of Protein Quality Control, focusing on the biological and physiological importance of the Unfolded Protein Response http://www.upr.biophys.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en/.

Prof. Timothy J. Kieffer,
Diabetes Research Group, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Prof. Dr. Kieffer is a professor of the Diabetes Research Group in the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is a pioneer in diabetes and obesity research and a recognized expert in the field of gut endocrinology. An awardee of Senior Scholar Award, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Career Development Award, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Scholar Award, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Dr. Kieffer serves on the editorial, review committees for several national and international journals and organizations in the field of Diabetes research. In 2010 he received the CDA Young Scientist Award and in 2018 was elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2016/17 he spent 1 year on sabbatical at The Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, Japan. He has co-authored >175 peer reviewed publications in addition to several book chapters and patents and given >100 invited presentations in his field of expertise. His team is working on the development of novel gene and cell therapy approaches to treat diabetes including physiological Insulin Replacement, gene editing of cultured insulin producing beta-cells, gut K-cells based gene therapy to function as surrogate beta-cells, novel bioassays that report activity of endocrine hormones and generating Zebrafish cell lines which are highly amenable to genetic engineering to probe gene function and facilitate new research. https://cps.med.ubc.ca/faculty1/kieffer/

 

Prof. Dr. Gary A Levy
Senior Scientist, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI), Canada.

Prof. Levy is a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI). He is an eminent immuno-biologist and virologist who has done extensive work on immune-mediated mechanisms of organ injury due to viruses, alloantigens and xenoantigens. His research and clinical focus presently is on finding a way to achieve immunological tolerance, which could allow patients who have undergone solid organ transplant to discontinue their long term need for immunosuppression. He has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters, and has trained over 60 masters and PhD students. He was an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1988. Having been awarded the Canadian Liver Foundation Commemorative Medal for the Queen's Jubilee, the Dr Richard Hunt Outstanding Service Award from the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, the Dean's Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Medical Science, and many other awards, in 2015, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario. Dr. Levy co-founded and directed the Multi Organ Transplant Program at the University Health Network and the U of T Transplantation Institute in Canada. https://www.uhnresearch.ca/researcher/gary-levy.

Of particular relevance on his contribution to virology and to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic is his book on "Corona- and Related Viruses", which he co-edited along with Pierre J Talbot in 1995 in which they detail the Current Concepts in Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis of the Coronavirus, long before the potential of the virus to initiate one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, was well-known. https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9781461357759