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International Speakers

Atul Butte, Director, Institute for Computational Health Sciences, University of California

Atul Butte is Director, Institute of Computational Health Sciences (ICHS) at the University of California and Professor of Pediatrics. Trained in Computer Science at Brown, he then worked at Apple and Microsoft prior to his MD; trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology at Children's Hospital Boston, then received his PhD from Harvard Medical School and MIT. 

Dr Butte has authored nearly 200 publications, and is the principal investigator of ImmPort, the archival and dissemination repository for clinical and molecular datasets funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr Butte was recognized by the White House as an Open Science Champion of Change, received the E. Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics, inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the FierceBiotech IT “Top 10 Biotech Techies”. Dr Butte is also a founder of three investor-backed data-driven companies: Personalis, providing clinical interpretation of whole genome sequences, Carmenta, discovering diagnostics for pregnancy complications, and NuMedii, finding new uses for drugs through open molecular data.

James Miser, Chief Medical Information Officer, Bumrungrad International Hospital, Thailand

James Miser is a practising paediatric oncologist at City of Hope National Medical Center, where he has served as Chairman of the department of paediatrics and then CEO. Dr Miser graduated from Dartmouth College and the University of Washington Medical School, where he completed his paediatric and paediatric haematology/oncology training. 

He subsequently held positions at Ohio State University, the National Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic, University of Washington and City of Hope National Medical Center. He currently serves as a paediatric oncology consultant to the Taipei Medical University in Taiwan. He also serves as a quality and safety consultant to Bumrungrad International Medical Center in Bangkok, where he is the Chief Medical Information Officer of Bumrungrad International. 

At Bumrungrad, IBM Watson is being applied to treat four areas of cancer: breast, colorectal, lung and prostate. The hospital plans to include all cancers and other diseases, and is working with several clinics in Asia to raise the standard of cancer care.

Zoltan Takats, Professor of Analytical Chemistry, Imperial College London, United Kingdom  

Zoltan Takats has obtained his PhD from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary. He was awarded the Starting Grant by the European Research Council in 2008 and he subsequently, became a Junior Research Group Leader at Justus Liebig University, Gießen, Germany. He moved to the United Kingdom in 2012 and currently works as a Professor of Analytical Chemistry at Imperial College London.

Professor Takats has pursued pioneering research in mass spectrometry and he is one of the founders of the field of ‘Ambient Mass Spectrometry’. He is the primary inventor of six mass spectrometric ionization techniques and author of 78 peer reviewed publications. He was the recipient of the prestigious Mattauch-Herzog Award of the German Mass Spectrometry Society and the Hungarian Star Award for Outstanding Innovators. He is the founder of Prosolia Inc, Medimass Ltd and Massprom Ltd, all companies pursuing analytical and medical device development.

Lyndon da Cruz, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Moorfields Eye Hospital, United Kingdom

Lyndon da Cruz completed his medical studies in Perth, Western Australia and began research in retinal disease at the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Oxford. 

Post his English surgical fellowship, he commenced his PhD at the Lions Eye Institute and a vitreo-retinal surgical fellowship with Ian McAllister in Perth. He was awarded the NHMRC post-doctoral fellowship and named the Menzies Scholar in Science and Medicine, the highest ranked postdoctoral fellow in Australia in medicine and science. He won the Howard Florey Post-doctoral Fellowship from the Royal Society that returned him to London to study with Professor Alan Bird. He finished his clinical training with further vitreo-retinal surgical fellowships at Moorfields Eye Hospital. He is now Consultant Retinal Surgeon and Medical Retina Specialist at Moorfields Eye Hospital,  Clinical Lead of the London Project and Head of the Artificial Retina Programme at Moorfields Eye Hospital. 

Elizabeth Sutton, Radiologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York, United States of America

Elizabeth Sutton is a radiologist in the Department of Radiology Breast Imaging Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre. She received her MD at McGill University and residencies at Boston University Medical Centre & Mt Auburn Hospital at Cambridge, Mass. Her clinical focus is breast MRI and the potential use of multi-parametric imaging for high-risk screening and breast cancer diagnosis.

The focus of her research is the radiogenomics of breast cancer working across multiple departments in the Breast Disease Management Team, to optimise patient care and the development of personalised medicine. Dr Sutton is seeking to extend her role beyond the hospital into the realm of public health, specifically with respect to the healthcare of women in the global community where resources are limited and there is a need for radiologic skills and the implementation of appropriate imaging modalities.

Andrew Walshe, Director of High Performance, Red Bull 

Andrew Walshe came to Red Bull Stratos as director of high performance for Red Bull's global athlete development program, where he works with hundreds of international athletes; supervises a team of industry-leading sports scientists, nutritionists, biomechanics experts and sports psychologists; and develops elite sports performance models. As performance manager for Red Bull Stratos, Dr Walshe and his team help Felix Baumgartner execute a performance plan by encompassing both physical and psychological readiness, and provide high performance direction and support for the entire mission team.

Dr Walshe’s professional interests are focused on delivering pragmatic solutions to explore all kinds of human potential; he is a consultant for business, sports and military organizations worldwide. With a Ph.D. in Applied Biomechanics (the science of movement) and applied coaching expertise in performance training, the Australian native designed a highly successful performance program for the U.S. Olympic ski and snowboard teams, guiding their athletes to victories on the world stage. 

David Virshup, Director, Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore 

David Virshup is the inaugural Director of the Programme in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, and a tenured Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University. Prior to this, he held an endowed chair at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah. In addition to his laboratory-based research, he was also a practicing pediatric haematologist/oncologist.

His research includes cellular signaling, with a focus on the regulation of circadian rhythms through protein phosphorylation, and the Wnt signaling pathway. Dr Virshup received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He clinical training was in Pediatrics and Pediatric Haematology/Oncology and his research training was in Cell Biology and Anatomy, and Molecular Biology and Genetics. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Asia Editor for the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Sean Murphy, Assistant Professor, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, North Carolina, United States of America​  

Sean Murphy is a Post-Doctoral Fellow, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. His research is to develop and translate regenerative medicine therapies to treat disease. His specific interest in in utilizing perinatal stem cells derived from the amniotic fluid and placental tissue to treat Cystic Fibrosis and restore normal function and minimize inflammation and scarring associated with this disease. Dr Murphy has established novel 3D imaging and bioprinting techniques; perinatal, embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell therapies; developed novel therapeutic biomaterials; performed evaluation of regenerative therapies in large and small transgenic animal models, and generated and licensed intellectual property. 

He is an editor and reviewer for multiple journals and has published books and peer-reviewed papers in Nature Biotechnology and JAMA. His research is funded by the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM), the Chapman Foundation, the American Lung Association, the American Australian Association and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist, Cambridge University, United Kingdom and Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Murdoch University, Australia

Chris Smith is a medical consultant specialising in clinical microbiology and virology at Cambridge University and its teaching hospital, Addenbrooke's. He is also a Fellow Commoner at Queens' College, Cambridge.

Dr Smith started and co-presents the Naked Scientists radio show, podcast and website back in 1999. He is the science correspondent for the ABC Radio National, Australia, presents "5 live Science" on BBC Radio 5 Live and also talks science and answers listeners' questions for thirty minutes every Friday morning on Primedia's Talk Radio CapeTalk in South Africa. Dr Smith also fronts the Royal Society of Chemistry's Chemistry World podcast, he founded and presented the first 100 episodes of the Nature Podcast for the journal Nature, and he has since also launched "The eLife Podcast" for the eLife open access online journal.

Dr Smith has published four popular science books, one of them, Crisp Packet Fireworks, has become an international bestseller and been translated into multiple languages.

Nicolas Plachta, Principal Investigator, Institute of Molecular & Cell Biology,  Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*STAR), Singapore

Dr Nicolas  Plachta studied biology at the University of Buenos Aires and University of Tel-Aviv. Following his Ph.D. in neuroscience and stem cell biology with Professor Yves-Alain Barde, at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, he joined the lab of Professor Scott Fraser at the California Institute of Technology to train in biological imaging, supported by postdoctoral fellowships from the Swiss National Foundation, EMBO and California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

He was appointed as Group Leader at EMBL Australia (Monash University) in 2011 and joined A*STAR in 2015 as Senior PI. He received numerous grants including the A*STAR Investigatorship Award (2015, Singapore), the Australian Viertel Medical Fellowship, and various NHMRC and Australian ARC Grants.

The Plachta Lab is highly cross–disciplinary and has hosted many international postdoctoral fellows supported by: NARSAD Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (USA), Swedish Research Medical Council, Wenner-Gren Foundations, Swiss National Foundation, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Human Frontiers Science Program and the A*STAR Scholar program.

Deepak Srivastava, Director, Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and the Roddenberry Stem Cell Centre, University of California Medical Center, United States of America

Deepak Srivastava, M.D., is the Director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and the Roddenberry Stem Cell Center at Gladstone, and is also Professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center.

Dr Srivastava received his B.S. from Rice University, M.D. from University of Texas, trained in pediatrics at UCSF, and in pediatric cardiology at Harvard Medical School.

Dr  Srivastava’s laboratory discovered genetic bases for cardiac septal and valve defects and revealed complex signaling, transcriptional, and translational networks that regulate progenitor cells to adopt a cardiac cell fate and subsequently fashion a functioning heart. He has leveraged this knowledge to reprogram fibroblasts directly into cardiomyocyte-like cells for regenerative purposes.  Dr Srivastava is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of of Medicine.

Michael Winlo,  CEO, Linear Clinical Research, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Perth, & Former Health Team Leader, Palantir Technologies, United States of America

Michael Winlo has recently been appointed CEO of Linear Clinical Research Limited, the clinical trials arm of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. Dr Winlo is originally from Perth and earned his bachelor of medicine and surgery with honours from the University of Western Australia in 2005. For the past six years, he has worked between Silicon Valley and New York growing the health practice of the highly regarded data analysis firm Palantir Technologies. Throughout his career Dr Winlo has acquired strong skills in global business development, medical technology investment, health data analysis and project management. He led business development and strategy, applying Palantir's unique data fusion and analysis platforms against complex challenges of large pharmaceutical companies, health management organisations and national government agencies across the US and the UK. Dr Winlo earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and holds multiple patents in health data analysis. 

Michael Rossbach, Vice President Global Pharma Partnering, Vela Diagnostics, Singapore

Dr Michael Rossbach, is a seasoned life and health sciences professional, with expertise in diagnostics, cell-based therapeutics, neuroscience and genomics.
Michael holds academic appointments at the National University of Singapore (NUS), at the German Institute of Science and Technology (TUM Asia) in Singapore (Biochemistry, Cell biology, and Bioorganic Chemistry), at INSEAD Management School (Entrepreneur-in- Residence) and he is Prof. and a member of the Faculty of the Witten School of Management (Germany).

Since 2016, Michael is the VP Global Pharma Partnering of Vela Diagnostics (Singapore/Germany/USA) and focuses on the development of companion diagnostics (NGS and qPCR-based) to advance precision medicine.
Prior to joining Vela Diagnostics, Michael served as the Director for Strategic Alliances & Scientific Program Management of the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) for five years. Before the GIS appointment, he was a group leader at the Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology, University of Bonn (Germany), and the Business Development Manager of LIFE&BRAIN.

Michael is the Principal of Roßbach & Company (Advisors in Health and Life Sciences), Associate of the Biotech Developpement Conseils in Paris, and Partner of Ryan-Kay Sarl in Switzerland and serves on the Advisory Board of several biotech companies.

Michael studied biochemistry (PhD in immunology) at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), at the University of Witten/Herdecke (Witten, Germany) and at Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA).
His scientific interest lies in cell-based therapeutics, genomics and complex gene regulation (particularly in non-coding RNAs), protein-DNA interactions as well as regulation in V(D)J recombination in tumor-immunology.