Photo: Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty - Keynote Speaker

The Killer Defense

Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Medicine Prize for discovering the nature of the cellular immune defense.  Based at the University of Melbourne and also spending part of his year at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, he continues to be involved in research directed at understanding and preventing the severe consequences of influenza virus infection.  In addition, he goes in to bat for evidence-based reality, relating to areas as diverse as childhood vaccination, global hunger and anthropogenic climate change.  In an effort to communicate more broadly, he has published 4 “lay” books, and has another in progress. 

Photo: Ajit Varki

Ajit Varki - Featured Speaker

Disease Differences between Humans and Other Hominids

Dr. Ajit Varki is Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Co-director of the Glycobiology Research and Training Center (GRTC) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Co-director of the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA). He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, and has served as President of the Society for Glycobiology, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Investigation; and President of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.  He is Executive Editor of  "Essentials of Glycobiology" and recipient of the two top honors in his field, the Karl Meyer Award in Glycobiology, the International Glycoconjugate Award. His research focuses on roles of Sialic Acids and Siglecs in biology, evolution and disease.

Photo: Richard Woychik

Richard Woychik - Featured Speaker

Strategic Priorities for Environmental Health Science Research

Dr. Richard Woychik is Deputy Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIEHS. He is a molecular geneticist with a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Case Western Reserve University and postdoctoral training with Dr. Philip Leder at Harvard Medical School. He spent almost 10 years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory rising in the ranks to become head of the Mammalian Genetics Section and then director of the Office of Functional Genomics.  In August 1997, he assumed the role of vice chairman for research and professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University.  In 1998, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area, first as the head of the Parke-Davis Laboratory for Molecular Genetics and then as chief scientific officer at Lynx Therapeutics.  He returned to academics as the president and CEO of The Jackson Laboratory in August 2002 and served in that role until January 2011.  He has been in his current position since February 2011.