Cancer-driven granulo-monocytopoiesis stimulates pathological expansion of tumor-promoting myeloid populations, mostly tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). Accumulation TAM and MDSC, enables cancer immune evasion and causes a bottleneck for cancer immunotherapy. Epigenetic alterations in myeloid precursors play a central role in the pro-tumor diversion of these cells. We aim to unveil the causal association between the epigenetic landscape acquired by tumor-associated myeloid cells and tumor immunosuppression, in the perspective to provide new indicators for both responsiveness to therapy and optimization of personalized anticancer treatments.
Keynote speaker: Antonio SICA Dr. Antonio Sica received his PhD in Immunology with training at the National Cancer Institute (Maryland, USA). Antonio was head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology at the Mario Negri Institute, moving later to Humanitas Institute, both in Milan, Italy. Dr. Sica is also Professor at the University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, where he coordinates the Laboratory of Pathology and Immunology. Dr. Sica's research is mainly focused on the study of cancer and inflammation, with particular interest in the role of myeloid cells.
Adjuvants are key components of vaccines that enhance and/or modulate the immune response to the applied antigen. New adjuvants have been developed in order to target specific components of the body’s immune response, having in goal stronger and longer protection against disease. However, a limited number of adjuvants is currently approved for human use due to their potential safety concerns (e.g. inducing auto-immunity, induction of local or systemic side-effects). Saponin-based adjuvants have been extensively studied for their use in vaccines due to their very distinct immunostimulating activity. Among them, QS-21, a compound isolated from the bark of the Quillaja saponaria Molina tree, shows the unique profile of immunostimulating activity, inducing a balanced Th1/Th2 immune response, which broadens the scope of its potential applications for vaccines against microbial pathogens and also cancer. After being studied in over 100 clinical trials, it is finally approved for human use (herpes zoster vaccine Shingrix®, GSK). However, Quillaja saponins (QS) have inherent drawbacks which restrain their wider use, such as chemical instability, limited supply, laborious purification process, and dose-limiting toxicity. Therefore, there is a need for the development of structurally defined, homogeneous, and simplified QS saponin-based adjuvants with improved chemical stability and synthetic accessibility. Chemical synthesis is currently the only viable way to access structurally defined QS analogs in a sufficient amount for adjuvant screenings and potential application in clinics. The lecture will focus on the recent progress in the design, synthesis, and immunological evaluations of new analogs based on the structure of natural Quillaja saponins.
Keynote speaker: Đani ŠKALAMERA Đani Škalamera has completed his PhD in 2015 at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, where he is now an Assistant Professor at the Division of Organic Chemistry. He did his postdoctoral study on synthetic organic chemistry (natural product-based immunoadjuvants) in 2018-2019 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, U.S.A. His areas of interest include the design and synthesis of natural-product-based vaccine adjuvants, medicinal chemistry, physical organic chemistry, and photochemistry. He published 21 papers. Five MSc students have graduated under his supervision. He gives lectures on Methods in Organic Synthesis, Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry, Chemistry of Natural Products, and Photochemistry, and is also very active in the popularization of chemistry.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an ongoing pandemic caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), first isolated in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The clinical features of COVID-19 are highly variable, ranging from asymptomatic patients to severe forms of respiratory failure, and may change remarkably with virus strain and patient’s immune system. But the most dangerous manifestation of this infection is community acquired pneumonia, which often results in lung fibrosis. The persentage of lung damage even after the successful treatment may be more than 80% of fibrosis, so all this patients need the constant oxygen support. The treatment, that includes antifibrotic grugs with the combination of glucocorticoteroids in minimal doses results in the almost complete disappearance of lung fibrosis and normalization of TGFβ and TNFα level, and restoration of lung function.
Keynote speaker: Svitlana BYCHKOVA Svitlana Bychkova has completed her PhD in 2003 at the age of 31 years from the National Medical University named after O.Bogomolets in Kyiv, Ukraine on the specialty «Immunology and allergology». Her work was devoted to the problems of immune changes in patients with brain’s gliomas. After that she works in Ukrainian military medical academy as an associate professor of military therapy department. She has the high doctor medical category on therapy, clinical immunology and pulmonology. She has scientific and pedagogical internship in Poland in 2017 and 2021. Area of her interest is the immune changes in patients with chronic obstructive lung disease, asthma, Covid-19 infection pneumonia and post Covid-19 lung fibrosis. She is the author and coauthor of 277 articles, 3 monographies and 12 utility model patent, H index 2. Nine students of postgraduate medical military education had graduated under her supervision and received the magister diploma.
To date, hyperoxaluria is considered the main risk factor for the formation of oxalate-calcium stones, which account for 75% of all kidney stones. The oxalate-degrading bacteria (ODB) is a diverse group of bacteria consisting of the "narrow-profile oxalotrophs" which use oxalate as the sole source of carbon and energy (e.g. Oxalobacter formigenes) and the "broad-profile oxalotrophs" which use oxalate as an alternative or additional source of metabolism (e.g. Lactobacillus spp., Bifidobacterium spp., Bacillus spp., etc). We will talk on the dichotomy between total fecal oxalate-degrading activity (ODA) and the ODB number in oxalate homeostasis. Moreover we will present a new perspective on the translational relevance of ODA assessing in the prediction of nephrolithiasis formation and personalized prescribing of probiotics or synbiotics.
Keynote speaker: Ganna TOLSTANOVA Ganna Tolstanova has completed her PhD in Human & Animal Physiology (2003) and Doctor of Science degree in Biochemistry (2011) at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (TSNUK), Kyiv, Ukraine. From 2006 to 2013, has worked as Visiting Research Fellow in VA Medical Center, Long Beach UCI, Irvine; the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA. She is successfully combined the administrative duties with scientific carrier and family life. She established in 2014 the Council of Young Researchers at Taras Shevchenko National University and made it recognized on the national and international levels. Moreover, she actively participates in reforming of research infrastructure and regulation acts at Ukraine. Currently she is the Professor of Biochemistry at Institute of High Technologies and the Vice-Rector for Research at TSNUK. She is the co-founder of Basic Gastroenterology Section at Ukrainian Gastroenterological Association and co-member of Scientific Advisory Board of Ukrainian Biochem Journal and associate editor “Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Pharmacology” Frontiers in Pharmacology. Her scientific interests related to the field of experimental gastroenterology with main focus on gut epithelial barrier and function; metabolic activity of microbiota in the different diseases pathogenesis. Her research projects supported by CRDF, Mevlana, MESU, NSFU and other research foundation. She has published 89 original articles. She is a co-author of 2 patents and 9 book chapters. H-index 14. Five PhD students have graduated under her supervision.
Microorganisms play an important role in the functioning of biocenoses influencing geochemical cycles and are exposed to heavy metal ions. The study of the response of microorganisms to the influence of stressors is necessary to understand not only their metabolism, but also their interaction with environmental factors. From various biotopes (Yavorivske lake, coal mine dumps, landfill infiltrates, marine Antarctica) at the Department of Microbiology of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv have been isolated bacteria Chlorobium limicola ІМV К-8, Desulfuromonas acetoxidans ІМV В-738, Rhodopseudomonas yavorovii IMV B-7620, Paenibacillus tundrae ІМV B-7915 and others. According to the results of the study of the influence of various heavy metal compounds on biomass accumulation, pigment biosynthesis, free radical damage of lipids and proteins, antioxidant protection system, fatty acid content in bacterial membranes factor analysis was performed and relationships between these indicators were established. The obtained results are important for understanding the pathways of regulation of bacterial metabolism under stress conditions and degradation of toxic elements by bacteria, the content of which in the environment may exceed the maximum permissible concertation. Strains isolated from environment can be promising for the development of ecobiotechnologies for bioremediation of substrates from both inorganic and organic contaminants.
Keynote speaker: Svitlana HNATUSH
Svitlana Hnatush defended her dissertation "Production of ethanol by lactose-forming yeast and its role in regulation of enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism" in 1996 at the D.K. Zabolotny Institute of Microbiology and Virology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. She worked as engineer, researcher, assistant, associate professor of the Department of Microbiology and Dean of the Faculty of Biology of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. From 2014 until today – Head of the Department of Microbiology. In 2015 she received the academic title of professor.
Member of the section of the Scientific Council of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine "Environmental Protection". Deputy Chairman of the Subcommittee on Biology 091 of Scientific and Methodological Commission on Biology, Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Guarantor of the educational-professional program "Microbiology" for the preparation of students of the second (Master's) level of higher education in the specialty 091 "Biology" at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. Diplomas of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (2002, 2005). Monographs – 3; textbooks – 3; manuals – 12; articles – 140; patents, prototypes, certificates of deposition of strains – 13. Participant of the project 543802-TEMPUS-1-2013-1-TEMPUS-JPHES "Establishment of multidisciplinary innovative centres for the development of virtual laboratories (MICVL) in biology and medicine" (2014-2017). Manager of state budget projects. Her research interests include physiological and biochemical properties of microorganisms that provide the process of the sulfur cycle in nature, the influence of heavy metal compounds on bacterial cells, microbiocenoses of coal mine spoil heaps, microbiocenoses of marine Antarctica, exoelectrogenesis in procariotes. Scientific supervisor of six defended PhD theses and 2 graduate students who continue to perform their work.
Endophytic bacteria represent the part of plant microbiome that harbors the inner tissues of the plant and may have an important role in plant growth promotion. Direct or indirect influence of endophytes is achieved via inhibiting plant pathogenic bacteria or by producing various secondary metabolites. Endophytic microbiome studies and identification of compounds synthesized by its representatives can contribute to obtaining effective means for controlling the plant growth. The current talk presents the results of endophytic bacteria isolation and identification from holoparasitic plant species of Orobanchaceae family. Phelipanche ramosa (L.) - one of the most aggressive and economically important broomrape weeds attacking the tomato and tobacco fields and two endemic species Cistanche armena and C. phelypaea are characterized by the production of the large number of the smallest “dust” seeds. The task for isolation and identification of the endophytic micobiomes (unculturable and culturable) from their seeds are complicated, as due to the unique structure of reticulated testa and the endothelium of the seeds coat the appropriate methods of seeds surface sterilization must be selected. The results of 16S rRNA gene sequencing of culturable members of microbiomes and complete microbiome NGS sequencing of the parasitic plant seeds will be presented. Specific attention is drawn to plant growth promoting (PGP) traits of isolated bacterial endophytes that may help to overcome abiotic stress on time of seeds germination.
Keynote speaker: Wieslaw KACA WIESLAW KACA, Ph.D. Professor, the Head of Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Institute of Biology of the Jan Kochanowski University, Kielce, Poland. The area of his research interests includes immunochemistry of Gram-negative bacteria, chemical and biological studies of bacterial endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides), bacterial antibiotic resistance, bacterial hemolytical activities, interaction of endotoxins with proteins and human cells. Wieslaw KACA obtained Ph.D.at the Institute of Microbiology, University of Lodz in 1982. From 1985 till 1994 Wieslaw KACA has performed his Postdoctoral Research at: Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine, Forschungsinstitut Borstel (Germany), Institute of Experimental Epidemiology, Wernigerode (Germany); Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, Charles University, Prague, (Czechoslovakia); N. D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Moscow (USSR), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, (USA), The Kitasato Institute, Tokyo (Japan), University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, (USA), University of California, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, (USA). In 1997-2000 he worked as Visiting Researcher at Akita University, School of Medicine, Akita, (Japan). In 1997 Wieslaw KACA obtained Professor of Microbiology. His career includes such institutions Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Lodz, (Poland) Laboratory of Cell Structures of the Center of Microbiology and Virology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lodz, (Poland), Faculty of Natural Sciences, Swietokrzyska Academy, Kielce, Poland, The Private High School of Environmental Protection, Radom, (Poland). Since 2001 - the Head of Department of Microbiology (currently Department of Microbiology and Parasitology), Institute of Biology, The Jan Kochanowski University, Kielce, (Poland). Multiple awards of Prof. Wieslaw KACA include among others: Award of the Polish Government and Ministry of Higher Education for Scientific Achievements (2001, 2002) and Award the President of Jan Kochanowski University for Scientific Achievements (2018, 2019).
Development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics has of late become an issue of global importance. The ability of microorganisms to form biofilm creates the prerequisites for the development of chronic inflammatory processes. Under such conditions, the search for alternative sources of antimicrobial activity becomes a particularly pressing issue. Plant products that combine antimicrobial activity with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and deodorizing properties are a promising source for such components. The antimicrobial and anti-biofilm forming effect of substances of plant origin opens up good prospects for development of plant-based health and beauty aids. Especially important is development of a series of anti-inflammatory means, with due regard for dominant microbiota associations of human organism. We performed screening of the antimicrobial and antibiofilm forming activity of extracts and essential oils of fifty medicinal plants and selected ones that showed complex antimicrobial and antibiofilm forming activity. The produced phyto compositions proved promising to produce microbiota-correcting antimicrobial agents and preparations subject to its (microbiota’s) individual structural peculiarities.
Keynote speaker: Marina KRYVTSOVA
CV_Kryvtsova Marina Marina Kryvtsova has completed her PhD in Microbiology (2006) at the Danylo Zabolotny Institute of Microbiology and Virology, National Academy of Science of Ukraine, and defended her Doctor of Science dissertation (2021) at Bohomolets National Medical University (Kyiv, Ukraine). Currently she works as Professor of the Department of Genetics, Plant Physiology and Microbiology; Department of Fundamental Medical Disciplines; International Relations Deputy Dean, Biological Faculty, Uzhhorod National University. She is the ordinary member of the following professional associations: Vynohradsky Society of Microbiologists of Ukraine; the Association of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the Mediterranean; the European Association for Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine (ЕPMA). Prof. Marina Kryvtsova is a member of the editorial boards of the following scientific journals: Regulatory Mechanisms in Biosystems; Current Perspectives on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CUPMAP) SSN 2619-9645; Associate Editor of the International Journal of Nature and Life Science (IJNLS) e-ISSN: 2602-2397;. She published 255 scientific articles, 2 books, and 7 patents. Marina Kryvtsova participated in more than 100 conferences, worked as a member of the Organizing Committee and was invited to deliver reports at conferences in Slovakia, Turkey and Hungary.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 2019 to cause a global pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Many investigations are ongoing to test the compounds already identified as antivirals. Type I interferons (IFN-I), predominantly IFN- and , are a group of cytokines with an important function in antiviral responses. However, they play a complex role in COVID-19 as well as other IFN-inducer antivirals. In this lecture, the role of type IFN-I will be discussed in the pathogenesis and treatment of Covid-19 and results from the investigation of the efficacy of Larifan, the antiviral capable of triggering the IFNs and their signalling pathways, will be analysed.
Keynote speaker: Dace PJANOVA Dace Pjanova received her PhD degree in Molecular Biology in 2007 at the University of Latvia. During her PhD and post-doctoral studies she undertook several training periods at the Genetic Epidemiology Division, Cancer Research UK Clinical Centre, St. James’s University Hospital, Leeds, UK and at the Section for Pathology, Gade Institute, University of Bergen, Norway. Since 2011 she is a senior researcher at the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre. She has been the main investigator of 16 competitive research projects, has had 40 peer-reviewed publications and more than 50 conference presentations (Scopus H-index 13). Her research is mainly focused on melanoma genetics with emphasis on prognosis and survival in melanoma with a particular respect to therapy, especially immunotherapy. Currently, she also investigate the immunity role in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and is involved in testing compounds potentially active against COVID-19. Dace Pjanova is a member of international associations GenoMEL and BioGenoMEL (international melanoma genetics consortiums). She has received L`ORÉAL Latvia scholarship "For Women in Science" with the support from UNESCO Latvian National Commission and the Latvian Academy of Sciences. Since 2018 she is a Corresponding Member of Latvian Academy of Sciences.
Bioinformatics is the youngest sister in a family of biological disciplines; it is even younger than many senior scientists working in this field. The birth of this discipline introduced a fundamental shift in biological studies from the hypothesis-driven to data-driven methodology. The rapid development of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies availed scientists with data on the genetic coding of life, while the latest NGS achievements, e.g. SMRT PacBio, opened a new, yet unexplored, dimension of life encoding by a soft epigenetic engraving of important features of living organisms. One such example is the biotechnological activities of bacteria of industrial importance and antibiotic resistance. Progress in this new area of research is precluded by a shortage of computational tools and algorithms for data mining in raw DNA reads generated by the 3rd generation sequencing technologies and unestablished statistical validation of consequences of epigenetic modifications. The materials of this talk present recent discoveries and future prospects of the SMRT PacBio sequencing and epigenetic profiling in medicine and biotechnology. Special attention is paid to the applicability of new drugs inducing antibiotic resistance reversion through epigenetic modification of DNA of multidrug resistant pathogens.
Keynote speaker: Oleg REVA Oleg Reva is Professor in bioinformatics in the Centre for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in the Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology. He was awarded a PhD degree in Microbiology by the Academy of Science of Ukraine in 1995. Dr. Reva continued his career as a researcher at the Institute of Microbiology and Virology in Kiev, Ukraine. From 2002 to 2004, Dr. Reva was appointed as a postdoctoral researcher in the High Medical School in Hannover, Germany. He joined the University of Pretoria in April 2006 as the Node Manager of the National Bioinformatics Network at the University of Pretoria. In 2009, he was appointed as Senior Lecturer and then he was promoted to Associated Professor in 2011 and to Full Professor in 2020. Prof. Reva's research interests are in the development of new biostatistical algorithms and computer programs for academic studies, biotechnology and medicine. He has made contributions to many different fields of study: bacterial genomics and epigenetics, next generation sequencing, linguistic analysis of bacterial genomes, mobilomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics, genome evolution and antibiotic resistance development. Prof. Reva was one of the founders of the South African Society for Bioinformatics (SASBi). Prof. O. Reva is the author of more than 100 publications. His SCOPUS h-index is 27. He has supervised or co-supervised 2 postdoctoral, 13 PhD and 15 MSc students.
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