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Adrian Hayday, FRS, F.Med.Sci

Adrian Hayday was trained in biochemistry at Cambridge, and obtained a PhD in molecular virology from London University. He began studying immunology in 1982 at MIT, where he and his colleagues first described the wholly unanticipated T cell receptor gamma chain genes. Since then Professor Hayday has used many parameters to establish that gamma-delta T cells are clearly distinct from conventional T cells. Those parameters include the cells’ responses to different products of a novel gene family expressed by body surface epithelia, that Professor Hayday and his colleagues identified.  He showed that this unique biology allows gamma-delta T cells to make rapid responses to tissue dysreguation, rather than to specific pathogens, and thereby to monitor tissue integrity. This may explain Professor Hayday’s observation that gamma-delta T cell deficiency is associated with a profound susceptibility to skin carcinogens, findings that were instrumental in promoting his and others’ interest in the cells’ clinical application, and the foundation of GammaDelta Therapeutics. In related clinical activities, Professor Hayday directed a team characterising the human immune response to vaccination; and described the unique properties of human autoantibodies. Additionally, he is the lead-investigator of a Wellcome Trust-supported, multi-centre, high-throughput phenotyping screen identifying novel genetic regulators of the immune system.

Professor Hayday has authored over 200 papers, of which he is first, last, or corresponding author on over 120, and of which 150 are original research contributions.  He has received many awards, including the William Clyde deVane Medal, Yale College’s highest honour for scholarship and teaching, an honorary fellowship of King’s College London, the King’s College Business Award, 2008, and the Business of Science Leadership Award, 2017.  He was elected to lead the British Society of Immunology (2005-09) and has organized many scientific meetings including the 2014 Gordon Conference in Immunochemistry and Immunobiology, and the scientific programme for the 2012 European Congress of Immunology. He is an elected fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and of the Royal Society.

Laurens Kruidenier

Dr. Laurens Kruidenier is a mucosal immunologist and has been active in gastrointestinal (GI) inflammation research for over 20 years. Currently, as Head of GI Immunology Research at Takeda San Diego, Laurens is responsible for developing the internal GI immunology and inflammation research portfolio, as well as the global discovery research and business development strategy into inflammatory diseases of the bowel, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and celiac disease. Previously, Laurens held various positions of increasing responsibility at several discovery units at GlaxoSmithKline (UK), including Head of Pre-clinical Biology, Biology Discovery Leader and Principal Scientist, where he led preclinical teams and projects in GI, immuno-inflammation and epigenetic drug discovery, and he completed a post-doctoral fellowship at QMUL in London. Over the years, Dr. Laurens Kruidenier’s research has resulted in multiple publications in top scientific journals, including Gastroenterology, Nature and Nature Chemical Biology. Laurens received his Ph.D. in Experimental Gastroenterology from Leiden University (The Netherlands) and his M.Sc. in Medical Biology from University of Utrecht (The Netherlands).

Janet Lord

Janet Lord is Professor of Immune Cell Biology and director of the Institute for Inflammation and Ageing at Birmingham University Medical School and is also director of the MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research. Her primary research focus is in the effect of ageing upon immune function and how this limits the ability of older adults to resolve inflammation and predisposes them to chronic inflammatory disease such as Rheumatoid arthritis. She also researches the link between chronic systemic inflammation and physical frailty. In this context Professor Lord has a particular interest in the role played by stress (physical and psychological) and the altered HPA axis in modulating immunity and frailty in old age and following an injury such as hip fracture, or a major injury such as burn. She has recently worked on the role depression plays in worsening the outcomes for hip fracture patients.

In 2013 she was awarded the Lord Cohen of Birkenhead medal for her outstanding research in human ageing by the British Society for Research in to Ageing and in 2014 was awarded the Glenn Award for biological mechanisms in Ageing by the US Glenn Foundation. She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015. She has published over 185 original papers and reviews and has an h-index of 44.

Mihai Netea

Mihai Netea was born and studied medicine in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He completed his PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, on studies investigating the cytokine network in sepsis. After working as a post-doc at the University of Colorado, he returned to Nijmegen where he finished his clinical training as an infectious diseases specialist, and where he currently heads the division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Nijmegen University Nijmegen Medical Center. He is mainly interested in understanding the factors influencing variability of human immune responses, the biology of sepsis and immunoparalysis, and the study of the memory traits of innate immunity.

Luke O’Neill

Professor Luke O’Neill was appointed to the Chair of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin in 2008, where he leads the Inflammation Research Group.  He has a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of London and carried out Post-Doctoral research at Cambridge U.K. on the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1 and innate immune signaling. His research is in the area of the molecular basis to inflammatory diseases, with a particular interest in Toll-like receptors, inflammasomes and metabolic control of inflammatory cell signaling. He has won numerous awards for his research, notably the Royal Irish Academy Medal for Biochemistry, the Royal Dublin Society/ Irish Times Boyle medal for Scientific Excellence  and in 2014 the European Federation of Immunology Societies Medal. He was elected a member of EMBO in 2005.  In 2016 he was named by Thompson Reuters as one of the world’s most influential scientists, being in the top 1% in both Immunology and Pharmacology/Toxicology.  He is a European Research Council Advanced Grant Holder and is co-founder of 2 Spin-out companies from his lab –  Opsona Therapeutics, a drug development company working in the area of Toll-like receptors, and Inflazome, which is developing inhibitors of inflammasomes for inflammatory diseases.  He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016.

Fiona Watt

Fiona Watt obtained her first degree from Cambridge University and her DPhil, in cell biology, from the University of Oxford. She was a postdoc at MIT, where she first began studying differentiation and tissue organisation in mammalian epidermis. She established her first research group at the Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology and then spent 20 years at the CRUK London Research Institute (now part of the Francis Crick Institute). She helped to establish the CRUK Cambridge Research Institute and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research and in 2012 she moved to King’s College London to found the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine.