Plenary Speakers

Prof. Georg Kunos, National Institutes of Health, USA

» Endocannabinoids in the regulation of energy homeostasis in health and disease «

Dr. Kunos received his M.D. degree in 1966 from Semmelweis University in Budapest and his Ph.D. in 1973 from McGill University in Montreal where he worked with Mark Nickerson on adrenergic receptors. In 1974 he joined the faculty in Pharmacology and Medicine at McGill University and then in 1987 joined the NIAAA as Chief of the Laboratory of Physiologic and Pharmacologic Studies. Dr. Kunos moved to the Medical College of Virginia in 1992 to Chair the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology. In 2000 he returned to NIH as Scientific Director of NIAAA. He is an elected fellow of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of the American Heart Association and a foreign member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He is recipient of the Mechoulam Award of the Intl. Cannabinoid Research Society and the NIH Director's Award. Dr. Kunos' laboratory is studying the role of endocannabinoids in neuroendocrine, metabolic and cardiovascular regulation.

 Prof. Günther Daum, Graz University of Technology, Germany

» Lipids and mitochondrial function «

 Günther Daum studied Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the Graz University of Technology, Austria, where he also received his PhD. During his scientific career he spent several years abroad as Post Doc at the Biocenter Basel, Switzerland, in the lab of G. Schatz, and as a visiting researcher at the UC Berkeley, CA, USA, in the lab of R. Schekman. Back to the Graz University of Technology he became Group Leader of the Cell Biology Group at the Institute of Biochemistry. The main subjects studied in Günther Daum’s laboratory are synthesis and intracellular dynamics of lipids in the yeast with a focus on lipid assembly into organelle membranes and lipid storage. For his scientific work he received the Normann Medal of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Fettforschung (German Society of Lipid Research) in 2011. As career related activities he has been President of the International Conference on the Bioscience of Lipids (ICBL). Currently, he is Chairman of the Yeast Lipid Conference, Board Member of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and Director of the Doctoral School Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology at the Graz University of Technology.

Prof. Erich Gulbins, MD, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

» Ceramides, new actors in cell signaling «

Dr. Gulbins received his M.D. degree in 1992 at the Institute of Physiology of the University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. He habilitated for Physiology in 1996 and Immunology 1999. From 1992-1994 he worked as postdoctoral fellow at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, California, USA. 1994-2000 he worked as Assistant Professor at the Institute of Physiology at the University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, from 2000-2002 as Associate Professor at the Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Since 2002 he is full Professor and Chair of the Institute Molecular Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany. Since 2011 Dr. Gulbins is also Adjunct Professor at the Dept. of Surgery, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, USA. He is member of the German National Scholarship Foundation since 1986 and Member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina since 2011. Dr. Gulbins studies the biomedicine of sphingolipids with a special focus on the role of sphingolipids in bacterial infections, cystic fibrosis, lung diseases and major depression.

Prof. Christopher Ramsden, MD, National Institutes of Health, USA

» Dietary modulation of nociceptive mediators and physical pain «

Dr. Ramsden is a Clinical Investigator in the Laboratory of Membrane Biophysics and Biochemistry at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, NIH. He is a Lieutenant Commander in the US Public Health Service, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. After completing residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern/Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, he was a postdoctoral  fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill before joining the National Institutes of Health in 2009. Dr. Ramsden's research is directed toward elucidation of molecular mechanisms linking fatty acids and their bioactive derivatives to physical pain, and to translation of these findings into novel therapeutic interventions that can provide clinically meaningful pain relief. He has been principal investigator on collaborative human trials assessing the clinical and biochemical effects of altering dietary omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. He is also involved in animal and in vitro studies evaluating the bioactivities of endogenous lipid mediators.

Dr. Prof. Michail Gladyshev, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

» Aquatic ecosystems as the main source of essential lipids for humans «

Dr. Prof. Gladyshev graduated from Krasnoyarsk State University (now Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk, Russia) in 1981 and got a position of Senior Laboratory Fellow in the Institute of Biophysics (Krasnoyarsk), where at present he is Vice-Director and Head of Laboratory of Experimental Hydroecology. He is also Professor of Siberian Federal University (Chair of Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems). He is member of Presidium of the Central Council of Russian Hydrobiological Society. He is recipient of the SCOPUS Award Russia. His Laboratory of Experimental Hydroecology studied production and transfer of essential biochemicals, including fatty acids, in trophic webs of natural aquatic ecosystems.