Keynote Speakers

Tilo Biedermann (Munich, Germany)

Tilo Biedermann studied Medicine at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, where he completed his doctoral thesis in 1996.
He obtained several Specialist Degrees: Dermatologist (1998), Allergologist (2002), Laboratory medicine (2007), Dermatohistology (2007), Medical tumour therapy (2009). He held the position of full professor for Dermatology with the focus on Allergology and Immunology in Tübingen, Germany from 2004 to 2014. In 2014 he was appointed Chairman and Professor of the Department for Dermatology and Allergy of the Technical University of Munich.

Tilo Biedermann together with Marcus Maurer was Coordinator of the Priority Program 1394 of the German Research Council (DFG) “Mast-cells – promoters of Health and Modulators of disease” (2009 – 2017). In 2011 Prof. Biedermann received the “Alfred Marchionini Research Award”. He was President of the European Society of Dermatological Research (ESDR) from 2011 to 2012 and local chair of its annual meeting in 2016 in Munich. Since 2017, he is Secretary General of the German Society of Dermatology (DDG) and co-ordinates the DDG meetings in 2018 and 2019. In 2018 he also co-chairs the annual meeting of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) in Munich.

Tilo Biedermann is member of several international societies such as EAACI, European Dermatology Forum (EDF), ESDR and the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV).
He has been invited to more than 100 international meetings and he published more than 200 publications. His research focus mostly deals with cutaneous immune reactions including chronic inflammatory skin diseases, tumour immunotherapy and allergies. In this field his group works in both preclinical models and investigations in basic science as well as in translational research.

Christian Blank (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Christian Blank obtained his MD from the Medical School of the Technical University Munich, Germany, where he also completed his Doctoral thesis (summa cum laude) at the Department for Medical Microbiology and in 1997. As a Junior House Officer (1997–1998) Dr. Blank held four positions at the Departments of Cardiology and of Radiology at the University Clinic Munich Rechts der Isar, Munich, the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Departments at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Scotland and the University of Birmingham, England, UK. He went on to attain the position of Physician at the Department of Haematology and Oncology, University of Regensburg, Germany (1998–2001). During 2001–2003, Dr. Blank held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the lab of Professor Thomas Gajewski, University of Chicago, IL, USA. Subsequently he was appointed as Physician and Research Group Leader at the Department of Haematology and Oncology, University of Regensburg, Germany (2003–2007).

Dr. Blank has obtained two Specialist Degrees in Internal Medicine (2007) and in Haematology/Oncology (2009). Since 2007, he has been appointed Staff Member at the Department of Medical Oncology, and Group Leader at the Division of Immunology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute – Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AVL), Amsterdam. In 2010, Dr. Blank became University Lecturer (Privatdozent) at the University of Regensburg. In addition to his academic background, Dr. Blank obtained his Master of Business Administration (MBA), from the University of Warwick, England, UK (2006). Dr. Blank is committed to teaching, lecturing on medical courses at the NKI-AVL and the Medical School of the University of Regensburg, where he was appointed Professor in 2015.

He is a member of several prestigious societies, including ESMO and ASCO. Dr. Blank has been an invited speaker at more than 100 national and international congresses, and is the author of more than 90 publications. His research interests broadly include targeted and biological response modifiers in melanoma, and prognostic markers in melanoma.

Thomas Boller (Garching, Germany)

Prof. Dr. Thomas Boller has been working at the Max-Planck Institute for extraterrestrial physics in Garching, since 1990. His main research interests include Active Galactic Nuclei. During his work at MPE he has worked out the importance of Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Galaxies for the study of active galaxies, resulting in an improved understanding of several problems raised by the Seyfert phenomenon. He is a lecturer for all courses on Astrophysics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main, since 1996 for Physics and Astronomy students. Thomas Boller is a member of the international Sloan-Collaboration, the XMM Survey Science Consortium and the Athena astrophysical working groups. He has organised several international workshops on all aspects of AGN research activities. Prof. Thomas Boller has been awarded with the Michael and Biserka Baum Preis for his outstanding research on Active Galactic Nuclei at MPE and his excellent teaching at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Prof. Boller accepted a call as a full member of the Academia Europaea, Section Physics and Engineering in 2011.

Research interests:

  • XMM-Newton and Chandra observations on active Galactic Nuclei
  • AGN accretion disc physics
  • The nature of the giant and rapid X-ray variability in Narrow-Line Seyfert 1 Galaxies
  • Testing the strong and weak field limit in AGN with X-rays
  • Relativistic Fe K and Fe L line studies
  • Quasar SED’s and related αox science
  • Pseudo-complex theory of black holes
  • Comptonisation processes and accretion states in Active Galactic Nuclei

Leena Bruckner-Tuderman (Freiburg, Germany)

Leena Bruckner-Tuderman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Dermatology at the Medical Center – University of Freiburg, in Freiburg, Germany and Vice President for Medicine of the German Research Foundation, DFG. After medical school and an experimental dissertation in Oulu, Finland, she continued her postdoctoral work in biochemistry in Piscataway, N.J., USA, and in structural biology in Basel, Switzerland. She specialised in dermatology at the University of Zurich, and continued as physician scientist supported by a Score-fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation and later in Münster, Germany.

In 2003 she became Professor and Chair of dermatology at the University of Freiburg. Her research deals with biology of basement membranes and the extracellular matrix, with molecular genetics and disease mechanisms of skin disorders, as well as development of biologically valid therapies.

Elisabeth Grice (Philadelphia, United States)

Elizabeth Grice, Ph.D., received her B.A. in Biology from Luther College, and her Ph.D. in Human Genetics from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Grice then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute under the direction of Dr. Julia Segre, where her pioneering work revealed the vast topographic and temporal diversity of the human skin microbiome. For that work, she was awarded an NIH Award of Merit and later received an NIH K99-R00 Pathway to Independence Award to investigate skin microbiome contributions to wound healing. Dr. Grice joined the faculty of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, where she is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor with a secondary appointment in the Department of Microbiology.

Research in the Grice laboratory integrates microbiology, dermatology, genomics, and bioinformatics towards the general objective of investigating host-microbe interactions of the skin and elucidating their roles in skin health, disease, and wound healing. Her research is funded by multiple NIH grants, industry, and private donors.

Dr. Grice sits on the Board of Directors of the Wound Healing Society, chairs admissions for the Penn Genomics and Computational Biology graduate programme, and serves as an Associate Editor for Microbiome and an Editor for mSystems. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Penn Medicine Michael S. Brown New Investigator Award, the Penn One Health Award, and the prestigious Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award.

Veronica Kinsler (London, United Kingdom)

Veronica Kinsler studied medicine at Cambridge University before completing higher specialist training in paediatric dermatology, and a PhD in molecular genetics at University College London (UCL).

She is a Consultant Paediatric Dermatologist and the Academic Lead Clinician in the paediatric dermatology department at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH), where she runs the pigmentary and mosaicism services, including the congenital melanocytic naevus service.

On the research side she is Principal Investigator and Wellcome Trust Fellow in the Genetics and Genomic Medicine unit in the UCL Institute of Child Health. Her research team specialises in rare mosaic skin disorders, with a research pipeline from gene discovery through to gene therapy, and with extrapolation to common skin disorders.  Her team have been responsible for the identification of genes for congenital melanocytic naevus syndrome, phakomatosis pigmentovascularis, and sporadic arteriovenous malformations amongst others.

Warren Piette (Chicago, United States)

Dr. Warren Piette attended Medical School at the University of Texas (Southwestern) Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He completed his internship and residency training in Internal Medicine from 1975-78, a Hematology/Oncology Fellowship from 1978-80, and a Dermatology Residency from 1980-82, all at Parkland Hospital and the University of Texas (Southwestern) Medical School. Following his training, he began as faculty member at the University of Iowa in 1982, reaching the rank of Professor and Vice-Chair of Dermatology before leaving in August of 2004. At that time, he accepted the position as Chair at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. Later he also became Professor in the Department of Dermatology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago as part of collaboration between two training programmes.

His academic career and practice have been particularly focused on the intersection of internal medicine and dermatology, especially in the areas of purpura, vasculitis and occlusion, as well as autoimmune diseases, haematologic diseases and malignancies.

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