Keynote Speakers

David E. Fisher (Boston, United States)

FisherDavid Fisher is chairman of Dermatology and director of the Melanoma Programme at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He is an expert in molecular oncology with particular emphasis on the biology of melanocytes and their involvement in malignant melanoma. He earned his Ph.D. from Rockefeller University with Drs. Henry Kunkel and Gunter Blobel, and his M.D. was obtained at Cornell University. He is also a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music (cello). Dr. Fisher carried out residency training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital as well as clinical fellowships in both adult and paediatric oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital. He conducted postdoctoral research in the lab of Nobel Laureate Phillip Sharp at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Fisher’s lab has carried out seminal research on melanocyte development, signaling, and transcription. He has discovered several human oncogenes, generated a reagent used worldwide for melanoma diagnosis, and serves as Principal Investigator for a Harvard-wide Program Project Grant in Melanoma. He has also studied novel skin cancer prevention strategies based upon models of redhead/fair-skinned high risk susceptibility and non-mutagenic tanning. Dr. Fisher has published >250 scholarly articles, many in the highest profile journals, and is former President of the Society for Melanoma Research and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Melanoma Research Foundation.

Rick Guidotti (United States)

GuidottiRick Guidotti, an award-winning photographer, has spent the past eighteen years collaborating internationally with advocacy organisations/NGOs, medical schools, universities and other educational institutions to effect a sea-change in societal attitudes towards individuals living with genetic, physical, behavioral or intellectual difference. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines and journals as diverse as Elle, GQ, People, the American Journal of Medical Genetics, The Lancet, Spirituality and Health, the Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly and LIFE Magazine. Rick Guidotti is the founder and director of Positive Exposure.


Kenji Kabashima (Kyoto, Japan)

Kenji Kabashima graduated from Kyoto University in 1996. He trained in Medicine/Dermatology at the United Naval Hospital, Kyoto University Hospital, and University of Washington Medical Center. He started research on lipid mediators in immunology at Kyoto University, which led to a PhD (Prof. Shuh Narumiya). Then he studied at the Department of Dermatology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine (Prof. Yoshiki Miyachi), UCSF (Prof. Jason Cyster), and University of Occupational and Environmental Health (Prof. Yoshiki Tokura). Currently, he is a chair/professor in the Department of Dermatology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan, and a principal investigator at the IMB/SIgN, Singapore. His main interests include the mechanism of inflammatory skin diseases by gene-targeted mice and visualisation of the skin. His hobbies are jogging (personal record: 2:58:15 @Beppu Oita Marathon), climbing, and travelling.


Dan Lipsker (Strasbourg, France)

Dan Lipsker is Professor of Dermatology at the University of Strasbourg, France and he works as Dermatologist in the Clinique Dermatologique des Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg. He is interested in the whole spectrum of clinical dermatology. He has senior editing activities in dermatology and internal medicine Journals and has written and/or edited numerous books, among which the major French Textbook of Dermatology and a textbook on Clinical Examination in Dermatology.

He has worked and published in many fields, and his main interests include:

–           diagnostic reasoning and morphologic approach to skin diseases;

–           lyme borreliosis;

–           skin manifestations of internal diseases;

–           autoinflammatory diseases and the Schnitzler syndrome;

–           melanoma epidemiology.


He has very strong interest in Lupus Erythematosus and he follows a huge number of patients with both the cutaneous and the systemic variant of the disease. He has coordinated as lead editor a multidisciplinary textbook on the topic. He has significantly contributed to a better knowledge of skin manifestations in patients with Lupus Erythematosus.  He has suggested a new classification of skin lesions in patients with Lupus Erythematosus in 2010, that he will address during his topic.


Tom Misteli (Bethesda, United States)

MisteliTom Misteli is an NIH Distinguished Investigator and the Director of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute, NIH. He is an internationally renowned cell biologist who pioneered the use of imaging approaches to study genomes and gene expression in living cells. His laboratory’s interest is to uncover the fundamental principles of 3D genome organisation and function and to apply this knowledge to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for cancer and ageing. He obtained his PHD from the University of London, UK and performed post-doctoral training at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. For his work he has received numerous awards including the Herman Beerman Award, the Wilhelm Bernhard Medal, the Gold Medal of the Charles University, the Flemming Award, the Gian-Tondury Prize, the NIH Director’s Award, and an NIH Merit Award. He acts as an advisor for numerous national and international agencies and serves on several editorial boards including Cell, Science and PLoS Biology.  He is the Editor-in-Chief of Current Opinion in Cell Biology.


Josef Penninger (Vienna, Austria)

PenningerJosef Penninger was formerly a lead researcher at the Amgen Research Institute in Toronto. In 2002 he accepted the appointment as founding director of the newly established Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, Austria. Major achievements include pioneering insights into the molecular basis of osteoporosis and breast cancer, as well as the study of metastatic spread. His group has also developed the first haploid embryonic stem cells for functional genetics. He has authored and co-authored more than 580 scientific papers. Josef Penninger’s major awards include the Descartes Prize, the Wittgenstein Prize of the Austrian Federal Government, the Ernst Jung Prize for medical excellence, an AAAS Award the Innovator Award from Era of Hope/DOD and a second ERC Advanced grant.

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