Confirmed speakers


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Longer presentations will be updated continuously



Francesca Aguilo
Umeå University

RNA and RNA regulatory proteins in breast cancer

Alvis Brazma
EMBL-EBI/Hinxton, UK

Cancer genomics and relationships between transcriptomics and proteomics

Anders Byström
Umeå University

Biosynthesis and function of tRNA



Marc Friedländer
SciLifeLab, Stockholm University

Computational RNA biology - microRNAs

Claes Gustafsson
University of Gothenburg

Mitochondrial gene transcription in eukaryotic cells

Matthias Hentze
EMBL, Heidelberg, DE

RNA metabolism in human disease



Johan Jakobsson
Lund University

Molecular neurogenetics - epigenetic mechanisms and microRNAs

Adrian Krainer
CSHL/Cold Spring Harbour, NY

Mechanisms of RNA splicing – RNA therapeutics

Claudia Kutter
SciLifeLab, Karolinska Institutet

RNAs during organ development, cell differentiation and disease progression



Vicente Pelechano
SciLifeLab, Karolinska Institutet

Transcriptional basis of non-genetic cellular heterogeneity

Joan Steitz
Yale/New Haven, CT

Noncoding RNA-protein complexes in eukaryotic cells



Francesca Aguilo

I'm originally from Mallorca, where I did my bachelor’s in biology and Biochemistry at the University of the Balearic Islands. I then moved to Barcelona, to do my PhD at the University of Barcelona, studying the metabolism of ketone bodies. As a postdoc at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, I became interested in understanding epigenetic and epitranscriptomic mechanisms governing stem cell function. I joined the WCMM and the Department of Medical Biosciences at Umeå University in October 2016 as an independent researcher. I love cinema, music and travelling.

My main interest is to decipher novel epigenetic and epitranscriptomic mechanisms affecting global gene expression and their implication in cell fate and cancer initiation and progression with a focus on breast cancer. We aim to elucidate the function of RNA modification, specifically adenosine methylation, and their crosstalk with other epigenetic marks, using stem cells and breast cancer cells, as physiological and pathological models.



Alvis Brazma

Dr Alvis Brazma is a Senior Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the Head of Gene Expression at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). He studied mathematics at the University of Latvia, obtained his PhD from Moscow State University in 1987 and joined the EMBL in 1997. In 2000 he founded the Microarray Gene Expression Data society and established the first international repository for gene expression data ArrayExpress. He is a Principal Investigator in several large international collaborative genomics and biomedical projects, including the RNA group of the Pan-cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes of the International Cancer Genome Consortium. He has over 100 publications and has published in high impact journals, including Science and Nature.



Marc Friedländer

Marc Friedländer is a SciLifeLab Fellow and Associate Professor at Stockholm University. During his PhD in the Nikolaus Rajewsky group in Berlin he developed miRDeep, which is today the most widely used algorithm to discover new miRNA genes. He spent his post doc at the CRG in Barcelona, where he contributed to several consortia - including Geuvadis, which extended the 1000 Genomes project to the transcriptional level. Marc’s research team combines wet-lab and dry-lab biology to interrogate the mammalian transcriptome, with special focus on the biogenesis and function of miRNAs in single cells.



Matthias W. Hentze

Matthias Hentze is currently the Director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and Co-Director of the Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit (MMPU) in Heidelberg (Germany). Following medical studies in Germany and the U.K., and his qualification as a medical doctor, he obtained his postdoctoral training at the NIH (USA) in the late eighties, when he and his colleagues discovered “iron-responsive elements” initiating his interests in RNA biology (translation, mRNA stability, NMD, miRNAs) and diseases of iron metabolism (anemias, hemochromatosis, degenerative diseases). Recent work by the Hentze group has uncovered hundreds of new RNA-binding proteins, including many metabolic enzymes. Their current work uncovers new functions for RNA in the direct regulation of protein function (‘riboregulation’) and elucidates connections between metabolism and gene regulation.



Johan Jakobsson

Johan Jakobsson obtained his PhD in neurobiology at Lund University, Sweden in 2005. During the next three years he was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Didier Trono at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland. He is currently an Associate Professor in Neuroscience at the Wallenberg Neuroscience Center and Lund Stem Cell Center at Lund University where he heads the Lab of Molecular Neurogenetics.

His lab is interested in how gene expression is regulated in the brain and how this process influences neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric disorders and brain tumors. The current focus is to study the role of epigenetic mechanisms and microRNAs. The technical expertise of the lab includes lentiviral vectors, transgenic mice and stem cells cultures.



Adrian Krainer

Prof. Adrian Krainer, Ph.D. was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. He received a B.A. in Biochemistry from Columbia University (1981) and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard University (1986). He joined Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1986, where he is the St Giles Foundation Professor and Program Chair of Cancer and Molecular Biology. His lab studies fundamental aspects of pre-mRNA splicing mechanisms and alternative-splicing regulation in normal and disease contexts. He and his collaborators developed powerful ways to correct splicing defects and modulate alternative splicing, based on antisense technology, so far resulting in the invention of the first approved drug for the neuromuscular disease spinal muscular atrophy. Spinraza, the antisense oligonucleotide drug he invented and developed with Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Biogen, received the 2017 Prix Galien USA Award to the Best Biotechnology Product (2017). Krainer is a former President of the RNA Society, and a recipient of the New York Intellectual Property Law Association Inventor of the Year Award (2017), the FE Bennett Memorial Award of the American Neurological Association (2017), and the Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize (2019).



Claudia Kutter

Claudia received her PhD from the University of Basel, Switzerland. She worked on small RNA-mediated regulation of stem cell differentiation in the groups of Fred Meins and Witold Filipowicz at the Friedrich Miescher Institute (Basel, Switzerland). As a postdoctoral researcher, Claudia joined Duncan Odom’s laboratory at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK) to study the evolution of noncoding RNAs. Claudia became a SciLifeLab fellow and assistant professor at the Karolinska Institute. She is now leading her independent research group at the Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) in Stockholm where she continues working on gene regulation, noncoding RNA transcription and processing.



Vicent Pelechano

Vicent Pelechano is a Wallenberg and SciLifeLab Fellow and serves as an Assistant Professor at Karolinska Institutet. His group combines experimental and computational approaches to study eukaryotic gene expression. He is interested in RNA molecular heterogeneity and has developed tools like TIF-Seq to study overlapping mRNA molecules. More recently he demonstrated that co-translational mRNA degradation is widespread in budding yeast, and showed that it is possible to study ribosome dynamics by sequencing mRNA degradation intermediates (5P-Seq). His group uses budding yeast and human cell lines to investigate chromatin and RNA biology while developing novel genomic tools.