We are delighted to announce confirmed speakers to date for this top level workshop.

The speakers at this international conference have been hand-picked by a host of worldwide experts to bring you the latest cutting edge updates on HDL.

Professor Frank Sacks, Harvard

Dr. Sacks is Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in the Nutrition Department of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Professor of Genetics & Complexes Diseases; and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sacks’s laboratory has studied the role of apolipoproteins in atherogenic lipoprotein metabolism in obesity and hypertriglyceridemia. He authored over 35 research papers on apoC-3 and/or apoE. Recently his lab discovered that a type of HDL that contains apolipoprotein C-III predicted higher rates of heart disease and diabetes, the opposite to the protective relation for the total HDL. His lab also showed that apoC3 impairs the beneficial effects of apoE on HDL metabolism.

Associate Professor Amy Shah, USA

Amy Sanghavi Shah MD MS is an Associate Professor in the Division of Endocrinology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She is a board certified Clinical Lipidologist and Director of the Adolescent Type 2 Diabetes Program. Her research focuses on the role of lipoproteins specifically the role of high density lipoprotein (HDL) in the development of early cardiovascular disease in children and adolescents with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Major focuses include exploring HDL subspecies in adolescents with obesity and type 2 diabetes and defining how treatments including medications and bariatric surgery influences outcomes in this population.

Professor Anatol Kontush, France

Anatol Kontush is Research Director at the Research Unit 1166 ICAN of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) at the Sorbonne University and Pitié-Salpétrière Hospital in Paris, France. Dr Kontush was awarded a PhD in Biophysics at the University of Hamburg, Germany (1996) and a degree of a Research Director (HDR) at the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, France (2002). His research interests include mechanisms of the development of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and other age-related disorders, with a particular emphasis on the protective roles of high-density lipoprotein (HDL); in particular, he provided a key contribution to the discovery of distinct biological activities, structure and composition of small, dense, protein-rich HDL. Dr Kontush is a principal author of a book entitled “High-Density Lipoproteins: Structure, Metabolism, Function and Therapeutics” published by John Wiley & Sons (New York, USA) in 2012.

Professor Laura Calabresi, Italy

Laura Calabresi graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology at the University of Milano in 1988, and obtained her PhD from the University of Siena in 1994. She is full professor of Pharmacology at the University of Milano, School of Pharmacy. Professor Calabresi is Scientific Coordinator of the Center E. Grossi Paoletti of the University of Milano since 2015, and Head of the master program in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the University of Milano since 2016. She has been member elected of the Scientific Committee of the European Lipoprotein Club, 2001-2006. She is Academic Editor for PlosOne and CoEditor of Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease, and an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Lipid Research.

Professor Alan Tall, USA

Alan Tall is the Tilden-Weger-Bieler Professor of Medicine and head of the Division of Molecular Medicine at Columbia University.  He is internationally recognized for his work on plasma lipoproteins and atherosclerosis.  Dr. Tall discovered mutations in the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) gene that are associated with increased HDL levels and reduced LDL levels, helping to elucidate the role of CETP in lipoprotein metabolism and identifying CETP as a therapeutic target.  Dr. Tall has shown that the ATP binding cassette transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1 promote cholesterol efflux from macrophage foam cells to apoA-1 and HDL particles, respectively. This activity also inhibits the proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells and the production of pro-atherogenic myeloid cells. Recent studies have shown that myeloid deficiency of cholesterol efflux genes promotes both NLRP3 and noncanonical inflammasome activation in macrophages and neutrophils, leading to accelerated atherosclerosis with prominent NETosis.  In recognition of his work, Dr Tall has been the recipient of the Irvine Page Award, the Robert I.   Levy Lectureship and the Distinguished Scientist Award of the American Heart Association and the Anitschkow Prize of the European Atherosclerosis Society.


Associate Professor Anna Schwendeman, USA

Anna Schwendeman is an Associate Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a member of Biointerfaces Institute at the University of Michigan. Her research focus is on optimization high-density lipoprotein (HDL) nanoparticles for treatment of atherosclerosis, sepsis and drug delivery purposes. In 2016, she co-founded a company EVOQ Therapeutics (www.evoqtherapeutics.com) focused on the use of HDL nanodiscs for delivery of personalized neoantigen cancer vaccines. Dr. Schwendeman received her BS from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and PhD in Pharmaceutics from The Ohio State University. Prior to starting her academic career in 2012, Dr. Schwendeman spent 12 years in pharmaceutical industry at Cerenis Therapeutics, Pfizer, and Esperion Therapeutics. She was involved in discovery and translation HDL drugs to clinical trials includingETC-216, ETC-642, CER-001 and CER-522. She successfully submitted FDA INDs for seven different products including nanoparticles, liposome, recombinant proteins, peptides and small molecules. Her laboratory is currently funded by multiple grants from NIH, FDA, AHA and pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Schwendeman is an Associate Editor for Nanomedicine NBM and Eur. J. Pharm and Biopharm.


Professor Mary Sorci-Thomas, USA

Mary Sorci-Thomas PhD is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Molecular Medicine, Associate in Pharmacology and Toxicology at Medical College of Wisconsin and Senior Adjunct Investigator at the Blood Research Institute at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Dr. Sorci-Thomas received her PhD in Biochemistry at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, then completed her NIH National Research Service Award Fellowship at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She returned to Wake Forest and joined the Department of Pathology and participated as a Project Leader in an NIH funded Program Project in Atherosclerosis for 20 years. During this time she became an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association. In December of 2014 Dr. Sorci-Thomas moved to the Medical College of Wisconsin where she continues to study the role of HDL apoA-I in atherosclerosis and obesity. Currently she serves on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Lipid Research and Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and is the current Chair of the American Heart Association Council on Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. She also reviews grant applications and is a Charter Member of the NIH Study Section for Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology and Ad-hoc reviewer for Vascular Cell and Molecular Biology Study Sections.


Professor Liam Brunham, Canada

Liam Brunham is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Canada Research Chair in Precision Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. His research focuses on understanding how changes in specific genes contribute to differences in drug-response as well as to alterations in plasma lipid levels and their relationship to metabolic and cardiovascular disease. He is a board-certified general internist and clinical lipidologist and is an attending physician at the Health Heart Program Prevention clinic at St. Paul’s hospital, one of the largest specialty lipid clinics in Canada.

Professor Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, Denmark

Professor Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, MD PhD DMSc, completed her MD in 1995, PhD in 2001, and DMSc in 2009, all at the University of Copenhagen. Her postgraduate scientific education includes 2 years at Rigshospitalet and 4 months at Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan. Clinical training includes 1½ year internship, ½ year. Ruth is currently Chief Physician at the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Rigshospitalet. Professor and Deputy Head at the Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. She has received a total of approximately 30 million DKK (=4 million Euros) received from the Danish Council for Independent Research, the Lundbeck Foundation, Innovation Fund Denmark, the Research Fund at Rigshospitalet, the Research Fund at the Capital Region of Denmark, The Alzheimer Research Foundation, M.L. Jørgensen and Gunnar Hansen’s Foundation, and various smaller foundations. Author of 126 publications, Ruth also holds the following positions: Chairman of the Scandinavian Society for Atherosclerosis Research (2006-2011), Executive Committee member of the European Atherosclerosis Society, Member of the board of the National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark and Member of the leadership group for the Copenhagen Center for Health Technology (CACHET) among others. Professor Frikke-Schmidt has given>150 presentations at international meetings, and 29 invited lectures, and her scientific focus is on genomic, epidemiologic, and causal aspects of lipoprotein metabolism and age-related diseases with special focus on cardiovascular disease, dementia and diabetes.

Professor Majken Jensen, USA

Dr. Majken K Jensen, PhD is an Associate Professor in Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston.  Dr. Jensen completed her Master’s in Public Health at Copenhagen University and doctoral studies at Aarhus University, both in Denmark. She first came to Harvard Chan School as a Fulbright scholar in 2001, and joined the faculty in the Department of Nutrition in 2012. Dr. Jensen leads a research group focused on biomarker epidemiology in cardiometabolic disease and aging. Specifically, her work examines novel risk markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and Alzheimer’s disease. Her research has sought to understand the complexity of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) in CVD and recently in neurological diseases by bridging molecular and epidemiological work. She is a mentor to students and postdocs at Harvard Chan School where she also teaches cardiovascular epidemiology. She is an active member of the American Heart Association, where she has served as co-chair of the genetic and observational epidemiology grant review committee, is a member of the publications committee, and the Molecular Determinants of Cardiovascular Health committee

Professor Marit Westerterp, The Netherlands

Marit Westerterp is Associate Professor at the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands. Her work focuses on the role of cholesterol efflux pathways in atherosclerosis,  specifically on the ATP Binding Cassette A1 and G1 (ABCA1 and ABCG1) transporters that promote cholesterol efflux to apoA1 and HDL, respectively. Her recent studies have shown that these cholesterol efflux pathways suppress inflammasome activation, leading to decreased formation of neutrophil extracellular traps in atherosclerotic plaques, and amelioration of an auto-immune phenotype. Dr Westerterp is a recipient of the Roger Davis Award (2015), and the Daniel Steinberg and Irvine Page Awards (2017).


Professor Marina Cuchel, USA

Professor Kerry-Anne Rye, Australia

Kerry-Anne Rye obtained her PhD from Flinders University of South Australia in 1986 and gained her postdoctoral training at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a Research Professor, Head of the Lipid Research Group and Deputy Head (Research) in the School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales. She is the newly appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Lipid Research, and an Editorial Board Member of three American Heart Association journals: Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; The Journal of the American Heart Association and Circulation Research. Professor Rye is the Past Chair of the American Heart Association ATVB Council Women’s Leadership Committee. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Program Committee (ATVB Council nominee) for American Heart Association Scientific Sessions and she was also elected as Vice-Chair of the American Heart Association ATVB Council in 2018.

Professor Arnold von Eckardstein, Switzerland

Arnold von Eckardstein studied medicine and then specialized in laboratory medicine and clinical chemistry. Since 2001, he is professor at the medical faculty of the University of Zurich and the director of the Institute of Clinical Chemistry of the University Hospital of Zurich (Switzerland; http://www.en.ikc.usz.ch/Pages/default.aspx).
His main research interests include risk factors and biomarkers of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases as well as structure, function, and metabolism of high density lipoproteins (HDL) and sphingolipids. He has published more than 350 original and review papers in international peer reviewed scientific journals (h-index 72).
Arnold von Eckardstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Atherosclerosis and member of the Editorial Boards of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; BBA Molecular Biology of Lipids; and European Heart Journal. Currently he is also the secretary of the European Atherosclerosis Society. He is also Past Chairman of the European Lipoprotein Club, the Swiss and German Atherosclerosis Societies, and the Swiss Society of Clinical Chemistry.

Professor Bart De Geest, The Netherlands

Dr. Bart De Geest is Professor of Medicine in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. He obtained his M.D. degree in 1993, his Ph.D. degree in 1998, and his license to practice Internal Medicine in 2001. Since 2001, he is principal investigator of the Lipoproteins and Gene Therapy Group in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at KU Leuven. His research interests are gene transfer technologies, familial hypercholesterolemia, gene therapy for metabolic diseases, and heart failure. The research efforts of his group are currently focusing on HDL-targeted therapies for heart failure and in particular on HDL-targeted therapies for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

Samuel D Wright PhD, CSL

Samuel D. Wright joined CSL as Global Strategic Director in 2008 with a primary commitment to the development of CSL112, a novel therapy for acute coronary syndrome.  Prior to joining CSL, Dr. Wright served as Vice President and Worldwide Basic Research Head for Cardiovascular Disease at Merck Research Laboratories.  Dr. Wright received his PhD from Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1979. His postdoctoral work was followed by appointments of Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at The Rockefeller University in New York City.  He is the author of over 190 original research papers as well as numerous reviews and chapters and is listed as a highly cited author in Immunology by the Institute of Scientific Information.

Professor Alan Remaley, USA

Alan T. Remaley, M.D., Ph.D., is a Senior Investigator in NHLBI at the National Institutes of Health.  Dr. Remaley received his B.S. in Biochemistry and Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 1981.  He received in 1987 a M.D. and Ph.D. (Biochemistry) degree from the University of Pittsburgh.  He completed in 1990 a residency in Clinical Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania and became board certified in Clinical Pathology in 1992.  He joined the National Institutes of Health in 1990, as a medical staff fellow, and did a postdoctoral fellowship on lipoprotein metabolism at the Molecular Disease Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.  He became in 1995 a senior staff member of the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, where he directs the Immunoassay and HPLC/Mass Spectrometry laboratories.  As of 2005, he became the section chief of the Lipoprotein Metabolism Laboratory at NHLBI.  His current research is focused on the mechanism of action of the ABCA1 transporter and Lecithin:Cholesterol Acyltransferase and their role in HDL metabolism.  In addition, he is involved in developing new diagnostic immunoassays and lipoprotein assays.  He is the author of over 300 publications, mostly in the fields of lipoprotein metabolism and clinical pathology, and has 8 patents. He is a member of the editorial board for Clinical Chemistry, Journal of Lipid Research, and Atherosclerosis and an associate editor for Journal of Clinical Lipidology.

Comments are closed.