Keynotes

Luis Enjuanes

Luis Enjuanes

CSIC research professor at the National Center for Biotechnology and director of the Coronavirus Group

Prof. Luis Enjuanes has been working for more than 35 years on the mechanisms of replication, transcription, virulence and virus-host interaction of coronaviruses. Since January 2020, his group has been working on a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, applying the scientific knowledge that they already used in previous coronavirus outbreaks: 2002 SARS-COV and MERS in 2012.

Throughout his career, Prof. Enjuanes has published more than 235 articles in international journals and 58 book chapters. He was a Fogarty Visiting Fellow at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a visiting scientist at the US National Institutes (NIH) Center for Cancer Research (FCRC). He is a professor of Virology at the Autonomous University of Madrid and the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. 

Prof. Enjuanes has been appointed Senior Distinguished Virologist by the Spanish Society of Virology, Academic of the Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, and Academic of the North American Academy of Microbiology. He is also an Expert Consultant for the NIH and the World Health Organization, and has been editor-in-chief of Virus Research. Prof. Enjuanes also received the Spanish Medal of Merit in Research and University Education awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. 

In 2021, Luis Enjuanes was elected an international member of the USA National Academy of Sciences. This election recognizes his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Nerea Irigoyen

Nerea Irigoyen

Head of a research team in the Division of Virology (Department of Pathology) at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Dr. Nerea Irigoyen is a Spanish virologist who stands out for her research on Zika virus and betacoronaviruses. She was one of the first researchers to apply a technique termed ribosome profiling to study RNA viruses such as coronaviruses, HIV-1, or flaviviruses such as Zika virus.  

Her research line mainly focuses on understanding virus translation in viral pathogenicity and disease with a special interest in virus-host interactions. In 2020, Nerea changed the course of her research activity to study Covid-19. The main purpose was to find pharmacological treatments against cellular pathways that are involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection with a special interest in drugs targeting cellular stress responses such as the unfolded protein response (UPR). This type of treatments can have a dual therapeutic effect, not only diminishing the viral burden in patients but also the pathophysiology associated with the disease.

She is a founding member of the Society of Spanish Scientists in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU), an association that seeks to promote communication between the Spanish researchers in the UK. She was the director of the Cambridge Delegation from July 2014 to July 2016 and the Director of International Collaborations until July 2018.

Nuria Oliver

Nuria Oliver

Chief Data Scientist at Data-Pop Alliance, Chief Scientific Advisor at the Vodafone Institute and co-founder and vice-president of ELLIS (European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems)

Dr. Nuria Oliver has over 25 years of research experience in the areas of human behaviour modelling and prediction from data and human-computer interaction. Nuria is well known for her work in computational models of human behavior, human computer-interaction, intelligent user interfaces and mobile computing and big data for social good. In March 2020, she was named Commissioner for the President of the Valencian community  (Spain) on AI Strategy and Data Science to fight Covid-19.

A team of scientists headed by Dr. Nuria Oliver won the first prize in the 500k Pandemic Response Challenge. The main goal was to build effective data-driven AI systems capable of accurately predicting COVID-19 transmission rates and prescribing intervention and mitigation measures that, with testing in “what-if” scenarios, were shown to minimize infection rates as well as negative economic impacts. She is co-inventor of over 40 filed patents and her work has contributed to the improvement and creation of new services, the definition of business strategies and the foundation of new companies.

Viola Priesemann

Viola Priesemann

Head of a research group at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization

Dr. Viola Priesemann studies propagation processes in complex systems and the self-organization and emergence of information processing in living and artificial neural networks.

In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Priesemann researched the spread and containment strategies of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. She was initiator of a Pan-European Statement, which emphasizes the need for a common European approach to Covid-19 containment and also presents a clear action plan. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has been calculating scenarios of how the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus accelerates or weakens under different conditions. Dr. Priesemann and her research group at the Max Planck Institute have been recognized in several occasions for their valuable advice in decision-making at different levels.

Dr. Viola Priesemann is a Fellow of the Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg and a member of the Cluster of Excellence Multiscale Bioimaging.

Alfonso Valencia

Alfonso Valencia

Director of the Life Sciences Department of the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, ICREA Research Professor and Director of the Spanish Bioinformatics Institute (INB-ISCIII). He was Director of the Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO, 2006-2017) and Vice-director of Basic Research (2012-2017)

Prof. Alfonso Valencia is a computational biologist interested in the analysis of large collections of genomic information with particular emphasis in the study of protein interaction networks applied to (epi)genomics, cancer biology and precision medicine. The focus of his work is the mechanistic understanding of biological systems, including cancer and other diseases, with a combination of bioinformatics, network biology and machine learning approaches. As of 2021, Valencia has published over 420 peer reviewed papers which have been cited more than 40,000 times.

Prof. Alfonso Valencia is a founder and current member of the steering committee of the BioCreative text mining challenge, and an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). He is currently co-executive editor of the journal Bioinformatics, and member of the Editorial boards of eLIFE, FEBS Letters, PeerJ and F1000 Prime.


Panelists

Norberto Fueyo

Norberto Fueyo

Full professor in Fluid Mechanics at the School of Engineering and Architecture, University of Zaragoza.

Prof Norberto Fueyo is since 2008 a full professor in Fluid Mechanics at the School of Engineering and Architecture, University of Zaragoza. After his MSc in Industrial Engineering (1987), he was a Research Assistant at Imperial College, University of London. In 1990 he completed at Imperial College his PhD thesis, in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics, under the supervision of Prof D Brian Spalding. For the next three years he worked for CHAM, London, a company developing one of the (then) main Computational Fluid Dynamics codes, PHOENICS.

In 1993, he joined LITEC, a joint research centre of the University of Zaragoza and CSIC. Since 1996 he is teaching staff at Fluid Mechanics Section of the University of Zaragoza. His research lines are Computational Fluid Dynamics (and, in particular, numerical methods, combustion and reactive flows, and multiphase flows), renewable energies and energy systems. He has been the principal researcher in six project with national funding, and has participated in ten European projects. He has been the coordinator of four of those, two of them (Flowgrid and NICECOAL) at the University of Zaragoza.

He has participated, usually as principal researcher, in more than 55 research contracts with companies and organisations. Among the collaborating institutions are: Alcoa, Asian Development Bank, BSH Electrodomésticos España SA, Celulosa Fabril SA, CEMEX España SA, CIEMAT, ENDESA, Foster Wheeler, CIUDEN, Gas Natural sdg, Gobierno de la República del Salvador, Iberdrola, Ikerlan, Industrias Jiménez SA, Ministerio de Defensa, Ringo Válvulas, SEDIGAS, UNESA, Unión Fenosa, and Valeo Térmico.

Juan Martínez Oliván

Juan Martínez Oliván

Scientific manager at the CERTEST vaccines division of CERTEST BIOTEC

Dr Juan Martínez Oliván, got his BSc in Biochemistry and later specialized in the structure and function of proteins, specifically in the field of infectious diseases. The group coordinated by Juan is currently working on the improvement of platforms for the development of RNA vaccines for the prevention of infectious diseases and cancer immunotherapy. Among the ongoing projects, one of the goals is that of a thermostable mRNA vaccine against the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. Throughout 2020 and 2021, his work at Certest Biotec contributed to the launch of the first qPCR and antigen detection tests developed and produced in Spain against SARS-CoV-2, of which more than 70 million have been commercialized.

The work of Dr. Martínez-Oliván in the field of recombinant antigen design and obtaining monoclonal antibodies in recent years has helped in the successful development of more than 150 products used by different companies in the field of in vitro diagnostics.

Gabriel Tirado Anglés

Gabriel Tirado Anglés

Head of the Intensive Care Unit and Service at the Royo Villanova hospital, Zaragoza, Spain.

M.D. Gabriel Tirado Anglés has been an Intensive Care Physician since 2005. He has been on the front line of the Covid 19 pandemic, improving the protocols of action in the Intensive Care Unit of the reference hospital Royo Villanova in Zaragoza, Spain. Gabriel has also worked towards enhancing the effectiveness of therapies against COVID-19 and also facilitating psychological and emotional support to relatives of hospitalized patients. He is the current president of ASPANOA, an association in Aragon for parents of children that have suffered oncological disorders. Gabriel Tirado has collaborated in different scientific projects throughout his career, among which is the development of a data-driven methodology to analyze the dynamics of hospitalization due to COVID-19 in different regions of Spain with the aim of making short-medium term predictions about hospital occupancy to improve health-care management and patient assistance.