Ana Martin-Villalba to present at the 6th Aging Research for Drug Discovery Forum in Basel

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Credit: Insilico Medicine

Thursday, June 6, 2019 – Today Insilico Medicine, a biotechnology company developing the end-to-end drug discovery pipeline utilizing the next generation artificial intelligence, and the Scheibye-Knudsen Lab, University of Copenhagen, announce the presentation of Ana Martin-Villalba, M.D.-Ph.D., Chair of the Scientific Council of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Senior President of the German Stem Cell Network, at the 6th Aging Research, Drug Discovery, and AI Forum during the Basel Life Congress, September 10-12, 2019, Basel, Switzerland.

Life choices are not just about what we want to do, but who we want to become. Similarly, performance and fate define the decision making process in the life of a stem cell in the adult brain. Researchers at Ana Villalba’s lab focus on understanding the mechanisms underlying stem cells choices in the healthy, injured and aging brain. These choices build the basis of stem cell contribution to brain function and repair in the case of injury and neurodegenerative disorders.

Wrong decisions lie at the root of malignant transformation leading to brain tumors. Both processes are of special interest in regenerative medicine and oncology. In order to study stem cells globally within the CNS in a living organism, we adopted a multidisciplinary approach that combines genetically engineered mouse models with models of injury and cancer, and cutting edge technologies in single cell analyses such as lineage tracing, epigenomics, and transcriptomics.

“It is a great pleasure to be coming to Basel Life 2019, and present the results of our research in neural stem cell heterogeneity in the adult brain, observed during homeostasis in the young and aging brain. In particular, I will elaborate on the critical role of the stem cell quiescence and posttranscriptional control for stem cell performance and fate choices,” said Ana Martin-Villalba, M.D.-Ph.D., Chair of the Scientific Council of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Senior President of the German Stem Cell Network.

“We are extremely happy that Professor Ana Martin-Villalba is joining us in Basel this year. Professor Martin-Villalba is a world leading scientist in the field of stem cell research. A field that shows great promise as an approach to repair aged tissues. Professor Martin-Villalba has tremendously contributed to our understanding of the fate of neural stem cells in brain injury and aging. We are therefore very honored to welcome Professor Ana Martin-Villalba to the Aging, Drug Discovery and Artificial Intelligence meeting in Basel,” said Dr. Daniela Bakula, University of Copenhagen

“Over the last 5 years, the “Aging & Drug Discovery” and “AI for Healthcare” forums have been leading events at BaselLife, attracting hundreds of delegates from over 50 countries. This year, we are combining the 2 platforms into a 3 day-event titled “the 6th Aging, AI and Drug Discovery Forum” to explore the convergence of these 2 cutting edge disciplines. Under the program leadership of Professor Morten Scheibye-Knudsen and Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, with distinguished scientists and industry experts in the field, we look forward to exploring breakthroughs for this great healthcare need for the planet,” said Dr. Bhupinder Bhullar, Chair, Innovation Forum program committee, Basel Life 2019.

“The 6th annual Aging Research, Drug Discovery, and AI Forum at Basel Life will have a fresh program featuring some of the most prominent scientists and industry players in aging and longevity research covering the theory, applications and convergence of these three exciting areas,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, Ph.D., Founder, and CEO of Insilico Medicine, Inc.

The 6th Aging Research for Drug Discovery Forum Basel will bring together leaders in the aging, longevity, and drug discovery field, to describe the latest progress in the molecular, cellular and organismal basis of aging and the search for interventions. Furthermore, the forum will include opinion leaders in AI to discuss the latest advances of this technology in the biopharmaceutical sector and how this can be applied to interventions. This event intends to bridge academic and commercial research and foster collaborations that will result in practical solutions to one of humanity’s most challenging problems: aging. The Forum will be held in Basel, Switzerland, September 10-12, 2019.

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For further information, images or interviews, please contact:

Ola Popova [email protected]

About Ana Martin-Villalba, M.D.-Ph.D.

Ana Martin-Villalba studied medicine in Murcia, Spain and Leeds, UK. She received her Ph.D. from the
University of Heidelberg for investigating the role of death ligands in the ischemic brain. After receiving her Ph.D., she moved to the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) where she further worked on the strategies for CNS repair followed by stroke, spinal cord injuries or chronic CNS disorders, with a focus on the interaction of the CNS with the innate immune system and activation of endogenous stem cells. This work has also generated some understanding of how cancer stem cells contribute to tumor progression.

Ana was awarded the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, and the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize and the Walther and Christine Richtzenhain Prize for the development of pro-regenerative and anti-cancer therapies. One of her findings has set the ground for a phase-II clinical trial of glioblastoma patient that increased the overall survival rate of a subgroup of glioblastoma-patients. She was awarded an ERC grant in 2018. Her research now centers on understanding stem cell behaviour in homeostasis and disease including CNS-injuries, aging and cancer.

About the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)

The DKFZ is Germany’s largest biomedical research institute and has an international and dynamic work environment, providing students with access to state-of-the-art research facilities and exceptional resources. More than 500 PhD students in over 100 divisions and research groups carry out research to unravel the causes and mechanisms of cancer development and to identify novel tools for diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Official website: https://www.dkfz.de/en/index.html

About German Stem Cell Network (GSCN)

The German Stem Cell Network (GSCN) aims at creating synergies between all areas of basic and applied stem cell research and to provide an interface between science, education, politics and society as a whole. The central task of the GSCN is to pool the expertise in stem cell research in Germany and develop synergies between basic research, regenerative medicine and pharmacology. The initiative will promote innovative research activities on a national and international level. In addition, targeted information and events will be offered to encourage the public discourse on stem cell research.

Official website: http://www.gscn.org/

About Insilico Medicine, Inc

Insilico Medicine is an artificial intelligence company headquartered in Rockville, with R&D and management resources in Belgium, Russia, UK, Taiwan, and Korea sourced through hackathons and competitions. The company and its scientists are dedicated to extending human productive longevity and transforming every step of the drug discovery and drug development process through excellence in biomarker discovery, drug development, digital medicine, and aging research.
In 2017, NVIDIA selected Insilico Medicine as one of the Top 5 AI companies in its potential for social impact. In 2018, the company was named one of the global top 100 AI companies by CB Insights. In 2018 it received the Frost & Sullivan 2018 North American Artificial Intelligence for Aging Research and Drug Development Award accompanied with the industry brief. Brief company video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l62jlwgL3v8.

Official website: http://insilico.com

About the Scheibye-Knudsen Laboratory

The growing proportion of the elderly population represents an increasing socioeconomic challenge, not least because of age-associated diseases. It is therefore increasingly pertinent to find interventions for age-associated diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cardiovascular diseases. Although the cause of aging is currently unknown accumulation of damage to our genome, the DNA, may be a contributing factor.
In the Scheibye-Knudsen lab we try to understand the cellular and organismal consequences of DNA damage with the aim of developing interventions. We have discovered that DNA damage leads to changes in certain metabolites and that replenishment of these molecules may alter the rate of aging in model organisms. These findings suggest that normal aging and age-associated diseases may be malleable to similar interventions. The hope is to develop interventions that will allow everyone to live healthier, happier and more productive lives.

Laboratory website: http://scheibye-knudsen.com/

About the University of Copenhagen

With over 40,000 students and more than 9,000 employees, the University of Copenhagen is the largest institution of research and education in Denmark and among the highest ranked universities in Europe. The purpose of the University – to quote the University Statute – is to ‘conduct research and provide further education to the highest academic level’. Approximately one hundred different institutes, departments, laboratories, centres, museums, etc., form the nucleus of the University.

University Website: http://introduction.ku.dk/presentation/

About Basel Life 2019

Aging Research for Drug Discovery Forum description

In this symposium, leaders in the aging, longevity, and drug discovery field will describe the latest progress in the molecular, cellular and organismal basis of aging and the search for interventions. Furthermore, the forum will include opinion leaders in AI to discuss the latest advances of this technology in the biopharmaceutical sector and how this can be applied to interventions. This event intends to bridge academic and commercial research and foster collaborations that will result in practical solutions to one of humanity’s most challenging problems: aging. A panel of thought-leaders will give us their cutting edge reports on the latest progress in our quest to extend the healthy lifespan of everyone on the planet.

Conference Official Website: https://www.basellife.org/2019.html

Media Contact
Ola Popova
[email protected]

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