SCHEDULE

We have scheduled our Programs dividing them into Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 in order to make it convenient for you to attend in absolute comfort.

25 Jan
Day 1

Keynote 1
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Biography:

Raffaele Pilla, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Doctor Europaeus, received his Master’s degree in Pharmacy at D’Annunzio University in Chieti, Italy in 2005, where he also served internships at the Cell Physiology and Molecular Biology Laboratories. He received his Doctor Europaeus in 2010 at Pitié-Salpétrière Institute in Paris, France. In 2010, he achieved his Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Physiology, and Pathology of Muscle at D’Annunzio University in Chieti, Italy. Later, he was hired as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida on two research grants respectively funded by the Office of Naval Research (US Navy) and Divers’ Alert Network. Dr. Pilla has also been involved in ongoing research on the use of ketone esters. He has widely written and lectured internationally. Dr. Pilla is currently working as a pharmacist in Benevento, Italy and as a clinical research coordinator between USA and Italy.

Abstract:

It has been recently shown that nutritional ketosis is effectiveagainst seizure disorders and various acute/chronic neurologicaldisorders. Physiologically, glucose is the primary metabolic fuelfor cells. However, many neurodegenerative disorders have beenassociated with impaired glucose transport/metabolism and withmitochondrial dysfunction, such as Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’sdisease, general seizure disorders, and traumatic brain injury.Ketone bodies and tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediatesrepresent alternative fuels for the brain and can bypass the ratelimitingsteps associated with impaired neuronal glucosemetabolism. Therefore, therapeutic ketosis can be considered as ametabolic therapy by providing alternative energy substrates. Ithas been estimated that the brain derives over 60% of its totalenergy from ketones when glucose availability is limited. In fact,after prolonged periods of fasting or ketogenic diet (KD), the bodyutilizes energy obtained from free fatty acids (FFAs) released fromadipose tissue. Because the brain is unable to derive significantenergy from FFAs, hepatic ketogenesis converts FFAs into ketonebodies-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and acetoacetate (AcAc)-while apercentage of AcAc spontaneously decarboxylates to acetone.Large quantities of ketone bodies accumulate in the bloodthrough this mechanism. This represents a state of normalphysiological ketosis and can be therapeutic. Ketone bodies aretransported across the blood-brain barrier by monocarboxylic acidtransporters to fuel brain function. Starvation or nutritionalketosis is an essential survival mechanism that ensures metabolicflexibility during prolonged fasting or lack of carbohydrateingestion. Therapeutic ketosis leads to metabolic adaptations thatmay improve brain metabolism, restore mitochondrial ATPproduction, decrease reactive oxygen species production, reduceinflammation, and increase neurotrophic factors’ function. It hasbeen shown that KD mimics the effects of fasting and the lack ofglucose/insulin signaling, promoting a metabolic shift towardsfatty acid utilization. In this work, the author reports a number ofsuccessful case reports treated through metabolic ketosis.

Keynote 2
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Biography:

Dr. Tabinda Hasan is MBBS, MD, PGDHE and PH D, is currently working as Ass. professor  in College of medicine, Princess Nourah Bint Abdurrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She has 12 years teaching experience in human anatomy, Histology and Embryology  and is proficient in Cadaveric Dissection , Prosection, Video based case construction in Problem based learning, Research methodology, Research Ethics and Atomic force microscopy. She has been awarded for her outstanding research work by Harward Medical school- USA,  Boston University School Of Medicine, USA(advancing ethical research award), Stem cell unit, King Saud University, KSA (scientific vocalizations); OSDOW 2011 nominee, Elsevier, Trieste-Italy (women in science for developing world), Faculty of medicine & Health sciences, Jazan, KSA(appreciation for excellence in Teaching), Appreciation for special contribution as advisory board member for medical education dept.in University of Malaya , Malaysia. She has previously headed the scientific committee for 5 consecutive years for Medical Research Day international conference organized by MOHE, KSA. She is a renowned author, with 40 Journal publications and 190 citations 

Abstract:

Glycans are cells covered by a dense layer of carbohydrates, called the glycocalyx. These carbohydrates are often covalently attached to proteins or lipids and have highly complex and diverse structures. Glycans are sometimes called ‘the dark matter’ of the biological universe, greatly understudied yet omnipresent in all kingdoms of life and vital to fully understanding biological processes, such as in human health and disease. Glycosylation is among the most common and abundant posttranslational modifications of proteins and lipids. Work from a variety of model systems has recently advanced our understanding that glycans majorly affect most developmental, biological, and pathological processes, including cell differentiation, signaling, and immune function. Furthermore, alterations in glycan structure are associated with metastasis, tumor progression, and human genetic diseases. Dysfunctional cadherins are important determinants of cancer development and progression Glycosylation is a fundamental mechanism that controls the cell-adhesion function of cadherins in homeostasis and cancer. During the acquisition of a malignant phenotype, the glycosylation pattern of cadherins undergoes profound modifications.The different sugar moieties on cadherins modulate the biochemical, biophysical, and functional properties of these proteins, controlling cancer cell behavior.The glycoforms of cadherins may serve as important tumor biomarkers and constitute promising targets in new cancer therapies. A growing body of evidence supports crucial roles for glycans at various pathophysiological steps of tumour progression. Glycans regulate tumour proliferation, invasion, haematogenous metastasis and angiogenesis, and increased understanding of these roles sets the stage for developing pharmaceutical agents that target these molecules. Such novel agents might be used alone or in combination with operative and/or chemoradiation strategies for treating cancer.

This paper will emphasize four distinct approaches.

-The biology of Glycans; Making Sense of these ‘Sweet cells’; in the Light of Evolution.
-Dynamic Changes in Cell Surface Glycosylation that regulate Immune Cell Survival, differentiation & function in health and in disease.
-Analyzing the Dynamic Glycome.
-Complimentary Roles of Proteoglycans in Dorsoventral Development

With the Sweet Crosstalk of this speech we aim to map these key glycans, glycan protein-interactions, carbohydrate-active enzymes and their dynamics for the individual microbiota members that mediate microbiota-host interactions.  These insights will be crucial to understand how glycans intertwine roles with complex bacterial communities that influence human physiology in health and in disease.

Speaker 1
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Biography:

Dr. Michele Santodirocco is the Medical Director and Laboratory Director of Puglia Cord Blood Bank, Medical Director and Laboratory Director of the processing Laboratory of Transplant Program Medical assistant of Immunohematology Transfusion Service, Medical assistant of day Hospital Thalassemia at General Hospital “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” in San Giovanni Rotondo (FG). He received a bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery from Foggia University, Specialty in Hematology from Bari University and a Master’s degree in Stem Cell Transplantation and Cell Therapy, from Firenze/Udine University. In addition, he is also a National Health consultant of FRATRES (National Association of Blood Donor Groups Fratres) and for this Member of the Technical Section for the Transfusion System of the Technical Health Committee at the Ministry of Health.

Abstract:

Perianal fistulas are a common condition in surgical practice. The clinical aspects are never homogeneous, thus requiring more approaches with greater incidence of complications. Therefore, novel treatment approaches are needed to improve this condition. Cord blood platelet gel (CBPG) is a component of cord blood for non-transfusional use. It has a strong regenerative potential due to high content of platelet-derived miRNA and growth factors. The topical application stimulates tissue repair by acting on cell proliferation and differentiation, extracellular matrix deposition and the proliferation of supporting cells during wound healing processes. In addition to modulating the repair and the inflammation processes, it can reduce neurological and neuropathic pain associated with wounds by improving the functionality of the tissue in which it is applied and therefore the quality of life. However, in the form of gel, it is not possible to inject it into small, narrow and deep cavities. Therefore, we analyzed gelification kinetics and developed an application technique of platelet gel in liquid form. This semi-activated form provides for the activation of the coagulation process but not the gelification of the platelet concentrate. In this way, it can be easily inoculated in an endocavitary space, and then complete in vivo the gelification process. No side effects were seen after CBPG application. This procedure can be an additional therapeutic tool for pathologies in which the platelet gel can be applied only in the semi-activated liquid form, as in the endocavitary treatment of the perianal fistula complex.

Speaker 2
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Biography:

She is an undergraduate student at the Cyprus International University. She is in the Faculty of  Health Sciences, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics.  She is 22 years old. She works on cancer research and attends workshops on cancer research. She work as a researcher in her supervisior project in laboratory. She attended 2237 Project Training Activities Support Program in Turkey. She prepared the project on nesfatin and over cancer to present for TUBITAK which is research center in Turkey.  

Abstract:

Cancer continues to be a leading cause of death along with cardiovascular diseases and it’s a major health problem creating enormous socioeconomic burden on societies. In spite of the increase in patient survival rates promoted by increased screening and prevention efforts, much faster tumor genome sequencing and developed smart targeted-therapies, de novo or acquired chemoresistance still remains to be a significant factor for treatment failure in cancer therapeutics. Nesfatin-1 is an 82 amino acid neuropeptide with anorexigenic properties which is synthesized from NEFA (nucleobindin 2/NUCB2) in the hypothalamus. In recent researches, high expression of nesfatin-1/nucleobindin-2 (NUCB2) is linked to poor prognosis in prostate and colon cancer due to the enhancement in proliferation, migration, and invasion. However, the role of nesfatin-1 in many types of cancer is not yet clear. In this review, we aimed to present the studies on the relationship between nesfatin-1 and cancer in recent years.

Speaker 3
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Biography:

Dr. L. Velkova works at laboratory "Chemistry and Biophysics of proteins and enzymes" at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS). Her research interests include isolation, characterization and application of bioactive substances from natural sources, primarily proteins, glycoproteins, antimicrobial peptides, investigation of carbohydrate structures of glycoproteins by mass spectrometry, as and proteomics analysis. She defended PhD on the topic "Structure and function of carbohydrate chains of hemocyanin, isolated from the marine snail Rapana venosa" in Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry - BAS, 2013. She has published more than 30 papers in reputed international journals.

Abstract:

The objects of our investigation are antimicrobial peptides and glycopeptides from molluscs. The mucus and hemolymph of garden snails are a complex multi-component mixture comprising various bioactive substances with different masses and properties. Some of them exhibit antimicrobial, antitumor activities and have antioxidant properties. Using ultrafiltration were obtained different fractions from the mucus and hemolymph of garden snails Helix lucorum and Helix aspersa.In vitro studies on the antimicrobial activities of different extracts against Gram positive, Gram negative bacteria and against fungal pathogens were carried out. The results show that the fraction below 10 kDa exhibit a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. To explain the observed effects against various microbial organisms, the peptides and glycopeptides in active fractions were purified by reversed phase highperformance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). Using tandem mass spectrometry MALDI-TOF-MS/MS, we identified the amino acid sequences of novel antimicrobial peptides. Most of them contain glycine and leucine, proline, tryptophan glycine, leucine and valine residues which are typical for peptides with antimicrobial activity. The primary structure of several glycopeptides was identified by LC-ESIMS/MS and Q-Trap LC/MS/MS system. The identified glycan compositions have high-mannose and complex type structures.Our results may be considered as basic information for further investigations on bioactive compounds from H. aspersa and H. lucorum for creating new natural products with potential biomedical applications.

Speaker 4
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Biography:

Soha andelkawy abdelwahab, associate professor of Histology and Cell Biokogy , School ofMedicine Minia University ,Egypt. M.B&B.Ch Minia University Faculty of Medicine (1991)master degree inHistology and Cell Biology and PhD Basic Medical science Tohoku UniversitySemdai Japan (2001 -2004)My research interest is cell biology andcytogenetics. Stem cell theraqpy indifferent animalmodel of neurodegenerative disease and Dementia

Abstract:

Parkinsonism is one of the most common aging neurodegenerative disorders. Thiswork aims to compare the therapeutic effect of stem cell versus its conditioned medium inParkinsonism model.Parkinsonism was induced by daily subcutaneous injection of 0.5mg/Kg of rotenone dissolved indimethyle sulfoxide for 28 days. Fifty rats were divided randomly into 5 groups; control, DMSO,Parkinsonism, stem cell treated, conditioned medium treated groups. Midbrain specimens wereobtained for histological, immunohistochemical and biochemical studies. Lewy bodies wereobserved in Parkinsonism group in the dopaminergic neuron and neuropil as well. Almost all of thepathological changes were clearly ameliorated in both stem cell and conditioned medium treatedgroups as confirmed by biochemical, histological and immunohistochemical (anti nestin- antiGFAP and anti-alpha synculein) studies. However the conditioned medium showed more superiortherapeutic effect establishing nearly the normal histological architecture of substantia nigra.These results may pave the future for using stem cell conditioned medium as a more convenient andeffective adjuvant therapy in Parkinsonism and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Speaker 5

Ventseslav Atanasov

Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry ,Bulgaria

Title: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most widespread neurodegenerative disorder.

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Biography:

Ventseslav Atanasov has worked in the National Genetics Laboratory in Bulgaria, doing his second Master Degree in Genetics and a part of his PhD thesis. Now he is working at the laboratory Chemistry and Biophysics of proteins and enzymes at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. His research interests are in the field of human genetics, molecular pathology, gene and protein sequencing, isolation, characterization and application of novel natural bioactive substances as proteins, glycoproteins, antimicrobial peptides. He has published papers in reputed national and international journals.

Abstract:

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most widespread neurodegenerative disorder. The scopolamine is frequently used agent for induction of Alzheimer in experimental animals. We used scopolamine model for assessment of potential neuroprotective effect of extract from garden snail Helix aspersa on neurodegenerative processes in vivo. Male sexually mature experimental rats were used, divided on three groups: a control group of healthy rats, a scopolamine group (treated with scopolamine) and an experimental group treated with scopolamine and snail extract together. The results of the behavioral tests show a positive effect of a snail extract on memory and training on demented animals. Two major memory-related brain structures (hippocampus and prefrontal cortex) are isolated. In cortex and hippocampal brain homogenates is determined acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine content, as well as main indicators of oxidative stress. A novel mechanism for improving  memory in Alzheimer's-type dementia via snail extract, by inhibition of (AChE) in the hippocampus, has been established. The obtained results were confirmed by 2D – PAGE coupled with MALDI-MS. Using MASCOT Peptide Mass Fingerprint the cortex and hippocampal proteins have been identified.

Speaker 6
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Abstract:

Researches in the past decades demonstrated that the mucus from garden snails and hemocyanins from veined rapa whelks is a blend of bioavailable compounds, especially essential amino acids and antimicrobial peptides. Based on that information a lot of new studies were made.The antifungal potential and dose determination for inhibiting the growth and development of the fungal culture were performed against representatives of the genera Aspergillus, Mucor, Penicillium, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Alternaria, Botrytis. The mechanism of action on the survival of spores and fungus mycelium was also investigated. In two consecutive experiments, the antifungal potential was investigated by the agar diffusion method and the plaque cultivation method of 9 different low molecular weight compounds isolated from molluscs. The mucus from Helix aspersa 2 - 20 kDa was found to exhibit the strongest antifungal effect on all strains tested. Other fungicidal activity also showed good inhibition of the development of Fusarium oxysporum and Botrytis cinerea for 48 and 72 hours.Studies have been conducted on a parasite model in vivo elicited by representatives of the Trichinella genus. The immunomodulatory properties of hemocyanin isolates and fractions isolated from Helix lucorum, H. aspersa and Rapana venosa were investigated in the experimental immunotherapy of trichinosis. The studies and results show that the hemocyanins isolated from H. lucorum, H. aspersa and R. venosa are highly immunogenic glycoproteins that stimulate immunity and are suitable for use as molecular carriers and adjuvants in prophylactic and therapeutic immunological medication.

Speaker 7
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Biography:

La dr.ssa Elisabetta Tabolacci si è laureato nel 1999 in Medicina e Chirurgia presso l'Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" ed ha poi conseguito la specializzazione in Genetica Medica nel 2003 presso l'Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Roma.  Dal 2004-2005 è risultata vincitrice della selezione, per titoli ed esami, per l'attribuzione di n. 1 assegno per la collaborazione ad attività di ricerca presso l'Istituto di Genetica Medica della Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia "A. Gemelli". Durante gli anni di specializzazione fino ad ora si è occupata di ritardo mentale X-linked ed in particolare di sindrome X fragile, attraverso studi di riattivazione farmacologica del gene FMR1 responsabile di questa sindrome e studi di caratterizzazione epigenetico-molecolare del gene.

Abstract:

Fragile X related-disorders are due to a dynamic mutation of the CGG repeat at the 5’ UTR of the FMR1 gene, coding for the RNA-binding protein FMRP. As the CGG sequence expands from premutation (PM, 56-200 CGGs) to full mutation (>200 CGGs), FMRP synthesis decreases until it is practically abolished in fragile X syndrome (FXS) patients, mainly due to FMR1 methylation. Cells from rare individuals with no intellectual disability and carriers of an unmethylated full mutation (UFM) produce slightly elevated levels of FMR1-mRNA and relatively low levels of FMRP, like in PM carriers. With the aim of clarifying how UFM cells differ from CTRL and FXS cells, a comparative proteomic approach was undertaken, from which emerged an overexpression of SOD2 in UFM cells, also confirmed in PM but not in FXS. The SOD2-mRNA bound to FMRP in UFM more than in the other cell types. The high SOD2 levels in UFM and PM cells correlated with lower levels of superoxide and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), and with morphological anomalies and depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane detected through confocal microscopy. The same effect was observed in CTRL and FXS after treatment with MC2791, causing SOD2 overexpression. These mitochondrial phenotypes reverted after knock-down with siRNA against SOD2-mRNA and FMR1-mRNA in UFM and PM. Overall, these data suggest that mitochondrial degradation, likely through mitophagy, plays a role in neurodegeneration, typically observed in PM and UFM carriers affected by FXTAS and most likely related to the toxic gain-of-function effect of excessive FMR1 transcription.

Speaker 8

Tsvetina Stoyanova

Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, ,Bulgaria

Title: Antitumor potential of molluscan hemocyanin

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Biography:

Tsvetina Stoyanova is a biochemistry master student at the Heidelberg University in Germany. She is currently participating in the Erasmus Plus program by doing a researchinternship and the experimental part of a Master thesis subsequently in Sofia, Bulgaria in Prof. Dr. Dolashka’s group, which has wide experience in the isolation, purification, and characterization of biologically active compounds.

Abstract:

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the antitumor properties and immunological potential of various hemocyanins - oligomeric, copper-containing respiratory proteins dissolved in the hemolymph of many Arthropods and Molluscs. Most of them are glycoproteins with high molecular weight up to 9,000 kDa and complex quaternary structure.The antitumor activity of hemocyanin isoforms isolated from marine and garden snail such as Rapana venosa (RvH), Helix lucorum (HlH), and Helix aspersa (HaH) was investigated against different tumor cell lines MCF-7 (breast cancer, with functional p53), MDA-MB-231 (poorly differentiated), HeLa (human cervical epithelioid carcinoma), A 549 (adenocarcinomic human alveolar basal epithelial cells, p53 positive) and H1299 (human non-small cell lung carcinoma, p53 negative).Fraction of the hemolymph of R. venosa sea snails containing bioactive components with Mw from 50 kDa to100 kDa was found to exhibit the highest antitumor activity against HeLa and A375 cell lines (isolated from a patient with malignant melanoma).From the studies performed, hemocyanins were found to be non-toxic and to cause a slight antiproliferative effect under in vitro conditions. The low toxicity of hemocyanins allows them to be used as pharmaceutical compounds for use in veterinary and human medicine. Current experiments are underway to determine the antitumor activity of the investigated hemocyanins under in vivo conditions on murine tumor models.In conclusion, given the activity of the tested hemocyanins and the absence of toxic activity, it can be said that they are promising candidates with a proven antitumor effect.

Speaker 9
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Biography:

Marwa is an Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Alexandria University, who has made significant contribution in the area of computer-aided drug design and synthesis of new anticancer agents. Her work provides a deeper insight toward targeting c-Met kinase as well as investigating the impact of small molecule DNA binding agents in cancer treatment. 

Abstract:

 Cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide. It is the second most common cause of mortality after cardiovascular diseases with estimated 22 million new cases to rise within the next two decades according to the world health organization (WHO) statistics. Despite the extensive research and rapid progress in cancer treatment, there is still an ever-growing need for selective, efficient and safe therapeutic strategies. Target-based cancer therapy is very significant in cancer treatment. The c-Met (cellular mesenchymal epithelial transition factor) is an important tyrosine kinase that plays a vital role in normal physiological processes. However, its deregulation is associated with many different types of solid tumors. Thus, inhibition of c-Met activity via potent and selective inhibitors offer a therapeutically powerful approach to overcome the developed resistance often encountered with many chemotherapeutic agents, thereby ensuring successful results for treatment of cancer patients. The design of these targeted anticancer agents would be very efficient using the computational-based drug discovery approaches together with the directed medicinal chemistry workspace. Therefore, in continuation of a dedicated program towards finding novel anticancer agents, it is our aim to design and synthesize new anticancer agents to be assessed against cancer cell lines in culture. Furthermore, c-Met kinase assays investigated for these inhibitors revealed promising results. Binding mode analysis of c-Met-ligand complexes using molecular docking studies would be helpful in optimizing the activity, mode of action and specificity of these inhibitors.

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