Damian Purcell – Co-convenor
Damian Purcell is Professor of Virology at the University of Melbourne and Theme Leader for viral infectious diseases at the Peter Doherty Institute. After receiving a PhD from the University of Melbourne in 1986 he was a CJ Martin traveling fellow of the NHMRC working with Dr. Malcolm Martin, Chief of the Laboratory for Molecular Microbiology at the NIAID, NIH in Bethesda, MD, USA. He returned to Melbourne’s Burnet Institute in 1995 before moving to the University of Melbourne in a tenured virology teaching and research position in 2001.
His research has predominantly focused on the human retroviruses HIV and HTLV-1. His research on molecular events of HIV and HTLV-1 replication during productive and the latency phase of infection and RNA-mediated control immune responses to viral infection and the that allow HIV and HTLV viruses to persist has led to novel therapeutic approaches and new vaccine candidates, including some of the world’s earliest RNA vaccines. He has developed and patented several vaccine and immunotherapeutic candidates and led pre-clinical studies for human trials. In response to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, he has also led pre-clinical research into the virology of SARS-CoV-2 and development and testing of vaccines.
He was President of the Australasian Virology Society from 2011 – 2015, Executive Committee Member of the Australian Centres for HIV and Hepatitis Virology since 2000, and is the regional Governing Councillor of the International Retrovirology Association since 2017. Co-director of the Global Virus Network’s Australian node, and founding board member of the Australian RNA production consortium.
Fabiola Martin – Co-Convenor
Fabiola is a sexual and reproductive health physician, scientist, medical educator and patient advocate with expertise in HTLV and HIV medicine based in Brisbane. She is a cis-woman and uses the pronouns she and her; she is a feminist and a climate justice activist and lives with her two children in Brisbane. Fabiola completed her MDRes in HTLV-1 associated myelopathy with the supervision of Prof Graham P Taylor and Prof Jonathan Weber at Imperial College London, UK, in 2010. She worked as consultant and senior clinical academic in HIV medicine at University of York and relocated to University of Queensland in 2017. In 2018 Fabiola put her idea of persuading the World Health Organisation to adopt HTLV as a Health Topic into action by leading the international working group on the HTLV WHO Open Letter published in the Lancet. She is the President of International Retrovirology Association and the Sexual Health Association of Queensland. Fabiola is the co-founder of patient website www.HTLVaware.com and the Podcast Editor of British Medical Journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Fabiola is a co-convenor of the 20th International Retrovirology Conference held in May 2022.
John Kaldor – Co-Convenor
John Kaldor is a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and UNSW Scientia Professor. He holds a doctorate in Biostatistics from the University of California. Berkeley, and began his research career at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. For over 30 years he has built and led internationally recognised research programs at UNSW on the epidemiology and prevention of infectious diseases.
His research has covered a wide range of projects, including the development and implementation of public health surveillance systems, investigations of infection-related cancer, cohort and cross-sectional investigations of risk factors for infectious disease transmission, and interventional trials of disease prevention strategies.
Lloyd Einsiedel – Co-Convenor
Dr Lloyd Einsiedel is an infectious diseases physician who has provided a clinical service to central Australia for more than a decade. He has active research interests in Indigenous health with particular reference to interactions between the social determinants of health, health literacy and disease.
Abelardo de Queiroz-Campos Araujo graduated in Medicine from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in 1983. He completed his residency in Neurology at the Institute of Neurology of the same University in 1987. He was a Fellow of the National Hospitals for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square, London, UK, until 1990. He holds a Master’s degree (M.Sc.) in Neuroscience from the Fluminense Federal University and a Ph.D. in Virology from the Oswaldo Cruz Institute. He was a postdoctoral fellow in Retrovirology at the University College Dublin Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID), Ireland. He is currently Senior Researcher at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) and a member of the Laboratory of Clinical Research in Neuroinfections (Lapclin-Neuro) of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Brazil, and Associate Professor of Neurology of the Medical School of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
His main fields of interest are neurological infectious diseases, especially neurological manifestations of HTLV-1/2, neurological diseases associated with HIV, prion diseases, myelitis, meningitis, and encephalitis.
Dr. Araujo is a Fellow of the Brazilian Medical Council, Brazilian Academy of Neurology, and the American Academy of Neurology.
Charles Bangham qualified in medical sciences at the University of Cambridge and in clinical medicine at the University of Oxford, and worked as a physician in hospital medicine for three years. He then carried out a PhD (1987) on the immune response to respiratory syncytial virus at the Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research (London) and the University of Oxford. In 1995 he was appointed to the Chair of Immunology in Imperial College London, and from 2013 to 2019 Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine. He is founder and Co-Director of the interdisciplinary Institute of Infection in Imperial College. Since 1987 he has conducted research on the immunology and virology of persistent viral infections, especially the human retrovirus HTLV-1. Charles is a Wellcome Trust Investigator and a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. He has chaired many national and international grant review panels. He was awarded the BMC Retrovirology Prize 2007, the International Retrovirology Association Basic Science Prize, 2015, and the David Derse Memorial Award from the National Cancer Institute, USA, in 2018. He is a Visiting Professor, Kyoto University, Japan. In 2019 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Since being diagnosed with HTLV in 2010, Kristy has worked with healthcare professionals and policy makers in the UK and other countries as a patient representative. She has spoken at conferences in Italy, Martinique, Romania and Peru and was a delegate at the World Health Organization meeting in Tokyo, Japan in 2019. She is passionate about ensuring the patient voice is heard and patient needs are acknowledged.
Lucy is a consultant haematologist specialising in lymphoma, with a specific clinical and research interest in adult T-cell lymphoma. She undertook clinical training in haematology in London hospitals (Hammersmith Hospital, University College and Royal Free hospitals) and a PhD at Imperial College London supervised by Charles Bangham in the field of HTLV-1 and ATLL. Since returning to clinical medicine Lucy leads a national UK clinical service for ATLL working closely with with Graham Taylor and has a translational research interest is in identifying high risk HTLV carriers at risk of future ATL. Look forward to meeting you at the congress!
Joanna Curteis is a patient representative advocating for those living with HTLV-1. Since her diagnosis in 2019, she has been committed to shining a light on this hidden virus. She is a member of the ASHM HTLV-1 Working Group and was co-chair of the HTLV-1 session of the 2020 Joint Australasian HIV&AIDS and Sexual Health Conferences.
Helene Dutartre obtained a PhD in 1997 and a permanent senior scientist position at INSERM in 2005. She first worked on HIV and HCV using immunology, biochemical and structural approaches to understansd how chronic infections escape from immune responses and to elaborate new antiviral drugs or therapeutic vaccines. She joined Pr Renaud Mahieux’ lab in 2012, at the Center of International Research in infectiology in Lyon (CIRI), with a focus on HTLV-1 interactions with innate immune cells. Using human primary innate cells, her projects investigate the mechanisms of HTLV-1 transmission, the cellular and viral mechanisms leading to innate dysfunctions, the immune cross-talk of HTLV-1 -exposed innate cells with T-cells, and the innate immune responses in cohorts of HAM/TSP patients and of ATLL patients. Since 2021, she co-leads the Retroviral Oncogenesis lab with Dr Journo.
Pr Antoine Gessain (MD, PhD) is a French medical virologist who studied in Paris and at NIH/USA. He is now Chief of Epidemiology and Physiopathology of Oncogenic Viruses unit at the Institut Pasteur, Paris. His scientific achievements concern mostly the clinical, epidemiological and genetic variability features of HTLV-1 and HTLV-3 and their simian counterparts (STLV-1/STLV-3).
Cynthia Masison, Ph.D., is a Senior Associate Scientist in the Office of Scientific Programs, Center for Cancer Research (CCR), National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Masison studied HTLV-1 transcriptional regulation in Dr. John Brady’s laboratory, first as a postdoctoral fellow and then staff scientist. In 2009, she joined Dr. Genoveffa Franchini’s laboratory. Dr. Masison’s research focuses on virological, immunological, and molecular mechanisms associated with HTLV-1 induced diseases. Recent studies integrate gene expression profiling, signal transduction and animal model systems to determine key pathways in viral persistence, dissemination, and pathogenesis. She is the North American Representative on the International Retrovirology Association Board.
Masao Matsuoka, MD, PhD is a physician/scientist and oncologist who received his medical and doctorate degrees from Kumamoto University School of Medicine in Japan. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. Following his postdoc, Dr. Matsuoka returned to Japan where he became Professor and eventually Director of the Institute for Virus Research at Kyoto University. He currently serves as Professor in the Department of Hematology, Rheumatology and Infectious Diseases at Kumamoto University.
Marzia Puccioi Sohler is associate professor at the School of Medicine and Surgery, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), professor of post-graduation in Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. Graduated in Medicine in the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói, Rio de Janeito, Brazil. Medical residence in internal medicine and neurology in the UFRJ. Master Science in neurology in the UFF. PhD in Georg August Universitaet, Goettingen, Germany and Pos-PhD research in the National Institues of Heath, Bethesda, USA. Membership: Brazilian Academy of Neurology and International Retrovirology Association. Research interests: tropical neurology and cerebrospinal fluid.
Research Associate at Imperial College London.
Graduate in Veterinary Medicine, Universidade Estácio, Brazil. Master in Parasitary Biology, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ) and PhD in Infectious Diseases, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. She joined Prof. Graham Taylor’s group at Imperial College London in 2017 and is currently Junior representative on the International Retrovirology Association board.
She is a member of the HTLV technical committee of the Brazilian Health Ministry, and co-founder of HTLV Channel, a social media platform that aims to increase awareness about HTLV infection, to support patients and to foster research collaboration, mainly in Latin America.
Prof. Graham P Taylor
Head of Section of Virology, Department of Infectious Disease, Imperial College London.
Qualified MB ChB, University of Birmingham, England 1981. Trained in General Internal Medicine in England and Old South Wales before appointment as Chief Medical Officer (Medicine), Solomon Islands 1988. Joined St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School 1992, co-founded a HTLV-1 research clinic which in 2004 evolved into the National Centre for Human Retrovirology, a centrally funded, multi-site, national HTLV clinical service. Leads a retroviruses translational research group focusing on diagnostics and therapy.
Past Secretary 2001 – 2005 and President 2005 – 2009 of the International Retrovirology Association. Co-founder and honorary secretary of the HTLV European Research Network (1993 – present).
Anne Van den Broeke
Anne Van den Broeke (DVM, PhD) is head of the Viral carcinogenesis research group at the Jules Bordet Cancer Institute (ULB) in Brussels, Belgium. Her main focus is on retrovirus-induced leukemia in human (HTLV-1, ATL) and its corresponding animal models (BLV, cattle and sheep). Since 2012 she is also team leader in the Animal Genomics Unit of the GIGA Research institute (Liège, Belgium) where she joined forces with genomics and bioinformatics experts, switching her main focus to the application of NGS technologies to study BLV/HTLV-1 genomics. She is holding a Visiting Professorship at the VIDO-Intervac Institute of the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, dedicated to outbred/domestic animal models of cancer. From March to July 2020 she embarked in the COVID-19 federal task-force as a partner lab team-leader, training volunteers to increase the testing capacity during first lockdown.
Johan Van Weyehbergh
Luc Willems is Research Director of the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) and professor of molecular biology at the University of Liège. He is permanent member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium. He is interested in the mechanisms of cancer induced by environmental factors (oncoviruses and asbestos). Research topics include basic and translational research of BLV and HTLV. He previously organized the European (HERN, Brugge, 2008) and the 15th International Conference on Human Retroviruses (Leuven-Gembloux, 2011). He acted for many years as secretary of the International Retrovirology Association
I received M.D. in 1993 and Ph.D. in 1997 from Kagoshima University, where began researching on HTLV-1 and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/Tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). In 2003, I completed postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Health, USA. I am currently the Professor of Division of Neurology, Department of Internal Medicine, and Director of Department of Rare Diseases Research at St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Japan.