International Speakers

Professor Iannis Aifantis, M.D., Ph.D.

Widely known for his expertise in the fields of hematopoiesis and acute leukemia, Dr. Aifantis is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Pathology at NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Aifantis attended the University of Crete in Greece, earned his PhD from the University of Paris V, Rene Descartes and completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard University, Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He started his independent career at University of Chicago in 2013 and joined NYU in 2006. Throughout his career; he earned many prestigious honors including the 2010 Vilcek Award for Creative Promise and the 2011 McCulloch & Till Award from the International Society for Hematology and Stem Cell Biology. Moreover, in 2009, he was selected as an Early Career Scientist by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). He is one of the leaders of the fields of hematopoiesis and leukemia, with diverse focus areas that include the study of protein stability, epigenetic regulation and tumor microenvironment. His lab was instrumental in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of initiation and progression of both acute lymphoid and myeloid leukemia.

Professor Stephen M. Ansell, M.D., Ph.D.

Stephen M. Ansell, M.D., Ph.D., is a consultant in the Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Dr. Ansell currently serves as chair of the Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Disease-Oriented Group and chair of faculty development and recruitment for the Division of Hematology. He joined the staff of Mayo Clinic in 1999 and holds the academic rank of Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.
Dr. Ansell earned his M.B., Ch.B., and Ph.D. degrees at University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa, where he also completed an internship in internal medicine and surgery, a residency in internal medicine, and a fellowship in medical oncology. Dr. Ansell continued his education at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg where he earned his DTM&H degree and was a registrar in internal medicine. He further completed a residency in internal medicine and fellowship in hematology/oncology at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Ansell’s research focuses on investigating the phenotype and activity of intratumoral T cells and developing strategies to modulate the T-cell infiltration in areas of B-cell lymphoma. Further areas of research interest include the development of biologic therapies for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia. The current strategies being developed include the use of novel antibodies and cytokines, the use of targeted therapies, and the development of strategies to inhibit signaling through receptors that promote the survival of malignant B cells. The utility of these strategies is being tested in early-phase clinical trials.
Dr. Ansell is frequently invited to give presentations on his research to both national and international audiences, and he consistently publishes in high-impact scientific journals. He is associate editor of the American Journal of Hematology and serves on the Editorial Board for Annals of Lymphoma, Blood, Blood Cancer Journal, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Clinical Lymphoma & Myeloma. He also holds reviewer responsibilities for prominent scientific journals. Dr. Ansell has co-authored more than 330 articles in peer-reviewed journals
In recognition of his work, Dr. Ansell has received awards and honors, including the New Investigator Award, the Teacher of the Year Award in the Hematology Fellowship Program, and the Department of Medicine Research Award for Landmark Contributions to the Literature, all conferred by Mayo Clinic.
In addition to his research activities, Dr. Ansell is active in education and mentoring. He holds full faculty privileges in Biomedical Engineering at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Dr. Ansell serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Leukemia& Lymphoma Society (LLS), the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) and the International Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF).

Professor Dominique Bonnet, Ph.D.

After obtaining a PhD degree in the University of Paris VII in 1992, Dr D Bonnet joined the group of Prof. John Dick’s laboratory in Toronto, Canada for her post-doctoral training there. In 1998, she accepted a position as Group Leader at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, in New Jersey and became Assistant Professor, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. In 2001, she moved to London at the Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute where she became a Group Leader in 2006. Since August 2002, she is also Professor, at the University College of London, division of Biosciences, and a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Child Health. In 2016, her group move to the new Francis Crick Institute. Her group is investigating the molecular program that regulate both human normal and leukemic stem cells and how oncogenic events impede the normal hematopoietic stem cell development both directly and via the stem cell environment.

Professor Margaret Goodell, Ph.D.

Margaret (“Peggy”) Goodell is a Professor and Director of the Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Center at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, Texas. Goodell’s research is focused on the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that regulate hematopoietic stem cells, and how those regulatory mechanisms go awry in hematologic malignancies. Goodell received the Damashek Prize from the American Society of Hematology, was president of ISEH, serves on the Board of Directors for the Keystone Symposia, is an Associate Editor for Blood, serves on the editorial board of Cell Stem Cell, and directs a laboratory of about 15 trainees.

Professor Bruce Levine, Ph.D.

Dr. Bruce Levine, Barbara and Edward Netter Professor in Cancer Gene Therapy, is the Director of the Clinical Cell and Vaccine Production Facility (CVPF) in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. He received a B.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Immunology and Infectious Diseases from the Johns Hopkins University. The CVPF develops and tests novel cell and gene therapies in clinical trials in patients with hematologic malignancies, solid tumors, HIV infection, and genetic disease. First-in-human trials include the first use of a lentiviral vector, the first infusions of zinc finger nuclease genome-modified cells, and the first use of lentivirally-modified cells to treat cancer. Dr. Levine has overseen the production, testing and release of 2700 cellular products administered to >1000 patients in clinical trials since 1996. Through these technologies, personalized and enhanced immunity has been engineered. T lymphocytes from HIV+ subjects have been rendered resistant to HIV infection and reinfused. T lymphocytes from cancer patients have been redirected with chimeric antigen receptors to hunt and destroy their malignancies, an investigational therapy that received the first Breakthrough Designation from the FDA for an academic institution and is currently in commercial development. Dr. Levine is co-inventor on 23 issued US patents and co-author of >125 publications with a Google Scholar citation h-index of 66. He has been interviewed by the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BBC, and other international media outlets.

Professor Charles Mullighan, MBBS, Ph.D.

Charles Mullighan is member in the Department of Pathology and co-Leader of the Hematological Malignancies Program at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His work uses integrative genomic analysis and experimental modeling to identify and characterize genetic drivers of high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. These findings have been translated into multiple new diagnostic and treatment approaches.

He has been awarded the American Society of Hematology William Dameshek prize, and a National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award

Professor Kimberly Stegmaier, M.D., Ph.D.

Kimberly Stegmaier, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the Ted Williams Chair at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), has advanced the application of genomics to drug and protein target discovery for pediatric cancers.  She is the Vice Chair for Pediatric Oncology Research and Co-director of the Pediatric Hematologic Malignancy Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute.

The Stegmaier laboratory develops and integrates chemical and functional genomic approaches to identify new protein targets and small-molecule modulators of malignancy with an eye toward clinical translation. The laboratory has focused on pediatric malignancies notable for the aberrancy of differentiation and/or oncogenic activation of transcription factors: the acute leukemias, neuroblastoma, and Ewing sarcoma. Dr. Stegmaier was elected to the Society for Pediatric Research in 2007, the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2009, and the Association of American Physicians in 2017. She has won numerous awards, including the SPR Young Investigator Award, the Sir William Osler Young Investigator Award from the Interurban Clinical Club, a SU2C Innovative Research Grant, 2016 E. Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics, the A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School and the Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award.

Dr. Stegmaier received her undergraduate degree from Duke University, medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.