Day 1 :
Oklahoma State University, USA
Keynote: Possible role of estrogen receptors in gender susceptibility in the development of chronic infections and liver cancers
Time : 09:35-10:15
Anil Kaul was graduated from Madras Medical College in Medicine, King Georges’ Medical College in Dentistry and in Public Health from University of Minnesota. He currently serves as the Director of High-Complexity Clinical Laboratories and a Faculty at Oklahoma State University-Center for Health Sciences. He has been awarded 6 patents and has published more than 50 scientific papers. He has served as Senior Health Advisor to the US Department of State and received “Expeditionary Service Award”. In 2014, he also received “Lifetime Achievement Award” at Global Health Summit and in 2008 he was named as Sony’s “Scientist of the Year Award”.
Studies have shown that there is a sex bias in the development of chronic infections that might lead to malignant transformation. Host immune responses in women with different levels of hormones such as estrogen have an influence on urinary tract infections. However, at present there is very limited understanding of contribution of hormones such as estrogen or its receptors (ERs) in modulating host-pathogen interaction in infectious disease pathogenesis. We studied estrogen and ER in their modulation of bacterial or viral pathogenesis in the liver. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) related cirrhosis is the prime cause of rising incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Chronic HCV progresses more rapidly in men than women. Predominance of HCV-related HCC in males highlights possible significance of estrogen related etiology in HCC. Role of estrogens and ERs is poorly understood in HCV related HCC pathogenesis. We studied liver tissues including HCV cirrhotic, HCV-related HCC (HCC) and normal donor explant livers for the expression of ERs (ERα and ERβ) at mRNA and protein level. ERα and ERβ co-expressed differentially at mRNA and protein levels in all groups. Sub-cellular distribution of ERα and ERβ protein levels were determined in cytosolic and nuclear fractions of normal, HCV and HCC tissues. Compared to normals, a significant increase in cytosolic levels of ERα was observed in HCV and HCC tissues. However, compared to normals, the nuclear expression of ERα was increased only in HCV and HCC patients. Higher nuclear expression of ERα in HCV and HCC suggests involvement of ERα in HCV associated HCC. Further studies on the role of estrogen and ERs involvement in HCV-related HCC pathogenesis may help us develop novel therapeutic approaches against HCC development.
Replicor Inc., Canada
Keynote: Nucleic acid polymers: Broad spectrum antiviral agents and their development as the backbone of new antiviral therapies for the treatment of chronic HBV and HBV/HDV infection
Time : 10:15-10:55
Andrew Vaillant is the inventor of Replicor’s NAP technology and has more than 15 years of experience in viral biology, antiviral drug development and nucleic acid chemistry. He has authored numerous publications and patents on the development and use of NAPs as agents to treat infectious diseases. He previously held positions at two Montreal-area biotechnology companies. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute and holds a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Ottawa, Canada.
Nucleic acid polymers (NAPs) are an emerging antiviral technology with broad spectrum activity in a variety of enveloped viruses. Through a novel, sequence independent application of oligonucleotide technology, NAPs are able to interfere with entry and post entry mechanisms in many of the viral infections afflicting humans. The pharmacologic features of NAPs, the mechanistic basis for their broad spectrum antiviral activity and their unique antiviral properties in HBV and HDV infection will be discussed as well as their antiviral effects and ability to synergize with immunotherapy to achieve functional control of infection in completed and ongoing clinical trials in patients with chronic HBV infection and HBV/HDV co-infection.