"Stem Cell & Gene Therapies for Skeletal Muscle: New Era, New Opportunities" 8th - 9th May 2018 Homerton College

Professor Peter Zammit

King's College London

Professor Zammit completed a PhD in muscle regeneration at King’s College London, before working on gene regulation and heart development with Professor Margaret Buckingham at the Pasteur Institute (Paris). Next, he worked with Professor Terry Partridge investigating muscle stem cells at Imperial College London, before starting his own group at King’s College London in 2005.

His core research is directed at understanding how muscle stem cells are regulated in healthy, aged and diseased skeletal muscle. Current research includes investigating the contribution of stem cell dysfunction to disease progression in Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy and Fascioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, together with developing potential therapies.He also has an interest in rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that exhibits myogenic traits.

Professor Jennifer Morgan

University College London

Jennifer Morgan is a Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity Professor of Cell Biology in the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre, Molecular Neurosciences Section, Developmental Neurosciences Programme, University College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. She is a member of the muscular dystrophy exon skipping (MDEX) consortium where she is involved in the analysis of dystrophin exon skipping and dystrophin protein production in cells and muscles of patients treated with antisense oligonucleotides in clinical trials.  She is also a PI of the MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases, a partnership between the UCL Institutes of Neurology and Child Health and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, directed by Professor Michael Hanna at the UCL Institute of Neurology. The aim of the centre is to perform multidisciplinary translational research in neuromuscular diseases in order to reduce the gap between major science discoveries and patient benefit.

She graduated from King’s College London with a BSc in zoology and did her PhD in pathology at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, under the supervision of Professor Terry Partridge.  After postdoctoral appointments at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School and at the Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College London, she joined The Dubowitz Neuromuscular Group, at Imperial College, London, as a Senior Lecturer before moving to University College London Institute of Child Health as a Reader in 2008 and Chair in 2013. The main areas of her research are the identification of stem cells that contribute to skeletal muscle regeneration, and the genetic and functional manipulation of these cell populations to enhance muscle repair in skeletal muscle regenerative medicine and in the treatment of muscular dystrophies.

Professor Steve Harridge

King’s College London

Steve Harridge has been Professor of Human & Applied Physiology at King’s since 2005. He is Director of the Centre of Human and Aerospace Physiological Sciences (CHAPS) and Head (acting) of the Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology. He has a multidisciplinary research interest in human skeletal muscle function and plasticity, with particular regard to ageing.

He obtained his PhD at the University of Birmingham and then undertook post-doctoral work with Professor Bengt Saltin at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm and at the Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre, Denmark. He then moved to a Lectureship position in the University Department of Geriatric Medicine at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine and subsequently to the Department of Physiology at University College London where he held Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship and Senior Lectureship positions.

He is currently Editor in Chief of the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports.

Dr Francesco Saverio Tedesco

University College London

Dr Francesco Saverio Tedesco graduated in Medicine and Surgery with honours in 2006 at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (Italy). During and after medical school he was a visiting scientist at the Institut Pasteur (Paris, France) in the laboratory of Professor Shahragim Tajbakhsh, where he studied asymmetric cell division and stem cell self-renewal. He then continued his studies in the laboratory of Professor Giulio Cossu at San Raffaele Scientific Institute (Milan, Italy), where he obtained his PhD in 2010. During his PhD he started a collaboration that launched novel research lines in the aforementioned laboratory, resulting in a publication in a field not previously explored by my supervisor: human artificial chromosomes (HACs; Tedesco FS et al., Sci Transl Med 2011; commentary: Tremblay JP and Frederickson RM, Mol Ther 2011). After my PhD Dr Tedesco coupled post-doctoral research in muscle regeneration with clinical practice and training between Italy (San Raffaele Hospital, Milan) and UK (UCL and UCL Hospitals). During this period he led a team of one research assistant and two MSc students to consolidate the research projects developed during his PhD. Additionally, Dr Tedesco started to work on a another research line not previously explored by his supervisor: pluripotent stem cell-derived myogenesis (Tedesco FS et al., Sci Transl Med 2012; commentary: Vilquin JT, Mol Ther 2012). Moreover, he also became a co-investigator in a first-in-human clinical trial based upon transplantation of donor muscle stem cells for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (EudraCT no. 2001-000176-33).
Dr Francesco Saverio Tedesco joined UCL Department of Cell and Developmental Biology in January 2012 as a Senior Research Associate, funded by an MRC Translational Stem Cell Grant on which he was Co-Investigator. In August 2013 he was then appointed Principal Research Associate (starting April 2014) and he established his independent research group.

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