Ali El-Lebedy, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor,

Department of Pathology and Immunology,

School of Medicine, Washington University, St. Louis, MO


Ali Ellebedy graduated with a B.S. in pharmaceutical sciences from Cairo University, Egypt in 2004. After spending two years teaching basic microbiology and immunology laboratory classes in Cairo University, Ali’s interest in studying immunology took him to the US in 2006. He earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of Tennessee/St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. In 2011, he joined the laboratory of Rafi Ahmed at Emory University as a postdoctoral fellow to study human memory B cell responses to viral infections and vaccinations. Currently, Ali is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at Washington University in St. Louis. His laboratory studies the dynamics and heterogeneity of human memory B cell responses to influenza virus infection and vaccination. 












Alain Lamarre, Ph. D.

Professor and Head of the Immunovirology Laboratory

Jeanne and J.-Louis Lévesque Research Chair

in Immunovirology

INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier

Laval, QC


Dr. Lamarre is Professor and Head of the Immunovirology Laboratory at the INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier where he holds the Jeanne and J.-Louis Lévesque Research Chair in Immunovirology. He is also a past recipient of a CIHR New Investigator award (2003-08). The main interest of his laboratory is to investigate the mechanisms that influence the establishment of viral persistence. His group is particularly interested in studying the immunopathological consequences of chronic viral infection on the humoral immune response. Another major focus of his laboratory is to develop innovative virus-based vaccines and immunotherapies against chronic viral infections and cancer. He has been active in the organization of congresses (16th International Congress of Virology, IUMS 2014, Laval Biotech City Symposium, 5th annual Immunology Montreal Symposium). He is a member on review panels for various funding agencies, such as CIHR, CFI, FRQ-S, Terry Fox Research Institute, and NSERC. He is also on the editorial board of Frontiers in Immunology. 












Hugo Soudeyns, Ph. D.

Professor and Director, Unité d’immunopathologie virale

Centre de recherche du CHU Sainte-Justine,

Departments of Microbiology, Infectiology & Immunology and Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC


Dr. Hugo Soudeyns obtained his Ph.D. from McGill University in 1997, where he studied under the supervision of Dr. Mark A. Wainberg and Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sékaly. He completed additional training with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci at the National Institutes of Health (1994-1995) and with Dr. Giuseppe Pantaleo at the University of Lausanne (1996-1999). In 2000, Dr. Soudeyns was recruited at the Research Center of Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine in Montreal, where he leads a team of investigators whose work is focussed on mother-to-child transmission of viral pathogens, including HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus. In 2012, Dr. Soudeyns was appointed as  Full Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology, Infectiology & Immunology at the Faculty of Medicine of Université de Montréal, with a cross appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. He is heavily involved in the development of multidisciplinary training programs in microbiology and in the mentorship of young investigators. With broad interests in the study of the genesis, dynamics, and reconstitution of antiviral immune responses, Dr. Soudeyns leads a large pan Canadian study on early treatment and long-term remission in HIV-infected children and adolescents that is currently funded by CIHR, CANFAR, and the IAS. 











Patrick Wilson, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Medicine / Rheumatology
Knapp Center for Lupus and Immunology Research
Committee on Immunology
The University of Chicago
, Chicago, IL


Dr. Wilson is a Professor in the Department of Medicine / Section of Rheumatology at the University of Chicago. He obtained his doctorate degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center under the mentorship of J. Donald Capra and Virginia Pascual where he studied B cell receptor diversification and selection. His postdoc training was in the laboratory of Michel Nussenzweig at the Rockefeller University where he co-developed expression-cloning technology to characterize single-cell B cell specificity. His own laboratory is centered on the study of B cell biology with an emphasis on B cell responses to influenza and other infectious diseases, B cell receptor diversification, and B cell tolerance. 











Arash Grakoui, Ph. D.

Associate Professor,

Emory University School of Medicine

Atlanta, GA





Dr. Arash Grakoui is an Associate Professor jointly appointed in the departments of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease and Core Scientist at the Yerkes National Primate Research Facility Division of Microbiology and Immunology at Emory University.  He also serves as a Member for the Emory Vaccine Center and affiliated with the Immunology and Microbiology Program. 

Dr. Grakoui earned his PhD in immunology at Washington University in St. Louis where he published seminal work defining the “immunological synapse” in T cell activation (Science, 1999).  He went on to study HCV immunology as a Cancer Research Institute postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University in New York where, together with Charlie Rice, Chris Walker and Naglaa Shoukry, defined the role of T cell subsets in HCV infection resolution (Science, 2003). He has established a multi-faceted research program encompassing basic HCV molecular virology, in vitro and in vivo model systems of HCV pathogenesis and human ex vivo HCV immunology. 

Dr. Grakoui serves on multiple NIH study sections, is a peer-reviewer for numerous journals and serves on the editorial board for Hepatology. 











Naglaa Shoukry, B.Pharm, Ph. D.

Professor, Department of Medicine, Université de Montréal and CRCHUM, Montréal, QC

Director, Canadian Network on Hepatitis C






Dr. Shoukry obtained her Pharmacy degree from Cairo University (1991) and Ph.D. in Immunology from McGill University (2000).  Her postdoctoral research has established the essential and complementary roles of CD8 and CD4 T lymphocytes in resolution and protection from HCV infection.  Since joining the Université de Montréal and CRCHUM in 2005, she has established a translational research program focused on studying immunity to HCV in a unique cohort of people who inject drugs in collaboration with Dr. Julie Bruneau. Recently, her research has expanded to studying immunological mechanisms of liver fibrosis progression and development of liver cancer. She has published over 60 articles in high impact journals related to liver immunology and has received multiple awards from the American Liver Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS).  In June 2014, she was selected to lead the application for the Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC) that was funded in 2015 for $4.5 million to establish a pipeline from research to implementation and to improve the lives of Canadians living with hepatitis C.










Harry Janssen, MD, Ph. D.

Professor of Medicine and Francis Family Chair

in Hepatology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Director, Toronto Centre for Liver Disease


Harry Janssen is Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he holds the Francis Family Chair in Hepatology. He is also Director of the Toronto Centre for Liver Disease in Ontario.

Prof Janssen graduated from medical school in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. During his study, he spent a year as a research fellow in hepatology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. He obtained his PhD in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on the role of immune modulating therapy in chronic hepatitis B. Following his training as a gastroenterologist at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, he returned to the Mayo Clinic for a research fellowship in hepatology at the Center of Basic Research in Digestive Diseases.

Prof Janssen has coordinated numerous European and global multicenter studies on antiviral treatment for chronic viral hepatitis. He has been an editorial board member of Hepatology, Journal of Hepatology, and Best Practice in Gastroenterology. Prof Janssen has published more than 400 original peer-reviewed papers and many book chapters. In addition to his longstanding expertise in antiviral therapy of chronic viral hepatitis, he is a leading scientist in the field of vascular disorders of the liver. 











Robert Thimme, MD

Professor of Hepatology

Medical Director, Medical Center, University of Freiburg

Department of Medicine II


Professor Dr. Robert Thimme is the Director of the Department of Medicine II (Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Endocrinology and Infectious Diseases). His research focus lies on the immune responses in hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection as well as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). His main focuses are the immunological determinants of viral clearance and persistence with a special focus on CD8+ T cells. His work is supported by grants from the DFG, BMBF, several foundations and the EU. He has published more than a hundred papers on the tissue of immunobiology of HBV, HCV and HCC and is or has been in the editorial boards of several journals, such as Journal of Clinical Investigation, Gastroenterology, GUT, Journal of Hepatology, Journal of Virology or Journal of Infectious Diseases.