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Dietmar Vestweber studied biochemistry at the Universities of Tübingen and Munich and at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried. He received his PhD from the University of Tübingen in 1985 for his research conducted at the Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology.
For his post-doctoral studies, he went to the Biocenter of the University of Basel where he received his habilitation in 1990. In the same year he started as head of a research group at the Max-Planck Institute of Immunobiology in Freiburg and assumed in 1994 a professorship for Cell Biology at the medical school of the University of Münster.
In 1999 he assumed the position of director at the Max-Planck-Institute of physiological and clinical research, which he held until 2001, when he became the director of the newly founded Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster.
W. Daniel Stamer, Ph.D. currently serves as the Joseph A.C. Wadsworth Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. Professor Stamer was educated at the University of Arizona, earning his bachelors of science in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 1990 and doctorate in Pharmacology and Toxicology in 1996. He completed two research fellowships: the first with Dr. Andrea Yool in electrophysiology and the second with Dr. David Epstein in glaucoma/cell biology. Professor Stamer started his research program in 1998 at the University of Arizona, where he remained for 14 years, rising through the ranks to full Professor and Director of Ophthalmic Research. He joined the faculty at the Duke Eye Center 6 years ago. Notable recent accomplishments include the Rudin Prize for Glaucoma in 2012, the Research to Prevent Blindness Senior Scientific Investigator Award in 2013 and election as ARVO trustee in 2015. He currently holds prominent editorial positions in three premier ophthalmology journals: as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, member of editorial board Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science and executive editor of Experimental Eye Research.
The primary research focus of the Stamer laboratory is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate conventional outflow such that novel targets can be identified, validated and used for the development of therapeutics that target/modify the diseased tissue responsible for elevated intraocular pressure in glaucoma. Professor Stamer has been working in the area of glaucoma research for the past 25 years, pioneering cellular, tissue, organ culture and murine model systems for use by his laboratory and others to study conventional outflow physiology and pharmacology. His laboratory has worked closely with industry, assisting in the development/pre-clinical testing of several new classes of glaucoma drugs that target the diseased conventional outflow pathway responsible for ocular hypertension.
Research progress by the Stamer laboratory group is documented in over 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts and two dozen reviews/book chapters/editorials.
Michael T. Lotze, MD, is Professor of Surgery, Immunology, and Bioengineering; Vice Chair of Research within the Department of Surgery; Director of the DAMP Laboratories at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. His research work includes modern immunotherapy and gene therapy, dendritic cell and cytokine therapies, and investigation of the role of mitochondria, metabolism, and unscheduled cell death in cancer. Dr. Lotze has worked in the field of immunology and clinical medicine for over 30 years and has had the opportunity to personally review and advance the work of individuals proposing to develop translational research, particularly within cancer. Dr. Lotze is a clinician scientist who has spent the last decade assembling a team to work on the extraordinary problem of pancreatic cancer. With Herbert J. Zeh, MD, a premier pancreatic surgeon and scientist and Daolin Tang, MD, PhD, a creative and energetic molecular biologist, he created the Center for Damage Associated Molecular Pattern Molecule (DAMP) Biology within the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Dr. Lotze is the co-inventor of 10 patents in dendritic cell vaccines and antigen discovery and serves as associate editor of the Journal of Immunotherapy. He is also an award-winning NCI-trained scientist (1978-1990), the inaugural Director of Surgical Oncology at Pitt (1990-2000), former Vice President of Research at GlaxoSmithKline (2001), founding director of the UPCI Academy, former Chief Scientific Officer at Lion/Iovance Biotherapeutics and innovative educator as a prolific scientist/tumor immunologist with over 500 publications and several books.