Plenary Speakers

Dirk Trauner, NYU, United States

Dirk Trauner was born and raised in Linz, Austria, studied biology and chemistry in Vienna, Frankfurt, and Berlin, and pursued a Ph.D. in chemistry under the direction of Johann Mulzer. After a postdoctoral stint with Samuel J. Danishefsky, be became an Associate Professor at UC Berkeley and then a Professor at the Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich. In 2017, he moved to New York University. He has been awarded the 2016 Emil Fischer Medal and the 2016 Otto Bayer Award and is am Member of the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina, a Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Henry W. Lim, Henry Ford Hospital, USA

HENRY W. LIM is the Chair Emeritus of the Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Hospital, and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan, USA.  He received his M.D. (cum laude) from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA, and completed his dermatology residency at New York University School of Medicine.   Dr. Lim has served as president of American Society for Photobiology, International Union of Photobiology, American Academy of Dermatology, American Board of Dermatology, American Dermatological Association, and National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.  He has been recognized with the Fred W. Whitehouse, MD, Distinguish Career Award of the Henry Ford Medical Group, European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology International Scientific Achievement Award, International League of Dermatological Societies Certificate of Appreciation for International Leadership, Finsen Medal from the International Union of Photobiology, and Alumni Achievement Award for Distinguished Service to American Medicine, College of Medicine, SUNY Downstate.   He has published more than 400 articles, edited 7 textbooks, and served on editorial boards of several journals .   He is a recognized world authority on photodermatology.

Lesley Rhodes (Edna Roe Lecture),
University of Manchester and Salford Royal Hospital, UK

Lesley E. Rhodes is Professor of Experimental Dermatology, Director of the Photobiology Unit and Honorary Consultant Dermatologist at the University of Manchester and Salford Royal Hospital, Manchester, UK. She is Leader of the Photodermatoses Research Programme, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre, Manchester. Her human photobiology laboratory examines the health benefits and hazards of the interaction of non-ionising radiation with skin, particularly sunburn inflammation, the photodermatoses and vitamin D synthesis, and develops photoprotective measures including dietary and hormonal (αMSH analogue) agents. Lesley has coauthored reports on solar UVR and human health including those of the United Nations Environmental Effects Panel, Public Health England Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation, and the European Dermatology Forum. She fosters interdisciplinary research including as Past-President of the ESP and longstanding member of the ESP and ASP.

Janet Bornman (Finsen Medal), Murdoch University, Western Australia

Professor Janet F. Bornman is Director of Climate-Resilient Agriculture Research, Education and Training at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia. Janet is an environmental photobiologist with an extensive knowledge of plant photobiology and the interplay of climate change, UV radiation, and stratospheric ozone dynamics, and how these relate back to food security and a sustainable environment in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Research achievements have included work on the measurement and effects of UV radiation on plant systems using fibre optic microprobes, spearheaded by Prof. Tom Vogelmann, University of Vermont, USA, while at the University of Lund, Sweden. This technique allowed for the relative amounts and spatial distribution of radiation inside living plant tissue to be determined, and was correlated to biochemical and physiological outcomes to reflect plant response to environmental constraints. Current interests also include the wider aspects of environmental effects on humans and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems through assessments carried out for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) since 1991 to date. Janet is Co-Chair of the UNEP Environmental Effects Assessment Panel, which is responsible for these evaluations. She is a previous President of the European Society for Photobiology (ESP), and a past Editor-in-Chief of the Society’s journal, Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences. Janet has received a number of awards including one ‘in appreciation of valuable contribution towards the protection of the ozone layer, at the occasion of the 30thAnniversary of the Montreal Protocol’ (2017); and the Ozone Layer Protection Award for ‘Scientific expertise and leadership in protecting the ozone layer’ (2009). She also received the ESP medal ‘For outstanding internationally acknowledged contribution in the field of Photobiology and generous dedication to the ESP’ (2007), and the Edna Roe Lecturer award ‘for accomplishments in the photosciences’ (2004).

Matteo Grattieri, University of Utah, USA

ESP Young Investigator Award

Matteo Grattieri was born in Bergamo, Italy, and studied chemistry in Milano and Valencia. He then pursued a Ph.D. in industrial chemistry and chemical engineering at Politecnico di Milano under the guidance of Stefano Trasatti, Pierangela Cristiani, and Massimiliano Bestetti. During the Ph.D. studies he was visiting researcher at the University of New Mexico in the group of Plamen Atanassov, and at the University of Buenos Aires in the group of Ernesto Calvo. In 2016 he joined the group of Shelley D. Minteer as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Utah. He was awarded with the 2018 Electrochimica Acta Travel Award for Young Electrochemists from the International Society of Electrochemistry.

Sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Pilar Acedo, University College London, UK
ESP Young Investigator Award

Pilar obtained her BSc in Biology by the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain) in 2008. Some months later, she started her PhD in Genetics and Cell Biology in the same University under the supervision of Prof Ángeles Villanueva, having her PhD dissertation in March 2014. During her PhD, focused on new strategies to enhance the efficacy of Photodynamic Therapy, she was visiting researcher at the University of Padua (Prof Giulio Jori’s team), at Harvard Medical School (Prof Tayyaba Hasan’s group) and at the Institut Químic of Sarrià (Prof Santi Nonell’s group). Pilar performed a first Postdoc at the Karolinska Institute (Sweden) and she moved to London in October 2015 thanks to a Ramón Areces Foundation Postdoctoral fellowship and the Peter Samuel Royal Free Trust Fund. Pilar is currently working at the University College London Institute for Liver and Digestive Health (UK), as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the team lead by Prof Stephen Pereira. Her research focuses on developing novel light-based combination therapies to treat gastrointestinal cancers. In 2017, she was awarded the IPA Early Investigator Award. Her research interests include personalised medicine, cancer stem cells, nanotechnology and early diagnosis.

Sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Scott Byrne, (Finsen Lecture), The University of Sydney, Australia

Scott Byrne is an Associate Professor based at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research. He is also President of the Molecular and Experimental Pathology Society of Australasia and has been an active member of the European Society of Photobiology since 2001. Under the expert supervision of Gary Halliday, Scott was awarded his PhD in 2002. During this time, he discovered that both UVB and UVA modulate the immune response. He also discovered that UV suppresses immunity via activation of regulatory B cells. While training under renowned photoimmunologist Stephen Ullrich at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Scott discovered that UV activates the CXCL12 chemokine pathway and that this drives mast cells to migrate from the skin to draining lymph nodes where they mediate UV-immunosuppression. He also discovered that PAF and serotonin receptor signalling is required for UV-activation of regulatory B cells. Upon his return to Australia, Scott was awarded a prestigious Cancer Institute NSW fellowship which enabled him set up the Cellular Photoimmunology Group and design an innovative method of delivering the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 to block UV-immunosuppression and carcinogenesis. Other contributions to photoimmunology include his discovery that activation of the alternative complement pathway and upregulation of IL-33 in the skin are key mechanisms driving UV-immunosuppression. More recently, Scott and his team have revealed that UV-activation of regulatory B cells not only drives skin carcinogenesis, but is responsible for UV protection from autoimmune diseases that target the central nervous system. In recognition of his contributions to photoimmunology, Scott has been the recipient of a number of prestigious research awards including a NSW Young Tall Poppy Science award (2009), The European Society for Photobiology Young Investigator Award (2011), The Asia & Oceania Society for Photobiology Award for Young Scientists (2015), and The University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Research & Teaching (2016).

Seok-Hyun Andy Yun - Harvard Medical School and MGH, United States

S. H. Andy Yun received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from KAIST in South Korea. His dissertation research in the field of fiber optics led to a venture-funded startup in San Jose, CA, where he was a co-founding member and manager. He joined the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 2003, and is currently a full Professor, Patricia and Scott Eston MGH Research Scholar, and the Director of the Harvard-MIT Summer Institute for Biomedical Optics. Dr. Yun's research has centered on the integration of light and life sciences. His work contributed to the emergence of frequency-domain optical coherence tomography and led to the invention of biological lasers and novel laser-emitting probes for multiplex imaging and assays. His research also contributed to the development of Brillouin microscopy and biomaterial-based optical devices. He is a recipient of the 2016 NIH Director's Pioneer Award.

Silvia Braslavsky (Finsen Medal) - Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Germany

Silvia Elsa Braslavsky was born in Buenos Aires (Bs. As.), Argentina, finished her Licenciatura in Chemistry in 1964 at the College of Exact and Natural Sciences in the Universidad de Bs. As. and started her PhD work with Eduardo Lissi in the same College. In October 1966, after the military coup and the “Night of the Long Sticks”, she left with Lissi´s research group to Santiago, Chile, where she finished her PhD work in 1968. After a post-doctoral stay at Penn State University (PSU, USA), in 1972 she became regular Associate Professor in the newly created Universidad de Rio Cuarto (Argentina). Due to political turmoils she left again the Country in 1975 together with her two small daughters. After a short stay at PSU and a year at University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada), in 1976 she followed a call to the Division of Photochemistry directed by Kurt Schaffner in the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Radiation Chemistry, where she developed a research program on the molecular basis of light action in biological photosensors, in particular plant phytochrome and its chromophore (open-chain tetrapyrrol) and later on also on retinal proteins. In her group and strongly collaborating with other groups in the Institute, she applied light emission methods, nanosecond flash photolysis and, prominently, time-resolved photothermal methods to the study of biological photoreceptors, including photosynthetic units, various photosensors and chromophores models thereof. Since the recovery of Democracy in Argentina in 1983 she has been very active in cooperation programs and collaborations with Argentina and received in Germany over the years several Argentinian post-docs who developed their own careers upon return to their Country. Since 1984 she has been active in the IUPAC Commission on Photochemistry as a member, its Secretary and its Chair and has headed the IUPAC Sub-Committee on Photochemistry from 2000 to 2017. She has contributed to the elaboration of several IUPAC documents and recommendations such as the Technical Reports on Chemical Actinometers (1989 and 2004), the Glossary of Terms used in Photochemistry (2007), the Glossary of Terms used in Photocatalysis and Radiocatalysis. Since her retirement from the MPI in 2007 she has taught a Course on Biological Photoreceptors in several Countries. Since 2010 she has been in the panel of the Network of Argentinian Scientists in Germany. She received in 2011 the Raíces Prize of the Argentinian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovative Production (MINCyT) for her cooperation activities. Among other recognitions are from the American Society of Photobiology in 1998, from the German Chemical Society together with the Real Sociedad Española de Química the Elhuyar-Goldschmidt Prize in 2004, and from the European Society of Photobiology in 2017. She holds Doctor honoris causa degrees from the Universidad Ramon Llull in Barcelona (2008) and the Universidad de Bs. As. (2016). She organized and chaired the 2000 IUPAC Symposium on Photochemistry in Dresden and the 2014 International Congress on Photobiology in Córdoba, Argentina. The European Photochemistry Association (EPA) distinguished Silvia in 2019 with the newly created “Award Service to the Photochemical Community”. Silvia lives in Germany, spends several months each year in South America, is a proud mother of two daughters, one of them Professor of Sociology at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and the other an Industrial Scientist in Frankfurt. Silvia feels very happy reading, cooking, hiking, swimming and spending time with her four grandchildren.

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