Session 1 : Metabolic Deregulation and Cellular Signaling

Almut Schulze

(University of Wuerzburg, Würzburg, GE)


Almut Schulze lab's has been trying to understand how metabolic reprogramming contributes to cancer cell survival and to identify selective metabolic sensitivities in cancer cells. She focused her work on lipid metabolism and tumor microenvironment. Her team have previously shown that SREBPs are activated downstream of the Akt/mTORC1 signalling axis, one of the most important oncogenic pathways in cancer. They have also shown that fatty acid biosynthesis and modification is essential for cancer cell growth and to prevent the activation of cellular stress response pathways that limit tumor expansion. More recently she has shown here that p53-deficient colon cancer cells exposed to tumor-like metabolic stress in spheroid culture activated the mevalonate pathway to promote the synthesis of ubiquinone.

Olivier Maddocks

(University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)


Oliver D. K. Maddocks is a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Research Fellow and Group Leader at The University of Glasgow Institute of Cancer Sciences. Dr. Maddocks received a Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree from Cardiff University in 2003, and subsequently completed clinical training in the NHS. After a brief period as a clinical pharmacist Dr. Maddocks undertook a PhD at The University of Edinburgh Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, investigating to role of pathogenic bacteria in colorectal cancer carcinogenesis. In 2008 Dr. Maddocks was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to undertake a post-doctoral position at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA. On returning to the UK in 2010 Dr. Maddocks joined the lab of Prof. Karen Vousden as a post-doc at the CRUK Beatson Institute, working on cancer metabolism.  In 2015 Dr. Maddocks was awarded a CRUK Career Development Fellowship to start his own cancer metabolism lab at the University of Glasgow. Dr. Maddocks was recipient of the 2016 British Association for Cancer Research AstraZeneca/Frank Rose Young Scientist Prize for his contribution to cancer research.

Sophie Vasseur

(Marseille Cancer Research Center , Marseille, FR)


Sophie Vasseur, Research Director (DR2), obtained her PhD in Cell Biology and Microbiology at the University of Marseille in 1999 and got a position as a junior scientist at INSERM in 2002. Until 2002 she studied the role of p8, a protein involved in the stress response of pancreatic acinar cells in condition of acute pancreatitis. From 2004 to 2007 she joined Dr. T.W. Mak’s laboratory at the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research (Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto, Canada) where she studied the contribution of DJ1 in cancer cells’ response to hypoxic stress. Since 2009 she leads a research group focused on metabolic changes associated with pancreatic cancer at the Cancer Research Center of Marseille. Her group is dedicated to highlight the metabolic reprogramming occurring during the progression of the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma towards a metastatic disease. Dr. S. Vasseur by exploring the metabolic flexibility of pancreatic tumor cells aims at identifying metabolic targets to limit pancreatic tumor aggressiveness.

Session 2 : Epigenetic Regulation and Metabolism Interplay

Nabeel M. El-Bardeesy

(Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA)


After receiving his PhD in Biochemistry from McGill University in Canada, Dr. Bardeesy completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School. He currently is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant Geneticist at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. Dr. Bardeesy specializes in the generation of genetically engineered mouse models to study the biology of pancreatic cancer. 

Sonia Rocha

(University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)


Prof Sonia Rocha (originally from Portugal) originally the University in 2017 as Head of the Biochemistry Department. Following a Faculty restructure, Sonia was successfully appointed to the role of Executive Dean of the new Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology.

Sonia is a cell and molecular biologist with interest in oxygen sensing and signaling in disease. Sonia did her PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH-Zurich) jointly supervised by Prof. Kasper Winterhalter and Prof. Martin Pruschy (University of Zurich), where she studied the role of ionizing radiation induced apoptosis. Sonia was formerly based at the University of Dundee, where she initially started as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Neil Perkins, studying the role of NF-kappaB in cancer. She obtained a tenure track position in 2005 also at the University of Dundee, investigating the crosstalk between HIF and NF-kappaB in hypoxia and inflammation. She obtained tenure in 2010. In 2011, was awarded a Cancer Research UK Senior Research Fellowship. Sonia was promoted to Reader in 2014 and was made Professor in 2016. Apart from her research, Sonia was Deputy Director of the Center for Gene Regulation and Expression from 2012 until 2017. She is actively involved in several grant panel and a member of UoA5 REF sub-panel.

Session 3 : Metabolism and Micro-Environment

Sarah-Maria Fendt

(VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology, Leuven, BE)


Sarah-Maria Fendt is a Principal Investigator at the VIB Center for Cancer Biology and Assistant Professor of Oncology at KU Leuven, Belgium. Sarah has a Master degree of Science in Biochemistry from TU Munich and a PhD in Molecular Systems Biology from the ETH Zurich. Sarah worked has postdoc at the MIT, before joining VIB as an independent VIB group leader in 2013. Sarah’s lab is specifically interested in elucidating general regulatory principles in metabolism, and understanding cancer metabolism during metastasis formation as well as during altered nutrient availability.  

Eric Eldering

(Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, NL)


Eric Eldering is leader of the theme ‘Tumor Biology’ of the Cancer Center Amsterdam and professor of Molecular Immuno-Hematology. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is of crucial importance in the immune system and in cancer. The group of Eric Eldering at the Dept of Experimental Immunology of the AMC has studied apoptosis regulation in normal and pathological immune cells since 2002. Currently, their research lines include fundamental and translational aspects in Immuno-Hematology. 

Massimiliano Mazzone

(VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology, Leuven, BE)


Massimiliano (Max) Mazzone graduated in Medical Biotechnology at the Medical School of the University of Torino, Italy, and then performed his PhD in Cell Science and Technologies at the Institute for Cancer Research of Torino, under the supervision of Prof. Comoglio. In November 2006, he moved to Belgium as an EMBO-awarded postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Prof. Peter Carmeliet, at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Since September 2009, he is heading the Lab of Tumor Inflammation and Angiogenesis, at the Center for Cancer Biology (CCB) of the VIB in Leuven, and he became Full Professor at the University of Leuven in 2018.

Max Mazzone has contributed to the field of oncology understanding the mechanisms of cancer metastasis and to vascular biology identifying a new endothelial cell phenotype, the "phalanx" cell, which takes part in the formation of aligned blood vessels in perfused tissues. Since he is independent group leader, his team is focusing in studying the response of inflammatory cells to hypoxic conditions and metabolic alterations in order to restore blood flow and regulate favourably the immune response in conditions such as cancer and ischemic pathologies.

He was awarded with an ERC starting grant, an ERC Proof-of-Concept, and the EMBO Young Investigator Award. At the present, he holds an ERC Consolidator grant and this year he was nominated EMBO Member.

Session 4 : Targeting Metabolic Vulnerabilities

Eyal Gottlieb

(Technion- Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Il)


Dr Gottlieb received his BSc in Agriculture from the Hebrew University and an MSc and a PhD in Molecular Cell Biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 1998 Dr Gottlieb moved as an EMBO fellow to the University of Chicago and later became a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Special Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2003, he moved to the Cancer Research-UK, Beatson Institute in Glasgow and was appointed a Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at the University of Glasgow in 2009. Since 2016, Dr Gottlieb is the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Chair of Cancer Research, Faculty of Medicine, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.

Dr Gottlieb studies the metabolic adaptations that support tumor growth under metabolic stress. Specifically, he explores vulnerabilities induced by the loss of the metabolic tumor suppressors fumarate hydratase (FH) and succinate dehydrogenase (SDH).

Fatima Mechta-grigoriou

(Curie Institute, Paris, FR)


After spending over 10 years at Institut Pasteur, Fatima Mechta-Grigoriou, Inserm Research Director, decided to join Institut Curie in 2005. Her group "Stress and Cancer" investigates the pathophysiological consequences of oxidative stress, including its impact on tumour development. They have previously shown that persistent oxidative stress promotes aging by modulating insulin signalling. Moreover, while oxidative stress increases tumour development by deeply affecting components of the tumour micro-environment, such as blood vessels  and fibroblasts , it can also improve response to treatments. Her group is now interested in studying in deep the complex interplay between oxidative stress and immune system and  investigating the potential effect -either positive or negative- of chronic oxidative stress and related-metabolism on immunotherapy.

Véronique Baud

(Faculty of Pharmacy of Paris, Paris, FR)


Véronique Baud received her PhD in Molecular Genetics from University Paris XI, France. After having carried out a post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Michael Karin, UCSD, CA, USA, she obtained a permanent position (Chargé de Recherche) at INSERM (National Institute for Higher Education and Medical Research), France. She is currently a Research Director at INSERM and Director of the research unit “NF-kappB, Differentiation and Cancer”, Université de Paris, France. Her laboratory works at the interface between cancer biology and translational research, with a focus on the alternative NF-kB signaling pathway, how it is regulated, and its contributions towards tumor development, resistance to conventional cancer therapies and relationship with metabolic reprograming in cancer cells.