Dr. Sergey Netesov
Novosibirsk State University
Sergey V. Netesov, Ph.D., D.Sci. (1953) is Vice Rector (Research) at the Novosibirsk State University since November 2007. Before this he served for 30 years at the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology “Vector” (Vector) and in 1990 he became its Deputy Director, Research. He graduated from Novosibirsk State University (1975); joined Vector (1977); received Ph.D. (1983) and Doctor of Biology degree (1993). He is a Corresponding Member of Russian Academy of Sciences (1997), a member of the European Academy of Sciences, American Society for Virology, American and the European Biosafety Associations. He received two Russian Government Awards in 1998 and 2006. His research interests include virology and biotechnology. He is the author of 120 publications in Russian and international journals.
Dr. Peter Palese
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Dr. Palese is Professor of Microbiology and Chair of the Department of Microbiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He has over 270 scientific publications that include research on the replication of RNA-containing viruses with a special emphasis on influenza viruses, which are negative-strand RNA viruses. Specifically, he established the first genetic maps for influenza A, B and C viruses, identified the function of several viral genes, and defined the mechanism of neuraminidase inhibitors (which are now FDA-approved antivirals). Dr. Palese also pioneered the field of reverse genetics for negative strand RNA viruses, which allows the introduction of site-specific mutations into the genomes of these viruses. This technique is crucial for the study of the structure/function relationships of viral genes, for investigation of viral pathogenicity and for development and manufacture of novel vaccines. In addition, an improvement of the technique has been effectively used by him and his colleagues to reconstruct and study the pathogenicity of the highly virulent but extinct 1918 pandemic influenza virus. His recent work in collaboration with Garcia-Sastre has revealed that most negative strand RNA viruses possess proteins with interferon antagonist activity, enabling them to counteract the antiviral response of the infected host. Dr. Palese was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2000 for his seminal studies on influenza viruses. At present he serves on the editorial board for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and as an editor for the Journal of Virology. Dr. Palese was president of the Harvey Society in 2004, president of the American Society for Virology in 2005 and a recipient of the Robert Koch Prize in 2006 and of the Charles C. Shepard Science Award in 2008.
Dr. Peter H. Raven
Missouri Botanical Garden
Peter H. Raven (Co-Chair) is Director Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden and one of the world's leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity. In addition, Dr. Raven is past President and Chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest organization of professional scientists in the world. He is also Chairman of the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration.
For three decades, Dr. Raven headed the Missouri Botanical Garden, an institution he nurtured to a world-class center for botanical research, education, and horticulture display. Under Dr. Raven's leadership, the Missouri Botanical Garden has become a leader in botanical research in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, with strong programs in North America as well. The Garden's education program in the St. Louis region reaches more than 100,000 students each year and provides professional development for teachers. The splendid horticultural displays attract more than 750,000 visitors to the Garden annually, including tourists to St. Louis from around the United States and the world. He is also the Engelmann Professor of Botany at Washington University in St. Louis. He was a member of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology during the Clinton Administration. In 2001, he received from the President of the United States the National Medal of Science, the highest award for scientific accomplishment in this country. Dr. Raven served for 12 years as Home Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, is a member of the academies of science in Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, the U.K. and several other countries and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He was first Chair of the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation, a government-established organization that funds joint research with the independent countries of the former Soviet Union, and served as President of the XVI International Botanical Congress in St. Louis in 1999. Dr. Raven received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1960 after completing his undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley. He has received honorary degrees from universities in this country and throughout the world.
Dr. Valentin V. Vlassov
Russian Academy of Sciences
Valentin V. Vlassov (Co-Chair) Ph.D., D.Sci. (1947) is Vice President of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences since May 2008 and the Director of Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 1996. He graduated from Novosibirsk State University (1969) and joined the Laboratory of Natural Biopolymers at the Institute of Organic Chemistry (SBRAS). The Laboratory has grown into the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (SBRAS) which was transformed to the Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine (SBRAS). He is a full member of Russian Academy of Sciences. His research interests include medical diagnostics and development of nucleic acid based therapeutics. He is the author of more than 300 publications in Russian and international journals.
Dr. Richard L. Witter
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Richard L. Witter, D.V.M., Ph.D. served as a veterinary medical officer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory (ADOL) in East Lansing, Michigan, for 38 years (1964-2002). He currently serves as collaborator with the ADOL and as adjunct professor with the Department of Pathobiology and Clinical Investigations at Michigan State University. Dr. Witter helped develop the first successful vaccine in the United States against Marek’s disease and has documented the evolution of this virus to greater virulence. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his research. For more than 22 years, as director and research leader of ADOL, Dr. Witter administered a multidisciplinary research program on the biology of important avian viral neoplasms, as well as programs on recombinant DNA vaccines, immunogenetics, transgenic chickens, and genome mapping. He returned to the bench in 1998, where he pursued his personal research on Marek’s disease and avian leukosis until his retirement in 2002. He has been active in international activities involving grants programs in the Middle East and Central Asia. He helped initiate the ARS-Former Soviet Union Scientific Cooperation Program and has served as a scientific consultant to this program since its inception. Dr. Witter received his B.S. and D.V.M. from Michigan State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 1998.
Dr. Russ Zajtchuk
Chicago Hospitals International
Russ Zajtchuk, a national expert in telemedicine, is currently president of Chicago Hospitals International. For more than 27 years, Dr. Zajtchuk served in various positions in the U.S. Army, most recently as commanding general of the Army Medical Research and Material Command at Fort Detrick, MD, where he led development of a sophisticated telecommunications infrastructure to speed diagnostics, lab analyses, and consulting expertise worldwide. Dr. Zajtchuk is a cardiovascular surgeon who was professor and chairman of the division of cardiothoracic surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He also served as assistant surgeon general for research and development for the Department of the Army, and as chief operating officer for the Department of Defense telemedicine test-bed. Dr. Zajtchuk currently serves on the NRC Committee to Review Proposals from Former Soviet Biological Weapons Institutes and the NRC Committee on Counterterrorism Challenges for Russia and the United States and previously served on the NRC Committee on Future Contributions of the Biosciences to Public Health, Agriculture, Basic Research, Counter-terrorism, and Non-Proliferation Activities in Russia.
Dr. Sergey Zavriev
Russian Academy of Sciences
Sergey Zavriev, Ph.D is the Head of the Molecular Diagnostic Department at the Shemyakin & Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry at the Russian Academy of Sciences. His department research activities for the last 10 years have been aimed at investigating plant virus genome structure and expression, cloning and expression of virus specific genes, allergens and other proteins, their application for functional studies, producing antibodies against different recombinant antigens including allergens, development of technologies for PCR and RT-PCR-based detection of DNA- and RNA containing pathogens and correspondent diagnostic kits production. Dr. Zavriev was previously the Visiting Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of North Carolina and worked on plant molecular virology. He has been awarded several International Grants from INCO-Copernicus (1998) and INTAS (2001) together with the Sainsbury Laboratory, the Institute of Biotechnology of Helsinki University, the Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry and the Institute for Plant Virology, Microbiology and Biosafety. Dr. Zavriev is a member of several international teams participating in the meetings and symposia on strategic study on bioterrorism and biosecurity problems. He is the author of more than 130 papers and patents.