Scientific program, May 14th 2015

last update: March 31, 2015

V-ATPase in physiologic signaling regulation


Registration - Conference area


Opening remarks


Andrea Ballabio

Andrea Ballabio

TIGEM, Naples IT

The lysosome as a signaling hub

Andrea Ballabio is the founder and director of the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM) in Naples, Italy. He is also Professor of Medical Genetics at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Naples "Federico II" and Visiting Professor at both Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and at the University of Oxford, UK. Prof. Ballabio's research interests are the elucidation of the biological mechanisms underlying genetic diseases and the development of innovative therapeutic approaches. Prof. Ballabio's team identified numerous genes whose mutations cause human inherited diseases, leading to the discovery of their pathogenetic mechanisms. Prof. Ballabio's current research focuses on the transcriptional regulation of lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy, on the role of the lysosome as a signaling hub, and on the mechanisms underlying lysosomal storage disorders and common neurodegenerative diseases. He has published over 280 papers in international scientific journals. Prof. Ballabio was the President of the European Society of Human Genetics and Council member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). He is a recipient of an Advanced Investigator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). He has received numerous national and international awards for research and culture, among which the 2007 Award of the European Society of Human Genetics. In 2007 he was received the "Knighthood of the Italian Republic" by the President of Italy.


Cecilia Bucci

Cecilia Bucci

Università del Salento, Lecce, IT

RILP: a new regulator of vacuolar ATPase

Cecilia Bucci obtained her degree in Biological Sciences in 1986. Following her post-doctoral training (1991-1993) at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany), she moved to the Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Pathology of the University of Naples "Federico II", Italy. In 1998 she was visiting scientist at the Panum Institute, University of Copenaghen, Denmark. In 2000 she moved to the University of Salento, Lecce, Italy as associate professor. Since 2011 she is full professor of Cell Biology at the University of Salento, Lecce, Italy. Her research interests focus on the role of Rab proteins and in particular of Rab7 in late endocytic trafficking and on the implications of Rab7 dysfunction for human genetic and acquired diseases.


Roberto Zoncu

Roberto Zoncu

California University, Berkeley, USA

The Vacuolar ATPase: a novel player in nutrient sensing and metabolic signaling

Roberto studied molecular biology at the University of Pisa, Italy, where he completed his undergraduate thesis on the mechanisms of asymmetric stem cell division during brain development He then moved to Yale University to pursue a PhD in Cell Biology. Working in Pietro De Camilli’s laboratory, he used advanced microscopy and chemical genetic techniques to interrogate how a class of phospholipids known as phosphoinositides control endocytic vesicle traffic and maturation. In 2008, he joined the laboratory of David Sabatini at the Whitehead Institute/MIT. There, he combined biochemical and microscopy-based assays to understand how lysosomes govern the signaling activity of the master growth regulator, mTORC1 kinase, and how these organelles generally function as a metabolic signaling centers. In early 2014, Roberto became an Assistant Professor in the Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology division of the Molecular and Cell Biology Department at UC Berkeley. He was recently elected Pew Stewart-Scholar for Cancer Research and NIH Director's New Innovator.


Reinhard Dechant

Reinhard Dechant

ETH/Zürich, CH

Cytosolic pH mediates Glucose sensing and regulation of growth in S.cerevisiae

Reinhard Dechant studied Biochemistry at the University of Vienna and obtained his PhD at the Institute for Molecular Pathology in Vienna. He then joined the lab of Matthias Peter at the Institute of Biochemistry, ETH Zürich as a post-doc to study the regulation of cell growth and proliferation by nutritional signals in budding yeast. In 2013, he became senior scientist at the Institute of Biochemistry, ETH Zürich, where he leads a research program aiming to decipher reciprocal interactions of cellular metabolism and cellular signaling governing the regulation of cell growth.


Coffee and poster session


Markus Huss

Markus Huss

University of Osnabrueck, DE

The V-ATPase as a drug target

Markus Huss studied biology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. After a one year period as research associate of Prof. W. R. Harvey (Temple University, PA) he joined the lab of Prof. H. Wieczorek at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich to work on his PhD. In 2001, meanwhile at the University of Osnabrück, he received his PhD for his thesis entitled "Structure, function and regulation of the plasma membrane V-ATPase of Manduca sexta". His main research interest is to understand the structure- and function-relationship between the V-ATPase and its various different inhibitors. In 2002 he was the first to prove the direct interaction between concanamycin and the membrane embedded V-ATPase subunit c. Since then he characterised the binding sites for three novel types of specific V-ATPase inhibitors, including the first inhibitory peptide.


Matias Simons

Matias Simons

Imagine Institute, Paris, FR

ATP6AP2 - a multi-faceted V-ATPase subunit

Dr. Simons is a group Leader and Liliane Bettencourt Chair of Developmental Biology at the Imagine Institute, Hopital Necker, in Paris, France. He studied medicine at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. He performed his clinical training in the Renal Division of the University Hospital Freiburg, Germany. After spending three years as a postdoc and EMBO fellow at the DKFZ, Heidelberg and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, he obtained the prestigious Emmy-Noether grant to set up his own independent research group at the Renal Division in Freiburg. He was appointed Associate Professor and served on the Board of Directors at the Center for Systems Biology of the University of Freiburg. His lab in Paris is funded by the Fondation Bettencourt-Schüller, the ATIP-Avenir program and the ANR @Traction grant. Research topics are planar cell polarity, lysosomes and autophagy as well as the study of inherited kidney diseases.


Thomas Vaccari

Thomas Vaccari

IFOM, Milan, IT

Physiological function of V-ATPase during organ development

Thomas Vaccari obtained his B.Sc. in Biology at the University of Milan, Italy. He worked in Anne Ephrussi’s group at the EMBL where he obtained is Ph.D. in 2003. He then joined the lab of David Bilder at the University of California, Berkeley, where he identified a novel class of tumor suppression genes in Drosophila. In 2009, he established his lab at IFOM in Milan, where he studies how endocytosis controls signaling and tumor suppression.


Dennis Brown

Dennis Brown

MGH, Boston, USA

Building a V-ATPase Interactome

Dennis Brown is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and is Director of Program in Membrane Biology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He also serves as the Associate Director of the MGH Center for Systems Biology. He received his Ph. D. from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK in 1975 and then spent 10 years at the University of Geneva Medical School in Switzerland, where he eventually became an Assistant Professor. Dennis Brown is a cell biologist/physiologist who specializes in the use of state-of-the art imaging techniques to follow and dissect physiologically-relevant membrane protein trafficking events in epithelial and non-epithelial cells. He is an authority on water channels (aquaporins) and vacuolar proton pumping ATPase function in the kidney and, more recently, in the male reproductive tract, and has over 350 publications. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Physiological Reviews. He has received numerous awards including the Carl Gottschalk Award for excellence in nephrology research, the Hugh Davson Award for excellence in cell biology research, and he gave the prestigious Robert Pitts Lecture in Renal Physiology at the 2013 meeting of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. He is also the Director of the MGH Office for Research Career Development and has a long track record of developing young scientists. He was awarded the A. Clifford Barger “Excellence in Mentoring” award from Harvard in 2005 and received the HMS Dean's Award for the Advancement of Women in Science in 2012. He has received continuous support from the NIH since arriving in the USA in 1986, and was chair of the NIH KMBD (Kidney Molecular Biology and Development) Study Section for 3 years. In 2013, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Sciences degree by his alma mater, the University of East Anglia (UK) for his outstanding contributions to cell biology and physiology.

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