Plenary & Keynote Lecturers

Plenary & Keynote Speakers at the 34th Annual Meeting of the Society of Thermal Medicine are supported by the JAYNE KOSKINAS TED GIOVANIS FOUNDATION FOR HEALTH AND POLICY, a Maryland private foundation dedicated to effecting change in health care for the public good. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the JAYNE KOSKINAS TED GIOVANIS FOUNDATION FOR HEALTH AND POLICY, its directors, officers, or staff.

Dr. Ricardo Bentes de Azevedo 
Dr. Ingrid Hilger 
Dr. Elder de la Rosa 

Dr. Ricardo Bentes de Azevedo - Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ricardo Bentes Azevedo received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil with focused studies in Tissue and Cell Biology. He completed post-doctoral training at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Currently Dr. Azevedo is a scholar of the Brazilian National Council for Science and Technology (CNPq), he is the National Coordinator of the Brazilian Institute of Science and Technology (INCT) in Nanobiotechnology, and he holds a full Professor Chair in the Institute of Biological Sciences, at the University of Brasilia. The main focus of his research is biological and biomedical applications of nanostructured materials for drug delivery, imaging, and diagnosis. An area of intense interest in nanotechnology applications for Dr. Azevedo is the search for alternative treatments for cancer, microbial diseases, and treatment of environmental contamination using nanostructured materials as delivery agents of novel compounds derived from native plants and as mediators of complex chemical interactions. Dr. Azevedo’s work has been cited over 3,000 times with over one hundred fifty published papers in varied scientific journals, including Nature, Biomaterials, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Nanomedicine, Nanoscale, Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, and many others.

Dr. Ingrid Hilger - Keynote Speaker

Prof. Dr. Ingrid Hilger is head of the Department „Experimental Radiology“ at the University Hospital Jena, Germany. Born in Argentina, she studied biology at the Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel, Germany, and received her diploma in 1990. She performed several studies in biology in South America and Asia. Later on, she got interested in human biology and biochemistry received her PhD at the University Hospital Hannover, Germany, in 1996. Since then, she focused her research activities to the areas of therapeutic nanotechnology and of in vivo meso/macroscopic optical molecular imaging and preclinical imaging in general. Since 2008, she is full professor at the University Hospital Jena, Germany. She was awarded the Walter Friedrich Prize in 2003 and an International Patent Innovation Prize in 2016. She is the spokesmen of the German Molecular Imaging Network and the German representative of the European Society of Molecular Imaging.  

Dr. Elder de la Rosa - Keynote Speaker

Prof. Elder De la Rosa was born in Mexico in 1964. He received a PhD degree in 1998 from Centro de Investigaciones en Optica (CIO) and received a postdoctoral position at UNAM in 1999. He joined CIO in 2000 as a fulltime professor and has been the General Director since
November 23,
 2012. He is the founder of CIO’s research group on Nanophotonics and Advanced Materials (NAFOMA). His research interests are linear and non-linear properties of advanced materials for photonic applications along with the synthesis and characterization of luminescence in nanostructured materials (oxides, semiconductors, metals) for lighting systems, solar cells, biosensing, biomedical applications, and preparation and characterization of luminescence in soft glasses (P2O5, TeO2) doped with rare-earths for optic fiber amplifiers and lasers. He is SPIE fellow member since 2017, and member of SNI level III. He has published over 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has been cited more than 3000 times. He has also graduated 14 PhD and 13 MSc students. Prof. De la Rosa has been an invited editor from Optical Materials and Journal Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Since 2004, he has been organizing annually the Topical Meeting on Nanoscience and Nanostructured Materials.

Dr. Robert Clarke - Plenary Speaker

Robert Clarke is Professor of Oncology at Georgetown University (Washington, DC, U.S.A), Co-Leader of the Breast Cancer Program at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Dean for Research at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). A Senior Editor for the journal, Cancer Research, Dr. Clarke serves on the boards of over a dozen international scientific journals. He regularly serves on state, national, and international grant peer-review study sections; completing his term as chair of an N.I.H. grant peer-review study section in 2008 (2002-2008; National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) and again in 2013 (2011-2013; Basic Mechanisms of Cancer Therapeutics). Regularly invited to speak about his research at international and national meetings, he served a two year term as the elected NCI-SigmaXi Distinguished Lecturer (2012-2014). Dr. Clarke takes a systems biology approach to studying how hormones (endogenous and exogenous) and related factors affect breast cancer. He and his colleagues have recently defined a unified model of the hormonal regulation of breast cancer cell proliferation and cell death in response to estrogens, aromatase inhibitors, and antiestrogens. This signaling represents communication between endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, and reflects novel interactions among the unfolded protein response, autophagy, and cellular metabolism.


Dr. Elizabeth Repasky - Plenary Speaker

Dr. Elizabeth Repasky is a Professor of Oncology, the William Huebsch Professor of Immunology, and a Program Leader for the Cell Stress and Biophysical Therapies Program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). Dr. Repasky’s research program focuses on exploration of physiological responses which can be manipulated to alter the tumor microenvironment and improve the efficacy of cancer therapies, including immunotherapies. A major passion for her has been to understand the role of body temperature and the impact of mild thermal stress (hyperthermia and heat shock response) on anti-tumor immune activity, vascular function and metabolism.  During her career, she has authored or co-authored over 170 cited publications.  Dr. Repasky is a recent awardee of the J. Eugene Robinson Award from the Society for Thermal Medicine.  Training and mentorship have been passions for her during her career and she has served as major advisor to 20 PhD students and 8 Postdoctoral Fellows who have gone on to become successful members of the research, academia or bio-tech communities.  Several of her trainees are now members of the Society for Thermal Medicine.   


Dr. Denis Wirtz - Plenary Speaker

Denis Wirtz is the vice provost for research and a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at The Johns Hopkins University. He also directs the Johns Hopkins Physical Sciences-Oncology Center and co-directs the Cancer Nanotechnology Training Center, both National Cancer Institute-funded entities. Wirtz holds the T.H. Smoot Professorship in the Whiting School of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and has secondary appointments in the School of Medicine’s Departments of Oncology and Pathology. Wirtz earned his B.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University. He studies the biophysical properties of healthy and diseased cells, including interactions between adjacent cells and the role of cellular architecture on nuclear shape and gene expression. Cell biophysics, single molecule manipulation, intracellular particle trafficking, instrument development, tissue engineering, and nanotechnology in biology and medicine are among his research interests. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, and his research has been cited more than 14,000 times. 

Dr. Robert Clarke 
Dr. Elizabeth Repasky 
Dr. Denis Wirtz 

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