Scientific Program

Conference Series Ltd invites all the participants across the globe to attend International Conference on Cell and Gene Therapy Lisbon, Portugal.

Day 1 :

Conference Series Cell gene Therapy 2019 International Conference Keynote Speaker Clelia Rejane Antonio Bertoncini, photo

Clélia Rejane Antonio Bertoncini is Associate Professor at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), Brazil, since 1998. She received her Bachelor Science and Master degree titles in Chemistry from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). She obtained her Ph. D. in Biochemistry from the University of São Paulo (USP) and did Postdoctoral work at USP in collaboration with the National Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS). Her research are focused on oxidative stress, DNA damage, antioxidant and antiapoptotic mechanisms, and application of stem cells as therapy for diseases associated with infertility and neurodegeneration.



Stem cell transplantation is a promising therapy, which could provide trophic support for survival, migration, and differentiation of endogenous precursor cells. The action of these cells after transplantation is not only to repopulate the injured area, but mainly to secrete neurotrophic and proliferative factors which could induce recovery of tissue. Stroke Prone Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHRSP) exhibits a hippocampal damage, which can fully recovered after transplantation of MSCs. As previous works, such tissue regeneration take place whereas apoptosis, superoxide and lipid peroxidation were reduced to normal levels. The objective of this work is to investigate if transplanted MSCs could be involved in proliferation and maintenance of neural cells by elevation of the levels of nitric oxide (NO), expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2. A comparison of the brain tissue isolated from SHRSP treated or not with MSCs with those from normotensive Wistar Kyoto (WKY) controls were carried out by qPCR, immunohistochemistry and biochemistry assays. MSCs were obtained from the femur and tibiae of 12-week-old WKY rats, labeled with CFSE and injected into cistern magna of 48-week-old SHRSP rats. One month after transplantation, we observed an increase of almost threefold of VEGF expression in the MSC-treated SHRSP group, thereby suggesting that transplanted stem cells have an angiogenic potential. Correlated data were obtained in terms of elevation of generated NO and antiapoptotic Bcl-2 gene expression. Thus, our results suggest that BM mesenchymal stem cells exhibit antioxidant, antiapoptotic and angiogenic properties, which can contribute to the recovery of brain damage when these cells are used in stroke therapy.


Keynote Forum

Alex M Mawla

University of California,USA

Keynote: Navigating the depths and avoiding the shallows of pancreatic islet cell transcriptomes

Time : 10:45-11:15

Conference Series Cell gene Therapy 2019 International Conference Keynote Speaker Alex M Mawla photo

Islet gene expression has been widely studied to better understand the transcriptional features that define a healthy beta cell. Transcriptomes of FACS-purified alpha, beta, and delta cells using bulk RNA-sequencing have facilitated our understanding of the complex network of crosstalk between islet cells and its effects on beta cell function. However, these approaches were by design not intended to resolve heterogeneity between individual cells. Several recent studies used single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-Seq) to report considerable heterogeneity within mouse and human beta cells. In this perspective, we assess how this newfound ability to assess gene expression at single cell resolution has enhanced our understanding of beta cell heterogeneity. We conduct a comprehensive assessment of several single human beta cell transcriptome datasets and ask if the heterogeneity reported by these studies showed overlap and concurred with previously known examples of beta cell heterogeneity. We also illustrate the impact of the inevitable limitations of working at or below the limit of detection of gene expression at single cell resolution and their consequences for the quality of single islet cell transcriptome data. Finally, we offer some guidance on when to opt for scRNA-Seq and when bulk sequencing approaches may be better suited.



Alex M Mawla is a graduate student in the Integrative Genetics & Genomics (IGG), PhD program at University of California, Davis, USA. He realized his passion in combining translational health research with computational biology after graduating with a Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavioral Science, and minor in Quantitative Biology & Bioinformatics from Davis.


Keynote Forum

Iftikhar Qayum

Rehman Medical Institute, Pakistan

Keynote: Epigenetic interventions for control of malignancy: an overview

Time : 11:15-11:45

Conference Series Cell gene Therapy 2019 International Conference Keynote Speaker Iftikhar Qayum photo

Ever since epigenetic pathways were discovered as one of the major gene control mechanisms, researchers have hoped that this approach will prove to be the cornerstone of therapy for control, prevention, and eradication of malignant diseases, as well as the cancer genotype. Research has been hampered for technical reasons, as well as the lack of precisely targeting specific genes of interest in living cells. In recent years, though, both of these hurdles have been significantly overcome, thereby offering the possibility of a breakthrough in the fight against cancer. It has been conclusively shown that hallmark epigenetic alterations (aberrant methylation patterns) in cells may precede malignant transformation and in fact may promote the development of the cancer genotype by altered gene expressions, dysregulation, and mutations. Such discoveries have led to a crucial role for epigenetic markers as important components of the toolkit for early cancer diagnostics and prognostics.

This paper will present a brief overview of the significant milestones in epigenetic research, as well as the more recent attempt to provide targeted interventions based on recently developed focused systems. The gamut of epigenomic interventions range from epigenomic drugs through RNA interference to specific guided methylation reprogramming based on CRISPR and similar DNA editing systems. Though initial results of planned interventions border on success rates around a limit of 50% reduction in predicted cancer targets, the promise of improved successful yields based on integration with personalized precision medicine are emerging, as more useful knowledge is gained from high throughput genomic studies and database analyses.



Iftikhar Qayum is a Medical Doctor with a keen interest in Human Genetics and Cancer Research. In addition to medical qualifications (MBBS, MD), he also holds a PhD in Biology (Genetics) from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. His focused area of interest is epigenetic mechanisms affecting cancer biology and epigenetic control of transformed and malignant cells. Currently he is the Director of Medical Research at Rehman Medical Institute (RMI), Peshawar, Pakistan, where he developed undergraduate and Faculty Research Programs. He is Managing Editor of two scientific journals and Founding President of Genomics Society.


Keynote Forum

Joanne D. Caguiat

Philippine Rice Research Institute,Philippines

Keynote: Genome-wide molecular fingerprinting revealed identity and diversity of farmers’ varieties in the Philippines

Time : 11:45-12:15

Conference Series Cell gene Therapy 2019 International Conference Keynote Speaker Joanne D. Caguiat photo

Dissemination and adoption of developed rice varieties are crucial in order to achieve self-sufficiency and security in rice-dependent countries. In the Philippines, different farmers’ varieties (FV) are being planted across different regions which may either came from seed exchange between farmers and from commercially available released varieties (RV). This study aim to characterize the farmers’ varieties to identify the authenticity and duplicity of these lines to RV; A total of 350 FV were collected at farm-level and were genotyped using 7 K Cornell-IR Rice LD Array along with RV. Genotyping results revealed that 110 FV had at least 95% genetic similarity with 42 commercially released varieties. Majority of the farmers’ varieties were either identified as or closely related to famous released varieties PSB Rc 10, PSB Rc152, NSIC Rc 222, NSIC Rc 240, NSIC Rc 286, NSIC Rc 294, NSIC Rc 328, and NSIC Rc 422. Diversity analyses revealed narrow genetic diversity among FV and RV with an average of 77.72% pairwise similarity. Average marker genotyping statistics supported the findings: major allele frequency (MAF) of 0.814, gene diversity of 0.258, and heterozygosity of 0.074. Furthermore, phylogenetic analyses and Bayesian population structure modeling revealed closely clustered genotypes and subgroupings among the RV and FV. Established genetic identity of the FV has proven the adoption of RV which will aid in solving the shortcomings in the seed supply chains. In addition, genetic analyses emphasized the urgent need of diversification in breeding in order to improve performance and resilience.



Joanne D Caguiat is a Senior Science Research Specialist at Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). She has completed her Master of Science in Plant Breeding at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. Currently, she is the Lead in four projects which aim to develop CMS-based three-line rice hybrids, augment line and varieties using RGA and genomic selection and gene mining of yield-related traits in Philippine landraces.


Keynote Forum

Leen Abu Safieh

King Fahad Medical City Research Cente,Saudi Arabia

Keynote: Genetic characterization of syndromic and non-syndromic autosomal recessive retinal dystrophies in the Saudi population

Time : 14:45-15:15

Conference Series Cell gene Therapy 2019 International Conference Keynote Speaker Leen Abu Safieh photo

Leen Abu Safieh has completed her PhD in Human Molecular Genetics from the Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL, London, UK in 2003. She had a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from Westminster University, London, UK. She has over than 15 years of experience in the field of Molecular Genetics. Her research resulted in the identification of seven novel genes all involved in different retinal diseases, and all been published in high impact factor journals. Her main area of research is focused on inherited genetic diseases such as ophthalmic conditions and other complex genetic disorders. Currently she is working as a Clinical Research Consultant, at King Fahad Medical City Research Center, Saudi Arabia.



Background: Inherited retinal dystrophies (RD) are common cause of blindness which is characterized by loss of photoreceptor function; it contributes significantly to the global etiology of blindness especially in the industrialized world. Clinically and genetically, retinal dystrophies are known to be extremely heterogeneous. This kind of heterogeneity poses a major diagnostic challenge and makes it difficult to provide a molecular diagnostic protocol which can improve counseling and development of gene-specific treatment strategies. The Saudi population is a highly consanguineous population with many patients requesting genetic testing to identify the type of retinal dystrophy and understand the inheritance pattern in their family. Once the pathogenic mutation is identified, it is possible to identify carries and patients at risk of developing the condition in these families. Retinal dystrophies can be inherited in different patterns, however due to the nature of the Saudi population autosomal recessive is the major form of inheritance in this community. This study will aim to characterize the genetic cause underlying the syndromic and non-syndromic retinal dystrophy and use the data to understand the disease mechanism and develop genetic screening, counseling and prevention protocols.


Methodology: Patients were clinically evaluated in the ophthalmic clinic at KFMC, Princes Nora general hospital and Al Habib Hospital. Patients diagnosed with retinal dystrophy were consented and blood was collected from all available affected individuals and family members. DNA was extracted and used for whole exome sequencing following the standard protocol. Genomic variants were annotated using the ion-reporter exome analysis pipeline. To date 54 individuals representing 21 families has been recruited to this study; 12 of these were subjected to exome sequencing.


Results & Conclusion: On average 35,000 variants have been identified in each individual sequenced. Analysis filtration was performed mainly against the following criteria: homozygosity, variant location and pathogenicity likelihood. On average 10-15 variants remained in each individual. This number was reduced significantly when analyzed against the known genes involved in retinal disease. We have identified six mutations in known genes (RP1, ABCA4, RPA2, TULP1 and BBS1); further experimental validation is required to establish variant pathogenicity.


Conference Series Cell gene Therapy 2019 International Conference Keynote Speaker Isaac Adeyemi Adeleye photo

Isaac Adeyemi Adeleye is a Microbiologist with focus on Pathogenic Microbes and Bioactive Compounds from Plants and Marine Microbes. He has his undergraduate degree BSc (Hons) in Biology from the University of Lagos, Master’s degree in Microbiology from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and a Doctorate degree from the University of Ibadan. He holds a Chair of Microbiology at the University of Lagos. He has conducted research in many areas of Microbiology and Mentored more than 100 undergraduates, 50 Masters and has supervised more than 10 PhD students. He has more than 70 publications to his credit.



Torque teno virus (TTV) is a single stranded DNA virus suspected to be responsible for hepatitis symptoms in humans. There is no published data on the genomic characterization of TTV in Nigeria. To this end, 260 plasma samples, 130 each from HIV positive patients and healthy voluntary donors were tested for TTV DNA by PCR and three near complete genome of TTV were isolated and sequenced. Using appropriate primers, genome amplification with the expected product size of 3652 bp was achieved. In-silico analysis was done to characterize this virus. The TTV Nigerian isolate FL100 yielded a product size of 3623 bp and shares the highest sequence similarity of 93%, E-value 0.0 over a 99% query cover, with a US isolate KT163879 (3748 bp). Both isolates clustered with other isolates from group 1 such as AB017610 (TTV prototype reference genome from US) AF298585, a Polish isolate. Isolate FL100 has between 63%-65% identity with other isolates in genogroup 1. It shares between 52%-59% identity with isolates from other phylogenetic groups. It has a 45% and 46% identity with TTMV and TTMDV respectively. Its alignment identity with other Nigerian isolates was 56% and 57% for FL08 and BD 67 respectively. FL100 has a pairwise distance value of 0.07 with KT163879 and 0.51 with group 1 reference isolate TA278 (AB017610) over the entire sequence. This confirms that the Nigeria isolate FL100 belongs to phylogenetic group one.