Gairdner Symposium

August 26, 2020

Recorded Presentations Available for Viewing

Click HERE to view "How Regional Signals Organize the Growth of Animals and Animal Tissues" Presented by Dr. Roeland NusseProfessor & Chair, Department of Developmental Biology;  School of Medicine, Stanford University, San Francisco, CA

Click HERE to view "Epigenetic Control of Mammalian Development" presented by Dr. Davor SolterEmeritus Member & Director, Max Planck Institute of Immunology & Epigenetics

Click HERE to view "A High Tek Solution for Vascular Diseases" presented by Dr. Susan E. QuagginDirector, Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute, and Chief, Division of Nephrology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL  

Click HERE to view the Gairdner Symposium Round Table Q&A









Roel Nusse, PhD


Professor & Chair, Department of Developmental Biology;  School of Medicine, Stanford University, San Francisco, CA


Dr. Roel Nusse is a professor in the Department of Developmental Biology at Stanford University School of Medicine, the Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Research and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.  Currently, he is the Chair of the Department of Developmental Biology at Stanford. He is a member of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford and the Stanford Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research and Medicine.

Roel Nusse was born and raised in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He received his PhD from the Netherlands Cancer Institute at the University of Amsterdam in 1980. He completed postdoctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco in 1982 working with Dr. Harold Varmus. After several years as head of the molecular biology department at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, he returned to the Bay Area and joined the Stanford medical faculty in 1990 as an associate professor of developmental biology. In 1994, he was promoted to professor. In 2010, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Roel Nusse is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. Recently (2017), he received the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

His lab is interested in signaling between cells, mostly in the Wnt signaling pathway and how it regulates stem cells in various tissues.

Dr. Nusse was awarded the 2020 Canada Gairdner International Award “For pioneering work on the Wnt signaling pathway and its importance in development, cancer and stem cells.”


Presenting: “How Regional Signals Organize the Growth of Animals and Animal Tissues”




















Davor Solter, MD, PhD


Emeritus Member & Director, Max Planck Institute of Immunology & Epigenetics


Davor Solter, M.D. (1965), Ph.D. (1971) both from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. Assistant and associate Professor in the Departments of Anatomy and Biology, University of Zagreb Medical School 1966-1973. In 1973 moved to the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia and became Member and Professor in 1981 as well as Wistar Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1991 he was appointed Member of the Max-Planck Society and Director of the Max-Planck Institute of Immunobiology in Freiburg. From 2008-2014 Research Director, Institute of Medical Biology, A*STAR, Singapore and Professor, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. Currently Visiting International Professor Siriraj Center for Excellence in Stem Cell Research, Mahidol University Medical School, Bangkok. He was and is a member of numerous editorial and advisory boards and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, EMBO and Academia Europea. In 1998 received March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology for pioneering the concept of imprinting and in 2007 Rosenstiel Award (shared with Mary Lyon and Azim Surani) for discovery of imprinting.

Davor Solter contributed significantly to many areas of mammalian developmental biology, namely: differentiation of germ layers; role of cell surface molecules in regulating early development; biology and genetics of teratocarcinoma; biology of embryonic stem cells; imprinting and cloning. His current research interest focuses on genetic and molecular control of genome reprogramming and of activation of embryonic genome.

Dr. Solter was awarded the 2018 Canada Gairdner International Award together with Dr. Azim Surani for their discovery of mammalian genomic imprinting that causes parent-of-origin specific gene expression and its consequences for development and disease.

Presenting: "Epigenetic Control of Mammalian Development"






























Lynne E. Maquat, PhD


Director, Center for RNA Biology: From Genome to Therapeutics, Rochester University, Rochester, NY


Lynne E. Maquat holds the J. Lowell Orbison Endowed Chair and is Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics and Professor of Oncology in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Director of the Center for RNA Biology: From Genome to Therapeutics, and Chair of Graduate Women in Science at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, USA. After obtaining her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and post-doctoral work at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research in Madison, she joined the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo before moving her laboratory to the University of Rochester. Professor Maquat is known for her mammalian-cells studies of nonsense-mediated messenger RNA decay, which she first reported in 1981 through studies of the hemolytic anemia bo-thalassemia and from which she subsequently discovered the pioneer round of translation, the exon-junction complex (EJC), and how the EJC marks mRNAs for a first quality-control translation cycle that largely occurs as newly synthesized messenger RNAs enter the cytoplasm. She continues to make seminal contributions on mechanisms of NMD and another pathway she discovered and named Staufen-mediated mRNA decay (SMD). Her work on SMD has defined new roles for long non-coding RNAs and small interspersed elements in humans and rodents, unveiling the complexities of RNA-RNA interactions that comprise important post-transcriptional gene regulatory pathways during mammalian-cell development and differentiation. Professor Maquat has served on editorial boards including RNA, Mol. Cell Biol., RNA Biol., and Methods, as an elected Director, Treasurer/Secretary and President of the RNA Society, as a member of the Public Information Committee of the American Society for Cell Biology, and as chair of NIH study section. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2006), an elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006) and the National Academy of Sciences (2011), and a Batsheva de Rothschild Fellow of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (2012). Professor Maquat was awarded the William C. Rose Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2014) for research and mentoring, in particular advocacy for women in science.

Dr Maquat was awarded the 2015 Canada Gairdner International Award for the discovery of the mechanism that destroys mutant messenger RNAs in human cells, nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, which is critically important in both normal and disease states.

Presenting: "Loss of the Fragile X Syndrome Protein FMRP Results in Misregulation of Nonsense-Mediated mRNA Decay" 














Susan E. Quaggin, MD


Director, Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute, and Chief, Division of Nephrology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

Susan Quaggin, MD graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto in 1988 and received her specialty degree in Internal Medicine in 1992. She completed her sub-specialty training in Nephrology in 1993 at U of T and did a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale University where she studied the genetic basis of kidney development.

In 1997, she returned to Toronto to do a second post-doctoral fellowship in mouse genetics in the laboratory of Janet Rossant. From 1997 until 2012, she was at the University of Toronto where she was a Senior Scientist at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, a practicing Nephrologist at St. Michael's Hospital and the Gabor-Zellerman Professor in Renal Medicine.

Quaggin has served as an elected councillor of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), is a member of the ISN Council and was elected to the American Association of Physicians (AAP) in 2013. She received the Kidney Foundation of Canada 2009 Award for Research and a Finnish Distinguished Professorship in 2012. In addition, Quaggin sits on the editorial boards of several journals, is the Deputy Editor of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and has organized a number of international renal and vascular meetings.

In January 2013, Quaggin joined Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine as the Charles Horace Mayo Professor of Medicine, where she serves as the director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute (FCVRI) and chief of the Division of Nephrology.

Quaggin's research program focuses on genetic pathways required to establish and maintain the integrity of microvascular beds including the glomerular filtration barrier – a highly selective filter that separates the blood from the urinary space. To understand the pathways and interactions between perivascular cells and the endothelium, her research team has developed a number of genetic models that permit cell and time-specific manipulation of gene expression.

Presenting: "A High Tek Solution for Vascular Diseases"

Click HERE to download a copy of the programme


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