Dr. Daniela Palacios (IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Italy)

Daniela Palacios trained in biochemistry and molecular biology at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, where she graduated in 1999. She then moved to the Institute of Cancer Research, in London, for her PhD thesis, focused on the epigenetic regulation of skeletal muscle development. After completing her PhD in 2004, she joined Dr. Puri’s lab (Rome, Italy and La Jolla, CA), where she worked on the molecular mechanisms by which cues present in the extra-cellular environment modulate the epigenome of adult stem cells. Her pioneer post-doctoral studies have significantly contributed to the description of the epigenetic network that controls muscle regeneration. Since 2013 she leads the Epigenetic and Signal Transduction Lab at Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome. Research in the lab integrates state-of-the-art high throughput genomic and proteomic approaches with biochemistry, imaging techniques and novel RNA-based nanotechnologies to unveil the epigenetic mechanisms altered in neuromuscular diseases, with a particular focus on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The ultimate goal of the lab is to identify new therapeutic standards for the treatment of muscle diseases.

Prof. Jean-Jacques Toulmé (Inserm, France)
Jean-Jacques Toulmé, trained both in chemistry and in biochemistry at the University of Orléans got his PhD in Physical Sciences at the University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris (1982). As an Associate Professor at the Museum of Natural History (Paris) he investigated nucleic acid protein-interactions, with particular interest for RNaseH-oligonucleotides complexes. He moved to the University of Bordeaux in 1990 where he worked on antisense oligonucleotides for controlling the development of protozoan parasites and viruses. At the head of the Molecular Biophysics Laboratory (1994-2006) and then of the Inserm Unit « RNA : Natural and Artficial Regulations» (until December 2014) he focused his activity on viral RNA structures, making use of combinatorial methods for developing artificial gene regulators. At the University of Bordeaux he chaired the "Department of Infectious Diseases » (1997-2000) and took the scientific direction of the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology (2000-2014). He chaired the committee for research at the Conseil régional d’Aquitaine (2012-2016). In 2015 he joined the steering committee of the Bordeaux Initiative of Excellence (IdEx) where he is in charge of research programmes. He founded Novaptech in 2008, a start up company providing aptamer-based devices to both academic labs and companies. J.-J. Toulmé is presently CSO at Novaptech, Emeritus Research Director at Inserm and Honorary Director of the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology. The work of his group is devoted to the design of in vitro selection procedures of aptamers.

Prof. Álvaro Somoza (IMDEA Nanociencia, Spain)

Álvaro Somoza obtained his Ph.D. at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in the group of Prof. Carmen Carreño focused on the total synthesis of natural compounds. Then, he joined the group of Prof. Eric T. Kool at Stanford University where he worked on the preparation of modified ribonucleosides to study the role of hydrogen bonding interactions between RNA strands in RNA interference. Later on, he moved back to Spain and joined the group of Prof. Ramón Eritja at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine Barcelona. There, he studied the interaction of hydrophobic moieties in RNA derivatives with protein complexes involved in the RNA interference process. In 2009 he joined IMDEA Nanociencia and in 2014 was promoted to Research Professor. His research projects are focused on the use of modified oligonucleotides and nanostructures in diverse applications such as the preparation of structured materials as well as systems to detect and treat different diseases such as uveal melanoma, pancreatic cancer or Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.