5th International Meeting on Apicomplexan Parasites in Farm Animals

2–4 October 2019 • Berlin, Germany

5th International Meeting on Apicomplexan Parasites in Farm Animals

2–4 October 2019 • Berlin, Germany

Congress details



Invited speakers

Curriculum Vitae
Dr. Henk Wisselink is research scientist and project leader at the department of Infection Biology at Wageningen Bioveterinary Research in Lelystad, The Netherlands. He is a microbiologist and has over 35 years experience in research of diseases in animals. His areas of expertise are veterinary microbiology, food safety, zoonoses, meat chain quality and diagnostics. He participates in several national and international projects for research to Toxoplasma gondii infections. As project leader he is involved in a national project for the control of Toxoplasma gondii infections in pigs. He has authored and co-authored more than 60 publications in peer reviewed scientific journals.

Curriculum Vitae


Graduate and Ph.D. student in the ENEA-Euratom Immunogenetics Group of Rome

Research topics:

  • cooperation between B and T helper lymphocytes during the antibody response


Ph.D. student in the Laboratory of Neurobiology of C.N.R. (Rome)

Research topics:
  • effects of nerve growth factor (NGF) on the differentiation of non-neuronal cell types

Nov 1986-Mar 1992

Staff Scientist in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the Sclavo Research Centre (Siena)

Research topics:
  • mapping of the interleukin-1beta binding sites for type I and II receptors

Apr 1992-Apr 1993

Research Assistant in the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Parasitology at the Imperial College of London

Research topics:
  • cloning and expression of malaria transmission-blocking antibodies

May 1993-Oct 1999

Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Parasitology at the University of Rome "Sapienza"

Research topics:

  • characterization of Cryptosporidium parvum adeshion molecules involved in host-cell invasion
  • analysis of intra- and inter-specific genetic variation in Cryptosporidium
  • molecular characterization of Toxoplasma gondii surface antigens

Since 1999


Staff researcher in the Dept. of Infectious  Diseases of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

Research topics:

  • molecular and functional characterization of Toxoplasma gondii host-cell invasion mechanisms
  • identification of proteins expressed in the oocyst/sporozoite stage of Toxoplasma gondii
  • proteomics of the oocyst/sporozoite stage of Toxoplasma gondii
  • characterization of Cryptosporidium parvum proteins involved in parasite-host cell interaction

Since 2008

Responsible of the section “Cellular Biology of Toxoplasma” of the European Reference Laboratory for Parasites

Selected publications

  • Possenti, A. et al. Molecular characterization of a novel family of cysteine-rich proteins of Toxoplasma gondii and ultrastructural evidence of oocyst wall localization. Int. J. Parasitol. 40: 1639–1649, 2010
  • Valentini, E. et al. Molecular characterisation of a Cryptosporidium parvum rhoptry protein candidate related to the rhoptry neck proteins TgRON1 of Toxoplasma gondii and PfASP of Plasmodium falciparum. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 183(1):6, 2012
  • Possenti, A. et al. Global proteomic analysis of the oocyst/sporozoite of Toxoplasma gondii reveals commitment to a host-independent lifestyle. BMC Genomics doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-14-183, 2013
  • Santana, SS. et al. CCp5A Protein from Toxoplasma gondii as a Serological Marker of Oocyst-driven Infections in Humans and Domestic Animals. Front. Microbiol. 2015 doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.01305
  • Parker, ML. et al. Dissecting the interface between apicomplexan parasite and host cell: Insights from a divergent AMA-RON2 pair. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A., 2015

Curriculum Vitae
Hernan Lorenzi, PhD is an assistant professor in the Infectious Disease Group at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). His research is currently focused on understanding how protozoan parasites and bacteria evolve and interact with the human host to cause disease. Dr. Lorenzi’s lab uses a combination of next generation sequencing technologies and bioinformatics approaches to elucidate the effect of microbial, parasite and host genetics on human disease, and assists in the development of vaccines and novel therapeutic treatments. Dr. Lorenzi has led several NIAID-funded studies to characterize the genomes and assess the population diversity of human pathogens and related organism, including Cryptosporidium muris, Toxoplasma gondii, Hammondia hammondi and Gragarina niphandrodes. Currently Dr. Lorenzi’s lab is applying high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics analyses to study host-pathogen interactions in Toxoplasmosis and protective immunity in Malaria. In addition, his lab is carrying out a number of studies to elucidate the impact of long-term space travel and different diets on the Astronauts’ microbiome and health.

Curriculum Vitae
My scientific career started as an undergraduate student during the last year of the Veterinary Degree at the University of León, when I received a grant from the Spanish Government (Ministry of Education) and produced a minor thesis on maedi visna, a lentiviral infection of ruminants. I continued the research on this topic for my PhD thanks to two predoctoral grants from the regional (FPI, Junta de Castilla y León) and national Governments (FPU, MEC). My PhD thesis obtained the maximum calcification (Sobresaliente cum laude) and the Extraordinary Doctorate Award of the Veterinary Degree, University of León (2007).

After finishing my PhD I moved to Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK with a permanent postdoctoral position as Veterinary Research Immunopathologist, where I worked for 3 years and 4 months. In this time I participated in several research projects focused on analysing the host-pathogen relation in different diseases of ruminants (i.e. neosporosis, toxoplasmosis, malignant catarrhal fever, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis and louping ill). My role in these projects was centered in analyzing the pathological and immune responses developed by the host as a consequence of the infection and how the vaccination or host strain could influence over this response. At this time I was granted a research project as co-Principal investigator, and had the opportunity to supervise several Degree and PhD students.

As my second Postdoctoral position I moved to the Instituto de Ganadería de Montaña (CSIC-University of León), Spain, under a JAE-doc contract (CSIC) for three years. In 2011 I was granted a research project (Ref. AGL2011-30205) by the Spanish Government (MICIN) as Principal Investigator, which allowed me to initiate a new line of research in the institute based on the study of protozoan diseases of ruminants. Within this line, I have been also granted as Principal Investigator three research projects: one within the European NADIR Transnational Access Projects,other from the BSAS/Biosciences KTN program and the more recent one (Ref. AGL2016-75935-C2-2-R) by the Spanish Government (MIC). Currently, I have a permanent contract as scientist with the Spanish Research Council, where I lead a line of research in protozoan diseases of ruminants.

During my scientific career I have published 79 peer-reviewed papers, 57 of them in journals within the first quartile of the area of research. I have participated in 18 research projects (10 national and 8 international), 4 of them as Principal Investigator, and 13 research contracts, 6 of the as Principal Investigator. Co-supervised 5 PhD theses (3 currently under development), 5 final degree dissertations and 1 master thesis. I have also published 20 papers in knowledge transfer journals.

Curriculum Vitae
Philipp Olias earned his DVM and Ph.D. (2010) from Freie Universität Berlin in Germany and completed his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of David Sibley at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO (2012 to 2016). He is a board-certified veterinary pathologist (Dipl. ECVP) and is currently working at the University of Bern in Switzerland. His group investigates the molecular mechanisms how the apicomplexan parasites Theileria and Cryptosporidium interfere with the host cell proteome and cause disease.

Curriculum Vitae
L. David Sibley is the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor in Molecular Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Sibley is recognized for his work on the cellular and molecular basis of intracellular parasitism and for defining the molecular determinants of pathogenesis that underlie diseases caused by protozoan parasites. Sibley earned a B.A. degree in biological sciences from Oberlin College in 1978, and a Ph.D. in zoology and physiology from Louisiana State University in 1985. He completed postdoctoral fellowships at the U.S. Public Health Service’s National Hansen’s Disease Center and Stanford University School of Medicine.  In 1991, Sibley joined the faculty in the Department of Molecular Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. He is a Burroughs-Wellcome Scholar in Molecular Parasitology (2000-2005), a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology (2007), recipient of the Alice and CC Wang Molecular Parasitology Award from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2017), and an Elected Fellow of the American Association for Advancement Science (2018).

Jon Boyle is an Associate Professor in Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, USA.  In 1995 he received his undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Montana and after working at the University of Montpellier II as a Fullbright Scholar he joined the laboratory of Dr. Timothy Yoshino in 1996 to perform his doctoral studies.  There he studied host-parasite interactions between larval stages of the human trematode parasite Schistosoma mansoni and its snail host and graduated with a PhD in 2003. He then joined the laboratory of Dr. John Boothroyd at Stanford University to study molecular determinants of virulence in the Apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii.  He joined the Department of Biology at the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 where he continues his work on Toxoplasma-host interactions.  His work integrates multiple omics techniques with cell biology and genetics to identify, and ultimately characterize, key parasite effectors and how they determine virulence differences between Toxoplasma strains as well as between closely related species.

Curriculum Vitae
Virginia completed her PhD (2011) in the Department of Animal Health of the Universidad Complutense of Madrid in Prof. Luis Ortega-Moras’ lab, testing transgenic strains of Neospora caninum as live vaccines and identifying new vaccine targets by proteomic approaches. Thereafter, Virginia moved to The Royal Veterinary College as a postdoctoral researcher in Profs. Fiona Tomley and Damer Blakes’ lab, working in different molecular parasitology and vaccine development of Eimeria species. In 2017 she was appointed as Research Fellow in Veterinary Vaccinology in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Sciences. Virginia current research is focus on the biology and control of Eimeria parasites affecting chickens. She has optimised in vitro methods of infection and development for sporozoites of E. tenella (Houghton Trust Small Research Grant) and standardised RNA interference and inhibition assays for the investigation of functional roles of parasite and host proteins identified in the previous approaches for identification of new therapeutic targets (BBSRC BB/L00299X). She leads research in transgenesis in E. tenella, developing protocols for the use of this parasite as delivery vector for antigens of other avian pathogens. She has improved the expression of antigens in transgenic parasites and used protein fusions with fluorescent reporters for protein localization that has significantly simplified the conventional procedures for protein characterization (BBSRC BB/H020195/2) in this parasite.