Principal Investigators

Descriptions of IP-cure-B Principal Investigators

Fabien Zoulimis head of the Hepatology Department at Hospices Civils de Lyon and head of the Viral Hepatitis research laboratory at Inserm U1052. He has a strong track record in translational research for hepatitis B for the understanding of the viral mechanism of persistence and the identification of novel antiviral strategies. Recently, he has led several clinical trials for hepatitis B with a novel capsid assembly modulator and a therapeutic vaccine. He also has experience in the management of research consortia at the international level (for instance the ViRgil network of excellence funded by the EU FP6) and at the national level (for instance, coordination of the ANRS HBV cure program and of ANR (AgenceNationale de la Recherche, Program d’Investissementd’Avenir) program on circulating viral HBV RNAs as novel biomarkers of functional cure). His expertise will be an asset for the Proof of Concept clinical trial (WP2) and the associated translational research in virology and immunology (WP4 and WP5) as well as for the coordination of the IP-cureB program (WP1). He is also co-founder and vice-chair of ICE-HBV, which will help in the dissemination of results and communicaton to the general public (WP8).

Massimo Levrerois Professor in the Hepatology Department at Hospices Civils de Lyon and head of the Liver Epigenetics laboratory at Inserm U1052. He has an outstanding scientific production in the field of gene expression, molecular virology, and epigenetic regulation of HBV genome expression. His expertise will be instrumental for the analysis of the impact of hepatocyte signaling induced by TLR8 and RIG agonists and restoration of HBV specific T cell functions in WP4 and WP5.

Yves Levyis Professor in the Infectious Diseases Department at Henri Mondor Hospital, and head of the Vaccine Research Institute funded by ANR and ANRS. He has strong expertise and scientific production in the field of HIV and Ebola vaccine, with the use of novel Dendritic Cell targeting vaccine approaches. His involvement in the consortium will be instrumental for the design and evaluation of novel HBV therapeutic vaccine candidates in pre-clinical model in WP3.

Hélène Strick-Marchand is Principal Investigator at Pasteur Institute where she did pioneering work to establish a double humanized mouse model for the liver and the immune system. This seminal work opens new avenue of research to understand the mechanism of HBV persistence and evaluate novel therapeutic concepts based on immune restoration. This animal model will be a major asset for the pre-clinical evaluation of novel therapeutic vaccine candidates and for the investigation of the immunologic and antiviral activities of the combination of immune modulators proposed in WP3.

Sylvie Deuffic-Burban is senior researcher at Inserm (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) Unit 1137 where she is conducting her research on the modeling of infectious and liver diseases with a focus on morbi-mortality and cost-effectiveness. She has made significant contributions in this field regarding HCV infections and she is now expanding her work to HBV and other liver diseases. Her expertise will contribute to the cost-effectiveness modeling of the novel HBV cure strategies in WP7.

Evelyne Jouvin-Marche is Principal Investigator at Inserm Unit 1022 where she has developed expertise in the study of intrahepatic innate immunity (especially NK cells) and its role in the pathogenesis of chronic viral hepatitis (HCV and HBV). This expertise will be important to understand how the TLR8 agonist modulate intrahepatic innate immunity and its consequence on viral replication (WP5).

Laura Richertis a clinical epidemiologist and associate professor in public health/biostatistics at the Bordeaux School of Public Health and at theInsermUnit 1219 on Statistics in systems biology and translational medicine. Her expertise contributed to the study of virus-host interactions in cell culture models of HIV infection and to integrative statistical analyses of the immune responses to immunotherapies and vaccines. Her team will have a major contribution to the integrated analysis of biological and clinical data generated in experimental models and in the clinic during the PoC clinical trial (WP6).
Linda Wittkopis a clinical epidemiologist and associate professor in public health/biostatistics atInserm CIC U1401 and EUCLID-FCRIN clinical trial unit where she is interested in clinical study and trial design, and in the analysis of clinical study results in the field of infectious diseases. She has very good scientific output in clinical studies for HIV and HIV/HCV co-oinfections. Her expertise and her team will be a major contributor in the clinical trial design, management, monitoring and analysis of results of the PoC clinical trial in WP2.

Giuseppe Pantaleo is Chief of the Division of Immunology and Allergy, and of the Laboratory of AIDS Immunopathogenesis at the Centre HospitalierUniversitaire Vaudois (CHUV), University of Lausanne. His research is focusing on the delineation of the immunopathogenesis of HIV infection, immune reconstitution after antiretroviral therapy, and immune-based therapeutic strategies and vaccines. His outstanding expertise in immunology will be a major asset for the design of novel therapeutic vaccine candidates for HBV (WP3), for the evaluation of novel immune signatures for functional cure of HBV (WP5) and for biological data integration (WP6).

Pietro Lamperticois head if the Hepatogastroenterology Department in Milan at IRCCS where he has developed a strong clinical research program on chronic hepatitis B. He has a longstanding experience in clinical trials for chronic hepatitis B and C, as well as in cohort studies of patients with chronic HBV infections. His clinical expertise and management of large cohorts of patients will be instrumental for the performance of the PoC clinical trial (WP2) and for the translational research on novel biomarkers of cure (WP4 and WP5).

Carlo Ferrari is head of the Internal Medicine Department in Parma and head of the Immunology research laboratory at Parma University. He is a key opinion leader in HBV immunopathogenesis. He has an outstanding track record of publications in the field of HBV immunology and the elucidation of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of HBV specific T cell exhaustion. His team will be involved in the PoC clinical trial (WP2) and will have a major role in the immunologic monitoring of patients and the investigation of the restoration of antiviral T cell functions (WP5).

George Papatheodoridisis head of the Department of Gastroenterology at Laiko General Hospital of Athens. He has developed a strong clinical research program on chronic hepatitis B. He has been leading major clinical cohort studies and has been involved in major clinical trials for novel treatment strategies of chronic hepatitis B, C and Delta. His implication will be an asset for the PoC clinical trial (WP2) with the recruitment of patients from Southern Europe and for the virologic monitoring of antiviral responses. Furthermore, he has also been interested in public health issues and cost-effectiveness studies for chronic viral hepatitis which will be important for WP7 to support the biostatistical analysis.

Maria ButiisProfessor of Medicine and Chief of Internal Medicine and Hepatology at the Valld’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona. She has a longstanding experience in the management of chronic hepatitis B and has been involved in major clinical trials of novel antiviral therapies for hepatitis B and C, as well as in cohort studies. She has also a strong background in clinical virology. Her expertise will contribute significantly to the PoC clinical trial (WP2), the clinical virology monitoring of treatment activity (WP4) and the cost-effectiveness studies in WP7 as she has been interested in public health issues related to viral hepatitis.

Peter Liljeström is Professor at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm where he develops his research on the development of new vaccines. Prof. Peter Liljeström has pioneered the field of alphavirus vectors. His laboratory is developing new vaccines against infectious diseases and study the immune mechanisms underlying protective immune responses. His outstanding expertise will greatly contribute to WP3 for the design, evaluation and selection of the best HBV therapeutic vaccine in the humanized mouse model to be pushed to clinical trial evaluation.

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