Speakers & Agenda

(Subject to change)

All talks will be held in the Edward Boyle Auditorium, JdP, St Hilda’s College.

DAY 1 – 11th April

0800: Registration

0830: Housekeeping

0840: Welcome by the Symposium Chair

0850: Welcome by the INSOAP President

Session 1 – Chemical Modifications

Chair: Professor Philip Johnson, York University, Canada


Professor Jesper Wengel
Professor and Center Director
, BioNEC – A VKR Center of Excellence, FKF – University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark

Title: Novel aptamers based on LNA and UNA


Dr Xianbin Yang
Director of R&D
, AM Biotechnologies, Houston, TX, USA

Title: X-Aptamers – Chemically modified aptamers that can be used for biomarker discovery


Dr Daniel Schneider
Senior Director
, Technology Development, Boulder, CO, SomaLogic, USA

Title: Next Generation Aptamers:  Enhancing Chemical Diversity with Multiple Pyrimidine Modifications

Session 2 – Disease

Chair: Professor Dr Beatrix Suess, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany


Dr Gregory Penner
President & Founder
, NeoNeuro SAS, 38 Rue de Berri, Paris, France

Title: Development of aptamers for the treatment and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease

1030: Refreshments, exhibition, posters


Professor Dr Ulrich Hahn (Symposium Chair)
University of Hamburg, Department Chemistry, Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hamburg, Germany

Title: Selectin and Integrin Aptamers


Professor Yoshikazu Nakamura
CEO & President, Ribomic Inc, Japan

Title: Anti-FGF2 aptamer restores bone growth affected in Achondroplasia transgenic mice


Professor Fernando Pastor Rodriguez
Principal Investigator
, Foundation for Applied Medical Research, Pamplona, Spain

Title: Targeting Co-Stimulation with Bi-Specific Aptamers to Melanoma Cancer Stem Cells


Dr Sarah Shigdar
Senior Lecturer in Medicine, Schoool of Medicine, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Australia

Title: Treating brain metastases with a bifunctional aptamer

1300: Group Photo, Lunch, exhibition, posters

Session 3 – Analysis/Diagnostics

Chair: Professor Yoshikazu Nakamura, Ribomic Inc, Japan


Professor Anthony Cass
Professor of Chemical Biology
, Department of Chemistry, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Imperial College London, UK

Title: Aptamers in Bioanalysis: from Lateral Flow to Nanopore Sensing


Dr Julian Tanner
Associate Professor & Coordinator
of Education Division of Biochemistry, University of Hong Kong, PR China

Title: Aptamers for Malaria Diagnosis


Professor Victoria Calzada
Principal Investigator,
Área de Radiofarmacia, Centro de Investigaciones Nucleares, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República, Montevideo-Uruguay

Title: Aptamers as molecular probes: multimodal imaging

1520: Refreshments, exhibition, posters

Session 4 – Tools/selection/design (Part I)

Chair: Professor Marit Nilsen-Hamilton, Iowa State University, USA


Dr David Bunka
Chief Technical Officer,
 Aptamer group, Bio Centre, Innovation Way, Heslington, York, UK

Title: Aptabind; Enabling Protein Purification


Dr Duncan Borthwick
Staff Scientist,
Dynamic Biosensors GmbH, Lochhamer Str 15, Planegg, Germany

Title: A Regenerating Biochip, Modelling the Kinetics of Aptamer Interactions using switchSENSE® Technology


Dr Sean Dembowski
Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, 207 Pleasant St. SE, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Title: Isolating aptamers for membrane proteins using capillary electophoresis-SELEX


Mr John Goertz
Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

Title: A novel photocatalyzed colorimetric reaction for real-time biosensing with catalytic aptamers

1725: Close of Day 1

1730: INSOAP AGM (open to all attendees)

1800: Aptamers Board meeting (Aptamers editorial board members only)

1915: Networking dinner (by prior booking or invitation only)

DAY 2 – 12th April

Session 4 – Tools/selection/design (Part II)

Chair: Professor Fernando Pastor Rodriguez, Foundation for Applied Medical Research, Spain


Dr Terry Steele
Assistant Professor, School of Materials Science & Engineering, College of Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Title: Exploiting aptamer adaptive binding towards reversible aptasensors


Dr Meltem Avci-Adali
University Hospital Tuebingen, Dept of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

Title: Biofunctionalization of hydrogels with aptamers for tissue engineering applications


Professor Philip Johnson
Associate Professor
, Department of Chemistry, York University, Toronto, ON, M3J 1P3, Canada

Title: Two-Site Binding by the Cocaine-Binding Aptamer

Session 5 – Riboswitches

Chair: Professor Dr Ulrich Hahn, University of Hamburg, Germany


Professor Dr Beatrix Suess (Aptamers 2016 Chair)
Professor of Synthetic Biology, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany

Title: Development of novel engineered riboswitches

1030: Refreshments, exhibition, posters


Dr Florian Groher
Department of Biology, Technical University Darmstadt, Schnittspahnstr 10, Darmstadt, Germany

Title: In Vivo Screening For New Synthetic Riboswitches


Dr Carlos Penedo
Principal Investigator
, Laboratory for Biophysics and Biomolecular Dynamics, SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, United Kingdom

Title: Single-molecule FRET structural analysis of nascent aptamer-expression platform riboswitch sequences along their transcriptional pathway


Professor Dr Mario Mörl 
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute for Biochemistry, Leipzig University, Brüderstr 34, Leipzig, Germany

Title: From Plug & Pray to Plug & Play – Aptamer-based transcriptional Riboswitches

1220: Lunch, exhibition, posters

Session 6 – Computation

Chair: Dr David Bunka, Aptamer Group, UK


Dr Muslum Ilgu
Aptalogic Inc, Molecular Biology Building, Ames, Iowa, USA

Title: Evaluation of MC-SYM structural predictions for an RNA aptamer with additional base stacking calculations and fluorescence of 2AP-substituted aptamers


Dr Gregory Penner
President & CEO, NeoVentures Biotechnology Inc, 5 York St, London, Ontario, N6A 1A1, Canada

Title: Using next generation sequence analysis to understand aptamer selection and application


Dr Maureen McKeague
Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich, Schmelzbergstrasse 9, Zürich, Switzerland

Title: Computational approaches for improving aptamers and their application to metabolic engineering

1410: Discussion Closing remarks by Professor Dr Ulrich Hahn

1430: Close and departure