Keynote speakers

Prof. Mikael Rydén

“The role of white adipose tissue-from single cell studies to clinical implications”

Mikael Rydén is professor in clinical and experimental adipose tissue research and heads the Endocrinology unit as well as the Center for Clinical Metabolic Research in Diabetes at the Karolinska Institute. He is also senior consultant at the Endocrinology Unit Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. His research focuses on the role of human adipose tissue in several different conditions and spans from advanced cell- and molecular biology techniques in different cell culture models to clinical studies in man. He served as the Honorary Secretary of the EASD 2018-2022 where he was in charge of the scientific program at the annual EASD congress. He is also a member of the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet.

Prof. Kristina Schoonjans

“Bile acids as integrators of metabolic homeostasis”

Kristina Schoonjans is a Professor at the Institute of Bioengineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. She completed her doctoral and post-doctoral training in France at the Institut Pasteur in Lille and joined the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology in Strasbourg as an INSERM Researcher with a focus on metabolism. She contributed in a significant fashion to identifying the molecular pathways by which enterohepatic nuclear receptors and membrane receptors control metabolic homeostasis. Most importantly she identified the bile acid-responsive membrane receptor TGR5 as a non-genomic pathway by which bile acids act as endocrine regulators of energy expenditure, glucose metabolism, and inflammation, for which she was awarded the Adolf Windaus prize.

Associate Prof. Katrien De Bock

“ATF4 a regulator of endothelial metabolism in mouse and human”

Katrien De Bock is Associate Professor at ETH Zurich (Department of Health Sciences and Technology) since October 2015. Her laboratory focuses its research on investigating how endothelial cells rewire their metabolism during angiogenesis and how endothelial cells metabolically communicate with other cell types in the muscle microenvironment to maintain or establish muscle homeostasis. Specific interest goes to deciphering mechanisms of blood vessel growth and endothelial metabolic crosstalk in the muscle following exercise and/or muscle injury. For more information on the research and latest publications from the lab: 

Katrien De Bock was born in Belgium in 1980. She received her Master in Rehabilitation sciences in 2002. During her PhD-period at the Research Center for Exercise and Health (University of Leuven – Belgium – Oct 2002 to Sept 2007), she focused her research on exercise physiology and studied metabolic plasticity in muscle during exercise in the fasted state. From Oct 2007 to June 2013, she conducted a postdoctoral training at the Vesalius Research Center, Flemish Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology (VIB – University of Leuven) under the mentorship of Prof. Peter Carmeliet. Here, she studied the link between angiogenesis and metabolism during development and disease. In Sept 2014, Katrien De Bock received an assistant professorship position at University of Leuven (Belgium), but almost immediately moved to Madrid (Spain) for an intensive research stay in the laboratory of Prof. Julian Aragonés where she studied the link between hypoxia and metabolism (02-08/ 2014). Since 2015, she is associate professor at ETH in Zürich.

Prof. John Speakman

“Impact of very low protein diets on body weight regulation”

John Speakman is a Professor at the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology in Shenzhen, China and also at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, UK. He has been working on energy balance and obesity for more than 40 years. During that time, he published over 600 scientific papers including 11 in Nature/Science, and was featured twice on the cover of Nature. He is a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences, an academician of the Chinese National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the UK Royal Society. In 2020 he was awarded the US Obesity Society TOPS award (their premier research award) and was also awarded the Osborne-Mendel prize by the American Society of Nutrition for basic research.  In 2023 he will be the Society for Endocrinology Dale medalist.

Prof. Guido Bommer

“Non-enzymatic reactions and enzyme side-reactions in human diseases”

Guido Bommer and his team try to understand the role of non-enzymatic reactions and enzyme side reactions in the development of human diseases. To do so, they combine mass spectrometry approaches, genetic interventions and tools from classical enzymology. Recently, this has led to the elucidation of the biogenesis of novel post-translational modifications involved in neuromuscular diseases (i.e. ribitolphosphorylation) and Parkinson’s disease (i.e. N-glyceroylation and N-phosphoglyceroylation),  which was recompensated by the Vicomtesse Valine de Spoelberch prize.  

Guido Bommer graduated in Medicine from the University of Munich, Germany. After some time in clinical practice and a research fellowship in the laboratory of Eric Fearon at the University of Michigan, he obtained a PhD at the Université Catholique de Louvain. Since 2011, he is a permanent researcher of the Belgian National Research Fund (FNRS) and Professor at UCLouvain, Brussels. Since 2021, he was visiting Professor at the University of Parma, and in 2022 he held the Bauchau Chair at the University of Namur. His lab is generously supported by (among others) a WELBIO Starting Grant and an ERC Consolidator Grant.