10th European meetings on viral zoonoses
Invited speakers
  • Amy Hartman (US)
  • Anna-Bella Failloux (FR)
  • Daniel Růžek (CZ)
  • Emma Thomson (UK)
  • Stefan Finke (DE)
  • Thijs Kuiken (NL)
Amy Hartman

Professor Amy Hartman is based at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, University of Pittsburgh, USA; where she rose through the ranks, starting as research manager, research instructor then assistant professor to her current position as Associate Professor with tenure. She is also faculty member of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh.

She obtained her PhD in Molecular Virology and Microbiology also from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003, before joining the CDC Special Pathogens Branch as ORISE fellow from 2003-2007. Professor Hartman has a long-standing interest in arboviruses, and specifically also neuropathology and neuroinflammation associated with bunyavirus infection, in particular Rift Valley fever virus though this is by no means exclusive! She has made pioneering contributions to the field, that I don’t want to go into in detail as undoubtedly, she will touch on these during her presentation. As organisers, we are sure that Richard Elliott would have been absolutely delighted to have Professor Hartman giving this memorial award lecture- the field of bunyavirology has seen amazing progress, not the least through Professor Hartman’s work. We are delighted that she could join us to give the opening lecture of EMVZ, and she will receive the dedication and award afterwards.

Anna-Bella Failloux

Professor Anna-Bella Failloux's research focuses on mosquito-borne diseases and more specifically, on interactions Aedes mosquitoes and pathogens. She did her PhD work on the mosquito Aedes polynesiensis in relation with the transmission of the filaria Wuchereria bancrofti. As a post-doc, she developed genetic markers to uncover the complex genetic structure of Aedes aegypti, the primary dengue vector. In 2011, she became the head of an independent group which has been actively involved in defining the role of mosquito vectors in the emergences of chikungunya and Zika. The aim of her research is to evaluate the relative contributions of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors that led to the emergence of arboviruses. She collaborates with the institutes of the Pasteur Network and participates actively in teaching medical entomology.

Daniel Růžek

Daniel Ruzek (* 1981) is a professor of virology at the Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, and senior scientist at the Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences. He received his PhD in 2008 in the field of molecular and cell biology and genetics from the Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic, and completed postdoctoral training at the Department of Virology and Immunology, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, USA, in 2008-2009. In 2022-2023, he was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Virology at Yamaguchi University, Japan.

His research focuses primarily on tick-borne flaviviruses, with particular interest in pathogenesis and the development of novel antiviral strategies. However, he also works on a wide range of other important human viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, monkeypox virus, rabies virus, and others. He has published more than 150 articles in scientific journals (including Nature, Science Immunology, Nature Communications, Lancet, and others), 5 books, and 19 book chapters. He is an editor or member of editorial boards of several journals, including Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, Antiviral Research, Acta Virologica, and others. His research has been awarded with several scientific prizes, including the Sinnecker-Kunz Award, the Werner von Siemens Award, the Czech Minister of Health Prize, etc.

Emma Thomson

Professor Emma Thomson is a COG-UK Principal Investigator for the University of Glasgow and Clinical Professor in Infectious Diseases at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR), and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  She received a PhD in 2011 from Imperial College London, having previously carried out medical studies and obtained her qualifications. She is currently associate director of the CVR, external consultant for WHO, and member of the UK vaccine taskforce group in viral genomics. In 2020 she received an OBE for her services to the NHS during Covid 19.  She has worked on a number of emerging viral infections including hepatitis C and E, Ebola virus, emerging rhabdoviruses in Uganda, CCHF, SARS-CoV-2 and most recently AAV2. Her laboratory uses next generation sequencing to detect new and emerging viruses in Uganda and in the UK and molecular assays to investigate the phenotype of potential pathogens. She is engaged in improving diagnostic capacity so that undiagnosed new or emerging infections may be detected at source more rapidly in the future, allowing for early control interventions. Her achievements really are numerous, and outstanding- I would encourage everyone to read the AAV2 paper in Nature as an example of viral detective work- and it is a real privilege to have Emma here to present some of her current work.

Stefan Finke

Stefan Finke leads the Institute of Molecular Virology and Cell Biology (IMVZ) at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI), Germany, and holds a professorship in virology and cell biology at Greifswald University. After studying biology, 1994 he joined the Conzelmann lab at the Federal Research Institute for Viral Diseases of Animals, Tübingen for his doctoral thesis on Rabies Virus RNA synthesis. After several years at the Max von Pettenkofer Institute in Munich, he habilitated in virology. Since 2006, he continues his research on neuroinvasive and zoonotic RNA viruses at FLI. Main interests are molecular virus-host interactions, pathomechanisms and virus control.

Thijs Kuiken

Thijs Kuiken was born in Hong Kong and studied veterinary medicine at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands from 1980 to 1988.  He obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1998. He specialized in veterinary pathology and was accepted as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 2002. Since 2007, he is Professor of Comparative Pathology at the Department of Viroscience of the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where he performs research on emerging viral diseases such as avian influenza and COVID-19 using a One Health approach.