Pärt Peterson is Professor of Molecular Immunology at the University of Tartu, Estonia. He graduated in molecular biology from the University of Tartu and defended his PhD on molecular immunology in 1996 at the University of Tempere, Finland. He spent his postdoctoral period in the Institute of Medical Technology where his research interest focused on Autoimmune Regulator (AIRE) gene, the key factor in central thymic tolerance. He also co-discovered DANN methyltransferase 3-like (DNMT3L) gene, a regulator of DNA methylation and epigenetic imprinting.
Graca has an MD from the University of Lisbon, Portugal and a PhD in transplant immunology from the University of Oxford, UK. He developed his post-doctoral research first in Oxford and later at the Institute for Child Health Research, in Perth, Australia. His currently Professor of Immunology at the University of Lisbon Medical School, directing a research group in Cellular Immunology at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular. His most significant scientific contributions have been related with the field of transplantation and autoimmunity. Graca has been especially interested in the biology of different types of regulatory T cells, namely T follicular regulatory cells – a cell type he co-discovered. His recent interests include the development of strategies for stratification of immune-mediated disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome or lupus, based on blood biomarkers.
Carole GUILLONNEAU (French) got her PhD in 2005 from the University of Paris VII Denis Diderot and a diploma of Habilitation à Diriger la Recherche (HDR) from the University of Nantes (2015). She did her post-doc at the University of Melbourne in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Pr. Doherty (2006-2009). She was recruited at the CNRS in 2009 and she is now Director of Research 2nd class at the CNRS, working at the CRTI INSERM U1064 in Nantes in the areas of immune tolerance and immunotherapies. She is leading research projects focused on the understanding of tolerance in transplantation and autoimmune diseases, the establishment of new strategies of tolerance induction and a better prognosis/diagnosis of patients.
Matthieu Giraud got his PhD in 2002. His research interest has focused on the study of the control of self-antigen expression by AIRE and the impact of its deregulation on the outcome of the multi-organ autoimmune disease APECED, Myasthenia Gravis or Type I Diabetes. He has acquired an invaluable experience in the study of AIRE and central tolerance thanks to the mentorship of Drs D. Mathis and C. Benoist during his postdoc at Harvard University and the BroadInstitute of MIT (2007-2011). He obtained in 2011 an INSERM permanent position in Immunology and Genetics. He set up his group at Cochin Institute, Paris, in a research team that he co-headed in 2011. He joined the CRTI, Nantes, in 2017 in the team of Drs Guillonneau and Anegon where he coordinates research on central immunological tolerance using molecular and cellular approaches combined with transcriptional and epigenetic techniques associated with advanced bioinformatics. He also leads research on iSPc differentiation into thymus organoids to support ex vivo T cell development and immune system regeneration.
Petteri Arstila is now a clinical instructor. The overall goal of his ongoing research is to characterize in detail the origin and consequences of the T cell dysregulation in APECED.