Aktogen

Advisory Board

Dr. Michael Ashburner, FRS, is Professor of Biology at the University of Cambridge, UK. Dr. Ashburner was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he received his Ph.D. in genetics at 1968. He has been visiting professor at the many universities around the world. His major research interest is the structure and evolution of genomes. Most of his research has been with the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, and he is a member of the consortium which recently sequenced the entire genome of this fly. Dr. Ashburner is the former Joint Head of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) at Hinxton, Cambridge, UK. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and of the Academia Europeae. He is a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, and past president of the British Genetical Society.

Mark Geyer, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, CA, USA, where he has worked since completing his Ph.D. in Psychology in 1972. Dr. Geyer’s laboratory uses behavioural measures and psychopharmacological manipulations in rodents and humans to develop animal models of human drug effects. He uses startle measures of habituation and pre-pulse inhibition. A pioneer in the translational study of sensorimotor gating deficits in schizophrenia and related animal models, Dr. Geyer is the Director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit of the VISN 22 VA Administration’s Mental Illness Research, Clinical, and Education Center. Dr. Geyer is also Co-Chair of the Neuropharmacology Committee and Chair of the New Approaches Committee of the NIMH/UCLA program called MATRICS, which is working to establish a path to the registration by FDA of drugs for the amelioration of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. He is current and past president of several international scientific societies. Dr. Geyer is a Fellow in American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Jay Hirsh, Ph.D. is Professor of Biology at the Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Chrlottesville, VA, USA. He has graduated in Chemistry from Northwestern University, Evanston, ILL, USA in 1971, and then completed a Ph.D. at Brandeis University in Biochemistry. During his carrier he had appointments at California Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School. The current interest in Dr. Hirsh’s laboratory is novel genetic systems for the study of drugs of abuse employing fruit fly and lately mice. They have found that cocaine administered to fruit flies induces multiple reflexive motor responses that resemble cocaine induced behaviours in rodents. Furthermore, Drosophila develop a behavioural sensitization to repeated doses of cocaine. Their results suggest that the pathways leading to cocaine induced responses and sensitization are evolutionarily conserved between Drosophila and higher vertebrates, and that this genetically tractable animal can be used as model system to help determine the biological mechanisms underlying these processes.

Dr. Tamas Lukacsovich is Research Faculty (Project Scientist) at the Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine. He has graduated in immunology at Eötvös Lóránd University in Hungary in 1982 and completed his PhD in molecular biology/biochemistry at Biological Research Center of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He had been postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Alan Waldman's laboratory at University of South Carolina, then ERATO researcher in Japan in Dr. Daisuke Yamamoto's group. During these years he changed his working subject from immunology to bacterial transcriptional regulation to studying homologous recombination in mammalian tissue culture and then to Drosophila behavioural genetics. During these switches he acquired comprehensive knowledge about different scientific fields but connected these distant areas by applying the same innovative molecular biological tools. He designed and created complex molecular biological systems and rather considers himself being a "genetic engineer" than "scientist".

Dr. Charalambos Kyriacou is Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the Department of Genetics, University of Leicester. He graduated in Psychology from Birmingham University in 1973, and did his PhD in fruit-fly behavioural genetics in Sheffield. He worked as a demonstrator in the Psychology department at Edinburgh, then went to Brandeis University in Boston to work with Jeff Hall in the field of fly neurogenetics. There he started working on the period circadian clock gene, which eventually resulted in the molecular identification of period by the Brandeis group, the first ‘behavioural gene’ to be cloned. He has published widely in the area of molecular behavioural genetics both on flies, and more recently, on mice. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and is a Royal Society Wolfson Research Fellow.

Dr. Cahir O’Kane is Reader in Genetics at the Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK. He has graduated in Natural Sciences (Genetics) from University of Cambridge, UK in 1981, and then completed his Ph.D. at Trinity College, Dublin (1985). Between 1985 and 1988 had been a postdoctoral fellow in the Gehring’s laboratory in Basel, Switzerland. Dr. O’Kane had significant contributions to fruit fly behaviour genetics. He invented the widely used enhancer trap genetic system in Drosophila, his laboratory introduced application of toxin transgenes to dissection of behaviour and took part in the identification of brain regions and cells important for fly learning and memory and sexual behaviour. His laboratory established a semi-automated olfactory habituation system in Drosophila for mutant screens. Recently, Dr. O’Kane’s attention turned to fruit fly models of human diseases, including neurodegenerative and muscle disorders.

Dr. Michael Owen is Professor of Psychological Medicine, Head of Department of Psychological Medicine and Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff. Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust. Dr. Michael Owen qualified in Medicine in Birmingham in 1983 and also took a BSc in anatomical studies in 1979 and a PhD in Neuroscience in 1982. He studied Psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and was subsequently a lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry. In 1997 he became an MRC Training Fellow at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Imperial College, London. In 1990 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Neuropsychiatric Genetics at the University of Wales College of Medicine, being promoted to Personal Chair in 1995. Since 1999 he has been Professor of Psychological Medicine and Head of Department of Psychological Medicine. His research interests are in the genetics of psychiatric disorders especially Schizophrenia, Alzheimer's Disease and Bipolar Disorder. He is currently President of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, and member of the Council of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Dr. Trevor Robbins gained his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Cambridge, in Department of Psychopharmacology. He was appointed in 1997 as Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience. Recently, he has been elected to the Chair of Experimental Psychology at Cambridge. He is also Director of the newly-established Cambridge MRC Centre in Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience, the main objective of which is to inter-relate basic and clinical research in Psychiatry and Neurology for such conditions as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases, schizophrenia, depression, drug addiction and developmental syndromes. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He has received numerous awards and honours as recognition of his science. He has been President of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society and also President of the British Association of Psychopharmacology from 1996 to 1997.

Mr. John Rountree, is a Managing Partner of NovaSecta Limited, an advisory firm that is focused exclusively on the Mid-Cap Life Sciences sector. He has extensive experience of advising senior executives and creating value through consulting, project management and business development. Over the last 15 years he has been a Director and senior partner of SDG Inc, the pioneer of novel pharmaceutical R&D decision-making practices, the European Head of Integral Inc, an innovation and growth consulting business, and a board member with two early-stage UK biotechs, overseeing commercial and business development activities.

Tim Tully, Ph.D., scientific founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Helicon Therapeutics, Farmingdale, NY, USA, till recently was a professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY USA, which he joined in 1991. A native of Washington, IL, Tully attended the University of Illinois, where he obtained a B.Sc. in both Biology and Psychology and a Ph.D. (1981) in Genetics. He has worked at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University before joining Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Tully is an internationally recognized authority in the study of the genetic basis of learning and memory. He is recipient of numerous honours and awards for his research furthermore he has very rare and valuable practical experience in exploiting fruit fly models in commercial collaborations.

Mr. Reinhard Wolf is Senior Researcher at the Department of Genetics, Theodor Boveri Institute of Biological Sciences, Wuerzburg Germany. He has graduated in Applied Physics and Engineering from University of Applied Sciences in Heilbronn, Germany in 1975. Right after that he has joined Prof. Martin Heisenberg’s laboratory in Wuerzburg and works there ever since. He is one of drivers of developing such high-tech methods for the behavioural research in Drosophila as the flight simulator, which led to detailed analysis of learning, memory, visual pattern discrimination, the role of the mushroom bodies and central complex of the fly brain in visual learning. Mr. Wolf is author of 58 papers and a book on fly learning and vision. His unique background in physics, engineering and Drosophila behaviour makes Mr. Wolf an invaluable resource in building automated behaviour systems.

Advisory Board

Dr. Michael Ashburner, FRS, is Professor of Biology at the University of Cambridge, UK. Dr. Ashburner was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he received his Ph.D. in genetics at 1968. He has been visiting professor at the many universities around the world. His major research interest is the structure and evolution of genomes. Most of his research has been with the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, and he is a member of the consortium which recently sequenced the entire genome of this fly. Dr. Ashburner is the former Joint Head of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) at Hinxton, Cambridge, UK. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and of the Academia Europeae. He is a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, and past president of the British Genetical Society.

Mark Geyer, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, CA, USA, where he has worked since completing his Ph.D. in Psychology in 1972. Dr. Geyer’s laboratory uses behavioural measures and psychopharmacological manipulations in rodents and humans to develop animal models of human drug effects. He uses startle measures of habituation and pre-pulse inhibition. A pioneer in the translational study of sensorimotor gating deficits in schizophrenia and related animal models, Dr. Geyer is the Director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit of the VISN 22 VA Administration’s Mental Illness Research, Clinical, and Education Center. Dr. Geyer is also Co-Chair of the Neuropharmacology Committee and Chair of the New Approaches Committee of the NIMH/UCLA program called MATRICS, which is working to establish a path to the registration by FDA of drugs for the amelioration of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. He is current and past president of several international scientific societies. Dr. Geyer is a Fellow in American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Jay Hirsh, Ph.D. is Professor of Biology at the Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Chrlottesville, VA, USA. He has graduated in Chemistry from Northwestern University, Evanston, ILL, USA in 1971, and then completed a Ph.D. at Brandeis University in Biochemistry. During his carrier he had appointments at California Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School. The current interest in Dr. Hirsh’s laboratory is novel genetic systems for the study of drugs of abuse employing fruit fly and lately mice. They have found that cocaine administered to fruit flies induces multiple reflexive motor responses that resemble cocaine induced behaviours in rodents. Furthermore, Drosophila develop a behavioural sensitization to repeated doses of cocaine. Their results suggest that the pathways leading to cocaine induced responses and sensitization are evolutionarily conserved between Drosophila and higher vertebrates, and that this genetically tractable animal can be used as model system to help determine the biological mechanisms underlying these processes.

Dr. Tamas Lukacsovich is Research Faculty (Project Scientist) at the Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine. He has graduated in immunology at Eötvös Lóránd University in Hungary in 1982 and completed his PhD in molecular biology/biochemistry at Biological Research Center of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He had been postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Alan Waldman's laboratory at University of South Carolina, then ERATO researcher in Japan in Dr. Daisuke Yamamoto's group. During these years he changed his working subject from immunology to bacterial transcriptional regulation to studying homologous recombination in mammalian tissue culture and then to Drosophila behavioural genetics. During these switches he acquired comprehensive knowledge about different scientific fields but connected these distant areas by applying the same innovative molecular biological tools. He designed and created complex molecular biological systems and rather considers himself being a "genetic engineer" than "scientist".

Dr. Charalambos Kyriacou is Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the Department of Genetics, University of Leicester. He graduated in Psychology from Birmingham University in 1973, and did his PhD in fruit-fly behavioural genetics in Sheffield. He worked as a demonstrator in the Psychology department at Edinburgh, then went to Brandeis University in Boston to work with Jeff Hall in the field of fly neurogenetics. There he started working on the period circadian clock gene, which eventually resulted in the molecular identification of period by the Brandeis group, the first ‘behavioural gene’ to be cloned. He has published widely in the area of molecular behavioural genetics both on flies, and more recently, on mice. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and is a Royal Society Wolfson Research Fellow.

Dr. Cahir O’Kane is Reader in Genetics at the Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK. He has graduated in Natural Sciences (Genetics) from University of Cambridge, UK in 1981, and then completed his Ph.D. at Trinity College, Dublin (1985). Between 1985 and 1988 had been a postdoctoral fellow in the Gehring’s laboratory in Basel, Switzerland. Dr. O’Kane had significant contributions to fruit fly behaviour genetics. He invented the widely used enhancer trap genetic system in Drosophila, his laboratory introduced application of toxin transgenes to dissection of behaviour and took part in the identification of brain regions and cells important for fly learning and memory and sexual behaviour. His laboratory established a semi-automated olfactory habituation system in Drosophila for mutant screens. Recently, Dr. O’Kane’s attention turned to fruit fly models of human diseases, including neurodegenerative and muscle disorders.

Dr. Michael Owen is Professor of Psychological Medicine, Head of Department of Psychological Medicine and Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff. Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust. Dr. Michael Owen qualified in Medicine in Birmingham in 1983 and also took a BSc in anatomical studies in 1979 and a PhD in Neuroscience in 1982. He studied Psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and was subsequently a lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry. In 1997 he became an MRC Training Fellow at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at Imperial College, London. In 1990 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Neuropsychiatric Genetics at the University of Wales College of Medicine, being promoted to Personal Chair in 1995. Since 1999 he has been Professor of Psychological Medicine and Head of Department of Psychological Medicine. His research interests are in the genetics of psychiatric disorders especially Schizophrenia, Alzheimer's Disease and Bipolar Disorder. He is currently President of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, and member of the Council of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Dr. Trevor Robbins gained his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Cambridge, in Department of Psychopharmacology. He was appointed in 1997 as Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience. Recently, he has been elected to the Chair of Experimental Psychology at Cambridge. He is also Director of the newly-established Cambridge MRC Centre in Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience, the main objective of which is to inter-relate basic and clinical research in Psychiatry and Neurology for such conditions as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases, schizophrenia, depression, drug addiction and developmental syndromes. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He has received numerous awards and honours as recognition of his science. He has been President of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society and also President of the British Association of Psychopharmacology from 1996 to 1997.

Mr. John Rountree, is a Managing Partner of NovaSecta Limited, an advisory firm that is focused exclusively on the Mid-Cap Life Sciences sector. He has extensive experience of advising senior executives and creating value through consulting, project management and business development. Over the last 15 years he has been a Director and senior partner of SDG Inc, the pioneer of novel pharmaceutical R&D decision-making practices, the European Head of Integral Inc, an innovation and growth consulting business, and a board member with two early-stage UK biotechs, overseeing commercial and business development activities.

Tim Tully, Ph.D., scientific founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Helicon Therapeutics, Farmingdale, NY, USA, till recently was a professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY USA, which he joined in 1991. A native of Washington, IL, Tully attended the University of Illinois, where he obtained a B.Sc. in both Biology and Psychology and a Ph.D. (1981) in Genetics. He has worked at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University before joining Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Tully is an internationally recognized authority in the study of the genetic basis of learning and memory. He is recipient of numerous honours and awards for his research furthermore he has very rare and valuable practical experience in exploiting fruit fly models in commercial collaborations.

Mr. Reinhard Wolf is Senior Researcher at the Department of Genetics, Theodor Boveri Institute of Biological Sciences, Wuerzburg Germany. He has graduated in Applied Physics and Engineering from University of Applied Sciences in Heilbronn, Germany in 1975. Right after that he has joined Prof. Martin Heisenberg’s laboratory in Wuerzburg and works there ever since. He is one of drivers of developing such high-tech methods for the behavioural research in Drosophila as the flight simulator, which led to detailed analysis of learning, memory, visual pattern discrimination, the role of the mushroom bodies and central complex of the fly brain in visual learning. Mr. Wolf is author of 58 papers and a book on fly learning and vision. His unique background in physics, engineering and Drosophila behaviour makes Mr. Wolf an invaluable resource in building automated behaviour systems.