Pekka Katajisto to present at the 6th Aging Research, Drug Discovery, and AI Forum in Basel


Wednesday, August 14, 2019 – Today

Insilico Medicine

, a biotechnology company developing the end-to-end drug discovery pipeline utilizing next generation artificial intelligence, and the

Scheibye-Knudsen Lab

,

University of Copenhagen

, announce the presentation of Pekka Katajisto, Ph.D., Associate professor at the University of Helsinki and Karolinska Institutet, and Director at the Center of Excellence in Stem Cell Metabolism, at the

6th Aging Research, Drug Discovery, and AI Forum

during the Basel Life Congress, September 10-12, 2019 in Basel, Switzerland.

The small intestine is maintained by actively cycling intestinal stem cells that are in part regulated by the Paneth cell niche. It was previously demonstrated that Paneth cells sense nutrient availability and couple intestinal stem cell function and tissue remodelling with nutrient intake. As calorie restriction also promotes lifespan of multiple organisms, Dr. Katajisto’s lab recently addressed the role of stem cell-supporting niche in ageing by studying the Paneth cell niche of the small intestine.

According to the findings, the regenerative potential of human and mouse intestinal epithelium diminishes with age owing to defects in both stem cells and their niche. The functional decline was caused by a decrease in stemness-maintaining Wnt signalling due to production of Notum, an extracellular Wnt inhibitor, in aged Paneth cells. Pharmacological inhibition of Notum enhances the regenerative capacity of aged stem cells and promotes recovery from chemotherapy-induced damage. The results reveal a role of the stem cell niche in ageing and demonstrate that Notum targeting can promote regeneration of aged tissues.

“Factors secreted by the stem cell niche provide attractive candidate targets for promoting tissue renewal and recovery in the elderly,” said Pekka Katajisto, Ph.D., Associate professor at the University of Helsinki and Karolinska Institutet, and Director at the Center of Excellence in Stem Cell Metabolism.

“I am extremely excited that professor Pekka Katajisto is joining us in Basel. Although his group is relatively newly established he has already contributed with seminal papers deepening our understanding of stem cell biology. Most recently, how tissue regeneration may be affected via stem cells in aging,” said Morten Scheibye-Knudsen, MD, Ph.D., University of Copenhagen.

“Over the last 5 years, the “Ageing & Drug Discovery” and “AI for Healthcare” forums have been leading events at Basel Life, attracting hundreds of delegates from over 50 countries. This year, we are combining the 2 platforms into a 3 day-event titled “the 6th Ageing, AI and Drug Discovery Forum” to explore the convergence of these 2 cutting edge disciplines. Under the program leadership of Professor Morten Scheibye-Knudsen and Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, with distinguished scientists and industry experts in the field, we look forward to exploring breakthroughs for this great healthcare need for the planet,” said Dr. Bhupinder Bhullar, Chair, Innovation Forum program committee, Basel Life 2019.

“The 6th annual Ageing Research, Drug Discovery, and AI Forum at Basel Life will have a fresh program featuring some of the most prominent scientists and industry players in ageing and longevity research covering the theory, applications and convergence of these three exciting areas,” said Alex Zhavoronkov, Ph.D., Founder, and CEO of Insilico Medicine, Inc.

The 6th Ageing Research, Drug Discovery, and AI Forum Basel will bring together leaders in the ageing, longevity, and drug discovery field, to describe the latest progress in the molecular, cellular and organismal basis of ageing and the search for interventions. Furthermore, the forum will include opinion leaders in AI to discuss the latest advances of this technology in the biopharmaceutical sector and how this can be applied to interventions. This event intends to bridge academic and commercial research and foster collaborations that will result in practical solutions to one of humanity’s most challenging problems: ageing. The Forum will be held in Basel, Switzerland, September 10-12, 2019.

###

For further information, images or interviews, please contact:

Ola Popova

ola@pharma.ai



About Pekka Katajisto, Ph.D.

Pekka Katajisto received his Ph.D. in 2009 from the University of Helsinki, for the work demonstrating that certain tumor suppressors can mediate their growth inhibitory function in a paracrine fashion. He then joined the laboratory of David Sabatini at the Whitehead Institute and MIT, to conduct postdoctoral research on cell-cell interactions in the context of stem cells and their surrounding niche. Currently, Dr. Katajisto runs two laboratories as the Associate Professor in Aging Biology, in HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, and in Department of Bioscience and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet. His work focuses on the role of the niche-stem cell interaction and asymmetric cell division in aging. His discoveries include how the intestinal stem cell niche couples organismal nutrient status to the stem cell function, how alterations in nutrient sensing can result in secretion of novel aging factors, and that stem cells can segregate their organelles age-selectively during cell division. He is an ERC grantee, and the Director of the new Academy of Finland Center of Excellence in Stem cell metabolism.



About the University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki is Finland’s largest and oldest academic institution. Since 1640, it has contributed to the establishment of a fair and equal society that is considered the best in the world according to a number of indicators. Today, this multidisciplinary academic community solves problems that concern all of us, also on the global scale. A community of 40,000 students and employees is diversely open, comprehensively quality conscious and joyfully serious. Internationalisation means many things for us. Together we create solutions that will shape the future of our planet and all of humanity.

Official website:

https:/

/

www.

helsinki.

fi/

en



About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine is an artificial intelligence company headquartered in Hong Kong, with R&D and management resources in Belgium, Russia, UK, Taiwan, and Korea sourced through hackathons and competitions. The company and its scientists are dedicated to extending human productive longevity and transforming every step of the drug discovery and drug development process through excellence in biomarker discovery, drug development, digital medicine, and ageing research.

In 2017, NVIDIA selected Insilico Medicine as one of the Top 5 AI companies in its potential for social impact. In 2018, the company was named one of the global top 100 AI companies by CB Insights. In 2018 it received the Frost & Sullivan 2018 North American Artificial Intelligence for Ageing Research and Drug Development Award accompanied with the industry brief. Brief company video:

https:/

/

www.

youtube.

com/

watch?v=

l62jlwgL3v8

.

Official website:

http://insilico.

com



About the Scheibye-Knudsen Laboratory

The growing proportion of the elderly population represents an increasing socioeconomic challenge, not least because of age-associated diseases. It is therefore increasingly pertinent to find interventions for age-associated diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cardiovascular diseases. Although the cause of ageing is currently unknown accumulation of damage to our genome, the DNA, may be a contributing factor.

In the Scheibye-Knudsen lab we try to understand the cellular and organismal consequences of DNA damage with the aim of developing interventions. We have discovered that DNA damage leads to changes in certain metabolites and that replenishment of these molecules may alter the rate of ageing in model organisms. These findings suggest that normal ageing and age-associated diseases may be malleable to similar interventions. The hope is to develop interventions that will allow everyone to live healthier, happier and more productive lives.

Laboratory website:

http://scheibye-knudsen.

com/




About the University of Copenhagen

With over 40,000 students and more than 9,000 employees, the University of Copenhagen is the largest institution of research and education in Denmark and among the highest ranked universities in Europe. The purpose of the University – to quote the University Statute – is to ‘conduct research and provide further education to the highest academic level’. Approximately one hundred different institutes, departments, laboratories, centres, museums, etc., form the nucleus of the University.

University Website:

http://introduction.

ku.

dk/

presentation/




About Basel Life 2019



Ageing Research for Drug Discovery Forum description

In this symposium, leaders in the ageing, longevity, and drug discovery field will describe the latest progress in the molecular, cellular and organismal basis of ageing and the search for interventions. Furthermore, the forum will include opinion leaders in AI to discuss the latest advances of this technology in the biopharmaceutical sector and how this can be applied to interventions. This event intends to bridge academic and commercial research and foster collaborations that will result in practical solutions to one of humanity’s most challenging problems: ageing. A panel of thought-leaders will give us their cutting edge reports on the latest progress in our quest to extend the healthy lifespan of everyone on the planet.

Conference Official Website:

https:/

/

www.

basellife.

org/

2019.

html

Ola Popova

ola@insilico.com
http://www.insilicomedicine.com 

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