Plenary Speakers

The Program Committee has selected interesting and timely speakers for the 2021 ACT Annual Meeting Plenary Lectures.

To ensure the safety of all attendees, each individual will be required to select their seat for the entire duration of the lecture. Should you need to exit the room during a lecture, we ask that you return to your selected seat. Session rooms will be sanitized after each course, not at breaks.

Monday, November 15, 7:30 AM–8:30 AM (EST)

Plenary Speaker Dr. Berin

M. Cecilia Berin, PhD

Endowed Chair, Hugh A. Sampson Professor of Food Allergy Research, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Cecilia Berin is a Professor of Pediatrics and the Associate Director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute. She received her PhD (Physiology) from McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada and her postdoctoral training (Mucosal Immunology) from the University of California, San Diego. She joined Mount Sinai as an Instructor in 2001. Her research has used mouse models of food allergy to identify mechanisms of sensitization to foods and to study the communication between the skin and gastrointestinal tract in food allergy. She has also designed mechanistic studies for multi-center clinical trials for the NIAID-funded Consortium for Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) and the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN).

Wednesday, November 17, 7:30 AM–8:30 AM (EST)

Plenary Speaker Dr. Rajaniemi

Hannu Rajaniemi, PhD

Co-founder and CEO, Helix Nanotechnologies

Hannu Rajaniemi is a co-founder and CEO of HelixNano, a venture- and Y Combinator backed synthetic biology startup developing evolution-resistant mRNA vaccines for cancer, COVID-19 and other applications. Hannu studied mathematics and theoretical physics at University of Oulu and Cambridge and holds a PhD in string theory from the University of Edinburgh. He also co-founded a mathematics consultancy whose clients included UK Ministry of Defence and the European Space Agency.

Hannu is the author of four novels including The Quantum Thief (winner of 2012 Tähtivaeltaja Award for the best science fiction novel published in Finland and translated into more than 20 languages). His most recent book is Summerland, an alternate history spy thriller in a world where the afterlife is real. His short fiction has been featured in Slate, MIT Technology Review and the New York Times.