Speakers Short Bio

Prof. Francesca Levi-Schaffer

Francesca Levi-Schaffer is a Professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Institute for Drug Research, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine. She holds the Isaac and Myrna Kaye Chair in Immunopharmacology. Prof. Levi-Schaffer was born in Italy and completed her PharmD degree at the University of Milano, her PhD degree in Immunology at the Weizmann Institute, Israel, and her post-doctorate at Harvard Medical School.

Prof. Levi-Schaffer has published 164 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 88 reviews and editorials and 25 book chapters. She has two patents and one provisional patent pending. She is Chairperson of the National Committee of IUPHAR representing the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, was instrumental in the establishment of an Immunopharmacology Section in the IUPHAR and currently serves as its first Chairperson. She is a member of the Israeli Ministry of Health Committee for Human Experimentation of New Drugs; 1st Vice-President and member of the IUPHAR Executive Committee (2018-2022); member of the Board and Secretary General (2018-20) of World Allergy Organization; and a former Council member (2016-18) of the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum (CIA).

Prof. Levi-Schaffer’s expertise is in immunopharmacology of allergy focusing on mast cells and eosinophils, their activating and inhibitory receptors, their cross-talk for a better prophylaxis/treatment of allergic diseases.

Prof. Mauro Perretti

Mauro has published over 350 papers, with >22,000 citations and an H Factor of 81 (Google Scholar). After BSc in Medicinal Chemistry (University in Florence, 1985) and a MSc in Pharmacology and Toxicology (1988), Mauro started his career at the Sclavo Research Centre under the leadership of Prof Luca Parente. In 1991, he joined Prof Rod Flower at the William Harvey Research Institute, and in 1996 he gained his PhD (LON). Mauro’s career has been shaped by fellowships from the Arthritis Research Campaign, a post-doctoral one (1997-2002) followed by a senior fellowship (2002-2007). In 2001 Mauro gained his personal chair by Queen Mary University of London. Centre Lead from 2001-to 2013, Mauro acted as Deputy Director of the William Harvey Research Institute from 2006 to 2013, taking on Co-Directorship in the period 2013-2015. In 2015 he became Dean for Research and Research Impact of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.  

Mauro is Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society (FBPhS, 2004), of the Academia Europea (2010) and of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (2015).


His group, over the years, has pioneered the concept that acute inflammation resolves, naturally, by the engagement of endogenous mediators that activate a series of non-redundant processes (inhibition of immune cell trafficking, efferocytosis, tissue repair) typical of what they now call the Resolution of Inflammation. When resolution is not properly it contributes to chronic inflammatory diseases. They study the pathophysiology of some pro-resolving pathways (eg. Annexin A1 and its peptides, Melanocortins, omega-3 derived bioactive lipid mediators) and aim to identify novel receptors amenable for the development of innovative anti-inflammatory therapeutics. A current focus is on pro-resolving GPCRs, such as formyl peptide receptors and melanocortin receptors, aiming to guide the development of novel therapeutic approaches with the establishment of Resolution Pharmacology (see recent reviews):

Molecular pharmacology and cell biology protocols are complemented by integrated biology models (intravital microscopy for vascular responses, peritonitis, paw oedema, airpouch) including models of disease (arthritis, myocardial infarct and stroke). Each project is different in its practicality since it is the scientific question that drives the experimental protocols to be applied or developed, hence creativity is a must!

They are acutely aware of the importance to assess the relevance of our research in clinical settings, as this would accelerate the development of innovative therapeutics modelled on resolution; currently, the focus is on rheumatology, cardiac surgery, sepsis and vasculitides.

Expression of the pro-resolving receptor FPR2

Expression of the pro-resolving receptor FPR2 (a GPCR that transduces the actions of AnnexinA1 and Lipxin A4) as revealed by Green Fluorescence Protein detection, using a unique mouse colony engineered with this reporter under FPR2 promoter (funded by The Wellcome Trust).


Microcapsules (MC; green) can be used to deliver biologically active molecules to modulate the interaction between human leukocytes and the endothelium. (Collaboration with Prof Sukhorukov, QMUL).

Nathalie Vergnolle

Nathalie Vergnolle, research director at INSERM, is since 1 January 2016 as head of the Research Institute for Digestive Health. She is also responsible for the team “Pathophysiology of the intestinal epithelium.”

Before conducting her research in Toulouse, Dr. Vergnolle spent 10 years at the University of Calgary (Canada) in the Department of Pharmacology. Her work has highlighted the role of several mediators involved in inflammation and pain. In collaboration with researchers from INRA and the Pasteur Institute, her team produced bacteria expressing a human protein, elafin that can protect the body from intestinal inflammation. Her researches have earned him international recognition and are supported at European, national and regional level. They have led to very active academic and private collaborations.

Michael Spedding

Michael SPEDDING, PhD, FBPhS, Secretary General, IUPHAR and President of Spedding Research Solutions (Paris). Joined BPS 1976; secretary/chair NC-IUPHAR from 1990-2015, now 90 subcommittees of 700 scientists (IUPHAR/BPS guidetopharmacology.org). Interests: drug discovery and development (11 compounds into Phase I, one to market; 3 ‘assists’); brain circuits in cognition, stress and psychiatry. Research programs for ALS, glioma, and neuroinflammation via collaborations. Michael obtained his BSC, PhD and lectured at Sunderland, eight years at Merrell Dow research in Strasbourg (calcium channels), then Director of Pharmacology at Syntex, Edinburgh. He set up Servier’s new CNS centre (Paris, and a Budapest centre for medchem). >200 publications, >30 patents, Thomson-Reuter’s 3000 influential scientists, h-index: 58. Michael has been a competitive athlete for 54 years (>110,000 kms run) and is interested in how evolution and the trophic/inflammatory interface modulates such activity. To conteract age-related slowing, he also does entry-level car racing (club Lotus).