Scientific Advisory Board


Dieter Kabelitz MD (Institute of Immunology, University of Kiel, Germany)

Professor Kabelitz is an internationally prominent clinician scientist and immunologist with over 360 peer-reviewed articles. He specializes in the study of innate lymphocytes and their role in controlling cancer and infections. Professor Kabelitz has served as the President of the German Society of Immunology and is a long-standing council member of the International Union of Immunological Societies.

Autobiographic profile

Dieter Kabelitz studied medicine in Freiburg and Munich, Germany. He was a post-doc in Uppsala/Sweden and at Rockefeller University, New York. In 1988, he was appointed Associate Professor for Cellular Immunology at the University of Heidelberg. From 1992 to 1999 he was Head of the Department of Immunology at the Paul-Ehrlich Institute in Langen. Since 1999 he has been a full professor at the University of Kiel and Director of the Institute of Immunology. His scientific expertise is in the field of functional characterization of human T cells, specifically γδT cells. Current projects aim to explore the potential of human γδT cells for the immunotherapy of cancer. Dieter Kabelitz was chairman of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 415  “Specificity and Pathophysiology of Signal Transduction Pathways” at Kiel University and is currently a member of the Steering Committee of the DFG-funded Cluster of Excellence “Inflammation-at-Interfaces”. He was president of the German Society for Immunology (DGf)I in 2011/12 and is a Council member of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS).


Rafick-Pierre Sekaly PhD (Emory University, USA)

Professor Sekaly is an immunologist that has pioneered the use of systems immunology approaches to understand the mechanisms triggered by vaccines and immune based therapies which lead to protection from infection and disease progression in chronic infectious diseases and in cancer. He was a prominent scientist at Universite de Montreal and McGill where he received significant funding to establish collaborative research networks to improve cures and vaccines. He was recruited in 2014 to Case Western Reserve University where he held the Richard J. Fasenmyer Professor of Immunopathogenesis. In 2020, Professor Sekaly moved to Emory where he is now a Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) Eminent Scholar.

Autobiographic profile

Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, Ph.D. is one of the world’s leading scientists in AIDS research, human immunology and immunotherapy. Sekaly’s work has resulted in the generation of novel approaches in cancer and HIV vaccines. Sékaly’s work has led to more than 331 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and more than 23 patents. He has graduated over 30 Ph.D.’s at Montreal University and at McGill University. He was a co-founder of The Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute. He is principal investigator on numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health and foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the European Community. He leads several clinical trials that test new vaccines and immunotherapies including cell-based therapies. He has pioneered the field of systems immunology and systems vaccinology.


Bruce A. Vallance, PhD (Child and Family Research Institute, University of British Columbia, Canada)

Professor Vallance is an internationally acclaimed scientist in the field of gastroenterology and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. As a leading expert on the molecular pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease, he serves as a scientific advisor for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. Professor Vallance has previously collaborated with Qu to investigate how SSI treatment improves inflammatory bowel disease at the mucosal level, using specialized animal models of the disease similar to that seen in humans.

Autobiographic profile

Dr. Bruce Vallance is a Professor and CH.I.L.D. Foundation Research Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology, at BC Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia.
He has led the Pediatric Gastroenterology Research Program at BC Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia since 2003. Growing up in small town Ontario, Dr. Vallance spent work terms in industrial as well as university laboratories as he pursued his Cooperative Bachelor’s degree in Genetics and Immunology at the University of Waterloo. His PhD studies at McMaster University’s Intestinal Disease Research Program in Hamilton focused on understanding the causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), under the supervision of its director Prof. Stephen Collins. In 1999, he moved to Vancouver, joining Prof. Brett Finlay’s microbiology laboratory at the University of British Columbia to study disease-causing gut bacteria. In 2003, he established his own laboratory at BC Children’s Hospital to study the critical role played by gut bacteria in driving the intestinal inflammation that characterizes IBD. Now internationally recognized for his research on disease-causing bacteria, Dr. Vallance is also widely known for his work identifying novel ways the intestinal immune system defends against these microbes. Awarded the Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology (2004-2014), and now holding the endowed CH.I.L.D. Foundation Research Chair, Dr. Vallance has created a large and international team of dedicated trainees and staff. Using bacteria isolated from IBD patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis to generate novel cell culture and mouse models, his group is developing new ways to target these bacteria, with the goal of therapeutically treating or even preventing patients from developing IBD.


R. Balfour Sartor, MD (Microbiology & Immunology, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of North Carolina)

Dr. Balfour Sartor is the Director of the Multidisciplinary Center for IBD Research and Treatment at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he holds the Midgett Distinguished Professorship in Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology. He is a nationally and internationally recognized authority on mucosal immunology and the microbiome in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. His research has focused for over three decades on the role of the gastrointestinal bacteria in health and intestinal inflammation and his work has shaped the field’s understanding of the interplay of the resident gut bacteria with the epithelial immune response specifically in the context of IBD and experimental Colitis. He directs the NIH- supported National Gnotobiotic Rodent Resource Center, providing research support for national and international researchers. He has was, until recently, Chief Medical Advisor of the Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), where he continues to play an active advisory role.

Past events:

Past events: