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3rd Annual Mid-Atlantic Extracellular Vesicle Scientific Symposium

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The symposium will focus on the most recent advances in the study of Extracellular Vesicle (EV) biogenesis, isolation and characterization methods, -omics analysis, physio- pathological functions, and potential therapeutic applications. The objective is to educate the research community about Mid-Atlantic-based research utilizing EV. This symposium, hosted in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, The Wistar Institute, and Johns Hopkins University, will provide basic and clinical researchers with a better understanding of how to study EV to answer research questions, and what collaborators and resources may be available in the Mid-Atlantic region. Networking is encouraged. 

Similar to previous Extracellular Vesicle Mid-Atlantic Symposia, we invite all researchers including principal investigators and trainees across industry and academia to attend this symposium.

For more information, please contact Veronica Robles at 215-955-8195 or Catherine Michalski at 215-495-6928. 

Venue/Parking: View for parking information and directions to The Wistar Institute.

Flyer: For more information on the program, please see the speaker flyer here.

The Wistar Institute
Caplan Auditorium
3601 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Register Today

Thank You to Our Sponsors:

Thank You to Our Organizing Co-chairs & Host Sponsors:

Andrew M. Hoffman, D.V.M., DVSc., University of Pennsylvania
Lucia R. Languino, Ph.D., Thomas Jefferson University
David W. Speicher, Ph.D., The Wistar Institute
Kenneth W. Witwer, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

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NanoView Biosciences

Dr. Daaboul serves as the chief scientific officer of NanoView Biosciences Inc. Dr.  Daaboul has co-authored over 25 peer-reviewed articles on optical biosensors, DNA and protein interactions, and virus and exosome detection and characterization. Dr. Daaboul received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Boston University.  

University of Virginia School of Medicine

Dr. Erdbrügger is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology at the University of Virginia Medical School, Charlottesville, VA. Dr. Erdbrügger earned her medical degree at the Free University in Berlin, Germany, and completed post-graduate education at Humboldt University in Berlin. She did internal medicine residency training at Tulane University, New Orleans, and her fellowship in nephrology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Erdbrügger’s research focus is on the role of circulating and urinary extracellular vesicles in vascular and renal disorders.  She also conducts research to optimize and standardize EV detection techniques. She is funded through a career development grant (K23) from the NIH to determine the diagnostic and therapeutic role of “Microparticles in hypertension and end organ damage”. Dr. Erdbrügger is currently the treasurer of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV). Her clinical interest is in general nephrology. 

University of Pennsylvania, Department of Biology

Dr. Guo is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Biology. His laboratory has a long-standing interest in the molecular basis and regulatory mechanisms of vesicular trafficking and tumor cell invasion. He has applied basic cell biological principles to the understanding of cancer, especially melanoma. Taking a multidisciplinary approach that combines biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, and advanced microscopic imaging, his laboratory has made discoveries that contributed to the molecular understanding of cancer metastasis, melanoma drug resistance and, more recently, tumor immune evasion.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Haughey directs a disease-oriented research program that addresses questions in basic neurobiology and clinical neurology. The primary research interests of the laboratory are:

  • To identify biomarkers markers for neurodegenerative diseases, including HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. In these studies, blood and cerebral spinal fluid samples obtained from ongoing clinical studies are analyzed for metabolic profiles through a variety of biochemical, mass spectrometry and bioinformatic techniques. These biomarkers can then be used in the diagnosis of disease, as prognostic indicators to predict disease trajectory, or as surrogate markers to track the effectiveness of disease-modifying interventions.
  • To better understand how the lipid components of neuronal and glial membranes interact with proteins to regulate signal transduction associated with differentiation, motility, inflammatory signaling, survival, and neuronal excitability.
  • To understand how extracellular vesicles (exosomes) released from brain-resident cells regulate neuronal excitability, neural network activity, and peripheral immune responses to central nervous system damage and infections.
  • To develop small molecule therapeutics that regulate lipid metabolism as a neuroprotective and restorative strategy for neurodegenerative conditions.

University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

In August of 2018, Dr. Hoffman joined the University of Pennsylvania as the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. He was previously faculty at Tufts University in the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine for 24 years where he was director of the Regenerative Medicine Laboratory. His main interest is the role of extracellular vesicles in cell-cell signaling by stromal cells, using the mesenchymal stromal stem cell as a model to study immunomodulation in the stroma. In addition, his lab has contributed to the literature concerning the biomarker potential of extracellular vesicle miRNA in naturally occurring canine disease models. He is currently seeking input from the research community on the development of core facilities for extracellular vesicle research at Penn. 

National Institute of Aging

Dr. Noren Hooten graduated magna cum laude from East Carolina University.  She pursued graduate studies under Dr. Keith Burridge in the Cell and Developmental Biology Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During her graduate work, she studied how cell adhesion receptors signal to the actin cytoskeleton. After graduation, Dr. Noren Hooten worked on receptor tyrosine kinase signaling in breast cancer cells in Elena Pasquale’s laboratory at what is now called the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, CA. She joined the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health as a staff scientist in 2008. 

Throughout her career Dr. Noren Hooten has won several awards including the Burnham Institute’s Fishman Award for Career Development and the NIA Women in Science Excellence in Scientific Research Award. Currently, in the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Science, Dr. Noren Hooten uses an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to study how oxidative stress, post-transcriptional mechanisms and other pathways contribute to health disparities, aging and age-related diseases. Recently, she has been interested in utilizing extracellular vesicles as non-invasive biomarkers of aging and age-related diseases and further understanding how various age-related diseases alter extracellular vesicles cargo and function. She poses these questions in the context of human aging through her work with the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span study. Dr. Noren Hooten lives in the Baltimore Metro Area with her husband and two elementary aged kids.

Thomas Jefferson University

Dr. Languino’s studies are focused on integrin-mediated mechanisms that promote prostate cancer progression. With expertise in two different areas of research, signaling mediated by adhesion receptors as well as prostate cancer progression, Dr. Languino has contributed for several years to investigating aberrations occurring in prostate cancer within a three-dimensional context in vitro and in vivo. Her team’s strong research focus is devoted to the study of the cross talk between cell adhesion molecules, extracellular matrix proteins and growth factor receptors in vitro and in vivo systems, and how this crosstalk affects intracellular signal transduction. Dr. Languino's research interests also focus on the cellular and molecular characterization of the metastatic process of prostate cancer with particular emphasis on the signals directing distant localization of prostate cancer cells.

Dr. Languino’s laboratory also offers a novel dimension to transduction and integration of regulatory signals, mediated by extracellular vesicles, in cell-cell interactions. These studies show that integrins are transferred intercellularly via extracellular vesicles and that transfer of integrins and their downstream effectors from cancer cells to other cells, such as monocytes, promotes cancer progression. By delineating the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer progression, Dr. Languino’s approach offers new opportunities for therapeutic intervention.

University of Gothenburg

Since 2002, Dr. Lötvall has been a professor at the Institute of Medicine at Göteborg University, where he directs a research laboratory studying extracellular vesicles. He is a medical specialist in both clinical allergy and clinical pharmacology and has long-term experience in translational studies primarily in inflammatory models, but also cancer. He was first elected president of the International Society of Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV, 2011-2016), a rapidly growing non-profit organization in the field of exosomes, microvesicles and other extracellular vesicles, which counted more than 1000 members in 2018. ( His research is focused on extracellular vesicle biology and has received extensive international recognition, as the lab was the first to discover the ability of exosomes to shuttle RNA between cells in 2007. During the period of May 2016 to January 2018, Dr. Lötvall served as chief scientist at Codiak BioSciences, a start-up biotech company focused on developing exosomes as a therapeutic platform. Since January 2018, Dr. Lötvall is currently on sabbatical at Massachusetts General Hospital, working with professor Xandra Breakefield (Harvard). He has been an editor of the open access journal Respiratory Research (IF 3.85) from April 2003 to August 2018 and was the founding editor of the journals Clinical and Translational Allergy (2011, IF 3.239) and the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles (unofficial IF >10). 

Thomas Jefferson University

Dr. Mahoney is a professor and vice chair of Equal Opportunity and Workforce Diversity in the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology at Thomas Jefferson University. She also has joint appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and is a member of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health (NCI-Designated). She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Washington University in St. Louis (1987) and a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1993). She completed two postdoctoral fellowships at Warner-Lambert (now Pfizer) and in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania. The goal of her research is to understand, at the molecular and cellular level, signaling during normal skin development and pathogenic signaling during disease progression. 

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Moore is professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, scientific director of the Abramson Cancer Center Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Shared Resource and emeritus director, founder and current senior advisor of the Clinical Flow Cytometry Laboratory of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Jefferson University. She is currently the president-elect of the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry and the 2018 winner of the ISAC Member Award for Distinguished and Transformational Contributions to the field of flow cytometry.

Dr. Moore has more than 30 years’ experience in laboratory medicine and research in cellular immunology. One of the world’s leading experts in flow cytometry, she is looked to as a thought leader in cutting-edge applications of flow cytometry in translational and clinical settings. Since 1991, she has served as director of the Abramson Cancer Center Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Shared Resource, a facility that has consistently been recognized as the largest and most comprehensive academic flow cytometry resource laboratory in the U.S., winning the designation of exceptional from the National Cancer Institute of the NIH. Her research activities have evolved along the path of technology development with a focus on complex technologies, in particular in cytomics, the combination of deep phenotyping cytometry with systems biology approaches. Her current effort is directed to the movement of novel translational cytometric assays to the clinical lab, developing new flow cytometric tests in the areas of toxicology, oncology, hematology and cardiology. Most recently, she has worked in the area of extracellular vesicles as potential clinical biomarkers for cardiology, oncology, and traumatic brain injury. 

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Paulaitis’s research interests encompass developing methods to isolate extracellular vesicles and characterize the exosome sub-population of EVs as vehicles for the intercellular transfer of miRNA. His current work is focused on identifying mitochondrial miRNAs in retinal-pigmented epithelial cells with the aim of defining an exosomal signature of mitochondria dysfunction in these cells, associated with age-related macular degeneration that is based on the mitochondrial miRNAs encapsulated in exosomes released by RPE cells. He is an author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications. He has been recognized with the National Science Foundation Career Award, and as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, and a Member of the Academy of Sciences of Technological Cybernetics of Ukraine. Dr. Paulaitis holds a research faculty position in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Center for Nanomedicine at the Wilmer Eye Institute, and is an Ohio Eminent Scholar and Professor Emeritus in the William J. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Ohio State University.

The Wistar Institute

Dr. Speicher received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University, followed by postdoctoral training in the Pathology Department at Yale Medical School. He is currently professor and co-leader of the Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program and scientific director of the Proteomics and Metabolomics Laboratory at The Wistar Institute. His research focuses on applying state-of-the-art proteomics and metabolomics approaches to biomedical research problems, with a major emphasis on cancer progression and resistance to therapies. He has served on a number of scientific advisory boards, NIH study sections, and journal editorial boards.

University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Vallabhajosyula is an associate professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a practicing cardiothoracic surgeon with research interests in understanding the diagnostic and mechanistic roles of tissue-specific extracellular microvesicles in disease. His laboratory is studying the role of exosomes in transplantation, diabetes, and in stem/progenitor cell transplantation.  

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Witwer and his laboratory study extracellular vesicles (EVs) and noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) and their regulatory roles in health and disease. Dr. Witwer has a primary appointment in the Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a secondary appointment in Neurology. Special areas of focus in his group are HIV disease, including central nervous system effects of HIV infection, and non-HIV neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Witwer has helped to lead standardization initiatives of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) as former secretary general of the society and currently as executive chair for Science and Meetings, and was co-coordinator of the recently released “MISEV2018” guidelines. He has also served as external scientific advisor to the NIH Common Fund’s Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium.


This is a preliminary agenda. Please check back for updates closer to the symposium.

7:45 - 8:30 AM


Check-In/On-Site Registration 
(includes coffee and continental breakfast)

8:30 - 8:45 AM  

David W. Speicher, Ph.D., and Lucia R. Languino, Ph.D.

EV Characterization and Analysis  

Moderator: Serge Fuchs, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

8:45 - 9:15 AM  

“Extracellular Vesicle Subpopulations and Diversity”
Jan Lötvall, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Gothenburg, Sweden

9:15 - 9:45 AM  

“Minimal Requirements in Studies of EVs: MISEV and Beyond”
Kenneth W. Witwer, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

9:45 - 10:15 AM  

“Considerations About Urinary EVs as Biomarkers and Beyond”
Uta Erdbrügger, M.D.
University of Virginia School of Medicine

10:15 - 10:45 AM  


10:45 - 11:15 AM  

“Mesenchymal Stem Cells Immunomodulation Involves Extracellular Vesicle TGFbeta and Adenosine”
Andrew M. Hoffman, D.V.M., DVSc.
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

11:15 - 11:45 AM  

“Distribution of Proteome and Lipidome Biomarkers in EVs”
David W. Speicher, Ph.D.
The Wistar Institute

11:45 - 12:15 PM  

“From Discovery to Diagnostic: The EV Liquid Biopsy”
Jonni S. Moore, Ph.D.
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of

12:15 - 1:00 PM  

(box lunch available for pre-registered attendees)

EVs in Cancer  

Moderator: Edna Cukierman, Ph.D., Fox Chase Cancer Center

1:00 - 1:30 PM  

“Cross-talk Between Cancer Cells and Tumor Microenvironment Mediated by EVs”
Lucia R. Languino, Ph.D.
Thomas Jefferson University

1:30 - 2:00 PM  

“Multi-parametric Single-vesicle Analysis Using an Interferometric Imaging Platform”
George Daaboul, Ph.D.
Nanoview Biosciences

2:00 - 2:30 PM  

“The Exosomes in Immune Suppression and Tumor Progression”
Wei Guo, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania

2:30 - 3:00 PM  

“Extracellular Vesicle Biogenesis and Function in Squamous Cell Carcinomas”
Mỹ Mahoney, Ph.D.
Thomas Jefferson University

3:00 - 3:30 PM  


EVs in Diseases  

Moderator: Seena Ajit, Ph.D., Drexel University College of Medicine

3:30 - 4:00 PM  

“Link Between Mitochondrial miRNA in EVs and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cells”
Michael Paulaitis, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

4:00 - 4:30 PM  

“Circulating Tissue-specific Exosomes as Novel Biomarkers of Transplant Rejection”
Prashanth Vallabhajosyula, M.D.
University of Pennsylvania

4:30 - 5:00 PM  

“EVs as Signaling Mediators in Aging and Diabetes Mellitus”
Nicole Noren Hooten, Ph.D.
National Institute of Aging    

5:00 - 5:30 PM  

“Astrocyte-derived EV Regulate the Peripheral Immune Response to Inflammatory Damage”
Norman J. Haughey, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

5:30 - 5:45 PM  

Concluding Remarks
Andrew M. Hoffman, D.V.M., DVSc., and Kenneth W. Witwer, Ph.D.