Members of the Scientific Committee on Lactoferrin

Bo Lönnerdal, PhD

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Nutrition & Internal Medicine
Department of Nutrition & Program in International and Community Nutrition
University of California, Davis, USA

Dr. Bo Lönnerdal has an active research program in pediatric nutrition at University of California, Davis. He has mentored a large number of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as post-doctoral scholars and visiting scientists from all over the world.
He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Uppsala in Sweden, and has been Professor of Nutrition at UCD since 1980. Dr. Lönnerdal’s research has focused on bioactive components in breast milk, the effect of breast milk on the recipient infant and mechanisms underlying the protection against infection. His research also includes the micronutrients iron and zinc and how they are secreted into milk and utilized by the infant. He has extensive collaborative projects in China, Peru and Sweden.


Nidia Leon-Sicairios, PhD

School of Medicine
Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, México
Pediatric Hospital of Sinaloa, México

Dr. Leon- Sicairios, received her master´s and doctorate degrees in Cell Biology from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav-IPN. México, D.F.) Her expertise is in the evaluation of proteins and peptides with antimicrobial and antitumoral activities such as lactoferrin and derived peptides. Her research is focused on describing the mechanism by which lactoferrin and its peptides exert microbicidal and antitumoral effects in vitro and in vivo. The pathogens and tumoral cells target for these studies are those that cause infections in immunosuppressed patients, and in cells derived from leukemia, liver and lungs. The goal is to develop new compounds that can help patients in the fight against cancer and infections linked to this group of diseases.


Theresa J. Ochoa, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Hereida, Lima, Peru

Dr Ochoa is a Pediatric Infectious Diseases specialist working in Peru as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Cayetano Heredia University (UPCH) since 2005. She is Director of the Tropical Medicine Institute at UPCH and Head of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Laboratory at the Institute. Her research background is in pediatric infectious diseases, with an emphasis on enteric pathogens and diarrhea in children, the antimicrobial properties of lactoferrin and clinical studies in pediatrics. She has conducted four clinical trials to determine the effect of bovine lactoferrin on the prevention of diarrhea in children and neonatal sepsis in Peru. Her long-term objectives are to find cost-effective interventions to decrease the burden of infectious disease, and improve outcomes in pediatric populations in developing countries.


Piera Valenti, PhD

Full Professor of Microbiology
Department of Public Health and Infectious Disease
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Dr Valenti´s research has focused for many years on understanding the different functions of lactoferrin: the protective effect of lactoferrin in apo- and metal-saturated forms towards adhesive, facultative and obligate intracellular bacteria, and the antiviral activity of lactoferrin in apo- and Zn, Mn, Fe-saturated forms. First, she has demonstrated on anemic subjects that the oral administration of lactoferrin restores the physiological levels of red blood cells, hemoglobin, total serum iron and serum ferritin, through its ability to modulate the synthesis of hepcidin and ferroportin, the most important proteins of systemic iron homeostasis. Moreover, she demonstrated that lactoferrin aerosolized in the airway of mice suffering from cystic fibrosis decreases the burden of Pseudomonas aeruginosa as well as the inflammatory processes.


Hans Vogel, PhD

Professor of Biochemistry
Faculties of Science and Medicine
University of Calgary, Canada

Dr. Vogel has been appointed as a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Calgary since 1985, where he also directs the local Bio-NMR Centre. In addition, he has been the academic leader of the local Metabolomics Research Centre since its inception in 2006. His research interests include the application of protein chemistry and molecular biology that are used together with high-resolution NMR spectroscopy and various biophysical methods. Using these approaches, Dr. Vogel’s research group examines protein and peptide structures as well as their functional properties. He has an active interest in studies of antimicrobial peptides and related host-defense proteins such as lactoferrin, lysozyme and lipocalin. Recent studies have focused on the antibiofilm, antifungal and anticancer activities of various peptides.


Anthony B. Schryvers, MD, PhD

Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Cumming School of Medicine
University of Calgary, Canada

Dr. Schryvers discovered receptors for host transferrin and lactoferrin in Gram-negative bacteria over 30 years ago. His research has primarily focused on characterizing the iron acquisition pathway and developing vaccines against important human and veterinary pathogens. His group demonstrated the additional role of lactoferrin binding protein B mediating resistance against cationic antimicrobial peptides. He has assembled a strong team of collaborators for a structure-based design of vaccine antigens targeting the receptors and implementing novel evaluation tools. The research is progressing towards commercialization, being led by vaccines against gonorrhea in humans and against Glasser’s disease and swine pleuropneumonia in pigs.


Vadim Vasilyev, PhD

Head, Department of Molecular Genetics
Institute of Experimental Medicine, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Vadim Vasilyev graduated from the First Pavlov Medical Institute, Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Russia in 1976. In 1980 he received his Ph.D. at the Institute of Experimental Medicine, St. Petersburg. He continued his research at the same Institute and in 2000 became the Head of the Department of Molecular Genetics; he has remained in this position. Between 1997 and 2014 he lectured in a number of Wester European universities as an invited professor. Since 2013 he has also held a professor’s position at the Saint-Petersburg State University as Chair of Fundamental Problems of Medicine. His main scientific interests are: protein structure and functions, mitochondrial genetics and hereditary abnormalities. He has published over 150 papers mostly on metal-binding proteins in health and disease.


Jianhua Wang, PhD

Director, PI and Distinguished Professor, Gene Engineering Lab., Feed Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, P.R. China
Chief Scientist, Direction of Alternative to Antibiotics (ATA), National Innovation Plan of Agricultural Sciences & Technology, P.R. China
A/C Director, Key Laboratory of Feed Biotechnology, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, P.R. China

Since 2000, Dr. Jianhua Wang and his team have been focusing on characterizing the antimicrobial peptides including lactoferricins as alternatives to antibiotics (ATAs) including antimicrobial, immunological and nutritional enhancement. A series of LfcinB derivatives were designed and modified such as D-amino acid substitution and cyclization; and heterologous expression system, antimicrobial mechanism and in vivo/vitro efficacy evaluations were studied. Dr. Wang believes it would be helpful to promote the application and development of lactoferrin derivatives as ATAs.