Conference Chairs

Conference Chairs

Dr Joan M Goverman, USA

Joan M Goverman is Professor and Chair, Department of Immunology, University of Washington School of Medicine, USA. 

Dr. Goverman received a BA in Chemistry from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from UCLA. Her postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA was followed by additional training at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Goverman joined the faculty in the School of Medicine at the University of Washington in 1992 as an Assistant Professor, and was appointed Chair of the Department of Immunology in 2010. Dr. Goverman’s research focuses on developing new animal models of multiple sclerosis to define the pathogenic mechanisms underlying this disease and identify potential points of therapeutic intervention. In particular, her research has revealed how both myelin protein-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes contribute to central nervous system autoimmunity. 


Dr Kate Attfield, UK

Dr Kate Attfield is a Junior PI working with Professor Lars Fugger as part of the Oxford Centre for Neuroinflammation. Kate’s research explores the interplay between our genomes and the environment and the downstream effect that this has on the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. 


Professor Lars Fugger, UK

Lars Fugger is Professor of Neuroimmunology at the University of Oxford and head of the Oxford Centre for Neuroinflammation.

He has been working on neuroinflammatory diseases since 1987 and following posts at the Universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark and at Stanford University in the US, he took up his current position at Oxford in 2007. He has received numerous international awards for his work, most notably the European Commission’s Prize for Scientific Excellence (the Descartes Prize) in 2002, the European Society of Clinical Investigation Award for Excellence in Clinical Science in 2005, and the Sobek Prize – the largest European MS research prize – in 2009. In 2011, he received a Danish Knighthood (the Order of Dannebrog) for services to biomedical science.

Professor Fugger’s research group is recognised worldwide for its expertise in translating basic biomedical research into clinical findings that benefit patients directly. The group’s innovative work has laid strong foundations for the development of the Oxford Centre for Neuroinflammation (OCNI) which brings together biomedical, analytical and clinical expertise to shed new light on the causes that underpin neuroinflammatory diseases. The research team, along with our local and international collaborators, aims to design tools for faster diagnosis, accurate prognosis, and to identify new targets for life-changing and life-saving treatments.