Invited speakers



Professor Christian Blank


Christian Blank obtained his MD from the Medical School of the Technical University Munich, Germany, where he also completed his Doctoral thesis (summa cum laude) at the Department for Medical Microbiology and in 1997. As a Junior House Officer (1997–1998) Dr Blank held four positions at the Departments of Cardiology and of Radiology at the University Clinic Munich Rechts der Isar, Munich, the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Departments at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the University of Birmingham, England, UK. He went on to attain the position of Physician at the Department of Haematology and Oncology, University of Regensburg, Germany (1998–2001). During 2001–2003, Dr Blank held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the lab of Professor Thomas Gajewski, University of Chicago, IL, USA. Subsequently he was appointed as Physician and Research Group Leader at the Department of Haematology and Oncology, University of Regensburg, Germany (2003–2007). Dr Blank has obtained two Specialist Degrees in Internal Medicine (2007) and in Haematology/Oncology (2009). Since 2007, he has been appointed Staff Member at the Department of Medical Oncology, and Group Leader at the Division of Immunology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute - Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AVL), Amsterdam. In 2010, Dr Blank became University Lecturer (Privatdozent) at the University of Regensburg. In addition to his academic background, Dr Blank obtained his Master of Business Administration (MBA), from the University of Warwick, England, UK (2006). Dr Blank is committed to teaching, lecturing on medical courses at the NKI-AVL and the Medical School of the University of Regensburg, where he was appointed Professor in 2015. He is a member of several prestigious societies, including ESMO and ASCO. Dr Blank has been an invited speaker at more than 100 national and international congresses, and is the author of more than 100 publications. His research interests broadly include targeted and biological response modifiers in melanoma, and prognostic markers in melanoma.



Professor Christian Ingvar



Professor Claus Garbe


Professor Claus Garbe obtained his MD in 1983 at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, he was board certified in Dermatology and Venereology in 1987 and was awarded his habilitation (PhD equivalent) in 1990, focusing on the biology of melanoma cells. Professor Garbe remained at the Free University of Berlin until 1995 when he appointed University Professor of Dermatology and Head of the Division of Dermatooncology at Eberhard Karls University, Tuebingen. Professor Garbe’s principal research interests include the biology and genetics of melanoma and keratinocyte skin cancers, therapeutic trials in skin diseases, epidemiologic studies, and dermato-histopathology. Professor Garbe has been awarded as the first dermatologist with the German Cancer Award in 1995. He has been a principal investigator in numerous multicenter clinical trials since 1989. He has authored more than 700 articles and 17 text books. He coordinates the development of guidelines on behalf of the German Dermatological Society and the German Cancer Society, as well as of the European Dermatology Forum and the European Association of Dermatologic Oncology. Currently, Professor Garbe is the President of the European Association of Dermatologic Oncology (EADO).




Professor Georgina Long 


Professor Georgina Long, BSc PhD MBBS FRACP, is Co-Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), and Chair of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Translational Research at MIA and Royal North Shore Hospital, The University of Sydney. She leads an extensive clinical trials team and laboratory at MIA, with a focus on targeted therapies and immuno-oncology in melanoma. She is principal investigator on phase I, II and III clinical trials in adjuvant and metastatic melanoma, including trials in patients with active brain metastases. She is the chief investigator on NHMRC funded research into the molecular biology of melanoma, with a particular interest in clinical and tissue biomarker correlates of systemic therapy sensitivity and resistance. In recognition of her ground-breaking research, Professor Long has received a number of awards, including the prestigious Sir Zelman Cowen Universities Fund Prize for Discovery in Medical Research in 2016, and a number of recent CINSW Premiers Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research. In 2014, she was awarded the Wildfire Award for the most highly cited, original, peer-reviewed article published in 2011; and in 2013 she was named the Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow. She is the author of over 180 peer-reviewed publications in clinical and translational research in melanoma since 2011, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Cancer Discovery. Professor Long has presented her work at international conferences and meetings on more than 130 occasions. She is President-elect for the prestigious international Society for Melanoma Research (President from 2018), is member (2015-2017) and Chair (2016) of the ASCO Scientific Committee for Melanoma/Skin cancer, is medical oncology lead for the Australian Melanoma Management Guidelines Committee, is on the editorial boards of several high-impact journals, and is a member of the Melanoma Expert Panel for AJCC Cancer Staging System 8th edition.

Professor Long was awarded the University Medal in Organic Chemistry. She subsequently completed her PhD in Chemistry in the field of anti-cancer agents and their binding to DNA. She then moved to the USA to take up a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship at Scripps Research Institute, exploring nanotechnology in cancer treatment, before returning to Australia to complete her MBBS (Hons). Professor Long became a Fellow of the Australasian College of Physicians in January 2008, specialising in medical oncology.



Göran Jönsson, PhD


Göran Jönsson obtained his PhD at Lund University, Sweden in 2005 and is currently heading the Melanoma Genomics Unit within the Canceromics Branch at the Department of Oncology, Lund University. He was recently appointed a senior lectureship at Lund University. Prior to that he was holding a Young Investigator Award from the Swedish Cancer Society with a research program focused on genomic analyses of melanoma tumors with the aim to understand the underlying biology. He has published more than 90 scientific publications and he is an active member of GenoMEL and MELGEN, two international consortia within melanoma research.




Professor Inge Marie Svane

Inge Marie Svane has 25 years of research experience in cancer immunology and immunotherapy and holds a PhD in basic cancer immunology and a professorship in clinical cancer immunotherapy.  She has pioneered the field of cancer immunotherapy in Denmark building up Center for Cancer Immune Therapy -CCIT, a translational research center in European leading position. Focus of expertise is T-cell based adoptive cell therapy and other cellular therapies, cancer vaccines, and immune regulation.

Since 2001 she has initiated 15 phase I, II and III immunotherapeutic trials as Sponsor (List of clinical trials ). Further, she is national principal / investigator on numerous international clinical trials in collaboration with pharmaceutical industry primarily within the area of immunotherapy



Professor Jeffrey E. Gershenwald


Jeffrey E. Gershenwald, MD, FACS, is the Dr. John M. Skibber Professor of Surgery in the Department of Surgical Oncology and a Professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson) in Houston, Texas. He is also the Medical Director of the MD Anderson Melanoma and Skin Center. 


Dr. Gershenwald received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, and after completing his general surgery residency at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, he completed a fellowship in Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson before joining its faculty.  In addition to his active surgical oncology practice focused on the care of patients with melanoma, Dr. Gershenwald’s research focuses on enhancing melanoma care through integrated clinical-, pathological-, and molecular-based prognostic and predictive modeling in melanoma. He currently co-leads the inaugural MD Anderson Melanoma Moon Shot research program, an ambitious initiative that spans the melanoma continuum from public policy and prevention research initiatives to reduce ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure in youth to leveraging our understanding of the molecular and immune underpinnings of melanoma to improve treatment options for patients with melanoma.


Dr. Gershenwald is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and its 8th edition Editorial Board, and Chair of its Melanoma Expert Panel. He leads the International Melanoma Database and Discovery Platform (IMDDP), whose initial analyses informed the recent revisions to the AJCC melanoma staging system, and co-developed and co-leads the MD Anderson Informatics, Tissue Resource, and Translational Pathology Core. Dr. Gershenwald co-led the melanoma project of the NIH-funded Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) program, comprising an international team that performed the most comprehensive molecular analysis of melanoma to date. He has published more than 250 articles in peer-reviewed journals, more than 100 editorials, invited articles, book chapters, and other publications. In recognition of his contributions to melanoma prevention efforts, in 2016, Dr. Gershenwald was also awarded the Margaret and James A. Elkins, Jr. Faculty Achievement Award in Cancer Prevention.



Professor John Thompson


John Thompson has been Professor of Melanoma and Surgical Oncology at the University of Sydney since 1999.  He was Executive Director of Melanoma Institute Australia (formerly the Sydney Melanoma Unit), one of the world’s largest melanoma treatment and research centres, from 1998 to 2016.  He has been a pioneer of the sentinel lymph node biopsy procedure and, with a long standing interest in regional chemotherapy, developed the isolated limb infusion technique for melanoma and soft tissue sarcoma.  He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Surgical Association, an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. 

Professor Thompson is author of over 700 peer-reviewed scientific articles, as well as the editor of several books.  In 2014 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to medicine in the field of oncology research, particularly melanoma, to international and national professional organisations, and to medical education.



Professor Julie Gehl




Professor Jürgen C. Becker


Jürgen Becker was trained in Dermatology at the University of Würzburg as well as in Tumor Immunology at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, and the Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen. 2003 he became full professor for Dermato-Oncology at Würzburg, where he coordinated a Clinical Research Group focusing on the tumor microenvironment. 2010 he was appointed as director of General Dermatology at the Medical University of Graz, where he coordinated the FP7 EU-project IMMOMEC (IMmune MOdulating strategies for treatment of MErkel cell Carcinoma, and served as deputy speaker of the graduate program MOLecular fundamentals of INflammation ( 2014 he joined the German Cancer Consortium as head of the Institute for Translation Skin Cancer Research at the University Hospital Essen




Lars Bastholt, MD, Clinical Oncologist


Lars Bastholt is Consultant at dpt of Oncology, Odense University Hospital. Over the years he has actively participated in a number of national and international clinical research groups, with emphasis on treatment of thyroid cancer and malignant melanoma. He was one of the founders of the Danish Metastatic Melanoma Database (DAMMED) in 2011. Rewarded with the Oncology-prize by the Danish Society of Clinical Oncology in 2013 for his contributions in education of fellows within Clinical Oncology in Denmark.




Ass. Professor Lisbet Rosenkrantz Hölmich


Lisbet Rosenkrantz Hölmich, Doctor of Medical Science, is Associate Clinical Research Professor at Copenhagen University, Head of the Research Unit at dept. of Plastic Surgery, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital. She has specialized in oncologic plastic surgery including melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer as well as breast reconstruction and implant complications.  Her scientific education was primarily obtained at the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology at the Danish Cancer Society. She has currently published 79 scientific papers, and has held numerous lectures. She is the chairman of the Danish Melanoma Group and the Danish Melanoma Database and has just resigned as President of the Danish Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.



Professor Marc Moncrieff



Professor Torben Steiniche


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