BIOPROSP_21 | online


  • Chris Bowler

    Director of Research / Director of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Section

    French National Centre for Scientific Research / l'Ecole Normale Supérieure (IBENS) (France)

    Chris Bowler is Director of Research at CNRS and is Director of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Section of the Institut de Biologie de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He completed his PhD at the University of Ghent in Belgium followed by postdoctoral studies at The Rockefeller University in New York. In 1994 he established his own research group working on signaling in higher plants and marine diatoms at the Stazione Zoologica in Naples Italy and in 2002 he took up his current position in Paris. He is EMBO member since 1995, recipient of the CNRS Silver Medal in 2010, ERC Advanced Awards in 2012 and 2018, and the Louis D Foundation prize from the Institut de France in 2015.

    His major research interest is in understanding the response of plants and marine diatoms to environmental signals. In marine diatoms he established molecular tools to assess gene function and he has played a major role in coordinating the whole genome sequencing of several species. Using functional genomics he has revealed the cellular response of diatoms to nutrients such as iron and nitrogen, to different wavelengths of light, and to allelopathic infochemicals. He is scientific coordinator of the Tara Oceans project (, performing a worldwide analysis of plankton community diversity and function in the global ocean using high-throughput DNA sequencing and cellular imaging approaches.

    Fernando de la Calle

    Head of the Microbiology Dpt. Drug Discovery (R&D)

    PharmaMar (Spain)

    Dr Fernando de la Calle is currently the Head of the Microbiology Dpt. within Drug Discovery (R&D) at PharmaMar, biopharma involved in the development and commercialization of anticancer drugs of marine origin. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from UAM (Madrid) in 1998. He also completed an Executive-MBA at IDE-CESEM (Madrid) in 2005. He has more than 30 years’ experience working in drug discovery from marine microorganisms. He is an Expert in Applied Biotechnology, Molecular characterization of bacterial Biodiversity and the use of Biotechnology tools for Drug Discovery . Co-author of the current hemisynthetic process for manufacturing the anticancer Yondelis®, the first European marine derived compound approved. In addition, he has been external advisor for biotechnology issues to the Spanish Government (INCUAL), current member of the International Advisory Group of european ERA-NET for Marine Biotechnology and Biodiversity, reviewer for H2020 and ERA-NET projects and the scientific contact person from PharmaMar for FP7/H2020 EU projects related to Marine Biodiversity such as MAMBA, MaCuMBA, MicroB3 and INMARE as WP leader. Principal Investigator in more than 10 other nationally funded projects.

    Marcel Jaspars


    Marine Biodiscovery Centre, University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK)

    Marcel Jaspars’ main expertise is in the discovery, characterisation and utilisation of useful products and processes from marine genetic resources. This forms the core of the marine biodiscovery pipeline, and Marcel has frequent contact with people operating at all stages of this pipeline, from the collection and identification of the organisms to the testing of potential pharmaceuticals in whole animal models. Marcel founded the interdisciplinary Marine Biodiscovery Centre at the University of Aberdeen in 2010, a £2.5 M investment to focus on marine bioresources for novel pharmaceuticals. Marcel was a co-founder of the spinout company GyreOx that uses marine enzymes to generate complex modified cyclic peptides to address complex diseases. Marcel has been active at national and international levels to develop the science, its applications/industrial uptake and associated policy involved in marine biodiscovery and biotechnology. Since 2014 Marcel has been involved in the UN process, on the conservation and sustainable of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction providing scientific input and co-authoring a proposal which provides building blocks based on good scientific practice towards a solution. Marcel took on the role of Vice President International for the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2019.