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SELECTBIO Conferences Circulating Biomarkers, Exosomes & Liquid Biopsy Europe 2019

Michael Pfaffl's Biography

Michael Pfaffl, Professor, Technical University of Munich

Michael W. Pfaffl started 1986 to study ‘Agriculture - Animal Science’ and ‘Biotechnology’ at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). In 1997 he obtained his PhD in ‘Molecular Physiology’ in the field of molecular muscle and growth physiology at the Chair of Physiology. In June 2003 he completed his Venia Legendi (Dr. habil.) at the Center of Life and Food Sciences Weihenstephan with the title ‘Livestock transcriptomics -- Quantitative mRNA analytics in molecular endocrinology and mammary gland physiology’.

Early 2010 he became Professor of ‘Molecular Physiology’ at the TUM School of Life Sciences in Freising Weihenstephan. Today he has reached the ‘Principal Investigator’ status at the Institute of Animal Physiology & Immunology and is one of the leading scientists in the field of molecular physiology, with focus on Gene Quantification, RT-qPCR technology, RNA sequencing, extracellular vesicle (EV) biology, and complex data analysis by integrative biostatistical methods and multivariate algorithms.

He is author of more than 200 peer reviewed publications, 50 book chapters, and held more than 250 lectures worldwide. He is coauthor of the high-cited Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments (MIQE) guidelines (2009), of the dMIQE guidelines for digital PCR (2013), and Minimal Information for Studies of Extracellular Vesicles 2018 (MISEV2018).
Michael W. Pfaffl received the Heinz Maier-Leibniz Medal 2019 in recognition of his outstanding, internationally recognized and well-cited research work on the relative quantification of RNA by real-time RT-qPCR. "A new mathematical model for relative quantification in real-time RT-PCR" published 2001 in Nucleic Acids Research 29(9) which has been cited today more than 25,000 times. TUM presents the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Medal to researcher who, through their exceptional achievements in science, technology and/or medicine, have rendered a great service to the university in their capacity as outstanding lecturers and scientists.

Professor Michael W. Pfaffl has editorial involvements as Editor in ‘Methods’ and ‘International Journal of Oncology’, and Editor-in-Chief of the ‘Gene Quantification’ webportal (, the world biggest webpage around qPCR, dPCR and Gene Expression profiling techniques and applications. He is initiator and lead organizer of the qPCR, dPCR & NGS Gene Quantification Event series in Freising Weihenstephan in Germany since 2004 (

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Liquid Biopsy -- Exosomal microRNA Biomarker Signatures in Clinical Diagnostics

Thursday, 31 October 2019 at 11:30

Add to Calendar ▼2019-10-31 11:30:002019-10-31 12:30:00Europe/LondonLiquid Biopsy -- Exosomal microRNA Biomarker Signatures in Clinical DiagnosticsCirculating Biomarkers, Exosomes and Liquid Biopsy Europe 2019 in Rotterdam, The NetherlandsRotterdam, The

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are circulating in body liquids and are involve in the intercellular communication with key functions in physiological and pathological processes. In recent time especially the exosomes have gained huge interest because of their molecular diagnostic potential, mainly based on the containing microRNAs.

The past decade has brought about the development and commercialization of a multitude of extraction methods to isolate EVs and exosomes, primarily from blood compartments. The exosome purity and which subpopulations of EVs are captured strongly depend on the applied isolation method, which in turn determines how suitable resulting samples are for potential downstream applications and biomarker discovery. Herein we compared the performance of various optimized isolation principles for serum EVs/exosomes in healthy individuals and critically ill patients, suffering pneumonia and/or various stages of sepsis. The isolation methods were benchmarked regarding their suitability for biomarker discovery as well as biological characteristics of captured vesicles. Isolated vesicles were phenotypic and molecular characterized by Nano Tracking Analysis, (NTA) (EV concentration, EV mean size, EV size distribution), surface marker proteins (positive and negative markers via western blotting), and containing small-RNA families (small-RNA and isomiRs via small-RNA NGS). To analyze the deep sequencing results, a self-established bioinformatics pipeline for microRNA (based on R) and a deeper analysis of their isoforms (via isomiRROR) was applied.

First goal was the development of microRNA/isomiR biomarker signature in a learning cohort with over 116 patients for an early diagnosis and for a valid classification of critical ill patients. Various patient groups were investigated: healthy volunteers, sepsis (referred to mild or severe pneumonia), acute pulmonary failure (ARDS) and septic shock. 21 miRNAs were significantly regulated in all patient groups compared to healthy controls, and different disorders showed unique miRNA expression profiles. Distinct miRNA subsets were identified, which are applicable to indicate disease progression from limited inflammation present in pneumonia to severe inflammatory changes as seen in ARDS and sepsis shock. The found biomarker signatures are now verified in a second and independent confirmation cohort with over 100 new patients.

To conclude, this study results indicate that EV miRNA biomarkers have a great potential for diagnosis of pneumonia and to indicate disease progression towards severe inflammation events. Our findings are of clinical relevance, as the timely diagnosis of pneumonia can be challenging, and secondary complications such as ARDS and sepsis might be prevented by early intervention and fast treatment. Further the methodological findings provides guidance for navigating the multitude of EV/exosome isolation methods available, and helps researchers and clinicians in the field of molecular diagnostics to make the right choice about the EV/exosome isolation strategy.

Add to Calendar ▼2019-10-30 00:00:002019-11-01 00:00:00Europe/LondonCirculating Biomarkers, Exosomes and Liquid Biopsy Europe 2019Circulating Biomarkers, Exosomes and Liquid Biopsy Europe 2019 in Rotterdam, The NetherlandsRotterdam, The