Keynote Speakers

Iain Mattaj, FRS, FMedSci

Director, Human Technopole 


Prof. Iain Mattaj was born in St. Andrews, Scotland. He attended Edinburgh University. After completing his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry (Honours) he attended the University of Leeds, England for his PhD studies. Following his PhD, Prof. Mattaj carried out postdoctoral research at the Friedrich Miescher Institute, Switzerland then at the Biocentre, University of Basel, Switzerland before joining EMBL Heidelberg, Germany as a Group Leader in 1985. He became Coordinator of the Gene Expression Unit at EMBL in 1990 before being promoted to the position of Scientific Director in 1999. In 2005 Prof. Mattaj was appointed Director General of EMBL, a position he held until the end of 2018. In January 2019 he commenced his appointment as the founding Director of Fondazione Human Technopole in Milan, Italy.

A highly distinguished scientist, Prof. Mattaj has made major contributions to the fields of transcription, RNA metabolism, nucleocytoplasmic transport and cell division. His prominent standing in the field was underlined by his election as President of the RNA Society and his award of the prestigious Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2001, in addition to numerous other awards and honorary lectureships.

His scientific contributions have also been recognised by his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society (London), Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, elected Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Member of Academia Europea, Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (London) and Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (US). He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and helped make The EMBO Journal a highly successful international scientific journal, acting as Executive Editor from 1990 to 2004.

Tolullah Oni

Public Health Physician Scientist and urban epidemiologist, University of Cambridge MRC Epidemiology Unit


Tolullah Oni is a Public Health Physician Scientist and urban epidemiologist, a Clinical Senior Research Associate in Global Public Health at the University of Cambridge MRC Epidemiology Unit, and Honorary Associate Professor in Public Health at the University of Cape Town.

Born in Lagos, she completed her medical training at University College London, postgraduate medical training in the UK and Australia, a Masters degree in Public Health (Epidemiology) at the University of Cape Town, and a research doctorate in Clinical Epidemiology at Imperial College London. She leads the Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE) conducting transdisciplinary urban health research generating evidence to support development and implementation of healthy public policies in rapidly growing cities, with a focus on Africa.

She serves on several advisory boards including Future Earth and the African Academy of Science Open Research Platform; and is an editorial board member of Lancet Planetary Health, Cities and Health, and the Journal of Urban Health.

Profiled in the Lancet (2016), Science magazine (2018), and the British Medical Journal (2019), she is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, immediate past co-chair of the Global Young Academy, 2015 Next Einstein Forum Fellow, and a 2019 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

Griša Močnik

Associate professor at Jožef Stefan Institute


Griša Močnik works in the field of aerosol optical properties. He received his doctorate from the University of Ljubljana while working at "Jožef Stefan Institute", and institutions elsewhere in the EU, where he performed research on photothermal methods on highly absorbing and scattering samples. He has been a principal investigator in development and research projects in the field of aerosol instrumentation and laser devices. His work is focused on the development of instrumentation for aerosol optical properties measurement, and application of this instrumentation – in particular measurement of aerosol light absorption and black carbon. Until recently, he was the director and director of research and development of the largest black carbon instrument producer globally. His current research includes source apportionment of carbonaceous aerosol; aerosol vertical profiles; and methods for emission measurements. He served as a member of the United Nations ECE expert group on Black Carbon. He is a member of the editorial board for the journal “Aerosol Science and Engineering”. Griša Močnik holds the position of an Associate Professor at "Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School" and teaches also at the University of Nova Gorica. He mentored PhD students working on source apportionment, measurement of real-world vehicle emissions and the use of these in air quality models