Alba 2012 Highlights

The Oxygen Club of California World Congress was held 20–23 June, 2012, in the beautiful city of Alba, in the Piedmont region of Italy. The OCC would like to congratulate once again Giuseppe Poli and his cadre of local organizers, who made the meeting a memorable occasion.

The OCC Oxidants and Antioxidants in Biology conference focused on Cell Signaling and Nutrient-Gene Interactions. Attendees enjoyed in the presentations a cutting-edge research program in an elegant theater setting at the historic hall of Teatro Sociale. Scientists presented their findings concerning transcriptional regulation of antioxidant defenses, lipid oxidation and signaling, novel roles of micronutrients, the interaction of nutrients with genes, and the role of epigenetics and metabolism in aging.

One of the highlights took place Thursday evening, when Professor Kelvin J.A. Davies did an outstanding job acting as the Master of Ceremony for a series of excerpts from various operas sung by Alexandra Zabala (soprano), Sabrina Pecchenino (Mezzosoprano), Enrico Iviglia (Tenor), and Massimiliano Fichera (Baritone) and, at the grand piano, Alfredo Castellani.

The Gala Dinner was a fantastic Italian feast at the Restaurant La Cascata in Verduno, with multiple different wines from the region to match the various courses.

Of course, the highlight of the dinner was the presentation of awards and prizes: three colleagues were recognized as “Lifetime Members of the OCC”. This award recognizes the friendship and support of our organization by outstanding scientists. The three new lifetime members are Giovanni Mann, Professor of Vascular Physiology, King’s College, London for his work in Nrf2-mediated redox signaling; Irfan Rahman, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center for his work on Epigenetic modulation by bioactives in inflammation; and Oren Tirosh, Department Head, School of Nutrition Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for his work on fatty liver disease.

Lester Packer and Enrique Cadenas presented the OCC and Jarrow formulas Health Sciences Prize, which is presented with a beautiful bronze medal and a monetary award of $ 25,000; it is OCC's most prestigious prize. For 2012 the prize was shared by Masayasi Yammanoto and Thomas Kensler for their fundamental research on the Keap1-Nrf2 signaling pathway and for demonstration of the importance for of this pathway in human clinical trials in carcinogenesis. Inhibition of aflatoxin hepatocarcinogenesis by dithiolethiones, such as oltipraz, and isothiocyanates, such as sulforaphane, demonstrate that the Keap1-Nrf2 signaling pathway is an important target for chemoprevention inducing detoxification, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory genes. Yamamoto and Kensler published more than 40 articles together and provide one of the best examples of the importance of Translational medicine from the bench to the bedside

Helmut Sies presented The Science and Humanity Award to José (Pepe) Viña.

Maret Traber presented The Aging Research Award to Claudio Franchessi from the University of Bologna, Italy.

Young investigators are cherished by the OCC! We were able to present 5 young investigator awards (YIA) along with a monetary prize. Emily Ho presented the Linus Pauling Institute YIA to Harsh Sancheti. Maret Traber on behalf of the OCC presented the OCC YIA jointly to Ana Reis and Denise Davalos, the Lester Packer YIA was presented to Insa Ernst, The Elsevier/ Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics YIA was presented to Jennifer Ehren, and the Journal of The Royal Society of Chemistry, Food and Function YIA to Guliz Armagan.

  Last updated: 14 December 2014   |    Comments and Questions? e-mail us at