Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Brad Nelson has been the Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at ETH Zürich since 2002. He has over thirty years of experience in the field of robotics and has received a number of awards in the fields of robotics, nanotechnology, and biomedicine. He serves on the advisory boards of a number of academic departments and research institutes across North America, Europe, and Asia and is on the editorial boards of several academic journals. Prof. Nelson is the Department Head of Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH and has been the Chairman of the ETH Electron Microscopy Center and a member of the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation. He also serves on boards of three Swiss companies. Before moving to Europe, Prof. Nelson worked as an engineer at Honeywell and Motorola and served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana, Africa. He has also been a professor at the University of Minnesota and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
Linda Gay Griffith, (BS Georgia Tech, PhD UC Berkeley, Chemical Engineering) is the School of Engineering Teaching Innovation Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering and MacVicar Fellow at MIT, where she directs the Center for Gynepathology Research. She led development of the Biological Engineering SB degree program, which was approved in 2005 as MIT’s first new undergraduate major in 39 years. She has pioneered approaches in tissue engineering, including the first tissue-engineered cartilage in the shape of a human ear; commercialization of the 3DP™ Printing Process for manufacture of FDA-approved scaffolds; commercialization of the 3D perfused “LiverChip” for drug development; and synthetic matrices for morphogenesis. A major current focus is gynecology applications, integrating mechanistic disease stratification and tissue-engineered models of lesions for drug development in endometriosis and adenomyosis. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Radcliffe Fellowship and several awards from professional societies. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Society for Women’s Health Research and has served on several NIH Advisory Councils including the Advisory Committee to the Director.
DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, Professor in Polymeric Biomaterials, Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry, RWTH University Aachen, Germany
Laura De Laporte combines engineering, chemistry and biology to design biomaterials that control and direct the interaction with cells. She is a Chemical Engineer from Ghent, where she got the tissue engineering microbe. To follow her dream, she did her PhD with Lonnie Shea at Northwestern University and engineered guiding implants for nerve regeneration. At EPFL, she learned about hydrogels in Jeffrey Hubbell’s group during her post-doctoral research. Currently, she is a Leibniz Professor at the RWTH University in Aachen, Germany, where she works on Advanced Biomedical Systems at the DWI-Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials. In the framework of the ERC Starting Grant Anisogel, her team designs low-invasive, polymeric regenerative hydrogel therapies, consisting of nano –and micron-scale building blocks that orient after injection to repair anisotropic tissues. In addition, dynamic hydrogels are created to study mechanobiology.