International Award 2021

The International Award is a prestigious recognition by the ESB of scientists who have generally spent their career outside Europe, who have been internationally recognised, have a high scientific profile, and have made major contributions to the field of biomaterials. Strong evidence of collaborations with members of our scientific community in Europe throughout their career is expected.

Awardee International Award 2021: David Mooney, Prof. Dr.

Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA

David Mooney is the Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a Founding and Core Faculty Member of the Wyss Institute. He earned his B.S. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his Ph.D in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His laboratory designs biomaterials to promote tissue regeneration and immunotherapy, and has made significant advances in tissue engineering, drug delivery, and mechanotransduction. The laboratory emphasizes the education of students and fellows, with over 120 Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows to date; 40 lab alumni hold faculty positions with the remainder largely in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries. He has an H-index of 158, with over 100,000 citations to date of his publications. He has won numerous awards, including the Clemson Award from the SFB, MERIT award from the NIH, Distinguished Scientist Award from the IADR, Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard College. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors.  In 2019 he was named one of the Top 10 translational researchers in biotech by Nature Biotechnology. His inventions have been licensed by over 18 companies, leading to commercialized products and founding of companies, and he is active on industrial scientific advisory boards.

George Winter Award

The George Winter award is established by the European Society for Biomaterials to recognize, encourage and stimulate outstanding research contributions to the field of biomaterials. The nominee must have contributed significantly to the knowledge in the field of biomaterials through basic, experimental and/or clinical research. The award will be presented annually during the ESB conference.

Awardee George Winter Award 2021: Pekka Kalevi Vallittu, Prof. Dr.

University of Turku (UTU), Department of Biomaterials Science, Turku, Finland

Pekka Vallittu ( ) has earned his degrees in Dental Technology in 1988, Doctor of Dental Surgery and Doctor of Philosophy in 1994, received Adjunct Professorship in 1995 and specialized in prosthodontics and stomatognathic physiology in 2000. Presently, he is a Full Professorship and Chair of Biomaterials Science in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku, Finland and works as Dean of the Institute of Dentistry at the University of Turku and as the Director of Turku Clinical Biomaterials Centre. He holds Honorary Professorship at the University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam and Visiting Professorship at the King Saud University in Riayadh, Saudi Arabia. 

His predominating research activity on fiber-reinforced composites has lasted over 30 years since 1980¬īs. The first clinical applications¬†of fiber-reinforced composites were found in clinical dentistry and thereafter in combination with bioactive glass components and surface coatings in bone surgical applications as non-metallic bioactive implants. Pekka Vallittu has over¬†640 ISI Web of Science Indexed publications, more that 140 granted patents based on 32 inventions and his h-index is 92. He has established two companies (Stick Tech Ltd ‚Äď GC Group and Skulle Implants Corp.) for getting newly developed composite materials for clinical use.

Awardee George Winter Award 2020: Jo√£o Mano, Prof. Dr.

University of Aveiro, Department of Chemistry, CICECO – Aveiro Institute of Materials, Aveiro, Portugal

Jo√£o F. Mano, PhD in Chemistry (1996, Technical Univ. Lisbon), D.Sc. in Tissue Engineering Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cells (2012, Univ. Minho), is a full professor at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Aveiro (Portugal). During his career he has been teaching courses related to biomaterials science and technology, tissue engineering and physical chemistry of polymers and materials, in both undergraduate and graduate levels. He is the director of both Master and Doctoral Degrees in Biotechnology at the Univ. of Aveiro. He has also an appointment as Invited Professor (classe exceptionelle, since 2014) at University of Lorraine (France), and Visiting Professor in KAIST (South Korea) – 2019.

He belongs to the associate laboratory CICECO ‚Äď Aveiro Institute of Materials where he is directing the COMPASS Research Group, founded in April 2016. His current research interests include the use of biomaterials and cells towards the development of transdisciplinary concepts especially aimed at being used in regenerative and personalised medicine. In particular, biomimetic and nano/micro-technology approaches have been applied to natural-derived biomaterials and surfaces in order to obtain biomedical devices with improved structural and (multi-)functional properties, or in the engineering of microenvironments to control cell behaviour and organization, to be used in therapies or in drug screening.

Jo√£o F. Mano is author of 630+ original research or review papers in international journals (26000+ citations, h=81 ‚Äď Web of Science) and about 40 book chapters. Jo√£o F. Mano co-edited 9 special issues in international journals and 3 books. Jo√£o F. Mano has been invited to review manuscripts from 275+ different international journals and to routinely evaluate projects from numerous private and state funding agencies from 18 different countries. Jo√£o F. Mano supervised or co-supervised 60 MSc, 22 PhD students, and 40+ post-doctoral fellows. He filed 6 patents as senior inventor.

He is the Editor-in-Chief of Materials Today Bio (Elsevier). He has been also part of a series of scientific societies and editorial boards of about 10 international journals. He has been coordinating or involved in many national and European research projects and participated in the organization of scientific events in the area of polymer/materials science and biomaterials/tissue engineering.

Professor Jo√£o F. Mano has been member of scientific committees, organizing committees, referee and chairman in different international meetings. He was invited to present more than 100 invited/keynote/plenary talks in international conferences including: EUROMAT, ESTAC, TERMIS (EU and AP chapters and World conferences), BIOMED, FBPS, NANOMED, COLAOB, ESB, SFB, World Biomaterials Conference, E-MRS, ESAO, EPF, ACS, CBECIMAT, NICE, Inter. HYMA, APME, APCChE, PPM, EPNOE, SELECTBIO.

João F. Mano has received different honours and awards: (i) fellow of the IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) since 2004; (ii) the Stimulus to Excellence Award by the Portuguese Minister for Science and Technology in 2005; (iii) the Materials Science and Technology Prize, attributed by the Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS) in 2007 (iv) UNESCO Chair on Biomaterials attributed in 2008 from the University of Havana (Cuba); (v) the major BES innovation award in 2010 (at that time, one of the most recognised innovation prize in Portugal); (vi) recipient an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC-AdG), in 2015; (vii) received the title of Professor@Lorraine from the University of Lorraine, France, in 2018; (viii) recipient a Proof of Concept Grant from the European Research Council (ERC-PoC), in 2018; (ix) title of Doctor Honoris Causa, given by University of Lorraine, in 2019; (x) awarded with a Gutenberg Chair, supported  by the Great East Region of France, in 2020; (xi) recipient a second ERC-AdG, in 2020; (xii) recipient a second ERC-PoC, in 2020; (xiii) elected fellow of the European Academy of Sciences.

Jean Leray Award

The Jean Leray award is established by the European Society for Biomaterials to recognize, encourage and stimulate outstanding research contributions to the field of biomaterials by early-career scientists. The nominee must have contributed significantly to the knowledge in the field of biomaterials through basic, experimental and/or clinical research. The award will be presented annually during the ESB conference.

Awardee Jean Leray Award 2021: Riccardo Levato, Dr., Associate Professor

Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University and Department of Orthopedics, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands

Riccardo Levato is currently associate professor of Translational Bioengineering and Biomaterials at the Department of Clinical Sciences (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University), and a principal investigator both at the Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht and at the Department of Orthopedics of the University Medical Center Utrecht. His research interests focus on the development of novel biofabrication strategies and cell-instructive biomaterials to create bioprinted, lab-made tissue models and transplantable engineered grafts, particularly for the regeneration of the musculoskeletal system. Integrating expertise in engineering, materials science and stem cell biology, these efforts aim both to understand and mimic the multifaceted architectural and biochemical structure of living tissues in order to develop effective treatments for human and veterinary healthcare. In 2020 he was awarded a Starting grant from the European Research Council on the development of a novel volumetric bioprinting technology for organoid research and to engineer functional bone marrow analogues in vitro. In addition, since 2021, he is coordinator of a European consortium (ENLIGHT), funded under the Future and Emerging Technologies scheme (European Innovation Council pilot), aiming at developing biofabricated pancreas units to study treatments for diabetes.  To date, he has published 49 peer-reviewed articles international journals (H-index=21), co-authored 2 book chapters and 2 patent applications, and he secured > 13 million euros in research funds for his group and related consortia. In total, he has been (co-)supervisor of 13 PhD students (4 completed, 9 ongoing). For his work, he was conferred several awards including a Orthoregeneration Network Fellowship by the International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS), the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine Young Investigator Award, multiple presentation and travel awards, and the Julia Polak doctoral award from the European Society for Biomaterials. Riccardo is an active member of the ESB, TERMIS, ICRS, and he is serving on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Biofabrication. Prior to moving to Utrecht, he worked and received training in several research groups working in the fields of Biomaterials, Regenerative Medicine and Biofabrication: 3Bs, University of Minho (Portugal); BioMatLab, Technical University of Milan (Italy), the Biomaterials for Regenerative Therapies group  at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC, Spain), and he holds a cum laude PhD in Biomedical Engineering from IBEC and from the Technical University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain).

Awardee Jean Leray Award 2020: Jeroen Leijten, Dr., Associate Professor

Dept. Developmental BioEngineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, Technical Medical Centre, University of Twente, The Netherlands.

Jeroen Leijten is currently an associate professor in the Developmental BioEngineering department in the Technical Medical Centre of University Twente. He earned his Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Leiden University in 2007, and his PhD degree in Tissue Engineering with Prof. Blitterswijk at University of Twente in 2012, where he continued to work as a postdoc for an additional year with Prof. Karperien. In 2013, he joined Prometheus, the division of Skeletal Tissue Engineering of the KU Leuven, to work with Prof. Luyten. As a self-funded postdoc, he worked on the development of microtechnological platforms to produce and investigate the potential of stem cell based micro-organoids and smart micromaterials. In 2014, he joined the Khademhosseini lab at Harvard-MIT as senior postdoctoral researcher where he worked on microfluidics, instructive biomaterials, and organ-on-chips. In 2016, he accepted a tenure track position at University Twente. His lab focuses on developing novel microtechnologies with a particular interest in microfluidics, micromaterials, and on-demand tunable biomaterials, which he leverages to create 3D spatiotemporal microenvironments to control (stem) cell behavior. He has published 59 peer reviewed papers in renowned journals including Cell Stem Cell, Nature Communications, Small, Advanced Functional Materials, and PNAS, resulting in >2100 citations and a H-index of 28. He received >7.5 million euro in funding including a Veni award, Vidi award, and ERC Starting grant, multiple presentation awards/honors including the best-idea-of-2018 by the Dutch academy of Engineers, and was twice selected as a top 10 Young Scientific Talent by New Scientist.

Klaas de Groot Award

The Klaas de Groot award is a prestigious recognition by the European Society for Biomaterials of scientists who have shown a distinct ability to provide excellent mentorship and guidance to young researchers, helping them to establish their own independent career. We look for colleagues who have nurtured young talent, and who have selflessly invested in this talent, creating a next generation biomaterials scientists in Europe. The award will be presented annually during the ESB conference.

Awardee Klaas de Groot Award 2021: Clemens A. van Blitterswijk, Prof. Dr.

Professor of Complex Tissue Regeneration, MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine, Maastricht University, the Netherlands

Prof. Dr. Clemens A. van Blitterswijk (born 1957, The Hague, the Netherlands) graduated as a cell biologist from Leiden University (Leiden, the Netherlands) in 1982. He defended his PhD thesis in 1985 at the same university on artificial ceramic middle ear implants, for which he was awarded the Jean Leray award (European Society for Biomaterials), the Marie Parijs award (University of Leiden), and the Kleijn award (University of Utrecht) in the following years. Today, most of his research deals with tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and is based on multidisciplinary research between materials and life sciences. He founded the MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine in 2014 and acted as its Director until 2019. He is currently a Distinguished Professor of Complex Tissue Regeneration at Maastricht University.

Van Blitterswijk is one of the preeminent scientists in the Netherlands and is a leader of his field internationally. With >500 peer-reviewed published papers (h-index 114, >48,000 citations), van Blitterswijk is in the top-ten, most-cited scientists worldwide in the fields of biomaterials and tissue engineering (Web of Science) and holds the top position in Europe. He has published papers with authors from 25 different countries. He has edited four books, including the first dedicated to tissue engineering. He has received over 250 invitations to present at international conferences and workshops. In addition to his scientific achievements, van Blitterswijk has raised large national structural funding for research in biomaterials, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. For example, he has been involved in (often leading) the establishment of Translational Excellence in Regenerative Medicine (TeRM; ‚ā¨25M; main applicant), Netherlands Initiative for Regenerative Medicine (NIRM; ‚ā¨84M), and Biomedical Materials (BMM; ‚ā¨90M). He moved to Maastricht University as part of the triple-helix Kennis-As initiative (‚ā¨25M) and founded the quadruple-helix, international RegMed XB consortium (with a commitment for ‚ā¨250M).

Van Blitterswijk is recognized at the highest level in the Netherlands as a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) since 2012 and the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) since 2016. He has received many of the prestigious international awards in his field (e.g., the Career Achievement award of the EU-Chapter of TERMIS, appointment as a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering, and both the Jean Leray and George Winter awards from the European Society for Biomaterials). He won the 2012 award for the most entrepreneurial scientist in the Netherlands and the 2015 Huibregtsen award for performing ground-breaking science with societal impact. He has been granted some of the most prestigious research subsidies in Europe (e.g., the ERC Advanced Grant) and in the Netherlands (e.g., the NWO Gravitation). Van Blitterswijk has raised hundreds of millions in total for his research (~‚ā¨175M), the major consortia he has (co-)founded, and his companies (~‚ā¨150M).

During his career Prof. van Blitterswijk has also co-founded multiple biomedical companies and held several functions in these organizations. He acted as CEO of IsoTis (a public life sciences company in the Netherlands) from 1996 to 2002, a company that he co-founded and grew to 150 people. As a result of his work, 10 implant technologies have been brought into clinical evaluation in humans. He combines his professorship with being a Founding Partner of the new Health Economics Fund (LSP-HEF) of the European health care investment group Life Sciences Partners (LSP) in Amsterdam. The focus is on investments in mature innovative medical technology companies that can reduce costs in health care while providing high quality health care to patients.

Awardee Klaas de Groot Award 2020: M√°rio Adolfo Barbosa, Prof. Dr.

Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS), University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
I3S Instituto de Investiga√ß√£o e Inova√ß√£o em Sa√ļde, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

M√°rio Barbosa took his PhD at Leeds University (UK). He is Full Professor at the Instituto de Ci√™ncias Biom√©dicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS), University of Porto, where his area of lecturing is bioengineering.¬† From 2015 to December 2019, and following an application led by him, he was the Director of the I3S (Instituto de Investiga√ß√£o e Inova√ß√£o em Sa√ļde) of Porto University. I3S was evaluated by the FCT (Funda√ß√£o para a Ci√™ncia e a Tecnologia) with the highest marks (Outstanding in 2015 and Excellent in 2019). I3S is the largest R&D research institute in Portugal, with¬† >1300 investigators, 460 of them holding a PhD degree. M√°rio was a founding member of Instituto de Engenharia Biom√©dica (INEB) set up in 1989, which is part of the i3S consortium. M√°rio has taken leading positions in Portugal, namely as President of the national agency for research (1992 to 1994) and Chairman of its Engineering Sciences Scientific Council (2002 to 2005).

The main topic of Mário’s research is the modulation of inflammation in tissue repair/regeneration, namely through the design of immunomodulatory microenvironments. At i3S he leads the Microenvironments for New Therapies (MiNT) group. MiNT bioengineers microenvironments that promote tissue regeneration/functional restoration through modulation of the host response.

At the post-graduate level Mário has taken a leading role in launching undergraduate and post-doctoral programmes (e.g. the Doctoral Programme in Biomedical Engineering, in 1996, one of the first to operate in Portugal). He is the Director of the International Doctoral Programme on Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology Applied to Health Sciences (now in its 7th edition), that provides research training in bioengineering in top level institutions. Mário has been always strongly committed to advanced training in the area of biomaterials. For instance, from 1988 to 1992 he run a series of European Intensive Courses, funded by the European Commission, which resulted in the publication of four books published by Elsevier (1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994).   During 10 years in a row (1999-2009), he organized Advanced Summer Course in Cell/Material Interactions, with an important hands-on component and a large number of international participants. After a short break in 2010, the Summer Schools re-emerged under the general topic of Interrogations at the Biointerface with the goal of bringing together different fields around one topic of interest. The 7th edition took place in 2019.

Among several awards is the George Winter Award of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB), the ESB award for outstanding work of an established researcher, received in 2001. Mário is a Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering.  From 2007 to 2016 he was the representative of the ESB for the Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal award and from 2007 to 2013 the chairman of the awards committee of the ESB.  He was a member of the Directive Council of the ESB (1991-1995). Mário organized several international conferences, including the 12th European Conference on Biomaterials (1995) and Bioceramics 16 (2003). Presently, he is the Secretary of the International Union of the Societies of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (IUSBSE). 

Former postdocs and students have leading positions in research institutes, both in Portugal and abroad (e.g. China, USA, Brazil and Spain).

He has published more than 280 papers in refereed journals (>9000 citations; h index 52).

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Important Dates

Deadline Early Bird Registration
Virtual conference
24 August 2021

Late Registration
Virtual conference
from 25 August 2021

ESB 2021
5‚Äď9 September 2021
as fully virtual conferencel

Biomechanics part:
9 September 2021





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