Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Ovijit Chaudhuri, Prof. Dr.
Luisa De Cola, Prof. Dr.
Professor at the University of Milan, Italy; Head of the unit Materials for Health at the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, IRCCS, Italy
Luisa De Cola is since November 2020 Professor at the University of Milan and head of the unit Materials for Health at the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, IRCCS, Italy. She is also part time scientist at the INT-KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany. Since 2019 Honorary Professor at Tianjin University, China.
She was born in Messina, Italy, where she studied chemistry. After a post-doc in USA she was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Bologna (1990). In 1998 she was appointed Full Professor at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
In 2004 she moved to the University of Muenster, Germany. In 2012 she has been appointed Axa Chair of Supramolecular and Bio-Material Chemistry, at the University of Strasbourg.
She is recipients of several awards, the most recent being the ERC advanced grant, the International Prize for Chemistry “L. Tartufari” from Accademia dei Lincei, the Catalan -Sabatier prize from the Spanish Royal Academy of Science (2015), the Izatt–Christensen Award in Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry (2019), the gold Medal Natta (2020).
She is one of the 39 selected women chemists, from all times, at the Science Museum of
Valencia (Ciutat de les Arts y de les Ciencies), Spain.
She has been Nominated “Chevalier de la Légion d‘ Honneur” by the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, and she is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, of the Istituto Lombardo Accademia di Scienze e Lettere and she has just been nominated fellow of the American Institute For Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).
Her main interests are luminescent and electroluminescent systems and their assemblies, and nano- and porous structures for biomedical applications.
She has published more than 370 papers (H index =77), and filed 38 patents.
Jennifer H. Elisseeff, Prof. Dr.
Professor and Director, Translational Tissue Engineering Center
Wilmer Eye Institute and Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Orthopedic Surgery, Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
Peter Ertl, Prof. Dr.
Prof. Ertl holds an engineering degree in Biotechnology (University of Life Sciences, Austria), a PhD in Chemistry (University of Waterloo, Canada) and received his postdoctoral training as a biophysicist at University of California at Berkeley (US). In 2003 Dr. Ertl co-founded a biotech start-up company, where he served a number of years as Director of Product Development in Kitchener (Canada) developing benchtop-sized microbial analyzers. In 2006 Dr. Ertl moved to Austria where he worked as Senior Scientist in the Biosensor Technology unit at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT). Dr. Ertl was also granted a Fulbright Visiting Scholarship at UC Berkeley (2012) and conducted visiting scientist positions at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2013), the Medical Center of the University of California at San Francisco (2014) and Imperial College London (2019). In 2016 he was appointed Professor of Lab-on-a-Chip Systems for Bioscience Technologies at the Vienna University of Technology (TUW), where his research focuses on the development of advanced in vitro diagnostic microsystems and organ-on-a-chip systems. Dr. Ertl is also speaker of the Austrian Microfluidics Initiative, Editor-in-Chief of the open access journal Organs-on-a-Chip (Elsevier) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of SAICO Biosystems.
Gabor Forgacs, Prof. Dr.
University of Missouri-Columbia; Scientific Founder, Organovo; CSO, Modern Meadow, USA
Gabor Forgacs is a theoretical physicist turned biophysicist turned bioengineer turned innovator and entrepreneur. His academic affiliations include the George Vineyard Chair in Biophysics at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the Chanderna-Stirkey Chair in Theoretical Physics at Clarkson University, where he also served as the Scientific Director of the Shipley Innovation Center. He is the scientific founder of Organovo, Inc., Modern Meadow, Inc. and Fork & Goode, Inc. and is the Chief Scientific Officer of the latter. He was trained as a physicist at the Roland Eotvos University, Budapest, Hungary. He also has a degree in biology. His research interests and contributions span from topics in theoretical physics to physical mechanisms in early embryonic development. He is the author of over 200 scientific publications and 5 books, in particular the co-author of the celebrated text in the field, “Biological Physics of the Developing Embryo” that discusses physical mechanisms that guide embryonic development. He applies these mechanisms to build organ structures using bioprinting, a technology he pioneered. Such structures are already used for drug development and testing. The technology has also been adapted to engineer consumer products of animal origin such as leather and meat in environmentally friendly and ethically conscious manner. Dr. Forgacs has been recognized by numerous prizes and awards. In particular, he is a member of the National Academy of Innovators and was named as one of the “100 most innovative people in business in 2010” by FastCompany.
Ben M. Maoz, Dr.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Sagol School of Neuroscience, The Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Dr. Ben Maoz is a faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University. Dr. Maoz did his Ph.D in Chemistry at Tel Aviv University under the supervision of Prof. Gil Markovich. He returned to Israel after completing his postdoctoral fellowship at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University at the lab of Prof. Don Ingber and Prof. Kit Parker where he did groundbreaking work in the field of Organs-on-a-Chip. Dr. Maoz received number of prestigious awards such as ERC, Harvard-Wyss technology fellow, Azrieli fellowship for excellence science and others. More information on the MaozLab can be found in https://www.maozlab.com/ and his publication list under https://www.maozlab.com/publications
Massimiliano Papi , Prof. Dr.
Associate Professor of Biophysics at the Università Cattolica del Sc in Rome, Italy
Massimiliano Papi is an Associate Professor of Biophysics at the Università Cattolica del Sc in Rome, Italy. His interests lie at the nexus of physics, biology and biotechnology and he carried out research in the area of biophysics, from single molecules to cells and tissues. Current main research interests are: Development of antibacterial and antiviral surfaces and materials. In this field, new materials and biomaterials based on nanoparticles such as graphene, titanium, silver and mxene have been developed to acquire specific antiviral, bacteriocidal and bacteriostatic properties. Various techniques have been developed for the realization of new materials such as 3D printing for the creation of customized antibacterial and antiviral structures. The technology to integrate antimicrobial nanoparticles into tissues has also been optimized. Nanoparticles-based drug delivery. Numerous innovative approaches have been developed in this field for the transport of a pharmaceutical compound in the body to safely obtain the desired therapeutic effect. Several new biotechnological platforms have been created to optimize the achievement of the site within the body and to facilitate systemic pharmacokinetics. Current research activity in drug transportation includes the development of a targeted release in which the drug is active only in the target area of the body (e.g. in cancerous tissues) and prolonged-release formulations, in which the drug is released for a period of time in a controlled way. Discovery of clinical biomarkers. In this activity, different techniques and approaches of both microscopy and spectroscopy have been developed and refined. The new biomarkers developed in recent years are morphological biomarkers, biomechanical biomarkers and molecular biomarkers. 3D-Bioprinting of biological systems. In this field, an innovative facility in the Gemelli Technological Park has been recently realized. Several biological systems for tissue engineering has been developed: 3D scaffolds for bone and muscle reconstruction and regeneration, 3D tumor models for cancer research; 3D biological microenvironment for drug testing.
Milica Radisic, Prof. Dr.
Professor at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Dr. Milica Radisic is a Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada Research Chair in Functional Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering and a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute. She is also the Associate Chair-Research for the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto, Director of the NSERC CREATE Training Program in Organ-on-a-Chip Engineering & Entrepreneurship and Director of Ontario-Quebec Center for Organ-on-a-Cho Engineering. She obtained B.Eng. from McMaster University, and Ph.D. form the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada-Academy of Science, Canadian Academy of Engineering, the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering and Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine Society. She received numerous awards and fellowships, including MIT Technology Review Top 35 Innovators under 35. She was a recipient of the Professional Engineers Ontario-Young Engineer Medal in 2011, Engineers Canada Young Engineer Achievement Award in 2012, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013, NSERC E.W.R Steacie Fellowship in 2014, YWC Toronto Woman of Distinction Award in 2018, and OPEA Research & Development Medal in 2019 to name a few. Her research focuses on organ-on-a-chip engineering and development of new biomaterials that promote healing and attenuate scarring. She developed new methods to mature iPSC derived cardiac tissues using electrical stimulation. Currently, she holds research funding from CIHR, NSERC, CFI, ORF, NIH, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She is an Associate Editor for ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, a member of the Editorial Board of Tissue Engineering, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, Regenerative Biomaterials, Advanced Biosystems, Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology and eLife. She serves on review panels for Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Institutes of Health. She is actively involved with BMES (Cardiovascular Track Chair in 2013 and 2104) and TERMIS-AM (Council member, Chair of the Membership Committee). She was a co-organizer of a 2017 Keystone Symposium, “Engineered Cells and Tissues as Platforms for Discovery and Therapy”. She served on the Board of Directors for Ontario Society of Professional Engineers and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Canadian Biomaterials Society. Her research findings were presented in over 200 research papers, reviews and book chapters with h-index of 61 and over 13,000 citations. Her publications appear in prestigious journals such as: Cell, Nature Materials, Nature Methods, Nature Protocols, Nature Communications, PNAS etc. In 2014, she co-founded an award winning company TARA Biosystems that uses matured human engineered heart tissues in drug development. TARA currently tests drugs for major pharmaceutical companies. In 2017, she founded Quthero Inc, a company focused on disrupting the skin regeneration and wound healing market through the use of proprietary Q-gel to promote scar-free wound healing.
Meital Reches, Prof. Dr.
Associate Professor at the Institute of Chemistry and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Meital Reches is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Chemistry and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After completing her Ph.D. studies at Tel Aviv University in 2007 (supervisor: Prof. Ehud Gazit) and spending three years as an EMBO and a HFSP postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University, (supervisor: Prof. George Whitesides), Prof. Reches established her independent research group at the Hebrew University in 2010.
Research in the Reches group focuses on understanding the interactions of biological entities such as proteins, bacteria, viruses and cells with surfaces. In addition, her group develops surfaces to control these interactions. One example is a peptide-based coating that prevents bacterial adhesion and attracts mammalian cell.
Altogether, Prof. Reches has over 80 papers in peer-reviewed journals (including Science, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Communications, Advanced Materials, ACS Nano and PNAS), two book chapters and 13 families of patents. For her innovations, she was awarded by the Hebrew University with the prestigious Kaye Award for Innovation, the Marie Currie Alumni Association Best Innovator Award and the Tenne Family Prize in Nanoscale Sciences.
Goreti Sales, Prof. Dr.
Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Goreti Sales received a degree in pharmaceutical sciences in 1994 and a PhD in analytical chemistry in 2000, from the Faculty of Pharmacy of Porto University. She is Associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra. Her research interests are focused on biomimetic nanomaterials and biosensing devices. She coordinates the research group BioMark@UC, since 2020, and she was the founder (in 2011) of the research group BioMark@ISEP.
She was awarded (in 2012) a Starting Grant by the European Research Council, targeting a new technical approach that merges biosensors with solar cells, and she is currently coordinating the FET-Open project (H2020) MindGAP.