University of Aveiro, Portugal: March – June 2023


João F. Mano

Ana Sofia Silva

CICECO – Aveiro Institute of Materials, Department of Chemistry

University of Aveiro


The International Webinars on Topics on Cell and Tissue Engineering (CTEng) is a series of cutting edge seminars held on remotely on a weekly-basis and organized by the COMPASS RG at the University of Aveiro. The seminars will be delivered by internationally recognized speakers with a strong training component. Registration is necessary for the (free) attendance to the talks.

Agenda: Meet the Speakers

  • March 17th, 2023 – 9 a.m. (Lisbon/London time) 

Professor Laura De Laporte

DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials, RWTH Aachen – Germany

Topic: Injectable synthetic molecular and colloidal building blocks to overcome challenges in Tissue Engineering

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. Since 2018, 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. Her team designs injectable polymeric hydrogel precursors, consisting of nano –and micron-scale building blocks that interlink to form macroporous 3D cell scaffolds, orient after injection to grow anisotropic tissues, and actuate to include movements into the growing tissues
  • March 23rd, 2023 – 8.30 p.m. (Lisbon/London time) – Caution: After dinner Talk 


Professor Utkan Demirci

Stanford University School of Medicine – USA

Topic: Acoustic Biofabrication of Cell-based Toroid Hybrid Soft Biorobots and applications of microfluidic robotic devices

Dr. Utkan Demirci is a professor with tenure at Stanford University School of Medicine and serves as the interim director and division chief at the Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection in the Department of Radiology. He also was a faculty member earlier at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School at the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology division prior to his appointment at Stanford. His group is focused on the development of point-of-care technologies and creating microfluidic platforms for sorting rare cells and exosomes for infectious diseases and cancer. 

Dr. Demirci is a fellow-elect of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, elected in 2017. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in Electrical Engineering in 2005 as well as M.S. degrees in 2001 in Electrical Engineering, and in Management Science and Engineering in 2005. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, over 300 abstracts and proceedings, 24 book chapters and editorials, four edited books, over 25 patents pending or granted, and serves as an editorial board member for various peer-reviewed journals. His group focuses on developing innovative point-of-care technologies and creating microfluidic platforms for cancer with broad applications to multiple diseases. Dr. Demirci’s seminal work in microfluidics has led to the development of innovative platform technologies in medicine. His inventions have been licensed to numerous companies. He has co-founded several startups and serves as an advisor and board member. He has translated several FDA-approved and CE-marked technologies.

  • March 31st, 2023 – 9 a.m. (Lisbon/London time)


Professor Jonathan Knowles

UCL Eastman Dental Institute, London – United Kingdom

Topic: Repair of Central and Peripheral Nerve Tissues Using Phosphate Based Glass Fibres: Understanding the Clinical and Biological Problem and Strategies for Improved Outcomes

Jonathan Knowles is Professor of Biomaterials Science at University College London. His research focusses on degradable materials for regeneration of a wide range of different tissue types and his work covers materials such as degradable glasses and polymers, synthesis of degradable resins for 3D printing and naturally derived materials such as collagen, which has been funded by a wide variety of agencies including the EPSRC, MRC, BBSRC and the EU. He also has a visiting position at Dankook University where a joint centre in Dental Medicine has been established.

The work has resulted in over 400 peer reviewed papers, with over 30,000 citations. He is also editor in chief of the Journal of Biomaterials Applications and also more recently is editor in chief of the open access Journal of Tissue Engineering, currently number 5 in the Cell & Tissue Engineering category. IN recognition of his work, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and more recently elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

  • April 13th, 2023 – 9 p.m. (Lisbon/London time) – Caution: After dinner Talk 


Professor David Mooney

Wiss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University – USA


Topic: Robotic-driven skeletal muscle regeneration

David Mooney is the Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a Core Faculty Member of the Wyss Institute. His laboratory designs biomaterials to promote regeneration and immunotherapy. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors.  His inventions have been licensed by over 15 companies, leading to commercialized products.  He has founded companies, and is active on industrial scientific advisory boards.

  • April 21st, 2023 – 9 a.m. (Lisbon/London time) 


Professor Mingdong Dong

Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center, Aarhus University – Denmark

Topic: Reversible Crystallization of Amyloid Proteins and its Potential Applications

Mingdong Dong is a Professor at Aarhus University in Denmark, where he holds a position in the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center. He is an applied physicist with expertise in advanced surface-sensitive scanning probe microscopy (SPM). Professor Dong has made significant contributions to the field by developing several quantitative SPM-based techniques that are used to investigate electronic, mechanical, thermal, chemical, and magnetic properties in biological systems and nanomaterials. These techniques have helped researchers gain a better understanding of the structure-function relationship. With his diverse academic experience in materials science, physical chemistry, and biophysics, Professor Dong has applied his expertise in SPM to solve complex problems in life science and nanoscience. His research has resulted in more than 300 papers published in top international peer-reviewed journals, including Nature, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Chemistry, Nature Communications, PNAS, Angewandte Chemie, Nano Letters, JACS, ACS NANO, and Advanced Materials. His publications have been cited over 17,000 times. Professor Dong is an active member of various professional organizations, including the Royal Microscopical Society, the American Chemical Society, the Materials Research Society, and the Biophysical Society. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • April 28th, 2023 – 9 a.m. (Lisbon/London time)  


Professor Khoon Lim

University of Sydney – Australia

Topic: Harnessing macromolecular chemistry to design light activated hydrogel for regenerative medicine application

Professor Khoon Lim is the Director of the Light Activated Biomaterials research group at the University of Sydney. He has generated >75 high impact journal publications (Chemical Reviews, Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials), and raised a total of >$6.5 Million research grant funding as chief investigator. 

He is currently the President of the Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (ASBTE), Board of Directors of the International Society for Biofabrication (ISBF), and Executive Board Member of the Medical Technologies Translator Programme. He has won >20 competitive national and international awards, including the prestigious Jean Leray Award from the European Society for Biomaterials, and Young Investigator Award from the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society. His research has also led to commercialisation of bioinks licensed to a US-based company and commercial contracts with industry partners. He currently sits on the editorial board of Biomaterials Science (Royal Society of Chemistry), International Journal of Bioprinting, Macromolecular Bioscience, IOP Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express and Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine.

  • May 3rd, 2023 – 3 p.m. (Lisbon/London time) – Caution: Afternoon Talk 


Professor Shulamit Levenberg

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology – Israel

Topic: Bioprinting vascularized tissues for medical and food applications

Professor Shulamit Levenberg is the head of the Stem cell and Tissue engineering lab at the Technion Faculty of Biomedical Engineering and the director of the Technion Center for 3D Bioprinting. She earned her PhD at the Weizmann Institute of Science and pursued her post-doctoral research at MIT in the lab of Professor Robert Langer. She spent a sabbatical year as a visiting professor at the Wyss Institute for Biology Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and a summer sabbatical at the University of Western Australia as a winner of the Raine Visiting Professor Award.

Prof. Levenberg research involve in vitro vascularization of engineered tissues where, upon implantation, the engineered vessels anastomose with the host vasculature, improving survival and perfusion of engineered grafts. Prof. Levenberg was the first to engineer vascularized tissue flaps, offering novel reconstruction techniques using engineered tissue constructs. She recently developed unique stem-cell engineered tissue constructs that induce the regeneration and repair of injured spinal cords and a genetically engineered muscle tissue for treatment of type 2 diabetes. Prof Levenberg was named by Scientific American as a “Research Leader” in tissue engineering and received numerous prizes. The most recent ones include the Rappaport Prize for Excellence in Biomedical Sciences, the Michael Bruno Memorial Award, the Katz prize and a Medal of Distinction from the Peres Center for Peace and InnovationShe is founder and CSO of three start-up companies in the areas of cultured meat, spinal cord regeneration and nanoliter diagnostic arrays.  Prof Levenberg is the former President of the Israel Stem Cell Society and the former Dean of the Technion Faculty of Biomedical Engineering. For several years she served as a member of the Israel National Council for Bioethics.

  • May 11th, 2023 – 9 p.m. (Lisbon/London time) – Caution: After dinner Talk 


Professor Claudia Lobel

University of Michigan – USA


Topic: Engineering the cell-matrix interface – understanding and guiding cell function

Claudia Loebel, M.D. Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and a Biological Sciences Scholar at the University of Michigan, US. She obtained her MD (2011) at the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany and PhD (2016) at ETH Zurich (Switzerland), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Professor Jason Burdick at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research involves the development of biomaterial platforms to characterize and uncover the role of nascent microenvironments on cell and tissue function. The applications of this research range from guiding stem/progenitor cell fate through material cues to developing engineered platforms for tissue repair and therapeutic treatment.

Claudia Loebel was awarded the Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at NIH and the Innovator Award through the American Lung Association for her work on synthetic lung tissue models to probe mechanisms of alveolar epithelial cell dysfunction.

  • May 17th 2023 –  3 p.m. (Lisbon/London time) – Caution: Afternoon Talk 


Professor Carlijn Bouten

Institute for Complex Molecular Systems, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands


Topic: Materials-Driven In-Situ Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering

Carlijn Bouten is full professor of Cell-Matrix Interactions in Cardiovascular Regeneration and heads the research group ‘Soft Tissue Engineering & Mechanobiology’ at the department of Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology. Her research group investigates the interplay between living cells and the mechanobiological cues originating from the extracellular environment under conditions of tissue growth, adaptation, degeneration and regeneration. The group uses ‘living’ model systems at different length scales (cell, cell-matrix, engineered tissue, native tissue) to quantify these aspects, preferably in real-time. The obtained knowledge is applied in engineering approaches to regenerate living tissues, in particular for the human heart. A prominent example is the development of a synthetic, biodegradable heart valve prosthesis that seduces the body to create a new, living heart valve at the site of implantation. Bouten performs her multidisciplinary research in close collaboration with material scientists, life scientists, clinicians, and medtech spin-offs. She leads several national and international public-private-patient research consortia in the field of Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering.

Prof. Bouten is recipient of the prestigious Aspasia (2002) and VICI (2003) career development awards of the Dutch Science Foundation. Since 2017, she leads the Dutch national gravitation program “Materials-Driven Regeneration” and in 2022 Bouten received an ERC-Advanced grant from the Eurpean Research Council for her research on restoring cardiac tissue organization. Prof. Bouten serves on several professional organizations and boards, including the board of the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development, the board of directors of the international Heart Valve Society (president) and ISACB. Bouten is elected member of AcademiaNet for Outstanding Female Scientists and Scholars in Europe. She was member of the Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW, 2005-2010) and later (2017) elected as lifetime member of the Academy. She (co)authored over 200 publications on ISI journals and 16 book chapters on biomedical and tissue engineering.

  • May 19th, 2023 – 9 a.m. (Lisbon/London time)


Professor Hae-Won Kim

Institute of Tissue Regeneration Engineering, Danook Univesity – South Korea

Topic:Chemo-mechanical regulation of cellular environment to ameliorate inflamed tissues

Hae-Won Kim, is a professor of Nanobiomedical Science, with a joint appointment in Dental College at Dankook University. He received BS (1997) and PhD (2002) degree from Seoul National University, and careered in National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, 2000) and University College London (2003-2004). He is currently a director of Institute of Tissue Regeneration Engineering (ITREN), and leads prestigious government programs of Medical Research Center (MRC) and UCL Eastman-Korea Joint Center. His research focuses on nano-biomaterials, cell-ECM interactions, and cell engineering for musculoskeletal, dental and neural tissues. He is a co-editor-in-chief of Journal of Tissue Engineering.

  • May 26th, 2023 – 9 a.m. (Lisbon/London time)


Professor Joost Sluijter

University Medical Center, Utrecht – The Netherlands

Topic: Advancing cellular therapeutics for myocardial repair

Joost Sluijter is Professor of Cellular and Translational Cardiology and got his PhD in 2004 at the University Utrecht on “Collagen turnover in arterial disease”. After being a postdoctoral research fellow at Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI), he returned to the University Medical Centre Utrecht (the Netherlands) in 2006.  The Sluijter lab is a multi-disciplinary research team that focuses on stimulating cardiac repair upon myocardial damage. With technologies, ranging from molecular insights, advanced multi-cellular cell models, and clinically relevant animal models, they try to understand the pathophysiologic mechanisms, enhance delivery technologies and stimulate the heart towards a more regenerative state.

  • June 1st, 2023 – 9 p.m. (Lisbon/London time) – Caution: After dinner talk


Professor Nasim Annabi

University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Topic: Bioadhesive hydrogel for tissue engineering and drug delivery

Nasim Annabi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She received a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney (Australia). From 2011-2014, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Before joining UCLA in 2018, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University. Her multidisciplinary research program at UCLA aims to integrate novel chemistries with microscale technologies to develop the next generation of biomaterials for medical applications. In addition, her group has devised innovative strategies for the development of surgical sealants for the repair and sealing of elastic tissues. Dr. Annabi has published over 160 articles in peer-reviewed journals. As March 2023, she has been cited over 19,650 times and her H index is already at 72. Her innovations have resulted in 20 patents and generated significant commercial interest.

She is a co-founder of GelMEDIX, a biotechnology company committed to innovating the next generation of ocular and regenerative therapies. Dr Annabi has been recognized with several national and international awards including 2022 Woman in NanoScience Award at the Global Conference for Nanotechnology, the 2021 Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials (SFB), the 2021 Biomaterials Science Lectureship Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the 2020 Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum (NSEF) Young Investigator Award of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the Australian Prestigious Endeavour Award, and the National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Award. Her team has received major grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense (DOD) and the American Heart Association (AHA).

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