International Webinars on Topics in Cell and Tissue Engineering

Agenda: Meet the Speakers from the 2nd edition

  • March 31st, 2022 – 9 p.m. (Lisbon/London time) – Caution: After dinner Talk

Professor Kara L. Spiller

Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA

Topic: Immunomodulatory Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine 

Dr. Kara Spiller is an Associate Professor in Drexel University’s School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems.

Her research interests include the role of immune cells in tissue regeneration, the design of immunomodulatory biomaterials, and international engineering education.

Her research is funded by the NIH, the NSF, and private foundations. Her awards include a Fulbright fellowship, the NSF CAREER award, and the United States nomination for the ASPIRE prize.

  • April 8th, 2022 – 9 a.m. (Lisbon/London time)


Professor Fergal J. O’Brien

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Ireland 

Topic: Biomaterial-based delivery of gene therapeutics and biomolecules for enhanced repair of bone, cartilage, skin and other tissues

Prof. Fergal O’Brien is a leading innovator in the development of advanced biomaterials for regenerative medicine.  Since his faculty appointment, he has published over 250 journal articles, supervised over 45 doctoral students to completion, filed over 20 patents/disclosures and translated a number regenerative technologies for bone and cartilage repair to the clinic through spin-out formation and licensing to industry. He has presented over 100 invited talks and has a current h-index of 81 (Feb 2022).  He is currently a member of the World Council of Biomechanics and Past President of the Section of Bioengineering of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland.  In addition he is an editorial board member of 10 journals and was Co-chair of the World Congress of Biomechanics which brought over 4000 delegates to Ireland in 2018. 18 alumni from his currently have senior academic appointments, heading their own research groups in the US, UK, China, Bahrain, Netherlands and Ireland. He is a recipient of three prestigious European Research Council Awards including an ongoing €3 million ERC Advanced Grant. Other accolades include a Fulbright Scholarship (2001), New Investigator Recognition Award by the Orthopaedic Research Society (2002), Science Foundation Ireland, President of Ireland Young Researcher Award (€1.1. million, 2004), Engineers Ireland Chartered Engineer of the Year (2005), Anatomical Society New Fellow of the Year (2014), Silver Medal from the Bioengineering Section of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland,  Fellowship of Engineers Ireland (2013) and the European Alliance for Medical & Biological Engineering Science (2016).  In 2018, he was elected as a member of the Royal Irish Academy, the highest academic honour in Ireland and was the recipient of the Science Foundation Ireland Industry Partnership Award in 2020 and Knowledge Transfer Ireland Commercialisation Impact award in 2021.

His research focuses on the development of natural polymer scaffold-based therapeutics for tissue engineering with target applications in bone, cartilage, cardiovascular, corneal, respiratory and neural tissues. 

  • April 22nd, 2022 – 9 a.m. (Lisbon/London time) 


Professor Heungsoo Shin

Hanyang University, Korea


Topic: Biomaterials-based delivery of signaling molecules and cells for tissue engineering

Dr. Heungsoo Shin is currently Professor in the Department of Bioengineering. He received his B.S. and M.S. degree in the Department of Chemical Engineering from Hanyang University, Korea, and his Ph.D. degree in the Department of Bioengineering from Rice University, USA (2004) from Dr. Antonios G. Mikos. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA with Dr. Andres J. Garcia before joining the faculty in the Department of Bioengineering, Hanyang University, Korea in 2006 as assistant professor. His main research interests lie in the field of (1) development of biomimetic materials for regenerative medicine, (2) surface modification of biomaterials, (3) stem cell spheroid engineering, (4) cell-extracellular matrix interactions. His works particularly have led to the innovative approaches in regeneration of impaired bone, muscular, and vascular tissue using biomimetic materials. Recently, he has extended his research into biofabrication, in particular engineering spheroids combining with 3D printing and biomimetic delivery of cell-signaling molecules. He has co-authored over 140 peer-reviewed publications in those research areas. He has been serving as co-editors-in-chief in Tissue Engineering Part B: Reviews, and editorial board member of Journal of Biomedical Materials Research.

  • May 5th, 2022 – 9 p.m. (Lisbon/London time) – Caution: After dinner Talk


Professor Alison McGuigan

University of Toronto, Canada


Topic: Engineered tissue models to explore disease and regeneration

Dr. Alison McGuigan is a Professor in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry and the Institute for Biomedical Engineering at University of Toronto. She obtained her undergraduate degree from University of Oxford, her PhD from University of Toronto working, and completed Post Doctoral Fellowships at Harvard University and Stanford School of Medicine. 

Dr. McGuigan has made pioneering contributions to the engineering of tissue models to explore mechanisms of disease and regeneration. Dr. McGuigan has established strategies to generate multi-component tissue systems with specified organization. Furthermore, she has pioneered the design of tissue platforms for smart data acquisition, with a focus on stratifying heterogeneous bulk data by cell population, by spatial location, or by time. 

Dr. McGuigan has published >110 papers, patents and abstracts and in recognition of her work has received numerous awards including the 2013 TERMIS-AM Young Investigator Award, and the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering Hatch Innovation Award. In 2018 was elected to the Royal Society of Canada-College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists and in 2022 she was elected a Fellow of TERM by the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society. She serves on the executive leadership team of CFREF Medicine by Design program and on the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) incubation and outreach committee. She also serves on the editorial board of the journals “Cell Reports Methods” and “In Vitro Tissues”.

  • May 13th, 2022 – 9 a.m. (Lisbon/London time)

Professor Liesbet Geris

University of Liège, Belgium

Topic: From brewing beer to building bone

Liesbet Geris is Professor in Biomechanics and Computational Tissue Engineering at the university of Liège and KU Leuven in Belgium.  Her research focusses on the multi-scale and multi-physics modeling of biological processes. Together with her team and their clinical and industrial collaborators, she uses these models to investigate the etiology of non-healing fractures, to design in silico potential cell-based treatment strategies and to optimize manufacturing processes of these tissue engineering constructs.

Liesbet is scientific coordinator of the Prometheus platform for Skeletal Tissue Engineering (50+ researchers). She has edited several books on computational modeling and tissue engineering. She has received 2 prestigious ERC grants (starting in 2011 and consolidator in 2017) to finance her research and has received a number of young investigator and research awards from the in silico and regenerative medicine communities. She is a former member and chair of the Young Academy of Belgium (Flanders) and member of the strategic alliance committee of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society. She is the current executive director of the Virtual Physiological Human Institute and in that capacity she advocates the use of in silico modeling in healthcare through liaising with the clinical community, the European Commission and Parliament, regulatory agencies (EMA, FDA) and various other stakeholders.

Besides her research work, she is often invited to give public lectures on the challenges of interdisciplinarity in research, women in academia and digital healthcare.

  • May 17th, 2022 – 9 p.m. (Lisbon/London time) – Caution: After dinner Talk


Professor Kristi Anseth

University of Colorado, USA

Topic: Engineering Hydrogels as Synthetic Extracellular Matrices

Kristi Anseth is a Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Associate Faculty Director of the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She currently holds the Tisone Professorship and is a Distinguished Professor.

Dr. Anseth came to CU-Boulder after earning her B.S. degree from Purdue University, her Ph.D. degree from the University of Colorado, and completing post-doctoral research at MIT as an NIH fellow.

Her research interests lie at the interface between biology and engineering where she designs new biomaterials for applications in drug delivery and regenerative medicine.

Dr. Anseth’s research group has published over 350 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and she has trained more than 110 graduate students and postdoctoral associates. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (2009), the National Academy of Medicine (2009), the National Academy of Sciences (2013), the National Academy of Inventors (2016) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2019).  

Most recently, she received the L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award in the Life Sciences (2020).  Dr. Anseth has served on the Board of Directors of AIChE, Chair of the Institute Awards Selection Committee, and is an AIChE fellow.  In addition, she has represented the chemical engineering community by serving as the President of the Materials Research Society, the Board of Governors for Acta Materialia, Inc, the NIH Advisory Council for NIBIB, and as Chair of the NAE US Frontiers of Engineering meetings.

  • May 20th, 2022 – 9 a.m. (Lisbon/London time)


Professor Ivan Martin

University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland


Topic: Regenerative engineering: designing grafts, processes and signals

Prof. Dr. Ivan Martin studied Biomedical Engineering at the University of Genova where he obtained his PhD in 1996. Between 1996 and 1999 he was a postdoctoral associate at Harvard/MIT. He joined the Department of Biomedicine (DBM) at the University Hospital of Basel in 1999 as leader of the Tissue Engineering Research Group, in close coordination with the surgical units.

In 2007 he was appointed Professor for Tissue Engineering at the University of Basel and from 2021 he is Director of the DBM. From 2004 to 2009 he was the first president of the European section of the TERMIS, where he now coordinates the Strategic Alliance Committee. In 2018 he was elected as member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences. He is currently Chair of the ‘Mesenchymal stromal cell committee’, member of the ‘Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Committee’ of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) and member of the editorial boards of 6 international journals. His group includes scientists from the biological, engineering and clinical fields, dedicated to develop solid scientific basis for innovative translational strategies in regenerative surgery.

In this field he is author of more than 280 peer-reviewed papers on international journals (H-index of 94), inventor on 12 patent applications and recipient of grants from the main funding bodies, including the European Research Council. The developed science and technology have been translated into different clinical trials for cell-based cartilage and bone repair, and into the founding of a spin-out company for the commercialization of bioreactors for 3D cell culture (Cellec Biotek AG).

  • May 27th, 2021 – 9 a.m. (Lisbon/London time) 


Professor Justin J. Cooper-White

University of Queensland, Australia


Topic: Engineering tissue genesis and repair with mechano-directive biomaterials and scaffolds

Justin J. Cooper-White, holds a Bsc in Engineering (Chemical) in 1991, University of Queensland (UQ), and thereafter worked for Shell (Australia) Pty. Ltd. for 5 years as a practicing chemical engineer and processing manager. He finished is Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering (Rheology and thermodynamics of biomedical polymers and their blends), from UQ in March 2000. Afterwards, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Melbourne (UMelb) under the mentorship of Prof. David V. Boger, and in early 2003, Justin joined the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UMelb as a tenured Senior Lecturer in early 2003.

In 2004, he was recruited to the University of Queensland (UQ) to head a new initiative in Tissue Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering and in 2007 was promoted to Professor of Bioengineering.

He has over 250 scientific publications, including >230 journal articles, 11 reviews, 7 book chapters, along with >150 conference abstracts. His work is published in high impact journals (including Nature, ACS Nano, Science Advances, Nature Communications, Nature Protocols, Nature Microbiology, Cell Stem Cell, Biomaterials, Biomacromolecules, Lab on a Chip, Stem Cells, Stem Cells Trans Med., APL Bioengineering), and has been cited >14,500 times (H index 63). He reviews for these and other journals in his fields and have served on the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) review panels for Centres of Research Excellence (2011) and Project Grants (2012-2014), and on the Health Research Council of New Zealand Assessment Committee (Biomedical) (2015-2016).

He holds 6 Worldwide patents that have reached National Phase Entry in USA, Europe and Australia in the areas of formulation design for agriproducts, microbioreactor arrays (MBAs) and tissue engineering scaffolds. Technologies developed in his laboratory have been commercialised by an Australian SME and a USA-based start-up company.

  • June 2nd, 2022 – 9 p.m. (Lisbon/London time) – Caution: After dinner Talk


Professor Sylvia Boj

Hubrecht Organoid Technology, The Netherlands

Topic: Patient-derived organoids: A translatable platform to improve the efficiency of drug discovery and development

Sylvia received her PhD from the University of Barcelona, Spain and trained as postdoctoral EMBO fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Hans Clevers where she established human pancreas organoids from tumor resections in collaboration with Prof. D.A. Tuveson´s group. 

In 2014, she joined HUB as one of the founding scientists and worked as a Group Leader for the cystic fibrosis and pancreatic cancer organoid programs. 

In 2016, she was appointed Scientific Director at HUB and in her new role she was responsible for leading both the contract service and research programs. Under Sylvia´s leadership the Organoid Technology evolved from a highly innovative basic research tool to an industry leading drug development platform. Since 2020 she holds the position of Chief Scientific Officer. 

  • June 17th, 2022 – 12 p.m. (Lisbon/London time) – Caution: Lunch Talk


Professor Graziella Pellegrini

University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

Topic: Epithelial stem cells can produce multiple Regenerative Medicine protocols

Graziella Pellegrini is Full Professor at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and Cell Therapy Program Coordinator at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine “Stefano Ferrari”. She is co-founder and R&D Director at Holostem Terapie Avanzate S.r.l.  She has a Master Degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies and a Master Degree in Pharmacy at the University of Genova.

She was one of the two inventors of the technology for culture and transplantation of limbal stem cells for the treatment of blindness due to corneal stem cell deficiency; she discussed and obtained the orphan drug designation and European registration of this corneal stem cell therapy. She developed several translational medicine protocols for treatment of third-degree burns, depigmentation disorders and a successful phase I clinical trial on gene therapy of epidermolysis bullosa. She is currently working with her team, on oral mucosa and urethra for a phase I clinical trial and translational research on airway epithelium.

Author of many patents, book chapters and international peer reviewed publications in the major international peer-review journals, as New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Lancet and was invited speaker or chairman in about 280 major scientific meetings all over the world.

She was awarded for research on central nervous system (SIF 1988), on ocular pathology (AIRCMO 2002) and on urethra (AUA 2015); received the Italian Award “Le ragioni della nuova politica” in 2017, the ISSCR Award of Innovation in 2018 the International Award “Lombardia è Ricerca”, the International Louis Jeantet Award and the Termis Career Award and the European Women Tech Award in 2020. She is founding member of the International Ocular Surface Society and member of many major scientific societies and international committees.

Endorsed By:

This serie of webinars was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology through the following projects:

  • Suprasort: CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-030658 –  PTDC/QUI-OUT/30658/2017
  • MIMETic: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031210 – PTDC/BTM-MAT/31210/2017 
  • COP2P: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-030771PTDC/QUI-QOR/30771/2017
  • Circus: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031064 – PTDC/BTM-MAT/31064/2017
  • Promenade: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029830 – PTDC/BTM-MAT/29830/2017
  • MARGEL:  FCT – POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031498 -PTDC/BTM-MAT/31498/2017


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