Dr. Agnete Kirkeby is an Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen and a Group Leader at Lund University. The Kirkeby group studies the factors involved in human neural subtype specification in order to enable production of specific neurons for understanding and treating neurological diseases. They apply advanced human stem cells models to understand how hundreds of human neuronal subtypes are formed during embryo development. She talks about moving stem cell therapies for Parkinson’s disease from animal models to clinical trials, modeling neural tube development, and developing treatments for narcolepsy.
Dr. Ru Gunawardane is the Executive Director at the Allen Institute for Cell Science. She leads a group of researchers creating a collection of high-quality gene edited stem cell lines to study cell organization and activities through live cell imaging. Dr. Katylyn Gerbin is a Scientist at the Allen Institute, whose work focuses on implementing cardiac differentiation methods and developing the cardiomyocyte pipeline using gene-edited hiPSCs. They discuss the Institute’s mission to understand the fundamentals of how cells work, how they generate their gene-edited stem cell lines, and their recent work tracking cell states in hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes.
Dr. Christine Mummery is a Professor of Developmental Biology at the Leiden University Medical Center and the former President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. She pioneered studies on cardiomyocytes from human embryonic stem cells and was among the first to inject them in mouse hearts after myocardial infarction. She talks about her recent research developing multi-lineage cardiac model systems like microtissues and organ-chips.
Dr. Nicolas Rivron is a Group Leader at IMBA. The Rivron group recreates embryonic development using mammalian stem cells in a dish to better understand the encoded principles of self-organization. They observe both blastocysts and blastoids to study how self-organization contributes to multicellular patterning and cellular decision making.
Dr. Marinna Madrid is Co-Founder of Cellino, an early-stage biotechnology company seeking to make personalized, autologous cell therapies viable at large scale for the first time. Cellino’s platform combines label-free imaging and high-speed laser editing with machine learning to automate cell reprogramming, expansion, and differentiation in a closed cassette format, enabling thousands of patient samples to be processed in parallel in a single facility.