Dr. Boyang Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University. His lab uses advanced biofabrication techniques to build human micro-tissue models for predictive drug discovery and to construct functional macro-tissues for tissue regeneration in patients. He talks about building microfluidic devices for biological applications and using machine learning to study organoid morphology. He also talks about his team’s high-throughput system for vascularizing tissue spheroids and his experience starting a company to commercialize this technology.
Dr. Clive Svendsen is the Executive Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute at Cedars-Sinai. His lab uses stem cells to develop models and treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. He talks about using stem cells to model spinal muscular atrophy and the blood-brain barrier, and his cell-gene therapy trial for ALS.
Dr. Shuibing Chen is the Kilts Family Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine. Her lab uses hiPSCs and ESCs for disease modeling and drug screening, with a focus on diabetes and infectious diseases such as Zika and SARS-CoV-2. She talks about her recent genome-wide association study in a dish, the role of philanthropic funding in stem cell research, and the role of industry partnerships in translational research.
Dr. Paola Arlotta is the Golub Family Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University. She is interested in understanding the molecular laws that govern the birth, differentiation, and assembly of the human brain’s cerebral cortex. She talks about using organoids to study the genetics of autism. She also discusses single-cell sequencing of brain organoids and how to make single-cell sequencing methods and data more accessible.
Dr. David Hay is the Chair of Tissue Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, where his group is defining novel ways to produce liver tissue from PSCs. They use in vitro derived tissue to better model human liver physiology and to develop supportive cell based therapies for disease. Dr. Hay also founded Stimuliver, a company that is developing a disruptive liver implant to treat critically failing liver function in humans. He talks about hepatocyte differentiation, liver disease modeling, and automating the production of cell therapies.