Dr. Jacob Hanna is an Associate Professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science. His lab investigates cellular reprogramming and embryogenesis. He talks about the challenges of growing synthetic embryo models in a roller culture system and the feasibility of making human gametes. He also discusses his startup, Renewal Bio, the ethical discussions surrounding stem cell-derived embryos, and creating a more inclusive and equitable scientific community.
Dr. Marian Hettiaratchi is an Assistant Professor at the Knight Campus at the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on affinity-based biomaterials to promote tissue and bone repair. She talks about the delivery vehicles for these biomaterials, and her recent work on heparin-mediated delivery of BMP-2 to promote bone regeneration.
Dr. Michael Levin is the Director of the Allen Discovery Center and a Distinguished Professor of Biology at Tufts University. He is a cognitive biologist who utilizes model systems such as Xenopus to answer fundamental questions in developmental biology. He talks about regenerating frog legs, using bioelectricity to direct development, and the potential applications of xenobots.
Dr. Amritha Jaishankar is the Executive Director of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF). She is a scientist by training who has devoted her career to developing cures for debilitating and life-threatening conditions of our time and to advancing this field, through various roles in federal, university, and industry settings. She talks about the history of the MSCRF, its programs to promote the commercialization of stem cell-based technologies, and its role in the Maryland stem cell research ecosystem.
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.