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.
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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.
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Dr. Mingxia Gu is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Her lab’s goal is to develop novel therapies for the regeneration of the heart, lung, and vasculature in patients with congenital cardiac and pulmonary defects. She talks about developing lung organoids to study COVID-19, how multi-lineage organoids can mimic human tissues, and her lab’s motto to “move fast and break things.”
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Dr. Sara Wickström is the Sigrid Juselius Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Helsinki, and was recently appointed as the new Director of Cell and Tissue Dynamics at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine. Her research focuses on how mechanical forces act in collaboration with cellular signals to influence cell fate and position. She discusses her work on mechanotransduction and its applications for cell culture and organ engineering, as well as her research on the hair follicle stem cell niche. She also talks about running an interdisciplinary lab, and what could make academia a more attractive career path.
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In this special episode of the Stem Cell Podcast, we speak with three postdocs from different parts of the world about their research in and outside of the lab. Drs. Bria Macklin, Matthew Sinton, and Leili Rohani discuss their research on vascularization, immunometabolism, and cardiac tissue engineering, respectively, as well as their long-term career goals.
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