Keynote Speakers 2021

Claudia Fischbach-Teschl
Claudia Fischbach-Teschl | Cornell University, New York, USA
Claudia Fischbach and her lab explore the fields of tissue engineering, microfabrication, and biomaterials strategies to study tumor–microenvironment interaction, particularly mechanical cues and materials properties relevant to breast cancer and bone metastasis, tumor associated vascular niches and angiogenesis.
Damya Laoui
Damya Laoui | Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Damya Laoui’s lab investigates the diversity of populations of myeloid cells in organs and tumors, and the use of these cell populations and their molecular markers as a target for diagnosis and therapeutic interventions during inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Dan Dongeun Huh
Dan Dongeun Huh | University of Pennsylvania, USA
As a pioneer of “organ-on-a-chip” technology, Dan Huh and his research group at Penn University focuses on the development of novel bioinspired/biomimetic microsystems that can reproduce integrated structure and function of human organs.
David Mooney
David Mooney | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Boston, USA
David Mooney is one of the top leaders in the fields of biomaterials, mechanotransduction, drug delivery, tissue engineering and immuno-engineering. From therapeutic angiogenesis and regeneration of the musculoskeletal tissues, all the way to cancer therapies, a wide spectrum of fields can profit from his cutting-edge research.
Donald E. Ingber
Donald E. Ingber | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Boston, USA
As a pioneer in the field of biologically inspired engineering, Donald E. Ingber’s work has led to major advances in mechanobiology, tumor angiogenesis, tissue engineering, systems biology, nanobiotechnology, and translational medicine, with his most recent pioneering contribution being the development of human Organ-on-Chips as replacements for animal testing.
Michael Schmück-Henneresse
Michael Schmück-Henneresse | BIH-BCRT, Charité, Berlin
The group of Michael Schmück-Henneresse is interested in how T cells defend us against viruses and prevent chronic diseases caused by cancer or autoimmunity. In order to predict immune responses and create new T cell immunotherapies, his research group is developing technologies to detect, characterize and genetically reprogram T cells and their antigen specificity.
Hanna Isaksson
Hanna Isaksson | Lund University, Sweden
Hanna Isaksson, professor in biomedical technology, is a leader in a research team in biomechanics and mechanobiology focused on skeletal tissues. Her research areas cover primarily bone and tendons biomechanics, and mechanobiology. Her group applies both experimental and computational techniques to help understand the mechanobiology of bones and tendons.
Kai W. Wucherpfennig
Kai W. Wucherpfennig | Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA
Kai Wucherpfennig studies the mechanisms that constrain the activity of cytotoxic T cells in the tumor microenvironment and identified a series of negative regulators of anti-tumor T cell activity. He is particularly interested in the molecular mechanisms by which these genes inhibit T cell function against tumors to develop novel cancer immunotherapeutic strategies.
Kara L. Spiller
Kara L. Spiller | Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA
As an associate professor, Kara L Spiller is currently conducting research in the design of immunomodulatory biomaterials, particularly for bone tissue engineering. Her research interests include cell-biomaterial interactions, biomaterial design, and international engineering education.
Laoise McNamara
Laoise McNamara | National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland
As a professor in Biomedical Engineering, Laoise McNamara’s lab focuses on multidisciplinary techniques to get a better knowledge of bone mechanobiology and how it affects bone formation, function, and disease. Her team uses both experimental and computational methods to pinpoint the particular mechanosensation and mechanotransduction processes that allow bone cells to detect mechanical stimuli.
Lenneke A.M. Cornelissen
Lenneke A.M. Cornelissen | Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands
As a postdoctoral researcher, Lenneke A. M. Cornelissen is investigating the effect of tumor-associated glycan structures on tumor immunity with a focus on understanding the mechanism to develop new cancer immunotherapeutics.
Maksim Mamonkin
Maksim Mamonkin | Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA
Maksim Mamonkin’s lab investigate the immunobiology of CAR-T cells aiming to develop novel therapies to fight malignant diseases. Along with focusing on CRISPR-engineered CAR-T cells targeting hematologic malignancies, he also explores new opportunities to target pathogenic T cells in immune rejection and autoimmune diseases.
Manuela Gomes
Manuela Gomes | University of Minho, Portugal
Manuela Gomes research interest focuses on bone, cartilage, and tendon tissue engineering strategies, namely the development of scaffold materials based on biodegradable natural origin polymers and stem cells sourcing and differentiation aiming at developing tissue substitutes.
Milena Bellin
Milena Bellin | Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands
In Melina Bellin’s lab, they use hPSCs to develop 3D-cardiac microtissue constructs comprising of both cardiomyocytes and non-myocyte cells to reproduce the multicellular organization and the dynamic function of the native heart. From the patient-derived hiPSC to 3D mini hearts development, Belin’s techniques have revolutionized the way we study cardiac diseases.
Molly Stevens
Molly Stevens | Imperial College London, England
As a professor of biomedical materials and regenerative medicine, Molly Stevens’ research spans drug delivery, bioactive materials, tissue engineering, biosensing, material characterisation, soft robotics and the interface between living and non-living matter.

Núria Montserrat Pulido
Núria Montserrat Pulido | Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, Spain
Nuri Montserrat’ lab focuses on developind new tools and methodologies for the generation of hPSCs cell lines, derivation of hPSCs-organoids and the formulation of biomimetic materials/bioengineering strategies emulating the tissue milieu particularly heart and kidney tissues.
Sina Bartfeld
Sina Bartfeld | University of Würzburg, Germany
Sina bartfield’s lab investigates 3D organoids as host models to study pathogenesis. She particularly aims to better understand the human gut, its barrier function, and the interaction with pathogens. Her group uses human stem cell-derived organoids as a model of the human gut and combines technology with approaches such as RNA seq and CRISPR/Cas9 mediates knockout.
Stephen Gottschalk
Stephen Gottschalk | St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, USA
As a top leader in the field of cancer immunotherapy as well as cell therapy, Stephen Gottschalk’s research aims at developing novel strategies to reprogram the immune system with a focus on the generation of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells to fight cancer.
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