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We believe that bringing the entire tissue engineering community together could make a significant impact for everyone, and we started taking the first steps towards achieving that. 


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Past Tissue Engineering Journal Club Events



Speaker: Dr. David Schaffer, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Bioengineering, and Neuroscience at UC Berkeley

Talk Title: Molecular Elucidation and Engineering of Stem Cell Fate Decisions

Dr. David Schaffer is a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Bioengineering, and Neuroscience at University of California, Berkeley, where he also serves as the Director of the Berkeley Stem Cell Center and the Director of QB3-Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and conducted a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Fred Gage at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, before moving to UC Berkeley in 1999. At Berkeley, Dr. Schaffer applies engineering principles to enhance stem cell and gene therapy approaches for neuroregeneration. This work includes mechanistic investigation of stem cell control, as well as molecular evolution and engineering of viral gene delivery vehicles.



Speaker: Dr. Claire Bomkamp, Senior Scientist at The Good Food Institute 


Talk Title: Scaffolding Requirements for Cultivated Meat

Dr. Claire Bomkamp serves as the cultivated seafood-focused Senior Scientist at the Good Food Institute (GFI) and is a member of GFI’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative. She focuses on analyzing the technical landscape of the cultivated seafood industry, identifying bottlenecks, and engaging researchers in order to move cultivated seafood technology forward. She holds a PhD in neuroscience from the University of British Columbia and a bachelors in behavioral neuroscience from Western Washington University. Her academic research used both cell culture and computational techniques to understand molecular mechanisms of neuronal connectivity and function, and she has also been heavily involved in youth science outreach programs.



Speaker: Dr. Jessica M. Gluck is the Assistant Professor of Textile Engineering, Chemistry, and Science at North Carolina State University. 


Talk Title: The Role of the Microenvironment in Tissue Engineering

Dr. Gluck works in the area of tissue engineering, specifically studying how the microenvironment influences cellular differentiation and function. She received her PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology (2013) from UCLA. Her doctoral and postdoctoral work focused on recapitulating the cardiovascular progenitor cell niche and developing a biopacemaker using biomaterials and stem cells, respectively. Dr. Gluck worked at a small biotech startup dedicated to 3D bioprinting corneal tissue before joining the faculty at NC State University in 2019. Her research group is continuing to focus on cardiac and corneal tissue engineering.



Speaker: Dr. Cole DeForest is the Weyerhaeuser Endowed Associate Professor in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, as well as a core faculty member of the Institute for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine at the University of Washington (UW) where he began in 2014.

Talk Title: User-Programmable Hydrogel Biomaterials to Probe and Direct 4D Stem Cell Fate.

Dr. DeForest earned his Ph.D. degree under the guidance of Dr. Kristi Anseth from the University of Colorado in Chemical and Biological Engineering with an additional certificate in Molecular Biophysics. His postdoctoral research was performed with Dr. David Tirrell in the Divisions of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. He has published ~55 peer-reviewed articles, including as the corresponding author for those appearing in Nature Materials, Nature Chemistry, Advanced Materials, JACS, PNAS, Science Advances, and Nature Reviews Materials.



Speaker: Dr. Bhushan Mahadik is the Assistant Director for the NIH Center for Engineering Complex Tissues (CECT).

Talk Title: Role of Bioreactors in Complex Tissue Engineering.


Dr. Mahadik's research background spans tissue engineering techniques aimed at developing 3D biomaterial platforms to engineer the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche, studying the effects of the bone marrow microenvironment on stem cell biology, and utilizing microfluidics-based and 3D printing biofabrication techniques to design patterned, heterogeneous tissues. His research interests involve the use of Biomedical and Tissue Engineering approaches in translational science to develop clinically relevant therapies for patients.

JULY 2021


Speaker: Dr. Erin Lavik is a Professor of Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) as well as the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development in the College of Engineering and Information Technology.

Talk Title: Engineering Models for Repair and Understanding of Neural Tissues.


Dr. Lavik’s research focuses on engineering polymers to protect and repair the nervous system and treat trauma more broadly. The projects in the lab include developing intravenously administered nanoparticles to stop internal bleeding, drug delivery systems for diseases of the eye, and printing tissue models for high throughput screening applications.

JUNE 2021


Speaker: Amy Alexander is the Unit Head of Biomechanical Development & Applied Computational Engineering at Mayo Clinic’s Division of Engineering. 


Talk Title: 3D Printing in Medicine and Applications in Tissue Mimicking Materials.


Amy Alexander received her Master of Science in Engineering Management from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and her certificate in Additive Manufacturing for Innovative Design and Production from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

MAY 2021


Speaker: Dr. Mohsen Akbari, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of the Laboratory for Innovations in Microengineering (LiME) at the University of Victoria. 


Talk Title: Advanced Multifunctional Fibers — from Wearable Sensors to Organ Weaving.

MARCH 2021


Speaker: Dr. Trivia Frazier, PhD, MBA is the CEO and President of Obatala Sciences, a biotechnology toolkit company based in New Orleans, LA.

Talk Title: Fat-on-a-Chip for Drug Discovery and Preclinical Studies

Dr. Frazier will discuss the company’s Obacell Fat-on-a-Chip™ System for Drug Discovery, which is an adipocyte organoid system consisting of ObaGel™, Obatala’s human-derived hydrogel, in-house isolated stem cells, and in-house manufactured adipogenic media. The ObaCell™ system can be used for drug efficacy studies targeting new treatments for diabetes, obesity, and cancer and can be used in co-cultures with other cells to create mutli-organ models.



Speaker: Dr. Callie Higgins, a Materials Research Engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Talk Title: Vat Photopolymerization: A Transformative Tool for Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Higgins’ presentation, Vat Photopolymerization: A Transformative Tool for Regenerative Medicine, focuses on supporting innovation in the photopolymer additive manufacturing industry by enabling unprecedented high-resolution, mechanically-precise vat photopolymerization via fundamental understanding informed by novel voxel and sub-voxel-scale characterization throughout all major stages of the printing process. This technology has the potential to transform tissue engineering via precise, micron-scale property control, which was the focus of her PhD research at the University of Colorado.



Speaker: Dr. Shubhankar Nath, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at CELLINK

Talk Title: 3D Bioprinted Models for Immuno-oncology Applications


Dr. Shubhankar Nath received his doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin in 2016. His thesis work focused on the secretory mechanisms of T cells, and his postdoctoral training was in photodynamic therapy at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School under the mentorship of Professor Tayyaba Hasan. He is currently a Senior Scientist at CELLINK where he is developing 3D bioprinted tissue and tumor models for drug discovery and regenerative medicine.

Reference Publication: Kercher EM, Nath S, Rizvi I, Spring BQ. Cancer Cell-targeted and Activatable Photoimmunotherapy Spares T Cells in a 3D Coculture Model. Photochem Photobiol. 2020


Speaker: Dr. Stephanie Willerth, Chief Executive Officer at Axolotl Biosciences | Canada Research Chair and a full professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Victoria | Acting Director of the Centre for Biomedical Research.

Talk Title: 3D Bioprinting Complex Tissue Models


Dr. Stephanie Willerth’s research combines stem cells, tissue engineering, drug delivery, cellular reprogramming, and 3D bioprinting. 

Reference Publications:



S2468451120300118 Walus, K., Beyer, S., and Willerth, S.M. 3D bioprinting healthy and disease models of brain tissue using stem cells. Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering, 2020, 14. 25-33

2. Davoodi, E.,...W., Willerth, S.M., Extrusion and microfluidic- based bioprinting to fabricate biomimetic tissues and organs. Advanced Materials Technologies. 1901044.1-30.


Speaker: Tomas Gonzalez-Fernandez, American Heart Association postdoctoral fellow in the Leach Laboratory at the University of California, Davis

Talk Title: Cell-Instructive Materials for 3D Bioprinting: From Stem Cells to Functional Musculoskeletal Tissues


Dr. Gonzalez-Fernandez’ research focuses on the combination of stem cells, biomaterials, and 3D bioprinting strategies for musculoskeletal tissue engineering. He received his PhD in Bioengineering from Trinity College Dublin. At Trinity College, he researched the development of novel bioinks for spatial gene delivery for cartilage and bone 3D printing.


Speaker: Olaia Vila, PhD Postdoctoral Researcher Gladstone Institute, UCSF

Talk Title: Engineering Neuromuscular Circuits


Dr. Vila shared her cutting edge research using neuromuscular junctions grown in 3D to examine changes in muscle control in myasthenia gravis. 

Reference Publication: In vitro models of neuromuscular junctions and their potential for novel drug discovery and development Vila, O.F, et al.  Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery March, 2020

MAY 2020

Speaker: Courtney Gegg, PhD Senior Director of Tissue Engineering 

Talk Title: Engineering Cartilage with Biomimetic Structure and Function

Dr. Gegg reviewed methods and approaches for replicating the structure and function of natural cartilage for therapeutic applications. 

Reference Publications:  

Nanoparticle-Mediated TGF-β Release from Microribbon-Based Hydrogels Accelerates Stem Cell-Based Cartilage Formation In Vivo. Ann Biomed Eng, May 6, 2020.

Spatially patterned microribbon-based hydrogels induce zonally-organized cartilage regeneration by stem cells in 3D. Acta Biomater, ​Oct 9, 2019

Thyroid hormones enhance the biomechanical functionality of scaffold-free neocartilage. Arthritis Res Ther, February 11, 2015

JUNE 2020

Speaker: Melanie Matheu, PhD Founder and CEO of Prellis Biologics 

Talk Title: A review of current bioprinting methods and recent tissue engineering advances

Dr. Matheu provided an overview of the status of the tissue engineering field by reviewing recent publications in the space. 


Reference Publications:

Designing Biomimetic Triple-Layered Nanofibrous Vascular Grafts via Combinatorial Electrospinning Approach. J Nanosci Nanotechnol, ​Oct 1, 2020

Hair-bearing human skin generated entirely from pluripotent stem cells. Nature, June 3, 2020.

Harnessing nerve–muscle cell interactions for biomaterials‐based skeletal muscle regeneration. Society For Biomaterials, June 3, 2020​

JULY 2020

Speaker: Aravind Natarajan, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Hematology at the Stanford University School of Medicine

Talk Title: Engineering E. coli to produce mucin-type O-glycoproteins

Reference Publication: A cell-free biosynthesis platform for modular construction of protein glycosylation pathways. Nature Communications, Kightlinger W. et al November, 2019.


Speaker: Gavan Wilhite VP of Software Engineering Prellis Biologics

Talk Title: A Software Approach: From Games to Tissue

Gavan Wilhite shares how he is bringing the principles of 3D game design to the development of complex physiologic human tissues.  

Click here to watch Gavan's talk.


Speaker: Iman Yazdi, PhD Principal Biomedical Engineer at LiquiGlide

Talk Title: Harnessing Biomaterials Potential for Matrix-Guided Angiogenesis


Dr. Yazdi shared a deep-dive on the usage of various biomaterials in the development of complex tissues, drug delivery and reviewed recent advances in biomedical engineering with live cells to induce angiogenesis. 

Reference Publications: Synthetic nanoparticles functionalized with biomimetic leukocyte membranes possess cell-like functions. Nature Nanotechnology January 2013


Speaker: Milad Khorrami, PhD  Director of Chemistry, Prellis Biologics 

Talk Title: Fabrication of 3D Microstructures for Organic Bioelectronics and Tissue Engineering Applications

Dr. Khorrami outlined a practical approach to bioprinting electrical networks capable of supporting cell growth. 


Reference publication: Conducting polymer microcontainers for biomedical applications. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, July 2017


Speaker: Theo Roth CTO of Arsenal Bio

Talk Title: Reprogramming Immune Cell Function and Specificity 


Theo Roth, CTO of Arsenal Bio shared the team's cutting edge work and CRISPR-based genetic engineering of human T cells. 


Reference publications:

1. Nguyen, D.N., Roth, T.L., Li, P.J. et al. Polymer-stabilized Cas9 nanoparticles and modified repair templates increase genome editing efficiency. Nat Biotechnol 38, 44–49 (2020)

2. Leenay, R.T., Aghazadeh, A., Hiatt, J. et al. Large dataset enables prediction of repair after CRISPR–Cas9 editing in primary T cells. Nat Biotechnol 37, 1034–1037 (2019).

3. Simeonov DR, et al. A large CRISPR-induced bystander mutation causes immune dysregulation. Commun Biol. 2019 Feb 18;2:70.


Speaker: Mayasari Lim, PhD Regional Account Manager at RoosterBio  

Talk Title: Radically Simplifying Clinical Translation and Scale Up of hMSCs for Tissue Engineering 

Sourcing of cells for large scale tissue engineering is a critical roadblock when working to develop 3D tissues. Dr. Lim shared how RoosterBio 



Reference publications:



2. Angelopoulos, Ioannis & Allenby, Mark & Lim, Mayasari & Zamorano, Mauricio. (2019). Engineering inkjet bioprinting processes toward translational therapies. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 117. 10.1002/bit.27176. 

Speaker 2: Subhadeep Das, PhD Founder and CEO of Convalesce

Talk Title: Neural Tissue Engineering for Therapeutics

Dr. Das provided insight into the importance of novel biomaterials for therapeutic cell transplant in neuronal tissues. 


Reference publications:

Das, S., Zhou, K., Ghosh, D. et al. Implantable amyloid hydrogels for promoting stem cell differentiation to neurons. NPG Asia Mater 8, e304 (2016).

Das S, Jacob RS, Patel K, Singh N, Maji SK. Amyloid Fibrils: Versatile Biomaterials for Cell Adhesion and Tissue Engineering Applications. Biomacromolecules. 2018 Jun 11;19(6):1826-1839. doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.8b00279. Epub 2018 May 9. PMID: 29701992.


Speaker 1: Sara R-Vaziri, PhD Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University  

Talk Title: Heterogeneity and Genetic Variation of Cardiac Cells on cardiac Injury and Repair 

Dr. R-Vaziri is a cardiac tissue development specialist who shared her cutting edge research in cardiac tissue development. 


Reference publication: Park S, Ranjbarvaziri S, Lay FD, Zhao P, Miller MJ, Dhaliwal JS, Huertas-Vazquez A, Wu X, Qiao R, Soffer JM, Rau C, Wang Y, Mikkola HKA, Lusis AJ, Ardehali R. Genetic Regulation of Fibroblast Activation and Proliferation in Cardiac Fibrosis. Circulation. 2018 Sep 18;138(12):1224-1235. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.035420. PMID: 29950403; PMCID: PMC6202226.


Speaker: Priya Mohindra, PhD Postdoctoral Scholar, UCSF 

Talk Title: Hang on Tight: Reprogramming the Cell with Microstructural Cues


Dr. Mohindra provided a detailed review of the role of materials in cell adhesion and development, a critical component of tissue engineering.

Reference publication: Injectable hyaluronic acid based microrods provide local micromechanical and biochemical cues to attenuate cardiac fibrosis after myocardial infarction. Biomaterials, March 24, 2018

Speaker 2: Renaud Schuck, PhD Lead Engineer at Koniku

Talk Title: Discussing the use of Neurons in Detection Platforms


Dr. Schuck shared insights into the novel technology of in vitro neuron growth and using neurons as a detection platform for small molecules in the environment.

Reference publication: R Schuck, MA Go, S Garasto, S Reynolds, PL Dragotti, SR Schultz. Multiphoton minimal inertia scanning for fast acquisition of neural activity signals. Journal of neural engineering. 15 (2) (2018).

3. Simeonov DR, et al. A large CRISPR-induced bystander mutation causes immune dysregulation. Commun Biol. 2019 Feb 18;2:70.

JUNE 2019

Speaker 1: Hunter Jackson, PhD  Computational Biology, 3Scan

Talk Title: Pre-Press: Mapping Neurons in the Cardiac System

Dr. Jackson shared a preprint article that defined the RNA expression patterns in cardiac neurons that defined the 3D spatial location of specific nerves in the rat heart. 


Reference publication: Zimmer, T., Haufe, V., & Blechschmidt, S. (2014). Voltage-gated sodium channels in the mammalian heart. Global cardiology science & practice, 2014(4)

JULY 2019

Speaker: Mubhij Ahmad, MSc. Co-founder of DNALite Therapeutics 

Talk Title: Using the GI tract as an Engineering Platform

Mubhij Ahmad shared the promise of a therapeutic delivery system that leverages the machinery of human cells. He discussed the development of human tissues for transplantation, clean meat, stem cell sourcing, and applications of associated technologies. He emphasized and further discussed how the GI tract he is looking at utilizing the GI tract as a means of an Engineering platform.


Reference publication:

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