Regenerative Medicine Symposium
Dr. Lorenz Studer
Professor Lorenz P. Studer, MD, is the founding director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a Member of the Developmental Biology Program. He is widely recognized for his work on the directed differentiation on human pluripotent stem cells into the diverse lineages of the central and peripheral nervous system. His group has also been among the first to realize the potential of patient-specific stem cell in modeling neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative disorders and developed some of the first strategies to measure and manipulate cellular age in pluripotent-derived lineages. Finally, he has pioneered the application of pluripotent stem cells in regenerative medicine such as the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). In 2020, the work got clearance by the FDA to initiate a first in human Phase I/IIa trial in PD that is currently ongoing. He is the co-founder of BlueRock Therapeutics, a major biotech startup recently acquired by Bayer. Major awards related to his work include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Ogawa-Yamanaka Prize, the Jacob Heskel Gabbay award in Biotechnology and Medicine and mostly recently the ISSCR achievement award.
Dr. Alison McGuigan
Alison McGuigan is a Professor in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry and the Institute for Biomedical Engineering at University of Toronto. She obtained her undergraduate degree from University of Oxford, her PhD from University of Toronto and completed Post Doctoral Fellowships at Harvard University and Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. McGuigan has received numerous awards including the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering he Hatch Innovation Award, election to the Royal Society of Canada-College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, and in 2021 she was elected a TERMIS International Fellow in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. She serves on the executive leadership team of CFREF Medicine by Design program and on the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) incubation and outreach committee. She also serves on the editorial board of the journals “Cell Reports Methods” and “In Vitro Tissues”.
Dr. Jessica Whited
Jessica holds a BA in Philosophy and a BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Missouri. She earned her PhD at MIT, where she studied neuronal architecture in Paul Garrity's lab. As a postdoc in Cliff Tabin's lab at Harvard Medical School, Jessica focused on developing tools to more thoroughly investigate axolotl limb regeneration, and she established a breeding colony of axolotls. These animals were the seeds of the Whited Lab's first home in Brigham and Women's Hospital. Now at Harvard University, Jessica is an Assistant Professor, a Principal Faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, an Associate Member of the Broad Institute, a Smith Family Foundation fellow, a March of Dimes Basil O'Connor Scholar, an NIH New Innovator Awardee, and the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Her lab is mainly focused on understanding how injury responses are translated into tissue regeneration through formation of a blastema structure. A native of Michigan, Jessica's interest in biology started with butterflies and time in the woods. She is the first scientist in her extended family. Outside of the lab, Jessica is usually hanging out with her twin 12-year-old boys.