Regenerative Medicine Symposium
April 10-11, 2019
This event has been made possible with the support by:
We are please to announce this year's keynote speakers at our annual regenerative medicine symposium taking place April 10-11, 2019.
Dr. Molly Shoichet
Professor Molly Shoichet holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering at the University of Toronto. She served as Ontario’s first Chief Scientist in 2018 where she worked to enhance the culture of science. Dr. Shoichet has published over 650 papers, patents and abstracts and has given over 375 lectures worldwide. She currently leads a laboratory of 25 and has graduated 185 researchers. Her research is focused on drug and cell delivery strategies in the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, retina) and 3D hydrogel culture systems to model cancer. Dr. Shoichet co-founded three spin-off companies, is actively engaged in translational research and science outreach. Dr. Shoichet is the recipient of many prestigious distinctions and the only person ever to be inducted into all three of Canada’s National Academies of Science, Engineering and Health Sciences. In 2018, Professor Shoichet was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2011, she was awarded the Order of Ontario. In 2014, Dr. Shoichet received the University of Toronto’s highest distinction, University Professor, which is held by less than 2% of the faculty. Dr. Shoichet was the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Laureate for North America in 2015, elected Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2016, and won the Killam Prize in Engineering in 2017. Dr. Shoichet received her SB from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1987) and her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Polymer Science and Engineering (1992).
Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte
Professor Izpisua Belmonte holds the Roger Guillemin Chair at Salk and is globally recognized for his expertise in stem cell biology. In 2017, Izpisua Belmonte published a proof-of-concept study showing that functional organs from one species can be grown in another, an important early step toward addressing the critical shortage of human donor organs available for transplant. Combining gene-editing and stem-cell technologies, his lab was able to grow a rat pancreas, heart and eyes in a developing mouse. They were also able to generate human cells and tissues in early-stage pig and cattle embryos, marking the first step toward the generation of transplantable human organs using large animals whose organ size, physiology and anatomy are similar to humans. Izpisua Belmonte has also spearheaded the development of new techniques to switch cells from one type—such as skin cells—to another type, including blood, brain and kidney. Just this year, his lab developed a new proof-of-concept technique to heal large lesions in mice by reprogramming wound cells into skin cells, an advance that shows immense promise for healing diabetic ulcers and other wounds in humans. He has developed stem cell models of human aging and aging-associated diseases, and discovered new drivers of aging, which have potential to extend lifespan and promote healthy aging. Over the past few years, Izpisua Belmonte has pioneered new techniques for both gene editing and epigenetic editing, which alters the chemical tags on DNA that affect how genes are expressed. Through these methods, his team has partially restored vision in blind animals, corrected a disease-causing cardiac defect in human embryos, and treated diabetes, kidney disease and muscular dystrophy in mouse models.