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Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Columbia
The classical paradigm of tissue engineering involves an integrated use of human stem cells, biomaterials (providing a specialized template for tissue formation) and bioreactors (providing environmental control, dynamic sequences of molecular and physical signals and insights into the structure and function of the forming tissues). This approach results in an increasingly successful representation of tissue development, regeneration and disease. Bioengineered human tissues are now being tailored to the patient and the condition being studied or treated. A reverse paradigm is emerging in recent years, with the emergence of “organs on a chip” platforms for modeling integrated human physiology, using micro-tissues derived from human iPS cells and linked by vascular perfusion. The common objectives are to recapitulate the cellular niches that can modulate cell behavior towards generating functional equivalents of native tissues. To illustrate the state of the art in the field and reflect on the current challenges and opportunities, this talk will discuss bioengineering of clinically relevant tissues and the use of “organs on a chip” platforms for patient-specific studies of human patho/physiology.
Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic is University Professor, the highest academic rank at Columbia University and the first engineer at Columbia to receive this distinction. The focus of her lab is on engineering functional human tissues for use in regenerative medicine and patient-specific “organs-on-a-chip” for studies of human physiology in health and disease. She is well published and highly cited (h=132), has mentored over 150 trainees, and launched four biotech companies form her lab.
She is serving on the Council of the NIBIB, the HHMI Scientific Review Board, and on numerous editorial and scientific advisory boards. She was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame, received the Clemson Award of the Biomaterials Society, Pritzker Award of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Shu Chien Award of the AIChE, Pierre Galletti award of the AIMBE, and was elected Fellow of several professional societies. She was decorated by the Order of Karadjordje Star – Serbia’s highest honor, and elected to the Academia Europaea, Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Inventors, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the International Academy for Medical and Biological Engineering.
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