Keynote Speakers


Stephen Badylak, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD is a Professor in the Department of Surgery, and Deputy Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. 


Dr. Badylak has practiced both veterinary and human medicine and is now fully engaged in research. Dr. Badylak began his academic career at Purdue University in 1983, and subsequently held a variety of positions including service as the Director of the Hillenbrand Biomedical Engineering Center from 1995-1998.  Dr. Badylak holds over 70 U.S. patents, 300 patents worldwide, has authored more than 370 scientific publications and 50 book chapters, and has recently edited a textbook entitled “Host Response to Biomaterials”. He has served as the Chair of several study sections at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is currently a member of the College of Scientific Reviewers for NIH.  Dr. Badylak has either chaired or been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board to several major medical device companies.  More than eight million patients have been treated with bioscaffolds developed in Dr. Badylak’s laboratory. Dr. Badylak is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a member of the Society for Biomaterials, a charter member of the Tissue Engineering Society International, a past president of the Tissue Engineering Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) and a Founding International Fellow of TERMIS. Dr. Badylak’s major research interests include: (i) naturally occurring biomaterials, including Extracellular Matrix, and biomaterial/tissue interactions; (ii) developmental Biology and its relationship to regenerative medicine; (iii) relationship of the innate immune response to tissue regeneration; (iv) clinical translation of regenerative medicine and (v) whole organ and tissue reconstruction and regeneration.




Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez, University of Texas

Dr. Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at University of Texas at Austin

Elizabeth received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University under the guidance of Professors Anne Hiltner and Jim Anderson. She then completed a UT-TORCH Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Tony Mikos at Rice University with a focus in orthopaedic tissue engineering. Dr. Cosgriff-Hernandez joined the faculty of at Texas A&M University as an Assistant Professor in 2007 and the University of Texas at Austin with the L.B. (Preach) Meaders Professorship in Engineering in 2017. Her laboratory specializes in the synthesis of hybrid biomaterials with targeted integrin interactions and scaffold fabrication strategies (e.g. injectable foams, 3D printing emulsion inks, reactive, in-line blending electrospinning). She also serves on the scientific advisory board of ECM Technologies and as a consultant to numerous companies on biostability evaluation of medical devices. Dr. Cosgriff-Hernandez is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part B, Fellow of AIMBE, and chair of the NIH study section on Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering.



Jan de Boer, Eindhoven University of Technology

Jan de Boer studied biology at the University of Utrecht and obtained his PhD in the lab of Jan Hoeijmakers at the Erasmus MC Rotterdam on mouse models for premature ageing in 1999. 

After a postdoc at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, Jan started as a research associate at IsoTis B.V. where his research focused on bone tissue engineering, which was continued as associate professor at the University of Twente and as full professor at the University of Maastricht. Since 2018, he is chair of the BioInterface Science lab at the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems and the department of Biomedical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology. Jan studies the molecular complexity of cells and how molecular circuits are involved in cell and tissue function. With a background in mouse and Drosophila genetics, he entered the field of biomedical engineering in 2002 and has since focused on understanding and implementing molecular biology in the field of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and medical devices interface biology. His research is characterized by a holistic approach to both discovery and application, aiming at combining high throughput technologies, computational modeling and experimental cell biology to streamline the wealth of biological knowledge to real clinical applications. He is former chair of the Netherlands Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, CSO and co-founder of Materiomics b.v., co-founder of the MosaCell scientific platform and co-founder of the Merln Institute for Technology-inspired Regenerative Medicine.



Alicia El Haj, University of Birmingham

Professor Alicia El Haj, FREng, FRSB, FEAMBES, Interdisciplinary Professor of Cell Engineering, joined the Healthcare Technology Institute in the Institute of Translational Medicine at University of  Birmingham, UK in September 2018

Alicia has previously been the founding Director of the Institute of Science & Technology in Medicine at Keele University Medical School. She is a leading figure in Bioengineering and Regenerative Medicine and has been involved in bringing together interdisciplinary groups within biomedicine, physical sciences and engineering interested in aspects of cell and tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to move innovative new cell based therapies to the clinic. She has published over a 200 publications in novel tissue engineering approaches such as biomechanics, bioreactors, and imaging systems for the delivery of cell therapies to the clinic with funding from EPSRC, MRC, BBSRC, AR UK and ERC in the UK. She is also Director of a spin out company MICA Biosystems , Ltd involved in translating cell biomechanical control systems into clinical use.

She is Deputy Director of the MRC UKRMP Regen Med Hub and has been a Research Director of an EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre in Regenerative Medicine and a co-director of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing Centre in Regenerative Medicine as well as a partner in ARUK Centre in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine as well as multiple EU programmes.  Prof. El Haj is ex-Chair of the European Council for the Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS).She was awarded with a Royal Society Merit Award in 2014 and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK. In March 2015, she was awarded the MRC Suffrage Award for her role in leading women in STEM.


Róisín Owens, University of Cambridge

Dr. Róisín M. Owens is a University Lecturer at the Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology in the University of Cambridge. 

Róisín received her BA in Natural Sciences (Mod. Biochemistry) at Trinity College Dublin, and her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Southampton University. She carried out two postdoc fellowships at Cornell University, on host-pathogen interactions of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the dept. of Microbiology and Immunology with Prof. David Russell, and on rhinovirus therapeutics in the dept. of Biomedical Engineering with Prof. Moonsoo Jin. From 2009-2017 she was a group leader in the dept. of bioelectronics at Ecole des Mines de St. Etienne, on the microelectronics campus in Provence. Her current research centers on application of organic electronic materials for monitoring biological systems in vitro, with a specific interest in studying the gut-brain-microbiome axis. She has received several awards including the European Research Council starting (2011), proof of concept grant (2014) and consolidator (2016) grants, a Marie Curie fellowship, and an EMBO fellowship. In 2014, she became principle editor for biomaterials for MRS communications (Cambridge University Press), and she serves on the advisory board of Advanced BioSystems and Journal of Applied Polymer Science (Wiley). She is author of 60+ publications and 2 patents.



Chris Sammon, Sheffield Hallam University

Chris Sammon, PhD, is Professor of Polymer Science and Head of the Polymers, Composites and Modeling Research Centre, within the Materials and Engineering Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. 

Chris is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and is named inventor on three granted patents in the area of injectable hydrogels for applications in regenerative medicine. His current research interests include the design, characterisation and synthesis of polymer systems for regenerative medical and drug delivery applications. He is a world leader in the application of vibrational spectroscopy to investigate the distribution and mobility of water in polymeric systems; including synthetic and natural biopolymers, hydrogels, pharmaceutical systems, cellular materials, saline separation systems, plastisols and cellulose ethers. He is passionate about outreach activities and regularly takes science into local schools and local bars to engage and inspire the young, the old and the inebriated!



Katja Schenke-Layland, University of Tübingen

Prof. Katja Schenke-Layland currently holds a dual appointment as a full professor (W3) at the University Women’s Hospital and as Director of the Natural and Medical Sciences Institute (NMI) Reutlingen at the University of Tübingen, Germany. 


Katja is also Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Cardiology at the University of California in Los Angeles, USA, and is an executive editor for Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, which is one of the top journals in the field of advanced gene and drug delivery, and co-editor-in-chief of Tissue Engineering. Her main research interests revolve around the role of the extracellular matrix in tissue-engineering and regenerative medicine, the translation of developmental data into therapeutic strategies, and the non-invasive monitoring of biological processes.



Sandra Van Vlierberghe, Ghent University

Sandra Van Vlierberghe was granted a full-time professorship (100% hoofddocent) at UGent since October 1st, 2017. 

Sandra's research target is to establish at UGent, “a polymer-based technological platform covering processing and functionalization aspects sufficiently versatile to potentially address a wide range of tissue engineering (TE) challenges by exploiting the unique properties of light.” Indeed, her research focusses on the development of photo-crosslinkable (bio)polymers and their processing capabilities using (laser-based) 3D printing techniques. In addition, she also holds a 20% research professorship at the Faculty of Engineering of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She has acquired expertise related to the synthesis, the modification and the processing (through 3D printing, electrospinning and two-photon polymerization (2PP)) of a variety of (bio)polymers including thermoplasts (e.g. polyesters) and  hydrogels (e.g. proteins and polysaccharides) in the field of regenerative medicine during the last 15 years. She graduated as a Master in Chemistry with high distinction with majors in Polymer Chemistry in 2003 and received her PhD in Sciences in 2008, both at Ghent University (UGent). She authored more than 125 Web of Science Core Collection cited papers of which >100 high impact journal papers (one with an impact factor of 33.383) and 11 full papers in international conference proceedings. In addition, she also authored more than 80 conference abstracts. This year, she was elected as a TERMIS-EU council member. Sandra is also editorial board member of the Biomaterials Network, associate editor of Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, academic guest editor of Materials, editorial advisory board member of Hydrogels and editorial board member of Journal of Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology and Journal of Applied Biomaterials and Functional Materials. The PI has also 

been active in project reviewing. In 2017, she received the Jean Leray Award from the European Society for Biomaterials.This award is established to recognize outstanding research in the field of biomaterials by scientists not older than 40 years



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