Keynote speakers

Stem Cells for Disease Modelling and Regeneration

Peter Loskill

University of Tübingen, Germany

Prof. Dr. Peter Loskill is W3-Professor for Organ-on-Chip Research at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen and the Natural and Medical Sciences Institute (NMI) as well as Chair of the European-Organ-on-Chip-Society (EUROoCS). He graduated in 2012 from Saarland University with a PhD in Physics and thereafter worked as a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley. In 2015, he was named as one of Technology Review’s “Innovators under 35 Germany” and awarded a Fraunhofer ATTRACT starting grant. He now heads the µOrgano-Lab and the 3R Center Tübingen for In vitro Models and Alternatives to Animal Testing. The interdisciplinary µOrgano-Lab combines approaches from engineering, biology, physics and medicine to generate and apply novel microphysiological tissue models recapitulating complex human biology in vitro. The 3R Center Tübingen aims to provide all scientists in Baden-Württemberg with low-threshold access to novel alternative methods to animal testing.

Thorsten Boroviak

University of Cambridge, UK

Thorsten originates from Austria, where he studied Molecular Biology at the University of Vienna. After completion of his master’s thesis in 2007, he was awarded a PhD-fellowship from the Department of Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield to work on neuronal differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells. Following his passion for pluripotency and embryonic development, he subsequently joined the laboratories of Prof. Austin Smith and Prof. Jennifer Nichols in 2010. His early postdoctoral research addressed the relationship of pluripotent embryonic stem cells to the early embryo. Thorsten provided transcriptional and functional evidence that the closest in vivocounterpart of mouse embryonic stem cells is the preimplantation epiblast. Moreover, he pioneered genome-wide comparison of mouse to non-human primate development by lineage-specific RNA-seq, which identified a primate specific role for WNT signalling during early lineage specification. In 2017, he was awarded the Sir Henry Dale Fellowship to start his laboratory at the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. Thorsten is committee member of the Anne McLaren Trust Fund and fellow of Darwin College.

Andras Nagy

University of Toronto, Canada

Dr. Nagy is currently a Shawn Kimel Senior Scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health System, Professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto and Professor at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute in Monash University, Melbourne.  He holds a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Stem Cells and Regeneration.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in the Life Sciences Division of the Academy of Science.  Dr. Nagy is also a Foreign Member of the Hungarian Academy of Science, an Honorary Professor at the Helsinki University, and a Distinguished Professor at the Hong Kong University.  

Dr. Nagy has made significant breakthroughs in developmental genetics, mouse and human pluripotent stem cell biology (both embryonic and reprogramming-induced), disease modelling and cell therapy approaches. His team created the first Canadian human embryonic stem cell lines in early 2000. In 2009, they developed the first method allowing the generation of iPS cell lines without any genetic change.  Their approach allowed studying the reprogramming process at multiple OMICS levels, almost at daily resolution from differentiated cells to pluripotency. His current research has become even more translational by addressing and coming up with solutions for two significant hurdles of cell therapies: safety and allogeneic cell acceptance without the need for suppression of the immune system. His research has been aiming to advance medicine with a focus to treat incurable degenerative diseases, such as blindness, diabetes, arthritis, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, haemophilia, and hypoparathyroidism.

Mina Gouti

Max-Delbrueck-Center Berlin, Germany

Mina Gouti is a group leader at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin. She is a developmental biologist working on stem cell research with a focus on the development and disease of the human neuromuscular system. Her lab has recently pioneered the generation of complex human neuromuscular organoids from pluripotent stem cells which opens up new opportunities for the modeling and treatment of neuromuscular disorders.

Lorenz Studer

Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, USA

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 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 neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders and developed strategies to measure and manipulate cellular age in pluripotent-derived lineages. Finally, he has pioneered the application of pluripotent stem cells in regenerative medicine including Parkinson’s disease (PD); work that has culminated in an ongoing Phase I/IIa trial using “off-the-shelf” dopamine neurons in PD patients. Recent awards related to those studies include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Ogawa-Yamanaka Prize and the Jacob Heskel Gabbay award in Biotechnology and Medicine.

Barbara Treutlein

ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Barbara Treutlein performed her PhD in single-molecule biophysics at LMU Munich, Germany. During her Postdoc with Stephen Quake at Stanford University, she pioneered the use of microfluidic-based single-cell transcriptomics to dissect the cellular composition of complex tissues, and to elucidate differentiation pathways during lung development and cell reprogramming. 2015-2018, she was a Max Planck Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig and held a tenure-track assistant professorship at TU Munich. Since 2019, Barbara is Professor for Quantitative Developmental Biology at the ETH Zürich D-BSSE, Switzerland. Her group uses and develops single-cell genomics approaches in combination with stem cell based 2- and 3-dimensional culture systems to study human organogenesis. For her work, Barbara has received multiple awards including the Friedmund Neumann Prize of the Schering Foundation, the Dr. Susan Lim Award for Outstanding Young Investigator of the ISSCR as well as the Young Investigator Award of the German Stem Cell Network.