Dr. Freda Miller

Sunday, July 10 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

“Building and Repairing the Nervous System with Stem Cells”

Dr. Freda Miller is a Associate Director and Professor at the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Research Institute and Professor at the University of Toronto. She obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Saskatchewan, her Ph.D. at the University of Calgary, and her postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Miller held faculty positions at the University of Alberta and the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill prior to moving to her current position in Toronto. She is best known for her studies of neural and dermal stem cells and for her work elucidating how growth factors regulate cell genesis, survival and growth in the nervous system. In recognition of this work, she is an elected fellow of the AAAS and the Royal Society of Canada and has won numerous awards including an HHMI Senior International Research Scholarship. Dr. Miller has also founded two biotechnology companies and has significant experience in scientific society leadership.

Dr. Charles A. Gersbach

Monday, July 11 | 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

“Genome and Epigenome Editing for Gene Therapy and Cell Programming”

Dr. Charles A. Gersbach is the John W. Strohbehn Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Surgery, an Investigator in the Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, Director of the Duke Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering, and Director of the Duke Center for Advanced Genomic Technologies.  He received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and completed postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute. His research interests are in genome and epigenome editing, gene therapy, regenerative medicine, biomolecular and cellular engineering, synthetic biology, and genomics.  Dr. Gersbach’s work has been recognized through awards including the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the Outstanding New Investigator Award from the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, the Allen Distinguished Investigator award, and induction as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Dr. Andrés J. García

Tuesday, July 12 | 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

“Synthetic Hydrogels for Regenerative Medicine

Andrés J. García is the Executive Director of the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience and Regents’ Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. García’s research program integrates innovative engineering, materials science, and cell biology concepts and technologies to create cell-instructive biomaterials for regenerative medicine and generate new knowledge in mechanobiology. This cross-disciplinary effort has resulted in new biomaterial platforms that elicit targeted cellular responses and tissue repair in various biomedical applications, innovative technologies to study and exploit cell adhesive interactions, and new mechanistic insights into the interplay of mechanics and cell biology. In addition, his research has generated intellectual property and licensing agreements with start-up and multi-national companies. He is a co-founder of 3 start-up companies (CellectCell, CorAmi Therapeutics, iTolerance). He has received several distinctions, including the NSF CAREER Award, Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials, Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award, the Clemson Award for Basic Science from the Society for Biomaterials, the International Award from the European Society for Biomaterials, and Georgia Tech’s Class of 1934 Distinguished Professor Award. He is an elected Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (by the International Union of Societies of Biomaterials Science and Engineering), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He served as President for the Society for Biomaterials in 2018-2019. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors.