SPEAKERS

KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Prof Stefan Przyborski

DURHAM UIVERSITY | UK

 

Stefan Przyborski is Professor of Cell Technology at Durham University. He has a background in animal cell biology and completed his PhD in Sheffield. He has had fellowships to the USA to research at the Jackson Laboratory and worked with industry in Princeton. His research focuses on understanding how the micro-environment in which cells grow influence their structure and function to enable the construction of human tissue models for use in research and development. Much of this work is based on the fundamental principles of anatomy and physiology, where the morphology of cells and their surroundings is related to their function. His research is interdisciplinary involving cell biology, stem cell science, chemistry and engineering, and applied to develop novel technologies to bioengineer equivalents of human tissues.  He publishes his work in discovery and applied journals and frequently gives presentations and inter/national events and invited seminars.  He runs a busy research group funded by RCUK and industrial partners and is an advocate of postgraduate training and support for early career researchers.

Stefan founded Durham spin-out company, Reinnervate, based on the translation of research emanating from his laboratory to construct three dimensional tissues in vitro.  His business produced Alvetex, now a market leading 3D scaffold cell culture product. The company was sold to Reprocell group in 2014. Stefan continues to work with Reprocell Europe as consultant Chief Scientific Office leading R&D of novel human tissue equivalents that can be used in academia and industry for basic research, drug screening and safety assessment. He has received numerous awards for his innovations and is passionate about developing alternatives to animal research.

Stefan has significant experience assessing research quality (REF2014, 2021 panel member) and managing the allocation of research funding (Chair BBSRC Response Mode; Chair NC3Rs Project grants; Chair BBSRC Industrial Case studentships; UKRI Joint Research Partnerships and Future Leadership Fellows). He is currently the co-Chair of the UKRI BBSRC Appointment Panel and has served on numerous strategy groups for RCUK. Stefan is the current President of the Anatomical Society for Great Britain and Ireland.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Prof Adelina Rogowska-Wrzesinska

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN DENMARK | DENMARK

 

Adelina Rogowska-Wrzesinska is an Associate Professor in Functional Proteomics at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She has Master of Science degree in Molecular Biology from University of Wroclaw, Poland and PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of Southern Denmark. Her academic work focuses on developing novel mass spectrometry-based methods for identification and quantification of oxidised proteins involved in redox imbalance, ageing and age-related diseases e.g. atherosclerotic plaque formation, diabetes and metabolic disease, age related muscle atrophy. Her main contributions are: 1) development of quantitative approaches for identification of novel types of protein carbonylations in human plasma; 2) establishment of TMT-SNO/SOH approach for in-depth analysis of nitrosylation and sulfenylation of proteins during cellular oxidative imbalance; 3) development of methods for analysis of chlorinated extracellular matrix proteins; 4) identification of oxidised proteins in senescent fibroblasts and myoblasts. In her recent work Adelina Rogowska-Wrzesinska uses 3D cell culture to create human liver and pancreas like tissue spheroids to study glucose and lipids toxicity.

PLENARY SPEAKER
Prof Sias Hamman

NORTH-WEST UNIVERSITY | SOUTH AFRICA

 

Sias Hamman (BPharm, MSc, PhD) is a full Professor in Pharmaceutics at the School of Pharmacy of the North-West University, South Africa.  His research focuses on functional excipients such as drug absorption enhancers from natural origin to optimise drug delivery as well as herb-drug pharmacokinetic interactions investigated by means of in vitro models.  He has supervised/co-supervised 15 Doctoral and 50 Master's students, published 94 articles in peer-reviewed international journals and is the author of 1 complete book and co-author of 3 chapters in different scientific books.  He holds a C2 rating from the National Research Foundation, South Africa, which means that he is recognised as an established researcher whom may also enjoy some international recognition for the quality and impact of his recent research outputs.  He has presented at several national and international conferences and has been invited to present a key note address at an international conference in 2019 in Italy.  He has won the best publication award, while several post-graduate students under his supervision have won the “Young Scientist” competition from the Academy of the Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa at several occasions.

PLENARY SPEAKER
Prof Carola Niesler

UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL | SOUTH AFRICA

 

Carola Niesler is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Academic Leader of Biotechnology in the School of Life Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Since completing her PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK she has worked broadly in the field of stem cells, cellular communication, regeneration and disease. She is also the Chief Scientific Officer of Next Biosciences, a biotech company working in the sphere of stem cells, biologics and genetic testing, where she oversees scientific operations. She has a particular interest the role of disease environments (such as diabetes) in modifying the ability of stem and somatic cells to communicate effectively during bouts of regeneration. To this end her laboratory has specifically developed a range of in vitro cell-based models including a triple co-culture systems and in vitro 3D tissue engineered model of skeletal muscle tissue. More recently, as one of the five PI’s of the Afrocentric Precision Approach to Control Health Epidemics (APACHE) UKZN Research Flagship, she has been central to the establishment of the UKZN Zebrafish Research Platform and is currently establishing a model of diabetes in these fish. She has graduated more than 50 postgraduate students and published 35 internationally peer-reviewed articles.

PLENARY SPEAKER
Dr Janine Scholefield

CSIR | SOUTH AFRICA

 

After a PhD in Human Genetics at UCT, Dr Janine took up a Nuffield Medical Fellowship at Oxford. She returned to SA to pursue research in developing models of disease-in-a-dish using stem cells and genome engineering, especially within the unique context of the diverse sub-Saharan African genetic background. She is currently the Research Group Leader of the Bioengineering and Integrated Genomics research group at the CSIR and holds a senior honorary lectureship position in the Department of Human Biology at UCT. In addition, she is an associated editor for the journal Gene Therapy.

PLENARY SPEAKER
Prof Krzysztof Wrzesinski

CELVIVO APS | DENMARK

 

Krzysztof is CSO and co-founder of CelVivo ApS, a company dedicated to 3D-cell culture technology.  He received his PhD in 2005 from the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).  As postdoctoral fellow at the Danish Biotechnology Instrument Centre (DABIC) he developed a Laser-Micro-manipulation-System able to operate on live tissues in  collaboration with Olympus Denmark A/S.  From 2009 he worked in DrugMode ApS and became General Manager in 2010.  In 2011 he became an Associate Professor at SDU and co-founded the Tissue-Culture-Engineering-Laboratory (TCEL) research group.  From 2018 he has been appointed as an extraordinary professor at the Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences (Pharmacen™) at the North-West University in South Africa.  His current focus is on the development of novel technologies for culturing and production of artificial tissues, physiological characterization of 3D tissue-like structures and the establishment of in vitro systems for pre-clinical development of drugs and toxicological assessment of chemicals.

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