Anthony Atala, MD

Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University and W.H. Boyce Professor and Chair of the Department of Urology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Dr. Atala is a practicing surgeon and world-leading researcher in regenerative medicine. His current work focuses on growing new human cells, tissues and organs. He works with several journals in various roles including: Editor-in-Chief of "Current Stem Cell Research and Therapy", and "Therapeutic Advances in Urology"; as Associate Editor of "Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine", "Journal of Rejuvenation Research", "Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine", "Gene Therapy and Regulation" and "Current Reviews in Urology". He is the editor of 8 books, including "Methods of Tissue Engineering", "Principles of Regenerative Medicine", and "Minimally Invasive Urology", and has published more than 250 journal articles and has applied for or received over 200 national and international patents.

Dr. Atala is a recipient of the US Congress funded Christopher Columbus Foundation Award, bestowed on a living American currently working on a discovery that will significantly affect society, and the Gold Cystoscope Award for advances in his field. Dr. Atala was named by Scientific American as "Medical Treatments Leader of the Year". In 2006, he was named by Fast Company magazine as one of 50 people who “will change how we work and live over the next 10 years", his work was listed as Discover Magazine's Number 1 Top Science Story of the Year, and as Time Magazine’s top 10 medical breakthroughs of the year (2007). A Time Magazine poll ranked Dr. Atala as the 56th most influential person of the year (2007). Esquire Magazine named Dr. Atala one of the 75 most influential persons of the 21st century (2008). Dr. Atala has led or served several national professional and government committees, including the NIH working group on Cells and Developmental Biology, and the National Institutes of Health Bioengineering Consortium. He is currently an NIH “Quantum Grant” awardee. The Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative medicine has a team of over 160 physicians and researchers. 

Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Atala's TED Talk on growing new organs

Paul Fairchild DPhil

Paul Fairchild

Co-Director of the Oxford Stem Cell Institute, University of Oxford

Paul Fairchild began his research career in Oxford, where he studied for a DPhil within the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, focussing on the immune response to organ allografts.  After spending five years as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, he returned to Oxford where he is currently a Fellow of Trinity College and a University Lecturer in Medicine at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology.  Here, he has applied his immunological training to the emerging field of cell replacement therapy to develop strategies for circumventing the immune response to tissues differentiated from either embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells, the rejection of which threatens to undermine the success of regenerative medicine in the future.  In 2008, he founded the Oxford Stem Cell Institute, for which he currently serves as Co-Director.

Gordon Keller, PhD.

Professor, Gene and Cell Medicine, University of Toronto and Senior Scientist, Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto

Dr. Keller is the Director of the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine which was established in 2003. It is a world-renowned centre for stem cell biology and regenerative medicine and a world-class stem cell research facility. Dr. Keller’s is the first lab to successfully differentiate human embryonic stem (ES) cells into cardiac cell lineages. This technology has been successfully applied to human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and is to be made available to create patient specific cardiac cell lines. As well as being the Director of the McEwen Center for Regenerative Medicine he is also a Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Medical Biophysics. Dr. Keller holds the position of Senior Scientist of the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto. He received his PhD at the University of Alberta in immunology. Dr. Keller’s cuirrent areas of research include: lineage specific differentiation of ES cells in culture, development of the hematopoietic, vascular, and cardiac lineages from ES cells, commitment of ES cells to endoderm-derived lineages, and growth and differentiation of human ES cells. Dr. Keller is a key collaborator with many scientists and research teams across Canada and internationally. Current collaborations include those with Dr. Husain at University Health Network in Toronto, in the characterization of ES cell-derived cardiomyocytes and collaboration with Dr. Sherman from Columbia University, NY, in the analysis of the functional potential of human ES cell-derived cardiomyocytes in a large animal model. Dr. Keller has several current on-going sources of grant funding from NIH and CIHR. He has contributed to well over 100 scientific publications and has extensive experience in collaborative research.

McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Keller lab, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Arnold Kriegstein, MD, PhD

Director, Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Kriegstein received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his MD and PhD degrees from New York University in 1977 where his thesis advisor was Dr Eric Kandel. He subsequently completed Residency training in Neurology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital, and Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. From 1981 to 2001 he was Professor of Neurology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, Yale University and Stanford University. Dr. Kriegstein is internationally known and highly respected for his research in the area of neocortical development, neural differentiation and development. He has received several awards including the Stanford University William M. Hume Faculty Scholar and the Javitts Award from the NIH. He has co-authored and reviewed numerous medical publications in neuroscience. He is a member of the Board of Trustees member for the Gordon Research Conferences.

Dr Kriegstein's research focuses on the way in which neural stem and progenitor cells in the embryonic brain produce neurons, and ways in which this information can be used for cell based therapies to treat diseases of the nervous system. The process by which neurons are born and migrate to the cortex is of fundamental importance to a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders.  In particular, the identification by Dr. Kreigstein and his team of radial glial cell as a key neuronal stem cell in the developing brain has helped shift attention to the role of glial cells as neuronal stem cells in the adult brain, and has the potential to lead to innovative therapies aimed at treating diseases of brain development and injury associated with epilepsy.

Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, UCSF

Michael Longaker MD, MBA, FCA

Deane P. and Louise Mitchell Professor, Director, Children's Surgical Research, Director, Program in Regenerative Medicine and Co-Director, Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Longaker joined the Stanford University School of Medicine in 2000 as Director of Children’s Surgical Research in the Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital. In 2003, he was named the Deane P. and Louise Mitchell Professor. As Director of Children’’s Surgical Research, Dr. Longaker has the responsibility to develop a children’’s surgical research program in the broad areas of developmental biology, epithelial biology and tissue repair, and tissue engineering. Prior to joining Stanford, he was the John Marquis Converse Professor of Plastic Surgery and held the positions of Director of Surgical Basic Science and Director of Plastic Surgery Research at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at the New York University School of Medicine.

Dr. Longaker earned his undergraduate degree at Michigan State University, and his medical degree at Harvard Medical School. In 2003, Dr. Longaker earned his MBA from University of California – Berkeley and Columbia University, in the inaugural class of their combined program. He is the recipient of the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons and the Maxillofacial Foundation’s 1999 Dr. Bernd Spiessl Award. In 2000, Mike received the D. Ralph Millard MD Investigator Award as co-author, PSEF Scholarship Contest and is a James IV Traveling Fellow. He is a member of the Society of University Surgeons, American Surgical Association and American Society for Clinical Investigation. Currently, he serves as Treasurer for the Society of University Surgeons. To date, he has published over 750 publications and has 5 federal grants to support his research.

Michael Longaker Laboratory, Stanford School of Medicine

Alan Russell, PhD

Alan Russell, Ph.D.

Highmark Distinguished Career Professor, Carnegie Mellon University and Executive Director, Pittsburg Tissue Engineering Initiative

Dr. Russell is the recently appointed Highmark Distinguished Career Professor, Carnegie Mellon University. Previously he was the founding Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh (2001-2011). In addition to his appointment at the Carnegie Mellon, he is the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative. He has founded 3 biotech companies; ICX Agentase LLC, NanoSembly LLC (now owned by LIG Biosciences), and O2Cyte LLC, and was also the Founding President of the 3,000-member Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (termis). Dr. Russell served as chair of the College of Fellows for the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering for 2012 and is a current member of the FDA's Science Board.

Dr. Russell has received numerous prestigious awards including: R&D Magazine 100 Award (2000), 3 Carnegie Science Center Awards for Excellence (2000-2006), consecutive appearances in Who's Who in Science and Engineering since 1992, Gilbreth Lectureship from the National Academy of Engineering (2004), Cockroft Rutherford lectureship from the University of Manchester (2007), Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Manchester (2008), #32 in Rolling Stone's "Top 100 People who will change America" (2009), and American Chemical Society's Pittsburgh Award (2010). Dr. Russell has published over 140 articles in refereed journals, numerous book and book chapters and holds 14 patents, with a further 23 patents pending.

Dr. Russell's TED Talk on Regenerative Medicine

Institute for Complex Engineered Systems, Carnegie Mellon University

Myron Spector PhD

Professor of Orthopedic Surgery (Biomaterials), Harvard University, Director, Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Director, Tissue Engineering Laboratory, VA Boston Healthcare System

Prof. Spector has been engaged in biomaterials research for over 30 years, and in tissue engineering studies for 15 years, employing animal models and cell culture systems. He is supervising investigations related to musculoskeletal and nerve regeneration, involving biopolymer sponge-like scaffolds and injectable gels. He recently has established projects demonstrating the potential of extracorporeal shock wave treatment to enhance the make-up of select tissues to be used as autografts for bone and cartilage repair. Prof. Spector teaches 4 subjects at MIT: Biomaterial-Tissue Interactions, Cell-Matrix Mechanics, Design of Medical Devices/Implants, and Principles and Practice of Tissue Engineering. He is the principal research supervisor for students in: MIT doctoral programs, Harvard Medical School and postgraduate programs at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. His other positions include: Co-Editor-in Chief, Biomedical Materials, Materials for Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine (2005-present), Chairman, Food and Drug Administration General and Plastic Surgery Devices Advisory Panel (1993-1997) and President, Society for Biomaterials (1990-1991).

Prof. Spector's awards and honors include: Elizabeth Winston-Lanier Kappa Delta Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons/Orthopaedic Research Society for the work entitled, “Expression of Muscle Actin in and Contraction of Chondrocytes, Osteoblasts, and Musculoskeletal Tissue Fibroblasts” (2001), Clemson Award for Applied Biomaterials Research. Highest award in this category given by the Society for Biomaterials (2002) and John Charnley Award for 2004 from the Hip Society.