Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic
Columbia University, NY

Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic is a University Professor and the Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Sciences at Columbia University, where she heads the laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering. She is also a faculty member at the Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Center for Human Development and College of Dental Medicine at Columbia University. Her research focuses on engineering human tissues for regenerative medicine, biological research, and modeling of disease. With over 44,000 citations and an h-index of 120, she is among the very highly cited individuals in all scientific disciplines. She is named as a co-inventor on over 100 US patents, and has co-founded four biotech companies: EpiBone, TARA Biosystems, Xylyx Bio, and Immplacate Health. She is a frequent advisor to the US Federal Government, foundations, and industry. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the Academia Europaea, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy Medicine, National Academy of Inventors, and American Academy of Science and Art. She received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, and was a Fulbright Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Elazer R. Edelman

Elazer R. Edelman
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA

Dr. Edelman received Bachelor of Science degrees in Bioelectrical Engineering and in Applied Biology from MIT in 1978, a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from MIT in 1979, a degree in medicine from Harvard Medical School in 1983 and a PhD in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics from MIT in 1984. He is the Edward J. Poitras Professor in Medical Engineering and Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), and a practicing cardiologist at BWH. He is the director of MIT's Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center, and the MIT Clinical Research Center. Edelman has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Inventors, National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine.


Chris Xu

Chris Xu
Cornell University, NY

Professor Chris Xu is the founding co-director of Cornell Neurotech, and the director of Cornell NeuroNex Hub, an NSF funded center for developing and disseminating neurotechnology. Prior to Cornell, he was a member of technical staff at Bell Laboratories, and pioneered breakthrough development of fiber optic communication systems. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell University, and contributed to the early development of 2-photon microscopy. His current research areas are biomedical imaging and fiber optics, with major thrusts in multiphoton microscopy for deep brain imaging, multiphoton microendoscopy for clinical applications, and fiber-based devices and systems for telecommunications and optical imaging. His research is supported by major grants from NIH, NSF, DARPA, and IARPA. Dr. Xu has chaired or served on numerous conference organization committees and NSF/NIH review panels. In addition to hundreds of journal and conference papers, he has 32 patents granted or pending. He has won the NSF CAREER award, Bell Labs team research award, the Tau Beta Pi Professor of the Year Award, and two teaching excellence awards from Cornell Engineering College. He received the 2017 Cornell Engineering Research Excellence Award. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America, and a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.


Temple F. Smith

Temple F. Smith
Boston University, MA

Dr. Temple Smith obtained his PhD in Nuclear Physics from the University of Colorado in 1969, followed by an NIH (USA) postdoctoral fellowship under the direction of the mathematician, Stanislaw Ulam, and the molecular biologist, John R. Sadler. He is one of the founders of GenBank, initially at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the co-developer, with Michael Waterman, of the Smith-Waterman sequence alignment algorithm. Beginning in 1988 he organized the “Genes and Machines” conference series in bioinformatics. As director of the Boston University BioMolecular Engineering Research Center, he directed the research of over twenty Post-doctoral and grad students. That research focused on protein evolution of the WD-repeat family; the Lifeguard apoptotic regulatory family; the evolutionary of the Drosophila clade, and the origin and evolutionary of the genetic translation system. He is a follow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a fellow of the ISCB. He has 200 plus reviewed scientific publications. In 2011 he was elected Emeritus Professor of BioMedical Engineering at Boston University. He is an avid skier, ice climber, sailor, hockey coach and family man. He is also the co-founder of a gene engineering company, Modular Genetics.


Edward J. Ciaccio

Edward J. Ciaccio
Columbia University, NY

Dr. Edward J. Ciaccio received the Ph.D. degree from Rutgers University. He is currently a Senior Research Scientist with the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, and also with the Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University, and also an Honorary Principal Research Fellow with the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Imperial College London. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles on such topics as biomedical signal processing of heart electrograms, and image processing of villous atrophy in celiac disease patients. In computational biology, he has developed biophysical models of activation wavefront propagation for ventricular tachycardia and for atrial fibrillation. His work received a Paper of the Year Award from Heart Rhythm journal, in 2008. He is Editor-In-Chief of the journals Computers in Biology and Medicine and Informatics in Medicine Unlocked.


Irene Georgakoudi

Irene Georgakoudi
Tufts University, MA

Irene Georgakoudi has been working on the use of lasers for therapeutic and diagnostic applications since her undergraduate years. She started as a physicist at Dartmouth College and continued her graduate studies in biophysics at the University of Rochester. Her interests in spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging using endogenous sources of contrast were founded during her postdoctoral years at the MIT Spectroscopy Lab. After working on the development of fluorescence-based in vivo flow cytometry while an instructor at the Wellman Laboratories for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Georgakoudi joined Tufts in 2004. She is the author of several patents on the development and use of spectroscopy and imaging to characterize tissues or to detect specific populations of cells, and has published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, review articles, and book chapters on these topics. She is the recipient of a Claflin Distinguished Scholar, an NSF Career Award, and an American Cancer Society Research Scholar award. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Optical Society of America.


Stephen D Miller

Stephen D Miller
Northwestern University, IL

Professor Stephen Miller is the Judy E. Gugenheim Research Professor of Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in 1975 from the Pennsylvania State University and did postdoctoral training in cellular immunology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center before joining the faculty at Northwestern in 1981 where he currently serves as Director of the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Immunobiology Center. Dr. Miller has published more than 481 research papers, serves on the editorial boards of multiple journals, and is internationally recognized for his research on pathogenesis and regulation of autoimmune diseases using antigen-specific tolerance and monocyte targeting strategies. The laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis and immunoregulation of T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases, allergic disease, and rejection of tissue and organ transplants.