Keynote Speaker

Dr. William Wagner

Dr. William Wagner is director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine as well as professor of surgery, bioengineering and chemical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He also is founding editor and editor-in-chief of one of the leading biomaterials journals, Acta Biomaterialia. Dr. Wagner received his B.S. in chemical engineering from Johns Hopkins University prior to earning his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. In 2011, he was awarded the Society for Biomaterials Clemson Award for Applied Research. Dr. Wagner's research interests are generally in the area of cardiovascular engineering with projects that address medical device biocompatibility and design, tissue engineering and targeted imaging. His keynote address will provide an exceptional foundation for the discussion of biomaterials research and education.

Invited Speaker

Dr. Mauli Agrawal

Dr. Mauli Agrawal is dean for the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He also serves as Director of the Institute for Bioengineering and Translational Research at UTSA and holds the Peter Flawn Professorship in Biomedical Engineering. He took the lead role in establishing the Joint Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program at UTSA and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). Dr. Agrawal earned a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Clemson University and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering & materials science from Duke University. Dr. Agrawal specializes in the area of orthopedic and cardiovascular biomaterials.

Invited Speaker

Dr. Daniel Alge

Dr. Daniel Alge will be joining the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University as assistant professor in August 2014. Dr. Alge earned his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Purdue University and is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he works in the lab of Prof. Kristi Anseth. The overarching goal of Dr. Alge’s research is to develop synthetic hydrogel biomaterials for fundamental and translational tissue engineering applications. To this end, a major emphasis is the implementation of elegant molecular designs to impart tunable, dynamic properties to both study and direct cell fate and function.

Invited Speaker

Dr. Akhilesh Gaharwar

Dr. Akhilesh Gaharwar is assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University. Dr. Gaharwar received his Ph.D. from Purdue University and completed his postdoctoral training with Professor Robert Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Professor Ali Khademhosseini of Harvard University. His research experience spans diverse fields including materials science, chemistry, biology and engineering of polymeric biomaterials and nanocomposites. Specifically, his laboratory is developing biomimetic nanomaterials with native interface tissue-like gradient in physical and chemical properties; integrating advanced micro- and nano- fabrication technologies to mimic native interface tissue architecture; and directing stem cell behavior to obtain regionalized tissue constructs in vitro and in vivo.

Invited Speaker

Dr. Jeffrey Hartgerink

Dr. Jeffrey Hartgerink is professor of chemistry and bioengineering at Rice University. Professor Hartgerink earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry and biology from Washington University in St. Louis. He then attended The Scripps Research Institute where he earned his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular structure and chemistry under the guidance of Professor Reza Ghadiri. Here, he thoroughly investigated self-assembly and, more generally, supramolecular chemistry. After graduating, Professor Hartgerink moved to Northwestern University to work as a postdoctoral researcher in Professor Samuel Stupp's laboratory where he continued to pursue his interest in self-assembly at the interface of chemistry and biology while adding a new dimension of materials science.

Invited Speaker

Stephen Igo

Stephen Igo is director of the Entrepreneurial Institute at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center (MDHVC) and senior associate at the Methodist Research Institute. His responsibilities include development of innovative proprietary technologies that address unmet medical needs by integrating and applying the broad expertise of MDHVC physicians and researchers in the fields of cardiovascular surgery, cardiovascular imaging, and interventional cardiology. Mr. Igo received his training in cardiopulmonary and perfusion technology at National Naval Medical Center and Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. He has held research and clinical support positions with the Texas Heart Institute and Baylor College of Medicine.

Rathbone, Chris

Invited Speaker

Dr. Christopher Rathbone

Dr. Christopher Rathbone is a research physiologist in the Extremity Trauma and Regenerative Medicine Task Area at the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research. Dr. Rathbone received his M.S. from Texas A&M University prior to earning his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of Missouri. He completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Arizona in the field of muscle stem cell biology. His overall research interests are directed towards the development of clinically relevant treatment strategies to improve outcomes for orthopaedic trauma. Specific focus areas within his laboratory include the application of stem cell-based therapies and prevascularization strategies to improve tissue regeneration in large musculoskeletal defects.

Invited Speaker

Dr. Jay Schneider

Dr. Jay Schneider received an M.D. and Ph.D. from Yale University School of Medicine. He completed an internship and residency in medicine as well as a cardiology fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston. He was on faculty at Harvard Medical School until 2003 when he joined University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) where he is associate professor of medicine as well as the endowed chair for cardiac research. He is a physician-scientist with significant research experience focused on applying chemical biology tools to stem/progenitor cell science and heart repair. He is the lead PI for the NIH/NHLBI U01 Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium, the Cancer Prevention and Research in Texas Consortium, and was recently the lead PI for the AHA-DeHaan Cardiac Myogenesis Research Center at UTSW. He also is senior consultant for LoneStar Heart, Inc., a biotechnology venture from UTSW Medical Center.

Invited Speaker

Dr. Robert Scott

Dr. Rob Scott is head of research, Vision Care R&D, at Alcon, the eye care division of Novartis. At Alcon, Dr. Scott leads product development activities aimed at establishing proof of concept for novel devices in the contact lens and lens care space. His experience in medical device R&D spans the medical specialty areas of ophthalmology (Alcon and, previously, Ciba Vision) and general surgery (Ethicon). Dr. Scott holds a master's degree in chemistry from Emory University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from Purdue University. He is former chair for the Ophthalmic Biomaterials Special Interest Group, Society for Biomaterials.

Invited Speaker

Dr. Hubert Tseng

Dr. Hubert Tseng is senior research and development scientist at Nano3D Biosciences, Houston, TX. Dr. Tseng's focus is on finding new applications for magnetic cell culture in the areas of bioprinting, drug discovery and tissue engineering. He received his doctorate in bioengineering from Rice University in 2013 and his B.S. in engineering mechanics and applied mathematics and statistics from the Johns Hopkins University in 2007.

Invited Speaker

Dr. Janet Zoldan

Dr. Janet Zoldan is assistant professor at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her master's degree and Ph.D. in materials engineering from Technion-Isreal Institute of Technology, after which she completed her postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Zoldan focuses on human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as a model system to explore key principles underlying tissue formation processes by integrating and applying materials and stem cell bioengineering. Understanding this process and controlling it is critical for treating a broad spectrum of pathological conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, hepatic failure and heart failure, as well as alleviating the current shortage of donor tissue necessary for tissue repair and transplant.