The 2014 Graeme Clark Oration was delivered by Donald Ingber, Founding Director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University.
2014 Highlights/Links
The Next Technology Wave:  Biologically Inspired Engineering
Donald E. Ingber, M.D., Ph.D.
Founding Director, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University
Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology, Harvard Medical School & Boston Children’s Hospital
Professor of Bioengineering, Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Sciences
 
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University that I lead was founded in 2009 to develop new engineering innovations by emulating the way nature builds. Over the past 5 years, the Institute has pioneered a new model for innovation, trans-disciplinary collaboration and technology translation, while developing an exciting pipeline of new bioinspired technologies, including two that have entered human clinical trials. A few examples include therapeutic cancer vaccines that act as artificial lymph nodes; nanotherapeutics that target to vascular occlusion sites like artificial platelets; self-assembling DNA-based nanorobots that can be programmed to travel to cancer sites and kill tumor cells; and a microfluidic device that cleanses blood of pathogens and toxins in septic patients like the human spleen.
 
In addition to summarizing these developments, in this oration I will highlight recent advances my team has made in the engineering of microfluidic “Organs-on-Chips”, microchips lined by living human cells created with microfabrication techniques that recapitulate organ-level structure and functions as a way to replace animal testing for drug development and mechanistic discovery. I will review recent advances we have made in the engineering of multiple organ chips, including lung, gut, kidney, liver and bone marrow chips.
 
I will also describe our ongoing efforts to integrate these organ chips into a “human body-on-chips”, and to engineer an automated instrument for real-time analysis of cellular responses to pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and toxins.
 
This new bioinspired technology wave represents a major paradigm shift in medicine, and the novel organizational structure of the Institute offers an entirely new way to translate our discoveries into breakthrough products in the academic setting.
 
About the Orator
Dr Donald Ingber is the Founding Director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired engineering at Harvard University.  He also holds the positions of the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology, Harvard Medical School & Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor of Bioengineering, Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Sciences.
 
He received his B.A., M.A., M.Phil., M.D. and Ph.D. from Yale University. Dr. Ingber is a founder of the emerging field of biologically inspired engineering, and at the Wyss Institute, he oversees a multifaceted effort to identify the mechanisms that living organisms use to self-assemble from molecules and cells, and to apply these design principles to develop advanced materials and devices for healthcare and to improve sustainability.
 
He also leads the Biomimetic Microsystems platform in which microfabrication techniques from the computer industry are used to build functional circuits with living cells as components. His most recent innovation is a technology for building tiny, complex, three-dimensional models of living human organs, or “Organs on Chips”, that mimic complicated human functions as a way to replace traditional animal-based methods for testing of drugs and establishment of human disease models.
 
In addition, Dr. Ingber has made major contributions to mechanobiology, tissue engineering, tumor angiogenesis, systems biology, and nanobiotechnology. He was the first to recognize that tensegrity architecture is a fundamental principle that governs how living cells are structured to respond biochemically to mechanical forces, and to demonstrate that integrin receptors mediate cellular mechanotransduction.
 
Dr. Ingber has authored more than 375 publications and 85 patents, and has received numerous honours including the Holst Medal, Pritzker Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society, Rous-Whipple Award from the American Society for Investigative Pathology, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of In Vitro Biology, and the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Innovator Award. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and is a member of both the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
 
 
 
 
 

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