August 21-23, 2018

Boston, MA

Day One
Monday, August 28, 2017

Day Two
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Welcoming Remarks

Promoting Multidisciplinary Collaboration

Precompetitive Partnerships For Implementing MPS – IQ Consortium Update


  • Highlighting the opportunities MPS systems present for innovation in drug development
  • Exploring how linking the development of these capabilities to discrete challenges in contemporary approaches will speed up their uptake and ultimately their commercial viability
  • Evaluating effective partnerships between pharmaceutical companies on a deliberate strategy to facilitate the development and implementation of impactful MPS systems

Implementing Microphysiological Systems into AstraZeneca’s Research Projects

  • Kristin Fabre Microphysiological Systems Development & Implementation Lead, AstraZeneca


  • Divulging AstraZeneca’s approach to 3D microphysiological systems
  • Exploring common drug development issues to frame specific questions and highlighting how 3D systems can potentially address these
  • Illustrating case studies of how AstraZeneca are using microphysiological systems in current projects and future plans

Pharma Insight Panel: Innovation, Adoption, Implementation. Overcoming Barriers to Entry for Pharma

  • Kristin Fabre Microphysiological Systems Development & Implementation Lead, AstraZeneca
  • Brian Berridge Director & Head WW Animal Research Strategy, GSK
  • Adrian Roth Head of Mechanistic Safety, Hoffman La Roche


  • Exploring risks and risk appetites in experimenting with new technologies and championing change within your organization
  • Addressing partnering strategies with biotech, CRO and tech organizations to enhance the adoption process
  • Looking beyond feasibility studies, what are the steps required to achieve wide scale adoption?
  • What conditions are required to show relevancy?
  • How can we quantify what a better model actually is?

Speed Networking


This session is a great opportunity to introduce yourself to the attendees that you would like to have more in depth conversations with.

This session is the ideal opportunity to get face-to-face time with many of the brightest minds working in the MPS field and establish meaningful business relationships.

Morning Refreshments

Rigorous Study Designs Enabling Definitive Efficacy Testing

Determining the Predictive Validity of 3D Models & Achieving Standardization for Preclinical Efficacy Testing


  • What constitutes a validated model from an industry standpoint?
  • How do we scale microphysiological systems for use in high throughput screening?
  • How do we overcome issues surrounding cell maturity and the mitigating heterogeneity of differentiated cells?
  • Identifying current efforts towards the validation and standardization of tissue chip and other 3D MPS technologies

A 3D Cancer Stem Cell Tissue Model for Drug Screening

  • Esmaiel Jabbari Professor of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, University of South Carolina


  • Exploring TAM-CSC tumor tissue models as an ideal platform for pre-clinical drug efficacy evaluation for cancers stem cells
  • Highlighting experimental results related to the effect of immune infiltrate on toxicity within the three-dimensional CSC culture system
  • Presenting high-throughput strategies for drug efficacy evaluation with the TAM-CSC tissue model

Panel Discussion: Development of Complex In Vitro Models for Preclinical Efficacy Testing

  • Yvonne Will ATS Fellow & Head In Vitro Discovery Toxicology, Pfizer
  • John Wikswo Gordon A. Cain University Professor & Director, VIIBRE
  • Linda Griffith Professor of Biological Engineering & Mechanical Engineering, Director of the MIT Physiomimetics Program, MIT
  • Jason Ekert Head Complex In-Vitro Models, GSK


  • Exploring which positive and negative controls should be used? How does one achieve such a list?
  • In single-organ systems, how important is the volume of media used and when is recirculation beneficial?
  • What questions require two or more coupled organs to answer? In these systems, how important is it to get the correct scaling of both organ size and fluid volumes?
  • Should we compromise the predictive value of models because of assay cost, throughput, convenience and use?

Lunch & Networking

Qualifying 3D Models For Screening of Candidate Therapeutics

Leveraging Microfabrication for Tissue Models with a Path to Validation


  • Highlighting how microfabricated models can influence and quantify tissue function
  • Illustrating two examples of microfabricated models:
    • A complex in vitro model to culture and evaluate tissue with barrier function
    • A system to quantify and evaluate interactions between patient-derived tissues and immune components

Industrialized 3D Drug Discovery: Spheroids in 1536-well Format


  • Revealing how 1536w ultra high-throughput spheroid screening is now possible
  • Assessing strategies overcoming cell model size limitation to enable 3D industrialized drug discovery
  • Demonstrating how incorporating powerful imaging-based readouts into 1536w spheroid models enables a new era of drug discovery with the potential to reveal novel chemotherapeutic activities of millions of compounds

Nortis’ microfluidic Organ-on-Chip Technology in Research and Preclinical Drug Testing on Human Tissue Microenvironments (TME)


  • Discover how Nortis’ Organ-On-Chip technology allows for the engineering and culture of perfused, true-3D human tissue and endothelial vasculature within biological matrix microenvironments.
  • Exploring established and characterized models including liver, kidney, blood brain barrier and tumor microenvironments.
  • Highlighting the design of the Nortis technology as easy to use, highly versatile and able to support customization to many organ and drug testing/ toxicology applications

Drug profiling in an Immune Cell-Tumor Spheroid Co-Culture Model


  • Compound profiling of targeted IO combination therapies in 3D models to aid in-vitro invivo translation
  • Analyzing immune suppressive features of co-culture
  • Highlighting the applications of co-culture to profiling targeted therapies using multiple readouts

Afternoon Refreshments

Microphysiological Models for Disease Modeling

Tissue-level Modeling of Chronic Liver Injury & Disease


Data will be presented from studies on ExVive™ Human Liver Tissues demonstrating:

  • Generation of disease-relevant phenotypes such as inflammation and steatosis
  • Ability to track the progression of fibrogenesis induced by various treatments leading to:
    • Treatment- and time-dependent injury as evidenced by key biomarkers
    • Sustained production of proinflammatory cytokines and upregulation of fibrotic genes
    • Increased collagen deposition with nodular, pericellular, and bridging fibrosis
  • Utility of the model for evaluating the ability of a tissue to compensate / recover post-injury, and the evaluation of interventional strategies

Marrying Systems Biology with Tissue Engineering for MPS Disease Modeling

  • Linda Griffith Professor of Biological Engineering & Mechanical Engineering, Director of the MIT Physiomimetics Program, MIT


  • Evaluating conceptual “systems biology” frameworks for analyzing complex disease states to describe the interplay between cell-cell and intracellular signalling pathways
  • Highlighting the utility of Translational Systems Pharmacology (TSP) in providing directions for multiplex measurements of network activities that aid in the design of MPS and for capturing the relevant physiology and “functional scaling” of interacting MPS’s
  • Describing an example of gut-liver-immune interaction, and others, to highlight the ways in which this has been done in practice and ultimately led to interpretation of data for use in predicting human behaviour

Physiologically Relevant 3D Tissue Models for Translational Studies


  • Utilizing vascularized tumor microenvironment to evaluate cancer-stromal-immuneendothelium interactions
  • Showcasing a blood brain barrier model for real-time visualization and quantitation of cellular interactions and barrier functionality
  • Using an integrated assay for mechanistic understanding of vascular-immune-tissue interactions
  • Assessing the use of layered multi-cellular architecture for complex organ physiology and toxicology

Enhancing Human Kidney on Chips for Disease Modeling & Toxicity Testing

  • Jonathan Himmelfarb Professor of Medicine & Director, Kidney Research Institute University of Washington


  • Demonstrating gene editing of organotypic cultures using CRISPR/CAS 9 to uncover novel insights into kidney disease
  • Highlighting organ specific vasculature as an essential feature to effectively model organ specific diseases
  • Exploring how gene expression profiling in a human kidney on a chip can be used for systems pharmacology and toxicology

Close of Conference Day One

Scientific Poster Session


After the formal presentations have finished, the learning and networking carries on. The Poster Session is an informal part of the conference agenda, allowing you to connect with your peers in a relaxed atmosphere and continue to forge new and existing relationships.

During this session scientific posters will be presented on 3D models validating innovative targets, disease models highlighting novel mechanisms, systems that are informing investigative toxicology and safety assessments.