August 21-23, 2018

Boston, MA

Workshop A
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

09:00 - 12:00

Organs-on-chips: A Developer’s Masterclass

Workshop Leader: John Wikswo, Gordon A. Cain University Professor & Director, VIIBRE


An in depth analysis of how best to approach and develop microfluidic devices with a focus on interconnected systems and their use within industry.

This workshop will help you realize the unlimited potential of engineered tissue models for replicating organ system signalling and dynamics.

Leave this workshop with:

  • A greater understanding of the key challenges facing the development of microfluidic systems and how to overcome them
  • An in depth insight into how to model, interconnect, test, and control these biological systems consistent with allometric, biochemical and/or functional scaling
  • Knowledge of how best to achieve non-invasive readouts with the latest advances in imaging, sensor, and multi-omic technologies

John Wikswo, Gordon A. Cain University Professor & Director, VIIBRE

John Wikswo is a university professor at Vanderbilt University and the founding director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education. His work on organs-on-chips focuses on the neurovascular unit, cardiac tissue, and automated devices for perfusion, control, interrogation, and interconnection of organ chips.

Workshop B
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

13:00 - 16:00

Translational & Quantitative Systems Modeling (QSP) to Enhance 3D MPS Model Insights

Workshop Leader: Murat Cirit, Director, Translational Systems Pharmacology, MIT


With micro-engineered tissue models still in their infancy and their place within industry ill-defined, quantitative models are consistently being used to validate predictions and supplement their use. QSP promises an increased level of predictivness that can inform decisions by identifying the statistical likelihood of successes and failures during the drug development process.

This master class session aims to define current strategies and shortfalls to help you deploy this novel bio-computational strategy to pacify complex 3D models, such as organ-on-chips, to make them more predictive and ensure their robustness during model design.

Join this workshop for:

  • An understanding of the different stages of a robust workflow for the development and application of QSP models
  • Considerations and strategies for QSP model scoping to prepare an optimal roadmap for subsequent single chip and multi-interconnected chip design execution
  • Methodologies for exploration of underlying biological uncertainty and variability using a virtual population approach to ensure robust predictions from the QSP models
  • Familiarity with the key concepts and technical methodologies as well as an appreciation of the value addition of robust QSP efforts
  • A comprehensive understanding of what is currently state of the art and what improved computational models of the future will look like
  • An insight into the current bottlenecks for computational modeling complex 3D systems and possible strategies to overcome them

Murat Cirit, Director, Translational Systems Pharmacology, MIT

Murat Cirit, PhD, is the director of the Translational Systems Pharmacology Team and System Integration Task in the DARPA-PhysioMimetics program (“Human Physiome on a Chip”). MIT and various institutions collaborate in creating a platform that supports ten interacting micro-physiological systems (MPS). Murat completed his PhD at NCSU focusing on systems biology of growth factor-mediated signal transduction pathways. After completion of his PhD, he worked in the pharmaceutical industry focusing on preclinical drug discovery for oncology. He brings an interdisciplinary and systematic approach through his extensive experimental knowledge and computational modeling with an understanding of biological, physiological, and physical processes. His main research experience is systems pharmacology, systems biology, applied tissue engineering, cell biology and signal transduction networks. His current focus as the scientific lead is integrating various scientific fields to build interacting MPSs by interfacing platform engineering & tissue engineering for pharmacology studies.