August 21-22, 2019
Boston, MA

Speaker Faculty


Kristin Fabre
Microphysiological Systems Development & Implementation Lead

Dr. Fabre is joining the Drug Safety and Metabolism team at AstraZeneca as the Microphysiological Systems Development and Implementation Lead, working with several key AZ members to develop how to best utilize MPS technology for drug development and screening.  Prior to joining AZ, she was the Scientific Program Manager for the Microphysiological Systems (or Organs-on-Chips) Initiative at NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).  This role included providing oversight on all MPS cooperative agreements, including members from FDA, DARPA, NIH and several academic institutions across the United States in addition to building public-private partnerships. Dr. Fabre received her BS in Biology from the University of Wyoming, followed by her MS and PhD from Colorado State University in Cell and Molecular Biology.  Prior to joining NCATS, she was at the NIH National Cancer Institute as a postdoctoral fellow in the Radiation Biology Branch.  During her time at the NCI, Dr. Fabre was highly involved with training programs and was Chair of the NCI Fellows and Young Investigators Steering Committee and created the NCI Fellows Outreach Committee.

Matthew Wagoner
Associate Director of Mechanistic and Investigative Toxicology

Matt Wagoner leads the Global Investigatory Toxicology network for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where their team applys microphysiological systems (MPS) as predictive and mechanistic toxicology tools in support of discovery-phase projects.  Before Takeda, Matt led the mRNA safety strategy for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, and worked to develop and deploy MPS tools in support of projects. Matt has his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and bachelors in biochemistry from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.

Brian Berridge
Associate Director, National Toxicology Program, Scientific Director

Brian Berridge is a Senior GSK Fellow and Head of WW Animal Research Strategy at GlaxoSmithKline.  He is a veterinarian with residency and PhD training from Texas A&M University, a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and a visiting instructor at the University of North Carolina where he teaches cardiovascular toxicology.  He is a member of the Executive Board and Board of Trustees for the ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute where he also co-chairs the HESI Cardiac Safety Technical Committee.  He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Advancement of Alternative Toxicological Methods for NIEHS and leads the IQ Microphysiological Systems Working Group.

Day One

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

08.20 | Chairs Opening Remarks

Day Two

Thursday, August 23, 2018

08.25 | Chairs Opening Remarks

Adrian Roth
Head of Mechanistic Safety
Hoffman La Roche

Adrian Roth is heading the Mechanistic Safety Section within Roche’s Pharmaceutical Sciences organization at the Roche Innovation Centre in Basel, Switzerland. His group has established a series of novel tools to experimentally address safety issues arising during all stages of drug development. The main focus is selection and prioritization of drug candidates early on in development before clinical candidate selection, as well as de-risking by mechanistic understanding in later stage drug development programs up to clinical phases. This is done by use of human primary & stem cell based or complex 3D models as well as technologies for analysis such as High content imaging, Genomics and others. Applying such tools, new and innovative approaches could be established in to support key programs with challenging issues and also included interaction with regulatory bodies. By partnering with project teams, Adrian’s group develops strategies for lean development of safe drugs by integration of science-based concepts arising from sate of the art experimental work. Adrian Roth holds a master in molecular biology and biochemistry and a PhD  in Neuroscience. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Biocentre of the University of Basel in the group of Urs A. Meyer, where he studied transcriptional regulation of P450s by nuclear receptors.  In 2006, Adrian Roth joined Hoffmann-La Roche to lead a laboratory in the field of Toxicogenomics followed by different roles until he became Head of Mechanistic Safety. Since 2014, Adrian Roth is also Associate Professor at the Faculty of Sciences from the University of Basel.

John Wikswo
Gordon A. Cain University Professor & Director

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 A

August 21 2018

09.00 | Organs-on-Chips: A Developer’s Masterclass

Joseph Charest
Program Manager, Human Organ Systems

Dr. Charest is a Program Manager for Draper’s Human Organ Systems where he directs efforts to build systems which recapitulate human organ function.  The systems are in vitro models of human tissue which exhibit the function of native organs and can be used to screen effects of drugs and other therapies on those organs.  His teams leverage micro/nano-fabrication, microfluidics, and advanced machining techniques to create systems to coax cells into forming functional tissue with the end result speeding development of therapies to better treat patients.  Dr. Charest graduated from Georgia Tech with an MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering and from Penn State Honors College with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and has worked at Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies, Sandia National Labs, and several startups/spinouts.

Day One

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

09.00 | PREDICT-96: A Microfluidic High-throughput Microphysiological System Platform

J. Eric McDuffie
Scientific Director, Head of Investigative & Mechanistic Toxicology
Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Fabian Zanella
Director of R&D

Fabian Zanella’s scientific expertise is focused on cell-based assay development, and applications of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs)-derived cells in drug screening and disease modelling. Fabian joined the core founding team StemoniX as their first employee and has been directly involved in steering the R&D activities at StemoniX in the design, validation and implementation of high throughput physiologically relevant screening platforms involving hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and hiPSC-derived cells from the neuronal lineage.

Day One

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

10.00 | MicroHeart: A Screening-Ready, Physiologically Relevant Human iPSC-Derived Cardiomyocte Platform

B. Prabhakar Pandian
Chief Technology Officer
SynVivo Inc.

Misti Ushio, Ph.D.
TARA Biosystems

Misti Ushio, PhD. is the founding CEO of TARA Biosystems.  Dr. Ushio has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, and early stage life science company building. Dr. Ushio has served most recently as Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Director of Harris & Harris Group, where she advised and invested in life science companies to help them translate their transformational science into commercially successful companies. Earlier in her career, Dr. Ushio held management roles at Merck & Company, where she developed vaccines and biologics products, and Columbia University, where she managed the intellectual property of several scientific and engineering portfolios. She was graduated from Johns Hopkins University (B.S., Chemical Engineering), Lehigh University (M.S., Chemical Engineering) and University College London (Ph.D., Biochemical Engineering).  She also serves as a Director on the Boards of private and public life science companies.

Darrell Kotton
Seldin Professor of Medicine & Director, Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM)
Boston University & Medical School

Terry Van Vleet
Head of Molecular & Computational Biology

Brian Wamhoff
Co-Founder & Head of Innovation
Hemoshear Therapeutics

Silvia Krause
Senior Scientist - Translational Medicine
Momenta Pharmaceuticals

Ajamete Kaykas
Senior Investigator

Alejandro Amador
Scientific Leader

Andreas R. Baudy
Associate Principal Scientist, Safety Assessment
Merck & Co.


Anita Seshire
Head of Laboratory Cellular Pharmacology & Translational Innovation Platform Oncology
Merck KGgA


Anna M Sitarski
Post Doctoral Scientist
Cyteir Therapeutics

Bhushan Mahadik
Assistant Director NIH/NIBIB Center for Engineering Complex Tissues (CECT)
University of Maryland

Workshop B

August 21 2018

09.00 | 3D Printing & Bioprinting for Complex Tissue Engineering

Dominic Williams
Associate Director - Preclinical Hepatic Safety

Graham Marsh
Scientist I - Translational Sciences

Hicham Alaoui
SVP, Discovery Biology
Symic Biomedical

James Morelli
Research Investigator

Jinping Gan
Senior Principal Scientist
Bristol Myers Squibb

John K. Westwick
President & CEO
Resonant Therapeutics

Piyush Pajaj
Scientist II, Drug Safety Research and Evaluation

Dik C. van Gent
Associate Professor
Erasmus MC


Dominic Williams
Associate Director - Preclinical Hepatic Safety

Rhiannon Hardwick
Research Scientist - Nonclinical Safety Assessment
Theravance Biopharma

Sarah Hoyle
Senior Research Scientist
Epistem Ltd

Swati Gupta
Director, Immunology Non-Clinical & Translational Sciences

Szczepan Baran
Global Head of Animal Welfare Compliance Training

Thomas Knudsen
US Environmental Protection Agency ( Awaiting final confirmation)

Zhen Ma
Assistant Professor
Syracuse University

Workshop D

August 21 2018

13.00 | Development of Stem Cell Organoid Models for Drug Screening Applications

Edward Kelly
Associate Professor
University of Washington

Workshop C

August 21 2018

13.00 | Leveraging 3D In-vitro Models for ADME-Tox Studies