Print this page
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Monday, 03 December 2018 13:51

Frankfurt University: Panel Discussion with Donald E. Ingber from Havard University Featured

This week, everything is all about organ systems on microchips at Goethe University in Frankfurt. As part of the this year's Friedrich Merz Foundation Guest Professorship, the outstanding American scientist Prof. Donald E. Ingber from Harvard University in Boston will inform about his work at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. During a scientific symposium on December 5 and a citizens' forum on December 6, interested students and laypersons will have the opportunity to meet the researcher and debate with him about his work.


This year's guest professorship will focus on miniaturized, living organ systems made of human cells for research into diseases as well as the testing of new therapeutic options. It is generally known that experimental results with animals cannot be easily transferred to the humans situation. Therefore, scientists around the world are searching for new, human-specific methods to replace animal experiments in order to provide better results. This would not only benefit research itself and industry, which has to test their medicines for safety before they can be applied in humans.

Additionally, there is a great perspective of new human-specific systems for personalized medicine, because not only the physiology of humans and animals is different, but also the physiology of humans among each other. Systems with human cells or developments of human tissue in so-called micro-physiological systems (microchips) offer some hope.

The events will critically examine the informative value of animal experiments. It will be also explained which human organs can already be simulated in vitro. Other important topics of discussion are the importance for research and a perspective as regards how the future of personalised medicine could be designed with patients' own organ systems.

Guest Professor Donald E. Ingber is founding director of the of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University in Boston. Among other things, he has particular expertise in the field of tissue engineering on very small microchips. He has not only designed functional lung-like miniature systems, but has also been developing disease models on the chip, such as pulmonary edema, pulmonary thrombosis, intestinal inflammation or intestinal infection models on the chip. Other models are used for safety testing of new pharmaceutical substances, e.g. a heart-lung machine in micro-format. The researcher has founded 5 start-ups, holds 160 patents and has published more than 430 papers.

In addition to Prof. Ingber, Prof. Maike Windbergs (Dept. of Pharmacy at Goethe University), Dr. Madeleine Martin (Animal Welfare Officer of the State of Hesse) and Dr. Stefan Albrecht (Chief Scientific Officer of Merz) will discuss the issue. The event will be moderated by Prof. Manfred Schubert-Zsilavecz, Vice President of the Goethe University.

The Friedrich Merz Guest Professorship is one of the oldest endowed guest professorships at Frankfurt University and was endowed in December 1985 on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the company founder Friedrich Merz. The company Merz itself conducts research into non-animal methods and has developed a cell-based method for batch testing botulinum toxin a products.

Events:

December 5
* 9:00 - 17:00 o'clock
International scientific symposium on "Modeling health and diseases: from in vitro design to future therapies".
Biocenter of the Goethe-University Frankfurt, lecture hall B1.
Contact: Prof. Dr. Maike Windbergs, Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology, FB 14 Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

December 6
* 10:00 a.m. c.t.
Student lecture: "From mechanobiology to biologically inspired engineering".
Otto-Stern-Zentrum, lecture hall H3.
Contact: Prof. Dr. Maike Windbergs, Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology, FB 14, Buchmann Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

* 18:00 o'clock
Citizen symposium: "Human organs and diseases in the test tube: fiction or realistic alternative to animal experiments?
Arcade Hall of the Goethe House, Gro├čer Hirschgraben 23 - 25, 60311 Frankfurt am Main.

All events are free of charge.

Sources:
https://wyss.harvard.edu/team/executive-team/donald-ingber/
http://www.uni-frankfurt.de/Friedrich-Merz-Stiftungsgastprofessur
https://www.merz.com/de/news/professor-donald-e-ingber-erhaelt-friedrich-merz-stiftungsgastprofessur-2018/