Scientific Advisory Board
Clemens van Blitterswijk is the founder of RegMed XB and chairs the Scientific Board. He also combines his Professorship at Maastricht University with a Founding Partnership of the LSP-Health Economics Fund (LSP-HEF) of the European health care investment group. He received his PhD degree from Leiden University in 1985 and he worked as an Associate Professor at the Department of Biomaterials at Leiden University. In 1997 he moved to University of Twente and functions as Professor at the Department of Tissue Regeneration. Since 2014 he became University Professor at MERLN institute, Maastricht University.
Van Blitterswijk has acted on numerous national and international advisory boards relating directly to either life and material sciences or to the economic applications thereof. He has held various positions in these organizations including chairman of the Dutch Society for Biomaterials, treasurer of the European Society for Biomaterials, and council member of TERMIS. During his career, he has co-founded multiple biomedical companies and held several functions in these organizations.
Katja Schenke-Layland is an expert in stem cell and extracellular matrix biology as well as diagnostic tool development. One of her main research interests revolves around the role of the extracellular matrix in the establishment of patient-derived three-dimensional in vitro models for functional testing of compounds or medical devices.
Philippe Menasché is a clinical cardiac surgeon at the Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Professor of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Paris Descartes, and co-leader of an INSERM (National Institute of Health and Medical Research) team devoted to cell therapy of cardiovascular diseases. He also has a part-time affiliation with the Department of Biomedical Engineering of the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
The group has a long-standing interest in stem cells for the treatment of heart failure. While the initial research has focused on the transplantation of skeletal myoblasts, it then moved towards the combination of cardiac progenitors derived from human embryonic stem cells (ESC) with a tissue engineering-based construct. The first-in-man trial testing this cell-loaded patch has now been successfully completed. In parallel, mechanistic studies have unraveled the predominant role of paracrine signaling and, consequently, the group is now shifting its research towards a-cellular cell therapy based on the exclusive use of the secretome with the objective of further streamlining the clinical translatability of this myocardial repair strategy.
René Bindels is as physiologist interested in the regulation of ion transport processes in kidney and small intestine in health and disease. Current projects involve the molecular mechanisms underlying rare tubulopathies and the regulation of the newly identified calcium, magnesium and sodium transporters. He is an elected member of the Academia Europaea. Since 2010 he is the scientific director of the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS).
Thierry Berney obtained his MD at the University of Geneva School of Medicine in Geneva in 1987. He did his postdoctoral work Post-doctoral fellow, at the Diabetes Research Institute and Cell Transplantation Center, University of Miami, Miami, USA, between 1998 and 2001. In 2001, he was back to Geneva to be Director of Pancreas and Islet of Langerhans Transplant Program, Department of Surgery, University of Geneva Hospitals. His current position is full professor at the Department of Surgery.
Professor Alicia El Haj, FREng, FRSB, FEAMBES, Interdisciplinary Professor of Cell Engineering, joined the Healthcare Technology Institute in the Institute of Translational Medicine at Birmingham University, UK in September 2018. She is a leading figure in Bioengineering and Regenerative Medicine and has been involved in bringing together interdisciplinary groups within biomedicine, maths, physical sciences and engineering interested in aspects of cell and tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to move innovative new cell based therapies to the clinic. Working with the Waters group during a Visiting Fellowship at the Mathematical Institute in Oxford, she has been involved in cross disciplinary experimental and theoretical modelling of tissue engineering protocols in vitro within bioreactor growth environments and in vivo during cell delivery and repair. She has published over 200 publications with funding from EPSRC, MRC, BBSRC, Versus Arthritis, EU Commission and an ERC Advanced Award in 2018. She is also Director of a spin out company MICA Biosystems , Ltd involved in translating innovative in vitro pharma screening tools and stem cell control systems into clinical use.
She is currently Deputy Director of the MRC UKRMP Regen Med Hub and a partner in the Versus Arthritis Centre in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine as well as multiple EU programmes. She has been a Research Director of an EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre in Regenerative Medicine, and a co-director of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing Centre in Regenerative Medicine. Prof. El Haj is ex-Chair of the European Council for the Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS). She was awarded with a Royal Society Merit Award in 2014 and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK. In March 2015, she was awarded the MRC Suffrage Award for her role in leading women in STEM. Alicia actively engages in public events having presented ‘Remote Control Healing’ at the Café Scientifique in Royal Society London and at the ‘Next Big Thing’ at the Hay Festival 2017. In 2020, she was awarded the IOM3 Chapman medal for her major contribution towards translation of biomedical materials into healthcare.
Maurilio Sampaolesi is an expert in stem cell technologies. He is Full Professor, Head of Stem Cell and Developmental Biology Unit, Head of Translational Cardiomyology Laboratory, Department of Development and Regeneration at the KU Leuven in Belgium. The main goal of the Professor Sampaolesi team is to establish new strategies of repairing damage to the muscle and cardiac tissues through stem cell technologies. The team focuses on the transplantation of mesodermal stem cells to promote muscle repair in animal models for muscular and cardiac dystrophies.