Osteoarthritis Moonshot - Leadership Team (LT)
Keita Ito received his Sc.D. in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He then did a fellowship at the Inselspital (Bern, Switzerland) and AO Research Institute (Davos, Switzerland) where he stayed eventually becoming Vice Director. His research during this period focused on biomechanics and mechanobiology of bone healing and intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration. He then became a full professor in the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), where he leads the Orthopaedic Biomechanics group. He also is a professor in the Dept. of Orthopaedics at the University Medical Center Utrecht (Netherlands) where he works on the mechanobiology of musculoskeletal regenerative medicine. He has co-authored over 160 peer-reviewed publications and is on the editorial board of Biomech Model Mechanobiol, J Orthop Res, Tissue Eng and is a deputy-editor of the Global Spine Journal. He and his group have been awarded the Spine Young Investigator Award 2004, the ESB Perren Award 2010, GSJ Best Paper Award 2014, as well as other conference awards.
Jos Malda is professor of "Biofabrication in Translational Regenerative Medicine” and Head of Research at the Departments of Orthopaedics, University Medical Center Utrecht and Equine Sciences, University of Utrecht. He also leads the Utrecht Biofabrication Facility. He is a long-standing Board member of the International Cartilage Repair Society and the current President of the International Society for Biofabrication. He received his MSc degree in Bioprocess Engineering (Wageningen University, 1999) and completed his PhD on Cartilage Tissue Engineering in 2003 (University of Twente). He subsequently accepted a research fellowship at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia). In 2007, he was awarded a VENI fellowship that allowed him to establish his research group in Utrecht, which focuses on biofabrication and biomaterials design, in particular for the regeneration of (osteo)chondral defects. He was awarded an ERC Consolidator grant in 2015 and is one of the initiators of the first international master’s programme in Biofabrication.
Dr. Pieter J. Emans finished his PhD in 2007. This work received the Goran Bauer grant of the Nordic Orthopaedic Federation (NOF). The aim his PhD was exploring the possibility to generate cartilage at an ectopical site and repair cartilage defects with this approach. This approach received a long lasting grant (LLP 14) of the Dutch Arthritis Society (Reumafonds). After completing his studies, he followed a Lars Peterson fellowship in knee surgery and cartilage recovery in the US (Boston, Chicago, San Diego and LA). Since 2010 he is working as an orthopaedic surgeon at MUMC. His specialization concerns in particular the arthroscopic surgery and prosthetics of the knee and shoulder.
Ingrid Meulenbelt is professor of molecular biology of osteoarthritis (OA) and head of the OA research group within the section Molecular Epidemiology and the department of Biomedical Data Sciences. She is chair of the LUMC VENI committee and member of the executive body of education of the master Biomedical Science (OOO MaBMS). In 2016 Meulenbelt has obtained a NWO-VICI grant to study the underlying mechanisms of the diverse OA pathophysiological processes and in 2020 an OC ENW-GROOT, together with UTwente on single cell microgel embedded iPS-cells to map molecular variability of cell differentiation using a systems biology approach (SCI-MAP). She has been a board member of the international OA research society (OARSI) and member of the organizing committee of the associated congresses as abstract chair in 2019 and program chair in 2020.
Liesbet Geris is Collen-Francqui Research Professor in Biomechanics and Computational Tissue Engineering at the university of Liège and KU Leuven in Belgium. Her research focusses on the multi-scale and multi-physics modeling of biological processes. Together with her team and their clinical and industrial collaborators, she uses these models to investigate the etiology of non-healing fractures, to design in silico potential cell-based treatment strategies and to optimize manufacturing processes of these tissue engineering constructs. Liesbet is scientific coordinator of the Prometheus platform for Skeletal Tissue Engineering (50+ researchers). She has edited several books on computational modeling and tissue engineering. She has received 2 prestigious ERC grants (starting in 2011 and consolidator in 2017) to finance her research and has received a number of young investigator and research awards. In 2018, she was awarded the honorary citizenship of the city of Liège. She is a former member and chair of the Young Academy of Belgium (Flanders) and member of the strategic alliance committee of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society. She is the current executive director of the Virtual Physiological Human Institute and in that capacity she advocates the use of in silico modeling in healthcare through liaising with the clinical community, the European Commission and Parliament, regulatory agencies (EMA, FDA) and various other stakeholders. Besides her research work, she is often invited to give public lectures on the challenges of interdisciplinary in research, women in academia and digital healthcare.