Professor Peter Zandstra (IBBME) has been recognized by Engineering Conferences International with this year’s Scale-Up and Manufacturing of Cell-Based Therapies Award. The award acknowledges outstanding contributions to the development and commercialization of stem cell-based therapies.
Zandstra is internationally renowned for his work in integrating engineering and biological approaches for the design and development of stem cell technologies. Most notably, he is known for his contributions to the fundamental understanding of stem cell bioreactor technologies and establishing the conditions that effectively yield stem cell proliferation and differentiation. His work at U of T has also included approaches to examine physiological and therapeutic effects of these stem cells, which have tremendous potential to impact regenerative medicine and drug development for a range of diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
David McMillen and his team are hard at work designing a new custom-designed probiotic to help the 233,000 Canadians living with Crohn’s and colitis.
The goal of the project, which is among 20 sharing $27 million in funding from university’s newly created Medicine by Design initiative, is to create a bacterium that can help trigger the renewal of the gut lining in people with these chronic bowel diseases.
Peter Zandstra, professor in the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering and Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering, has been appointed to the rank of University Professor. This is U of T’s highest academic rank, recognizing unusual scholarly achievement and pre-eminence in a particular field of knowledge. The number of such appointments is limited to two per cent of the University’s tenured faculty.
Zandstra is a pioneer in the field of stem cell bioengineering, an area that applies engineering principles to stem cell biology. His research focuses on understanding how complex communication networks between stem cells and their progeny influence self-renewal and differentiation, and how this information can be applied to the design of novel technologies capable of controlling cell fate. Zandstra’s work has advanced our understanding of stem cell developmental processes and led to the development of cutting-edge technologies for the growth and differentiation of stem cells. Direct applications of his work include tissue and cellular engineering, gene therapy and organ transplantation.
Growing artificial human tissues and making automobiles don’t appear to have much in common, but a new paper suggests that some of the same engineering principles may apply.
Yonatan Lipsitz (BioMedE PhD Candidate) is the lead author on the new perspectives article published today in Nature Biotechnology. Along with his co-authors, Professor Peter Zandstra (IBBME) and Nick Timmins of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), Lipsitz has laid out a framework for how to develop the large-scale manufacturing processes needed to bring therapies based on stem cells — able to turn into different types of human cells — into the mainstream. At its heart is a principle adapted from the automotive and pharmaceutical industries: quality-by-design.
PhD candidate Nika Shakiba (EngSci 1T0) has been named a recipient of a 2016 Jennifer Dorrington Graduate Research Award. Issued by the University of Toronto Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (CCBR), the award recognizes graduate-level research excellence and contributions to their field.
As a member of Professor Peter Zandstra’s Stem Cell Bioengineering lab, Shakiba’s research focuses on gaining a better understanding of stem cells. Specifically, she utilizes cell biology and mathematical modelling techniques to investigate the pathways behind their reprogramming to better predict how any given adult cell might turn into stem cells.