Clinical Translation of Discoveries Generated in Engineering in Medicine

1:00 - 1:50 PM
Clinical translation of bioengineering strategies for medicine and related research findings from the laboratory bench at Brigham and Women’s Hospital will be introduced. Researchers and entrepreneurs will present key points to enhance the success rate of clinical translation based on their own experiences.

ABOUT THE SESSION

Every step in the healthcare journey is supported and advanced by ‘engineering in medicine.’ This field investigates unmet medical needs in order to develop innovative technologies and therapeutic strategies. Some of the most familiar interventions have only been made possible because of biomedical engineering achievements such as cardiac stents, EKGs, LASIK surgery, and prosthetics. Engineering in medicine not only confronts ever-changing medical needs, but it also alters the way healthcare is delivered. Our investigators have made advancements in this sector through research in stem cells, nanotechnology, tissue engineering, and oncology. They have found success in bringing people together from multiple disciplines on a common interface where creative ideas can emerge, and life-saving outcomes can be executed. Brigham researchers have been bridging this gap through collaborative communication between laboratory researchers, clinicians, epidemiologists, regulatory experts, patients, statisticians, patent experts, and investors. Investigators have come together and found ways to bring their research to life in the clinic, truly translating their groundbreaking results from ‘bench to bedside.’ Researchers and entrepreneurs will discuss their experience in this transformative discipline and how their developments have transitioned from ideas dreamt up in a lab to interventions that are changing patient care as we know it.

CHAIRS

Aaron Goldman, PhD

Associate Bioengineer, Division of Engineering in Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Hae Lin Jang, PhD

Associate Bioengineer, Division of Engineering in Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

SPEAKERS

Georg K. Gerber, MD, PhD, MPH

Computational Discovery and Prediction for Microbiome Therapeutics and Diagnostics

Associate Pathologist, Center for Advanced Molecular Diagnostics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Co-Director, Massachusetts Host-Microbiome Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Assistant Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School

Jeff Karp, BEng, PhD

Towards Accelerated Medical Innovation

Principal Investigator, Engineering in Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School 

SPEAKERS

Aaron Goldman, PhD

Associate Bioengineer, Division of Engineering in Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School

I have been in the field of cancer biology and translational medicine research for more than 18 years. My research has been focused on the tumor ecosystem, and response and resistance to therapy. To do this, we employ animal models, molecular systems biology, and computational and mathematical modeling to interrogate the molecular mechanisms of cancer progression and drug resistance.

My early research led to the discovery of novel biomarkers of disease progression in aggressive malignancies including esophageal adenocarcinoma, where few therapeutic options exist. We identified the mechanisms that drive the acquisition of DNA damage-induced mutations that underlie cancer progression. More recently, my research in breast cancer led to the discovery that small populations of non Cancer Stem Cells (non-CSC) can drive a temporary state of drug resistance by re-organizing the intracellular signaling scaffold. Using computational simulations, we engineered novel, temporally-sequenced drug therapies that can overcome the mechanisms of resistance and improve the outcome of treatment. These discoveries led to a start-up company focused on developing novel therapies that target ‘adaptive’ drug resistance (Sequential Biosciences Inc.)

Inspired by these biological mechanisms of resistance, I employ engineering approaches that harness nanoscale technology to develop new drugs, which home into tumors and delivery combinations of small molecule compounds to ablate the origins of resistance. My goal in cancer research is to create and translate novel, improved solutions that can lead to durable responses in the clinic. 

Georg K. Gerber, MD, PhD, MPH

Associate Pathologist, Center for Advanced Molecular Diagnostics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Co-Director, Massachusetts Host-Microbiome Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Assistant Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School

Georg K. Gerber, MD, PhD, MPH is a computer scientist, microbiologist and physician board certified in Clinical Pathology. He is an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology faculty, Chief of the Division of Computational Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Co-Director of the Massachusetts Host-Microbiome Center at BWH, and an Associate Pathologist at BWH Center for Advanced Molecular Diagnostics. His research interests involve building novel computational models and high-throughput experimental systems to understand the role of the microbiota in human diseases and applying these findings to develop new diagnostic tests and therapeutic interventions to improve patient care. He is the recipient of the inaugural Brigham President’s Scholar Award for 2019. Funding for his work includes NIH NIGMS and NIDDK, DARPA, the BWH Precision Medicine Initiative, the state of Massachusetts, private foundations, and corporate sponsorship. Dr. Gerber’s training includes a Fellowship in Infectious Disease Pathology and Molecular Microbiology at BWH, Residency in Clinical Pathology at BWH, MD from Harvard Medical School, Masters’ and PhD in Computer Science (Statistical Machine Learning) from MIT, and Masters’ in Infectious Diseases and BA in Pure Mathematics from UC Berkeley. Prior to returning to graduate school, he founded several companies focused on developing and applying 3D graphics technologies to create feature and IMAX® films.

Hae Lin Jang, PhD

Associate Bioengineer, Division of Engineering in Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Hae Lin Jang is an Assistant Professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She is the Principal Investigator of Jang’s Laboratory for Developing Advanced Biomaterials and Biotechnologies and Co-Director of the Center for Engineered Therapeutics. Dr. Hae Lin Jang received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Seoul National University, Korea. After her Ph.D., she performed postdoctoral research at Biomaterials Innovation Research Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Her research is at the interface of materials science, nanotechnology, tissue engineering to develop functional hybrid biomaterials and biotechnologies for the treatment of incurable diseases. She was the first to develop a facile synthetic method of whitlockite (Ca18Mg2(HPO4)2(PO4)12) nanoparticles, which is the second most abundant biomineral in human bone (protected by five international patents). In addition, she designed and built tree-like dimension tunable nanochannels in bioceramic scaffolds, to simultaneously promote fluid and nutrient supply, and enhance mechanical strength. She also created several organic-inorganic hybrid biomaterials for biomedical applications, including cotton-like, drug loadable biodegradable materials for wound healing and hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2)-coated polyetheretherketone (PEEK) hybrid material to overcome the inertness of PEEK to treat degenerative spine diseases (transferred to a venture company). In addition, she participated in developing bioprinting technologies to engineer vascularized bone implant and engineered injectable shear-thinning hydrogel for delivering osteogenic and angiogenic cells and growth factors. 

Jeff Karp, BEng, PhD

Principal Investigator, Engineering in Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Jeff Karp is a Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

He has published over 125 peer-reviewed papers, with >18,500 citations, and has given over 300 invited lectures. He has over 100 issued or pending patents. Several technologies developed in his lab have led to multiple products currently in development or on the market and for the launch of six companies that have raised nearly $400 million in funding. His lab has been funded by the NIH, NFL, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in addition to many companies and foundations.

Karp has received over 50 awards and honors. Boston Magazine recently recognized Karp as one of 11 Boston Doctors Making Medical Breakthroughs. His work has been selected by Popular Mechanic’s as one of the Top 20 New Biotech Breakthroughs that Will Change Medicine. He gave a TEDMED talk on bioinspired medical innovation, and is a member of the their Editorial Advisory Board. He was a commencement speaker at the University of Toronto and gave a TEDx talk on Radical Simplicity.

In addition he was selected as the Outstanding Faculty Undergraduate Mentor among all faculty at MIT and received the HST McMahon Mentoring award for being the top mentor of Harvard-MIT students.