Dr Shenda Baker

Dr Shenda Baker is the President and CEO of Synedgen, a biotech company creating glycopolymer solutions for injury, infection and inflammation at mucosal and dermal surfaces. Dr Baker’s research interests include chemical modification of biologically derived polyglucosamines and targeted interactions of glycopolymers to control innate immunity, tissue regeneration, inflammation, infection, cell protection and fibrosis. In particular, Synedgen’s work focuses on replacement of barrier function and anti-inflammatory activity due to the loss of mucins and the regular glycocalyx in physical, chemical or radiation-induced damage. Dr Baker has led the development of FDA cleared medical devices for managing complex wounds and burns and for oral health including xerostomia and oral mucositis. She also brought an inhaled pulmonary treatment for infection and inflammation in cystic fibrosis patients through Phase 1 clinical trials and guided the license of that program to Synspira Therapeutics. The current focus of Synedgen research is directed to treating radiation and chemotherapy damage of the gastrointestinal tract to improve patient outcomes in oncology.

Dr. Baker started her professional career as a professor of Physical Chemistry at Harvey Mudd College before moving to industry and has raised over $25m in non-dilutive funding. She enjoys serving on strategic advisory boards, including past and present service to the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the American Chemical Society and the Materials Research Society.

Professor Karl Kadler

The research in Karl Kadler’s laboratory is focused on understanding how cells build tissues that are rich in collagen fibrils.  He is Professor of biochemistry and Director of the Wellcome Centre for Cell-Matrix Research at the University of Manchester, UK.

Collagen fibrils are essential for life.  They account for one-third of body mass and are essential for tissue scaffolding. A puzzling observation was that the collagen in musculoskeletal tissues such as tendon is synthesised during growth (the first 17 years of life in humans) then remains unchanged during adulthood without turnover or renewal. Kadler’s group has shown that there are two pools of collagen: the pool of permanent collagen and a pool of sacrificial collagen that is synthesised and degraded daily to maintain tissue health under the control of the circadian clock via regulation of the secretory pathway (Nat Cell Biol 2020). In this work he provides evidence that pharmacological regulation of the circadian clock may be an approach to treating fibroproliferative disease. The circadian basis of this regulation is likely to affect all aspects of matrix homeostasis.

Professor Chwee Teck Lim

Professor Lim is the inaugural NUS Society Professor, Founding Principal Investigator of the Mechanobiology Institute as well as Director of the Institute of Health Innovation & Technology at the National University of Singapore. His research interests include mechanobiology of human diseases and collective cell migration. Prof Lim has authored more than 400 journal papers including in Nature, Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Chemical Reviews, Advanced Materials and PNAS.  He is an elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering, the International Academy for Medical & Biological Engineering, the Academy of Engineering, Singapore as well as elected member of the World Council of Biomechanics. He currently sits on the editorial boards of more than 20 international journals.  He is also cofounder of 6 spinoffs which are commercializing technologies developed in his lab.  Prof Lim and his team have garnered more than 100 research awards and honors including the Highly Cited Researcher 2019, HFSP Award 2018,  International Precision Medicine Center Conference Prize 2017, Asian Scientist 100 in 2016, ASEAN Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award 2016, Wall Street Journal Asian Innovation Award (Gold) 2012, President’s Technology Award 2011 and the IES Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award 2010, 2016 among others.

Professor Patricia Rousselle

Doctor Patricia Rousselle is research director at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France and her lab « Cell / microenvironment cross talk and tissue repair » belongs to the Tissue Biology and Therapeutic Engineering Department at the Institute of Protein Biology and Chemistry in Lyon – which is one of the major centres in France specialising in the extracellular matrix and tissue repair fields of research.

She is president of the French Society for Matrix Biology and member of the board of Directors of the European Tissue Repair Society (ETRS). She is the conference chair of the 19th ETRS annual meeting ( Her research is focused at understanding cell / extracellular matrix interactions in the context of skin biology. Developing both biochemical and cell biology approaches, her group is interested in analysing molecular and cellular processes occurring during wound repair. Her recent work has focused on the interactions of basal keratinocytes with extracellular matrix components during the reepithelialisation phase of wound repair.

Professor Tony Weiss

Professor Tony Weiss is the McCaughey Chair in Biochemistry and leads Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney, with co-appointments at the Bosch Institute and Sydney Nano Institute.

Awards include the Eureka Prize for Innovation in Medical Research, Clunies Ross Knowledge Commercialisation Award, NSW Premier’s Prize for Science & Engineering Leadership in Innovation, Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, Innovator of Influence Award, Applied Research Medal, and the Order of Australia.

He is President-Elect of TERMIS, was elected Chair of TERMIS Asia Pacific and President of MBSANZ. He is on eleven Editorial Boards and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Royal Society of NSW, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, and Biomaterials Science and Engineering.

Associate Professor Sara Wickström

Sara Wickström studied medicine at the University of Helsinki, Finland, receiving her MD in 2001 and PhD in 2004. After postdoctoral training with Reinhard Fässler at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich, Germany, she was appointed as Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, Germany in 2010. In 2018 her laboratory moved to the newly founded Helsinki Institute for Life Science at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Research in the Wickström lab aims to establish quantitative principles of epidermal stem cell niche self-organization, and how mechanical forces and cellular interactions integrate single cell behaviors to pattern multicellular tissues.

Specifically, the Wickström lab combines mouse genetics and human patient material with state-of-the-art scale-bridging technologies from nanoscale atomic force microscopy and next generation sequencing to whole organism live imaging and in silico modeling. Her research is highly interdisciplinary and involves collaborations with mathematicians, physicists and clinical oncologists. Recent work from the Wickström group has uncovered how tissue-scale forces allow coordination of proliferation and differentiation events to regulate tissue morphogenesis and size.  Furthermore, her laboratory has discovered how extrinsic forces generated by the tissue impact chromatin structure and epigenetic gene silencing, thereby controlling the transcriptional state and lineage commitment of stem cells.

Professor Fiona Wood

Winthrop Professor Fiona Wood is a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon specialising in the field of  burn care, trauma and scar reconstruction.

As Director of the WA Burns Service of Western Australia she is a consultant at Perth Children’s Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital. As director of burns research she leads an interdisciplinary team with broad collaboration focused on translation to improve clinical outcomes.

She has been the recipient of the 2003 Australian Medical Association’s ‘Contribution to Medicine’ Award and an Order of Australia Medal for work with Bali bombing victims. As a National Living Treasure and Australian Citizen of the Year in 2004. she received the honour of being named Australian of the Year in 2005.

Fiona and Marie Stoner, co-founders of Clinical Cell Culture,  now Avitamedical, won the 2005 Clunies Ross Award for their contributions to Medical Science in Australia

Professor Shuhei Yamada

Dr. Shuhei Yamada graduated from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University in 1989, and obtained the Ph. D. in Biochemistry from Kyoto University in 1995. He started his professional career as a Research Associate at Kobe Pharmaceutical University in 1991, promoted to an Assistant Professor in 2000, moved to Hokkaido University as an Associate Professor in 2006, and became a Professor at Meijo University, in 2012. From 2001 to 2003, he worked as a Visiting Scientist at Uppsala University, Sweden. He has been studying the structure, functions, biosynthesis, and catabolism of glycosaminoglycans. He is an internationally recognized speaker, and researcher and has published extensively in numerous biochemical journals and books.  Currently he is on the editorial board of “Cellular and Molecular Biology Letters”. He has won some research awards such asthe Japanese Society of Carbohydrate Research Award for the Encouragement of Young Scientists, 2005.