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Bone, blood and cartilage regeneration


27 August 2012

The symposia is an opportunity to discuss how we can transform exciting discoveries in bone, blood and cartilage regeneration into useful real life therapies, says Professor Hala Zreiqat.
The symposia is an opportunity to discuss how we can transform exciting discoveries in bone, blood and cartilage regeneration into useful real life therapies, says Professor Hala Zreiqat.

Synthetic materials developed by tissue engineers that may replace damaged bone in the body and encourage normal bone regrowth are to be discussed at a three-day international symposia being held at the University of Sydney.

Tissue and cell engineering visionaries from across the globe have converged at the University to discuss the future of stem and tissue cell research for the regeneration of blood, bone, cartilage and musculoskeletal tissue.

The Sydney University Tissue Engineering Network (SuTEN) is conducting its fourth Tissue Engineering Symposium, 27 to 29 August, titled 'Programming Stem Cells for Bone, Blood, and Cartilage Regeneration: current state and future prospective'.

Associate Professor Hala Zreiqat, founder of SuTEN, says the discipline of tissue engineering is advancing rapidly and the conference will give Australian scientists the chance to network with both local and international experts.

"There will also be an opportunity for us to discuss the challenges of transforming our exciting discoveries in bone, blood and cartilage regeneration into useful real life therapies for patients of all ages," says Professor Zreiqat.

International speakers include:

Dennis E Discher is Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and in Graduate Groups in Cell and Molecular Biology and Physics. He says cells seem to have an acute sense of 'touch' that allow them to feel the elasticity of different environments. Engineering 'solid' tissues relies on the adhesion of cells to non-cellular tissue (matrices). Professor Discher and his research team was the first to show that the elasticity of matrices has a bearing on the type of cells that best adhere to them to build viable, new tissue.

Vicki Rosen from Harvard University, USA received her PhD in cell biology/physiology and started her career as an independent investigator at a fledgling biotech company, Genetics Institute before moving to Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She is currently Professor and Chair, Department of Developmental Biology. Her research remains focused on bone morphogenetic proteins and the role they play in musculoskeletal tissues.

Andrew Carr is the Nuffield Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Head of the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford and Divisional Director of Musculoskeletal and Rehabilitation Clinical Services at The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. His research on muscle and tendon ageing and degeneration is based firstly on laboratory studies of human tissue and cells and secondly on clinical multicentre trials of surgery. The aim of his research is to understand the evolution of muscle and tendon senescence and derive then test new treatments, imaging biomarkers and preventive measures.

Pamela Yelick is a Professor at Tufts University, Boston MA, where she is the Director of the Division of Craniofacial and Molecular Genetics in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Dr Yelick holds adjunct appointments in the Departments of Bioengineering, Genetics, and Molecular and Cell Biology. Dr Yelick's major research interests are molecular genetic analyses of craniofacial cartilage, bone, and tooth development. Her research focuses on manipulating mammalian postnatal dental stem cells for whole tooth tissue engineering applications, and the zebrafish, Danio rerio, as a model for craniofacial development and tooth regeneration.


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Media enquiries: Victoria Hollick, 02 9351 2579, 0401 711 361, victoria.hollick@sydney.edu.au