Featured Speakers - Oregon Bioengineering Symposium

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Luiz Bertassoni, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Restorative Dentistry, OHSU

​​​​​​Luiz Bertassoni, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Restorative Dentistry, OHSU

Dr. Luiz Bertassoni is an Associate Professor at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), where he holds joint appointments in the School of Dentistry, the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research center (CEDAR) at the Knight Cancer Institute. He concluded a PhD in Biomaterials at University of Sydney, and two postdoctoral fellowships at University of California San Francisco, and the Harvard-MIT’s Division of Health Sciences and Technology.  Dr. Bertassoni’s work encompasses various aspects of micro-scale technologies and bioprinting for tissue regeneration; nanoscale properties and fabrication of vascularized and mineralized tissues; and different aspects in the field of ‘organs-on-a-chip’. His research has consistently appeared in journals such as  Advanced Materials, Nature Communications, Advanced Functional Materials, Biofabrication, and others. He has published over 70 manuscripts, received over 30 international research awards, is a co-founder of two start-up companies, and serves as associate editor for 3 international journals.

Kevin Brown, PhD, OSU

Kevin Brown, PhD, Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy, OSU

I am a complex systems scientist.  I study complex biological systems, particularly those arising in systems biology, systems neuroscience, and cognitive science.  I am the originator of “Sloppy Models,” a theory of parameter space geometry in large nonlinear models with many underdetermined parameters. I have studied networks in molecular biology, neuroimaging, and cognitive science.  I employ methodology from dynamical systems, network theory, Bayesian and nonparametric statistics, computational biology, and statistical signal processing.  I employ a mix of data-driven and model-driven approaches.  My work is tightly connected to experimental data, and I have many productive collaborations with experimentalists. I received my PhD in theoretical physics at Cornell and was a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara. At Oregon State I have a joint appointment in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering.

Heidi Koefkorn-Adams, PhD, Assistant Professor, Bioengineering, OSU

Heidi Koefkorn-Adams, PhD, Assistant Professor, Bioengineering, OSU

Dr. Kloefkorn joined the Oregon State University Bioengineering program as an Assistant Professor in 2021. A biomedical engineer by training, her lab develops noninvasive technology and analytics to better understand pathophysiology of chronic conditions. Her graduate work explored correlates between joint dysfunction, pain, and tissue damage in a preclinical model of post-traumatic osteoarthritis. Observing that more than tissue damage influenced pain-related behavior and variability, Dr. Kloefkorn pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience through the competitive Fellowships in Research and Science Teaching (FIRST) Program at Emory University. Recently, she has developed non-invasive sensor technology to quantify and correlate changes in autonomic dysfunction and pain-related behavior after spinal cord injury in mice. Dr. Kloefkorn consistently supports under-represented populations in STEM through her teaching, service, and mentorship.

Gabriella Lindberg, PhD, Assistant Professor, Oregon Knight Campus, UO

Gabriella Lindberg, PhD, Assistant Professor, Oregon Knight Campus, UO

Dr. Gabriella Lindberg works at the interface of biology, chemistry, and technology in pursuit of a blueprint to bridge the gap between engineered and native tissues. Using light activated hydrogels and 3D-biofabricated constructs, she is advancing the clinical relevance of bioinks and 3D-models to overcome patient-to-patient variability, disease progression and implant integration.

Dr. Lindberg undertook graduate studies at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and then moved to New Zealand to pursue a PhD in biomedical engineering at the University of Otago. She holds a prestigious New Zealand Health Research Council Emerging Researcher Grant and has won several other awards such as the International society of Biofabrication’s Young investigator award and the New Zealand Consortium for Medical Device Technologies’ research award. Passionate about developing new biomaterials, her research has further contributed to a full utility patent licensed in several countries. 

Starting her new role as an assistant professor at the University of Oregon Knight Campus in October 2021, she will use her interdisciplinary experience to design complex 3D-models as a stepping stone between bench and clinic.

Martina Mancini, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, OHSU

Martina Mancini, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, OHSU

Martina Mancini is Assistant Professor at Oregon Health & Science University, Department of Neurology, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Co-Director of the Balance Disorders Laboratory. She is a bioengineer focusing on using technologies to characterize movement and brain activity to determine the role of the central nervous system in integrating sensory information in individuals with movement or cognitive impairments. Objective metrics of movement, combined with neurophysiological information, allow to determine optimal variables to integrate with sensory feedback, resulting in more effective rehabilitation interventions. Ultimately, this approach could bring new possibilities to monitor and condition functional mobility on a daily basis directly at home.

Michelle Marneweck, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Human Physiology, UO

Michelle Marneweck, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Human Physiology, UO

Michelle Marneweck is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Physiology. Michelle’s research center around the neural-and sensorimotor control processes that allow humans to skillfully and dexterously interact with their environment, as well as effects of damage to or aging of such processes. She studies these processes from multimodal perspectives that bridge biomechanics, neurophysiology and neuroimaging. Originally from South Africa, Michelle earned a Ph.D. at the University of Western Australia. Subsequently, she completed her postdoctoral training at Columbia University in New York, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Monash University in Melbourne.

Clara Mosquera-Lopez, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, OHSU

Clara Mosquera-Lopez, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, OHSU

Dr. Mosquera-Lopez is a Research Assistant Professor in the Artificial Intelligence for Medical Systems Lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at OHSU. She received her B.S. in electronics engineering and her M.S. in management of technology from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana at Medellin (Colombia) in 2007 and 2010, respectively. She earned her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015. Her research interests lie at the intersection of biomedical signal processing and artificial intelligence for healthcare applications including digital health, data-driven modeling, development of technologies for type 1 diabetes (T1D) management, and analysis of biosensors data. Currently, Dr. Mosquera-Lopez works on the development of novel technologies for solving several glucose prediction problems including short-term hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia as well as nocturnal hypoglycemia in T1D, heart signals analysis, and fall detection and risk estimation using advanced machine learning techniques.

Karina Nakayama, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, OHSU

Karina Nakayama, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, OHSU

The Nakayama Laboratory works on developing engineered and regenerative therapies to treat cardiovascular and musculoskeletal injuries and disease. Dr. Nakayama received her Ph.D. from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis. During her doctoral training, she worked towards developing regenerative therapies for congenital kidney diseases using decellularized extracellular matrices and stem cell-derived renal precursors.

Dr. Nakayama completed her postdoctoral training at the Stanford University School of Medicine in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. During her time at Stanford, her research focused on building iPSC-derived small diameter vascular grafts and myocardial tissues and enhancing angiogenesis in ischemic and severely damaged limbs through the manipulation of the spatial and mechanical properties of biomaterials.

Dr. Nakayama joined the faculty at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in January of 2020. The overarching scientific mission of the Nakayama lab is to develop therapeutic treatments for the repair and regeneration of damaged musculoskeletal and cardiovascular tissues. The group aims to modulate extracellular environments using patterned biomaterials and rehabilitation exercise to stimulate the regeneration of damaged vasculature, muscle, and bone.

Susan Sokolowski, PhD, Professor, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, OSU

Susan Sokolowski, PhD, Professor, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, UO

Dr. Sokolowski is the Founding Director and Professor of the Sports Product Design Graduate Program, at the University of Oregon. She has over 25 years of performance footwear, apparel, and equipment design experience; working at Nike, Burton Snowboards, Fila, and the US Department of Defense. Her work is holistic in nature, where consideration of the athlete’s body form, performance, psychology, sport, materials, and styling are addressed to develop game-changing innovative solutions. She is specifically focused on issues surrounding design of products for underserved populations, including women and adaptive athletes. Susan has been recognized internationally for her achievements in design and innovation, including over 40 utility and design patents, awards from the United States Olympic Committee and Volvo, and featured product at the Design Museum London. A motivational coach and mentor, Susan is committed to inspiring students in product design, development, and business. Susan is a graduate of the University of Minnesota (PhD), Cornell University (MA) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (BFA).

Bo Sun, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, OSU

Bo Sun, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, OSU

Before switching to quantitative biology as a postdoc scholar, Dr. Sun was first trained in theoretical physics at the graduate school of Chinese Academy of Sciences, then in optics and statistical physics at New York University. Over the past eight years as an independent PI, Dr. Sun have established an active research program of cell biophysics. His lab focuses on three areas: (1) collective sensing and decision making by communicating cells such as neurons, (2) mechanics-mediated interactions of tissue and cancer cells, and (3) programing cell migration using physical cues. His research benefits from close collaborations with 7 other groups all over the world (as well as the dedicated work by students. His lab has graduated 4 PhDs, 6 Masters, and helped more than 25 undergraduate students from 6 different majors to secure 24 research scholarships that total more than $70,000.

Nick Willett, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Orthopoedics and Rehabilitation, OHSU and OSU

Nick Willett, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Orthopoedics and Rehabilitation, OHSU and OSU

Nick Willett will start at the Knight Campus in August 2021 as an Associate Professor. His research focuses on a systems integration approach to musculoskeletal disease and regenerative and rehabilitation engineering by applying novel imaging and engineering techniques to clinically motivated challenges. His current work is focused on: cell and biologic therapies for the healing of large bone and muscle defects, multi-scale mechanical regulation of bone regeneration, and intra-articular therapeutic delivery and rehabilitation for post-traumatic osteoarthritis. His research sits at the interface between engineering and clinical disciplines. Dr. Willett comes to the Knight Campus from Emory University, where he serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics. Dr. Willett performed postdoctoral training at the Georgia Tech in Mechanical Engineering. He received his PhD in 2010 in Biomedical Engineering from a joint program between Georgia Tech and Emory University. Prior to his graduate work, he received his B.S. in 2005 in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.