2015 Travel Reports

2015 Scale-up and Manufacturing of Cell-based Therapies V: San Diego, California – Rachael Wood

The 5th meeting for Scale up and Manufacturing of Cell-based Therapies was held in San Diego on 15-17 January. This conference is part of the ECI conference series and the 2017 conference attracted 220 delegates – the highest attendance ever which is credit to the organisers Dr. Tom Brieva (Celgene Cellular Therapeutics), Prof. William Millar (Northwestern University) and Prof. Chris Mason (UCL).

Sessions ranged from novel technologies for cell therapy, product characterisation, bioprocess modelling and collaborations with regulatory agencies. Personally I really enjoyed the award lecture which was given by Prof. Peter Zandstra on “Engineering stem cell fate for drug development and therapy.” He discussed bioreactor conditions to influence stem cell differentiation and how to develop approaches to examine physiological and therapeutic effects of culture-expanded stem cells.

I presented my poster entitled “Investigating the requirement for dual cell co-culture platforms in creating regenerative cell therapies for CNS injury.” I really enjoyed and benefitted from the two evening poster sessions where I got to discuss and receive feedback on my work.

In addition to the conference, I attended the pre-conference workshop organised by Dr. Ivan Wall (UCL), Dr. Fernanda Masri (UCL) and Prof. James Piret (University of British Columbia). This comprised of several talks and activities around the subject of ex vivo expansion platforms. I found this very valuable, not only due to the content covered and an excellent talk by Dr. Anne Plant (NIST), but also due to the opportunity to work together in a group ranging from graduate students to experts in the industry. This was valuable networking as well as educational on different conditions and aspects I had not considered in the analysis.

Our group presented three posters, one poster flash presentation and one oral presentation, describing the leading edge work we are part of in the Regenerative Medicine field. I am very grateful for the funding provided by TCES to help me attend this conference and to benefit from this experience.

The next Scale up and Manufacturing of Cell based Therapies will be held in San Diego in January 2019.


TERMIS World Conference 2015 Boston, Massachusetts. – Edoardo Scarpa

In June 2016, I orally presented at the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) European meeting held in Uppsala, Sweden, and I am very grateful to TCES for granting me a travel bursary enabling me to participate.

This was a unique and incredible opportunity to present my work on the use of polymeric nanoparticles for bone regeneration after fracture. I am part of the Institute for Life Sciences at the University of Southampton which strongly promotes the interdisciplinary research for biomedical applications, and being able to present at the biggest European meeting in the tissue engineering field was a rather unique opportunity.

I had the chance to attend to presentations from different keynote speakers including Prof. Ali Khademhosseini and Dr Molly Stevens who is the UK pioneer in the field. These presentations were incredibly inspiring and fascinating for the young investigator I am. During the different collateral events I had the chance to meet and interact with students from all around Europe. Of particular interest was the ‘Student meet mentor lunch’ where affirmed academics were sitting with students discussing about important topics ranging from applying for your first grant to building successful international research.

My oral presentation took place on the first day in the afternoon session named “Nanomaterials”. The session itself was very competitive with high-

quality presentations. I felt privileged to be able to talk about my research many people. As a final year PhD student pursuing a post-doc, this meeting provided me with the valuable opportunity to discuss my research with top scientists in the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine community, the chance to network with scientists in my field and to experience for the first time the quality of research undertaken in world-class universities.

Travel to the TERMIS 2016 meeting would not have been possible without generous funding from TCES, and so for this I am extremely thankful.