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D. Reinhard


November 13-14, 2017 EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland


Over the past few years, great strides have been made in the development of 3D culture systems that promote the self-organization of various stem cell types into organ-like living constructs, termed 'organoids'. However, existing 3D cultures result in organoids that are small, develop in an unpredictable manner, and often fail to undergo more complex in vivo-like patterning and functional development. The challenge is to find new ways to guide and enhance the inherent self-organizing capability of stem cells while incorporating them into transplantable and manufacturable devices. Prospectively engineering robustness into these systems, and developing strategies to simulate and test these processes, will also allow unprecedented insight into normal and aberrant tissue and organ development, deepening our understanding of these critical yet difficult to access ontological stages.

Following up on the highly successful conference on “Engineering the embryo; beyond Systems Biology” that took place at Institut Pasteur in 2016, our aim is to bring together researchers from different disciplines but with a shared interest in design principle of living systems, to discuss the challenges and opportunities of engineering stem cell self-organization into tissues and organs in culture, ultimately with the efficiency and precision of an organism.

Organizing Committee

  • Matthias Lutolf
  • Alfonso Martinez Arias
    University of Cambridge
  • Peter Zandstra
    U of Toronto & U of British Columbia


  • Christina Mattsson
  • Dietrich Reinhard


Invited Speakers

Randy Ashton University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA
James Briscoe The Crick Institute, London, UK
Denis Duboule EPFL and University of Geneva, Switzerland
Zev Gartner University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
Anne Grapin-BottonDanStem, Copenhagen, Denmark
Takashi Hiiragi EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany
Allon Klein Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA
Arthur Lander University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
Prisca Liberali FMI, Basel, Switzerland
Sally Lowell University of Edinburgh, UK
Celeste Nelson Princeton University, NJ, USA
James Sharpe CRG, Barcelona, Spain
Stanislav Shvartsman Princeton University, NJ, USA
Hugo J.G. Snippert University Medical Center, Utrecht, NL
Elly Tanaka IMP, Vienna, Austria
Aryeh Warmflash Rice University, Houston, TX, USA
Ron Weiss MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA
Jeff Wrana Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ont, Canada




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