Multicellular organisms in microfluidic systems
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Prof. Johan Auwerx
Prof. Martin Gijs
Scientific Committee


Johan Auwerx
Nestlé Chair in Energy Metabolism, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland

Johan Auwerx is Professor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he occupies the Nestle Chair in Energy Metabolism. Dr. Auwerx has been using molecular physiology and systems genetics to understand metabolism in health, aging and disease. Much of his work focused on understanding how diet, exercise and hormones control metabolism through changing the expression of genes by altering the activity of transcription factors and their associated cofactors. His work was instrumental for the development of agonists of nuclear receptors - a particular class of transcription factors - into drugs, which now are used to treat high blood lipid levels, fatty liver, and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Auwerx was amongst the first to recognize that transcriptional cofactors, which fine-tune the activity of transcription factors, act as energy sensors/effectors that influence metabolic homeostasis. His research validated these cofactors as novel targets to treat metabolic diseases, and spurred the clinical use of natural compounds, such as resveratrol, as modulators of these cofactor pathways. Johan Auwerx was elected as a member of EMBO in 2003 and has received many international scientific prizes. Dr. Auwerx received both his MD and PhD in Molecular Endocrinology at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium. He was a post-doctoral research fellow in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics of the University of Washington in Seattle.

Andrew Dillin
University of California, Berkeley, USA

Andrew Dillin is Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development at University of California, Berkeley where he holds the Thomas and Stacey Siebel Distinguished Chair in Stem Cell Research. Dr. Dillin’s laboratory works on the genetic and molecular mechanisms that regulate aging and aging-related disease. The Dillin lab is particularly interested in understanding why an organism begins to lose control over the quality and integrity of its proteins as it ages, and how the recognition of protein misfolding stress is communicated to distal tissues and organs. Dr. Dillin earned his BS in Biochemistry from the University of Nevada. He then moved to study Genetics at UC Berkeley with Dr. Jasper Rine, working on epigenetic regulation of transcription and cell cycle progression. He changed fields for his post-doctoral training and worked with Dr. Cynthia Kenyon at UCSF untangling the genetics of aging. After establishing his lab, he moved into mitochondrial dynamics and proteotoxicity in both worms and mice. He began to ask fundamental questions about proteome maintenance and mitochondrial function in human stem cells. Rising through the ranks to full Professor, Dr. Dillin became an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2008 and is one of the very few full-time biogerontologists to receive the honor.

Martin Gijs
Laboratory of Microsystems, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland

Martin A. M. Gijs received his degree in physics in 1981 from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and his PhD degree in physics at the same university in 1986. He joined the Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, in 1987. He has worked there on micro- and nano-fabrication processes of high critical temperature superconducting Josephson and tunnel junctions and on microstructuring of magnetic multilayers showing the giant magnetoresistance effect. He joined the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 1997. He presently is a professor in the Institute of Microengineering, where he is responsible for the Microsystems Technology Group. His main interests are in developing new technologies for microsystems fabrication in general and the development and use of microfluidics for biomedical applications in particular. He is in the editorial board of Microfluidics and Nanofluidics and the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering. He has published over 250 papers in peer-reviewed journals and holds over 20 patents.

Hang Lu
School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA

Hang Lu is the Love Family Professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech.  She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1998 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.  She has a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering Practice (2000), and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering (2003) from MIT working with Klavs Jensen and Martin Schmidt.  She was a postdoctoral fellow with Cori Bargmann at UCSF and later at the Rockefeller University.  Her current research interests are microfluidics and its applications in neurobiology, cell biology, cancer, and biotechnology.  Her award and honors include the ACS Analytical Chemistry Young Innovator Award, a National Science Foundation CAREER award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, a DuPont Young Professor Award, a DARPA Young Faculty Award, Council of Systems Biology in Boston (CSB2) Prize in Systems Biology, and a Georgia Tech Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award; she was also named an MIT Technology Review TR35 top innovator, and invited to give the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Van Ness Award Lectures in 2011, and the Saville Lecture at Princeton in 2013.  She is an elected fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).


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