Engineering in Medicine Symposium: Frontiers in Translational Medicine

Thursday, February 16, 2017, 9:00am–5:00pm

Rm. 100 (Spanos Auditorium), Cummings Hall

Frontiers in Translational Medicine

Part of Thayer's 150th anniversary, a special symposium featuring speakers in the areas of regenerative medicine, biomechanics, synthetic bioengineering, and molecular imaging.

Translational medicine assimilates engineering innovations to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of important human diseases at genetic, molecular, and cellular levels. Our panel of world-leading scientists and experienced entrepreneurs will discuss recent progress in exciting frontiers, including regenerative medicine, synthetic biology, biomechanics and bioelectronics, and the entrepreneurial process for translating discoveries into next-generation products and services. The symposium also will discuss next-generation engineering education—featuring interdisciplinary excellence at the interface of engineering and biomedicine—to address tomorrow’s challenges.

Everyone welcome.


All sessions will take place in Spanos Auditorium unless otherwise noted.

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dean Joseph Helble & Professor John Zhang (host)

Session I: Biomechanics & Bioelectronics
John Rogers, Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor, Northwestern University

The Great Hall, Cummings Hall
Refreshments provided

Session II: Regenerative Medicine
Kam Leong, Samuel Y. Sheng Professor, Columbia University

Student Luncheon (invitation only)
Jackson Conference Room, Cummings Hall

Session III: Synthetic Bioengineering
Professor Drew Endy Th’98, Stanford University

Session IV: Industrial Perspective
Samantha Scollard Truex ’92 Th’93 Tu’95, COO, Synlogic

The Great Hall, Cummings Hall
Refreshments provided

Panel: Translating Engineering to Medicine
Moderator: Professor Rahul Sarpeshkar
Panelists: John Rogers, Kam Leong, Drew Endy, and Brian Pogue

Reception & Poster Session
GlycoFi Atrium, MacLean ESC

Poster Abstract Submission Form ❯


John A. Rogers, PhD
Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor
Northwestern University

John Rogers

John Rogers obtained BA and BS degrees in chemistry and in physics from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1989. From MIT he received SM degrees in physics and in chemistry in 1992 and the PhD degree in physical chemistry in 1995. From 1995 to 1997, Rogers was a junior fellow in the Harvard University Society of Fellows. He joined Bell Laboratories’ Condensed Matter Physics Research Department in 1997 and served as director of this department from the end of 2000 to 2002. He then spent 13 years on the faculty at University of Illinois, most recently as the Swanlund Chair Professor and Director of the Seitz Materials Research Laboratory. In 2016 he joined Northwestern University as the Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Chemistry and Neurological Surgery, where he is the founding director of the Center on Bio-Integrated Electronics.  

Rogers’ research includes fundamental and applied aspects of nano and molecular scale fabrication as well as materials and patterning techniques for unusual electronic and photonic devices, with an emphasis on bio-integrated and bio-inspired systems. He has published more than 550 papers and is an inventor on over 100 patents and patent applications, more than 70 of which are licensed or in active use by large companies and startups that he has cofounded. His many awards include the IEEE EMBS Trailblazer Award, the ETH Zurich Chemical Engineering Medal, the A.C. Eringen Medal of the Society for Engineering Science, the Smithsonian Award for American Ingenuity in the Physical Sciences, the Robert Henry Thurston Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Mid-Career Researcher Award from the Materials Research Society, the Lemelson-MIT Prize, a MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the George Smith Award from the IEEE, the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship from the Department of Defense, the Daniel Drucker Eminent Faculty Award from the University of Illinois, the Leo Hendrick Baekeland Award from the American Chemical Society. Rogers is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Physical Society, the Materials Research Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Inventors.

Kam W. Leong, PhD
Samuel Y. Sheng Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering | Department of Systems Biology
Columbia University

Kam Leong

Kam Leong received his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. On the faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for almost 20 years, he moved to Duke University in 2006 to study the interactions of cells with nanostructures for therapeutic applications. Having moved to Columbia University in 2014, he continues to work on nanoparticle-mediated nonviral gene delivery and immunotherapy. The lab also works on the application of nanostructured biomaterials for regenerative medicine, particularly on understanding cell-topography interactions and on the application of nonviral vectors for direct cellular reprogramming and genome editing. He has published approximately 320 peer-reviewed research manuscripts with approximately 33,000 citations, and holds more than 50 patents. His work has been recognized by a Young Investigator Research Achievement Award of the Controlled Release Society, Distinguished Scientist Award of the International Journal of Nanomedicine, and Clemson Award for Applied Research of the Society for Biomaterials. He is the editor-in-chief of Biomaterials, a member of the National Academy of Inventors, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Andrew Endy PhD Th'98
Associate Professor of Bioengineering
Stanford University

Drew Endy

Drew Endy received his PhD in biotechnology & biochemical engineering from Dartmouth in 1998. He developed the world’s first “fabless” genetic engineering teaching lab in the new bioengineering program at Stanford and previously helped start the biological engineering major at MIT. His Stanford research team develops genetically encoded computers and redesigns genomes. He cofounded the BioBricks Foundation Foundation as a public-benefit charity supporting free-to-use standards and technology that enable the engineering of biology. He co-organized the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition, the BIOFAB International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology, and Gen9, Inc. He serves on the US Committee on Science, Technology, and Law and is a new voting member of the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. He chaired the 2003 Synthetic Biology study as a member of DARPA ISAT, served as an ad hoc member of the US NIH Recombinant DNA Advisor Committee, and co-authored the 2007 “Synthetic Genomics: Options for Governance” report with colleagues from the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the J. Craig Venter Institute. Esquire named Endy one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. He lives in Menlo Park, Calif., with his wife and Stanford bioengineering colleague, Prof. Christina Smolke.

Samantha Scollard Truex '92 Th'93 Tu'95
Chief Operating Officer & Head of Corporate Development

Samantha Truex

Samantha Truex serves as Synlogic’s COO and Head of Corporate Development, with responsibility for developing and executing on a strategic plan that integrates internal programs and business development together with financing timing and scope. Sam has more than 20 years of biotech experience, most recently from Padlock Therapeutics where she was integral to Padlock's operations and led the business development process culminating in acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Prior to Padlock, Sam spent several years each at Biogen and Genzyme.  At Biogen, Sam served as Vice President of Corporate Development, leading negotiations of multiple licensing, collaboration and acquisition transactions and serving as program executive of FAMPYRA® during its launch phase and of ELOCTATE™ and ALPROLIX™ during the preclinical and early clinical phases. At Genzyme, Sam handled licensing and M&A transactions across multiple business units, including for Genzyme Molecular Oncology and Genzyme Genetics. Earlier in her career, Sam worked for Chiron Diagnostics and Health Advances. Sam earned an AB in biology from Dartmouth, a BE in biomedical engineering from Thayer and an MBA from Tuck. Sam has served on the Corporate Collaboration Council advising Thayer's MEM program and now serves as a member of Thayer's Board of Overseers.

For more information, contact John Zhang at