Dr. Milica Radisic is a Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Functional Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering and a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute. She is also the Associate Chair-Research for the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto and Director of the NSERC CREATE Training Program in Organ-on-a-Chip Engineering and Entrepreneurship. She obtained B.Eng. from McMaster University, and Ph.D. form the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada-Academy of Science, Canadian Academy of Engineering and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She received numerous awards and fellowships, including MIT Technology Review Top 35 Innovators under 35. She was a recipient of the Professional Engineers Ontario-Young Engineer Medal in 2011, Engineers Canada Young Engineer Achievement Award in 2012, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 and NSERC E.W.R Steacie Fellowship in 2014. The long term objective of Dr. Radisic’s research is to enable cardiovascular regeneration through tissue engineering and development of new biomaterials. Her research interests also include microfluidic cell separation and development of in vitro models for drug testing. Currently, she holds research funding from CIHR, NSERC, CFI, ORF, NIH, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She is an Associate Editor for ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, a member of the Editorial Board of Tissue Engineering, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews and Regenerative Biomaterials. She serves on review panels for Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Institutes of Health. She is actively involved with BMES (Cardiovascular Track Chair in 2013 and 2104) and TERMIS-AM (Council member, Chair of the Membership Committee). She was a co-organizer of a 2017 Keystone Symposium, “Engineered Cells and Tissues as Platforms for Discovery and Therapy”. Her research findings were presented in over 160 research papers, reviews and book chapters with h-index of 51 and over 9400 citations. She is a co-founder of a New York-based company TARA Biosystems, that uses human engineered heart tissues in drug development and safety testing for major pharmaceutical companies. She serves on the Board of Directors for Ontario Society of Professional Engineers and TARA Biosystems.
<strong>Organs-on-a-plate and injectable tissues</strong>
Recent advances in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) biology enable derivation of essentially any cell type in the human body, and development of three-dimensional (3D) tissue models for drug discovery, safety testing, disease modelling and regenerative medicine applications. However, limitations related to cell maturation, vascularization, cellular fidelity and inter-organ communication still remain. Relying on an engineering approach, microfluidics and microfabrication techniques, our laboratory has developed new technologies, Biowire, AngioChip and inVADE that overcome current limitations. Finally, to enable minimally invasive delivery of engineered tissues into the body, a new shape-memory scaffold was developed that enables delivery of fully functional tissues on the heart, liver and aorta through a keyhole surgery (Montgomery et al Nature Materials 2017).