The Bioengineering Lecture
The Bioengineering Lecture (formerly 'Bagrit Lecture Series') is the foremost presitigious annual lecture hosted by the Department of Bioengineering.
The first five lectures were named after Sir Leon Bagrit in recognition of the great contribution made in his name to the Department and hence the discipline of Bioengineering through the Sir Leon Bagrit Trust.
Bagrit Lecture Series
2017 Annual Bioengineering Lecture 22nd June 2017
The Power of Miniaturization in Medicine
Professor Sangeeta Bhatia
Sangeeta Bhatia is a cancer researcher, MIT professor, and biotech entrepreneur who works to adapt technologies developed in the computer industry for medical innovation. Trained as both a physician and engineer at Harvard, MIT, and Brown University, Bhatia’s laboratory leverages ‘tiny technologies’ of miniaturization to yield inventions with new applications in tissue regeneration, stem cell differentiation, medical diagnostics, predictive toxicology, and drug delivery. She and her trainees have launched more than 10 biotechnology companies to improve human health. Bhatia has received many honours including the Lemelson-MIT Prize, known as the ‘Oscar for inventors,’ and the Heinz Medal for groundbreaking inventions and advocacy for women in STEM fields. She is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the National Academy of Inventors, and Brown University's Board of Trustees.
2016 Annual Bioengineering Lecture 15th June 2016
Synthetic Biology: Life Redesigned
Professor James Collins
In the Chair: Professor Anthony Bull
Vote of Thanks: Professor C Ross Ethier
James J. Collins is Termeer Professor of Bioengineering in the Department of Biological Engineering and Institute for Medical Engineering & Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also affiliated with the Broad Institute and the Wyss Institute. His research group works in synthetic biology and systems biology, with a particular focus on using network biology approaches to study antibiotic action, bacterial defense mechanisms, and the emergence of resistance. Professor Collins' patented technologies have been licensed by over 25 biotech, pharma and medical devices companies, and he has helped to launched a number of companies, including Sample6 Technologies, Synlogic and EnBiotix. He has received numerous awards and honors, including a Rhodes Scholarship, a MacArthur "Genius" Award, an NIH Director's Pioneer Award, a Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award, as well as several teaching awards. Professor Collins is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
The Collins research group works in synthetic biology and systems biology, with a particular focus on using network biology approaches to study antibiotic action, bacterial defense mechanisms, and the emergence of resistance.
Previous Bagrit Lectures
2015 Annual Bagrit Lecture 18 May 2015
Why Don't We Get More Cancer? The critical role of extracellular matrix and the microenvironment in modelling metastasis and dormancy
Professor Mina Bissell
In the Chair: Professor Alice Gast, President
Vote of Thanks: Professor David Delpy CBE FRS FMedSci FREng
Professor Mina Bissell is a visionary and pioneer in the area of the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) and microenvironment in regulation of tissue-specific gene expression with special emphasis in breast cancer where she has changed a number of established paradigms. She earned an A.B. with honors in chemistry from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Bacterial Genetics from Harvard University. She joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1972, became Director of Cell & Molecular Biology in 1988, and was appointed Director of all of Life Sciences in 1992. Upon stepping down, she was named Distinguished Scientist, one of only 3 current scientists and the first and only woman with this rank. She is also a Faculty of 4 Graduate Groups in UC Berkeley. She has trained close to 100 fellows and graduate students many of whom have their own successful careers.
Bissell has authored more than 380 publications, is a member of nine international scientific boards, and currently is on the editorial board of a dozen scientific journals. She has given more than 120 ‘named and distinguished lectures and Keynotes’ lectures and has been both a Fogarty and Guggenheim Fellow. Her numerous awards include the: Lawrence Award and Medal, one of two the highest Awards of the US Department of Energy, the Mellon Award from the University of Pittsburgh, Eli Lilly/Clowes Award from AACR, first recipient of the “Innovator Award” of the US DOD for breast cancer research, Brinker Award and Medal from Komen Foundation, Discovery Health Channel Medical Honor and Medal, 2007 INSERM/France Foreign Scientist of the Year Award, FASEB Excellence in Science Award, AACR/Pezcollar International Award, American Cancer Society Medal of Honor for Basic Research, Alexander Bodini Foundation Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine, Breast Cancer Research Foundation's Jill Rose Award, AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research, The First Lifetime Achievement Award, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory In 2008, University of Porto, Portugal created the Mina J. Bissell Award to be given every 2 years to a person who has changed a field.
Bissell is the elected Fellow of the: AAAS, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, The Royal Society of Chemistry, National Academy of Sciences, and in 2013 was inducted into the inaugural class of Fellows in the AACR Academy. She has served as President of the American Society of Cell Biology and the International Society of Differentiation. She has received honorary doctorates from Pierre & Marie Curie University in Paris and the University of Copenhagen.
2014 Annual Bagrit Lecture 5 June 2014
Bioanalysis: Cheap, Simple, Medically Relevant, and Universally Available - Professor George M. Whitesides
In the Chair: Professor James Stirling CBE FRS, Provost
Vote of Thanks: Professor Lord Ara Darzi PC KBE FRS FMedSci HonFREng
George M. Whitesides received an A.B. degree from Harvard University in 1960 and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology (with J.D. Roberts) in 1964. He was a member of the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1963 to 1982. He joined the Department of Chemistry of Harvard University in 1982, and was Department Chairman 1986-89, and Mallinckrodt Professor of Chemistry from 1982-2004. He is now the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor.
Memberships and Fellowships: Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, American Philosophical Society; Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, New York Academy of Sciences, World Technology Network, and American Chemical Society; Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Science; Honorary Member of the Materials Research Society of India; Honorary Fellow of the Chemical Research Society of India, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Royal Society of Chemistry (UK); Foreign Associate of the French Academy of Sciences; Honorary Professor, Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), India.
Present research activities include: physical and organic chemistry, materials science, biophysics, water in biology, surface science, microfluidics, self-assembly, micro- and nanotechnology, science for developing economies, the origin of life, rational drug design, magnetic levitation, dissipative systems and emergence, complexity, and simplicity.
2013 Annual Bagrit Lecture 10 June 2013
Photoacoustic tomography: beating diffusion and diffraction - Professor Lihong Wang
In the Chair: Professor Anthony Bull
Vote of Thanks: Professor Peter Wells FRS FREng FMedSci
Lihong Wang earned his PhD at Rice University, Houston, USA, under the tutelage of Robert Curl, Richard Smalley and Frank Tittel. His laboratory invented functional photoacoustic tomography, 3D photoacoustic microscopy, and time-reversed ultrasonically encoded (TRUE) optical focusing.
Professor Wang has published 335 journal articles and delivered 357 invited talks. His Google Scholar h-index and citations have reached 75 and 22,500 respectively and he has received 33 grants as PI with a budget of $39 million. He co-founded two companies to commercialise photoacoustic tomography.
He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Biomedical Optics and a Fellow of the AIMBE, OSA, IEEE, and SPIE. He was awarded OSA’s C.E.K. Mees Medal and IEEE Technical Achievement Award for seminal contributions to photoacoustic tomography and Monte Carlo modelling of photon transport in biological tissues and for leadership in the international biophotonics community.
2012 Annual Bagrit Lecture 14 May 2012
Optogenetics and other tools for the analysis of neural circuits - Professor Ed Boyden
In the Chair: Sir Keith O’Nions FRS
Vote of Thanks: Lord William Rees-Mogg
Ed Boyden is the Benesse Career Develop ment P rofessor, and Associate Professor of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences, at the MIT Media Lab and the MIT McGovern Institute. He leads the Sy nthetic Neurobiology Group, which develops to ols for controlling an d observing the dynamic circuits of t he brain, and uses these neurotechnologies to understand how cognition and emotion arise from brain network operation, as well as to enable systemati c repair of intractable brain disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, post- traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain. The tools his group has invented include a suite of 'optogenetic' tools that are now in use by hundreds of groups around the world, for activating and silencing neurons with light. These tools enable the causal assessment of how specific neurons contribute to normal and pathological brain functions, revealing with great temporal precision the processes for which their activities are necessary or sufficient. He has launched an award-winning series of classes at MIT that teach principles of neuroengineering, starting with basic principles of how to control and observe neural functions, and culminating with strategies for launching companies in the nascent neurotechnology space.
He was named to the "Top 35 Innovators Under the Age of 35" by Technology Review in 2006, and to the "Top 20 Brains Under Age 40" by Discover Magazine in 2008. He has received the NIH Director's New Innovator Award, the Society for Neuroscience Research Award for Innovation in Neuroscience, the NSF CAREER Award, and the Paul Allen Distinguished Investigator Award. His work was in 2010 recognized as the "Method of the Year" by the journal Nature Methods, and in 2011, he delivered a lecture on optogenetics at TED. Ed received his Ph.D. in neurosciences from Stanford University as a Hertz Fellow, where he discovered that the molecular mechanisms used to store a memory are determined by the content to be learned. Before that, he received three degrees in electrical engineering and physics from MIT. He has contributed to over 250 peer-reviewed papers, current or pendingpatents, and articles, and has given over 140 invited talks on his work.
2011 Annual Bagrit Lecture 19 May 2011
From cellular mechanotransduction to biologically inspired engineering - Professor Don Ingber
In the Chair: Sir Keith O’Nions FRS
Vote of Thanks: Lord William Rees-Mogg
Don is the Founding Director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University; the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School; and Prof essor of Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Dr. Ingber is a leader in the emerging field of biologically inspired engineering, and at the Wyss Institute, he oversees a multifaceted effort to ident ify the mechanisms that living systems use to build, control and manufacture, and to apply these design principles to develop advanced materials and devices. He also leads the Biomimetic Microsystems platform in which microfabrication techniques from the computer industry are used to build tiny, complex, three-dimensional models of living human organs. These "organs on chips," which mimic complicated human functions, are being designed to replace traditional animal-based methods for testing of drugs and toxins. Ingber has made major contributions to mechanobiology, tissue engineering, tumor angiogenesis, systems biology, and nanobiotechnology. He was the first to recognize that tensegrity architecture (in which a system stabilizes itself mechanically by balancing local compression with continuous tension) is a fundamental principle that governs how living cells are structured at the nanometer scale.
Don has authored more than 325 publications and 70 patents and has received numerous honors including the Holst Medal, Pritzker Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society, Rous-Whipple Award from the American Soci ety for Investigative Pathology, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of In Vitro Biology, and the Department of Defense Breast Ca ncer Innovator Award. He is also a member o f the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and a ; fellow of the A me rican Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.