Plenary Speakers


Joseph Wu

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD is Director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and Simon H. Stertzer, MD, Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Radiology at the Stanford School of Medicine. His lab works on biological mechanisms of patient-specific and disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The main goals are to (i) understand basic cardiovascular disease mechanisms, (ii) accelerate drug discovery and screening, (iii) develop “clinical trial in a dish” concept, and (iv) implement precision cardiovascular medicine for prevention and treatment of patients.


Milica Radisic

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Dr. Milica Radisic is a Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada Research Chair 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 is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada-Academy of Science, Canadian Academy of Engineering, AIMBE and TERMIS. The long term objective of her research is to enable cardiovascular regeneration through tissue engineering and development of new biomaterials. Her research findings were presented in over 160 research papers, reviews and book chapters with h-index of 55 and over 10,600 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.


Vera Tiesler

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Vera Tiesler, PhD, is Research Professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, in Mérida, Mexico, where she heads the Laboratory of Bioarchaeology. She received her BA in Art History from Tulane University, an MA in Archaeology (ENAH) and a PhD in Anthropology (UNAM), with five accredited years of Medical School (MHH, Hannover, Germany, and IPN, Mexico). Tiesler’s academic interest lies in illuminating the human condition of the ancient Maya and of past society in general. Her work focuses on human skeletons and includes active fieldwork at Palenque, Calakmul, Yaxuná, and Chichén Itzá. By exploring skeletal information jointly with pre-Columbian art, artifacts, and ethnohistoric sources, Tiesler’s research addresses ancient lifestyles and death practices, physical appearance and permanent body enhancement, violence, sacrifice, and body processing. These approximations are intimately tied to the multilayered dimensions of the human body and operationalized by scaled examinations of individuals, their genders and social ages, local communities and polities. Recent book publications include “New Perspectives in Human Sacrifice and Ritual Body Treatments among the Ancient Maya” (Tiesler & Cucina, eds. 2007); “The Bioarchaeology of Artificial Cranial Modifications” (2014); “Before Kukulkán. Maya Life, Death, and Identity at Classic Period Yaxuna, Yucatan, Mexico” (Tiesler, Cucina, Stanton, Freidel 2017); “Social Skins of the Head. Body Beliefs and Ritual in Ancient Mesoamerica and the Andes” (Tiesler & Lozada, eds. 2018), and “Smoke, Flames, and the Human Body in Mesoamerican Ritual Practice” (Tiesler & Scherer eds., 2018).