Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker I

Prof. Raffaele Mezzenga, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

The Golden Age of Amyloid Fibrils

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Mezzenga is a Full Professor at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology since 2009.

Raffaele Mezzenga received his master degree (Summa Cum Laude) from University of Perugia, Italy, in Materials Science and Engineering, while actively working for the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, and NASA, Houston, in problems related to the interaction between elementary particles and polymer-based structures (NASA Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS91). In 2001 he obtained a PhD in Polymer Physics (with honors), from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), focusing on the thermodynamics of thermoset-hyperbranched polymer reactive blends. He then spent 2001-2002 as a postdoctoral scientist at University of California, Santa Barbara, working on the self-assembly of polymer colloids for the design of new semiconductive organic materials. In 2003 he joined as research scientist the Nestlé Research Center (NRC), in Lausanne, working on the self-assembly of surfactants, natural amphiphiles and lyotropic liquid crystals. In 2005 he joined as Associate Professor the Physics Department of the University of Fribourg where he has been a board and founding member of the Fribourg Center for Nanomaterials (Frimat).

He has joined ETH Zurich on the fall 2009 to start a new group on Foods and Soft Materials Science. His research focuses on the fundamental understanding of self-assembly processes in liquid crystalline polymers, supramolecular polymers, lyotropic liquid crystals and biological colloidal systems. Prof. Mezzenga has a visiting Professorship from Helsinki University of Technology, he has been a Nestlé Distinguished Scientist, is a board member of the Polymer and Colloid Division of the Swiss Chemical Society, and recipient of the 2004 Swiss Science National Foundation Professorship Award.

Keynote Speaker II

Prof. Sebastien Lecommandoux, University of Bordeaux, France

Biomimetic Polymer Vesicles:
Virus and Cell Mimics towards innovative biomaterials

Pr. Sébastien Lecommandoux received his PhD degree in Chemistry and Physics in 1996 at the University of Bordeaux, supervised by Prof. F. Hardouin (CRPP). Then, he went to the Materials Research Laboratory and the Beckman Institute (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA) and worked as a Post-Doc in the group of Prof. S. I. Stupp. Here, he learned the art of self-assembly and supramolecular chemistry. Subsequently, he joined the Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques (Bordeaux, France) as Associate Professor in 1998, and became Full Professor in 2005.

  His current research interests mainly focus on macromolecular engineering via block copolymer selfassembly, and the use of these supramolecular systems for drug delivery applications. He has received several scientific awards, including the bronze medal of the CNRS in 2004 and a position at the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF) in 2007.

  He supervised about 15 PhD students and published more than 100 publications in international journal, 5 book chapters and 4 patents. He did more than 100 communications, including about 80 orals and 60 on invitation. He is also in the international Editorial Board of several journals: “Biomacromolecules” (ACS), “Polymer Chemistry” (RSC), “The Open Macromolecules Journal” (Bentham Science Publishers). His Hirsch index is 28; his publications have been cited over 3,000 times.

  He is currently leading the group of “Polymer Nanotechnology for Life Sciences” at the LCPO-University of Bordeaux. He is involved in several ANR research programs in France, and is SP leader in a FP7 Europe Project (Nanother) dedicated to the development of polymer nanoparticles in cancer therapy. He is currently leading the RNP-ESF program on “Precision Polymer Materials” and is involved in two other COST programs on “bio-inspired materials” and “PET-MRI imaging”. His recent topics concern the development of smart biomimetic polymersomes based on polypeptide and polysaccharide, the formation of magnetic hybrid polymer vesicles for therapy and imaging (theranostics).

Plenary Speaker I

Prof. Olli Ikkala, Aalto University, Finland

Biomimetic Materials by Self-Assemblies Through The Length Scales

Prof. Olli Ikkala holds an Academy Professorship of Academy of Finland at the Department of Applied Physics of Aalto University (formerly Helsinki University of Technology) in Espoo near Helsinki. His research interest is to develop functional materials based on hierarchical self-assemblies, biomimetics, and starting materials originating from nature. Originally educated in physics, he was affiliated 10 years in chemical industry mostly related to development of polymer blends and electrically conducting polymers. 1994 he returned in academia and established the Molecular Materials Laboratory at Helsinki University of Technology. The laboratory is multidisciplinary, combining physics, chemistry, and materials science. Professor Olli Ikkala has more than 200 articles, several articles in Science and Nature family, as well as ca. 20 patents, and has been cited over 12,000 times. He is a recipient of Advanced Grant of ERC and heads the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials Research of Academy of Finland, and is elected in Finnish Academy of Science and Letters and Technology Academy Finland. He works in several advisory and evaluation duties and has collaborated over the years with polymer, paint, and forest product industry.

Invited Speaker I

dr. RJ (Renko) de Vries, Wageningen University, Nederland

Polymer brush coatings for DNA: fundamental polymer physics and nanofabrication applications

Renko de Vries graduated in Theoretical Physics at Utrecht University (1993). He obtained his PhD (with honor) from Delft University of Technology, on a thesis on the theory of fluid membranes, written under the supervision of prof. Theo Odijk. Next, for post-doctoral work, he joined the group of prof. Eric Kaler at the Chemical Engineering Dept of the University of Delaware (Newark, DE), where he investigated (both theoretically and experimentally) polymerization reactions in microemulsions, In 2000 he started as an Assistant Professor at Wageningen University, in the group now called Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter. Currently he is an Associate Professor in the same group. With his research team, he aims at understanding and manipulating the behaviour of soft protein materials.

Invited Speaker II

Assoc. Prof. Ali Miserez, NTU, Singapore

Engineering Squid “Suckerin” Proteins Into Functional Materials and Nanoparticles for Nanomedicine Applications

Prof. Ali Miserez is a Faculty member in the School of Materials Science and Engineering and the School of Biological Sciences at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. He graduated from the EcolePolytechniqueFédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) with a PhD (2003) in Materials Science and Engineering in the field of composite materials and mechanics of materials. In 2004, he received a Swiss National Science Foundation post-doctoral fellowship and moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), where he was affiliated with the Materials Department and the Marine Science Institute. At UCSB, he expanded his research interest towards biomimetic materials and biochemistry of extra-cellular tissues. He moved to NTU as an Assistant Professor in 2009, and in 2011 he was awarded the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) Fellowship, a highly-competitive $3 Million individual research grant for early career scientists.

Dr. Miserez’s research is centered on revealing the molecular, physico-chemical, and structural principles from unique biological materials, and on translating these designs into novel biomimetic synthesis strategies. His research group is strongly cross-disciplinary, with molecular biologists, chemists, bio-physicists, and materials scientists combining their expertise towards bioinspired engineering from various angles, including protein biochemistry, extra-cellular tissue transcriptomic, polymer chemistry, biomimetic peptide design, biophysics, and nanomechanics. . In recent years, his work has appeared in both general (Science, Nature Materials, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Chemical Biology, Advanced Materials) and specialized journals (Biomacromolecules, ACS Nano, JBC, Polymer Chemistry, etc, ).. He has delivered numerous invited talks, including at Gordon Research Conferences in the field of bioinspired materials, biointerfaces, and biomineralization.


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