International Conference on Cultured Meat

03-09-2017 to 05-09-2017



Watch the presentation(s) below. You can select another item in the column on the right.
Keynote speaker: 
Lieven Thorrez


Lieven Thorrez

Has been building a truly multidisciplinary background. He holds an engineering degree in cell- and gene biotechnology (2000). During his PhD in medical sciences (2000-2005), he developed viral vectors to provide a safe and efficient in vivo gene therapy for hemophilia. This work resulted in several breakthrough papers regarding the biodistribution, safety and preclinical utility of lentiviral, adenoviral and adeno-associated vectors. With a Henri Benedictus Fellowship for biomedical engineering from the Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF), he joined the labs of Prof. H. Vandenburgh (Brown University, US) and Prof. D. Mooney (Harvard University, US) to explore ex-vivo gene therapy approaches. This work focused on the development of skeletal muscle organoids by tissue engineering (2005-2007) and resulted in the first description of an ex vivo gene therapy approach for hemophilia using skeletal muscle cells. He next joined the KU Leuven center of excellence in computational systems biology for a second postdoc (2007-2010, profs. Y. Moreau, F. Schuit) to dig deeper in high-throughput data analysis and data integration through network analysis and visualisation. Of particular importance, he discovered “disallowed genes”, which are expressed in all tissues, except in one, providing novel insights in tissue maturation, function and disease. In 2011, with an industrial research fund grant and a fellowship from the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) he joined the Lab of Translational Cardiomyology (Prof. M. Sampaolesi) at the Stem Cell Institute Leuven, to work with induced pluripotent stem cells. Focus of the project was on differentiation to cardiomyocytes, with elucidation of a specific role for activin A. In 2012, he accepted a tenure track position at the KU Leuven campus Kulak where his lab is working on behaviour of 3D co-cultures in muscle tissue engineering and where he is working on integration of techniques from aforementioned fields. He is teaching tissue engineering, histology, techniques in biomedical research and biomedical literature courses to medical and biomedical students and is program director of the bachelor biomedical sciences of the campus.