EPFL BioE Talks SERIES "Advancing In Vitro Pulmonary Platforms for Inhalation Assays"


Event details

Date 21.03.2022
Hour 16:0017:00
Speaker Prof. Josué Sznitman, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa (IL)
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English

Over the past years, advanced in vitro pulmonary platforms have witnessed exciting developments that are pushing beyond traditional preclinical cell culture methods. Here, we discuss ongoing efforts in bridging the gap between in vivo and in vitro interfaces and identify some of the bioengineering challenges that lie ahead in delivering new generations of human-relevant in vitro pulmonary platforms. Undeniably, there still remains a recognized trade-off between the physiological and biological complexity of in vitro lung models and exemplify various models developed in our group. With growing interest in aerosol transmission and infection of respiratory viruses within a host, most notably the SARS-CoV-2 virus amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of crosstalk between the different lung regions (i.e. extra-thoracic, conductive and respiratory), with distinct cellular makeups and physiology, are acknowledged to play an important role in the progression of the disease from the initial onset of infection. We showcase to the best of our knowledge the first multi-compartment human airway-on-chip platform to serve as a preclinical in vitro benchmark underlining regional lung crosstalk for viral infection pathways.

Josué Sznitman is a Swiss, French and Israeli national. Sznitman graduated from MIT with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering (2002), followed by a Dr. Sc. (2008) from the ETH Zurich. In 2008, Sznitman joined the University of Pennsylvania as a Postdoctoral Fellow and moved to Princeton University as a Lecturer and Research Associate, appointed by the Princeton Council of Science & Technology. He joined the Technion in October 2010 as a tenure-track Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2016. Sznitman’s research underscores respiratory transport phenomena and pulmonary physiology, with a focus on preclinical models and drug delivery to the lungs including inhalation therapy. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Biomechanics, Clinical Biomechanics and Frontiers in Bioengineering & Biotechnology and also serves as a member of the Editorial Board of Biomicrofluidics and the European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Among his accolades, Sznitman was awarded the Young Investigator Award (2015) by the International Society of Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM) for a researcher under 40 and most recently the 2018 Emerging Scientist Award in Drug Delivery to the Lungs (The Aerosol Society, UK). His recent dissemination activities have included Webinars and the opportunity to deliver a TEDx Talk (2019) titled “From race cars to the lungs”. 

Zoom link (with one-time registration for the whole series) for attending remotely: https://go.epfl.ch/EPFLBioETalks

Instructions for 1st-year Ph.D. students who are under EDBB’s mandatory seminar attendance rule:
IF you are not attending in-person in the room, please make sure to
  1. send D. Reinhard a note before noon on seminar day, informing that you plan to attend the talk online, and
  2. be signed in on Zoom with a recognizable user name (not a pseudonym making it difficult or impossible to be identified).
Students attending the seminar in-person should collect a confirmation signature after the talk - please print your own signature sheet beforehand (71 kB pdf available for download here).

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Registration required