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Bernard Langer Annual Lecture in Health Sciences

The keynote lecture  was established to honour the achievements of Dr. Bernard Langer in establishing the Surgeon-Scientist training program at the University of Toronto during his tenure as Chair of the Department of Surgery from 1982 -1992.

Each year, a guest speaker is selected to give a talk at Scientific Day who is internationally recognized for his/her scientific contributions and is also known to be an excellent role model and mentor for graduate students.


We were honoured to have Dr. Dongeun Dan Huh, PhD present the 2019 keynote address, “Microengineered physiological bio-mimicry: Human organs-on-chips.”

Dr. Huh is the Wilf Family Term Chair and Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania and Principal Investigator of BIOLines, the Biologically Inspired Engineering Systems Laboratory.

Huh’s laboratory aims to develop innovative bioengineering tools and technologies using biologically inspired design principles and micro/nanoengineering approaches to improve human health and promote environmental sustainability. Huh’s research focuses primarily on developing i) microengineered biomimetic models of human organs (organs-on-chips), ii) self-assembled tissue/organ scaffolds, iii) cell-based self-regulating “smart” biomedical devices, and iv) efficient biomimetic transport systems. Huh explores the use of these bioinspired engineering systems for a variety of biomedical, pharmaceutical, and environmental applications.

Previous lecturers include:

  • 2018: Stefan-M. Pulst: Targeting Ataxin-2 as a strategy for treating neurodegenerative diseases
  • 2017: Marina Picciotto: Vaping and the baby brain – what can studies of nicotine tell us about brain development?
  • 2016: Victor Dzau – Healing and Regenerating Hearts: 21st Century Prometheus?
  • 2015: Christopher P. Austin – Catalyzing Translational Innovation
  • 2014: James P. Landers – Rapid and Affordable Microfluidic Systems for Genetic Analysis: Are We on Track for the Personalized Medicine Era?
  • 2013: Jeffrey S. Mogil – Mice are People Too: Translation in Pain Research from Genetics to Social Modulation
  • 2012: Thomas R. Insel – Lost in Translation: Opportunities and Challenges for Translating Scientific Discoveries into Better Health
  • 2011: Andrew Feinberg – The Epigenetic Basis of Common Human Disease
  • 2010: Kevin J. Tracey – Reflex Control of Immunity
  • 2009: Polly Matzinger – Immunity is a conversation, not a war