Medicine by Design supports scientific discussion groups that disseminate knowledge across laboratories, departments and institutions and create new connections across the community.

Discussion groups are open to investigators, trainees and staff at the University of Toronto and its affiliated hospitals. Registration is required. The following discussion groups are currently meeting:

Computational Discussion Group

The need for quantitative tools that can predict the outcome of biological processes and interactions within the context of a dynamic microenvironment has grown sharply. This discussion group will explore a wide spectrum of computational approaches that are used to understand developmental and regenerative processes, as well as tools that design devices and cell-based therapies via a “white-box” approach. The goal will be to increase awareness of activity in this area, and highlight how integrating different approaches (bioinformatics-oriented paradigms with predictive methods) will not only reinforce existing capability, but build on the existing expertise and infrastructure with far-reaching implications.

To join this group, please contact Gary Bader, Maria Abou Chakra, or Himanshu Kaul

Myogenesis Discussion Group

The study of myology (skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscle structure, function and development) has wide-ranging importance in the field of regenerative medicine. Skeletal muscle is the most abundant tissue in the human body and cardiac muscle is required to circulate blood throughout it. Furthermore, smooth muscle is present in the walls of hollow organs and the vasculature system, making these tissues critical for normal physiological function. The goal of this discussion group is to explore models of development, disease and regeneration in muscle tissues, as well as potential therapeutic approaches. Within this, we aim to discuss novel techniques to quantitatively measure all aspects of myology and the challenges associated with developing representative models for these complex tissues.

To join this group, please contact Louise Moyle.

Organoid Discussion Group

Organoids have become an essential tool for tissue morphogenesis and stem cell biology, and are emerging as a promising model for regenerative medicine. However numerous challenges remain for both tissue-derived and stem cell-derived organoid culture, including: tracing, tracking, and imaging 4D tissue cultures and when to use these vs. 3D and 2D cultures, as well as culturing organoids. The goal of this discussion group is to explore challenges, emerging questions and solutions relating to exploring, tracing and quantifying organoid cultures.

To join this discussion group, please contact Gary Bader or Maria Abou Chakra

Synthetic Biology Discussion Group

This group focuses on discussing engineering concepts, applications, challenges and promises of the field of synthetic biology as related to human health and regenerative medicine.

To join this group, please contact Laura Prochazka

Start a New Discussion Group

Is there a topic you think would be of broad interest to the Medicine by Design community? We offer funding for discussion groups. Learn more