Seyoum Ayehunie, Ph.D
Tittle: Generation of Complex Three-Dimensional Organ Tissue Models for Drug Discovery and disease modeling
Abstract: Currently available in vitro 2D-cell based drug screening models are neither organ nor species-specific relying predominantly on the use of monolayer cell lines. These models lack the structural complexity of tissues or organs. 2D monolayers cell culture systems do not recapitulate the physiology microenvironment of the native human organs and do not adequately predict safety and efficacy of drugs/chemicals. Animal models also have fundamental problems since they are genetically different and do not adequately recapitulate human physiology. In this talk, the utility and limitations of a novel in vitro complex 3D tissue-models, generated using standard techniques or bioprinting, in drug absorption, metabolism, prediction of toxicity, and disease modeling will be highlighted. Study results of therapeutic compounds for which dog and rat studies were not predictive of human outcome will also be discussed.
Biography: Prior to joining MatTek, Dr. Ayehunie, who received his PhD from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, did his post-doctoral fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (1993-1997). At Harvard Dr. Ayehunie was involved in HIV vaccine research and received the Fogarty International and NIH fellowship awards and also appointed as an instructor of Medicine. Dr. Seyoum Ayehunie is currently, Chief Scientific Officer at MatTek Corporation, a BICO company, Ashland, MA, and is the lead scientist for all R&D research. He has developed multiple in vitro primary human cell-based organotypic tissue models for predicting safety and efficacy of drug candidates, chemicals, and formulations. In addition, he has received more than 20 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR Phase I and Phase II) grant awards from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DoD). Dr. Ayehunie has served as permanent member of NIH Study Sections. He has more than 50 publications in refereed journals to his credit and has made a number of presentations in international conferences and collaborated with academic institutions including WPI.