The 7th International Mammalian Synthetic Biology Workshop brings pioneers of synthetic biology together with experts from other relevant fields to highlight and inspire cutting-edge synthetic biology research, emphasizing both basic and applied science. The event format will provide a forum for exposition of the latest developments in the field and discussions of how experts from related fields can benefit from and contribute to mammalian synthetic biology.
Dr. Megan Levings has been in the UBC Department of Surgery since 2003 when she was recruited back to Canada as a Canada Research Chair in Transplantation. In 2011 she joined the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute where she now heads the Childhood Diseases Research Theme. Dr. Levings’ scientific career started with summer research positions in a fruit fly genetics lab at Simon Fraser University. She then did her graduate training in the genetics program with Dr. John Schrader at UBC, during which time she studied cytokine receptors and signalling pathways. In 1999 she joined Dr. Maria Grazia Roncarolo's lab in Milan, Italy, undertaking postdoctoral training in the then emerging area of immune regulation. She was among the first groups to show that a special kind of white blood cell, known as a T regulatory cell, could be used as a cellular therapy to stop harmful immune responses. She continues this line of research at UBC, and now leads a vibrant group of trainees and staff who are researching how to use T regulatory cells to replace conventional immunosuppression in the context of transplantation and autoimmunity. She is internationally recognized in the field of human immunology and currently chairs the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies Centers' of Excellence and is a member of the NIH-funded Immune Tolerance Network steering committee.