On October 23, Drinker Biddle's Consortia Management Team, the Washington, D.C., office, and the Capital Area chapter of Women In Bio (WIB) hosted WIB’s October Hot Topics event, “Tissue Chips: Trends and Insights.” WIB is an organization dedicated to promoting careers, leadership and entrepreneurship for women in the life sciences, and the educational event highlighted local women making an impact in this cutting-edge field.

Tissue chips, this year’s “hot topic,” are microfabricated, high-throughput devices that integrate tissue engineering with microfluidics to create dynamic 3-D models that mimic physiologically relevant functions of human organs. Designed with human cells, these platforms, also known as organs-on-a-chip, have the potential to transform drug development by enabling the rapid and precise assessment of drug efficacy and toxicity, reducing the need for extensive animal testing, and enabling personalized medicine.

The October Hot Topics event featured two esteemed panelists and subject matter experts, Kristin Bircsak, Ph.D., a senior scientist at MIMETAS, a company developing tissue chips, and Šeila Selimović, Ph.D., a program director at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, a government agency with a diverse program portfolio aimed at spurring innovation and driving adoption of these tools. Drs. Bircsak and Selimović offered complementary insights on the history, current state and future of tissue chips from the unique perspectives of their individual roles. Ann Marie Stanley, Ph.D., and Jillian Brady, M.S., two senior professionals and scientists on the Consortia Management Team, hosted and facilitated the panel discussion.

An engaged group of female professionals from the life sciences and related industries gathered in the D.C. office for a lively and thought-provoking discussion of the science and engineering behind these systems and their potential applications. Attendees also enjoyed the opportunity to network with the other participants and learn about the many ways Capitol-area women are advancing the frontiers of life sciences and biotechnology.

This event marked Drinker Biddle’s first with WIB, both as a new member and as a leading chapter sponsor. This month, representatives from Drinker Biddle’s Consortia Management Team also attended WIB’s HERSTORY Gala, an event that brings together men and women from industry, government, nonprofits, and academia across the Capital region to celebrate female trailblazers in the life sciences who have made a significant impact in the region during the year. You can read more about the HERSTORY Gala here.

Drinker Biddle’s engagement with Women In Bio is an example of both the firm’s strong commitment to the life sciences and its continued support of the professional development of women in this space.

See photos from the event.

If you would like to learn more about tissue chips and their role in drug development, here are some articles to get you started: