One of the world’s leading biological physicists, John P. Wikswo, PhD, University Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, and Physics at Vanderbilt University, has joined the Tennessee Institute of Regenerative Medicine (TennIRM) and UTHSC as an adjunct faculty member. Dr. Wikswo is also an A.B. Learned Professor of Living State Physics and the founding director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education (VIIBRE).
Speaking invitations from Vice Chancellor for Research Steve Goodman, PhD, have previously brought Dr. Wikswo to UTHSC and Memphis, where he met UTHSC faculty and TennIRM members with converging interest in regenerative medicine. In 2016, Dr. Wikswo was the inaugural speaker of the VCR’s Distinguished Lecture Series. In 2022, he visited Memphis again as a speaker and member of the organizing and planning committee of the 8th Annual IEBMC, hosted by TennIRM and UTHSC. At the conference, Dr. Wikswo’s presentation described microphysiological systems (organs on a chip) that provide powerful in vitro models of human organ development and physiology and allows the testing of therapeutics. His organs on a chip efforts motivated his group to create thousands of miniature fluidic systems that will operate under the control of artificial intelligence and machine learning software. These self-driving biological laboratories, or “robot scientists,” can accelerate progress in medicine and biotechnology.
As part of his introduction to the UTHSC faculty and TennIRM, this fall Dr. Wikswo presented his organs on a chip technology to the TennIRM semi-annual industry advisory board meeting. In the spring of 2023, faculty, staff, and students can look forward to his Hot Topics in Research lecture on this promising new technology at the UTHSC Memphis campus.