SBME Special Guest Seminar: Dr. Boris Hinz

Myofibroblasts in Tissue Repair and Fibrosis


To rapidly restore mechanical integrity of tissues after injury, a variety of different cell types are activated to become myofibroblasts. Hallmarks of the myofibroblast are secretion of extracellular matrix (ECM), development of large adhesion structures with the ECM, and formation of contractile stress fiber bundles. When contracture and ECM remodeling become progressive and manifest as organ fibrosis, stiff scar tissue obstructs and ultimately destroys organ function. Pivotal for the formation and persistence of myofibroblasts are mechanical stimuli arising during tissue repair and chronic persistence of inflammatory cells. I will give an overview on our current projects that address how mechanical factors orchestrate the development of myofibroblasts by mediating direct and far/ranging communication between myofibroblasts and macrophages. By understanding and manipulating myofibroblast and macrophage mechanoperception we will be able to devise better therapies to reduce scarring and support normal wound healing.

Biomedical Research Centre | Room 351
2222 – Health Sciences Mall

When: 4pm


Speaker Profile:

Boris Hinz is University of Toronto Distinguished Professor in Tissue Repair and Regeneration with primary appointment in the Faculty of Dentistry and cross-appointments with the Faculty of Medicine and the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Hinz holds a PhD degree (1998) in Cell Biology and Theoretical Biology from the University of Bonn, Germany. From 1999 to 2002, he was postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Giulio Gabbiani, Department of Experimental Pathology, University of Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Hinz then moved to lead a research group at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, joining Cell Biology, Biophysics, and Bioengineering. He was nominated Maître d’enseignement et de recherche (Assistant Professor level) in 2006 and moved to Toronto in 2009 with Associate Professor appointment.

Dr. Hinz is secretary and inaugural board member of the Canadian Connective Tissue Society, board member of the International Dupuytren Society and the Canadian Dupuytren Society. He has been president and board member of the European Tissue Repair Society and was board member of the Wound Healing Society He is Senior Editor of the journal “Wound Repair and Regeneration”, Section Editor of the “Journal of Investigative Dermatology”, Associate Editor of “Biochemistry and Cell Biology”, editorial board member of “Matrix Biology”, and Associate Member of the Faculty of 1000.

Dr. Hinz aims to understand the role of contractile myofibroblasts in physiological tissue repair and in causing pathological tissue fibrosis. The findings of his lab are published in peer-reviewed journals, including Cell, Nat. Mater., Nat. Med., Nat Commun., Science Sig., Curr. Biol., J. Cell Biol., Stem Cells, Cell Reports, Stem Cell Reports, J. Clin. Invest., Nature Immunol., PNAS, Cardiovascular Res., J. Cell Sci., Biomaterials, Biophys. J., Am. J. Pathol., and the J. Invest. Dermatol., receiving >15,000 citations with h-index of 51 (Scopus). He published 120 peer reviewed articles, 13 book chapters, and was invited to >260 seminar and conference talks with >300 congress abstracts.

His research led to the creation of two startup companies specialized on anti-fibrotic coatings for silicone implants and novel “soft” cell culture devices. Dr. Hinz’ research is currently funded by a multi-project Foundation Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), CIHR operating funds, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Ontario Research Foundation (ORF), and MITACS (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems).