#SBMESymposium3: Connecting the BME Community

After a year-long hiatus, SBME’s 3rd Annual Symposium hosted the biomedical engineering (BME) community for two days of virtual research and networking on June 8 and 9, 2021.

The symposium brought together trainees, world-class researchers, biomedical industry leaders and policy makers from across the globe to share innovations in the field, discuss the future, and showcase exciting ideas. Biomedical Engineers carry out crucial work every single day, and through industry panels, research presentations, poster sessions, and keynote talks, the symposium creates a collaborative platform for them to move that work forward.

This opportunity for connection was especially important against the backdrop of a global pandemic. Over the past 16 months, the necessary cancellation of in-person events that have long been a primary convergence of knowledge-sharing has limited our ability to gather. Despite this, video conferencing provided SBME the unique opportunity to include attendees from all over the world who might not have been able to travel to Vancouver for an on-site event. This year’s Symposium welcomed nearly 300 registrants and saw an average daily attendance of 180 across all events.

#2021Symposium3 featured keynote talks from Dr. Ali Khademhosseini and Dr. Jennifer Elisseeff. Dr. Khademhosseini, CEO and Founding Director of the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation, kicked off Day 1 with his talk, “Engineering in Precision Medicine.” Dr. Elisseeff, Professor and Director of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center at Johns Hopkins University, opened Day 2’s events with her talk, “Regenerative immunology: new therapeutic targets for tissue repair.” We also heard opening remarks from SBME Director, Dr. Peter Zandstra, and Associate SBME Director and Graduate Program Director, Dr. Karen Cheung, on Days 1 and 2 respectively.

In our research talks, we were thrilled to hear about the work of Dr. Deblina Sarkar (MIT), Dr. Takanori Takebe (University of Cincinnati), Dr. Mo R. Ebrahimkhani (University of Pittsburgh), Dr. Jillian Urban (Wake Forest University), and Dr. Al Nelson (University of Washington). SBME trainees submitted and presented 66 posters in a specially-created Gather.Town room for the daily social and poster sessions with eight trainees pitching their research in two-minute, rapid-fire talks. These trainees submitted abstracts and were then blind-selected by a review panel based on the abstracts’ clarity and scientific impact.

Event attendees voted on the best rapid-fire talk and best poster for each Symposium day, and the top-voted trainee in each category received a prize provided by 10x Genomics, our symposium awards sponsor. Congratulations to our rapid-fire talk winners, Katie Macdonald and Emily Bliven, and our poster winners, Nico Werschler and Mohammad Reza Yousefi Darestani!

Special Thanks

Thank you to all our distinguished speakers, and to faculty members and trainees who opened our Symposium and moderated panel discussions and presentation sessions. And special thanks to our awards sponsor, 10x Genomics. Shout out to everyone who attended our Symposium and interacted with us on social media using #SBMESymposium3.

We are excited to have you join us for future events, be they virtual or in-person, and save the date for the 4th Annual SBME Symposium on June 7, 2022.

Check out the conversation using #SBMESymposium3 on Twitter and LinkedIn, and click here to discover more.