According to projections, people aged over 80 will represent roughly 20% of the world population in 2050. The aging of our population is partly the result of the success of our public health policy and the advances that have been taking place in medical technology in the last few decades. Regenerative medicine has played a pivotal role: there is a great proliferation of studies on aging and how to slow it down, new advances have been made in the treatment of chronic illnesses and there is now possible to reestablishing or creating a certain tissue or organ.
A first panel share their views of regenerative medicine and its pivotal role in increasing longevity. Joaquim Sampaio Cabral takes an in-depth look at the theories of aging from the molecular and cellular point of view: the role of stem cells and anti-aging genes in longevity and their impact on the treatment of illnesses and on the duration of our lifetime, and the creation of organs for transplant purposes (through tissues regeneration, bio-artificial organs or ones produced through the 3D-Bioprinting technique).
Alexandra P. Marques (University of Minho), António Jacinto (Faculty of Medical Science, NOVA Medical School), Lino Ferreira (Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra) and Mário Barbosa (director of I3S – Institute of Investigation and Innovation in Health, University of Oporto).
16:30 REGENERATIVE MEDICIN ON LONGEVETY
Joaquim Sampaio Cabral is a professor and director and founder of the Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at Instituto Superior Técnico.
Fidelidade – Companhia de Seguros
Instituto Superior Técnico University of Lisbon (IST), Nova SBE Health Economics and Management KC
Arlindo Oliveira (IST), Joaquim Sampaio Cabral (IST), Pedro Pita Barros (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Liliana Coutinho, Joaquim Sampaio Cabral, Pedro Pita Barros
SIC Notícias, Público, Antena 1, Jornal de Negócios
Presentations and bios Longevity: Regeneration
Alexandra Marques, António Jacinto, Lino Ferreira, Mário Barbosa
23 JUN, 14:30
Alexandra P. Marques
The main goal of Regenerative Medicine is to re-establish or improve the function of a certain tissue or organ. Despite the clinical success that has been achieved with different therapies, there are still some that have not yet reached the desired level of effectiveness and which, combined with the shortage of tissues and organs for transplant, have stimulated new developments in this area. These aspects will be discussed in the context of the treatment of skin wounds, namely chronic wounds such as those associated with diabetes, or burns. Although they are important in the healing of certain types of wounds, in most cases current therapies fail to completely re-establish the skin’s functions, since the new tissue that is formed is different in terms of organisation and composition (morphology), as well as function (physiology), not having, for example, any of the appendages such as hair, nerve ends or sweat glands, all of which perform essential functions in the human skin.
Alexandra P. Marques has a PhD in Materials Science and Technology – Biomaterials from the University of Minho, in collaboration with the University of Liverpool, having graduated in Biochemistry at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto. She is one of the founders and vice-president of the recently-created 3B’s Research Group, at the University of Minho. She is also a member of the governing board of the associated laboratory ICVS/3B’s and of the PhD programme inAdvanced Therapies for Health at the University of Minho. She is the associate editor of the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine and a member of the board of the European Wound Management Association. Her specialist area of research is tissue engineering, with a particular focus on stem cells, hydrogels, extracellular matrix, vascularisation/angiogenesis and in vitro 3D models. In 2016, she was awarded a career consolidation grant by the prestigious European Research Council for a project designed to produce 3D models that can precisely recreate the structure of the skin and its complex organisation, as well as the functionality of this tissue.
Living longer and better: the role of regenerative medicine
Some vertebrates, such as fish and amphibians, have a much greater regeneration capacity than humans. What can we learn from these animals in order to live longer and better lives? Tissues and organs with high regenerative capacity tend to have two extraordinary characteristics. On the one hand, they have the capacity to maintain, recruit or originate stem cells that, when necessary, multiply and reconstruct the damaged tissue, and, on the other hand, they have mechanisms for eliminating senescent cells, which accumulate with age and may cause persistent damage to the surrounding tissue. António Jacinto, a researcher at the Chronic Diseases Research Centre, of NOVA Medical School, at Lisbon NOVA University, explains how an understanding of the natural mechanisms of regeneration can lead to new therapeutic interventions that can boost people’s regenerative capacity and reverse some of the negative aspects of diseases and aging.
António Jacinto is a researcher at CEDOC — Chronic Diseases Research Centre and the sub-director of research at NOVA Medical School, Lisbon NOVA University, where he also lectures in the area of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. His research group is studying the regeneration of organs and tissues, a scientific topic on which he has published articles with a major impact and has successfully obtained competitive international funding. He is a graduate in Biochemistry (1993) from the University of Lisbon and took his PhD at the University of London in the area of Genetics and Development Biology (1999), under the scope of the Gulbenkian PhD Programme in Medicine and Biology. In 2002, after undertaking post-doctoral studies at University College London (United Kingdom), he became the leader of a research group at the Gulbenkian Institute of Science, in Oeiras. In 2004, he moved to the Institute of Molecular Medicine, in Lisbon, where he worked on various avenues of research until 2011. He is an active participant in the scientific community as a member of various scientific boards, as well as an assessor of research projects and scientific articles.
The aging of the population is partly the result of the successful public health and medical technology policy developed over the last few decades. According to projections, people over the age of 80 will represent roughly 20% of the world population by 2050. In this lecture, Lino Ferreira will attempt to answer the following questions: How can we study the aging process? How can we slow down the aging process? What role is played by regenerative medicine during aging?
Lino Ferreira has a first degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Coimbra. He undertook post-doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is currently a coordinating researcher at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra, having held an ERA Chair in aging at the same university. His research interests are in the areas of aging and regenerative medicine. His team will be the first research group to be formed at the institute on aging that is due to be created in Coimbra by 2022.
In search of lost time
We are living longer, but we complain that we don’t have enough time. We have more machines that free us from heavy and painful tasks, but we incorporate new habits and dependencies into our daily lives. We know the limitations of technologies, but we do not accept them when they fail us. We are aware of the shortage of natural resources, but we do not place any serious limits on their exploitation. We talk about longevity and the idea comes to us that our body is immortal. It is not enough for us to age better; we look for rejuvenation therapies. Science and science fiction are mixed together as part of the expectations that we create over long time scales. We need time to be what we have not yet been or to recover what we have ceased to be. Regenerative medicine is a simple thing: a cure for time.
Mário Adolfo Barbosa is a Full Professor at ICBAS – Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Porto. From 2015 to 2019, he was the director of i3S — the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health Sciences of the University of Porto. He is the director of the PhD programme in Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology Applied to Health Sciences (BiotechHealth), which involves ICBAS, FFUP (the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto), i3S and Requimte (Network of Chemistry and Technology). He is also a member of the scientific committee of the Integrated Master’s Degree in Bioengineering of the University of Porto, which involves ICBAS and FEUP (the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto), having been one of the driving forces behind its creation and its first director. He was the director of INEB (National Institute of Biomedical Engineering) and one of the researchers involved in its creation, in 1989. He is the secretary of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering, His main research area is that of biomaterials and tissue regeneration, and he is the coordinator of the research group Microenvironments for New Therapies, at i3S.
Presentation and bio Longevity: The role of regenerative medicine in longevity
Joaquim Sampaio Cabral
23 JUN, 16:00
At this conference, Joaquim Sampaio Cabral will talk about the theme of Regenerative Medicine and its role in human longevity. The theories of aging and regeneration are discussed from the point of view of molecular and cellular biotechnology, comparing regeneration between species, from primitive protozoa (Tetrahymena) and multicellular species (Hydra and Planaria) with regenerative potential and replicative immortality without aging to vertebrates in whom the repression of immortality is observed from the beginning of the embryo’s development. These beings experience a decline in the function of tissues and organs with age, linked to the loss both of the number and activity of stem cells. We will also look at the role played by stem cells and anti-aging genes in longevity, their impact on the treatment of diseases and the duration of our lifetime, ending with a mention of the creation of organs for transplant, through the regeneration of tissue functionality, bio-artificial organs and the creation of organs through the use of the 3D-Bioprinting technique.
Joaquim Sampaio Cabral has a first degree in Chemical Engineering, with a PhD and a subsequent post-doctoral “aggregation” qualification in Biochemical Engineering from the Instituto Superior Técnico. He was also a post-doctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1983-84). He has been a full professor since 1992, and a distinguished professor at the IST (2015). Joaquim Cabral is the author of more than 580 international scientific publications in the areas of Stem-cell Biotechnology and Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. His research interests focus specifically on the culture and differentiation of human stem cells in adult cells and tissues, for use in regenerative medicine. He is the director and founder of the Institute of Bioengineering and Biosciences and was the founding president (2011-2018) of the Department of Bioengineering at IST. He is a founder member (2013) of the European Society of Biochemical Engineering Science, an honorary member of the European Federation of Biotechnology, Section on Applied Biocatalysis (2005), and a corresponding member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences. He belongs to the editorial bodies of various international scientific journals, being a member of international assessment panels and a member, since 2014, of the Amgen Bioprocessing Center Advisory Board at the Keck Graduate Institute, School of Applied Life Sciences (California, USA).