Saves the new dates: Workshop on Multi-Cellular Engineered Living Systems…

I’m writing to follow up on Professor Roger Kamm’s email from May regarding the Workshop on Multi-Cellular Engineered Living Systems. Given the uncertainty about the pandemic, along with the likelihood that travel and workshops of 200+ people won’t be advisable by June, we’ve decided to make the workshop virtual, while keeping the same dates (June 1-3, 2021). 


Since a virtual conference allows us to increase our capacity, please feel free to share this announcement widely, with anyone you think may be interested. If you have been forwarded this email, please register here.


We will be in touch with a slightly updated agenda shortly, but you can expect that almost all of the sessions and speakers will remain the same, as listed here.


If you have any questions or would prefer to be left off of future communications, please let me know.




We are pleased to announce that we have determined new dates for the Workshop on Multi-Cellular Engineered Living Systems. The workshop will now be held June 1-3, 2021 (note that this is in 2021, not 2020). The workshop will still be held at the Bethesda Marriott in Bethesda, MD. Please save the dates.


We are still in the process of confirming our speakers and agenda, and we will follow up with further information when it’s available. Please check our website for the latest information. We anticipate opening registration in January 2021 and will solicit student/postdoc poster abstracts around that time as well.


We hope you will be able to join us in 2021!




Roger Kamm and Caroline Lowenthal, on behalf of the Workshop on M-CELS Organizing Committee


Thank you for your interest and eagerness to participate in the Workshop on Multi-Cellular Engineered Living Systems (M-CELS).  Unfortunately, due to rapidly changing circumstances with COVID-19, we feel that it’s in the best interests of our growing M-CELS community to postpone this meeting. We have not yet determined a new date, but we will be in touch as soon as we do. If you have already reserved a hotel room at the Bethesda Marriott, please cancel your reservation - the hotel will be expecting this.


Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Workshop on Multi-Cellular Engineered Living Systems, May 26-28, 2020

Multi-Cellular Engineered Living Systems (M-CELS), to be held at the Bethesda Marriott in Bethesda, MD from May 26-28, 2020. This 2.5-day workshop, described below, is funded by generous support from the NSF.

Multi-cellular engineered living systems (M-CELS) are purpose-driven living systems with multiple interacting living components. They are engineered for specific goals or functions but take emergence into account during the design process, allowing the final system to emerge through natural and non-natural biological processes. M-CELS research is intended to provide a fundamental engineering understanding that enables a quantitative approach bridging between single cells and organs or organisms. The field is still developing, so M-CELS as a field of research is still rapidly expanding.


As these technical capabilities and scientific understanding grow, it is critical to address the full scope of M-CELS research and applications, their manufacture, their eventual impact on the international economy and US competitiveness, their standardization and regulation, and the ethical issues that will inevitably arise. This includes issues such as standards and elements of a pragmatic system for M-CELS, such as regulations and policy, economics and international competitiveness, and clinical and translational research.


This workshop will bring together many of the leaders in the field to explore the technical, ethical, and societal challenges of building M-CELS. In the past few years, significant research advances have been made, paving the way for more practical conversations around issues such as regulation, public engagement, and manufacturing. A primary goal of this event will be to build capacity for societally-responsible M-CELS research and translation by convening targeted conversations around existing and entirely new applications, design principles, manufacture, ethics, policy, communication, diversity, manufacturing, and regulation. We anticipate that participation in the workshop will lead to cross-disciplinary collaborations among attendees and a shared understanding of the path forward for M-CELS.


Confirmed speakers:

  • Adam Feinberg, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Anjelica Gonzalez, Yale
  • Beth Pruitt, UCSB
  • Bruce Tromberg, NIBIB
  • Carolyn Johnson, Washington Post
  • Chris Austin, NCATS
  • Dan Rock, Amgen
  • Danilo Tagle, NCATS
  • Dave Rampulla, NIBIB
  • David Sittenfeld, Museum of Science, Boston
  • Don Ort, UIUC
  • Fred Kronz, NSF
  • Hemmie Chang, Foley Hoag
  • Insoo Hyun, Harvard
  • Jianping Fu, University of Michigan
  • Joseph Wu, Stanford
  • June Medford, Colorado State University
  • Kaiming Ye, SUNY Binghamton
  • Kevin Esvelt, MIT
  • Kit Parker, Harvard
  • Kyung Sung, FDA
  • Leah Ceccarelli, University of Washington
  • Mahmud Farooque, ASU
  • Maribel Vazquez, Rutgers University
  • Mary Maxon, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs
  • Matthew Sample, McGill
  • Megan Palmer, Stanford
  • Melissa Kemp, Georgia Tech
  • Michael Helmrath, Cincinnati Children's Hospital
  • Nas Zahir, NCI
  • Natalie Kuldell, BioBuilder/MIT
  • Nita Farahany, Duke
  • Paul Sheehan, DARPA
  • Pep Pamies, Editor, Nature Biomedical Engineering
  • Peter Marks, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA
  • Rashid Bashir, UIUC
  • Richardae Araojo, Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, FDA
  • Ritu Raman, MIT
  • Robert Mulroy, Partner Therapeutics
  • Roger Kamm, MIT
  • Ron Weiss, MIT
  • Rosemarie Hunziker, Connexon Life Sciences Consulting
  • Sheng Lin-Gibson, NIST
  • Shobita Parthasarathy, University of Michigan
  • Silvia Velasco, Broad Institute
  • Sohi Rastegar, NSF
  • Sung Jin Park, Emory
  • Todd McDevitt, Gladstone Institutes
  • Tom Bollenbach, ARMI
  • Valerie Gouon-Evans, BU
  • Wei Sun, Tsinghua University
Meeting Date
Meeting Location
Bethesda, MD
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