Molly StevensView all speakers
Molly Stevens is Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine and the Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London. She joined Imperial in 2004 after a Postdoctoral training in the field of tissue engineering with Professor Robert Langer in the Chemical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Prior to this she was awarded a PhD in biophysical investigations of specific biomolecular interactions and single biomolecule mechanics from the Laboratory of Biophysics and Surface Analysis at the University of Nottingham (2000). In 2010 she was recognised by The Times as one of the top ten scientists under the age of 40. Her most recent awards include the EU-40 Prize from the European Materials Research Society, the prestigious Griffith Medal and Prize from the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining and the Clifford Paterson Lecture Award from The Royal Society.
Bio-responsive nanomaterials are of growing importance with potential applications including drug delivery, diagnostics and tissue engineering (1). A disagreeable side effect of longer life-spans is the failure of one part of the body – the knees, for example – before the body as a whole is ready to surrender. The search for replacement body parts has fuelled the highly interdisciplinary field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This talk will describe our research on the design of new materials to direct stem cell differentiation for regenerative medicine (2). This talk will also provide an overview of our recent developments in the design of materials for ultrasensitive biosensing. Our recent simple conceptually novel approaches to real-time monitoring of protease, lipase and kinase enzyme action using modular peptide functionalized gold nanoparticles and quantum dots will be presented (3). Furthermore we have recently developed a new approach to ultrasensitive biosensing through plasmonic nanosensors with inverse sensitivity by means of enzyme-guided crystal growth (4) as well as a “Plasmonic ELISA” for the ultrasensitive detection of disease biomarkers with the naked eye (5). We are applying these biosensing approaches both in high throughput drug screening and to diagnose diseases ranging from cancer to global health applications.