The new year opened with a bang for the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI), with the long-awaited completion of TIBI’s brand-new 50,000 square foot facility in Woodland Hills. TIBI scientists and staff made the big move to the new building at the end of February 2023.
In addition to the ample space and unique design features of the new building, the facility houses expansive laboratory work areas, fully arrayed with scientific equipment, as well as accommodations for meetings and seminars. This will allow for greater research capabilities and growth of the institute.
A month after settling into their new building, TIBI hosted its inaugural Terasaki Innovation Summit, which was held on March 8-10, 2023, at the UCLA Meyer & Renee Luskin Center in Los Angeles. The event drew over 150 attendees and brought together key business leaders and experts in translation, innovation, venture investment, and IP. Participants were able to network and to discuss the future of biomedicine, building and financing spin-off companies, and what is needed to bring ideas from bench to bedside.
In April 2023, TIBI held a Grand Opening celebration at their new building. The event drew almost 100 guests, which included local dignitaries, members of the Terasaki family, TIBI faculty and staff, and members of the building’s design and construction teams. In addition to speeches and presentations by officials from the City of Los Angeles, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted in front of the building, followed by a reception and public tours of the laboratories.
As the year progressed, the institute welcomed six new members to their esteemed Leadership Board, new faculty members, postdoctoral researchers, visiting scholars and an additional technician. One of TIBI’s postdoctoral researchers was promoted to a Terasaki Fellow as well.
TIBI also renewed their annual junior internship program during the summer of 2023. Fifteen enthusiastic and motivated college undergraduate students worked with the TIBI researchers, who mentored the students, helped them build upon their interests and gain hands-on lab experience in biomedical engineering and/or related fields. The students were also able to learn more about conducting research and to learn about innovation development and entrepreneurship.
This year, TIBI’s science team has been working on many projects and novel technologies which are on the forefront of biomedical innovation and precision medicine. In addition to developing a variety of enhanced performance hydrogels and bioinks for tumor and pancreatic cancer modeling, cartilage and skeletal muscle regeneration, hemorrhage control, treatment of fistulas (abnormal, tubular formations that connect organs and/or skin surfaces), and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma using duo chemo- and immunotherapeutic drug delivery, TIBI scientists are also exploring screen-printed electrodes for organ on a chip devices and the use of nanoparticles for green technologies. In the area of biosensing, TIBI scientists are pushing the forefront, with improved e-skin sensors for monitoring bodily functions and smart contact lenses to treat dry eye disease. Many more projects are currently in the works.
TIBI is excited that its first spinout company, Omeat, a company which produces cultivated meat, was announced in 2023. The Omeat company has graduated to a brand-new, much larger facility in Thousand Oaks. The added space enables production of their high-quality, cost-effective meat products at a larger scale for the masses.
The TIBI marketing team has been promoting TIBI’s efforts, with projects in place to spotlight TIBI’s accomplishments and to add to their growing network. The team has been active in the press, sending twelve issues of its monthly online newsletter in 2023 to almost 30,000 subscribers and posting press releases and social media content on TIBI’s most recent scientific discoveries and developments.
The team continues to produce its successful “Terasaki Talks” virtual series of scientific talks given by high-profile guest speakers on diverse topics in biomedical engineering and nanotechnology. The talks typically bring in 150-200 live viewers who have an opportunity to pose questions to the speaker after the presentation.
Preparations are being made for TIBI’s second annual Terasaki Innovation Summit, to be held March 27-29, 2024, at the UCLA Meyer & Renee Luskin Center in Los Angeles. This upcoming event promises to be bigger and more expansive than our previous one, with a larger lineup of speakers presenting a wider variety of topics, and greater time allotted for participants to meet and network with colleagues.
The Terasaki Institute for Biomedical concludes another busy year and we wish everyone a happy, healthy holiday season and a prosperous new year!