Samy Gobaa, PhD obtained his doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology-Zurich (ETHZ) where he worked on elucidating structure-function relationships in large polymeric proteins. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology-Lausanne, Institute for Bioengineering (EPFL-IBI). There Samy worked on multiple projects aimed at interfacing biology with engineering. The overarching theme of his research consisted of the breaking-down, followed by the synthetic recapitulation, of extracellular microenvironments. On the practical side, Samy developed a novel platform called “the artificial niche microarray” designed to advance the understanding of stem cell fate decision-making. Based on the combinatorial spotting of signalling proteins and hydrogel technology, the artificial niche microarray proved to be an efficient tool for deciphering the complexity of the stem cell extracellular milieu. Samy also led microfluidic projects aimed at capturing circulating tumour cells while assessing their metastatic potential on a single chip.
“I am convinced that in today’s landscape of biomedical research the use of state-of-the-art technologies offers an important competitive advantage. My vision is that establishing in-house bioengineering structures, where the most advanced tools are available and where biological and engineering projects can “co-evolve,” is needed for elegantly bridging both worlds.”