Stephanie Willerth

Acting Director of the Centre for Biomedical Research and the Biomedical Engineering program at University of Victoria

Acting Director of the Centre for Biomedical Research and the Biomedical Engineering program at University of Victoria (BC, Canada)

Dr Stephanie Willerth holds a Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Victoria where she has dual appointments in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Division of Medical Sciences. Willerth also directs the Centre for Biomedical Research and the Biomedical Engineering program at the University of Victoria and runs an active research group whose focus is developing innovative methods of engineering tissues.

Two of her main areas of focus include 3D printing neural tissues using stem cells and directly reprogramming somatic cells into neural tissues. Willerth’s research group has published 49 peer reviewed journal articles and 10 book chapters. She has also given 58 invited talks, including presenting at the 2018 Till and McCulloch meeting (12—14 November 2018; ON, Canada), the University of California, Los Angeles (CA, USA) and as part of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering Distinguished Lecture series at Purdue University (IN, USA).

Willerth is an active member of the steering committee of the BC Regenerative Medicine Initiative (BC, Canada) and Staff Scientist at Creative Destruction Labs (ON, Canada). Willerth also served as the President of the Canadian Biomaterials Society from 2017—2018. She spent Fall of 2016 on sabbatical at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WI, USA) supported by the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries International Travel Award where she wrote her book ‘Engineering neural tissue from stem cells’, published by Academic Press. 

Willerth’s honors include being named the 2018 REACH award winner for Excellence in Undergraduate Research-inspired Teaching, a Woman of Innovation in 2017, one of the 2015 Young Innovators in Cellular and Biological Engineering and a ‘Star in Global Health’ by Grand Challenges Canada in 2014.