Ongoing Evolution:
Enhance and Restore

Sunday | March 21st  2021

Every living being is susceptible to Darwin’s laws of natural selection, and we, as Humans, are not an exception. Humanity has been fighting to find ways to break these Nature-imposed barriers and embark on an ongoing evolution. Step by step, science is providing us with the tools to expand our capabilities, to restore what was lost, and even to change what we once thought identified us. Let us enroll on this adventure, and question its implications as well.

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Online Lectures


Andrew Pelling, PhD 

Professor at University of Ottawa; Canada Research Chair; Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology; Member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada.

Andrew Pelling, PhD, is a Professor and a Canada Research Chair at University of Ottawa. Professor Pelling has been extremely well recognized by his peers and is the recipient of numerous awards, including being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. His lab aims to understand the mechanisms which cells use to sense and integrate physical information, and to identify ways to manipulate, repurpose and control living cells, using innovative approaches and low-cost materials easily found. The highly curiosity-driven Pelling Lab has spun out four companies in the technology, biotechnology and medical fields, translating their discoveries into real world products and solutions. He has already created human body parts from plants and grown living skins on LEGOs – innovations with the potential to replace prohibitively expensive commercial biomaterials. Spiderwort – where Professor Pelling is CSO and the co-founder – is a startup gaining momentum on the field of biomaterials by using plant derived cellulose to create a variety of scaffold architectures with regenerative and reconstructive medicine applications. Professor Pelling’s work has been in the media spotlight for many times already, being recognized in outlets such as Wired, Huffington Post, NPR, BBC, Der Spiegel, and others. He was named a TED Fellow in 2016.


Miguel Pais-Vieira, PhD

Professor of Neurosciences at University of Aveiro

Prof. Miguel Pais-Vieira is a renowned neurosciences investigator, focused on brain-machine and brain-to-brain interfaces. While working in the “Walk Again” project, Prof. Miguel was able to demonstrate that it is possible to share information only through the brain. His aim is to translate this knowledge into clinical practice, by providing an exoskeleton device able to assist paralised patients.


Nir Barzilai, MD

Director of the Institute of Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Human Aging Research; Director of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging; Co-scientific director of the American Federation for Aging Research; Founder of CohBar Inc.; Awarded by the Beeson Fellow for Aging Research, the Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging Award, the Paul F. Glenn Foundation Award, the NIA Nathan Shock Award, and the 2010 Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction in Aging Research.

Nir Barzilai is the director of the Institute of Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His pioneer work focuses on the genetics of aging. By thoroughly analyzing families with exceptional longevity, Dr. Barzilai studies protective genes in aging and their protection against age-related diseases in the Longevity Genes Project he helds at Algert Einstein College of Medicine. He is currently leading an international effort to approve drugs targeting aging. Targeting Aging with METformin (TAME) is a study designed to prove that multi-morbidities of aging can be delayed by metformin, serving as an example for future efforts to delay aging and its diseases in humans. His discoveries have been influencing treatments of type 2 diabetes. He is also a founder of CohBar Inc., a biotech that develops mitochondrial derived peptides as therapy for aging and its diseases. He has been recognized by numerous awards like of the Beeson Fellow for Aging Research, the Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging Award and published over 230 peer-reviewed papers, reviews, and textbook chapters.



Vasco Trigo, PhD

Scholar and Freelance Journalist

Prof. Vasco Trigo is an experienced journalist and science communicator. Prof. Trigo’s career first focused on politics before setting his interest on Science and Technology. Ever since that decision, Prof. Vasco has grown as a reference in the world of Science Communication. In this edition of the AIMS Meeting, he will be moderating the roundtable discussion of the Ongoing Evolution: Enhance and Restore module.

Scientific Committee

 Joaquim Sampaio Cabral, PhD
Alice Varanda, MD
Rodrigo Cunha, PhD

Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering in the Technical University of Lisbon; Head of the BioEngineering Research Group at the Technical University of Lisbon; Co-Coordinator of MIT-Portugal Program – Bioengineering Systems Focus Area; Principal Investigator of the Stem Cell Bioengineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory.


Medical Doctor. Specialized in Reconstructive and Aesthetical Surgery. Master Degree in Human Sexuality by University of Massachusetts Medical School. Member of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetics Surgery’s Portuguese Society, Hand Surgery’s Portuguese Society, Burn’s Portuguese Society, Anatomy’s Portuguese Society, European Plastic Surgery Research Council and also of the European Board of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.

Director of the Department of Neuropharmacology of the Center for Neurosciences of Coimbra; Principal investigator of the research group ‘Purines at CNC’; Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of University of Coimbra; Multidisciplinary Institute of Ageing (MIA) Portugal Coordinator.