By Rose Gregorio
The Asbar World Forum 2018, held in Riyadh, was a meeting that focused on understanding issues associated with transitioning Saudi Arabia's oil-based economy to a knowledge-based one. The aim was to find ways to manage and execute strategies to achieve the objectives of Vision 2030.
Professor of Bioscience and CBRC faculty Charlotte Hauser was invited to speak in the "Health Innovation in the Future" session of this year's forum, which ran from November 4-6.
Professor Hauser presented the work that she and her research group, the Laboratory for Nanomedicine, are doing at KAUST. They focus on the development of platform technologies, using smart nanomaterials for tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, diagnostics and environmental applications. She also talked about PepPrint, the spinoff company that she co-founded.
PepPrint is a startup that provides state-of-the-art technologies in 3D/4D bioprinting for applications in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, diagnostics and drug screening to serve the private and public sectors such as hospitals, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies.
Dr. Sakandar Rauf, a research scientist in the Laboratory for Nanomedicine and co-founder of PepPrint, was also present in the exhibition area of the forum. He showcased a 3D bioprinter prototype that the PepPrint team developed for their startup.
Dr. Sakandar Rauf with a 3D bioprinter prototype developed by the PepPrint team.
Professor Hauser was happy with the opportunity to meet with various Saudi stakeholders and to receive feedback from audience members who were interested in visiting her lab in KAUST.
"The important message I received from this conference was that the high-tech expertise of robotic 3D bioprinting is getting a lot of attention within the Kingdom and thus, promote(s) KAUST mission of an outreach and support of Vision 2030," she said.