The Body and Technology – expert panels

  • Conference Centre, level 1 
  • 7 October, 1.00 p.m., 2.30 p.m., 4.00 p.m. 

Modern bioengineering allows us to create personalised forms of treatment, eliminate numerous congenital defects, regenerate and replace organs, and improve the natural human physical and mental functions. Is there a specific vision of health and longevity behind such advanced tools? Can we foresee the consequences of strengthening and perfecting our bodies?  

During meetings with prominent representatives of science and art, we’ll take you on a journey into the human body – from cells to organs to holistic programmes aiming to extend the life of the entire human body.  

Each panel will start with short presentations disclosing the mysteries of research or art of our guests. They will be a starting point for unconstrained discussion and questions about the future of our health.   


1.00 p.m. – 2.00 p.m. | Regeneration: Stem cells and bioprinting

Moderator: Mateusz Pawełczuk

Guests: Professor Maria Anna Ciemerych-Litwinienko (Institute of Developmental Biology and Biomedical Sciences, University of Warsaw), Marco Costantini, PhD (Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences) 

The use of stem cells is becoming a therapeutic standard, and the list of diseases treated with stem cells is constantly growing. Professor Maria Anna Ciemerych-Litwinienko will describe the types of stem cells, their culture and their use in regenerative medicine. Marco Costantini, PhD, will present printers that print tissues and organs. His team developed a technology enabling the production of a muscle substitute based on a biocompatible gel. It allows the reconstruction of deeply damaged skeletal muscles with unprecedented results. 

Maria Anna Ciemerych-Litwinienko – biologist specialising in the biology of mammalian development, stem cells and regeneration of skeletal muscles. She is an academic lecturer and science populariser. She heads the Department of Cytology and the Institute of Developmental Biology and Biomedical Sciences (Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw). She served as vice-dean for research organisation at the Faculty of Biology of the University of Warsaw. 

She completed research internships at the University of Manchester, Cambridge University, the Jacques Monod Institute in Paris, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Harvard Medical School in Boston. She is a member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Disciplinary Council and the Council of the Faculty of Biology of the University of Warsaw, the Scientific Councils of the Nencki Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Molecular Cell Biology Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences.  She is an expert in domestic and foreign organisations dealing with financing science. She co-authored 88 scientific publications in English, several book chapters and conference reports. She manages research projects on developmental biology, stem cell differentiation and their use in regenerative medicine. Apart from science, she creates analogue and digital collage designs, illustrations and book covers.

Marco Costantini, PhD – industrial chemist. He worked at the Warsaw University of Technology and later at the Università Campus Bio-Medico in Rome. Since 2022, he has headed a multidisciplinary team at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences, working on the convergence of materials engineering, biology and microfluidics.

His current research interests include the development of advanced strategies of (in vitro) modelling and (in vivo) repair of the musculoskeletal system using porous materials with improved physicochemical properties. He developed technology with his team that enabled the 3D printing of a muscle substitute based on a biocompatible gel.

2.30 p.m. – 3.00 p.m. | Repair or Upgrade? Bionic Organs  

Moderator: Mateusz Pawełczuk

Guests: Marta Klak, MD, PhD (Foundation of Research and Science Development), Amy Karle 

Although we still associate human organs growing in bioreactors with science fiction, this vision is slowly becoming a reality. We will talk about cultures and therapies that regenerate organs and ideas for designing their improved versions. Doctor Marta Klak will talk about the bionic pancreas – a project that the Foundation of Research and Science Development is working on. This may be a breakthrough achievement of Polish science! Patients won’t have to wait for donors, and the transplant procedure will become less invasive and more effective. The second guest is Amy Karle – an American artist whose works concentrates on the intersection of biological sciences and digital technologies. She will show the project dedicated to the human heart – a work in which, through 3D bioprinting and generative engineering, she searches for ways to prevent embolism in blood vessels.   

Amy Karle – Amy Karle – acclaimed, ultra-modern artist and futurist specialising in exponential technologies. She creates new, hybrid art forms by synthesising physical, biological and computational systems to create emotionally engaging and intellectually stimulating works of art that demonstrate the potential of technology to shape the future. 

As part of the cultural exchange of the American Arts Incubator of the U.S. Department of State, she was an artist-diplomat in Poland and a resident at the Copernicus Science Centre. She is often invited as an expert and participant to advisory teams supporting dialogue on the impact of advanced technologies on the future of humans. 

Amy Karle’s works are exhibited all over the world, including in Ars Electronica (Austria), Centre Pompidou (France), Contemporary Art Platform (Kuwait), FILE (Brazil), Media Arts Biennale (China), Mori Art Museum (Japan), The Smithsonian (USA), Triennale Milano (Italy). She was selected as one of the world’s 100 most inspiring and influential women by the BBC.

4.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m. | Longevity

Moderator: Rafał Kosewski

Guests: Rafał Lolo, PhD (AstraZeneca Pharma Poland), Łukasz Jurek, PhD (Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the Wrocław University of Economics and Business) 

In the era of dynamic development of bioengineering, longeval society is becoming one of the key issues requiring an in-depth, multi-faceted public debate. We will look at the ageing process as a disease and talk about the perspectives and consequences of its treatment. Rafał Lolo, PhD (Senior Director, Precision Medicine Lead, Oncology R&D at AstraZeneca Pharma Poland) will present the most important research directions on slowing down or reversing the biological clock. Together with Łukasz Jurek, PhD, we will ponder on the impact of increasing lifespan on the labour market, health service or the old age pension system.

Rafał Lolo, PhD –molecular biologist, specialising in DNA damage and repair processes. He completed MA studies in medical biotechnology at the Jagiellonian University and PhD studies in molecular oncology at the University College London. He conducted scientific work at Oxford University and the University of Copenhagen. In 2014, he joined AstraZeneca Pharma Poland, where he is responsible for developing drugs and molecular diagnostic tests in oncology.

Łukasz Jurek, PhD – economist, gerontologist and social politician. He is an assistant professor at the Wrocław University of Economics and Business (Department of Sociology and Social Policy). His scientific and research activities revolve around issues related to the economic aspects of demographic transformation, especially the population ageing process.  

His research also covers social benefits and the effectiveness of the welfare state. His main areas of interest include labour market demography, design of the social security system, organisation and financing of long-term care, social abuses, age management and decisions related to old age pension.  

He authored the following books: "The economy of an aging society" [Ekonomia starzejącego się społeczeństwa] and "Combining professional work with caring for the elderly in Poland" [Łączenie pracy zawodowej z opieką nad osobą starsza w Polsce]. In 2019, he became a scholarship holder of the Bekker programme, during which he completed a research internship at the Oxford Institute of Population Aging (Oxford University).  As part of the Erasmus+ programme, he delivered lectures at universities in Larnaca (Cyprus), Skopje (Macedonia), Varna (Bulgaria), Lviv (Ukraine), Kosice (Slovakia), Minsk (Belarus), Villach (Austria), Koper (Slovenia) and Rijeka (Croatia).