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We use tissue engineering and regenerative medicine strategies to repair or build tissues damaged by injury, disease, aging, or spaceflight. We combine synthetic and biological materials to create new biomaterials; for instance, ancient Mayan seashell dentistry has inspired our seashell-biomaterial that controls bone formation.
As researchers, we tend to stay within our fields. The conferences I go to reveal the exciting research that is relevant to my work. At these conferences, we also further segregate into tracks and rarely diverge. At FOE, this is not possible. I was exposed to a broad range of exciting research, much of it completely unrelated to my field, and it has inspired new ideas, avenues of research, and collaborations that I otherwise would never have entered. FOE stirs the pot in a way that other conferences do not, and the flavors it brings out benefit us all.