Meeting Einstein: David Mooney

Can plastic replace pills?

Keynote and Discussion on Biomaterials with David Mooney, Einstein Visiting Fellow and Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard University

Cells from our body are often considered the next generation of medical therapies. They enable tissue to recover from disease and thus provide an attractive alternative to longtime intake of pharmaceuticals. But we can't take cells in a tablet, and simple cell injections proved ineffective in most cases. Einstein Visiting Fellow David Mooney works on a visionary solution: Together with his teams in Harvard and Berlin, he designs new polymers that can be used to transplant cells where and when they are needed in the body. These intelligent plastics can even directly control cells already present in the organs.

After a keynote speech, David Mooney discusses the potential applications of his fascinating "tissue bioreactors" with leading German experts from both science and industry.


  • Prof. Georg Duda, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Prof. David Mooney, Harvard University
  • Dr. Michaela Kneissel, Novartis
  • Prof. Carsten Tschöpe, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Prof. Reinhard Schnettler, University Medical Center Gießen

The discussion is moderated by Dr. Stephen Cave, science journalist and author.

David Mooney

David Mooney is Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. By developing materials that mimic nature's design principles, he impels a revolution in medicine, industry and environment. Since 2011, David Mooney has been Einstein Visiting Fellow at the Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies (BSRT).