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MedLabs InnoTalk Series 

Cell-based Therapy for Lung Regenerative Medicine and COVID-19

Tuesday , February 22nd , Online Zoom Webinar

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We are thrilled to have Dr.Daniel Weiss with us in this InnoTalk Event. Dr. Weiss is the Chief Scientific Officer of the International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy (ISCT), as well as the Professor at the University of Vermont School of Medicine. Dr. Weiss has extensive knowledge and experience in lung repair and regeneration after injury, notably gene and cell therapy approaches for lung diseases. Joining as moderator, Dr. Ella Li is the CEO of ZGC Capital and the partner of ZGC U.S. Fund, leading ZGC’s team in investment and healthcare accelerator operation.

The one-hour-long webinar consists of a welcome intro by Dr. Ella Li, a 40-minute informative speech, and a Q&A session.


  • Understand current approaches to stem cell-based lung disease therapies, including COVID respiratory failure.

  • Understand current advances in bioengineering approaches for lung diseases.

  • Understand current approaches to growing new lungs ex vivo for potential use in transplantation.

  • Understand current approaches for lung support devices/artificial lungs.

  • Live Q&A Session for all attendees joining the webinar.

Daniel Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer, International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT)

Professor, University of Vermont School of Medicine

Dr. Daniel Weiss has extensive knowledge and experience in lung repair and regeneration after injury, notably gene and cell therapy approaches for lung diseases. In particular, this has included developing novel techniques with which to investigate and enhance lung gene and cell therapies. His recent published work in cell therapy approaches for lung diseases has included several benchmark publications that have included the first ever trial of cell therapy for emphysema and that have helped define whether exogenous cells can engraft in the lung.


As such, Dr. Daniel Weiss views himself as a translational scientist whose work spans from benchtop to clinical trials. Dr.Weiss has also instituted a biennial meeting held at the University of Vermont, Stem Cells and Cell Therapies in Lung Biology and Diseases, that is widely viewed by the NIH, FDA, and non-profit Respiratory Disease Foundations as the major meeting in the field. Dr.Weiss’s overall goal is to provide a firm scientific basis for clinical application of cell therapies in lung diseases. Dr. Weiss has been funded by the NIH, DOD, non-profit Respiratory Disease Foundations, and by industry sources since 1995. The laboratory's current work is focused in three major areas: 1) Bioengineering approaches for development of functional lung tissue ex vivo; 2) Immunomodulation of lung inflammation by mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs); 3) Development of cell therapy-based approaches for lung disease.


In 2020, Dr. Weiss was selected as one of the 11 recipients of the inaugural COVID-19 and Respiratory Virus Research Award, working to end COVID-19 and defend against future respiratory virus pandemics. Each awardee is receiving funding to support the exploration of important avenues to reduce the burden of this virus. Specifically, Weiss is examining how the virus damages the epithelial cells lining the lungs. This is a significant issue particularly for those patients who develop severe disease and require admission to intensive care units and need mechanical ventilation.

Dr. Ella Li(moderator)

Partner of ZGC US Fund, CEO of ZGC Capital

Dr. Ella Li the CEO of ZGC Capital and also the partner of ZGC U.S. Fund, leading ZGC’s team in investment and incubator operation. She’ established and managed several VC and fund of funds, including one with portfolio funds including KPCB, Menlo, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel and Foundation Capital. She is also the founder of Medlabs healthcare accelerator, providing companies with funding, mentorship and key resources to transform healthcare.

Dr. Li has 15+ years of experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors and has rich experiences in therapeutic investment opportunities from discovery and clinical proof-of-concept to commercialization. She also serves as board advisor, consultant and mentor in several major VC, accelerators, and startups. Dr. Ella Li earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Peking University School of Pharmacy, Ph.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Centers, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship from Harvard Medical School. Ella has extensive publications in prestigious journals with IMF over 10 including Nature Communication, Cell Metabolism, Journal of Clinical Investigation, PNAS, Molecular Cell, Diabetes etc.

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