Boris Hinz


Laboratory of Tissue Repair and Regeneration

Matrix Dynamics Group, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto
150 College Street, Fitzgerald Building, Room 234
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E2, Canada
Phone: +1 416-978-8728, FAX: +1 416-978-5956, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Research Interests

 

  • Pathobiology and Biophysics of fibroblasts
  • Fibrocontractive diseases, wound healing, tissue remodelling, repair and regeneration
  • Cell Biology, Bioengineering, Cell Biophysics and Biomechanics, Experimental Pathology, Experimental Dermatology, Theoretical Biology, Biomedical Imaging
  • The Cytoskeleton: cell contraction and motility; actin isoforms and actin-associated proteins; cell-cell and cell-matrix contacts, mechano-transduction 

boris talking

 

Position & Education


Current Position

 

01/2009 - present

Professor
Matrix Dynamics Group, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Canada

Recognition

07/2016 - onwards

Distinguished Professor of Tissue Repair and Regeneration,
University of Toronto, Canada

Appointments

07/2014 - present

Tenured Full Professor
Matrix Dynamics Group, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Canada

07/2011 – 06/2014

Tenured Associate Professor
Matrix Dynamics Group, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Canada

01/2009 – 06/2011

Associate Professor, tenure track
Matrix Dynamics Group, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Canada

06/2009 - present

Professor, cross-appointed
Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto

06/2009 - present

Professor, cross-appointed
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto

03/2006-12/2008

Maître d'enseignement et de recherche (MER, Assistant Professor level), Laboratory of Cell Biophysics, School of Basic Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland

Professional Training and Post-Graduate Education

06/2002-02/2006

Senior Research Scientist
Laboratory of Cell Biophysics, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland

1999-2002

Post-Doctoral Assistant of Prof. Giulio Gabbiani, MD, PhD
Department of Pathology, CMU, University of Geneva, Switzerland

1986-1989

Duty as Officer of the German Air Force, current rank: Major

Degrees and Diplomas Obtained

1995-1998

PhD thesis Cell Biology / Theoretical Biology, University of Bonn, Germany

1994

Diploma (Master) thesis in Cell Biology, University of Bonn, Germany

1989-1994

Studies in Biology at the University of Bonn



 

 

Scientific Presentations

Where to meet me next

 Kulturtraining für Fibroblasten – Unvergesslicher Stress (Culture practice for fibroblasts: unforgettable stress). 13th Tegernsee-Konferenz, October 05-08, 2017, Bad Wiessee, Germany

Myofibroblast Memories. 15th International Workshop on Scleroderma Research,  August 5-9, 2017, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Stressed out myofibroblasts. Conference on Fibrosis in Cardiac Disease and Cancer, June 22-23, Toronto, Canada

Why studying myofibroblasts is a career endeavor. 4th Annual D.Y.E. Perey Symposium, June 15, 2017, Hamilton, Canada 

2017

Myofibroblasts just love the stress. Connective Tissues in Sports Medicine (CONNECT), March 16-18, 2017, Ulm, Germany

The fibrotic matrix: a stressful but memorable environment. Annual Meeting of the German Society for Matrix Biology, March 9-11, 2017, Cologne, Germany

2016

Myofibroblasts just love the stress. Connective Tissues in Sports Medicine (CONNECT), March 16-18, 2017, Ulm, Germany

Protect your skin – keep myofibroblasts out. Conference of the Australasian Wound and Tissue Repair Society (AWTRS), November 6-8, 2016, Melbourne, Australia

Myofibroblast mechanics. Workshop on Modeling and Quantifying Cell Function: 25 years of Cell Mechanobiology, October 9-14, 2016, Banff, Canada

Myofibroblasts tip the balance between chronic, normal, and excessive wound healing (ETRS Session), 5th World Union of Wound Healing Societies (WUWHS) Congress, September 25-29, 2016, Florence, Italy

Chronic macrophage – fibrobast interactions in the lung, 5th World Union of Wound Healing Societies (WUWHS) Congress, September 25-29, 2016, Florence, Italy

Myofibroblast Mechanical Memory. First International Conference on Tissue Repair, Regeneration, and Fibrosis, September 21-26, 2016 Rhodes, Greece

Don´t stress - the mechanobiology of tissue repair. Gordon Research Conference on Musculoskeletal Biology and Bioengineering, August 7-12, 2016, Andover, NH

Matrix mechanics and regulation of the myofibroblast phenotype. Symposium on “Biological repair mechanisms: the brain-skin connection”, June 9, 2016, Paris, France

Targeting myofibroblasts to treat fibrosis. Annual meeting of the Wound Healing Society (WHS), April 13-16, 2016, Atlanta, GA, USA

Myofibroblast. 1st joint summit of the International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) and the Osteoarthritis Research Society (OARSI) on "Wound Healing as a Concept for Cartilage Repair: Is it time to change the paradigm?", April 10-11, 2016, Kyoto, Japan

Myofibroblasts and tissue stress. Symposium on Mechanobiology: mechanisms of force sensation and transduction that control cell behavior in health & disease, March 22-24, 2016, Amsterdam, TheNetherlands

Direct adhesion of macrophages promotes myofibroblast differentiation by establishing a niche of active TGF-β1, Keystone Symposium on Fibrosis: From Basic Mechanisms to Targeted Therapies. February 7-11, 2016, Keystone, Colorado, USA 

2015 

The myofibroblast matrix. 2nd Meeting of Matrix Biology Ireland (MBI), December 2-4, 2015, Dublin, Ireland

The significance of tissue strain in fibrosis. Harvard Conference on Fascia, November 14, 2015, Boston, MA, USA

Watch your back: the myofibroblast is coming. Fascia Research Conference (FRC), September 18-20, 2015, Washington, DC, USA

Resetting mir-21 improves the tissue repair potential of MSCs by erasing fibrotic mechanical memory acquired in cell culture.25th Annual Meeting of the European Tissue Repair Society (ETRS), October 20-22, 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark

New landmarks in basic wound healing.25th Annual Meeting of the European Tissue Repair Society (ETRS), October 20-22, 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark

Gestresste Fibroblasten in der Haut (Stressed fibroblasts in the skin). 11th Tegernsee-Konferenz, October 09-11, 2015, Bad Wiessee, Germany

Myofibroblasts. The 1st London-Toronto Lung Research Symposium, September 25-26, 2015, London Ontario, Canada

The stiffness of skin. 14th International Workshop on Scleroderma Research, August 1-5, 2015, Cambridge, United Kingdom

The fibrogenic fate of mesenchymal stem cells: A matter of stress. Gordon Research Conference of Tissue Repair and Regeneration, June, 7-12, 2015, New London, New Hampshire, USA.

The stiffness and strain of skin. 2nd Annual Skin Research Group Symposium, May 31, 2015, Québec City, Québec

Mesenchymal stem cells in the scar environment.European Wound Management Association  (EWMA) Conference, May 13-15, 2015, London, United Kingdom

The myofibroblast at the center of disease diagnosis and therapeutics.Annual Center for Disease Diagnosis and Therapeutics (CDT) Research Symposium, April 25, 2015, Atlanta, George, USA

New Ideas on Cardiac Fibroblast Activation and New Therapeutic Approaches. Experimental Biology, March 28-April 1, 2015, Boston, MA, USA

 2014 

Skin mechanics matter for fibroblasts. 24th Annual Meeting of the European Tissue Repair Society (ETRS), September 11-13, 2014, Edinburgh, UK

Pre-stress in the ECM enhances activation of latent TGF-β1 by myofibroblast contraction. 1st Matrix Biology Europe (MBE) conference (XXIVth FECTS meeting), June 21-24, 2014, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Matrix mechanics and regulation of the fibroblast phenotype. The joint meeting of the Société Française de Biologie de la Matrice Extracellulaire (SFBME) and the "Société Française de Biologie des Tissus Minéralisés" (SFBTM), May 14-16, 2014, Limoges, France

The stressed out myofibroblast: thriving under tension.Experimental Biology, April 26-30, 2014, San Diego, CA, USA

Everything you always wanted to know about the myofibroblast (but were afraid to ask), Keystone Symposium on Fibrosis: From Bench to Bedside. March 23-28, 2014, Keystone, Colorado, USA

2013

Organized is more efficient: Pre-strain in the extracellular matrix amplifies activation of latent TGF-beta1.Workshop on ‘Regulation of TGF Beta Activity and Cardiovascular Disease’, September 30-October 5, 2013, Lest Trailles, France

The role of alpha smooth muscle actin in driving mesenchymal stem cells into a fibrotic fate.The 28th Annual Conference of the European Cytoskeletal Forum (ECF), September 1-5, 2013, Fribourg, Switzerland

When elasticity is lost – the role of myofibroblasts in fibrosis. Gordon Research Conference (GRC) “Elastin, Elastic Fibers & Microfibrils”, July 21-26, 2013, University of New England, Maine, USA.

Fibroblasts and the art of re-modelling. Gordon Research Conference (GRC) of Collagens, July, 14-19, 2013, New London, New Hampshire, USA

About the stress of working with myofibroblasts 19th Canadian Connective Tissue Conference (CCTC), May 29-June 1, 2013, Toronto, Canada

Myofibroblasts: more than smooth muscle in disguise. First International Symposium on Vascular Tissue Engineering, May 28-29, 2013, Leiden, The Netherlands

 Molecular and mechanical mechanisms controlling myofibroblast formation and fibrotic activity.American Thoracic Society International Conference, May 17-22, 2013, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Mechanisms in Fibrosis: Keeping an Eye on the Myofibroblast.Ocular Fibrosis: Myofibroblast to Therapeutics, Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), May 5-9, 2013, Seattle, USA

Cast a Cold Eye on the Myofibroblast. Fibrosis in Glaucoma Symposium, Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), May 5-9, 2013, Seattle, USA

Annual Meeting of The Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC) and the Wound Healing Society (WHS), April 30-May 4, 2013, Denver, CO, USA.

Connective tissue repair: a matter of stress. Connective Tissues in Sports Medicine Conference, April 12-14, 2013, Ulm, Germany

Hidden treasures in the myofibroblast matrix.1st Cardiovascular Research Theme Day in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, March 25, 2013, Toronto, Canada

Mechanical growth factor activation from the extracellular matrix provides spatial and cell-specific control. 3rd Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE) Conference, January 2-5, 2013HawaiiUSA

2012

Biomechanical Sensing and Signaling. ACR Basic Research Conference: “Mesenchymal Cells in Rheumatic Diseases: Tissue Erosion/Invasion vs. Fibrosis”, November 9-10, 2012, Washington, DC, USA

Myofibroblasts. Meeting on “Interdisciplinary approaches to idiopathic lung fibrosis”, Banbury Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, October 28-31, 2012, Long Island, NY, USA

The fibrotic potentials and risk of mesenchymal progenitor cells. 4th Congress of the World Union of Wound Healing Societies, September 2-6, 2012, Yokohama, Japan

The mechanics of fibrosis: activation of TGF-beta1 by force. 4th Congress of the World Union of Wound Healing Societies, September 2-6, 2012, Yokohama, Japan

Myofibroblast mechanobiology. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Investigative Pathology (ASIP) - Physiology Session, April 21-27, 2012, San Diego, CA, USA

The myofibroblast in heart fibrosis. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Physiology (ASP) - Cardiovascular Session, April 21-27, 2012, San Diego, CA, USA

The myofibroblast matrix. Annual Meeting of The Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC) and the Wound Healing Society (WHS), April 19-22, 2012, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Mechanical and chemical signals from the myofibroblast matrix. The Transatlantic Airway Conference 2012, January 19-20, 2012, Lucerne, Switzerland

2011

Implications of the myofibroblast for systemic sclerosis. Annual Scientific Meeting of the College of Rheumatology (ACR), November 6-9, 2011, Chicago, USA 

Myofibroblast mechanics in fibrosis. 1st annual Fibrosis Symposium, 14 October, 2011, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Myofibroblasts and the mechanics of tissue repair. 9th Symposium on “Advances in Inflammation Research”, 29-30, September, 2011, Providence, RI, USA

Mechanical stress liberates pro-fibrotic TGFβ1 from extracellular matrix repositories: a single molecule study. Gordon Research Conference of Collagens, July, 17-21, 2011, New London, New Hampshire, USA.

Why pulling on a growth factor is relevant for fibrosis. SFB 829 – Symposium “Cellular mechanisms in tissue repair and fibrosis”, January 27, 2011, Cologne, Germany

News from the myofibroblast. 3rd International Workshop on Wound Technology, 16-17 January, 2011, Paris, France

2010

How the matrix controls the myofibroblast to control the matrix. Workshop on Matrix Biology and Tissue Engineering of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society – North America (TERMIS-NA) and the American Society for Matrix Biology (ASMB), October 24, 2010, Charleston, California, USA.

The myofibroblast matrix: Implications in tissue repair and fibrosis. Workshop on ECM as a Structural Mediator of Morphological and Homeostatic Information. October 4-9, 2010, Nice, France

The mechanisms of myofibroblast contraction. 6th International Congress of Pathophysiology. September, 22-25, 2010, Montreal, Canada.

Le Myofibroblaste. 20th Annual Meeting of the European Tissue Repair Society (ETRS), September 15-18, 2010, Gent, Belgium

Fibrotic cues in the myofibroblast matrix. 20th Annual Meeting of the European Tissue Repair Society (ETRS), September 15-18, 2010, Gent, Belgium

Fundamental aspects of myofibroblast contraction. International Symposium on Dupuytren's Disease. May 22-23, 2010, Miami, Florida, USA.

Myofibroblast contraction: Going for the roots. 20th Annual Meeting of the Wound Healing Society (WHS), SAWC/WHS meeting, April 17-20, 2010, Orlando, FL, USA

Myofibroblasts: The culprits behind tissue contracture. 23rd Annual Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC), SAWC/WHS meeting, April 17-20, 2010, Orlando, Florida, USA.

Fundamental aspects of myofibroblast contraction. 2nd International Workshop on Wound Technology, 17-19 January, 2010, Paris, France

2009

Myofibroblasts contract in a lock-step mechanism. 5th Joint Meeting of the European Tissue Repair Society (ETRS) and the Wound Healing Society (WHS), August 25-29, 2009, Limoges, France

Stiffness Matters. Gordon Research Conference of Collagens, July, 19-24, 2009, New London, New Hampshire, USA.

Myofibroblasts and mechanical signal transduction. Gordon Research Conference of Tissue Repair and Regeneration, June, 14-19, 2009, New London, New Hampshire, USA.

Mechanoregulation of the myofibroblast: implications for lung repair and fibrosisInternational Meeting of the American Thoracic Society, May, 19, 2009, San Diego, CA, USA.

Molecular regulation of myofibroblast formation, Joint Keystone Symposium on Allergy and Asthma/Fibrosis, January 20-25, 2009, Keystone, Colorado, USA.

2008

Molecular regulation of myofibroblast formation, 16th Scientific Meeting of the Fondation Rene Touraine pour la Recherche en Dermatologie, November, 14th2008, Paris, France

When fibroblasts turn wrong: the bad influence of their environment, 2nd Scar Meeting, September 25-26, 2008, Montpellier, France

The myofibroblast - friend or foe in regenerative medicine? 18th Annual Meeting of the European Tissue Repair Society (ETRS), September 10-12, 2008, St. Georges Bay, Malta

Proto- and differentiated myofibroblasts – cell types or semantics?, 10th International Workshop on Scleroderma Research, August, 2-6, 2008, Cambridge, U.K.

Watch the tumor neighborhood: the biomechanical impact of myofibroblasts in the stroma, European Network on Cancer Modeling Conference, May 19-21, 2008, Torino, Italy

Scanning Probe Microscopy of Cytoskeletal Proteins in Living Cells, Annual Meeting of the Competence Centre for Materials Science and Technology, April 9, 2008, Bern, Switzerland

Myofibroblasts and the matrix - an intimate relationship. Annual meeting of the German Connective Tissue Society (GCTS) April 3-5, 2008, Freiburg, Germany

Function of the myofibroblast during tissue repair. 6th European Respiratory Society (ERS) Lung Science Conference, March 14-16, 2008, Estoril, Portugal

Myofibroblasts and the mechanics of tissue repair: facing the enemy and making it companion, Annual Conference of the Union of Swiss Societies of Experimental Biology (USGEB), February 6-7, 2008, Lausanne, Switzerland

The myofibroblast - friend and foe in tissue regeneration, ‘CHUV Research Day ‘Regenerative Medicine’, January 17th2008, Lausanne, Switzerland

2007

The contractile function of myofibroblastsFirst Interdisciplinary Fascia Research Conference, October 4-5, 2007, Boston, USA.

How strong is the myofibroblast? 17th Annual Meeting of the European Tissue Repair Society (ETRS), September 26-29, 2007, Southampton, U.K.

Myofibroblast integrins mechanically activate TGFβ1 from ECM deposits: An extracellular mechanical switch?  Focus Meeting on ‘Mechanisms of cell adhesion and tissue invasion’, September 8-13, 2007, Ortona,Italy

Myofibroblast contraction activates TGFβ1 from the ECM and establishes a stress-controlled autocrine loop. Gordon Research Conference on Tissue Repair and Regeneration, June 17-22, New London, 2007USA.

From wound healing to vascular healing. 15thInternational Local Drug Delivery Meeting and Cardiovascular Course on Revascularization and Molecular Strategies (LDDR), February 1-3, 2007, Geneva Switzerland

2006

Biology of the myofibroblast. Symposium on “Molecular mechanisms of tissue fibrosis, October 26, 2006, Turku, Finland

How fibrogenic cells feel and respond to the mechanical property of the matrix. Cell and Molecular Engineering track of the 2006 BMES meeting, October 11-14, 2006, Chicago, USA.

Relaxed life on small islands - the tensional micro-requirements of fibrogenic cells. 3rd conference ‘From Solid State to BioPhysics’, June 24 - July 1, 2006, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Fibroblast-to-myofibroblast differentiation – cues from the microenvironment. Annual Meeting of theDutch Society for Matrix Biology, May 11-12, 2006, Lunteren, The Netherlands

The cytoskeleton of the myofibroblast. School of Hepatology course “Stellate cells and fibrosis” of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), January, 27-28, 2006, Spineto, Italy

2005

Myofibroblasts – mechano-regulators in connective tissue remodeling. 2nd Swiss-Japan Symposium ‘New Trends in Biomechanics: from Biomolecules to Tissue’, September 12-16, 2005, Kyoto, Japan

Myofibroblasts are mechano-responsive cells: The role of focal adhesions.International Workshop on Mathematical Biology of the Cell: Cytoskeleton and Motility, July 16-21, 2005, Banff, Canada

The localization of α‑smooth muscle actin is controlled by mechanical stress.Mini-symposium on the regulation and deregulation of the actin cytoskeleton, June 17, 2005, Gent, Belgium

Matrix stress controls myofibroblast differentiation by dictating focal adhesion size. Adhesion Meeting – podosomes, invadopodia, focal adhesions, April 28-30, 2005, Munich, Germany

The function of myofibroblasts during wound contracture in wound healing . Advanced ICAS (Advanced Studies in Health Sciences and Services) Training Course17th on Wound Healing and its Disturbances, February 14-18, 2005, Ulm, Germany

The micro-requirements for connective tissue remodeling: adhesion size controls myofibroblast differentiation .17thAnnual Conference ofthe Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Division of Bioengineering, January 22-23, 2005, Nagoya, Japan

2004

Masters and servants of the force: Focal adhesion size controls recruitment of α‑smooth muscle actin to stress fibers. ETRS Focus Meeting ‘Tissue Repair, Contraction and the Myofibroblast’, November 18-20, 2004, Nyon, Switzerland.

The role of myofibroblasts in connective tissue remodeling: masters and servants of the force. Mini-Symposium on Wound Healing, Sept. 16th2004, Lausanne, Switzerland

The role of cell-cell and cell-matrix contacts in connective tissue remodeling. 8th International Scleroderma Research Workshop, Jul. 31-Aug.1, 2004, Cambridge, U.K.

Myofibroblast development is characterized by specific cell-cell adherens junctions. 2nd World Union of Wound Healing Societies Meeting, July 8-13, 2004, Paris, France

The social life of myofibroblasts: adherens junctions play a role in myofibroblast contraction. FEBS Special Meeting on ‘Cytoskeletal dynamics: from cell biology to development and disease (19th ECF Meeting), June 12-16, 2004, Helsinki Finland

Mechano-regulation of connective tissue remodeling. 13th Annual Meeting of the French Connective Tissue Society, March 25-27, 2004, Arcachon, France

2001-2003

In contact with the myofibroblast: Specialized junctions of a specialized cell. Workshop on Mechanisms of Connective Tissue Remodeling, Nov. 15-16, 2003, San Miniato, Italy

Alpha-smooth muscle actin is crucial for myofibroblast focal adhesion formation. 17th Meeting of The European Cytoskeletal Forum, Aug. 31-Sept. 4, 2002, Nyon, Switzerland

Wound tension and myofibroblast differentiation. Annual Conference of The European Tissue Repair Society, September 5-8, 2001, Cardiff, Wales.

Intracellular delivery of the N-terminal peptide of alpha-smooth muscle actin inhibits myofibroblast contraction. 16th Meeting of The European Cytoskeletal Forum, August 22-26, 2001, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Effects of wound tension on myofibroblast formation and contraction. 5th International Conference on Cellular Engineering, July 4-6, 2001, Aachen, Germany

1995-2000

Mechanical tension promotes in vivo myofibroblast differentiation and granulation tissue contraction. 15th Meeting of The European Cytoskeletal Forum, August 26-30, 2000, Blankenberge, Belgium

Interaction of extracellular matrix, integrins and myofibroblast differentiation. 6th International Workshop on Scleroderma Research, Jul.30 - Aug.2, 2000, Oxford, U.K

Alpha-smooth muscle actin expression modulates fibroblast motility. 3rd Joint Meeting of European Tissue Repair & Wound Healing Society, Aug. 24-28, 1999, Bordeaux, France

The role of tyearosine phosphorylation in regulating the local motility of human keratinocytes: new insights from computer-assisted quantifications. 12th Meeting of The European Cytoskeletal Forum, September 6-11, 1997, Siena, Italy

Analysis of cell motility: new computer-assisted methods applied in cancer research. International Symposium on the Kinetics of Living Cells “Cytokinematics ´96”, September 9-12, 1996, Hradec-Králové, Czech Republic

Periodic patterns in the spontaneous motility of human epidermal keratinocytes: Statistical correlation analysis. International Meeting on Cell and Tissue Motion - Models, Analysis and Simulations, March 19-24, 1995, Bonn, Germany