University of California, Riverside

Department of Bioengineering

2017 - 2018 Colloquium




October 18, 2017 Andrea Cabrera (Dr. Ghosh’s Group), Heran Bhakta (Dr. Grover’s Group) Graduate Students of Bioengineering Department at UCR
October 18, 2017 Arthur J. Coury University Distinguished Professor, Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University
October 25, 2017 Gang Bao Foyt Family Professor in Bioengineering at Rice University
November 1, 2017 Jenny Mac (Dr. Anvari’s Group) Graduate Students of Bioengineering Department at UCR
November 8, 2017 M. Monirul Hasan (Dr. Park’s Group), Rohith Mohan (Dr. Morikis’ Group) Graduate Students of Bioengineering Department at UCR
November 29, 2017 Reed Harrison (Dr. Morikis’ Group), George Way (Dr. Liao’s Group) Graduate Students of Bioengineering Department at UCR
December 6, 2017 John Gore Professor of School of Engineering at Vanderbilt University
January 17, 2018 Maryellen L. Giger Vice Chair, Basic Science Research, Department of Radiology at University of Chicago
January 25, 2018 Jack Tang (Dr. Anvari’s Group) and Christopher Hale (Dr. Rodgers Group) Graduate Students of Bioengineering Department at UCR
January 31, 2018 John H. Zhang Director, Center for Neuroscience Research Loma Linda University School of Medicine
February 7, 2018 Otger Campas Assistant Professor & Mellichamp Chair in Systems Biology Department of Mechanical Engineering University of California, Santa Barbara
February 14, 2018 Hideaki Tsutsui Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering & Participating Faculty, Department of Bioengineering University of California, Riverside
February 21, 2018 Nanyin Zhang Professor Biomedical Engineering & Electrical Engineering Pennsylvania State University
February 28, 2018 Niren Murthy Professor, Department of Bioengineering, UC Berkeley
March 7, 2018 Anna Devor Neurovascular Imaging University of California, San Diego
March 14, 2018 Qifa Zhou Professor of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Engineering Ophthalmology University of Southern California

All colloquium presentations are held in WCH 205-206 at 11:10am unless otherwise noted.

**click on each image to find out more about each speaker.

October 18, 2017

Andrea Cabrera

Andrea Cabreradoctoral student, University of California, Riverside

Title: Understanding Precisely How Aging Increases The Risk For Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Abstract: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative eye disease that affects ~10 million people in the US and commonly causes blindness in the elderly. Yet, only 10-15% of all AMD patients that develop the advanced ‘wet’ stage benefit from current FDA-approved therapies while no therapies exist for the more prevalent early ‘dry’ form. Thus, there is an unmet need to better understand and treat dry AMD. One of the hallmarks of dry AMD is the significant degeneration of choriocapillaris (CC), a vascular network that provides metabolic support to light-sensitive photoreceptors. However, the mechanisms underlying CC atrophy in dry AMD remains unknown. Our recent findings are the first to identify a possible mechanism by which aging contributes to CC loss associated with dry AMD. Specifically, using choroidal endothelial cell (EC) cultures as an in vitro model of CC, we show that cellular senescence, a hallmark of aging, leads to significant stiffening of choroidal ECs that, in turn, increases EC susceptibility to complement injury, a major risk factor for AMD. Remarkably, inhibition of cytoskeletal tension-dependent cell stiffness alone blocks the degenerative effects of complement activation on senescent ECs. These findings implicate age- related CC stiffening as a new and potentially critical determinant of complement-mediated CC atrophy seen in early AMD. Work is currently underway to examine this mechanical control of CC dysfunction in the more clinically-relevant rhesus macaque model of AMD pathogenesis.

Biography: Andrea Cabrera is a doctoral student in the Ghosh Research Group. Her research interests focus on the micromechanical control of choroidal atrophy associated with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a potentially-blinding eye disease that affects the global elderly population. Andrea’s recent findings, published in the top-ranked vision research journal IOVS and featured on the journal cover, were the first to provide a mechanistic understanding of how aging increases the risk for choroidal vascular loss, a hallmark of dry AMD. Supported by the GRMP Fellowship, Andrea continues to build upon these novel findings by examining the micromechanical control of AMD pathogenesis in a unique and more clinically- relevant rhesus monkey model of AMD.

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October 18, 2017

Heran Bhakta

Heran BhaktaPhD student, University of California, Riverside

Title: Measuring the Mass, Volume, and Density of Microgram-Sized Objects in Fluids

Abstract: Measurements of an object’s fundamental physical properties like mass, volume, and density can offer valuable insights into an object’s composition or state. However, many biological samples require the object remain immersed in its native fluidic environment during measurement, rendering it difficult to make sensitive measurements. We have recently shown that by using glass tubing and inexpensive electronics, we can create a sensor to measure these physical properties of microgram-sized samples in fluid. We use this sensor to measure the controlled release rate of pharmaceuticals as well as the degradation rates of biomaterials. Furthermore, we show the versatility of this sensor by determining the composition of an object by measuring its density. This inexpensive mass sensor can support applications in fields as diverse as materials science, drug development, and agriculture.

Biography: Heran Bhakta is a graduate student obtaining his PhD under the mentorship of William Grover. His primary research interests are developing low cost microfluidics and bioinstruments for resource-limited settings. Microfluidics piqued his interest when he was an undergraduate researcher developing flow devices for multiple applications. He has developed techniques for 3D printing microfluidic chips that have led to co-authorships on several publications. Heran is also assisting in the development of software to automate the design process of microfluidic devices. Heran’s primary focus has been developing resonating mass sensors and is currently exploring applications in the fields of biomaterials, drug development, and agricultural sciences.

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October 18, 2017

Arthur J. Coury (Distinguished)

Arthur J. CouryProfessor of the Department of Chemical Engineering

Title: Mechanisms And Molecules: From R01 To Intelligent Intervention in MS

Abstract: Industrial and academic experience in developing regulated medical products has led to the understanding of certain principles required to achieve commercial success. Results of strategies and actions to achieve the goals of a product development protocol have generated a list of dozens of variables that should be considered before advancing far in this process. Failure to satisfy one or a few of the “imperatives” generated from such an analysis will most likely prevent a successfully marketed product. In this presentation, facts and figures of the medical product “playing field” will be presented. Following this, stages of a product development plan with pitfalls along the way will be offered. Then, a “case study” of a successful vs. unsuccessful product will be provided and explained in light of the “imperatives.” Finally, a note on the value of an academic license to a medical product company will be suggested.

Biography: Art Coury holds a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Delaware (1962), a Ph.D. in organic chemistry (1965) and an M.B.A. (1980) from the University of Minnesota. His industrial career included positions as: Senior Research Chemist at General Mills, Inc. (1965-1976), Director, Polymer Technology and Research Fellow at Medtronic, Inc. (1976- 1993), Vice President, Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Focal, Inc. (1993-2000), and Vice President, Biomaterials Research at Genzyme Corporation (2000-June, 2008). He currently is a consultant and academic professor. His career focus has been polymeric biomaterials for medical products such as implantable electronic devices, hydrogel--‐based devices and drug delivery systems. He holds over fifty five distinct patents and has published and presented widely in his field. His prior or current academic service has included adjunct or affiliate appointments at the University of Minnesota, the Harvard--‐MIT Graduate Program in Health Sciences and Technology, the University of Cape Town, South Africa, the University of Trento, Italy, Sichuan University, China and Northeastern University. His professional Service has included: Chair, Minnesota Section, American Chemical Society (1989-1990); President, Society for Biomaterials, USA (1999-2000); President, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) (2003-2004) and membership on a number of university, professional society and corporate advisory boards. His recent recognitions have included the delivery of distinguished lectureships, receipt of the 2007 Innovation and Technology Development Award of the Society for Biomaterials, being named as one of “100 Notable People in the Medical Device Industry” by MD&DI magazine, 2008, induction into the National Academy of Engineering, USA, 2009, recognition on the University of Delaware alumni “Wall of Fame,” 2010, “The Man, the Myth, the Materials,” a symposium in honor of Art Coury’s 70th birthday, 2010, induction as an American Chemical Society Fellow, 2011, recipient of the Society for Biomaterials Founders’ Award, 2012 and its C. William Hall Award, 2013, of the AIMBE Pierre Galletti award for 2012, of the University of Minnesota Outstanding Alumni Award for 2013, appointment as Honorary Professor, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China (2013), and University Distinguished Professor, Northeastern University (2014), and recognition with the Directors’ Award of the Harvard/MIT Joint Program in Health Sciences and Technology (2016).

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October 25, 2017

Gang Bao (Distinguished)

Gang BaoDirector, Nanomedicine Center for Nucleoprotien Machines, Rice University

Title: Engineering Multifunctional Nanoparticles for Disease Detection and Therapy

Abstract: In this talk I will present the recent development and application of magnetic nanoparticles in my lab, including multi-modality PET/MR/fluorescence imaging contrast agent for disease detection, heat generation by magnetic iron oxidenanoparticles, nanoparticle-based stem cell targeting, and nanocarriers for drug/gene delivery. The opportunities and challenges in nanobioengineering are also discussed.

Biography: Dr. Gang Bao is the Foyt Family Chair Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, Rice University. He is a CPRIT Senior Scholar and the Director of Nanomedicine Center for Nucleoprotein Machines at Rice. Dr. Bao received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Shandong University in China, and his PhD from Lehigh University in the US. Dr. Bao is a Fellow of the American Association of Advancement in Science (AAAS), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Physical Society (APS), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). Dr. Bao’s current research is focused on the development of nanotechnology and biomolecular engineering tools for biological and disease studies, including molecular beacons, magnetic nanoparticle probes, quantum dot bioconjugates, protein tagging/targeting methods, and engineered nucleases such as CRISPR/Cas9. These approaches have been applied to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and the development of genome editing approaches for treating single-gene disorders.

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Nov 1, 2017

Jenny Mac

Jenny MacBiochemistry and Molecular Biology Ph.D. Candidate University of California, Riverside

Title: Erythrocyte-derived optical nano-constructs for phototheranostics

Abstract: Erythrocyte-derived delivery platforms have potential for personalized theranostics. Key advantages of using this platform include: improved biocompatibility based on fabrication of the constructs from autologously-derived blood, extended in vivo circulation time, tunable size (ranging from nano- to micron-size scale) to provide capability for various clinical applications ranging from tumor to vascular imaging, encapsulation of various payloads (fluorescent probe and/or chemotherapeutic drug), and surface modification for targeted specific biomarkers. In particular, erythrocyte-derived nanoparticles can be doped with near infrared (NIR) chromophores, such as FDA-approved indocyanine green (ICG) and functionalized with antibodies to provide dual capabilities for targeted near-infrared imaging and phototherapy. We demonstrate the synthesis and characterization of these structures, as well as, their capability for in vitro targeting of cancer cells. In addition, these erythrocyte-derived platforms can be customized for light-triggered combined chemotherapy and phototherapy by co-loading doxorubicin (DOX) and ICG.

Biography: Jenny Mac is a graduate student obtaining her PhD under the mentorship of Dr. Bahman Anvari. Her primary research interests involve the development of an erythrocyte-derived nanoplatform for biomedical applications. Her fascination lies in active targeting of cancer cells via surface modification as well as exploring new applications, such as combined chemo-phototherapy. She also studied the effects of particle size on bio- distribution and cytotoxicity. She is currently serving on ASLMS Board of Directors as an Early Career Scientist Representative.

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November 8, 2017

Monirul Hasan

Monirul HasanBioengineering Ph.D. Candidate University of California, Riverside

Title: Detection of cortical optical changes during seizure activity using optical coherence tomography

Abstract: Electrophysiology has remained the gold standard of neural activity detection but its resolution and high susceptibility to noise and motion artifact limit its efficiency. Imaging techniques, including fMRI, intrinsic optical imaging, and diffuse optical imaging, have been used to detect neural activity, but rely on indirect measurements such as changes in blood flow. Fluorescence-based techniques, including genetically encoded indicators, are powerful techniques, but require introduction of an exogenous fluorophore. A more direct optical imaging technique is optical coherence tomography (OCT), a label-free, high resolution, and minimally invasive imaging technique that can produce depth-resolved cross-sectional and 3D images. In this study, we sought to examine non-vascular depth-dependent optical changes directly related to neural activity. We used an OCT system centered at 1310 nm to search for changes in an ex vivo brain slice preparation and an in vivo model during 4-AP induced seizure onset and propagation with respect to electrical recording. By utilizing Doppler OCT and the depth-dependency of the attenuation coefficient, we demonstrate the ability to locate and remove the optical effects of vasculature within the upper regions of the cortex from in vivo attenuation calculations. The results of this study show a non-vascular decrease in intensity and attenuation in ex vivo and in vivo seizure models, respectively. Regions exhibiting decreased optical changes show significant temporal correlation to regions of increased electrical activity during seizure. This study allows for a thorough and biologically relevant analysis of the optical signature of seizure activity both ex vivo and in vivo using OCT.

Biography: Hasan received his B.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 2007.Then he worked for a telecommunication company for 6 years in Bangladesh. He joined in Dr. Park’s lab in 2013. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Bioengineering Department at the University of California Riverside. His research focuses on label-free optical detection of neural activity using Optical Coherence Tomography. Beside studies, he likes to play soccer and cricket etc.

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November 8, 2017

Rohith Mohan

Rohith MohanBioengineering Ph.D. Candidate University of California, Riverside

Title: AESOP: A Python Library for Investigating Electrostatics in Protein Interactions

Abstract: Electric fields often play a role in guiding the association of protein complexes. Such interactions can be further engineered to accelerate complex association, resulting in protein systems with increased productivity. This is especially true for enzymes where reaction rates are typically diffusion limited. To facilitate quantitative comparisons of electrostatics in protein families and to describe electrostatic contributions of individual amino acids, we previously developed a computational framework called AESOP. We now implement this computational tool in Python with increased usability and the capability of performing calculations in parallel. AESOP utilizes PDB2PQR and Adaptive Poisson-Boltzmann Solver to generate grid-based electrostatic potential files for protein structures provided by the end user. There are methods within AESOP for quantitatively comparing sets of grid-based electrostatic potentials in terms of similarity or generating ensembles of electrostatic potential files for a library of mutants to quantify the effects of perturbations in protein structure and protein-protein association.

Biography: Rohith Mohan is a graduate student obtaining his PhD under the mentorship of Dr. Dimitrios Morikis. His primary research interests include mechanistic studies of protein interactions, biological network analysis, and virtual drug screening. His work on the complement system has led to several publications and his studies in rational peptidic design has led to a patent application. His work has also been recognized by the San Diego Supercomputing Center, ACS National Meeting and UC Systemwide Bioengineering Symposium through the following awards respectively: UC Graduate Summer Fellowship, NVIDIA GPU Award finalist, and Best Oral Presentation. He is a consultant at GradQuant and is also one of the developers of the Python library AESOP.

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November 29, 2017

Reed Harrison

Reed HarrisonBioengineering Ph.D. Candidate University of California, Riverside

Title: Ionic Tethering Contributes to the Conformational Stability and Function of Complement C3b

Abstract: C3b, the central component in the alternative pathway (AP) of the complement system, samples a number of conformations while in solution. These conformations affect how C3b can interact with other proteins involved in complement activation and regulation. In order to explore the structure-function relationship of C3b, we combined a computational model for electrostatic interactions within C3b with molecular imaging to study the distributions of C3b conformers. The model predicted that the thioester domain (TED) of C3b, a domain containing a moiety that can covalently bind to cell surfaces, is tethered to the macroglobulin (MG) ring through electrostatic interactions and that monovalent counterion concentration affects the magnitude of electrostatic forces anchoring the TED. These predictions were confirmed by observing NaCl concentration dependent conformational changes using single molecule electron microscopy (EM). Additionally, the thermodynamic model predicted mutations that may influence the position of the TED domain. These mutations included the common R102G polymorphism, a risk variant for developing age- related macular degeneration. The common C3b isoform (R102) and the risk isoform (G102) show distinct energetic barriers to detachment of the TED due to a network of electrostatic interactions at the interface of the TED and MG-ring domains. These computational predictions agree with empirical distributions from EM that quantify probabilistic differences in conformation between the two C3b isoforms. Altogether, we describe an ionic, reversible attachment of the TED domain to the MG ring that may influence complement regulation in polymorphisms of C3b.

Biography: Reed Harrison is a doctoral candidate in Bioengineering under the mentorship of Professor Dimitrios Morikis. His research interests involve studying molecular mechanisms of disease and methods to modulate protein function. In these areas of research, Reed’s work has led to a number of publications in peer-reviewed journals and to the development of a computational framework implemented in the Python programming language for analysis of electrostatic structures of proteins (AESOP). Reed’s research has been supported by the NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship, the Whitaker International Program, and the University of California.

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November 29, 2017

George Way

George WayBioengineering Ph.D. Candidate University of California, Riverside

Title: Dissecting the Role of SUMOylation in Influenza A Virus Replication Using Quantitative FRET Technology

Abstract: The influenza virus infects and kills over 100,000 people in the world-wide every year. Current FDA approved drugs have been proven to be effective but the influenza virus mutates at a rapid pace, developing resistances to these drugs. Recently, SUMOylation has been found to play a role in influenza virus infection/replication. We have implemented our quantitative FRET Technology to study the SUMOylation of the Influenza A virus proteins. We developed a highly sensitive FRET-based technique to dissect the interactions between the host and influenza virus. We demonstrate our FRET-based technique on NS1 from the influenza A virus to identify the SUMOylation site and found that preventing the SUMOylation of NS1 leads to lower virus growth. These methods can be used for the characterization SUMOylation inhibitors as a novel strategy for antiviral and anti-cancer therapies.

Biography: George Way is a graduate student obtaining his PhD under the mentorship of Dr. Jiayu Liao. His research interests focus on the relationship between SUMOylation and the influenza A virus using quantitative FRET technologies. Understanding the relationship between human host factors and the influenza A virus is important for the development of the next-generation anti-influenza virus drugs and therapies. He has developed a sensitive FRET-based method to determine the SUMOylation site(s) of proteins. His primary focus has been to elucidate the necessary host factors required for the influenza A virus life cycle.

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December 6, 2017

John Gore (Distinguished)

John GoreProfessor of engineering and director, Vanderbilt University institute of imaging Science

Title: New Developments in Structural and Functional MRI

Abstract: Several new experimental observations promise to extend the role of MRI in neuroscience. For example, temporal diffusion spectroscopy uses measurements of apparent diffusion rates over different time scales to derive microstructural information such as axon sizes non-invasively. Correlations of MRI signal variations between brain regions in a resting state are interpreted as evidence of functional connectivity, but much work remains to validate the origins and significance of these relationships. Resting state correlations have also been discovered in the central grey matter of spinal cord, and presumably depict functional connectivity between sub-regions such as the ventral and dorsal horns. These correlations change after an injury and thus may provide a biomarker of the functional integrity of the cord. In white matter, correlations between resting state MRIsignalsfrom adjacent voxels are anisotropic and so can be analyzed in similar manner as diffusion tensors(but without diffusion gradients) and often appear to follow white matter tracts and reveal an apparent underlying functional structure. The biophysical origins of these signals are under active investigation as they potentially provide new insights into information flow in white matter. Aided by technical advances in ultra-high field imaging, these developments suggest new research directions and applications of MRI.

Biography: John C. Gore, Ph.D., holds the Hertha Ramsey Cress Chair in Medicine and is a University Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at Vanderbilt University, where he also directs the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science. Dr. Gore obtained his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of London in the UK and also holds a degree in Law. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM), the American Physical Society, the National Academy of Inventors and the Institute of Physics (UK). He is also a Distinguished Investigator of the Academy of Radiology Research. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Magnetic Resonance Imaging. He has been honored with several awards including the Gold Medal of the ISMRM (2004) for his contributions to the field of magnetic resonance imaging, the Earl Sutherland Award for Achievement in Research from Vanderbilt, and is an Honorary Professor at Zhejiang University in China. Dr. Gore founded the pioneering MRI research program at Hammersmith Hospital in the UK in the late 1970’s prior to establishing and directing the MRI research program at Yale University from 1982-2002. He moved to Vanderbilt in 2002 to establish the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science which has since grown to be one of the premier centers for imaging research in the world. He has published over 600 original papers and contributions within the medical imaging field. His research interests include the development and application of multimodal imaging methods for understanding tissue physiology and structure, molecular imaging and functional brain imaging.

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January 17, 2018

Maryellen L. Giger (Distinguished)

Maryellen L. GigerVice Chair, Basic Science Research, Department of Radiology

Title: Deciphering Breast Cancer through Breast MRI, Radiomics, and Deep Learning

Abstract: Adapting the Precision Medicine Initiative into imaging research includes studies in both discovery and translation. Discovery is a multi‐disciplinary data mining effort involving researcherssuch asradiologists, medical physicists, oncologists, computer scientists, engineers, and computational geneticists. Quantitative radiomic analyses are yielding novel image‐based tumor characteristics, i.e., signatures that may ultimately contribute to the design of patient‐specific breast cancer diagnostics and treatments. The role of quantitative radiomics continuesto grow beyond computer‐aided detection, with AI methods being developed to (a) quantitatively characterize the radiomic features of a suspicious region or tumor, e.g., those describing tumor morphology or function, (b) merge the relevant featuresinto diagnostic, prognostic, or predictive image‐based signatures, (c) estimate the probability of a particular disease state, (d) retrieve similar cases, (e) compare the tumor in question to thousands of other breast tumors, and (f) explore imaging genomics association studies between the image‐based features/signatures and histological/genomic data. Advances in machine learning are allowing for these computer‐extracted features (phenotypes), both from clinically‐driven, hand‐crafted feature extraction systems and deep learning methods, to characterize a patient’s tumor via “virtual digital biopsies”. Ultimately translation of discovered relationships will include applications to the clinical assessments of cancer risk, prognosis, response to therapy, and risk of recurrence.

Biography: Maryellen L. Giger, Ph.D. is the A.N. Pritzker Professor of Radiology, Committee on Medical Physics, and the College at the University of Chicago. She is also the Vice‐Chair of Radiology (Basic Science Research) and the immediate past Director of the CAMPEP‐ accredited Graduate Programs in Medical Physics/ Chair of the Committee on Medical Physics at the University. For 30 years, she has conducted research on computer‐aided diagnosis and quantitative image analysis (radiomics) in the areas of breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and bone diseases. She has also served on various NIH study sections, is a former president of the American Association of Physicistsin Medicine, isthe inaugural Editor‐in‐Chief of the SPIE Journal of Medical Imaging, and the current President‐ Elect of SPIE. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of AAPM, AIMBE, SPIE, and IEEE, a recipient of the AAPM William D. Coolidge Gold Medal and the EMBS Academic Career Achievement Award, and is a current Hagler Institute Fellow at Texas A&M University. She has more than 200 peer‐reviewed publications (over 300 publications), has more than 30 patents and has mentored over 100 graduate students, residents, medical students, and undergraduate students. Her research in computational image‐based analyses of breast cancer for risk assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, response to therapy, and biological discovery has yielded various translated components, and she is now using these image‐based phenotypes in imaging genomics association studies.

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January 25, 2018

Jack Tang

Jack TangBioengineering Ph.D. Graduate Student University of California, Riverside

Title: Material Characteristics of Erythrocyte‐Derived Optical Particles

Abstract: Exogenous fluorescent materials activated by near‐infrared (NIR) photo‐excitation can offer deep optical imaging with sub‐cellular resolution, and enhanced image contrast. We engineer NIR optical particles by doping hemoglobin‐depleted erythrocyte ghosts (EGs) with indocyanine green (ICG). We refer to these probes as NIR erythrocyte‐mimicking transducers (NETs). A particular feature of NETs is that their diameters can be tuned from micron‐ to nano‐scale, thereby providing a capability for broad NIR biomedical imaging applications. We have investigated the effects of ICG concentration on key material properties of micron‐sized NETs, and nano‐sized NETs fabricated by either sonication or extrusion of EGs. The zeta potentials of NETs do not vary significantly with ICG concentration, suggesting that ICG is encapsulated within NETs regardless of particle size or ICG concentration. Based on quantitative analyses of the fluorescence emission spectra of the NETs, we determine that 20 μM ICG utilized during fabrication of NETs presents an optimal concentration that maximizes the integrated fluorescence emission for micron‐sized and nano‐sized NETs. These results can guide the engineering of NETs with maximal NIR emission for imaging applications such as fluorescence‐guided tumor resection, and real‐time angiography.

Biography: Jack Tang is a 5th year PhD candidate in Dr. Bahman Anvari’s lab. His research focuses on the formulation and development of erythrocyte‐derived nanoparticles for biomedical imaging and phototherapy of cancers. To date, he has investigated different procedures for fabricating these nanoparticles, and their resulting optical and physical properties. His current research interests include characterization of the surface of NETs, and cryopreservation of NETs for long‐term storage.

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January 25, 2018

Christopher Hale

Christopher HaleBioengineering Ph.D. Graduate Student University of California, Riverside

Title: Reduction of Edema Following Spinal Cord Injury Using Osmotic Transport Devices

Abstract: In the United States, 450,000 people live with spinal cord injury (SCI), with an estimated 11,000 individuals added each year. Following initial damage from SCI, Edema‐ an increase in water content in tissue, is the primary cause of damage. The current guidelines following SCI, do not treat the injured tissue, but immobilize the spine, to prevent further injury, and while there are some experimental treatments being tested for victims of SCI, they have only shown limited success in reducing edema. In this work, we have developed a novel method for removal of the excess water in the tissue using osmotically driven flux. Using an osmotic transport device (OTD), water can be selectively removed in a controlled fashion without damaging the underlying tissue. Here, we show that this method can be used to treat edema for the most severe cases of contusion spinal cord injury.

Biography: Christopher Hale is a doctoral candidate in Bioengineering under the mentorship of Professor Victor Rodgers. His research interests involve studying solution parameter effects on osmotic pressure and the development of devices. Christopher’s research has been supported by the Nielsen Foundation and the University of California.

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January 31, 2018

John H. Zhang

John ZhangDirector, Center for Neuroscience Research Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Title: Stroke: A 2400 Years’ Puzzle

Abstract: Stroke was regarded by Hippocrates and all other scholars as a disease without treatment, until recently that tPA and thrombectomy was introduced to recanalize occluded arteries for acute stroke patient. But these treatments are available to about 5% Americans stroke patients who can come to emergency department within 3 hours. Can we treat chronic stroke? A paper published in 1938 from Beijing Union Hospital showed two cases, both had stroke one year ago, and delayed recanalization of internal carotid arteries improved patient outcomes. This presentation will discuss the potential mechanisms that delayed recanalization may be an option for chronic stroke patients.

Biography: John H. Zhang, MD, PhD, FAHA is a professor in Anesthesiology, Neurosurgery and Physiology in Loma Linda University, California. He achieved his MD from Chongqing Medical University China in 1983 and PhD in University of Alberta Canada in 1992. He has obtained 33 million USD grants from NIH, DoD, AHA and other foundations, edited 20 stroke or CNS disorder related book, edited 25 special journal issues on stroke, published by June 2017 728 articles, among them 369 originals, 130 supplements, 109 reviews, 63 editorials/letters, and 55 book chapters. ORCID recorded 696 papers, cited by 9,878 papers and cited of 17,236 times, H‐index 68. He has given more than 200 invited speeches.

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February 6, 2018

Otger Campas

Otger CampasAssistant Professor & Mellichamp Chair in Systems BiologybDepartment of Mechanical Engineering University of California, Santa Barbara

Title: Mechanical Control of Tissue Morphogenesis

Abstract: The sculpting of tissues into their functional morphologies requires a tight spatiotemporal control of their mechanics. While cell‐generated mechanical forces power morphogenesis, the resulting tissue movements strongly depend on the local tissue mechanical (material) properties, as these govern the system's response to the internally generated forces. Despite their relevance, the specific roles of mechanical forces and mechanical properties in tissue morphogenesis remain largely unknown, mainly because of a lack in methodologies enabling direct in vivo and in situ measurements of cell‐generated forces and mechanical properties within developing 3D tissues and organs. In this talk, I will present two microdroplet‐based techniques that we have recently developed to quantify both local cellular forces and mechanical properties within developing 3D tissues. Focusing on body axis elongation in zebrafish, I will show that spatial variations in supra‐cellular (tissue level) stresses, and especially in tissue mechanical properties, control the morphogenetic movements necessary to shape the embryonic axis. In contrast, the magnitude of cellular forces is largely uniform in the tissue. Overall, our results indicate that spatiotemporal variations in tissue mechanical properties, rather than cellular forces, regulate the sculpting of embryonic 3D tissues.

Biography: Otger Campàs is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at UCSB, where he holds a Mellichamp Chair in Systems Biology. His research group combines theoretical and experimental methods to approach a variety of problems related to morphogenesis and self‐organization of living matter. Specifically, his group focuses on how mechanical signals control the shaping of embryonic tissues and organs. Before arriving at UCSB in July 2012, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, working with Professors Brenner, Mahadevan and Ingber. Campàs received his B.S. in Physics from the University of Barcelona, and completed his Ph.D. in Biophysics at the Institut Curie (Paris), working under Jacques Prost, Jean‐François Joanny, and Jaume Casademunt, studying how cellular movements and cellular organization arise from the molecular forces generated by motor proteins and polymerization of cytoskeletal filaments. In 2008 he spearheaded a highly popular event titled “Cooking and Science with Ferran Adrià” at Harvard University, and was later co‐founder of the "Science and Cooking" course and lecture series at Harvard University. For more information about his research please visit

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February 14, 2018

Hideaki Tsutsui

Hideaki TsutsuAssistant Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering Participating BIG Faculty Department of Bioengineering & UCR Stem Cell Center University of California, Riverside

Title: Fluid Engineering for Stem Cell Biomanufacturing and Low‐Cost Biosensors

Abstract: This talk is going to introduce two ongoing research thrusts in my research group: stem cell biomanufacturing and low‐cost biosensors. An overarching principle driving these seemingly distant efforts is fluid engineering – design, modeling, and exploitation of fluid flows to improve biomedical devices. First, I will discuss stirred suspension culture of human pluripotent stem cells, in which we use fluidic agitation to control the maintenance of undifferentiated stem cells and their differentiations. The fluidic agitation dictates the size of growing cell aggregates which is a critical parameter for transport of nutrients and metabolites. In addition, the fluidic agitation modulates key signaling pathways. We use this unique mechanical cue to achieve efficient derivation of cardiac phenotypes in suspension. Second, I will discuss paper‐based microfluidic tools we develop for low‐cost biosensor applications. It has been a decade since the original microfluidic paper‐based analytical device (μPAD) was reported. Since then, the designs and functions of these low‐cost biosensors have evolved. However, sophisticated sensor functions (e.g., sequential delivery, (de‐)multiplexing) often require advanced fluid transport techniques. Our tools include origami‐inspired 3‐D paper‐based microfluidics, laseretched fast‐wicking channels, as well as an imbibition model that takes into account the effects of humidity and channel dimensions. Finally, if time allows, I will introduce an injectable nanosensor we are currently developing for in planta detection of agricultural diseases.

Biography: Hideaki Tsutsui is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Riverside. He is also a participating faculty member of the Department of Bioengineering and the UCR Stem Cell Center. He received a B.E. from the University of Tokyo (2001), a M.S. from the University of California, San Diego (2003), and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (2009), all in Mechanical Engineering. He then conducted postdoctoral research during 2009‐2011 at the Center for Cell Control and the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UCLA. His current research interests include low‐cost medical and agricultural biosensors, and macro‐ and micro‐fluidic tools for cell‐based biomanufacturing. He is a recipient of a Grand Challenges Explorations Phase I Award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2012), a UCR Regents' Faculty Fellowship (2013), a Regents' Faculty Development Award (2017), and a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award from National Science Foundation (2017).

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February 21, 2018

Nanyin Zhang

Nanyin ZhangProfessor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University

Title: Understanding neural circuit function in awake rodents by integrating multi-dimensional information

Abstract: A major challenge in research on the pathophysiology of brain disorders has been the difficulty to directly translate from human symptoms to animal models that have a unique behavioral repertoire. The brain circuit function and connectivity, which has become accessible through the broad application of fMRI in humans, might provide a link between animal models and observations in humans with psychiatric disease. However, this task has been largely unsuccessful, primarily due to the confounding effects of anesthesia in most animal fMRI experiments. Our lab has established an approach that allows animal’s brain circuit function to be examined at the awake state and investigation of the link between animal models and human pathophysiology for psychiatric disorders.

Biography: Dr. Nanyin Zhang is Hartz Family Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. His work has been focused on neuroimaging method and applications. His lab pioneered a novel resting -state fMRI method that allows the functional networks of the rat brain to be studied without any influences of anesthesia. Based on this method, Dr. Zhang’s lab has established a platform that integrates fMRI, optogenetic, electrophysiological and behavioral methods in the same awake animal. This platform has made it possible to translate neuroimaging findings between animal models and human brain disorders. By utilizing this platform, his lab for the first time uncovered the organizational architecture of the brain network in awake rats, and revealed how this network organization was altered in different animal models of mental disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol use disorder.

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University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Department of Bioengineering
205 Materials Science & Engineering

Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tel: (951) 827-4303
Fax: (951) 827-6416

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