University of California, Riverside

Department of Bioengineering

2011-2012 Colloquium




2011-10-26 Morteza Gharib
Vice Provost; Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Bio-Inspired Engineering, Cal Tech
Distinguished Speaker Series

Lessons for Bio-Inspired Design: Morpho-Dynamics of Embryonic Heart

2011-11-09 Abraham Lee
Chair, Biomedical Engineering William J. Link Professor, Biomedical Engineering Professor (Joint Appointment), Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Director, Micro/Nano Fluidics Fundamentals Focus Center, UC Irvine
Distinguished Speaker Series

Microfluidic Delivery of Medicine at the Biological Scale

2012-01-25 Buddy Ratner
Professor & Michael L. & Myrna Darland Endowed Chair in Technology Commercialization, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington

Distinguished Speaker Series

Biomaterials Evolve: From Scar to STAR

2012-02-15 Cato T. Laurencin
Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, Director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering and the Van Dusen Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery

Distinguished Speaker Series

Musculoskeletal Regenerative Engineering: Taking on the Grand Challenges


Phillip Berman
Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at UCSC 

Distinguished Speaker Series

Challenges in the Development of an AIDS Vaccine

2012-05-16 George Truskey
R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Research , Duke University

Distinguished Speaker Series

Extrinsic Control of Skeletal Muscle Myoblast Differentiation

All colloquium presentations are held on Wednesdays from 11:00-noon unless otherwise noted.

October 26, 2011
Distinguished Speakers Series

Professor Mory Gharib

gharibVice Provost for Research, Vice Provost; Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Bio-Inspired Engineering, California Institute of Technology

Title: Lessons for Bio-Inspired Design: Morpho-Dynamics of Embryonic Heart

Abstract: Nature has shown us that some hearts do not require valves to achieve unidirectional flow. In its earliest stages, the vertebrate heart consists of a primitive tube that drives blood through a simple vascular network nourishing tissues and other developing organ systems. Traditional developmental dogma states that valveless, unidirectional pumping in biological systems occurs by peristalsis. However, our in vivo studies of embryonic Zebrafish heart (Nature 2003), where we mapped the movement of both the myocardial cells in the developing heart tube wall as well as the flow of blood through the tube, contradicts the notion of peristalsis as a pumping mechanism in the valveless embryonic heart. Instead, we have discovered an intriguing wave reflection process based on impedance mismatches at the boundaries of the heart tube (Science 2006). From these observations we have developed a physio-mathematical model that proposes an elastic wave resonance mechanism (JFM 2006) of the heart tube as the more likely pumping mechanism. In this model fewer cells are required to actively contract in order to maintain the pumping action than are necessary in a peristaltic mechanism. Inspired by this design, we have succeeded in constructing a series of mechanical counterparts to this biological pump on a range of size scale including scales comparable to that of embryonic zebrafish heart (e.g. ~400 microns). This new generation of biologically-inspired pumps functions on both the micro- and macro-scale and do not possess valves or blades. These advantages offer exciting new potentials for use in applications where delicate transport of blood, drugs or other biological fluids are desired. Also, in this lecture, we will discuss some of our recent experimental observations that may teach us how to grow biological micro valves.

Dr. Mory Gharib is Vice Provost for Research and the Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Bio-Inspired Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran University (1975) and then pursued his graduate studies at Syracuse University (M.S., 1978, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering) and Caltech (Ph.D., 1983, Aeronautics). After two years as a senior scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA/CIT), he joined the faculty of the Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences Department at UCSD in 1985. He became a full professor of fluid mechanics in 1992 and, in January 1993, he joined Caltech as a professor of aeronautics. Dr. Gharib's current research interests include bio-inspired engineering for the development of medical devices, wind energy harvesting and propulsion systems. His other active projects include the development of advanced 3-D imaging systems, and nano and micro-fluidics. His biomechanics work includes studies of the human cardiovascular system and physiological machines. Dr. Gharib's honors and affiliations include: Fellow, American association for the advancement of science (AAAS), Fellow, American Physical Society (APS), Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), He has received 5 new technology recognition awards from NASA in the fields of advanced laser imaging and nanotechnology. For his 3-D imaging camera system, he has received R&D Magazine's "R&D 100 innovation award" for one of the best invention of the year 2008. Dr. Gharib holds 180 publications in refereed journal and 45 U.S. Patents.

November 9, 2011
Distinguished Speakers Series

Professor Abraham P. Lee

leeChair, Biomedical Engineering William J. Link Professor, Biomedical Engineering Professor (Joint Appointment), Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Director, Micro/Nano Fluidics Fundamentals Focus Center

Title: Microfluidic Delivery of Medicine at the Biological Scale

Abstract: Life at the fundamental level is an intricate network of compartmentalized vol-umes of molecules with specialized functions and energy fields. This enables precise re-actions that allow complex operations such as the immune response, regulation and ad-aptation, repair and maintenance, parallel processing, and hierarchical self-assembly. This scaling phenomenon from nature inspired "digital biology" and "digital microfluidics" where molecules and purified reagents are co-located in "digital reactors" and manipulat-ed by microfluidic operations. Microfluidic technologies enable the processing and manip-ulation of volumes that are equivalent to the fundamental units in biology (cells - picoliters, organelles - femtoliters, viruses, biomolecules - < attoliters). In this talk I will focus on the-se digital microfluidic processors that are developed in my lab. These devices are capable of detection and manipulation at the cellular and molecular level with high throughput for large-scale molecular and cellular analyses. I plan on introducing three projects in my lab: (1) a 1-million droplet array platform for DNA studies and genetic analyses. In this plat-form, we take advantage of droplet microfluidics to develop bioreactors at the cellular scale that confine the reagents for single molecular amplification and large-scale detec-tion. We developed the microfluidic techniques that enable the self-assembly of tunable 3D droplets for ultra-high-density digital micro-reactor arrays. This project has implications in personalized medicine. (2) A microfluidic platform to produce lipid vesicles as artificial cells that can mimic cellular machinery in a controlled and high throughput manner. The same platform is also used to produce acoustically-activated artificial cells with the poten-tial for theranostic (therapeutic and diagnostic) applications. (3) Lateral cavity acoustic transducers (LCATs) towards sample-to-answer point-of-care applications. These LCATs are versatile microfluidic platforms capable of pumping, mixing, sorting, and separation.

Abraham (Abe) Lee is the William J. Link Chair and Professor of the Depart-ment of Biomedical Engineering with a joint appointment in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California at Irvine in the USA. He also serves as the di-rector of the Micro/nano Fluidics Fundamentals Focus (MF3) Center, a DARPA-industry supported research center currently with more than 10 industrial members. Prior to joining the UCI faculty in 2002, he was with the Office of Technology and Industrial Relations at the National Cancer Institute as a Senior Technology Advisor, and before that he was a program manager in the Microsystems Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Re-search Projects Agency. His research has contributed to the founding of several start-up companies and he also serves as an advisor to companies and government agencies. Dr. Lee recently was awarded the 2009 Pioneers of Miniaturization Prize by Corning and Lab on a Chip and is an elected fellow of the American Institute of and Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Dr. Lee received his doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Califor-nia at Berkeley in 1992 and his bachelor's degree in Power Mechanical Engineering from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan in 1986.

January 25, 2012
Distinguished Speakers Series

Professor Buddy Ratner

ratnerProfessor & Michael L. & Myrna Darland Endowed Chair in Technology Commercialization , Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington

Title: Biomaterials Evolve: From Scar to STAR

Abstract: The modern field of biomaterials started in the 1950's with daring experiments that proved that synthetic polymers could change the face of medicine. Since then, millions of medical devices made of synthetic or modified natural materials (generally passive materials) have been implanted as components of medical devices. All these devices trigger a similar reaction upon implantation, the foreign body reaction (FBR). Biocompatibility, for materials that are found to be acceptable by routine cytotoxicity assays, is largely associated with a thin, avascular, non-adherent, collagenous foreign body capsule (scar). Surface modifications have been only minimally successful in addressing this FBR (though surface chemical modifications are important in many other areas of biomaterial application). Almost all surface chemistries seem to produce similar healing responses. Based on studies over the past 10 years at the University of Washington, a class of 3D biomaterials will be described that readily integrates into tissue and stimulates spontaneous reconstruction of tissue. The material is made by sphere-templating of synthetic polymers. All pores are identical in size and interconnected. We call this biomaterial, STAR (sphere-templated angiogenic regenerative). Studies from our group have shown optimal healing (as suggested by induced vascularity and minimal fibrosis) for spherical pores of approximately 30 micron size. The integrative healing effect noted is independent of biomaterial - similar results are observed with sphere-templated silicone rubber and pHEMA hydrogel. In addition, surface chemical modification of the hydrogel with carbonyl diimidazole (CDI), or immobilization on the hydrogel of collagen I or laminin did not change the healing response. Also good healing results have been seen upon implantation in skin (subcutaneously, percutaneously), heart muscle, sclera, skeletal muscle, bone and vaginal wall. This talk will describe these sphere-templated materials, and the concept of a 3D biointerface mechanically driving the reaction. The role of the macrophage in the reaction will be discussed. New biodegradable hydrogels and polyurethanes compatible with the sphere-templating process will also be described. The significance of STAR and related materials for tissue regeneration and true healing will be addressed.

Buddy D. Ratner is Director of the University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials (UWEB21) Engineering Research Center. He holds the Michael L. and Myrna Darland Endowed Chair in Technology Commercialization and is Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering, University of Washington. Dr. Ratnerr received his Ph.D. (1972) in Polymer Chemistry from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. He has been at the University of Washington since 1972. From 1985-1996, he directed the National Institutes of Health-funded National ESCA and Surface Analysis Center for Biomedical Problems. In 1996, he assumed the directorship of UWEB (now UWEB21). Ratner is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), the AVS (formerly the American Vacuum Society), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the International College of Fellows Biomaterials Science and Engineering. He is a past president of the Society for Biomaterials. He served as president of AIMBE (2002-2003). In 2003 he was elected President of the Tissue Engineering Society of North America. In 2002, Ratner was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering, USA. He serves on the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of Bioimaging and Bioengineering, NIH (2009-2013). Ratner has won numerous awards. A partial list includes the Medard W. Welch Award of the American Vacuum Society (2002), Founders Award of the Society for Biomaterials (2004), C. William Hall Award from the Society for Biomaterials (2006), the BMES Pritzker Distinguished Lecturer Award (2008), the Acta Biomaterialia gold medal (2009), the University of Washington Faculty Lecture (2011) and the Pierre Galletti Award from the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (2011). He has authored over 400 scholarly works and has over 20 issued patents. He is Editor of the Journal of Undergraduate Research in BioEngineering, on the advisory board of Biointerphases and serves on the editorial boards of ten other journals. He is the lead editor for Biomaterials Science: An Introduction to Materials in Medicine, a textbook that has sold over 25,000 copies. Buddy Ratner's interests include biomaterials, tissue engineering, polymers, biocompatibility, drug delivery, surface analysis, self-assembly, nanobiotechnology, RF-plasma thin film deposition, technology commercialization and biomaterials education. He has participated in the launch of six companies based on technologies from his laboratory, and serves as a consultant for numerous other companies.

February 15, 2012
Distinguished Speakers Series

Professor Cato T. Laurencin

catoChief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, Director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering and the Van Dusen Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Connecticut

Title: Musculoskeletal Regenerative Engineering: Taking on the Grand Challenges

Abstract: The next ten years will see unprecedented strides in regenerating musculoskeletal tissues. We are moving from an era of advanced prosthetics, to what I term regenerative engineering. In doing so, we have the capability to begin to address grand challenges in musculoskeletal regeneration.  Tissues such as bone, ligament, and cartilage can now be understood from the cellular level to the tissue level.  We now have the capability to produce these tissues in clinically relevant forms through tissue engineering techniques. Our improved ability to optimize engineered tissues has occurred in part due to an increased appreciation for stem cell technology and nanotechnology, two relatively new tools for the tissue engineer.

Critical parameters impact the design of novel scaffolds for tissue regeneration. Cellular and intact tissue behavior can be modulated by these designs. Design of systems for regeneration must take place with a holistic and comprehensive approach, understanding the contributions of cells, biological factors, scaffolds and morphogenesis.

Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Laurencin is the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery, and Professor of Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Connecticut. In addition, Dr. Laurencin is a University Professor at the University of Connecticut (the 5th in the institution's history). An internationally prominent orthopaedic surgeon, engineer, and academician, Dr. Laurencin directs the Institute for Regenerative Engineering at the University of Connecticut Health Center, and is the Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Laurencin previously served as Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Previous to that Dr. Laurencin was the Lillian T. Pratt Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Virginia, where he was designated a University Professor by the President of the University of Virginia.

Dr. Laurencin earned his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University and his medical degree Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Medical School. During medical school. He also earned his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering/biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Laurencin has been named to America's Top Doctors and America's Top Surgeons, and is a Fellow of the American Surgical Association, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Laurencin's research involves tissue engineering, biomaterials science, nanotechnology and stem cell science. He is an International Fellow in Biomaterials Science and Engineering and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the Biomedical Engineering Society. His work was honored by Scientific American Magazine as one of the 50 greatest achievements in science in 2007. Dr. Laurencin was named the 2009 winner of the Pierre Galletti Award, medical and biological engineering's highest honor and was named one of the 100 Engineers of the Modern Era by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers at its Centennial celebration. Dr. Laurencin's work in mentoring students is well known. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Obama in ceremonies at the White House.

Dr. Laurencin has been a member of the National Science Foundation's Advisory Committee for Engineering (ADCOM), and has served both on the National Science Board of the FDA, and the National Advisory Council for Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases at N.I.H. He currently is a member of the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Dr. Laurencin is a former Speaker of the House of the National Medical Association, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the W. Montague Cobb/National Medical Association Health Policy Institute. Dr. Laurencin is also a member of the National Academies Board on Life Sciences, the N.I.H. National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and sits on the National Academies Roundtable on Value and Science Driven Health Care. Most recently the National Medical Association and the W. Montague Cobb NMA Health Institute established a Lifetime Research Award in Dr. Laurencin's name.

April 18, 2012
Distinguished Speakers Series

Professor Phillip Berman

bermanProfessor of Biomolecular Engineering at UCSC

Title: Challenges in the Development of an AIDS Vaccine

Abstract: The development of a vaccine that elicits broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) is a major goal of HIV vaccine research. Although antigens able to adsorb bNAbs from HIV+ sera have been described, these are unable to elicit bNAbs when used for immunization. Thus, while it has been possible to develop recombinant proteins with the proper antigenic structure, there is an urgent need to improve the immunogenicity of the neutralizing epitopes on these molecules. While HIV has evolved multiple immune escape mechanisms, our data suggest that two mechanisms need to be overcome in order to achieve an effective HIV vaccine: 1) conformational masking and 2) directed antigen processing. To overcome conformational masking, we have studied neutralization sensitive and resistant envelopes from the swarms of virus quasi-species that evolve in HIV-infected individuals. From these, we have identified a number of mutations such as D179N in the V2 domain and Q655R in gp41 that appear to increase neutralization sensitivity by overcoming conformational masking. To overcome directed antigen processing, we have mapped the cleavage sites recognized by the major proteases responsible for antigen processing. We found a remarkable co-localization of protease cleavage sites and sequences known to be important for receptor binding and the binding of broadly neutralizing antibodies. Our results suggest that a two step approach involving the production of envelope proteins that overcome conformational masking, coupled with mutations that prevent proteolytic degradation of epitopes recognized by broadly neutralizing antibodies, might result in improved vaccine antigens compared to those developed to date.

Dr. Phillip Berman is a biotech industry veteran with extensive experience in discovery research and manufacturing process development. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Dartmouth Medical School and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute (La Jolla, CA) and the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF. Dr. Berman joined Genentech in 1982, and for the next 15 years worked on many projects, including developing basic technology for the expression and recovery of recombinant proteins, as well as vaccines to prevent infections by Herpes Simplex Virus and HIV. He also played a leadership role on projects focusing on chimeric receptors and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies to treat autoimmunity and inflammatory disease. Dr. Berman is best known for his 25-year effort to develop an HIV vaccine, which began with the development of the first vaccine that could induce neutralizing antibodies and protect chimpanzees from HIV infection, and culminated in the world's first large scale, Phase III, HIV vaccine efficacy trials involving more than 7500 volunteers in the North America, Europe and Thailand. His quest for an HIV vaccine continued at VaxGen, a company co-founded by Dr. Berman and CDC vaccine expert, Dr. Donald Francis. While at VaxGen (1997-2004), Dr. Berman served as Senior Vice President of Research and Development where, besides carrying out activities to support the HIV vaccine trials, he participated in the conceptual design of a large scale mammalian cell manufacturing facility (Celltrion, Inc., Inchon, South Korea). In 2004, Dr. Berman and Dr. Francis founded Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases, a not-for-profit organization with initial funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. GSID is dedicated to combining technology and expertise from the biotechnology industry with public health sector know-how to address problems of infectious disease prevention and control, including HIV, in the developing world. In July of 2006, Dr. Berman joined the faculty of the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he serves as the Jack Baskin Professor of Biomolecular Engineering. In 2009, the results of the RV144 vaccine trial became available, showing for the first time that vaccination according to a prime/boost regimen could prevent infection by HIV-1 in humans. The RV144 trial included priming immunizations with a recombinant poxvirus vector and booster immunizations with the AIDSVAX B/E vaccine developed by Dr. Berman. Since joining UCSC, Dr. Berman has focused on improvements to HIV-1 vaccine antigens, and has attempted to define the correlates of protection in the RV144 trial. In addition, he has begun work with the UCSC Genomics group to identify novel targets for cancer therapeutics.

May 16, 2012
Distinguished Speakers Series

Professor George Truskey

truskeyR. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Research, Duke University

Title: Extrinsic Control of Skeletal Muscle Myoblast Differentiation

Abstract: Skeletal muscle progenitor cells, known as satellite cells, provide a cell source for repair of muscle injury. Under appropriate stimuli, satellite cells become proliferative myoblasts. Upon removal from the cell cycle, single cell myoblasts fuse to form myotubes. Satellite cells are attractive for tissue engineering applications to repair severe muscle injury, for cell therapy for muscle diseases, or as an in vitro model of skeletal muscle. Our group has examined ways to promote satellite cell differentiation into functional muscle fibers. We have examined the effect of mechanical stimulation in two- and three-dimensional cultures and found that myoblast differentiation is dependent upon the magnitude and frequency of stimulation. Mechanical stimulation promotes the expression of a key integrin involved in differentiation. Inhibiting nitric oxide, focal adhesion kinase activity or RhoA activity can block the effects of mechanical stimulation. We have found that small noncoding sequences of RNA, known as microRNAs, that regulate gene function by influencing proliferation or differentiation are sensitive to mechanical stimulation. Addition of microRNAs to three-dimensional cultures of myoblasts promotes differentiation and force production. Recently, we have extended this work with murine muscle cells to human myoblasts.

Dr. George A. Truskey, Ph.D. is R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Senior Associate Dean for Research for the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. From 2003-2011, he was Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University and directed Duke's Translational Research Partnership with the Coulter Foundation. Dr. Truskey's research interests are in cardiovascular engineering, tissue engineering, cell-material interactions and cell adhesion. He is the author of 100 peer-reviewed research papers, a biomedical engineering textbook entitled Transport Phenomena in Biological Systems, five book chapters, and over 160 research abstracts and presentations. He is a Fellow of BMES, the AIMBE and the American Heart Association. He was president of BMES from 2008 to 2010. In 2007, he received the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising from the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke.

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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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Potential Graduate Students:
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