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 10, 2018 Peter Yingxiao Wang Professor, Bioengineering at university of Calirfonia, San Diego
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
April 11, 2018 Kun Zhang Professor of Bioengineering at University of California, San Diego
April 18, 2018 Christopher Wilson Associate Professor in School of Medicine at Loma Linda University
April 25, 2018 Aaron Meyer Department of Bioengineering at University of California, Los Angeles
May 2, 2018 Edward Stites Assistant Professor,Integrative Biology Laboratory at Stalk Institute
May 9, 2018 Francisco Valero-Cuevas Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, USC Viterbi School of Engineering
May 16, 2018 Hongdian Yang Assistant Professor at University of California, Riverside
May 23, 2018 Ellis Meng Professor and Chair, Departments of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California
May 30, 2018 Jason Allen Assistant Professor, Division of Neuroradiology at Emory University
June 6, 2018 Gabriel Silva Professor, Bioengineering at University of California, San Diego

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 10, 2018

Peter Yingxiao Wang

Peter Yingxiao WangAssistant Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering Participating BIG Faculty Department of Bioengineering & UCR Stem Cell Center University of California, Riverside

Title: Molecular Imaging and Cellular Manipulation in Immuno-engineering

Abstract: Genetically-encoded biosensors based on fluorescence proteins (FPs) and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) have enabled the specific targeting and visualization of signaling events in live cells with high spatiotemporal resolutions. Single- molecule FRET biosensors have been successfully developed to monitor the activity of a variety of signaling molecules, including tyrosine/serine/threonine kinases. We have a developed a general high-throughput screening (HTS) method based on directed evolution to develop sensitive and specific FRET biosensors. We have first applied a yeast library and screened for a mutated binding domain for phosphorylated peptide sequence. When this mutated binding domain and the peptide sequence are connected by a linker and then concatenated in between a pair of FRET FPs, a drastic increase in sensitivity can be achieved. It has also been increasingly clear that controlling protein functions using lights and chemical compounds to trigger allosteric conformational changes can be applied to manipulate protein functions and control cellular behaviors4-8. In this work, we first engineered a novel class of machinery molecules which can provide a surveillance of the intracellular space, visualizing the spatiotemporal patterns of molecular events and automatically triggering corresponding molecular actions to guide cellular functions. We have adopted a modular assembly approach to develop these machinery molecules. As a proof-of-concept, we engineered such a molecule for the sensing of intracellular tyrosine phosphorylation based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and the consequent activation of a tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) Shp2, which plays a critical and positive role in various pathophysiological processes9-11. We have further integrated this machinery molecule to the “don’t eat me” CD47 receptor SIRP on macrophages12-14 such that the engagement of SIRP and its activation of naturally negative signals will be rewired to turn on the positive Shp2 action to facilitate phagocytosis of red blood cells and target tumor cells, initiated by the specific antigen-targeting antibodies and their interaction with Fc receptors. Because of the modular design of our engineered molecule, our approach can be extended to perform a broad range of cell-based imaging and immunotherapies, and hence highlight the translational power in bridging the fundamental molecular engineering to clinical medicine. We have also integrated with lights and other means to manipulate the molecular activation of genes and enzymes, which allowed us to control the cellular functions of immunocells with high precision in space and time. As such, we can integrate fundamental science and engineering principles for biomedical and clinical applications.

Biography: Dr. Wang obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanics and Fluid Mechanics from Peking University, Beijing, P.R. China, in 1992 and 1996, respectively. He received his Ph.D. degree in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in 2002 and continued his postdoctoral work at UC San Diego under Bioengineering Professor Shu Chien and Professor Roger Y. Tsien in the Department of Pharmacology. He is current a professor at the department of Bioengineering at UCSD and a fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Before joining the UC San Diego faculty in 2012, he was an associate professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Department of Bioengineering and a full- time faculty member in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois. He was also affiliated with the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Neuroscience Program, the Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology, and Institute of Genomic Biology at UIUC. Dr. Wang is the recipient of the Wallace H. Coulter Early Career Award (both Phase I and Phase II), the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and National Institutes of Health Independent Scientist Award. His research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and private foundations.

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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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February 28, 2018

Niren Murthy

Niren MurthyProfessor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California at Berkeley

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

Abstract: Cas9 based therapeutics have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of genetic diseases because of their ability to generate homologous DNA recombination (HDR) and correct DNA mutations. However, viral gene therapy is currently the only delivery technology available for generating HDR in vivo with Cas9, and is challenging to bring into clinical trials because of off-target DNA damage and immunogenicity. In this presentation, I will describe a non-viral Cas9 delivery vehicle, termed CRISPR-Gold, which can induce HDR in vivo by directly delivering Cas9 protein, gRNA, and donor DNA. CRISPR-Gold is composed of gold nanoparticles assembled with the Cas9/gRNA ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex, donor DNA, and an endosomal disruptive polymer. We have been able to demonstrate that CRISPR-Gold can correct the DNA mutation that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in mdx mice via HDR, with an efficiency of 5.4% after an intramuscular injection and with minimal levels off-target DNA damage. In addition, we demonstrate that CRISPR-Gold can improve muscle strength and lower tissue fibrosis in mdx mice. CRISPR-Gold is the first example of a non-viral delivery vehicle that can generate HDR in vivo and has tremendous potential for treating DMD and other genetic diseases caused by single base pair mutations.

Biography: Dr. Niren Murthy is a professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Murthy’s scientific career has focused on the molecular design and synthesis of new materials for drug delivery and molecular imaging. The Murthy laboratory developed the hydrocyanines in 2009, which are now one of the most commonly used probes for imaging reactive oxygen species and commercially available from multiple sources. The Murthy laboratory has developed several new nanoparticulate technologies for drug delivery, such as the polyketals, which have been used by numerous laboratories to enhance the delivery of small molecules and proteins. Dr. Murthy received the NSF CAREER award in 2006, and the 2009 Society for Biomaterials Young Investigator Award.

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March 7, 2018

Anna Devor

Anna DevorAssociate Adjunct Professorat the University of California, San Diego

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

Abstract: Today, most major programs in Neuroscience and Psychology have their own functional imaging systems and laboratories. We can assess hemodynamic changes with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), broad regional electrical activity with magneto/electroencephalography (MEG/EEG), and metabolism/neurochemistry with Positron Emission Tomography (PET). And yet, despite this widespread adoption, the power of available human neuroimaging methods remains limited, leaving a gap between the macroscopic activity patterns available in humans and the rich, detailed view achievable in model organisms (1). Thus, a central challenge facing neuroscience today is leveraging these mechanistic insights from animal studies to accurately draw physiological inferences from noninvasive signals in humans, essentially asking the fundamental question: what information about neuronal circuit activity can we reliably determine from noninvasive functional imaging in humans? On the essential path towards this goal is the development of a detailed “bottom-up” forward model bridging neuronal activity at the level of cell-type-specific populations to noninvasive imaging signals (2, 3). The general idea is that specific neuronal cell types have identifiable signatures in the way they drive changes in cerebral blood flow, cerebral metabolic rate of O2 (measurable with quantitative functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, fMRI), and electrical currents/potentials (measurable with magneto/electroencephalography, MEG/EEG) (4). This forward model would then provide the “ground truth” for the development of new tools for tackling the inverse problem – estimation of neuronal activity from multimodal noninvasive imaging data.

Biography: Dr. Anna Devor received her initial research training at the interface between the experimental and computational neuroscience at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Her PhD thesis focused on biophysical mechanisms of the membrane potential oscillations in a network of electrically coupled neurons. After defending her PhD thesis in 2002, she went on to specialize in brain imaging technology at Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at MGH. In 2005, she established an independent research laboratory at UC San Diego. Dr. Devor’s research program is focused on real time detection of brain activity across scales: from cellular and molecular activity of neuronal circuits in animals to noninvasive brain imaging in humans. To this end, the Devor laboratory and their collaborators assemble a suite of micro- and nanoscopic technologies that, collectively, allow precise and quantitative probing of large numbers of the relevant physiological parameters. These multimodal measurements are then combined with system-level analysis/modeling, commonly used in engineering disciplines, to understand how specific patterns of microscopic brain activity (and their pathological departures) translate into noninvasive macroscopic observables obtained with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). The overarching goal is to develop a single estimation framework for inference of neuronal network activity from multimodal human fMRI/MEG imaging data.

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March 14, 2018

Qifa Zhou

Qifa ZhouProfessor,Department of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Engineering,NIH Ultrasonic Transducer Resource Center, University of Southern California Los Angeles, California

Title: High Resolution Acoustic Radiation Force – Optical Coherence Elastography for Intravascular and Ophthalmic Applications

Abstract: Mechanical elasticity is a major indicator for diseased tissue. Over the last decade, elastography, which quantifies the tissue mechanical properties in response to force, has gained significant attention as a potential diagnostic tool. Elasticity imaging methods including ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and tactile imaging have been used to classify abnormal tissues, such as cancerous lesions and atherosclerotic plaques. Optical coherence elastography (OCE), which is based on optical coherence tomography (OCT), is an emerging field that holds three major advantages over other modalities: higher resolution, faster speed, and increased sensitivity. OCE has the ability to image elasticity changes in the early stages of disease as well as to monitor the subtle progression of disease over time. We have reported on a dynamic phase‐resolved acoustic radiation force (ARF‐OCE) method to achieve high resolution and highspeed imaging on both tissue‐mimicking phantoms and human coronary artery tissues. Using ARF as dynamic excitation and Doppler OCE as detection, relative values of strain and Young’s modulus can be imaged. In order to obtain absolute values of the mechanical properties of tissue, we have also developed a resonant ARF‐OCE technique, which sweeps the imaging pulse center frequency over a modulation range to determine the resonant frequency of the sample. Furthermore, we have applied our combined ultrasound and OCT technology to generate co‐registered B‐mode, parametric, and high‐resolution elasticity images of the retina and cornea. In addition to a detailed discussion of ARF‐OCE elastography, this talk will also cover our development and integration of high‐ frequency ultrasound with OCT/Photoacoustics for multi‐modality intravascular imaging as well as ultrasound stimulation of the retina for treatment of blindness.

Biography: Qifa Zhou is currently a professor of Ophthalmology, Radiology and Biomedical Engineering at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Zhou is a Fellow of SPIE and AIBME, senior member of IEEE, and a member of the Ferroelectric Committee of Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control (UFFC) Society in IEEE. He is also a member of the Technical Program Committee of Ultrasound in IEEE and Photoacoustics Plus Ultrasound Committee in SPIE. He is an Associate Editor and Chapter Chair of IEEE UFFC. His current research interests include the development of high‐resolution elastography, high‐frequency ultrasound/OCT intravascular catheters, and photoacoustic imaging technology for biomedical and ophthalmic applications. He has four NIH R01 grants and has published more than 200 technical journal papers including Nature Medicine and Nature Communications.

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April 11, 2018

Kun Zhang

Dr. ZhangProfessor and Department Chair of Bioengineering at University of California, San Diego

Title: Single-cell analysis of human adult brain.

Abstract: Detailed characterization of the cell types comprising the highly complex human brain is essential to understanding function. Such tasks require highly scalable experimental approaches to examine different aspects of the molecular state of individual cells, as well as the computational integration to produce unified cell state annotations. To this end, we have acquired nuclear transcriptome and DNA accessibility maps in tens of thousands of single cells from the human adult brain. This has led to the best-resolved human neuronal subtypes to date, identification of a majority of the non-neuronal cell types, as well as the cell-type specific nuclear transcriptome and DNA accessibility maps.

Biography: Dr. Kun Zhang is a Professor and Department Chair of Bioengineering at the University of California at San Diego. After obtaining his PhD from the University of Texas at Houston/MD Anderson Cancer Center, he received his post-doctoral training with George Church at Harvard Medical School. He joined the faculty of UCSD Department of Bioengineering in 2007. His group develops technologies related to single-cell analyses of genome, epigenome and transcriptome, as well as single-cell imaging and lineage tracing. These novel technologies are applied to stem cell fate conversion, human brain mapping and human disease studies. He also co-founded Singlera Genomics Inc. focusing on non-invasive cancer diagnosis.

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April 18, 2018

Christopher Wilson

Christopher WilsonAssociate Professor in School of Medicine at Loma Linda University

Title: Biophysical and Computational approaches to developing autonomic neural networks

Abstract: Biological neural networks are key for the generation of rhythms necessary for normal physiological function. Breathing rhythm is fundamental for survival and this rhythm begins in utero long before we are born. Developmental changes in the morphology and connectivity of brainstem neurons are necessary for appropriate generation of breathing rhythm and the ability to respond to environmental challenges. In this lecture Dr. Wilson will discuss three major projects that his laboratory has focused on. First, he will discuss the importance of using signal and information theory to interrogate biological signals like breathing rhythm in order to deeply understand normal physiology and pathophysiology. Next, Dr. Wilson will discuss the importance of computational modeling as an approach to better understanding rhythmic neural networks and improving the “efficiency” of translational research. Finally, Dr. Wilson will discuss a model of bottom-up data acquisition and integration to facilitate personalized medicine and medical data analytics.

Biography: Dr. Wilson earned his Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of California at Davis. His major subject was Neurophysiology, with minor concentrations in Biomedical Engineering and Biostatistics. Dr. Wilson's research interests are focused on developmental neurophysiology in mammals, cardiorespiratory control, and computational modeling of biological neural networks. Dr. Wilson did his post-doctoral work at the NIH before moving to Case Western Reserve University as a junior faculty member and rising through the academic ranks. Since moving to Loma Linda University in 2013, Dr. Wilson has been a member of the Center for Perinatal Biology and the Department of Pediatrics. He is also the Associate Director of the Neuroscience, Systems Biology, and Bioengineering graduate program at Loma Linda University. His recent work has focused on understanding how neuroinflammation alters cardiorespiratory control in preterm infants and rodent models of prematurity. When he is not working in the laboratory, Dr. Wilson builds guitars, rides his motorcycle, and tries to figure out how to make Raspberry Pi’s do the work of graduate students.

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April 25, 2018

Aaron S. Meyer

Aaron S. MeyerAssistant Professor in Department of Bioengineering at University of California, Los Angeles

Title: Dissecting antibody effector function through a multivalent binding model

Abstract: Many immune receptors transduce activation across the plasma membrane through their clustering. With Fcγ receptors, this clustering is driven by binding to antibodies of differing affinities that are in turn bound to multivalent antigen. As a consequence of this activation mechanism, accounting for and rationally manipulating IgG effector function is complicated by, among other factors, differing affinities between FcγR species and changes in the valency of antigen binding. In this study, we show that a model of multivalent receptor-ligand binding can effectively account for the contribution of IgG-FcγR affinity and immune complex valency. This model in turn enables us to make specific predictions about the effect of immune complexes of defined composition in vivo. In total, these results enable both rational immune complex design for a desired IgG effector function and the deconvolution of effector function by immune complexes.

Biography: Aaron Meyer is an assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was an independent fellow at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. His awards include the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award, Siebel Scholars award, and a Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation Fellowship. The Meyer lab focuses on combining experimental and computational techniques to reverse engineer cancer and innate immune signaling, with the goal of designing immune- and cancer-targeted therapies.

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May 2, 2018

Edward Stites

Edward StitesProfessor of Biomedical Engineering and Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California

Title: Ne insights into the role of Ras in cancer from mathematical modeling

Abstract: The Ras proteins are involved with the control of cellular proliferation. Ras mutations that result in non-stop signals for the cell to proliferate can promote cancers. Mutations to the Ras genes are found in more than 90% of pancreatic cancers and 40% of colon cancers. More than thirty years of intense study have extensively characterized the Ras protein. My research involves the use of mathematical and computational methods to reassemble this information on features of Ras regulation into models that allow for the mutants and their effects to be studied. These models have made multiple, prospective, predictions about how Ras mutants promote cancer that we have experimentally verified. For example, our model revealed that mutant Ras unexpectedly activates the non-mutated, wild type, form of Ras to amplify its pro-cancer signals. Our model has also revealed how combinations of mutations work together to promote cancer. Our newest work investigates the interplay between these mutations and anti-cancer agents and is producing multiple new insights into how cancers with a Ras mutation may better be targeted. Overall, this work demonstrates the power of applying mathematics and computation to the study of disease promoting mutations.

Biography: Ed Stites is a physician-scientist whose research relies heavily upon mathematical models to study the biological networks important to diseases like cancer. After undergraduate studies in mathematics, he pursued dual degree, MD, PH.D. training through the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Virginia. Research for his Ph.D. in Biophysics integrated mathematical modeling with the study of cancer promoting Ras mutations. He was then recruited to the translational Genomics Research Institute for an independent postdoctoral fellowship as the first Randy Pausch Scholar. In addition to continued research in Ras and computational Biology, he worked on personalized cancer medicine clinical trials and on pancreatic cancer genomics. He then completed his medical training Program, Where he focused on clinical genomics. Now an Assistant Professor at Salk Institute, his laboratory utilizes both mathematical and experimental approaches to study the relationship between mutations in networks and disease.

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May 9, 2018

Francisco Valero-Cuevas Ph.D.

Francisco Valero-CuevasProfessor of Biomedical Engineering and Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California

Title: Feasibility Theory: A New Approach to Biomechanics

Abstract: I will provide an overview of a conceptual and computational framework to study how the nervous system exploits the anatomical properties of limbs to produce mechanical function. The study of the neural control of limbs has historically emphasized the use of optimization to find solutions to the muscle redundancy problem. That is, how does the nervous system select a specific muscle coordination pattern when the many muscle of a limb allow for multiple solutions? I revisit this problem from the emerging perspective of Feasibility Theory, which emphasizes finding and implementing families of feasible solutions, instead of a single and unique optimal solution. Those families of feasible solutions emerge naturally from the interactions among the feasible neural commands, anatomy of the limb, and constraints of the task. Such alternative perspective to the neural control of function is not only biologically plausible, but sheds light on the most central tenets and debates in the fields of biomechanics, neural control, robotics, rehabilitation, and brain-body co- evolutionary adaptations.

Biography: I attended Swarthmore College from 1984-88 where I obtained a BS degree in Engineering. After spending a year in the Indian subcontinent as a Thomas J Watson Fellow, I joined Queen’s University in Ontario and worked with Dr. Carolyn Small. The research for my Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s focused on developing non-invasive methods to estimate the kinematic integrity of the wrist joint. In 1991, I joined the doctoral program in the Design Division of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford University. I worked with Dr. Felix Zajac developing a realistic biomechanical model of the human digits. This research, done at the Rehabilitation R & D Center in Palo Alto, focused on predicting optimal coordination patterns of finger musculature during static force production. After completing my doctoral degree in 1997, I joined the core faculty of the Biomechanical Engineering Division at Stanford University as a Research Associate and Lecturer. In 1999, I joined the faculty of the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University as Assistant Professor, and was tenured in 2005. In 2007, I joined the faculty at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and the Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California as Associate Professor; where I was promoted to Full Professor in 2011. In 2013 I was elected Senior Member of the IEEE, and in 2014 to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers.

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May 16, 2018

Hongdian Yang

YangAssistant Professor at University of California, Riverside

Title: Noradrenergic modulation of somatosensory cortex during tactile detection

Abstract: TThe same sensory stimuli can be perceived or neglected, depending on our attention or brain states. What is the underlying neural process that influences our awareness of the presence or absence of the same stimulus? We trained mice to perform a Go/NoGo tactile detection task and made intracellular (whole-cell) recordings in areas of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) receiving sensory input mainly from the deflected whisker. Under identical whisker deflections, we and others previously found that sensory-evoked membrane potential from the majority of S1 neurons depolarized more prominently when mice successfully detected the tactile stimulus (Hit) compared with when they failed to respond (Miss). What is the underlying neural mechanisms that contribute to the trial-by-trial fluctuations in sensory response and decision making? The locus coeruleus-norepinephrine (LC-NE) system has long been thought to have a critical role in regulating multiple aspects of cognitive behavior, including perception, attentiveness and decision making. To understand how this neuromodulatory system is involved in regulating S1 sensory responses and tactile perception, we made simultaneous extracellular recordings from LC-NE neurons and intracellular (whole-cell) recordings from S1 neurons during the detection task. We found that LC spiking activity correlated with membrane potential depolarization of S1 neurons as well as behavioral outcomes. Our results suggest that LC-NE inputs modulate sensory information processing to facilitate sensory perception.

Biography: Hongdian Yang, Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, earned his B.S. in Physics at Nanjing University (2006) and Ph.D. in Biophysics at University of Maryland College Park (2011). During doctoral training, he performed interdisciplinary research of systems neuroscience and statistical physics to determine the dynamical properties of network-scale neuronal activity. He did postdoc work at Johns Hopkins University (2012-2016) with the goal to understand the cellular and circuit mechanisms of sensory perception. At UCR, his lab employ multi-disciplinary approaches, including state-of-the-art in vivo electrophysiology and calcium imaging, optogenetics, mouse behavior, computational modeling and theory, to link cellular-level physiology to circuit dynamics and network analysis in behaving animals, with the ultimate goal to understand the organizational principles of neuronal ensembles and the basis of information processing by single neurons and neural circuits in health and disease.

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May 23, 2018

Ellis Meng Ph.D.

Ellis MengProfessor and Chair, Departments of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California

Title: Thin Film Polymer MEMS Implants

Abstract: The Biomedical Microsystems Laboratory at the University of Southern California focuses on developing novel translational microtechnologies and microdevices for biomedical applications, in particular medical implants. Often the last line of defense for combating a wide range of challenging medical conditions, implants help extend and improve the quality of life for many. This industry continues to be fueled by the growing number of elderly and increased prevalence of chronic diseases. The application of microelectromechanical systems technology and medical polymer micromachining will enable the next generation of advanced medical implants that are needed to address urgent unmet clinical needs. This talk will present an overview of current research topics in the laboratory starting with invasive polymer interfaces to nervous tissue and then transitioning to electrochemical sensor systems for hydrocephalus. The relevant clinical conditions and need addressed by each technology will be also introduced.

Biography: Ellis Meng is Professor of biomedical and electrical engineering in the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California where she has been since 2004. She is also Dwight C. and Hildagarde E. Baum Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and inaugural holder of a Gabilan Distinguished Professorship in Science and Engineering. She received the B.S. degree in engineering and applied science and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, in 1997, 1998, and 2003, respectively. Her research interests include biomedical microelectromechanical systems (bioMEMS), implantable biomedical microdevices, microfluidics, multimodality integrated microsystems, microsensors and actuators, biocompatible polymer microfabrication, and packaging. Dr. Meng is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the Biomedical Engineering Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the American Society for Engineering Education. Her honors include the NSF CAREER award, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Early Career Award, 2009 TR35 Young Innovator Under 35, Viterbi Early Career Chair, and ASEE Curtis W. McGraw Research Award. She is a fellow of IEEE, ASME, BMES, and AIMBE. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering and Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering, Micro- and Nano- mechanical Systems. She was co-chair of the 2017 IEEE MEMS conference. She is also an active educator and authored a textbook on bioMEMS.

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May 30, 2018

Jason Allen

Jason AllenAssistant Professor, Division of Neuroradiology at Emory University

Title: Thin Film Polymer MEMS Implants

Abstract: Up to 3.8 million concussions occur in the United States each year and incur significant financial and societal costs. Despite decades of research, including the application of advanced MRI techniques, both the clinical diagnosis and treatment of concussion remains difficult and controversial. This is partly related to the inherent heterogeneity in injury mechanisms and patient symptomatology and to the difficulties in translating research imaging tools into the clinical realm. While the majority of research has focused on cognitive impairment following injury, post-concussive vestibular symptoms tend to be under-appreciated as a driver of post-concussion symptoms, despite dizziness at the time of concussion being a significant predictor of prolonged recovery and persistent vestibular symptoms being present in one-third of patients who experience dizziness at the time of trauma. We have developed an effective, novel technology-based vestibular therapy program combining traditional adaptation exercises with multisensory habituation including progressive exposure to virtual stimuli for patients with post-concussive central vestibular impairment. We have also investigated the functional connectivity alterations that may underlie post-concussive central vestibular symptoms in these patients using a novel task-based fMRI paradigm.

Biography: Dr. Allen is an Assistant Professor of Radiology and Neurology at Emory University, Associate Division Director of Neuroradiology, and Medical Director of Emory Center for Systems Imaging. He received his MD and PhD in Neuroscience from Georgetown University with his thesis work focused on elucidating the underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms of traumatic neuronal injury as well as investigating potential novel therapeutic agents using animal models of traumatic brain injury. He then completed a combined residency/fellowship program at New York University and is board-certified in both Radiology and Neurology, as well as has a Certificate of Additional Qualification in Neuroradiology. Dr. Allen’s interests are now centered on the imaging characteristics of human neuronal injury, in particular TBI and vestibular impairment, using advanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques such as diffusion tensor, diffusion kurtosis and functional MR imaging. In addition, Dr. Allen also investigates clinical questions such as the use of advanced imaging techniques in the evaluation of cerebral infarction, cerebrovascular reserve, trauma and subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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June 6, 2018

Gabriel A. Silva

GabeProfessor of Bioengineering and Neurosciences Jacobs Faculty Endowed Scholar in Engineering Director, Center for Engineered Natural Intelligence University of California, San Diego

Title: Thin Film Polymer MEMS Implants

Abstract: The Center for Engineered Natural Intelligence (CENI) at the University of California San Diego brings together faculty, students, and collaborative partners in order to push the boundaries of existing machine learning and artificial intelligence through neuro- science. Our goal is to arrive at engineered natural intelligence in machines that emulates the unique computational capabilities of the human brain. In particular, our focus is on the development of systems and methods capable of achieving robust and adaptive contextual learning and analytics with minimal training at ultra low power. What are the ‘algorithms’ that achieve this? How does the neurobiology execute such algorithms? And how can we leverage what we learn to engineer forms of natural machine intelligence? Our goal is to arrive at an understanding of the brain’s algorithms in a way that puts them in context with their biological implemen- tation, but which are based on mathematical descriptions independent of the biological details responsible for executing them. To- wards these goals, CENI is pursuing a number of major research directions: learning without prior training (e.g. classification to sin- gle instances of streaming input data), achieving original and creative machine-generated data and novel ‘ideas’, the development of machine learning on networks that structurally adapt in near real time to available data resolution and computational resources, and ultra low energy computation and hardware. At the same time, relaxed work in our lab is pursuing an engineering approach to sys- tems neuroscience. We will discus on-going work in dynamic connectomics, information flows in networks, and cell signaling. Our work necessarily combines neuroscience and mathematics, in particular algebraic topology, graph theory, and information dynamics on networks.

Biography: Dr. Gabriel A. Silva is a Professor of Bioengineering and Neurosciences at the University of California San Diego. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Engineered Natural Intelligence and is a Jacobs Faculty Endowed Scholar in Engineering. He also has ad- ditional appointments in the Department of NanoEngineering, the BioCircuits Institute, the Neurosciences Graduate Program, Computational Neurobiology Program, and Institute for Neural Computation. He served as Vice Chair of the Department of Bio- engineering until the end of last year. Professor Silva received an Hon.B.Sc. in human physiology and a B.Sc. in biophysics from the University of Toronto, Canada in 1996, followed by an M.Sc. in neuroscience also from the University of Toronto in 1997. He then did his Ph.D. in bioengineering and neurophysiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, graduating in 2001, followed by a post- doctoral fellowship in the Institute for BioNanotechnology and Medicine (IBNAM) and the Department of Neurology at Northwest- ern University in Chicago from 2001 to 2003. He joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego in 2003.

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General Campus Information

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

Department Information

Department of Bioengineering
205 Materials Science & Engineering

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

Potential Undergraduate Students:
Undergraduate Admissions

Potential Graduate Students:
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