University of California, Riverside

Department of Bioengineering


UCR Bioengineering 2010-2011 Seminar Series





2011-09-28 Gerard C. Wong
Professor of Bioengineering, California Nano Institute, UCLA
Proteins that Lead to Topological Transitions in Membranes

Shu-Wei Sun
Assistant Professor, Biophysics and Bioengineering School of Science and Tech Assistant Professor, Radiation Medicine School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor, Bioengineering, UC Riverside

MRI to evaluate neural degeneration
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

2011-11-16 Wendy Liu
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor (Joint Appointment), Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Engineering the Cell-Biomaterial Interface to Control Cell Function

2011-11-30 Xin Ge
Assistant Professor, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, UC Riverside

Novel Methods for the Discovery of Highly Potent Therapeutic Antibodies

2012-01-11 Devin Binder
Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Assistant Clinical Professor, UC Riverside

New Approaches to Detection and Treatment of Brain Edema and Seizures

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

2012-02-1 Samir Mitragorti
Professor, Chemical Engineering, UC Santa Barbara

Designer Particles for Drug Delivery: The Impact of Particle Morphology

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


Shyni Varghese
Associate Professor, Bioengineering, UC San Diego

Engineering the interface: From Stem Cells to Smart Biomaterials


Leonard Mueller
Associate Professor, Chemistry, UC Riverside

Solid-State NMR as a Probe of Biomolecular Structure, Function, and Dynamics


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

To be announced.

All colloquium presentations are held on Wednesdays from 11:10-noon unless otherwise noted.

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September 28, 2011 wong

Professor Gerard C. Wong, Professor of Bioengineering, California Nano Institute, UCLA

Title: Proteins that Lead to Topological Transitions in Membranes

Abstract: We examine prototypical examples of peptides and proteins that change membrane topology. For example, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from innate immunity have broad spectrum antimicrobial activity, and are known to disrupt the barrier function of bacterial membranes specifically, through processes such as pore formation. Using synchrotron small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), confocal microscopy, and cell based assays, we find that AMPs generate saddle-splay ('negative Gaussian') membrane curvature, which geometrically enables topological processes such as pore formation, blebbing, and budding selectively in cell membranes. We show why these processes happen in bacterial membranes but not in eukaryotic membranes. Importantly, the need for negative Gaussian curvature places significant constraints on the amino acid composition of all AMPs: The requirement for generating saddle-splay curvature implies that a decrease in arginine content in an AMP can be offset by a simultaneous increase in both lysine and hydrophobic content. This rule is consistent with the amino acid compositions of 1,080 known cationic AMP's, and can inform current approaches to develop new antimicrobials. In addition to antimicrobial peptides, we will also describe two cognate systems from the same perspective: cell penetrating peptides (CPPs), and apoptosis proteins of the Bcl2 family.

Gerard Wong is a Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, Department of Chemistry, and the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. Wong received his BS and PhD at Caltech physics and Berkeley physics respectively. He joined the Materials Science & Engineering Dept and Physics Dept at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. His awards include a Beckman Young Investigator Award, an Alfred P Sloan Fellowship, and two Xerox Faculty Research Awards. His current directions of research include antimicrobials for antibiotic resistant infections, innate immunity, bacterial communities, apoptosis, cystic fibrosis, and femtosecond hydration dynamics. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Physical Review E.

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October 19, 2011 sun

Professor Shu-Wei Sun, Assistant Professor, Biophysics and Bioengineering School of Science and Tech Assistant Professor, Radiation Medicine School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor, Bioengineering, UC Riverside

Title: MRI to evaluate neural degeneration

Abstract: Axonal damage and neuronal loss are key factors leading to irreversible neurological impairment in patients with various neurological disorders. Prolonged axonal damage can induce Wallerian degeneration, a process of neuronal apoptosis, resulting in damage that propagates along axons and leads to the cell body loss. It is critical to visualize and differentiate stages of neural degeneration, so that therapeutic approaches can be used effectively to targeting each pathological condition. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a clinically available imaging tool. We have been focusing on addressing technical challenges to deliver high resolution Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) on small animals. DTI measures water diffusivities and is sensitive to structural changes. With this talk, I will first describe the biomedical aspects of neural degeneration. I will then introduce the MRI and DTI, followed by our findings of applying DTI on mouse brains with neural degeneration.

Shu Wei-Sun is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biophysics and Bioengneering as well as the Department of Radiation Medicine at Loma Linda University. Dr. Sun also holds an Adjunct Faculty position in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, Riverside. He received his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering at National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan in 1997. He did his Postdoctoral Fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis in 2002-2005, and remained there as a Senior Scientist and Research Instructor prior to joining Loma Linda University in 2008. Dr. Sun's research is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health and by the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

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October 26, 2011 Distinguished Speakers Series gharib

Professor Mory Gharib, Vice 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.

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November 9, 2011 Distinguished Speakers Series lee

Professor Abraham P. Lee, Chair, 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.

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November 16, 2011 liu

Professor Wendy Liu, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor (Joint Appointment), Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Title: Engineering the Cell-Biomaterial Interface to Control Cell Function

Abstract: Cellular behavior is rigorously controlled by dynamic cues in the surrounding environment. In particular, interactions with the underlying substrate and neighboring cells together coordinate growth, migration, differentiation, and a host of other cellular functions. Understanding these processes requires a multidisciplinary approach involving methods from biology and materials engineering. My work combines microscale technologies with techniques in cell and molecular biology to control the physical and chemical properties of the cellular microenvironment. Using such approaches, we have examined the role of cell adhesion and multicellular interactions on cell proliferation and the transduction of mechanical forces. Our current work is focused on understanding cell-material interactions related to the foreign body response, or the inflammatory cascade that results from material implantation within the body. We have found a critical role for substrate mechanics and adhesion on the phenotypic polarization of macrophage cells, key regulators of the host response to materials. In addition, we are developing biomimetic immunomodulatory surfaces to mitigate the inflammatory response to implants. Biomaterials are evaluated using high throughput in vitro and in vivo imaging methods, where optical imaging probes are used to detect the presence of inflammatory cells recruited to the implant site. These techniques have enabled the successful screening of a library of over two hundred novel polymeric materials that may be used as coatings for medical devices. Our work aims to develop a better fundamental understanding of immune cell interactions with biomaterial surfaces in order to improve materials for applications in medical devices, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine.

Liu graduated from MIT with a B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering in 2000. She then earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University as a National Science Fellow in 2007. There, she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Chen, where her research utilized microfabrication approaches to probe the role of the cellular microenvironment in mechanotransduction and cell proliferation. Following her Ph.D., Wendy was a postdoctoral scientist at Arsenal Medical Inc., a biomedical start-up company developing cardiovascular devices. In 2009, she proceeded back to her undergraduate alma mater, MIT, where she was a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Langer. Her work was focused on understanding the immune response to biomedical devices. She developed whole animal imaging models and in vitro methods for high throughput evaluation of material biocompatibility. In 2010, Liu joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine as an Assistant Professor.

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November 30, 2011 ge

Professor Xin Ge, Assistant Professor, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, UC Riverside

Title: Novel Methods for the Discovery of Highly Potent Therapeutic Antibodies

Abstract: Monoclonal antibodies have rapidly developed into one of the major pharmaceuticals for fighting cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infection. Antibody therapeutics offer distinct advantages comparing to small molecule drugs: higher specificity, better understood mechanisms, and predictable safety. To date, therapeutic antibodies have sales of well over $20 billion/year, with >200 Abs are in clinical trials and much more under pre-clinical development. In this presentation I will discuss a set of novel methods for the discovery of highly potent therapeutic antibodies I have been working on, that rely on a combination of High Throughput DNA sequencing, bioinformatic analysis, structural information and novel methods for combinatorial library construction and screening. methodologies provide a powerful means for the generation of novel antibodies displaying desired biological activities relevant to disease treatment. .

Xin Ge is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at University of California, Riverside. He received his B.S. (2000) and M.S. (2003) in Chemical Engineering from Tsinghua University in China and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from McMaster University in 2008. His PhD work focused on protein-based bio-polymers and their applications in biogenesis and protein purification. He was a NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow then a Research Associate in Dr. George Georgiou group in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin, where he has been working on therapeutic antibody discovery and engineering.

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January 11, 2011 binder

Professor Devin Binder, Assistant Professor in Residence, Biomedical Sciences, University of California, Riverside

Title: New Approaches to Detection and Treatment of Brain Edema and Seizures

Abstract: Detection of neurological conditions such as brain edema (brain swelling) and seizure activity has traditionally been done with intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring and electroencephalography (EEG), respectively. For the last several years, our laboratory has been pursuing the concept of optical detection of neurological events within the brain. I will review our studies of optical detection of brain edema and seizure activity, and indicate how new collaborations between UCR Bioengineering and Biomedical Sciences can develop novel devices not only for optical detection but for new treatments directly applied to the brain.

Originally from the Bay Area, Devin K. Binder went to Harvard University as an undergraduate, where he studied biology, anthropology, and neuroscience. He was awarded the Hoopes Prize at Harvard for his summa cum laude senior honors thesis "Serotonin and behavioral state." Deciding to pursue both neuroscience and clinical medicine, he enrolled in the M.D./Ph.D. program at Duke University. At Duke, he graduated 1st in his medical school class, and contributed to epilepsy neuroscience with his Ph.D. dissertation "The functional role of neurotrophins in the kindling model of epilepsy." Subsequently, Binder completed a one-year internship in general surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, and a six-year residency in neurological surgery at UCSF. At UCSF, he did a one-year fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Alan Verkman, leader in the field of aquaporin biology. Following residency, Binder was awarded the Van Wagenen neurosurgical fellowship for one year of neuroscience and neurosurgery at the Institute for Cellular Neurosciences at the University of Bonn. There, he did another fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Christian Steinhäuser, Director of the Institute for Cellular Neurosciences at the University of Bonn. Following a three-year stint at the University of California, Irvine, in the Departments of Neurological Surgery and Anatomy & Neurobiology, Binder joined the Division of Biomedical Sciences at the University of California, Riverside in January 2010. Binder is a dedicated teacher, having won awards for teaching at Harvard, Duke, UCSF, and UCI.

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January 25, 2012 Distinguished Speakers Series ratner

Professor Buddy Ratner, Professor & 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.

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February 1, 2012 mitragotri

Professor Samir Mitragotri, Professor of Chemcial Engineering, Univesity of California, Santa Barbara

Title: Designer Particles for Drug Delivery: The Impact of Particle Morphology

Abstract: : Polymeric nanoparticles have found application in varied fields including drug delivery and medical imaging. Particle's properties have a significant impact on their therapeutic performance including circulation half-life, drug release rates and toxicity. Recent studies have shown that particle morphology plays a significant role in determining the biological and therapeutic outcome of nanoparticles. My talk will focus on discussing some of the key outcomes of nanoparticles that can be controlled through engineering particle morphologies. We have devised methods to generate particles of several distinct morphologies and studied their impact on key processes in drug delivery including phagocytosis, circulation, adhesion of vascular walls, and targeting. Based on this understanding, we have designed novel particles that demonstrate enhanced targeting. Our studies demonstrate that particle shape provides a new dimension in engineering of polymeric carriers and opens up new opportunities in drug delivery. In addition to shape, we demonstrate that controlling mechanical properties of carriers also offers unique opportunities. Specifically, we have synthesized flexible particles made from proteins that mimic the physical and functional properties of body's own circulating cells such as red blood cells. Particles that mimic the size, shape and flexibility of natural circulating cells offer advantages that are typically lacking in conventional spherical polymeric particles. The motivation to use physical properties of nanoparticles to control biological function is provided by the biology itself. In nature, numerous examples can be found where physical aspects, such as shape, mechanical properties and compartmentalization are crucial to biological function. Physical attributes such as size, shape and mechanical properties form essential building blocks of biology. This realization forms the basis of the new paradigm in design of nanoparticles.

Professor Samir Mitragotri is a Professor of Chemcial Engineering at the Univesity of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He also serves as the founding director of UCSB's Center for Bioengineering. He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1996 and B.S. from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai in 1992. Professor Mitragotri's research is focused on drug delivery. His major research accomplishments include: (i) development of an ultrasound-based technique (low-frequency sonophoresis) for transdermal delivery of proteins such insulin and vaccines (Science 1995, Nature Medicine 2000, Vaccine 2005), (ii) development of technologies that enable combinatorial discovery of formulations for drug delivery through skin (PNAS 2005, Nature Biotechnology 2004), (iii) development of liquid jet injectors that allow pain-free delivery of drugs such as insulin into patients for the treatment of diabetes (PNAS 2007), (iv) discovery of peptides that allow delivery of siRNA therapeutics into skin for the treatment of a variety of skin disorders including atopic dermatitis (PNAS 2011), (v) development of a platform technology for oral delivery biologics by protecting them in the gastro-intestinal tract (J. Control Rel., 2004), (vi) development of a tool to enable collection of biomarkers from tissues (PNAS 2010), and (vii) technologies for synthesis of unique polymer materials that enable targeted delivery of drugs for the treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases (PNAS 2006, PNAS 2007, PNAS 2009). Professor Mitragotri has also developed mathematical models to describe transport processes in the body including transdermal drug transport, oral drug delivery and intracellular drug transport.

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February 15, 2012 Distinguished Speakers Series cato

Professor 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, 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.

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February 22, 2012 Vanghese

Professor Shyni Varghese, Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, UC San Diego

Title: Engineering the interface: From Stem Cells to Smart Biomaterials

Abstract: : Interfaces play an important role in a wide spectrum of cellular processes ranging from cell adhesion to tissue morphogenesis. Designing functional interfaces integrating multiple components and structures plays a pivotal role in successful outcome of regenerative medicine approaches. In this talk, I will discuss the engineering of the cell-matrix and cell-cell interfaces to control stem cell fate. In particular, I will talk about our recent efforts in the development of biomaterials with defines physico-chemical properties for controlling various cellular processes, with an emphasis on ex vivo expansion of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), tissue specific differentiation of stem cells, and in vivo engraftment of transplanted cells . These synthetic biomaterials serve as excellent platforms for studying molecular mechanisms that regulate stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Moreover, these cost-effective and scalable biomaterials that recapitulate various attributes of the native extracellular matrix could accelerate the translational potential of hPSCs. Finally, I will also talk about how interfacial engineering can be exploited to create self-healing, biomimetic materials.

Dr. Shyni Varghese is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and an affiliate faculty in the Nano Engineering Department and Materials Science program at University of California, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering form National Chemical Laboratory, India and did her postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University. Her laboratory at UCSD works at the interface of bio-inspired materials and stem cell engineering. She is a recipient of the CIRM young faculty award to conduct stem cell research on musculoskeletal system regeneration and an award from UC CRCC for studying how stem cells contribute to cancer progression. She has published over 50 research articles and 12 patents.

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March 7, 2012 mueller

Professor Leonard Mueller, Associate Professor of Chemistry, UC Riverside

Title: Solid-State NMR as a Probe of Biomolecular Structure, Function, and Dynamics

Abstract: Even though the very first NMR experiments were performed on solids, for several decades solid-state NMR remained but a marginal tool for chemistry. Over the last twenty years that situation has changed radically, with tremendous progress being made in hardware, pulse sequence design, and sample preparation. Nowadays magic angle spinning is a routine technique, and this, together with the increased sensitivity provided by modern NMR magnets, has opened up applications throughout the molecular and biomolecular sciences that would not have been possible only a short time ago. At the same time, advances in ab initio computational chemistry now permit the interpretation of NMR data to an unprecedented level of chemical detail. The result is that solid-state NMR is now a routine tool for characterization in some areas, and the state-of-the-art is solving structural and dynamic questions in real biological, pharmaceutical and materials problems. This talk will focus on work in my group on the development and application of novel experimental methods for the characterization of structure in solids, with applications that span from materials science to biological chemistry.

Len Mueller is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Riverside. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Rochester (1988), C.P.G.S. in Natural Science (Chemistry) from the University of Cambridge (1989), and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology (1997). From 1996-1998 he was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Len's research interests include nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy as a probe of molecular and biological structure and dynamics.

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April 18, 2012 Distinguished Speakers Series berman

Professor Phillip Berman, Professor 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.

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May 16, 2012 Distinguished Speakers Series truskey

Professor George Truskey, R. 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
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Department of Bioengineering
205 Materials Science & Engineering

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Tel: (951) 827-4303
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