'Directing Stem Cell Fate from the Outside: Engineering the Cellular Microenvironment" David Brafman,PhD_UC-San Diego

Science / Technology - Lecture/Discussion - WPI Only

Monday, February 17, 2014
4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Gateway Park
GP 1002

RESEARCH ABSTRACT. Unlike the fully differentiated and mature cells of the adult organism, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are unspecified cells that posses the capacity to proliferate indefinitely and differentiate into various cell types that comprise the mature, adult organism. Therefore, hPSCs provide a unique model system to study early human development as well as a ready supply of cellular raw material that can be used to generate mature and functional cells suitable for disease modeling and cell replacement therapies. During development, cells are exposed to a myriad of chemical and physical stimuli, collectively referred to as the cellular microenvironment, which interact in a complex manner to regulate cell fate. The in vitro investigation and replication of these in vivo microenvironments are necessary for the clinical applications of hPSCs. In an effort to realize the broad scientific and clinical potential of hPSCs, I have developed a multifactorial approach that combines various aspects of developmental biology, genetic engineering, biomaterials science, and tissue engineering to investigate the chemical, biological and physical microenvironments that govern hPSC fate. More recently, I have expanded this approach as a means to engineer mature cell types from hPSCs with a focus on two disease areasidiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and Alzheimers disease. I am currently using these cell types to determine the mechanisms of these diseases and design effective therapies.

Suggested Audiences: College

E-mail: bme-web@wpi.edu

Last Modified: January 6, 2014 at 3:18 PM

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