Invited Seminar Series

The Invited Seminar series hosted by the Institute of Biomedical Engineering welcomes world class researchers to present and discuss their most recent research.

Review below for the upcoming seminars that is hosted in the 2020-2021 session.

Portrait of Paul Weiss
Paul S. Weiss

Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology and Medicine

September 15th 2020 

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Abstract: By controlling the exposed chemical functionality of materials from the submolecular through the centimeter scale, we have enabled new capabilities in biology, medicine, and other areas. I will discuss current and upcoming advances and will pose the challenges that lie ahead in creating, developing, and applying new tools using this capability. These advances include using biomolecular recognition in sensor arrays to probe dynamic chemistry in the brain and microbiome systems. In other areas, we introduce biomolecular payloads into cells for gene editing at high throughput for off-the-shelf solutions targeting hemoglobinopathies, immune diseases, and cancers. We circumvent the need for viral transfection and electroporation, both of which have significant disadvantages in safety, throughput, cell viability, and cost. Mechanical deformation can make cell membranes transiently porous and enable gene-editing payloads to enter cells. These methods use specific chemical functionalization and control of surface contact and adhesion in microfluidic channels. 

Portrait of Jose Zariffa
Jose Zariffa

Measuring Hand Function at Home Using Egocentric Video

October 13th 2020 

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Abstract: The recovery of upper limb function is often a central priority after neurological injuries. Developing therapies or technologies to improve upper limb function requires high-quality measures to quantify outcomes. Currently, options to directly and objectively measure hand function in real-world environments are lacking. Wearable systems based on egocentric cameras and computer vision present the opportunity to evaluate hand function in unconstrained environments with an unprecedented level of detail. This talk will describe our recent efforts using this strategy to measure the quantity and quality of hand use at home after spinal cord injury and stroke. 

Portrait of Douglas Lauffenburger
Doug Lauffenburger

Preclinical-to-Clinical Translation of Biological Information via Computational Systems Modeling Frameworks

November 10th 2020 

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Abstract: A vital challenge that the vast majority of biological research must address is how to translate observations from one physiological context to another—most commonly from experimental animals (e.g., rodents, primates) or technological constructs (e.g., organ-on-chip platforms) to human subjects.  This is typically required for understanding human biology because of the strong constraints on measurements and perturbations in human in vivo contexts.  Direct translation of observations from experimental animals to human subjects is generally unsatisfactory because of significant differences among organisms at all levels of molecular properties from genome to transcriptome to proteome and so forth.  Accordingly, addressing inter-species translation requires an integrated experimental/computational approach for mapping comparable but not identical molecule-to-phenotype relationships.  This presentation will describe methods we have developed for a variety of cross-species translation examples, demonstrated on applications in inflammatory pathologies and cancer. 

Portrait of Adam-Cohen
Adam Cohen

Electrophysiology in space

December 8th 2020 

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Abstract: We developed tools for all-optical electrophysiology: simultaneous optical perturbation and optical measurement of membrane voltage.  These tools enable spatially resolved measurements of bioelectrical dynamics.  I will give two examples of how we used these tools to study the roles of geometry and topology in excitable tissues.  First, I will talk about winner-takes-all attractor dynamics in Layer 1 of the mouse cortex.  Then I will talk about bioelectrical domain walls and topological action potentials in engineered cell lines.  Geometrical and topological effects can produce bioelectrical dynamics that are not apparent from point measurements alone.

Portrait of Penney Gilbert
Penney Gilbert

Spatiotemporal control of skeletal muscle stem cell fate

January 12th 2021

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Abstract: The native skeletal muscle stem cell niche is a three-dimensional entity. While conceptually it is accepted that dimensionality is a critical feature of tissues that defines the location and timing of cellular events, understanding how dimensionality exerts such a powerful influence on stem cell biology is less well understood. One area of focus in the Gilbert Lab is aimed at elucidating how the native three-dimensional tissue exerts spatiotemporal control over muscle stem cell fate by developing methods to quantify in vivo biomechanical stresses presiding over the quiescent and regenerating adult skeletal muscle niche, and by producing new three-dimensional models of skeletal muscle regeneration in a dish. In combining these approaches, we work to define interactions between muscle stem cells and the dynamic extracellular milieu that serve to orchestrate the elegant process by which a muscle stem cell switches from a state of quiescence, to activation, and then to specification, and how this process becomes derailed in disease states and in aging.

Portrait of Eli Sone
Eli Sone

TBA

February 9th 2021

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Abstract: TBA

Portrait of Shyni Varghese
Shyni Varghese

TBA

March 9th 2021 

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Abstract: TBA

Portrait of Lena Ting
Lena Ting

TBA

April 13th 2021 

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Abstract: TBA

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