Invited Academic Seminar Series

The Invited Academic 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 2021-2022 session.

Bin He


Host: Yu Sun

September 14, 2021 

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Electrophysiological Source Imaging of Brain Dynamics for Mapping Epileptogenic Networks and Brain-Computer Interface 


Mapping spatio-temporal distribution of brain activation with high spatial resolution and high temporal resolution is of great importance for elucidating the mechanisms of brain function and dysfunction, and aiding in clinical diagnosis and management of brain disorders. Electrophysiological source imaging (ESI) is a functional imaging technology that estimates and images spatio-temporal distribution of dynamic brain electrical activity from noninvasively recorded electroencephalogram (EEG) or magnetoencephalography (MEG). We will review our recent work on developing ESI techniques incorporating sparse signal processing for precision imaging of both source locations and extents, and clinical validation in focal epilepsy patients (Nature Communications, 2020). We will also discuss a new biomarker, high frequency oscillations riding epileptiform spikes, and show our recent results on noninvasively detecting and delineating epileptogenic tissues from such noninvasive biomarker (PNAS, 2021). Finally, we will discuss our work to enhance performance of EEG based brain-computer interface with the aid of ESI, that led to brain control of continuous movement of a robotic arm using noninvasive EEG recordings (Science Robotics, 2019).


Bin He is a Trustee Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, and by courtesy Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. He has made significant research contributions to the fields of neuroengineering and biomedical imaging, including electrophysiological source imaging, brain-computer interface, and focused ultrasound neuromodulation. Recognizing his contributions, Dr. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award, the IEEE EMBS William J. Molock Award, the IEEE EMBS Academic Career Achievements Award, among others. He has been the Chair of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering from 2018-2021, an international academy affiliated with the International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. He served as Past President of IEEE EMBS, Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, and a Member of NIH BRAIN Initiative Multi-Council Working Group. He is an elected Fellow of International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, IEEE, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering Society. Dr. He is the sole editor of textbook “Neural Engineering” first published in 2005, with its 3rd edition published in fall 2020 by Springer.

Joseph Wu


Host: Daniel Franklin

October 12, 2021 

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Stem Cells and Genomics for Precision Medicine 


Heart disease is the most significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the industrialized world. Recent technological advancement has enabled the generation of patient-specific and disease-specific human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) in vitro. These iPSC-CMs carry all the genetic information from the individuals from whom they are derived. Here I will discuss recent advances in this technology and how it may be used for elucidating mechanisms of rare inherited cardiovascular diseases, for drug discovery, and for precision medicine. 

Warren Grayson


Host: Penney Gilbert

November 9, 2021

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Advances in Regenerating Musculoskeletal Tissues

Tissue engineering provides a viable means of regenerating bone and skeletal muscle tissues following injuries that lead to large volumetric defects. Our lab has developed advanced biomaterial and stem cell-based approaches to promote functional recovery following volumetric muscle loss and critical-sized craniofacial bone injuries. This presentation provides a broad overview of three areas of ongoing research: (1) My lab aims to regenerate vascularized and innervated skeletal muscle to treat volumetric muscle loss. I will present aspects of our biormaterial design and testing in murine models using grafts engineered with cell lines and human pluripotent stem cells. (2) I will present the findings from a study focused on designing biomaterials to guide bone regeneration in situ in minipigs using intraoperative protocols for combining autologous stem cells with advanced 3D-printed scaffolds. (3) Understanding the interaction between vascular cells and osteoprogenitors is critical for developing effective treatment methods. I will describe recent studies in which we developed a quantitative imaging platform for characterizing the spatial relationships between cell populations in the native murine calvarium.

Kip Ludwig

Kip Ludwig

Host: Kei Masani

December 14, 2021

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Neuromodulation Therapies: Lessons from a Career in Clinical Translation

In this seminar, Dr. Kip Ludwig will discuss his practical experiences translating implantable devices to stimulate the nervous system – commonly known as neuromodulation, bioelectronic medicine or electroceutical practice – into clinical practice. From his experiences spanning industry as well as running NIH translational devices programs, he will outline key concepts often overlooked in academia that are critical in designing a neuromodulation device for market. He will also discuss his efforts leading the Wisconsin Institute for Translational Neuroengineering to create a multifaceted research environment to accelerate the path for neuromodulation devices from basic science discovery to regulatory approval and sustainable market.

Bio: Dr. Ludwig is the Co-Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Translational Neuroengineering (WITNe) and leads the Ludwig Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin within the WITNe structure. The primary focus of his lab is developing next-generation neuromodulation therapies that use minimally invasive strategies to hack the nervous system to treat circuit dysfunction and deliver biomolecules to target areas with unprecedented precision. Prior to Wisconsin Dr. Ludwig served as the Program Director for Neural Engineering at the National Institutes of Health. He co-led the Translational Devices Program at NINDS, led the NIH BRAIN Initiative programs to catalyze implantable academic and clinical devices to stimulate and/or record from the central nervous system, and led a trans-NIH planning team in developing the ~250 million dollar S.P.A.R.C. Program to stimulate advances in neuromodulation therapies for organ systems.Dr. Ludwig also worked in Industry as a research scientist, where his team conceived, developed and demonstrated the chronic efficacy of a next-generation neural stimulation electrode for reducing blood pressure in both pre-clinical studies and clinical trials. Through his industry work he oversaw Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and non-GLP studies enabling clinical trials in Europe and the United States, as well as participated in the protocol development and execution of those trials, leading to approval for sale in twenty countries including the United States.Dr. Ludwig connects his academic research to the neuromodulation industry and clinical translation through multiple consulting and advisory roles. He serves as the Chair of the NeuroOne Scientific Advisory Board on Artificial Intelligence, is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Abbott, Battelle, Blackfynn, Cala Health and the National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies, and is a co-founder of Neuronoff, Inc. Dr. Ludwig is also a paid consultant for Galvani Bioelectronics and Boston Scientific.


Twitter: KipLudwig



Amy Keating

Amy Keating

Host: Michael Garton

January 11, 2022

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Exploring landscapes of native and designed protein interaction specificity

Molecular recognition events between proteins are critical to cellular function. Selective formation of complexes influences the progression of disease and can determine the outcome of cell life vs. death decisions. For many families of protein interaction domains, myriad interactions are possible, and subtle details of protein sequence and structure are key to determining which do vs. do not occur. Focusing on protein families that regulate key processes, we have deciphered molecular features that confer protein interaction specificity in the context of both native and designed protein-protein interactions. I will describe approaches that combine experimental proteome screening, biophysical characterization, and computational modeling to analyze and design specific interactions involving Bcl-2 family proteins that control apoptosis and Ena/VASP proteins that promote cell motility.

Milica Radisic

Milica Radisic

Host: N/A

February 8, 2022

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Advances in Organ-on-a-Chip Engineering

Recent advances in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) biology enable derivation of essentially any cell type in the human body, and development of three-dimensional (3D) tissue models for drug discovery, safety testing, disease modelling and regenerative medicine applications. However, limitations related to cell maturation, vascularization, cellular fidelity and inter-organ communication still remain. Relying on an engineering approach, microfluidics and microfabrication techniques our laboratory has developed new technologies aimed at overcoming them.

Since native heart tissue is unable to regenerate after injury, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) represent a promising source for human cardiomyocytes. Here, biological wire (Biowire) technology will be described, developed to specifically enhance maturation levels of hPSC based cardiac tissues, by controlling tissue geometry and electrical field stimulation regime. I will describe new applications of the Biowire technology in engineering a specifically atrial and specifically ventricular cardiac tissues, safety testing of small molecule kinase inhibitors, potential new cancer drugs, modelling of left ventricular hypertrophy using patient derived cells and studying the effects of covid19 on the heart.

For probing of more complex physiological questions, dependent on the flow of culture media or blood, incorporation of vasculature is required, most commonly performed in organ-on-a-chip devices. Current organ-on-a-chip devices are limited by the presence of non-physiological materials such as glass and drug-absorbing PDMS as well as the necessity for specialized equipment such as vacuum lines and fluid pumps that inherently limit their throughput. An overview of two new technologies, AngioChip, inVADE and h-FIBER will be presented, that overcome the noted limitations and enable engineering of vascularized liver, heart and kidney as well as studies of cancer metastasis. These platforms enable facile operation and imaging in a set-up resembling a 96-well plate. Using polymer engineering, we were able to marry two seemingly opposing criteria in these platforms, permeability and mechanical stability, to engineer vasculature suitable for biological discovery and direct surgical anastomosis to the host vasculature.

Finally, I will discuss the importance of incorporating naturally fractal cues, in a platform termed miCRAFT, and designed to increase the fidelity of branching architecture of kidney podocytes.


Dr. Milica Radisic is a Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada Research Chair in Functional Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering and a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute. She is also Director of the NSERC CREATE Training Program in Organ-on-a-Chip Engineering & Entrepreneurship and Director of Ontario-Quebec Center for Organ-on-a-Cho Engineering.  She obtained B.Eng. from McMaster University, and Ph.D. form the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada-Academy of Science, Canadian Academy of Engineering, the American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering and Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine Society. She received numerous awards and fellowships, including MIT Technology Review Top 35 Innovators under 35.  She was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013, NSERC E.W.R Steacie Fellowship in 2014, YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in 2018, OPEA Research & Development Medal in 2019 and Killam Fellowship in 2020 to name a few. Her research focuses on organ-on-a-chip engineering and development of new biomaterials that promote healing and attenuate scarring. She developed new methods to mature iPSC derived cardiac tissues using electrical stimulation. Currently, she holds research funding from CIHR, NSERC, CFI, ORF, NIH, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She is an Associate Editor for ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, a member of the Editorial Board of Tissue Engineering, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, Regenerative Biomaterials, Advanced Biosystems, Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology and eLife. She serves on review panels for Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Institutes of Health. She is actively involved with BMES (Cardiovascular Track Chair and TERMIS-AM (Council member, Chair of the Membership Committee). She was a co-organizer of a 2017 Keystone Symposium, “Engineered Cells and Tissues as Platforms for Discovery and Therapy”. She served on the Board of Directors for Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, Canadian Biomaterials Society and McMaster Alumni Association. Her research findings were presented in over 200 research papers, reviews and book chapters with h-index of 67 and over 16,800 citations.  Her publications appeared in Cell, Nature Materials, Nature Methods, Nature Protocols, Nature Communications, PNAS etc. In 2014, she co-founded an award winning company TARA Biosystems that uses matured human engineered heart tissues in drug development.  TARA raised over $20million to date and currently tests drugs for major pharmaceutical companies. In 2017, she founded Quthero Inc, a company focused on disrupting the skin regeneration and a medical esthetics market through the use of proprietary Q-gel to promote scar-free wound healing.

Mikhail Shapiro (In-Person)

Mikhail Shapiro

Host: Naomi Matsuura

March 8, 2022

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Please note that this event will be taking place in-person in MS3154. Those unable to attend in person can still view the talk online via Zoom. 

Biomolecular Ultrasound for Noninvasive Imaging and Control of Cellular Function

The study of biological function in intact organisms and the development of targeted cellular therapeutics necessitate methods to image and control cellular function in vivo. Technologies such as fluorescent proteins and optogenetics serve this purpose in small, translucent specimens, but are limited by the poor penetration of light into deeper tissues. In contrast, most non-invasive techniques such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging – while based on energy forms that penetrate tissue effectively – are not effectively coupled to cellular function. Our work attempts to bridge this gap by engineering biomolecules with the appropriate physical properties to interact with magnetic fields and sound waves. In this talk, I will describe our recent development of biomolecular reporters and actuators for ultrasound. The reporters are based on gas vesicles – a unique class of gas-filled protein nanostructures from buoyant photosynthetic microbes. These proteins produce nonlinear scattering of sound waves, enabling their detection with ultrasound. I will describe our recent progress in understanding the biophysical and acoustic properties of these biomolecules, engineering their mechanics and targeting at the genetic level, developing methods to enhance their detection in vivo, expressing them heterologously as reporter genes, and turning them into dynamic sensors of enzyme activity. In addition to their applications in imaging, gas vesicles can be used to control cellular location and function by serving as receivers of acoustic radiation force or seeding localized bubble cavitation. Additional remote control is provided by thermal bioswitches – biomolecules that provide switch-like control of gene expression in response to small changes in temperature. This allows us to use focused ultrasound to remote-control engineered cells in vivo.



Mikhail Shapiro is a Professor of Chemical Engineering, an HHMI Investigator, and Director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Medicine at Caltech. The Shapiro laboratory develops biomolecular technologies allowing cells to be imaged and controlled inside the body using sound waves and magnetic fields. These technologies enable the study of biological function in vivo and the development of cell-based diagnostic and therapeutic agents. Mikhail received his PhD in Biological Engineering from MIT and his BSc in Neuroscience from Brown, and conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago and the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Miller Fellow. His awards include the NIH Pioneer Award, the Packard Fellowship, the Pew Scholarship, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and the Roger Tsien Award for Excellence in Chemical Biology. More information about the Shapiro Lab can be found online at

Jenny Ning Jiang (In-Person)

Jenny Ning Jiang

Institution: University of Pennsylvania

Host: Lidan You

May 10, 2022

12:00pm - 1:00pm

High-throughput multi-dimensional T cell profiling enabled systems immunology

T cells are important to the initiation, prevention, and cure of many diseases. In the past several years, we have developed several tools to profile the T cell repertoire from T cell receptor diversity to T cell receptor affinity to multi-dimensional profiling of single T cells in high-throughput. In this talk, I will first introduce these tools and then give examples on how we use them to answer some of the fundamental questions in systems immunology, which in turn help us design new approaches in immune engineering.