- Biomechanics Training Grant
- - Alumni
Ovid C. Amadi - Health Sciences and Technology
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, MIT
Thesis Advisor: Richard T. Lee, MD
Brigham and Women's Hospital Cardiovascular Research Laboratory
The dominant cause of heart failure is loss of myocardium due to infarction and the limited regeneration potential of cardiomyocytes in mammals. Several different approaches have emerged as potential treatments to restore cardiac function, including tissue engineering, cell therapy, and protein therapy. The chemokine Stromal cell Derived Factor-1 (SDF-1) and its receptor CXCR4 are crucial for bone marrow retention of hematopoietic stem cells and participate in cardiogenesis and recruitment of endothelial-cell progenitor cells to ischemic tissue Recently, numerous laboratories have independently demonstrated that SDF-1 can attract stem cells to the myocardium and improve function. Most experiments to date have been performed with gene transfer, which can lead to variable delivery, while controlled delivery of chemokine proteins has potential for driving chemotaxis in vivo with more precise delivery. The precise effects of SDF-1 delivery and whether it promotes the recruitment of endogenous cardiac progenitor cells to regenerate the myocardium are unknown. My research investigates the recruitment of cardiac progenitor cells and identifies factors that contribute to their migration, proliferation and differentiation.
Philip Bransford - Biological Engineering
Bachelors of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
Thesis Advisor: 1Roger Kamm, 2Mark Bathe
1Mechanobiology Laboratory, 2Laboratory for Computational Biology and Biophysics
Cadherin proteins mediate calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion. From a few of premetazoan ancestor genes, a large and diverse superfamily evolved that is today is common to all vertebrates. Although typically considered homophilic, a few studies measured heterophilic interactions between select family members. My project uses statistical and structural modeling to ask if family members coevolved their binding sites, and which motifs confer specific or promiscuous binding interactions.
Paul Kopesky - Biological Engineering
S.B., Chemical Engineering, MIT
M.S., Chemical Engineering, MIT
Thesis Advisor: Alan Grodzinsky
Center for Biomedical Engineering
Self-assembling peptide hydrogels promote in vitro chondrogenesis of bone
marrow-derived stromal cells: Effects of peptide sequence, cell donor age,
and method of growth factor delivery.
Ranjani Krishnan - Biological Engineering
BSE, Chemical Engineering, Princeton University
Thesis Advisor: Krystyn Van Vliet, Douglas Lauffenburger
Laboratory for Material Chemomechanics
Interactions between cell surface integrin receptors and extracellular matrix (ECM) ligands are crucial to processes such as cell adhesion and migration. My thesis work is focused on understanding how integrin-ligand interactions are regulated by chemomechanical properties of the cell microenvironment, namely pH and ECM stiffness. These properties are significantly altered in contexts such as cancer and wound healing, and we hope to gain a molecular level understanding of how integrin-ligand interactions are affected by these conditions. The larger goal is to connect the receptor-ligand effects to cell adhesion and migration.
Daniel Trahan - Chemical Engineering
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Rice University in Houston
M.S., Chemical Engineering Practice, MIT
Thesis Advisor: Patrick S. Doyle
DNA is a fundamentally important biological molecule. Understanding the physics that govern the behavior of an individual DNA molecule is not only necessary to explain how it interacts with its native cellular environment, but is also important in engineering devices that manipulate DNA molecules in order to retrieve genetic information. I am interested in exploring and exploiting the physics related to DNA dynamics in microfluidic devices for diagnostic applications.
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