Designing multifunctional materials
We are synthesizing materials, especially hydrogels, whose properties can be altered at any position or time. These property changes are induced with user controlled triggers, such as light or enzymes. These materials enable the selective alteration of properties for applications of interest, such as dynamic cell culture, therapeutic delivery, and regenerative medicine.
Examining matrix regulation of cell quiescence, activation, and fate in disease
The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays a critical role in regulating cell quiescence and activation in tissue homeostasis and repair. However, when misregulated, disease can be permitted or promoted. We are examining the role of the ECM and its remodeling in disease, especially in breast cancer cell dormancy and re-activation and myofibroblastic activation in fibrosis.
Understanding and directing complex tissue regeneration
We seek to understand and direct key microenvironment cues in tissue regeneration. We utilize responsive materials to control chemical and physical cues, such as cytokines, integrin-binding ECM mimics, and modulus, to examine their individual and synergistic effects on cell function. We subsequently translate these findings to improve regeneration strategies.
We are grateful for the current and prior support for this work
- NIH Director’s New Innovator Award
- Susan G. Komen made possible through funding from American Airlines
- Pew Scholars Program in Biomedical Sciences