Fromen Research Group

Engineering Particle-Lung Interactions

Welcome to the Fromen Research Group!  Our research is all about the lungs. We seek to advance understanding of the unique environment of the airways, from fluid dynamics to mucosal immunology. Armed with this foundation, we develop new therapeutics and analytical tools to treat a range of diseases specific to the lungs.



Kicking off 2024!

Welcome to 2024! The Fromen lab is poised for an exciting year ahead and hope you are too!

This past Fall ’23 was another busy time for the group. Here’s a quick recap of what we got up to:

Prof. Fromen was busy traveling and sharing exciting updates from the lab. She was invited to speak at the Inhalation & Respiratory Drug Delivery US Congress (San Diego, Oct), the AAPS Annual meeting (Orlando, Oct), the AIChE Annual meeting (Orlando, Nov), and the 12th Annual CT3N Symposium (Philadelphia, Dec). It was great to connect with many old and new colleagues, hear about amazing science, chair sessions for emerging investigators, and share the awesome Fromen lab accomplishments of the past year!

Speaking of AIChE, the Fromen lab was out in full force for the Annual Meeting in Orlando! The team presented a total of  8 talks and 3 posters and had a blast.

Talks:

  • Prof Fromen: “Evaluating design parameters for aerosol immune engineering using polymeric and metal-organic framework nanoparticles”
  • Prof Fromen: “Single and Multiphase Flows in Well-Defined Periodic 3D-Printed Lattices”
  • Aida López Ruiz: “Flow-Based Membrane Technology to Engineer T-Cells”
  • Emma Sudduth: Desirable Formulations for Inhalable Particulate Immunotherapeutics Using Model Peg-Based Nanoparticles”
  • Michael Trautmann-Rodriguez: “Macrophage Internalization of PEGDA Nanoparticles Drives Secretion of Pro-Survival Signals”
  • Ian Woodward: “Multi-Order Combinatorial Lattices for Spatial Control of Transport Phenomena”
  • Ian Woodward: “Directionally Dependent Fluid Behavior from Uniform Periodic Structures: Influence of Design and Additive Process Parameters”

Posters:

  • Nicole Gill: “Designing Nanoparticle-Loaded Aerosols for Controlled Interactions with Pulmonary Immune Cells for Treatment of Respiratory Diseases”
  • Aida López Ruiz: “Engineering Biomaterials for Women’s Health”
  • Saurav Padhye: “Modeling the Impact of Pediatric Tonsil Size on Aerosol Deposition and Drug Delivery”

Congratulations to the entire team for their excellent presentations!

A special congratulations goes out to our award winners:

  • Congrats to Emma Sudduth for winning first place in the 22B Bionanotechnology Graduate Award Session! (announcement link)
  • Congrats to Saurav Padhye for winning third place in the Food, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Division of the Student Poster Competition!
  • Congrats to Nicole Gill for winning third place in the Food, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Division of the Student Poster Competition!

We also published a number of exciting manuscripts this fall. Click the Publications page or the icons below to check them out!

On the Path to Predicting Immune Responses in the Lung: Modeling the Pulmonary Innate Immune system at the Air-Liquid Interface (ALI). European Journal Pharmaceutical Science. (2023)

Computational Modeling of Aerosol Particle Transport through Lung Mucosa. Computers and Chemical Engineering 179 (2023) 108458.

Woodward, I.R., Fromen, C.A., Recent developments in aerosol pulmonary drug delivery: new technologies, new cargos, and new targets. Annual Reviews in Biomedical Engineering. (2024)

López Ruiz, A.,* Slaughter, E.,* Kloxin, A.M.,# Fromen, C.A.,# Bridging the gender gap in autoimmunity with T-cell targeted biomaterials. Current Opinion in Biotechnology (2024)

Finally, this fall saw the growth of our lab and we are excited to welcome a whole group of new trainees into the group! First off, we welcome two new Postdoctoral Fellows: Patrick McCauley and Dewansh Rastogi.

Patrick McCauley

Patrick completed his PhD at the Univ of Minnesota with Michelle Calabrese. He was awarded an EDH Postdoctoral Fellowship and will be working on a collaborative 3D bioprinting project with Prof. Bayles!

Dewansh Rastogi 

Dewansh completed his PhD at the Univ of Maryland with Akua Asa-Awuku. He will be working on the TIDAL lung project!

In addition to our new postdoctoral fellows, we also welcomed three new PhD students to the group: Lisa Bain, Sam Fine, and Dominic Hoffman.

Lisa Bain

Lisa completed her undergrad degree at the Univ Michigan and received the NSF GRFP in Fall 2023. She will be working on a nanoparticle immune engineering project.

Sam Fine

Sam completed his undergrad degree at GA Tech and will be co-advised with Prof Blenner. He will be working on engineering macrophage cell therapies.

Dominic Hoffman

Dominic completed his undergrad degree at Penn State and will be working on the TIDAL lung project.

To celebrate our awesome fall, the group gathered together for a holiday party in December.

And would like to share our new updated group photo with you to start 2024:

Lots of exciting adventures awaits the Fromen lab in 2024 and we look forward to updating you soon! Wishing you all a productive 2024 ahead!

Summer ’23 Round up

It was another busy summer for the Fromen lab! Here’s what we’ve been up to:

In July, Emma and Aida attended the CRS in Las Vegas, where they both received recognition for the Best Poster Award in their sessions!

Aida’s poster (left) was titled: “Flow-based membrane technology to engineer T-cells” and Emma’s poster (right) was titled: “Designing Inhalable Particulate Immunotherapies using Relevant In Vitro Models.” Congrats to both of you!

Emily, Saurav & Ian, along with collaborators Yu Feng (OSU) and Jenna Briddell (Nemours) published their computational manuscript in AAPS PharmSciTech as part of the Advances in Drug Delivery by Inhalation – Official Collection from AAPS Inhalation & Nasal Community (INC). The paper is titled: “A pediatric upper airway library to evaluate interpatient variability of in silico aerosol deposition.” Congrats to the team!

Click the icon to the right to check it out!

In August, Prof Fromen and Ian attended the 2023 ISAM Congress in Saarbruken, Germany! It was a great time connecting with members of the aerosol medicine community, as well as sharing our science! Ian represented the Fromen lab with his poster “Development of an in vitro Full-volume Airway Approximation for Assessing Breath-dependent regional aerosol deposition.” Prof Fromen was also busy, completing her term as the ISAM Award Committee chair and helping to host the Women in ISAM luncheon. During this Congress, she was also elected as a board member!

We loved getting to tour the beautiful Saarbruken countryside, plus our pitstop in Paris en route! Looking forward to hosting ISAM 2025 alongside David Cipolla and Lana Lyapustina in the Washington DC area – stay tuned for more info!

Next up for the Fromen lab, we celebrate our rising second year PhD students, who sat for their qualifying exams this August! Congrats to Jodi Graf, Eric Slaughter (both receiving commendations), Spencer Wolfe, and Saiful Roslan on this milestone!

Finally, we congratulate Nicole, Saurav, Ning, and Adhya on a great summer in the lab – we’re excited for all of our awesome undergrads to return this fall! Nicole, Saurav, and Ning will all be completing their Senior research with us – be on the look out for their graduate applications soon!

That’s it for now! We’re excited for the 2023-2024 academic year, which is slated for lots of big changes to the Fromen lab! Stay tuned for more updates and wishing you all a great semester ahead!

PhD #5!!

Congratulations to the newly minted Dr. Ian Woodward, the Fromen lab’s fifth PhD graduate!!! Ian defended his thesis entitled “Additive Manufacturing and Open Lattice Structures for Applications in Chemical Engineering and Pulmonary Drug Delivery”. His thesis defense was a true tour-de-force showcasing the software, hardware, engineering, & device creation he has pioneered over the past few years. We are all beyond proud of the work you’ve done in the group and thankful for everything you’ve done making the Fromen lab what it is today!

Many huge congratulations to Ian— we can’t wait to hear about all the amazing things you will continue to accomplish next!

Click for more Fromen lab news!