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.

A mid-March update

Spring 2023 is off to a busy start for the Fromen lab!

First, we have two accepted manuscripts to celebrate:

Congrats to PhD alumni Zach Stillman for his manuscript in Journal of Nanobiotechnology titled “Aluminum-Based Metal-Organic Framework Nanoparticles as Pulmonary Vaccine Adjuvants”! Check out the article here

Congrats to PhD alumni Bader Jarai for his manuscript in Drug Delivery and Translational Medicine titled ” Nanoparticle Pre-treatment for Enhancing the Survival and Activation of Pulmonary Macrophage Transplant Therapy”! Check out the article here

Next, we welcome our newest members to the group who started this January:

PhD students Jodi, Saiful, Spencer, and Eric as well as Postdoc fellow Aida Lopez-Ruiz, who completed her PhD at NJIT! Aida and Eric will be working on our NIIMBL T-cell project, Jodi will be working on macrophage ALI studies, and Spencer and Saiful will be focused on inhalable nanoparticle therapeutics.

Next, a huge congratulations to the lab on receiving an NSF CAREER award! This award mechanism is the NSF’s “most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization” and is a true honor recognizing the group’s groundbreaking research efforts! Our award titled “CAREER: Aerosol transport in well-defined periodic porous metamaterials ” will allow the group to expand our studies of how we can design lattices for a range of engineering applications. We are especially excited to use this to engineer a full-volume model of the lung!

You can read about the award from the abstract here.

And check out the UDaily feature here.

PhD #3!

Congratulations to the newly minted Dr. Emily Kolewe, the Fromen lab’s third PhD graduate!!! Emily defended her thesis earlier this week, entitled “In Silico/In Vitro Pulmonary Airway Models for Novel and Targeted Aerosols and Inhalable Therapeutics”. She will be leaving the lab before we know it and will be launching her industry career in New Zealand!

Many huge congratulations to Emily —  she accomplished many “firsts” in the group, including being the “official” first member to join – and has done so much to shape the research directions and culture of our group. We are so thankful for your hard work and so very proud of your accomplishments!!  We can’t wait to visit you in New Zealand and are excited to see what you accomplish next!

Fall 2022 Wrap up

 The fall 2022 semester has come and gone, with lots of exciting news for the Fromen lab!

First up, congratulations to Kartik and the team for their recent publication in Advanced Materials Technologies entitled “Cell therapy biomanufacturing: uniting biomaterial and flow-based membrane technologies for production of engineered T-cells”.

Congratulations next to Emily and the team for their recent publication in Computers in Biology and Medicine entitled “Spatial aerosol deposition correlated to anatomic feature development in 6-year-old upper airway computational models”. Check it out here

And finally, congratulations also to Emma and the team for their recent publication in Frontiers of Chemical Engineering entitled “Nebulization of Model Hydrogel Nanoparticles to Macrophages at the Air-Liquid Interface”. We were excited to submit this article to the feature issue on Women in Engineering, with authorship contributions from Emma, Emily, Jody, Joaquina, and Cathy! (And Yinkui as well…).

Congrats to the team on these great publications!

Congrats to Prof Fromen for giving a podium presentation at the annual Drug Delivery to the Lungs congress this past December! It was a great opportunity to present alongside other leaders in the Inhalation field and share the amazing work led by Ian Woodward to develop a new lung model.

The Fromen lab was also busy with many conference presentations this fall. 

We represented at BMES in San Antonio with talks from:

  • Kartik – Probing Synergistic Effect of Substrate Stiffness and Profibrotic Soluble Cues on Macrophage Response
  • Cathy – Inhalable Aluminum-based Metal Organic Framework Nanoparticles as Humoral Pulmonary Adjuvants

And also were busy at AIChE in Houston with talks from:

  • Ian – Understanding multiphase behavior of additively manufactured lattices: Developing in vitro tools for personalized inhalable medicine
  • Ian – Directionally dependent fluid behavior from uniform periodic structures: Influence of design and additive process parameters
  • Kartik –  Combining Tunable Biomaterials and Flow-Based Membrane Technologies for Improved Biomanufacturing of T Cell Therapies
  • Emily – Computational Fluid Particle Dynamics Illuminates Developmental Anatomical Feature Influence on Aerosol Deposition Patterns in 6-Year-Old Upper Airway CT-Scan Models

And a poster from:

  • Saurav – Effects of Patient Age on Simulated Aerosol Particle Deposition in the Upper Airways of Pediatric Patients

Congrats to the whole team for their excellent presentatinos and a special congratulations to Kartik for winning Third place for his talk in the Graduate Student Award in the Biomaterials Division!

We had a lot of fun travelling and sharing our work with the BME and ChemE communities!

Congrats to Prof Fromen for giving a podium presentation at the annual Drug Delivery to the Lungs congress this past December! It was a great opportunity to present alongside other leaders in the Inhalation field and share the amazing work led by Ian Woodward to develop a new lung model.

This fall semester also saw the Fromen lab grow with the addition of four new PhD students! We welcome Saiful Roslan and Spencer Wolfe, as well as Jodi Graf and Eric Slaughter who will be co-advised with Prof April Kloxin. Welcome!

To celebrate our new students and the end of the semester, the whole Fromen lab gathered in December for a fun outing of bowling, pizza, laser tag, and arcade games! It was wonderful to have fun together and kick off a relaxing winter break. 

We are excited for what is to come in 2023 and wish you all happy holidays and a very happy new year!

Click for more Fromen lab news!