Research Assistant Professor, Bioengineering Institute, Biology and Biotechnology, Biomedical Engineering
B.S., West Virginia University
M.S., West Virginia University
Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
A primary focus of my research program is the study of cell differentiation and development of methods to generate less differentiated therapeutically useful cells using in vitro manipulation techniques. The title of the currently funded research project is called “Digit Regeneration in Mammals” which is part of a broad program called “Restorative Injury Repair”. The ultimate goal of this project is to establish blastema-like cells at a wound site in a non-regenerating animal. My laboratory is primarily focused on development and evaluation of strategies for de-differentiation of adult fibroblasts into multi-potential cells capable of differentiation into a variety of different cell types.
We have developed a de-differentation procedure that enables differentiated connective tissue fibroblasts to enter a less differentiate state. These cells can then be directed to differentiate into a variety of different cell types. We are currently working on characterizing the individual components of the dedifferentiation cocktail in terms of their precise function in the cells. We are also developing novel methods of altering the wound environment and evaluating the effect on proteomic and genomic profiles of resultant cell types. This goal of this approach is to tip the balance in wound repair between wound scarring and regeneration more toward regeneration. We employ a variety of molecular and cell biology tools including mammalian cell culture, immuno-cytochemistry, western blotting, molecular cloning, and time-lapse video microphotography.
Our mission is to utilize these core technologies and as a launching platform for a research program aimed toward construction of autologous tissue implants to treat disorders where tissue replacement/regeneration is the only viable therapeutic option. Critical to this approach is the construction of the appropriate biomaterial scaffolds to promote and maintain the desired functional cell types. This multi-disciplinary approach involves collaborative projects with other faculty at WPI in Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry/Biochemistry as well as many outside collaborators. As a result we are part of WPI’s Center for Regenerative Biology and Engineering with in the Bioengineering Institute.Maintained by email@example.com
Last modified: August 31, 2007 10:59:55