Monday, April 29, 2019
Abstract: Tissue engineering has traditionally focused on restoring or replacing lost or damaged tissues. I will present our progress on engineering tissues as surrogates for natural tissues, which can be placed at readily accessible sites and biopsied to identify disease initiation or progression, and also the ability to monitor response to therapy. In metastatic breast cancer, the tissues to simulate are those distal to the primary tumor, specifically solid organs that have the capacity to recruit metastatic cells based on aberrant inflammatory processes. The aberrant inflammation associated with disease progression transforms the typical foreign body response at an implant to create a metastatic niche. Inflammation within the microporous polymer implants is progressively altered by disease, with inflammation analogous to that in the diseased lung. These differences were driven by select pro-tumor immune cell types that promote immunosuppression and metastasis. Following therapy, longitudinal tracking of inflammation at the implant in individual mice differentiated resistance versus response to therapy. The application of strategy to autoimmune disease will also be discussed. These results demonstrate that the biological response at biomaterial implants is a platform for detecting context-specific pathological states, which facilitates early detection of disease and therapeutic monitoring.
Biography: Lonnie Shea is the Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan (U-M), which is joint between the College of Engineering and the School of Medicine. He received his PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from U-M in 1997, working with Professor Jennifer Linderman. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow with then ChE Professor David Mooney in the Department of Biologic and Materials Science at the U-M Dental School.
Shea was recruited to Northwestern University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and was on the faculty from 1999 to 2014. In 2014, Shea was recruited back to the University of Michigan as chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, with his recruitment coinciding with the endowment of the chair position by William and Valerie Hall. He is an internationally recognized researcher at the interface of regenerative medicine, drug and gene delivery, and immune-engineering, whose focus is on preventing tissue degeneration or promoting tissue regeneration. His projects include ovarian follicle maturation for treating infertility, islet transplantation for diabetes therapies, nerve regeneration for treating paralysis, autoimmune diseases and allogeneic cell transplantation, and cancer diagnostics. He is also developing and applying systems biology approaches to molecularly dissect tissue formation and identify key drivers of normal and abnormal growth. His technologies for immune tolerance are currently in clinical trials through the company Cour Pharmaceutical.
Shea has published more than 230 manuscripts, and has numerous inventions to his credit. He is the PI for the Coulter Foundation Translational Research grants committee at the University of Michigan. He served as director of Northwestern’s NIH Biotechnology Training Grant and was a member of its Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine. He has received the Clemson Award from the Society for Biomaterials, is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Therapy, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and the Journal of Immunology and Regenerative Medicine.
Department of Biomedical Engineering