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Department of Biomedical Engineering-Distinguished Lecture Series 2021/22

Monday, September 20, 2021 to Monday, April 25, 2022
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Distinguished Lecture Series in Biomedical Engineering

The Distinguished Lecture Series in Biomedical Engineering is designed to bring innovative leaders in the biomedical engineering field to the WPI campus to meet our outstanding faculty and students, and visit our interdisciplinary research facilities in the heart of Central Massachusetts.





Contact for a zoom link to each upcoming event. 


Monday, September 20
  • Monday, September 20, 2021 12:00am to 12:50pm
    BME Distinguished Lecture Series: J.J. Trey Crisco, Ph.D| Professor and Executive Director for Research| Department of Orthopaedics​| Brown University - via Zoom
    J.J. Trey Crisco, Ph.D
    Henry Frederick Lippitt Professor of Orthopaedic Research
    Executive Director for Research and Director of Bioengineering Laboratory
    Department of Orthopaedics
    The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital

    Unraveling Wrist Biomechanics Using In Vivo Carpal Kinematics and Instrumented Implant

    Abstract: The skeletal wrist joint is comprised of eight carpal bones and at least fifteen articulations. With no substantial muscular attachments, carpal bone kinematics and stability are completely controlled by the articular shapes and the ligaments. Despite being simply passive structures, how the carpus reduces forty-eight degrees of freedom into the two primary degrees of wrist motions of flexion-extension and radial-ulnar deviations remains incompletely defined. I will present our approach to measuring in vivo carpal kinematics and the insights into carpal function that we have gained from this approach.
    Our work on carpal function has led to investigations into the design of total wrist implants. Unlike hip and knee arthroplasty, total wrist arthroplasty (TWA) has been prescribed sparingly and typically only in older patients with low functional demands. I will discuss our design approach and recent studies of in vivo TWA function using biplane videoradiography.
    The first carpometacarpal joint at the base of the thumb is the most mobile of all the carpal joints and is associated with the unique functions of the human thumb. This joint is also one of the most common sites of osteoarthritis. I will present our longitudinal study of thumb osteoarthritis in which we explore joint instability as a predictor of thumb osteoarthritis.
    I will conclude by describing our current efforts to measure thumb and wrist joint loads in vivo using implants instrumented with load sensing technologies.


    Biography: J.J. Trey Crisco, Ph.D. is the Henry Frederick Lippitt Professor of Orthopaedics and Professor at School of Engineering at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital. He began his career as an orthotics and prosthetics technician at the Newington Children’s Hospital and then continued his graduate education Yale University in Applied Mechanics.

    Prof. Crisco’s research interests and translational efforts are in three fields: musculoskeletal biomechanics, sports, and pediatric rehabilitation. His work in upper extremity biomechanics is focused primarily on the hand and wrist for which he received the 2017 Kappa Delta Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedics Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Research Society with Dr. Scott Wolfe. His work in sports has focused on quantifying head impact exposure in helmeted sports using novel sensor technology, studying youth and collegiate athletes. Prof. Crisco has also developed toys and assistive technologies focusing on musculoskeletal rehabilitation for children with special needs. For these projects and his work on translational research and social entrepreneurship, Prof. Crisco received the inaugural Goel Award from the American Society of Biomechanics in 2017. His lab has primarily been supported by NIH and he has over 230 peer-reviewed publications. He has served as a member and ad-hoc member on numerous NIH Study sections. He is a former president of the American Society of Biomechanics.

    Please contact for a zoom link to this event.

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Monday, October 04
  • Monday, October 04, 2021 12:00pm to 12:50pm
    BME Distinguished Lecture Series: "The Mechanics and Mechanobiology of Healing Tissue Interfaces"| Dr. Guy Genin, Professor| Washington University in St.Louis - via Zoom


    Guy Genin, Ph.D
    Co-Director, NSF Science and Technology Center for Engineering MechanoBiology
    Harold and Kathleen Faught Professor, Washington University in St. Louis
    Thousand Talents Plan and Yangtze River Professor, Xi’an Jiaotong University



    Abstract: Mechanical force plays an essential role in shaping cells, tissues, and organs of plants and animals. The US NSF Science and Technology Center for Engineering MechanoBiology aims to define how molecules, cells and tissues integrate mechanics within plant and animal biology, and to thereby create new therapies, materials, and agricultural technologies. At the core of CEMB's approach to mechanobiology are the questions of how cells feel, adapt, and remember their mechanical environments. Motivated by the challenge of surgeries seeing to reattach tendon to bone, this talk will describe work from our center on how wound-healing cells called fibroblasts feel, adapt, and remember the mechanical cues that cause them to transformation from an initially inactive state to a contractile, proliferative state called a myofibroblast. Myofibroblasts aid wound healing when triggered appropriately, but lead to significant morbidity when triggered pathologically. Key themes are the role of rigorous quantitative engineering tools in understanding these problems, and the need for tightly integrated theory and experiment as the field progresses towards a predictive science. The talk will conclude with a description of technologies currently under development to apply mechanical and mechanobiological insight to improved tendon-to-bone repair.


    Biography: Guy M. Genin studies mechanobiology, with focus on interfaces and adhesion in nature, physiology, and engineering. His work advances improved surgical techniques, therapies for tissue inflammation and fibrosis, and hardier crops that require fewer resources.

    At Washington University, he is the Harold and Kathleen Faught Professor, with appointments in Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Neurological Surgery. He is the McDonnell International Scholars Academy Ambassador to Xi'an Jiaotong University in China, where he serves as Thousand Talents Plan Professor of Life Sciences. Genin co-directs the NSF Science and Technology Center for Engineering Mechanobiology and is chief engineer of Caeli Vascular, Inc.  A fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Genin co-chairs the working group on integrated multiscale biomechanics experiment and modeling for the U.S. Interagency Modeling and Analysis Group (IMAG), and serves on IMAG’s steering committee.

    Genin is the recipient of awards for engineering design, teaching, and research including a Research Career Award from NIH; the Skalak Medal from ASME; the Changjiang Scholar Award from the Chinese Ministry of Education; the Northcutt-Coil Professor of the Year Award from the McKelvey School of Engineering; Professor of the Year from the Washington University Student Union; and the Eads Medal from the St. Louis Academy of Science. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Case Western Reserve University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard. He completed postdoctoral training at Cambridge and Brown.

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Monday, November 01
  • Monday, November 01, 2021 12:00pm to 12:50pm
    BME Seminar Series: "Biomedical Perspective of Cellular Micro-Environment for Biomedical Applications"| Dr. Devina Jaiswal| Assistant Professor| Western New England University - via Zoom


    Devina Jaiswal, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
     College of Engineering
    Western New England University

    Abstract: Cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interaction is an important aspect for cell differentiation, proliferation and regulation. The micro-mechanical environment is sensed by cellular mechanosensors that transcends signal to produce cell response. Understanding the mechanics and engineering the microenvironment to manipulate cells such as stem cells or cancer cells can help in understanding cell behavior for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications. Microenvironment of the cells can be manipulated by varying their contact geometry or subjecting the cells to physical forces such as micro-compression or extension. Tissue engineering applications include, fine tuning diameter of electrospun fibers to stimulate mechanosensors such as integrin, zyxin and vinculin to upregulate or downregulate MAP Kinase pathway. Fiber diameter can play a major role in modulating the activation of extracellular signal‐regulated kinase (ERK) and p38 kinases with a threshold diameter producing an inverse effect on ERK and p38 phosphorylation. Similarly, mechanical characterization of heterogenous tissue mass such as tumors can lead to early detection of cancer. Biomechanical micro-signatures and changes in cellular environment can be used as early biomarkers to identify malignant and benign tumors. 3D organoids and spheroids made from different cell sources used for studying cancer can have differing macro and micro mechanical stiffness which can be correlated to cell’s response to drug. These tissue systems can be characterized using microtweezers and analyzed using pattern recognition. Likewise, localized changes in heterogenous tissue which are indicative of a pathology can be detected using label-free optical elastography. For future, characterization of a heterogeneous microenvironment of the tissue can be used for customized drug delivery, engineering tissue systems and cancer therapy.

    Biography: Devina Jaiswal, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, received her M.S. in Bioengineering from Pennsylvania State University where she worked on bone tissue engineering. Her primary research focused on cellular mechanosensing and analyzing the effect of surface geometry on downstream signaling pathways. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut with a concentration in biomedical micro-electromechanical devices used for cellular manipulation and characterization. She has published research articles in various peer-reviewed journals and regularly serves as a reviewer for these journals. She is also a reviewer for Department of Defense’s CDMRP grants. Her research interests include tissue engineering, mechanosensing, and drug delivery. Other than research, she is devoted to best teaching practices for undergraduate and graduate education. She was named Kern Engineering Entrepreneurship Network (KEEN) Fellow for 2020-21. She strongly believes in inculcating entrepreneurial mindset in undergraduate courses by development of experiential learning modules.

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Monday, November 08
  • Monday, November 08, 2021 12:00pm to 12:50pm
    BME Distinguished Lecture Series: "Nanostructured (Poly)Peptide Materials for Thermoresponsive and Cell-Directed Therapies "| Dr. Kristi Kiick, Professor| University of Delaware - via Zoom


    Kristi L. Kiick, PhD
    Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor
    Department of Materials Science and Engineering
    University of Delaware


    Abstract: Macromolecular structures that are capable of selectively and efficiently engaging cellular targets offer important approaches for mediating biological events and in the development of hybrid materials. We have employed a combination of biosynthetic tools, bioconjugation strategies, and biomimetic assembly to produce thermoresponsive (poly)peptides derived from sequences of resilin, elastin, and collagen. These materials can be designed to control localization of biomolecules with tunable microscale mechanics, and materials with select properties have demonstrated promise for healing vascular graft materials in vivo. In addition, these types of materials not only show controllable micro- and nanoscale morphologies, but also have promise for targeted drug delivery to damaged tissue in vivo.

    Biography: Kristi Kiick is the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Delaware, holding affiliated faculty appointments in the Departments of Biological Sciences and of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware and in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham, where Kiick has conducted research as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor and Fulbright Scholar. Her internationally recognized research focuses on the synthesis, characterization, and application of protein, peptide, and self-assembled materials for applications in tissue engineering, drug delivery, and bioengineering, with specific research in cardiovascular, vocal fold, and cancer therapies. A Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and of the American Chemical Society, she has published more than 150 articles, book chapters, and patents, and has delivered over 200 invited and award lectures. Kiick’s honors have included several awards (Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty, Beckman Young Investigator, NSF CAREER, DuPont Young Professor, and Delaware Biosciences Academic Research Award) as well as induction also as a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and of the American Chemical Society Division of Polymer Chemistry. She also serves on the advisory and editorial boards for multiple international journals and research organizations. Kiick received her bachelor of science in chemistry from UD as a Eugene du Pont Memorial Distinguished Scholar, where she graduated summa cum laude, and a master of science in chemistry as an NSF graduate fellow at the University of Georgia. She worked in industry (Kimberly Clark Corporation) as a research scientist prior to obtaining master of science and doctoral degrees in polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, completing her doctoral research at the California Institute of Technology as a recipient of a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) fellowship.

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Monday, November 22
  • Monday, November 22, 2021 12:00pm to 12:50pm
    BME Seminar Series: "Functionally Graded Lattice Structure Design for Additive Manufacturing and Physics-Informed Convolutional Network for Data-Driven Multiscale Analysis" by Dr. Lin Cheng| WPI- via Zoom


    Lin Cheng, Ph.D. 
    Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering 
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute


    Abstract: This seminar will cover two sub-topics in computational design for functionally graded structures and physics-informed deep learning models for multiscale analysis. First, I will present an efficient homogenization-based topology optimization method for optimizing the design of functionally graded lattice infills in AM components for weight savings and performance enhancement.  The motivation for developing this method is to overcome the inability of the conventional topology optimization method to eliminate overhangs that are not self-supporting in AM. The proposed method takes advantage of the self-supporting nature of lattice structures and the tunable thermal and mechanical properties of lattices by varying their strut size. The method has been validated by comparing results obtained by the homogenized model, direct numerical simulation, and experimental testing of several optimized components produced by AM. 

    Second, I will present a fully convolutional network (FCN) for data-driven representative volume element (RVE) analysis to accelerate the discovery of effective macroscopic behavior, identify microscale material properties, and automatically characterize defects in materials. The FCN framework takes microstructure images, parameterized by a Heaviside representation coupled with a level-set field, and loading conditions as inputs. The aim is to directly learn nonlinear interaction between the microstructure and local response of the RVE in a hierarchical manner through feature engineering. This avoids the burdensome discretization and interpolations, making it possible to transfer the learned structure-response from one microstructure to another microstructure, thus significantly accelerating the modeling of heterogeneous materials. Moreover, additional layers of convolution for vectorized material characterization and differentiation operation are proposed in the FCN framework, which allows the data-driven discovery of unknown variables and fields and thus unifies the analysis and characterization for the multiscale analysis. It has been demonstrated that the framework can leverage the power of graphics processing units in parallel RVE analysis, microstructure-based transfer learning, inverse derivation of material constituents, and characterization of material defects. 

    Biography: Lin Cheng is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Cheng received his B.S. degree from Xi’an Jiao Tong University and M.S. degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University from 2019 to 2021. His research interests lie in physics-informed deep learning and computational design for metal additive manufacturing. The design optimization methods developed by him have been adopted and implemented by ANSYS in their engineering simulation software. Dr. Cheng has 23 peer-reviewed journal publications in journals such as Additive Manufacturing, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, etc. He won 1st place in a student poster competition at the RAPID conference in 2017 for presenting his work on lattice infill optimization and received the Best RA Award in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh in 2018. In 2021, Dr. Cheng won the fellow competitors in the workshop “New Trends and Open Challenges in Computational Mechanics: from Nano to Macroscale”, and has been selected to present his work on physics-informed deep learning for accelerating RVE analysis and data-driven microscale material identification, and defect characterization. 

    Please contact for a zoom link to this event.



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Monday, December 06
  • Monday, December 06, 2021 12:00pm to 12:50pm
    BME Seminar Series: "Virtual Mechanical Testing of Bone Fracture Healing" |Hannah Dailey, PhD| ​Lehigh University - via Zoom



    Hannah Dailey, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics
    Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA)

    Abstract: Bone fracture healing is a mechanoregulated process that gradually restores the mechanical integrity of an injured bone by forming an adaptive, functionally graded new material called callus at the fracture line. In humans, the recovery process after a bone fracture usually lasts at least several months. However, in some patients, healing does not proceed successfully after the first surgery, resulting in a condition called nonunion. Nonunions are notoriously difficult to treat, in part because diagnosis requires subjective assessment of clinical signs and the visual appearance of callus on X-rays. Early diagnosis could transform nonunion care, but due to the lack of definitive biomarkers for failed healing, most patients wait at least 6-9 months before receiving an intervention. To address this clinical need, we have developed a technique for measuring what really matters in bone healing—the mechanical integrity of the healing bone—using subject-specific finite element models built from low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans. In this seminar, Dr. Dailey will describe how the techniques for virtual mechanical testing were developed and validated in ovine tibial osteotomy models. She will also present case studies of clinical application, where we have successfully used virtual mechanical tests to detect delayed healing of tibial fractures and structurally insufficient bone formation associated with comorbidities such as smoking.

    Biography: Hannah Dailey is an Assistant Professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics at Lehigh University. Her research interests include computational and experimental biomechanics of fracture fixation and bone healing, fracture nonunion, and mechanics of tissues and biomaterials. Her research group emphasizes imaging-driven engineering approaches to clinical problems in orthopaedics and collaborates with surgeons and veterinarians in hospitals across the US and Europe. She is an NSF CAREER Award winner and has received research funding from the Orthopaedic Trauma Association. She also serves as co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of OrthoXel, DAC, an Irish-based orthopaedic device company.

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Monday, January 24
  • Monday, January 24, 2022 12:00pm to 12:50pm
    BME Distinguished Lecture: Dr. William L. Murphy, Professor| University of Wisconsin-Via Zoom
    William L. Murphy, PHD
    Harvey D. Spangler Professor
    Biomedical Engineering/Orthopedics and Rehabilitation
    Director, Forward BIO Institute
    University of Wisconsin

    Abstract: Control over delivery of biomacromolecules (e.g. proteins, DNA, mRNA) is a common theme in natural tissue formation, and also a common theme in emerging biomedical therapies. However, biomacromolecules are often highly unstable, and can rapidly lose their activity due to denaturation, degradation, aggregation, or cell internalization. Indeed, many important proteins in biological processes have half-lives on the order of minutes to hours. In contrast, biomacromolecules embedded in mineralized fossils can remain intact and stable for centuries. We have developed a series of biomineral-based materials that mimic the unique ability of natural fossils to stabilize biomacromolecules. The materials were also designed to dissolve and release their contents over controllable timeframes. In particular, we have synthesized a series of biomineral coatings to deliver genes, growth factors, and stem cells from medical devices. Stabilization occurred even in extreme environments, such as in the presence of organic solvents, lyophilization, or high protease activity. Biomineral coatings can be formed on a variety of devices, ranging from 3-D printed scaffolds to injectable microparticles. Coatings were independently optimized for intended biologic delivery without influencing bulk properties of the underlying device. This “modular” approach resulted in devices with optimized properties from the macroscopic scale to the molecular scale. Our recent studies also demonstrated that array-based strategies could select coating chemistries for specific biological or biomedical goals. Examples include coatings that optimize long-term protein stabilization, autologous cell capture, stem cell manufacturing, stem cell differentiation, and gene delivery. Emerging studies focus on efficient local delivery of mRNA therapies, which may have significant impact on vaccine delivery, cancer treatment, and tissue regeneration.

    Biography: Bill Murphy is the Harvey D. Spangler Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Orthopedics & Rehabilitation, and Director of the Forward BIO Institute at the University of Wisconsin. His research group has developed new classes of biomimetic materials inspired by the materials found in nature. They have used new biomaterials to manufacture medical devices, human cells, and human tissues. These products are now being applied to medical applications. He has published more than 190 scientific manuscripts, 10 book chapters, and 2 books, filed over 60 patents, and co-founded four companies.

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Monday, February 07
  • Monday, February 07, 2022 12:00pm to 12:50pm
    BME Seminar Series: Dr.Madeleine Oudin, Assistant Professor| Tufts University-Via Zoom
    Madeleine J. Oudin, PhD
    Tiampo Family Assistant Professor
    Department of Biomedical Engineering
    Tufts University


    Abstract: The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a major component of the tumor microenvironment, where it can support cellular growth, promote local invasion from the primary tumor, and contribute to metastatic outgrowth in distant sites. Our research focuses on leveraging engineering approaches to understand how individual ECM proteins contribute to tumor progression. First, we developed a computational pipeline to predict the effect of individual ECM proteins on 3D invasion and cancer metastasis. Second, we optimized the seeding and live imaging of tumor cells on decellularized ECM scaffolds isolated from mice to evaluate whole tissue ECM effects on tumor cell proliferation and invasion. We used this method coupled to proteomics to identify individual ECM proteins and their signaling pathways responsible for driving invasion in the context of obesity and drug resistance. Overall, our work further supports the importance of the ECM as a key regulator of metastasis and drug resistance. 

    Biography: Madeleine completed a BSc in Biochemistry at McGill University, a PhD in Neuroscience from King’s College London, UK. She was a post-doctoral fellow working in Prof. Frank Gertler’s lab at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT for 6 years. She received a Breast Cancer Research Department of Defence Post-doctoral Fellowship and a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence from the NCI. She started her own lab at Tufts University in the department of Biomedical Engineering in 2018, where research focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which the tumor microenvironment contributes to cancer metastasis and resistance to drugs. She has received numerous awards for her research such as the DP2 New Innovator Award in 2021 and the 2020 CMBE Rising Star Award and was voted Exemplary Engineer by the graduate students in her department 3 years in a row. She is committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in biomedical engineering, and is the founding member of the BME DEI committee, a member of the Tufts School of Engineering DEIJT Committee, a member of the BMES UNITE faculty group and co-organizer of the UNITE seminar series.

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Monday, February 21
  • Monday, February 21, 2022 12:00pm to 12:50pm
    BME Seminar Series| Engineering Mesenchymal STEM Cell Therapies Using Advanced Biomaterials| Dr. Bethany Almeida| Clarkson University
    Bethany Almeida, PHD
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Coulter School of Engineering
    Clarkson University



    Abstract: Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) have demonstrated enormous potential to treat a wide variety of human disease due to their innate ability to differentiate down a variety of adult cell lineages and modulate the immune environment during wound healing. However, a multitude of limitations affects their therapeutic potential. Biomaterials, such as hydrogels, nanoparticles, or bio-functionalized surfaces, may be used to modulate the behavior of hMSCs. This talk focuses on the fabrication of two biomaterial platforms, bio-functionalized surfaces of alkanethiol self-assembled monolayers and polymeric nanoparticles, and explores the interrelationship between biomaterial physicochemical properties and hMSC behavior towards improving hMSC lineage specificity. 
    Biography: Dr. Bethany Almeida is a new Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Clarkson University. Her laboratory focuses on the design and fabrication of advanced biomaterials to modulate stem cell behavior with the ultimate goal of developing translatable biomaterial-stem cell therapies to treat human disease. Dr. Almeida’s group is also interested in fundamentally elucidating the dynamic relationship between stem cell behavior and culture conditions and the physicochemical properties of biomaterials. Dr. Almeida was named a 2020 Rising Star in Engineering in Health by Columbia University and has received funding from the National Science Foundation. Prior to joining Clarkson University in August 2021, Dr. Almeida was an American Society for Engineering Education Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the US Naval Research Laboratory’s Center for Bio/molecular Science and Engineering. Dr. Almeida received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University in 2019 and a dual B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Professional Writing from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2013. 
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Monday, February 28
  • Monday, February 28, 2022 12:00pm to 12:50pm
    BME Seminar Series: Dr. Steve Rowson, Associate Professor| Virginia Tech-Via Zoom
    Steve Rowson, PHD
    Associate Professor
    Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics
    Virginia Tech
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  • Monday, February 28, 2022 12:00pm to 12:50pm
    BME Seminar Series: Concussion Biomechanics: Characterizing Tolerance and Reducing Risk Through Helmet Design| Dr. Steve Rowson| Virginia Tech- via Zoom
    Steve Rowson, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Department of Biomedical Engineering
    Virginia Tech

    Concussion Biomechanics: Characterizing Tolerance and Reducing Risk through Helmet Design


    Abstract: What happens to the brain during a head impact?  How much force does it take to result in a concussion?  What role do helmets play in preventing concussions?  In this talk, Dr. Rowson will address these questions by discussing his research on concussion biomechanics.  For over the past 15 years, Dr. Rowson has been instrumenting athletes with sensor packages to capture kinematic data describing head impacts.  These data are collected in parallel with clinical outcome data related to concussion to provide insight on head impact tolerance.  Dr. Rowson has used these data to model concussion risk and to develop a novel helmet evaluation program.  This talk will connect real-world head impact measurement with in-laboratory helmet testing efforts to reduce concussion incidence in sports.

    Biography: Steve Rowson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech and serves as the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab director. His expertise is in injury biomechanics, concussion, and safe product design and assessment. Dr. Rowson has published over one hundred peer-reviewed papers on these topics, the impact of which has made sports safer through rule changes and improved protective equipment. In addition, Dr. Rowson runs and maintains the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings, which he co-developed with Stefan Duma. The ratings provide consumers with an objective assessment of relative helmet performance and have resulted in a paradigm shift in the way helmets are sold and designed.

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Monday, March 14
  • Monday, March 14, 2022 12:00pm to 12:50pm
    BME Distinguished Lecture Series: Dr. Krishnendu Roy, Professor| Georgia Tech and Emory-Via Zoom
    Krishnendu (Krish) Roy, PHD
    Robert A. Milton Chair Professor
    Director, NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT)
    Director, Marcus Center for Therapeutic Cell Characterization and Manufacturing (MC3M)
    Director, Center for ImmunoEngineering
    The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory


    Abstract: In this talk I will discuss my lab’s research in the area of ImmunoEngineering and cell manufacturing, two emerging multi-disciplinary areas in biomedical engineering. Specifically, I will focus on our work on vaccines and immunotherapies, immune-organ on a chip, and scalable manufacturing of T and B cells. I will also discuss the overall vision and advances made by our NSF Engineering Research Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies in research and workforce-development, and why multi-institutional, private-public partnerships, are key to solving the grand challenges in human health.

    Biography: Dr. Krishnendu (Krish) Roy received his undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (India) followed by his MS from Boston University and his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. After working for 2 years at Zycos Inc., a start-up biotechnology company, Dr. Roy left his industrial position to join the Biomedical Engineering Faculty at The University of Texas at Austin in 2002, where he was most recently Professor and Fellow of the Cockrell Chair in Engineering Excellence.  He left UT-Austin in July of 2013 to move to Georgia Tech. where he is currently the Robert A. Milton Chaired Professor in Biomedical Engineering. At Georgia Tech, he also serves as the Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) and The Marcus Center for Therapeutic Cell Characterization and Manufacturing (MC3M) - as well as the Director of the Center for ImmunoEngineering. Dr. Roy’s research interests are in the areas of scalable cell manufacturing, Immuno-engineering, stem-cell engineering and controlled drug and vaccine delivery technologies, with particular focus in biomedical materials. In recognition of his seminal contributions to these fields, Dr. Roy is elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). In addition, Dr. Roy has received numerous awards and honors including Young Investigator Awards from both the Controlled Release Society (CRS) and The Society for Biomaterials (SFB), NSF CAREER award, Global Indus Technovator Award from MIT, the CRS Cygnus Award etc. He is also the recipient of Best Teacher Award given by the Biomedical Engineering Students at UT-Austin and the best advisor award given by bioengineering students at Georgia Tech. He serves as a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Controlled Release, the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, the Journal of Immunology and Regenerative Medicine, all from Elsevier, as well as the AiChE Journal of Advanced Biomanufacturing and Bioprocessing. He is a member of the Forum on Regenerative Medicine of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), and a Board Member of the Standards Coordinating Body (SCB) for Cell and Regenerative Therapies.


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Monday, March 28
  • Monday, March 28, 2022 5:00pm to 6:00pm
    SOTAK Lecture in BME| Aaron M. Kyle, PhD| Columbia University


    Hk Maker Lab: Engendering Engineering Identity in Underrepresented Minority High School Students


    Aaron M.Kyle, Ph D   
    Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering
    Director, Hk Maker Lab
    Columbia Universit

    The Department of Biomedical Engineering at WPI cordially invites colleagues, alumni, students, families and friends to the Christopher Sotak Lecture in Biomedical Engineering.

    This annual event perpetuates Chris’s passionate commitment to supporting and promoting innovative scholarship and research efforts in the field of bioengineering.

    Prof. Christopher Sotak

    Our lecture will be given by Aaron M. Kyle, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering (BME) Design at Columbia University.

    Dr. Kyle teaches two semesters of BME Lab Courses, an advanced Bioinstrumentation course, and BME Senior Design. Senior Design in Columbia BME is a two-semester course sequence in which students devise a solution to an open-ended biomedical problem. This course has resulted in students receiving a number of extramural awards (NIH DEBUT, BMEStart, Collegiate Inventors Competition, Rice Global Health Technology Competition), meritorious funding (USAID, Gates Foundation, Vodafone, VentureWell), and the formation of University-based startups (Kinnos, Inc. Neopenda, Luso Labs, Jibon Health.)

    In 2014, Dr. Kyle created and launched the HYPOTHEKids (Hk) Maker Lab, an NIH-funded set of programs focused on introducing underprivileged and underrepresented minority high school students in New York City to engineering design and biomedical research.  As a result of this program, over 160 high school students have learned and applied a bio-engineering design process. The program has propelled students to biomedical laboratory and biotechnology industry internships and the pursuit of STEM majors. He is currently working on expanding the Hk Maker Lab into the fabric of grades 6-12 education throughout New York City / State with the development of engineering design-centric courses for middle and high school students. These courses, which were developed under Dr. Kyle's guidance, are currently being taught in seven (7) NYC high schools, impacting over 1000 students.

    Dr. Kyle received his BS in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University in '02 and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University in '07. After conducting postdoctoral research at the Indiana University School of Medicine, he joined the faculty in BME at Columbia University in 2010. He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor societies. In 2017, he received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching, Columbia's highest teaching recognition. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and delivered the Diversity Award Lecture at the 2020 BMES Annual Meeting.


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Monday, April 25
  • Monday, April 25, 2022 12:00pm to 12:50pm
    BME Distinguished Lecture Series: "Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Cardiomyocytes as Models for the Mechanobiology of Cardiomyopathy at the Single Cell Level"|Dr. Beth L. Pruitt| UC Santa Barbara
    Beth L. Pruitt, PhD
    Professor of Biological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering,
    Biomolecular Science & Engineering, and Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology
    Director, Biological Engineering Program and T32 in Quantitative Mechanobiology
    and NRT in Data Driven Biology
    UC Santa Barbara





    Abstract: Basic life sustaining functions such as breathing, circulation, and digestion are driven autonomously by coordinated contraction of specialized muscle cells, yet how these functions incorporate active feedback via force sensing at the cellular level is an area of active study.  Meanwhile, a variety of specialized stretch activated receptors and mechanically mediated biochemical signaling pathways have been identified. Defects in proteins of these mechanically mediated pathways and receptors have been implicated in disease states spanning cardiovascular disease, cancer growth and metastasis, neuropathy, and deafness. Thus, understanding the mechanical basis of homeostasis (health) and defective cell renewal function (disease) increasingly requires us to consider the role of mechanics. To study how cells and tissues integrate mechanical signals, we and others have developed specialized cell cultures systems and micromachined tools to stimulate and measure forces and displacements at the scale of proteins and cells. Using induced pluiripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes, we observe cell outputs such as morphological changes, protein expression, electrophysiological signaling, force generation and transcriptional activity in response to mechanical stimuli with an eye to understanding how mechanics influences progression of a genotype with known point mutations into dysfunctional phenotypes.

    Bio: Dr. Beth Pruitt graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with an S.B. in mechanical engineering. She was in Navy ROTC at MIT where she learned sailing, leadership, and perseverance and later served as an officer in the US Navy. She earned an M.S. in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University then served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, first at the engineering headquarters of the nuclear program then as an instructor teaching Systems Engineering (and offshore sailing in the summer) at the U.S. Naval Academy. She earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University specializing in MEMS and micro-scale force metrologies and was supported by the Hertz Foundation. She was a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) where she worked on polymer MEMS. From 2003-2018, she led the Stanford Microsystems Lab focused on micro-scale force metrologies for interdisciplinary micromechanics problems in mechanobiology, biomechanics and sensing. She was a visiting professor in the Lab for Applied Mechanobiology in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH, Zurich in 2012. She moved to UCSB in 2018 to help start the new Biological Engineering Program launched in 2022. She has been recognized by the NSF CAREER Award, DARPA Young Faculty Award, Denice Denton Leadership Award, is an elected Fellow of BSME, ASME and AIMBE and Senior Member of IEEE.


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