Refreshments served before seminar.
Systems and strategies for promoting tissue growth provide enabling technologies for either enhancing regeneration for diseased or injured tissues, or to investigate abnormal tissue formation such as cancer. Given the complexity inherent in tissues, my laboratory is working towards the concept of "Systems Tissue Engineering", which indicates the dual need i) to develop systems capable of presenting combinations of factors that drive tissue growth, as well as ii) to incorporate systems biology approaches that can identify the appropriate combination of factors. Biomaterial scaffolds represent a central component of many approaches and provide the enabling tools for creating an environment and/or deliver factors that can direct cellular processes toward tissue formation. For our research in Cancer, synthetic niches have been established as a synthetic pre-metastatic niche, which provides a tool to investigate the mechanisms controlling the attraction of cancer cells to a niche. The immune system plays a central role in homing and colonization of the implant by cancer cells. Most recently, we have been employing the analysis of the immune response to identify the stage of disease and to monitor the efficacy of therapies. We have also developed nanoparticles for modulation of immune dysfunction that is observed in autoimmune and allergic disease. Preclinical data will be presented that provides the foundation for ongoing clinical trials.