All are welcome, (attendance required for graduate students). Lunch is provided.

Contact: Prof. Qi Wang.

Day/Time/Location: Fridays 11-12 noon, 614 Schermerhorn Building (unless otherwise noted)

Spring 2018 Departmental Seminar Schedule

  •  
    1/19
    Curtis Johnson, University of Delaware
    High-Resolution Magnetic Resonance Elastography of the Human Hippocampus

    Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is an emerging technique for noninvasively characterizing the quantitative mechanical properties of tissues in vivo. These mechanical properties are highly sensitive to the structural integrity of tissue, and MRE has shown promise in diagnosing and staging neurological conditions in the brain. However, the ability to reliably characterize properties of specific neuroanatomical structures, such as the hippocampus, has been limited by poor spatial resolution and the need for high signal-to-noise ratio in reasonable scan times. In this talk I will discuss the work of my group in developing high-resolution MRE techniques to target the hippocampus, and our studies in examining mechanical integrity of the hippocampus in health and disease. Specifically, I will present our finding of structure-function relationships between hippocampal viscoelasticity and memory performance, and the characterization of hippocampal tissue in medial temporal lobe epilepsy.

  •  
    1/26
    Wilson Wong, Boston University
    Synthetic Biology in Cancer Immunotherapy

    Genetically engineered cells hold great promise for improving therapeutics, diagnostics, animal models, and industrial biotechnological processes. Here I will describe our Universal Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR) for customizable control of T cell responses. This Universal CAR system could improve the safety and efficacy of cellular cancer immunotherapy. I will also discuss our Boolean and Arithmetic through DNA Excision (BLADE) system for designing genetic circuits with multiple inputs and outputs in mammalian cells. BLADE enables execution of sophisticated cellular computation, with applications in cell and tissue engineering. Together, the Universal CAR and BLADE systems highlight an expanding toolset for flexibly controlling mammalian cell functions.

  •  
    2/2
    Kandice Tanner, NIH/NCI
    Engineering the Physical Properties of the Tumor Microenvironment

    Transformation of the physical microenvironment including changes in mechanical stiffness of the extracellular matrix (ECM) may be one of the crucial factors that drives cancer progression. In addition to tissue mechanics, the surface topography of the ECM microenvironment has been shown to modulate gene expression. Simply put, how do changes in the physical microenvironment drive cancer progression? 3D culture models can approximate in vivo architecture and signaling cues, allowing for real time characterization of cell-ECM dynamics. We developed tissue mimetics that recreate the complex in vivo geometries while independently controlling bulk stiffness and ECM ligand density. We also developed tools that allow us to resolve and quantitate minute forces that cells sense in the local environment (on the order of microns) within thick tissue (in mm). Using these methods, we are able to dissect the contributions of the physical properties from those due to chemical properties on cell fate as it relates to malignancy and normal tissue homeostasis. Finally, we validated our in vitro findings in an in vivo model using zebrafish as our model for metastasis.

  •  
    2/9
    Rashid Bashir, University of Illinois
    BioMEMS and Biomedical Nanotechnology: From Lab on Chip to Printing Cellular Machines

    Integration of biology, medicine, and fabrication methods at the micro and nano scale offers tremendous opportunities for solving important problems in biology and medicine and to enable a wide range of applications in diagnostics, therapeutics, and tissue engineering. Microfluidics and Lab-on-Chip can be very beneficial to realize practical applications in detection of disease markers, counting of specific cells from whole blood, and for identification of pathogens, at point-of-care. The use of small sample size and electrical methods for sensitive analysis of target entities can result in easy to use, one-time-use assays that can be used at point-of-care. In this talk, we will present our work on detection of T cells for diagnostics of HIV AIDs for global health, development of a CBC (Complete Blood Cell) analysis on a chip, electrical detection of multiplexed nucleic acid amplification reactions, and detection of epigenetic markers on DNA at the single molecule level. While the above mentioned devices are built with PDMS or silicon using microfabrication approaches, bio-printing with stereolithography can be a very powerful technology to produce bio-hybrid devices made of polymers and cells such as biological machines and soft robotics. Such complex cellular systems will be a major challenge for the next decade and beyond, requiring knowledge from tissue engineering, synthetic biology, micro-fabrication and nanotechnology, systems biology, and developmental biology. As these “biological machines” increase in capabilities, exhibit emergent behavior, and potentially reveal the ability for self-assembly and self-repair, questions can arise about the ethical implications of this work. These devices could have potential applications in drug delivery, power generation, and other biomimetic systems.

  •  
    2/16
    Lili Deligianni, IBM Research
    New Tools for Brain Research

    At the system level neuroscience is trying to understand how neural circuits work in learning, memory, multisensory integration, motor coordination and how the electrochemical function of these circuits is compromised in the case of disease. Diseases that involve the nervous system are highly complex and mostly not well understood. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010), estimated that a substantial proportion of the world’s disease burden came from mental, neurological and substance use disorders. We need new tools and methods at the system level to effectively tackle these conditions and to better understand brain function and disease. One such tool is a cognitive computing platform, IBM's TrueNorth chip that enables the use of deep learning techniques in an ultra- low power environment. We have used deep learning with a convolutional neural network (CNN) and TrueNorth technologies for real-time analysis of brain-activity data at the point of sensing. Neurotransmitters are small proteins secreted between neurons to facilitate neural communication. These compounds are key to information processing during behavior. However, until recently, this chemical communication had not been characterized because biosensors suitable to monitor sub-second chemical events in micron dimensions were unavailable. Fast scan cyclic voltammetry at carbon-fiber microelectrodes provides measurements with sub-second time resolution and has been used to examine the dynamics of neurotransmitter concentrations. To enhance the sensitivity a n d the selectivity of these measurements, we have developed polymeric coatings for bare carbon electrodes. Dopamine, serotonin and adenosine are neurotransmitters that were measured with this methodology. Another tool that we have developed is a nanoscale electrode array with superior sensitivity and improved spatial resolution which can be used in the future to gain improved understanding of dopamine dysregulation. The scalable fabrication strategy offers the potential to integrate these nanoscale rods with an integrated circuit control system, with other sensors and with different modalities of neural activation.

  •  
    3/2
    Susannah Fritton, CCNY
    Title and Abstract TBA

    TBA

  •  
    3/9
    Kaiming Ye, SUNY Binghamton
    Title and Abstract TBA

    TBA

  •  
    3/23
    Susan S. Margulies, Georgia Tech
    Title and Abstract TBA

    TBA

  •  
    3/30
    Neel S. Joshi, Harvard
    Title and Abstract TBA

    TBA

  •  
    4/6
    Ryan Gilbert, RPI
    Title and Abstract TBA

    TBA

  •  
    4/13
    Philip Alderson, Saint Louis University
    Title and Abstract TBA

    TBA

  •  
    4/20
    John White, Boston University
    Title and Abstract TBA

    TBA

  •  
    4/27
    Norbert Pelc, Stanford
    Title and Abstract TBA

    TBA

 


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