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Harnessing the Inflammatory Response for Tissue Regeneration
Start Date: 2/22/2017Start Time: 4:00 PM
End Date: 2/22/2017End Time: 5:30 PM

Event Description
BIOMED Seminar

Harnessing the Inflammatory Response for Tissue Regeneration

Kara L. Spiller, PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
Drexel University

The inflammatory response plays a major role in the body’s response to injury, disease, or implantation of a biomaterial. When the inflammatory response functions normally, it can be a powerful force that promotes tissue repair and regeneration, but when it goes awry, disease takes hold and healing is impaired. The goal of the Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at Drexel University is to understand the mechanisms by which the inflammatory response orchestrates successful tissue regeneration and to develop novel biomaterial strategies that apply these principles to situations in which tissue regeneration is impaired. In particular, we focus on the behavior of the macrophage, which can rapidly change behavior in response to environmental stimuli to promote inflammation, vascularization, tissue deposition, or remodeling. Through their dynamic phenotypic changes, macrophages function as major regulators of healing.

In this talk, we will focus on our work to track macrophage phenotype changes in the healing (or lack thereof) of human chronic diabetic foot ulcers, which holds the potential to allow a personalized medicine approach to wound care. We will also discuss novel affinity-based drug delivery strategies that harness macrophage behavior to promote tissue regeneration and healing in a diverse array of tissues. New directions include neuro-immune engineering.

Dr. Kara Spiller is an Assistant Professor in Drexel University's School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. A member of the first class of Drexel's accelerated BS/PhD program, she received bachelor's and master's degrees in biomedical engineering from Drexel University in 2007. As an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Dr. Spiller conducted her doctoral research in the design of semi-degradable hydrogels for the repair of articular cartilage in the Biomaterials and Drug Delivery Laboratory at Drexel (PI: A. Lowman) and in the Shanghai Key Tissue Engineering Laboratory of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (PI: W. Liu).

After completing her PhD in 2010, Dr. Spiller conducted research in the design of scaffolds for bone tissue engineering on a Fulbright fellowship in the Biomaterials, Biodegradables, and Biomimetics (the 3Bs) Research Group at the University of Minho in Guimaraes, Portugal (PI: R.L Reis). She then conducted postdoctoral studies towards the development of immunomodulatory biomaterials for bone regeneration in the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering at Columbia University (PI: G. Vunjak-Novakovic), before returning to Drexel in 2013. Her current research interests include cell-biomaterial interactions, the design of immunomodulatory biomaterials, and international engineering education.
Contact Information:
Name: Ken Barbee
Phone: 215-895-1335
Email: barbee@drexel.edu
Kara Spiller
Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), Room 120, located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut Streets.
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