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Fall 2016

All seminars take place on Mondays from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm in 2420 LEEP2, unless otherwise specified.


August 29

Speaker: Stevin Gehrke, Ph.D.

New Fall 2016 students only

Colloquium Overview


September 12

Speaker: Steven A. Soper, PhD
Foundation Distinguished Professor, Dept of Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering
Director, NIH Biotechnology Resource Center of Biomodular Multi-scale Systems for Precision Medicine
The University of Kansas

Precision Medicine Using Circulating Markers: A New Paradigm for Managing Complex Diseases Enabled by Biomedical Engineers

Precision medicine seeks to match patients to appropriate therapies that optimize clinical outcome from molecular signatures of their disease. These molecular signatures can be secured from circulating markers found in blood, which represents an exciting diagnostic scenario because of the minimally invasive nature of securing these markers and the plethora of marker types found in blood including biological cells, cell-free molecules (cell-free DNA, proteins) and/or nano-scale vesicles (exosomes). Unfortunately, many of these blood-borne markers have not been effectively used in clinical practice primarily due to the fact that disease-associated blood markers are a vast minority in a mixed population making them difficult to find and analyze due to deficiencies in the technologies used for their isolation and systems that can determine the clinically actionable molecular signatures they harbor. To address this deficiency, biomedical engineers are generating innovative Biological MicroElectroMechanical Systems (BioMEMS) for selecting circulating markers from whole blood and determining the presence/absence of disease-specific molecular signatures to guide therapy for a patient. In this presentation, I will provide a discussion on our work to affect the delivery of BioMEMS into the clinic for isolating and analyzing circulating markers and the clinical decisions they produce. As examples, circulating markers for guiding therapeutic decisions in colorectal and pancreatic cancers will be discussed using circulating tumor cells (CTCs) as the markers. Finally, strategies for delivering our technologies to the biomedical community through entrepreneurship activities will be elaborated.


September 19

Speaker: Qun Wang, Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Iowa State University

BIND Biomaterials-Intestinal Stem Cells-Nanotechnology-Drug Delivery for Human Health

Dr. Wang’s areas of interest include Biomaterials, Intestinal Stem Cells, Nanotechnology, and Drug Delivery. In Iowa State University, Dr. Wang BINDs his research in these areas to provide innovative solutions and products for human health. In this talk, Dr. Wang will introduce the ongoing projects in biomaterials mediated drug delivery and intestinal stem cells originated intestinal engineering. The intestinal stem cell research in Wang Lab targets to the diagnosis and treatment of GI tract related diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. The discovery of substrates, pathways and growth factors involved in the differentiation of intestinal stem cells into specific lineages is expected to contribute significantly to the clinical protocols. The ongoing projects include investigation of ex vivo culture systems of intestinal stem cells and development new administration systems of intestinal stem cells. In addition, Dr. Wang successfully administered the projects, collaborated with other researchers, and produced several peer-reviewed publications from each project as documented in the peer reviewed journals.

Biosketch:  Dr. Qun Wang works as adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Iowa State University, as well as associate scientist at the Ames National Laboratory of Department of Energy. He got his Ph.D. in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering from University of Kansas in 2010. He obtained another Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from Wuhan University in 2007. Before he joined Iowa State University in 2012, he has worked as Jorge Heller Postdoctoral Fellow in Professor Robert Langer’s Lab at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology of MIT and Harvard Medical School. He works as Editor for Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Smart Materials Series. He serves as Associate Editor of Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology and Editorial Board Member of International Journal of Pharmaceutics, and Heliyon (Elsevier). Dr. Wang has received numerous awards including the first Lloyd Mayer Scholar, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Career Award, and McGee-Wagner Interdisciplinary Research Award. Dr. Wang has worked as engineer in a chemical company and a pharmaceutical company before. Dr. Wang will continue to employ his multidisciplinary expertise in the areas of materials science, stem cells, microfabrication, and pharmaceutical chemistry to address and resolve challenging problems of human health.


October 3

Speaker:  CANCELED


October 17

Speaker: TBD


October 31

Speaker: Deacon Jim Cummins
Director, Kansas to Kenya


November 14

Speaker: Joseph Tranquillo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, Bucknell University

Staying Human: Navigating our Technical Becoming

Many predictions have been made that we are on the edge of transcending our biological human nature. If any of these predictions are true, the definition of what it means to be human will rapidly evolve during our lifetimes. How will we keep the important parts of what it means to be human? In this talk I will explore the drivers behind our desires to become a technical species and what that might mean for those of us, namely engineers, who will drive forward this revolution.  Woven throughout the talk will be several interactive exercises that will help participants think about what kind of technical beings we might become. The talk will conclude on a more hopeful note: that the more our technology performs the functions normally associated with being human, the more human we will, in fact, become.


Joe is an associate professor in Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience at Bucknell University. His work on the future of technology has been featured on CNN, The Discovery Channel, and TEDx.


December 5

Speaker: Peter Adany, Ph.D. & Phil Lee, Ph.D.
Hoglund Brain Imaging Center, University of Kansas Medical Center


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