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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., In-Young Choi, Ph.D. & Phil Lee, Ph.D.
Hoglund Brain Imaging Center, University of Kansas Medical Center

Peter Adany is a Senior Research Associate at Hoglund Brain Imaging Center, University of Kansas Medical Center

In-Young Choi is Associate professor of Neurology at KUMC and Bioengineering program at KU-L

Phil Lee is Associate professor of Molecular & Integrative Physiology at KUMC and the Bioengineering program at KU-L

Advanced Spectral Localization by Imaging for Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of the human brain

Magnetic Resonance (MR) technology offers highly versatile imaging modalities that enable non-invasive assessment of structure, function and metabolic activity in humans and other living organisms. For example, measurements of brain chemical concentrations and turnover rates, cerebral blood flow and brain functional activity are readily possible with the development of a variety of MR techniques. In particular, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) allows the measurement of a number of brain chemicals simultaneously. However, the spatial resolution of MRS is rather poor due to the intrinsically low concentrations of brain chemicals.  Thus, it is challenging to extract brain chemical concentration information from specific structures such as gray matter, white matter as well as lesions and focal or diffuse injury sites.  As a viable solution, incorporating MRI information in the spectroscopic reconstruction has been proposed. However, only a few of these approaches for the human brain have been demonstrated, with limited success due to the impact of inhomogeneous magnetic fields. We present our newly developed spectral localization framework, B0-Adjusted and Sensitivity Encoded Spectral Localization by Imaging (BASE-SLIM), which resolves the previous limitations and allows quantitative assessment of brain chemicals from arbitrarily shaped tissue compartments in the human brain.



Spring 2017

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


January 23rd:

Speaker: TBD

New Spring 2017 students only

New Students Only review


January 30th:

Speaker: Leda Castilho, Ph.D.


February 13th:

Speaker: TBD


February 27th

Speaker: AJ Mellott, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center

“An Evaluation of Negative Pressure Therapy in Wound Healing”

Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has greatly advanced the field of wound healing for nearly two decades, by providing a robust surgical adjunct technique for enhancing wound closure in acute and chronic wounds. Despite the incredible success of NPWT, much remains to be elucidated about how NPWT augments wound healing. The Vacuum Assisted Closure (V.A.C.) system developed by Kinetic Concepts Inc. (KCI) is well known to promote and accelerate the formation of granulation tissue; however, the role the V.A.C plays in re-epithelialization and wound contraction is not clear. Successful wound healing and wound closure requires both re-epithelialization and contraction in addition to formation of granulation tissue. Thus, there is a need to examine how wound tissue interacts with negative pressure dressings while under negative pressure in real time as the stages of wound healing progress. Our group is interested in how different cells respond under negative pressure and interface with different medical dressings. We are exploring how cell signaling changes over time within the wound site, as well as bacterial migration patterns and clearance from the wound site so that we may enhance the application of negative pressure therapies in wound healing. 


March 13th:

Speaker: TBD


March 27th:

Speaker: TBD


April 10th:

Speaker: Michele Grimm, Ph.D.


April 24th:

Speaker: TBD

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