KU Bioengineering Program
The application of anitvascular photo-mediated ultrasound therapy in removing microvessels
Xinmai Yang, Ph.D.
KU Director of Bioimaging
Antivascular therapy represents a proven strategy to improve the prognosis of a variety of pathological conditions, including cancer and many eye diseases. By synergistically applying laser pulses and ultrasound bursts, we developed a novel photo-mediated ultrasound therapy (PUT) technique as a localized antivascular method. PUT takes advantages of the high native optical contrast between biological tissues, and has the unique capability to self-target microvessels without causing unwanted damages to the surrounding tissue. Through in vitro experiments and theoretical simulations, we demonstrate that cavitation might have played a key role in PUT. In animal experiments, we demonstrate that PUT can treat microvessels in target tissue via different mechanisms, which include blocking microvessels by inducing blood clots and disrupting microvessels by causing local hemorrhage. Moreover, PUT working at different optical wavelengths can selectively treat veins or arteries by utilizing the contrast in the optical spectra between deoxy- and oxy-hemoglobin. Specifically, PUT can be applied to precisely remove choroidal blood vessels in the eye, and result in significantly reduced blood perfusion in the choroidal layer which persisted to four weeks without causing collateral tissue damage, demonstrating that PUT is capable of removing choroidal microvasculature safely and effectively. With its unique advantages, PUT holds great potential for the clinical management of eye diseases associated with microvessels and neovascularization.
Jim West, Ph.D.
Two objectives, one goal: advance understanding of gap junctions’ role in coupled microcircuits
Eduardo Rosa-Molinar, Ph.D.
Director, Microscopy and Analytical Imaging Resource Core Lab
My presentation will highlight two decades of simultaneously working to: 1) build a gap junction synaptome and 2) develop labels and new tissue preparation reagents and workflows to permit imaging the three-dimensional (3-D) nanoscale geometry and metal ions associated with GJs-coupled microcircuits. Achieving both objectives is required to elucidate gap junctions’ (GJs) role in regulating fast GJ-coupled microcircuits. Research supported by GM-115042, MH-106245, and HRD-1736019.
How to Find Gold in Data: If Any!
John Peter Ralston, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kansas
21st century science and engineering face the problem of too much (!) high-dimensional data to interpret or use effectively. It is a great interdisciplinary "crisis” of the current era. The problem is mathematically deep. It is also an unrecognized outcome of the reductionist approach of the 19th century, which is obsolete. But quantum mechanics uses a form of projective probability that handles systems of unlimited dimension. Can we use the mathematics of quantum theory to describe ordinary data? We will describe the outcomes, with real-world examples, where anyone can usually find a bit of gold in almost any data.
Designing Better Methods for Esophageal Drug Delivery
Rachel Chevalier, M.D.
Volunteer Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic, inflammatory disease affecting thousands of children each year leading to food aversion, failure to thrive, esophageal stricturing, and long term morbidity. Current treatment options for children have been empirically developed by clinicians and have inadequate success rates. We work to improve treatment of this disease by quantitatively measuring properties of current therapies and then improving upon them using drug delivery methods.
Neil Segal, M.D.,M.S.
Richard Barohn, M.D.
Director of Frontiers: University of Kansas Clinical and Translational Science Institute
After completing a terminal degree such as a PhD, MD or DO, there are a number of professional career path options. These various options will be briefly explored for both PhDs and MDs/DOs in the biological sciences, advice and tips will then be provided for those with an intention of pursuing a research career at a university.