Proudly presents distinguished Guest Lecturer

Molly S. Shoichet
PhD, FRSC, O. Ont
University Professor and Canada Research Chair,
Tissue Engineering
Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
University of Toronto
Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering

2014 Stevenson Biomaterials Lecture

Bioengineered 3D hydrogels for guided cell growth

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Hall of Languages, Room 500
Meet & Greet begins at 4:00 p.m.
Lecture: 4:15 p.m.
Reception to follow

Stevenson Biomaterials Poster Session

Friday, October 17, 2014
Heroy Atrium
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Poster Abstract Submissions due October 9, 2014

    • Poster Title
    • Authors (indicating the presenter and research advisor/supervisor(s) with underline and italics, respectively)
    • Affiliation (Department and University)
    • Student Status (UG, MS, Ph.D.)
    • 100 word abstract


Bioengineered 3D hydrogels for guided cell growth

Many of the on-going challenges in regenerative medicine rely on understanding the cellular microenvironment sufficiently to create biomimetic structures that influence cell fate. In the central nervous system, for example,most transplanted cells die after implantation. With the aim of ultimately understanding the mechanisms that allow cell survival and controlled differentiation, we have designed a series of strategies to control cell fate using both physical and chemical properties of the scaffold. We are particularly interested in guiding cell growth and differentiation within defined three-dimensional scaffolds where the cellular microenvironment can be tuned to achieve the desired cellular response. To this end, we are examining three-dimensional chemically patterned hydrogel scaffolds for guided cell growth and differentiation using immobilized peptides and growth factors [1]. Cell-cell interactions are key to the cellular microenvironment and to better understand retinal stem cell niche, we investigated the co-culture of retinal stem cells with endothelial cells where we found a symbiotic relationship [2]. Recently, we have advanced the design of the hydrogel scaffold with control over its physical, mechanical and chemical properties [3]. The influence of these on cellular response will be described.

Acknowledgments: We are grateful for funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR).
[1] Wylie, R.G.; Ahsan, S.; Aizawa, Y.; Maxwell, K.L.; Morshead, C.M.; Shoichet, M.S. 2011 “Spatially controlled simultaneous patterning of multiple growth factors in three-dimensional hydrogels”, Nature Materials, 10: 799-806, doi: 10.1038/nmat3101
[2] Aizawa, Y.; Shoichet, M.S. 2012 “The Role of Endothelial Cells in the Retinal Stem and Progenitor Cell Niche Within a 3D Engineered Hydrogel Matrix” Biomaterials, 33: 5198-205; doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.03.062
[3] Owen, S.; Fisher, S.; Tam, R.; Nimmo, C.; Shoichet, M.S. 2013 “Hyaluronic Acid Click Hydrogels Emulate the Extracellular Matrix” Langmuir doi: 10.1021/la305000w

Professor Molly Shoichet holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering at the University of Toronto. She has published over 480 papers, patents and abstracts and has given over 310 lectures worldwide. She currently leads a laboratory of 25 and has graduated 134 researchers. She founded two spin-off companies, is actively engaged in translational research and science outreach. Dr. Shoichet is the recipient of many prestigious distinctions and the only person to be a Fellow of Canada’s 3 National Academies: Canadian Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, Canadian Academy of Engineering, and Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Dr. Shoichet holds the Order of Ontario, Ontario’s highest honour and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2013, her contributions to Canada’s innovation agenda and the advancement of knowledge were recognized with the QEII Diamond Jubilee Award. In 2014, she was given the University of Toronto’s highest distinction, University Professor, a distinction held by less than 2% of the faculty. Dr. Shoichet received her SB from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1987) and her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Polymer Science and Engineering (1992).

The Stevenson Biomaterials Lecture Series
The Stevenson Biomaterials Lecture Series was established in 2007 thanks to the generous support of Trustee Ann McComber Stevenson (Nursing ‘52) and the late Trustee Emeritus Milton F. Stevenson III (Chemical Engineering ’53).
Each semester, the series brings pioneering biomaterials researchers to the Syracuse University campus. Presenters are selected based on their leading roles in biomaterials research, and are asked to speak on their latest endeavors. In addition, Stevenson lecturers visit with faculty and students to exchange ideas, build bridges, and become familiar with the broad range of biomaterials activities at Syracuse University.
The Stevensons also generously endowed a professorship in 2006 to encourage leadership at the interface of chemical and biomedical engineering, triggering excitement on campus in the interdisciplinary field of biomaterials. Ann Stevenson remains actively involved in many campus and regional activities and is proud to contribute to Syracuse University’s mission of Scholarship in Action. Milton F. Stevenson III passed away in 2009, but his spirit endures at L.C. Smith through the many ways he supported the college.

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