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Title: Biophysical regulation of macrophages during wound healing
Host: Celia Goulding and Melissa Lodoen
Abstract: Macrophages are versatile and powerful regulators of the immune system and are key regulators of homeostasis, pathogen defense, wound healing and tissue repair. They are also involved many chronic inflammatory diseases and the host response to biomaterial implants. Our laboratory combines microscale technologies with biomaterials engineering to control the physical and chemical properties of the cellular microenvironment and study their roles in regulating cell function. In this talk, I will describe how these tools have helped us understand how biophysical cues such as material geometry and stiffness regulate macrophage inflammation versus tissue repair. In addition, we have recently identified several key molecules that mediate mechanotransduction in macrophages, offering the potential to target mechanosensitive signaling pathways and modulate immune function. Ultimately, our goal is to harness the immune system to improve tissue repair and treat disease.
Biography: Wendy Liu is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California Irvine. After earning her B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT in 2000, Wendy attended the Johns Hopkins University, where she obtained her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in 2007 as a National Science Fellow. Her doctoral work was completed in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Chen. Following her Ph.D., Wendy completed postdoctoral positions at Arsenal Medical Inc. and at MIT, where she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Langer. Wendy’s work has been recognized by a number of awards including the 2012 National Institutes of Health New Innovator Award, the 2013 BMES-CMBE Rising Star Award, the 2014 UCI HSSoE Junior Faculty Research Award.