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BE Seminar: “Engineering the cell-matrix interface – understanding and guiding cell function” (Claudia Loebel, University of Michigan)
September 21 at 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
The native extracellular microenvironment dynamically remodels as cells synthesize, assemble, and remodel their surroundings during tissue development, injury, and repair. In my research group, we use engineered systems to both probe mechanisms of cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions (e.g., mechanobiology) and to guide cell function towards therapeutic behaviors (e.g., tissue repair/regeneration). In this seminar, I will share our recent efforts to visualize and identify the composition of secreted ECM to better understand cellular responses and to design programmable soft materials that harness dynamic cell-ECM interactions.
We have used these systems to reproduce folding morphologies of epithelial tissues (e.g., airway constriction), and to manipulate secreted ECM components as means to better understand the evolution of matrix in organ development (using lung organoids) and repair (using ex vivo lung tissue). Our evolving understanding of matrix dynamics and turnover will not only open up new avenues for understanding biological mechanisms but will also allow us to design better materials systems for therapeutic interventions.
Claudia Loebel, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Biological Sciences Scholar, University of Michigan
Claudia Loebel, M.D. Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and a Biological Sciences Scholar at the University of Michigan, US. She obtained her MD (2011) at the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany and PhD (2016) at ETH Zurich (Switzerland), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Professor Jason Burdick at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research involves the development of biomaterial platforms to characterize and uncover the role of nascent microenvironments on cell and tissue function. The applications of this research range from guiding lung alveolar stem/progenitor cell fate through material cues to developing engineered platforms for tissue repair and therapeutic treatment. Claudia Loebel is currently serving as an Associate Editor of the Wiley Journal Nano Select. She was awarded the Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at NIH and the Innovator Award through the American Lung Association for her work on synthetic lung tissue models to probe mechanisms of alveolar epithelial cell dysfunction.