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MEAM Seminar: “Viscoelastic Biopolymer Networks Model Fibrotic Niches”

September 12 at 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Fibrosis and remodeling of extracellular matrix are involved in many diseases, such as tumors, wound healing, and chronic inflammation. During fibrosis, tissues undergo changes in their viscoelastic properties, i.e., how they resist deformation like a solid and dissipate stress over time like a fluid. Our research determines the impact of viscoelasticity on inflammation in fibrotic tissues and develops new immune therapies in cancer and regeneration. We employ material strategies to manipulate and study cell behavior in a broad range of physiologic and disease contexts, including tissue regeneration, hematopoietic and solid tumor malignancies, and fibrosis. Overall, our long-term goal is to develop novel biomaterials that enable precision health engineering.

Kyle Vining

Assistant Professor of Preventive and Restorative Sciences, Penn Dental Medicine, and Materials Science and Engineering, Penn Engineering

Kyle Vining holds a PhD in bioengineering from Harvard University, a DDS from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, and a BS in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University. He was a postdoctoral scientist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute prior to joining Penn. He also previously completed a fellowship in the Medical Research Scholars Program at the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Vining’s research investigates mechanical regulation of tissue inflammation in bone marrow disease and head and neck cancer. He is also developing strategies to target inflammation and promote tissue repair and regeneration in oral and craniofacial diseases. Among his projects in biomaterials development, he developed a fibrotic extracellular matrix hydrogel to investigate the effects of mechanical cues in fibrotic niches, as well as a new polymeric dental material that supports differentiation and proliferation of dental pulp stem cells for regenerative dentistry applications.

Dr. Vining was the first faculty member recruited by the Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry (CiPD) at Penn Dental Medicine and Penn Engineering. Dr. Vining was recently awarded the 2023 CiPD/Penn Health-Tech IDEA prize for precision nanomedicine in regenerative dentistry. Dr. Vining is member of the Abramson Cancer Center, Penn Center of Musculoskeletal Disease (PCMD), Institute for Regenerative Medicine, an affiliate member of the Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB). His research has received funding from the NIH/NIDCR through the Mentored Clinical Scientist Career Development Award (K08) and Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00). Dr. Vining was also recently awarded the PCMD Pilot Grant and CEMB Seed Grant. Dr. Vining maintains an active clinical practice in restorative and cosmetic dentistry at Penn Dental Family Practice at Locust Walk.


September 12
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
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Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
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Wu and Chen Auditorium (Room 101), Levine Hall
3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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