Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering and Sciences - A Multi-University Webinar Series

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"Bioengineered Synthetic Hydrogels for Regenerative Medicine"

Andrés J. García, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience; Petit Director’s Chair in Bioengineering and Bioscience; Regents’ Professor, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
Georgia Tech

Hydrogels, highly hydrated cross-linked polymer networks, have emerged as powerful synthetic analogs of extracellular matrices for basic cell studies as well as promising biomaterials for regenerative medicine applications. A critical advantage of these synthetic matrices over natural networks is that bioactive functionalities, such as cell adhesive sequences and growth factors, can be incorporated in precise densities while the substrate mechanical properties are independently controlled. We have engineered poly(ethylene glycol) [PEG]-maleimide hydrogels for local delivery of therapeutic proteins and cells in several regenerative medicine applications. For example, synthetic hydrogels with optimal biochemical and biophysical properties have been engineered to direct human stem cell-derived intestinal organoid growth and differentiation, and these biomaterials serve as injectable delivery vehicles that promote organoid engraftment and repair of intestinal wounds. In another application, hydrogels presenting immunomodulatory proteins induce immune acceptance of allogeneic pancreatic islets and reverse hyperglycemia in models of type 1 diabetes. Finally, injectable hydrogels delivering anti-microbial proteins eradicate bone-associated bacterial infections and support bone repair. These studies establish these biofunctional hydrogels as promising platforms for basic science studies and biomaterial carriers for cell delivery, engraftment and enhanced tissue repair.

Andrés J. García is the Executive Director of the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience and Regents’ Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. García’s research program integrates innovative engineering, materials science, and cell biology concepts and technologies to create cell-instructive biomaterials for regenerative medicine and generate new knowledge in mechanobiology. This cross-disciplinary effort has resulted in new biomaterial platforms that elicit targeted cellular responses and tissue repair in various biomedical applications, innovative technologies to study and exploit cell adhesive interactions, and new mechanistic insights into the interplay of mechanics and cell biology. In addition, his research has generated intellectual property and licensing agreements with start-up and multi-national companies. He is a co-founder of 3 start-up companies (CellectCell, CorAmi Therapeutics, iTolerance). He has received several distinctions, including the NSF CAREER Award, Arthritis Investigator Award, Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials, Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award, the Clemson Award for Basic Science from the Society for Biomaterials, and the International Award from the European Society for Biomaterials. He is an elected Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (by the International Union of Societies of Biomaterials Science and Engineering), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He served as President for the Society for Biomaterials in 2018-2019. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Inventors and the National Academy of Engineering.

Johnna Temenoff, Ph.D.
Carol Ann and David D. Flanagan Professor, Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Tech / Emory University

Bio:  Johnna Temenoff completed her Ph.D. and post-doctoral fellowship at Rice University in tissue engineering and orthopaedic biomaterials. In 2005, she joined the faculty in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech/Emory University, where she is now the Carol Ann and David D. Flanagan Professor. Dr. Temenoff is also currently the Deputy Director of a NSF Engineering Research Center in Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT), and was named Associate Chair for Translational Research in the Coulter Department in 2019. Scientifically, Temenoff is interested in tailoring the molecular interactions between glycosaminoglycans and proteins/cells for use in regenerative medicine applications. Her laboratory focuses primarily on promoting repair after injuries to the tissues of the shoulder, including cartilage, tendon, and muscle.
Temenoff has been honored with several prestigious awards, such as the NSF CAREER Award and the Arthritis Foundation Investigator Award, and was named to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers (AIMBE), as a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and as a Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering, International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering (IUSBSE). She was awarded the Education Award from TERMIS-NA in 2016, in part because she has demonstrated her commitment to undergraduate biomaterials education by co-authoring a highly successful introductory textbook - Biomaterials: The Intersection of Biology and Materials Science, by J.S. Temenoff, Ph.D., and A.G. Mikos, Ph.D., for which Temenoff and Mikos were awarded the American Society for Engineering Education’s Meriam/Wiley Distinguished Author Award for best new engineering textbook. 

About Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering and Sciences
Please join us for the Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering and Sciences Multi-University Webinar Series as pre-tenure faculty from a range of different universities share their research on an array of topics. The virtual lectures will take place online, on Fridays at 3:30 pm, with two consecutive presenters followed by an opportunity for colleagues and collaborators to mingle virtually. Speakers will be grouped thematically, from robotics to design to energy systems.

Once a month those talks will be punctuated by a presentation by a distinguished speaker and mentor who will address the state of their field.
This seminar is designed to highlight new and exciting research, build connections across participating institutions, and connect early-career faculty with potential collaborators across the country. 
The intended audience for this seminar series includes graduate students, postdocs, and faculty at all stages of their careers who are interested in hearing from some of the emerging stars in their fields. Participating schools include and contact info:



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Colly Mitchell
  • Created:03/23/2021
  • Modified By:Colly Mitchell
  • Modified:03/23/2021


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