Dr. Akhilesh K. Gaharwar: Engineered Biomaterials for Reparative & Regenerative Medicine
Wednesday, September 20th, at 11:00 am
This seminar will be both in person and via WebEx
WebEx Link: https://rensselaer.webex.com/rensselaer/j.php?MTID=md404ca204c339a0a3b05658169885cef
Meeting Number (access code): 2624 140 6872 Password: PuJchnEr466
Abstract: Engineered biomaterials have emerged as powerful tools for a range of biomedical applications, including regenerative medicine, drug delivery, bioprinting, and tissue modelling. These engineered biomaterials possess tunable biophysical properties, specific biochemical cues, and complex architecture, enabling precise control over cellular behavior. Our interdisciplinary lab, operating at the intersection of material science, bioengineering, cell biology, and genomics, has developed a range of biomaterial solutions to address challenges in the fields of reparative and regenerative medicine. In this talk, I will elucidate three pioneering approaches based on engineered biomaterials that our lab has developed for biomedical applications. First, I will discuss how we utilize engineered biomaterials to shape the transcriptomic and epigenetic landscapes of endogenous cells, steering them toward tissue repair and regeneration. This work has culminated in the creation of new class of biomaterials for stimulating bone and cartilage regeneration, as well as enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis and cellular energetics. Secondly, I will delve into our tailor-made nanomaterials aimed at the sustained and controlled release of therapeutic agents. Specifically, these nanomaterials target conditions such as osteoarthritis, angiogenesis, and wound healing. Our lab has developed a portfolio of nano-toolkits proficient in delivering a spectrum of bioactive molecules, ranging from small molecular drugs to large proteins, thereby offering versatile solutions for cellular programming. Lastly, I will showcase our efforts in 3D-bioprinting anatomical-size tissue constructs for both regenerative applications and tissue modeling. These advanced structures provide physiologically faithful tissue models capable of mimicking complex disease states, such as vascular pathophysiology and intricate vascularized tumor microenvironments.
Biography: Dr. Akhilesh K. Gaharwar is the Presidential Impact Fellow and Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University. The goal of his lab is to design new biomaterials for reparative and regenerative medicine. His lab is leveraging principles from materials science, bioengineering, cell biology, and genomics to design smart and responsive biomaterials, with wide-ranging applications in the field of bioengineering. His research program is supported by the NIH, NSF, and DoD. Dr. Gaharwar has co-authored 140 journal articles and has an H-index of 69. His research accomplishments are recognized by more than 20 national and international awards, including the NIH New Innovator Award (DP2), Biomaterials Young Investigator Award, and Dean of Engineering Excellence Award. He is an elected fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and senior member of National Academy of Inventor (NAI). He currently serves as an Associate Editor of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.