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McKelvey School of Engineering

Brown School

BME Seminar: Brendan Harley

Thursday, November 4, 2021 | 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Uncas A. Whitaker Hall, 218
6760 Forest Park Pkwy, St. Louis, MO 63105, USA

Presenting on "Building tissues engineering complexity through biomaterial design "

Brendan Harley, Sc.D., Robert W. Schaefer Professor in the Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will speak at 10:00 CST on Thursday, November 4, 2021 in Whitaker 218.

Advances in the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine require biomaterials that instruct, rather than simply permit, a desired cellular response. A major challenge to progress in our field is the complex organization of the tissues in our bodies, which are hierarchical, vary in space and time, and can differ person-to person. Prof. Harley’s research program is developing approaches to structurally and biomolecularly pattern biomaterials to enable tissue regeneration after injury as well as to study processes linked to homeostasis and disease progression outside of the body. A major area of our work targets development of a degradable biomaterial to regenerate craniomaxillofacial bones and musculoskeletal insertions. We are using bioinspired design motifs to create composite materials that instruct desired cell activities while retaining mechanical competence required for clinical translation. I will describe the development of sophisticated multidimensional tissue models to culture hematopoietic stem cells and patient-derived glioblastoma specimens, the most common and lethal form of brain cancer. These approaches enable study of dynamic processes such as remodeling and reciprocal signaling linked to stem cell quiescence as well as study of the role played by angiocrine signals and immune interactions in shaping patterns of invasive spreading and drug resistance in primary brain cancer. Recent adaptations to this platform are providing a route to develop hierarchical models of the endometrial tissue microenvironment to investigate trophoblast invasion and endometrial pathologies.

Host: Dr. Lori Setton, Washington University in St. Louis

Parking is available outside of Whitaker Hall in the new East End Garage. Click here for the map. If taking the subway, the nearest metrolink stop is Skinker.

Event Type



McKelvey School of Engineering


Science & Technology, Medicine & Health

Biomedical Engineering


Event Contact

Mimi Hilburg | mhilburg@wustl.edu

Speaker Information

Brendan Harley is the Robert W. Schaefer Professor in the Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received a B.S. in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University (2000), a Sc.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT (2006), and performed postdoctoral studies at the Joint Program for Transfusion Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston (2006 – 2008). His research group develops biomaterial platforms to dynamically regulate cell behavior for applications in musculoskeletal regeneration, hematopoietic stem cell biomanufacturing, as well as to investigate endometrial pathologies and invasive brain cancer. He has received funding from the NSF, NIH, American Cancer Society, the U.S. Army, and the AO Foundation. Prof. Harley co-founded a regenerative medicine company, Orthomimetics Ltd., to commercialize a biomaterial for osteochondral regeneration (global patent protection; CE Mark approval; 150+ patient Phase I clinical trial).

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