We use engineering approaches to develop 1) new therapies that promote regeneration of brain and spinal cord tissues and 2) improved preclinical models of brain tumors.

A common theme across many pathologies of central nervous system, including cancer and spinal cord injury, is significant alterations to the extracellular matrix, such as changes in biochemical composition and structural mechanics of the tissue. A lack of understanding of how the extracellular matrix is fundamentally altered by injury or disease, and thus how these changes may be reversed to restore normal function, has been a major limitation to the development of new treatments. My lab develops tools for investigating the unique extracellular environment in the central nervous system and its relationship to cell function. We use biomimetic, hydrogel-based microenvironments with modular features that can be tuned to quantify independent effects of various extracellular parameters over cell phenotype and behavior and, in turn, provide a means for precise external control over cell and tissue function. Furthermore, we are developing methods for high-throughput assays of live cells cultured within these same biomaterial platforms. Acquisition of dynamic, high-throughput data from cells cultured in physiologically relevant conditions will provide new insights into pathologies of the central nervous system and, ultimately, more effective therapies for these conditions.


Mar 06, 2020

New Lab Members!

A huge welcome to the newest lab members: post-doctoral researchers Ze Zhong (Bill) Wang and Elham Hatami. Dr. Wang recently received his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, while Dr. Hatami recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Excited to have you both on board!
Feb 27, 2020

New R01 Grant from NIH NCI Funded!

Excited to announce our recently funded R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute (NCI)! The project, titled Tissue-engineered models of microvessel-mediated glioblastoma invasion, will apply a tissue-engineered model of the interface between glioblastoma and its associated blood vessels for systematic characterization of the mechanisms by which blood vessels promote glioblastoma cells to migrate away from…
Jan 06, 2020

Thank you American Cancer Society!

Thank you to the American Cancer Society for funding our Research Scholar Grant titled Tissue-engineered models of glioblastoma for evaluating treatment responses. This project seeks to characterize how well biomaterial-based models of glioblastoma tumors recapitulate treatment responses across the patient population and within a single tumor composed of patient-specific, heterogeneous subpopulations.
Oct 03, 2019

Postdoctoral Position in Neural Tissue Engineering Available to Start ASAP!

Job Description: A post-doctoral position in the laboratory of Stephanie Seidlits in the Department of Bioengineering at UCLA is available (start date ASAP). We are seeking candidates for a multidisciplinary project developing tissue-engineered models of midbrain tissue as platforms for screening therapeutics. The project will use biomaterial cultures with multi-organ-on-a-chip microphysiological systems. While the primary appointment is in the Seidlits…

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