Speaker 1: Kyle Bodnyk
Title: The Long-term Residual Effects of Low Intensity Vibration on Skeletal Health”
Abstract: The mechanical environment of bone plays an important role in developing and maintaining a healthy skeletal system. Bone adapts to the loads it experiences. Moderate load activities such as walking induce an anabolic response, remodeling bone to keep up with the mechanical demands of walking. On the other hand, bone is minimally loaded during bedrest and in space, causing bone resorption. Bone resorption can also occur due to osteoporosis, a common degenerative bone disease that manifests in debilitating fractures. Current osteoporosis treatments are drugs that are minimally effective. As an alternative, low intensity vibration (LIV) may improve skeletal health without potential side effects from drugs. LIV mimics the muscle induced strains applied to bone during passive activity that keep the skeleton healthy. Previous studies have shown LIV increases bone mineral density (BMD) and morphometric parameters. Although benefits occur during LIV treatment, once treatment is over, we don’t know if the benefits are maintained over a long period of time. The objective of this study is to elucidate long-term bone heath, post LIV treatment, using a murine model.
Speaker: Ryan Oba
Title: Effect of Sinotubular Junction Size on Aortic Sinus Hemodynamics
Abstract: Ryan’s research explores the biomechanical etiolology of calcific aortic valve disease. The project he will be presenting focuses on the influence of geometric factors such as sinotubular junction size, as well as other factors such as heart rate, blood pressure, and coronary flow. Flow visualization is assessed through particle image veloctimetry, with streak plots, velocity and vorticity contours, and leaflet shear stress profiles providing insight into the changes in aortic sinus hemodynamics.
Speaker: Jennifer Malik
Speaker: Dr. Chelsey S. Simmons, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering; Affiliate of Department of Biomedical Engineering
Affiliation: University of Florida
Title: Engineering the Mechanical Microenvironment: Stromal Contributions to Regeneration and Cancer
Abstract: Research in the Simmons Lab works to understand the feedback loop between cell-level processes and tissue-level mechanics. Stromal cells like fibroblasts and stellate cells often dominate remodeling processes associated with pathologies like fibrosis and cancer, but the intricate dance between stromal, parenchymal, and malignant cells is poorly understood. To understand the mechanics of mammalian regeneration, we leverage a novel animal model, the African Spiny Mouse, that is capable of regenerating skin, cardiac muscle, and skeletal muscle without fibrosis. We have developed a complementary suite of tools to investigate fibroblast mechanics to understand mechanisms of regeneration that may translate to humans. For pancreatic cancer, we apply these tools to mimic the tumor microenvironment in a patient-specific manner. With our custom microtissues and characterization equipment, we have observed that soluble factors from pancreatic cancer cells can induce stromal cell remodeling and stiffening of the tumor microenvironment similar to that seen in patients.
Chelsey S. Simmons, Ph.D., joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida in Fall 2013, following a visiting research position at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. Her research lab investigates the relationship among cell biology and tissue mechanics, and their projects are funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and American Heart Association. She has received numerous fellowships and awards, including BMES-CMBE’s Rising Star Award (2017) and ASME’s New Faces Award (2015). In addition to her engineering research and coursework, Simmons received a Ph.D. Minor in Education and is the PI of a $600k Research Experiences for Teachers Site. She teaches undergraduate Mechanics of Materials and graduate BioMEMS courses and received Teacher of the Year in 2017. Simmons received her B.S. cum laude from Harvard University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Speaker: Dr. Crystal M. Ripplinger, Associate Professor; Vice Chair of Research & Administration, Department of Pharmacology
Affiliation: University of California Davis
Speaker: Joseph Kitzmiller, Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry & Pharmacology and Department of Biomedical Engineering
Affiliation: The Ohio State University
Speaker: Dr. Gina M. Sizemore, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Title: The Tumor Microenvironment in Breast Cancer Initiation, Growth, and Metastasis
Breast tumors are surrounded by and in contact with many types of non-cancer cells including fibroblasts, pericytes, immune cells and adipocytes. These surrounding cells are collectively termed the “tumor microenvironment” (TME), and the interplay between tumor cells with these nearby non-tumor cells greatly affects all steps of cancer progression. Research in the Sizemore lab focuses on novel factors in both the primary breast TME and in the metastatic microenvironment that we predict could be utilized as biomarkers/therapeutic targets to more effectively treat patients with breast cancer. In searching for driver pro-metastatic pathways, our analyses uncovered a receptor tyrosine kinase, platelet derived growth factor receptor-beta (PDGFRβ), that we believe functions in the initiation and/or growth of breast cancer brain metastases. PDGFRβ is found primarily in cells of the breast tumor/metastatic microenvironment while its ligand, PDGF-B, is expressed primarily by the breast tumor cells. Importantly, breast cancer brain metastases arise in ~10-20% of all metastatic breast cancer patients, and due to the complete lack of approved treatments for these patients, only one fifth will still be living one year after their diagnosis. Our current work aims to address this important clinical problem through use of both in vitro cell line and in vivo mouse modeling of PDGF-B to PDGFRβ signaling in the TME. Additional projects in the lab focus on PDGFRβ and other stromal factors in normal mammary gland development.
I am currently a full-time, tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at The Ohio State University-James Comprehensive Cancer Center. My complete body of work has focused on delineating the key molecular drivers that maintain the breast cancer subtype-specific phenotypes and, more recently; this focus has expanded to incorporate pro-tumorigenic and pro-metastatic elements of the tumor microenvironment (TME). In addition to these research interests, my doctorate degree in Pharmacology provided me with the tools necessary to conduct research designed to identify novel therapeutic targets for any disease type. This proposal focuses on defining the molecular/cellular mechanism behind why breastfeeding is protective against triple negative breast cancer. Defining this mechanism could significantly impact lifestyle choices in women predisposed to this disease, in particular in the African American population, as well as identify potential therapeutic targets for women who are unable to breastfeed for a variety of reasons. As a co-investigator on this application, I have been intimately involved in this research project from conception (method development, preliminary studies, result interpretation). In order to complete the experiments outlined in this proposal, I will continue to provide my extensive expertise in the generation and utilization of transgenic/knockout mouse models of mammary gland development and breast cancer, mammary stem/progenitor cells, transcriptomics and mechanisms of transcriptional control. Of note, I have published under my maiden name of Gina M. Bernardo.
Speaker: Tracy Preston, Communication and Marketing Manager, Corporate Engagement Office; Technology Commercialization Office
Affiliation: The Ohio State University