Research Seminar: Microscale tissue engineering: seeing developmental and disease mechanobiology from a cellular perspective – Dr. Chris Moraes
March 13 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PDT
Research Seminar: Microscale tissue engineering: seeing developmental and disease mechanobiology from a cellular perspective – Dr. Chris Moraes</font color>
The process by which we grow from homogenous embryos into functional tissues and organs is a manufacturing marvel. Mechanical forces must play a central role in tissue formation during development, and in tissue disruption during disease; but the tools to measure, manipulate, and recreate these potent stimuli have lagged far behind the explosive growth of molecular biology techniques. We engineer realistic microscale tissues “on-a-chip” using a variety of microfabrication, biomaterials, and computational approaches, to (1) watch the co-evolution of mechanics and biology, and (2) use these insights to develop new tissue engineering strategies, therapeutic approaches, and predictive diagnostics. Here, I will describe how this general approach has allowed us to identify actionable mechanical phenotypes that precede breast cancer progression, and how the engineering tools we have developed to do so are now being applied to creatively tune stem-cell derived organoid differentiation strategies.
Dr. Chris Moraes Biography
Chris Moraes is currently a Canada Research Chair in Advanced Cellular Microenvironments, and Associate Professor in McGill’s Department of Chemical Engineering, with cross-appointments in the Faculty of Medicine, and the Goodman Cancer Institute. He trained in nanoengineering (B.A.Sc) and mechanical and biomedical engineering (PhD) at the University of Toronto, before holding NSERC / Howard Alper Banting Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Michigan’s Biointerfaces Institute. His research and technical expertise lie at the interface between microfabricated cell culture systems, biomaterials design, advanced imaging technologies, and computational modelling; and he is particularly curious about the role microenvironmental biomechanical forces play in driving disease and development. Recent honours include the McGill Principal’s Prizes for both Outstanding Emerging Researcher, and for Excellence in Teaching; and the Sir Harcourt Caughey Award for visiting scholars at the University of Auckland during his recent sabbatical. Outside of research, Chris serves as the McGill Ombudsperson for Students, and the Program Director of the Shad McGill summer outreach program.