“Body-on-a-Chip” 🗓

— EMBS Chapter, Orange County Section — 3D Lab Tissue, human body organs, blood vessels …


Meeting Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Time: 6:30 PM Networking; 7:00 PM Presentation
Speaker: Professor Cristopher C.W. Hughes, UC Irvine
Location: The Cove, UCI Applied Innovation,
Cost: none, snacks and drinks provided
Event Details: Eventbrite

Human organs and their associated functions are, with few exceptions, 3-Dimensional, and so it is hardly surprising that 2D cell culture systems often do a poor job at replicating human biology. It is only the simplicity of 2D systems that has maintained their popularity for so long. We are changing this dynamic – we can now create 3D tissues in the lab that share many of the characteristics of organs in the body. Most importantly, the tissues receive their nutrients through living blood vessels, just as they do in the body. This is a unique platform – we are the only lab in the world able to do this. We are creating multiple organs, including pancreas, brain, liver and heart, which we will use to study diseases such as Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and Heart Failure. In addition, we have created multiple types of micro-tumors, including colon, breast, prostate and melanoma, which we are now using for novel drug screening

Dr.Hughes has extensive experience in the field of vascular biology and the process of angiogenesis. In particular, his lab has studied the role of notch signaling in vascular development and we were the first to demonstrate the role of notch in regulating tip cell function during angiogenic sprouting. His lab has recently published on the role of the transcription factor slug in angiogenesis, and are working on wnt regulation of vascular assembly. More recently, in collaboration with Drs. Steve George and Abe Lee he has also been focusing on novel drug-screening platforms, including “tumor-on-a-chip” microfluidic devices. This has been partly driven by their belief that mice are often inadequate models for some aspects of human biology. He has worked with Program PI and project Co-I Dr. Waterman on several projects related to tumor angiogenesis and wnt signaling, and has co-mentored a student with PI Dr. Lowengrub. He is the co-director of the OncoImaging and Biotechnology (OIB) Program – part of the NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCI – and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry. He has a joint appointment in Biomedical Engineering, and is Interim Director of the Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology. He works extensively with the rare disease non-profit, cureHHT (formerly HHT Foundation International), and is Chair of their Global Research and Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Hughes was recently elected a Fellow of AAAS. He has mentored 13 Ph.D. students doing their thesis work in his lab, numerous rotation students, and several post-doctoral fellows. Several of these are now running their own research programs. Dr.Hughes’ experience in the Cancer Center OIB program and in the BME department have been vital to his research success.