Annual Report 2016

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Annual Report 2016
Mary and Dick Holland
Regenerative Medicine
2016 Annual Report
A very special
thank you
to ourDonors
The Holland Family
The Durham Family
Table of Contents
Letter from the Director
Regenerative Medicine
New Faculty
Research Highlights
New Initiatives
New Programs
New Grants
Seminar Series
Regenerative Medicine Speakers
Contact Information
Mary and Dick Holland Regenerative Medicine
2016 Annual Report
Letter from the Director
Driven by the needs of patients who seek treatment for their incurable diseases,
The University of Nebraska Medical Center established the Mary and Dick Holland
Regenerative Medicine Program. Our mission is focused on bringing together forward
thinking scientists and clinicians who are committed to understanding the basic science
behind tissue engineering and development. By translating these concepts we seek
to pioneer regenerative therapies that can be taken into the clinic, spreading hope
throughout the Nebraskan community and around the world. While still a new program,
we are proud of our ongoing innovations and successes in the areas of bone and
cartilage development and remodelling, vascular regeneration, pancreas development
and diabetes, and biomaterials for tissue regeneration. We look forward to further
evolving and adding new faculty, initiatives, and collaborations in 2016 and 2017.
The field of regenerative medicine involves innovative medical therapies that enable the
body to repair, replace, restore and regenerate damaged or diseased tissues and organs.
I am honored to have the opportunity to be involved in this cutting edge scientific field
that holds so much potential to help those suffering from acute and chronic conditions.
There are several avenues of Regenerative Medicine that will require many more years
of research, but as we want to focus on developing therapies that can help treat patients
now. This year we have added a number of excellent new faculty and staff to our
program, started new initiatives and continued others into a second year, and added new
equipment and facilities to advance our research and help us further towards this goal.
The last few months have seen the introduction of five new regenerative medicine
initiatives, which are being given seed funding from the program. These extend the
reach of the Regenerative Medicine Program, fostering new innovative projects.
These initiatives bring together researchers and clinicians from UNMC and the
engineering program at UNL to collaborate and develop novel research areas.
We are also excited to announce the development of a new Bioprinting core which
will be run by one of our new faculty members. Bioprinting is literally the use of a
printers to create cell matrixes to form organs. The Bioprinting Core will provide
access to advanced imaging technologies enabling precise placement of cells,
biomaterials, and biomolecules for regenerative medicine-related research. 3D
bioprinting technology has emerged as a versatile and powerful tool for fabricating
3D tissue and organ analogs and it is thrilling to be part of this innovative research.
Overall it has been an exciting year for the Regenerative Medicine Program
and I look forward to see what we achieve in the upcoming year!
Nora Sarvetnick, PhD, Director of Regenerative Medicine
Annual Report | 1
Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative Medicine is an emerging interdisciplinary field of research. The clinical
applications resulting from this field focus on the repair, replacement or regeneration
of cells, tissues, or organs to restore lost function that has been lost from any
cause, including hereditary defects, disease, injury, and aging. Using methodologies
from diverse scientific fields, Regenerative Medicine has the capacity to launch
far ahead of traditional transplantation and replacement therapies.
The Regenerative Medicine Program has been established at UNMC to bring many areas
of science and medicine together to provide those in Nebraska and surrounding areas more
advanced therapies and treatments that can enhance their quality of life beyond what we
are currently capable of providing. Researchers hope to develop strategies to grow bone and
muscle tissue for amputees or new heart tissue for those who suffer from heart disease.
Here at UNMC, researchers and students have access to state of the art
facilities and equipment to allow successful research to expand and grow.
A few of the UNMC Regenerative Medicine Focus Areas:
Biomaterials for Regeneration
In regenerative medicine, biomaterials play an important role as they can act as not only a
scaffold/substrate for supporting cell growth, forming certain structures and regulating cell
behaviors but also a local delivery system for sustained delivery of signaling molecules and
enhancement of cell functions and tissue regeneration. At UNMC, scientists are interested
in development of novel biomaterials with multiple functions and understanding the
interactions between materials and cells/tissues. The final goal is to use these designed
biomaterials in studying tissue morphogenesis and patterning during development, forming
tissues for in vitro drug screening, and regenerating tissues for treatment of diseases.
Bone and Cartilage Development and Regeneration
What happens during embryonic development as our bones begin to form and how does
our body regulate this to ensure appropriate tissue development? As we understand these
patterns we can begin to apply them to human therapeutic applications as a means to
regenerate bone tissue after major injury or disease has destroyed the primary functional bone.
Pancreas Regeneration
Once damaged, the body’s insulin-producing cells don’t regenerate. UNMC
scientists are working to make history by replacing those damaged cells with healthy
tissue, thereby directly addressing one of the causative problems of diabetes.
Vascular Regeneration
One of the major vascular accesses designed for long-term hemodialysis use is arteriovenous
fistula, a connection, made by a vascular surgeon, of an artery to a vein. However, veins
for a number of patients failed to reach maturation preventing their use for dialysis access.
At UNMC, scientists are interested in understanding the mechanisms of vein maturation
and finding ways to improve the success rate of vein maturation for dialysis patients.
A necessary component for the success of this project is clinical translation. Without the
help of involved/collaborative clinicians here at UNMC we cannot bring our current research
into the clinic. By taking a collaborative, interdisciplinary group approach we have identified
critical problems in different organs or diseases and actively work out ways to solve them.
We hope to help grow the field of Regenerative Medicine at UNMC, and also give both
junior and senior faculty the chance to participate in research and therapy development. By
focusing on adult and embryonic stem cell research and utilizing UNMC’s new Biologics
Production Facility, we hope to develop new treatments that move quickly into clinical trials.
Regenerative Medicine | 2
New Faculty
Shannon Buckley, PhD
Assistant Professor,
Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Dr. Buckley’s research interest centers on the molecular
mechanisms regulating stem cell fate decisions that may
also be linked to cancer. Her goal is to utilize genomic
and proteomic approaches to identify key ubiquitin
ligases and their substrates that regulate mechanisms
of pluripotency, self-renewal, differentiation, and
hematopoietic malignant transformation. The dynamic
reversibility of the ubiquitin modification (by kinases,
phosphatases, E3 ligases and de-ubiquitinases) and recent success of a UPS inhibitor
(Velcade) for the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma proves the
translational importance of the UPS system. This suggests that targeting of specific
elements of the UPS could lead to future breakthroughs in both basic research and cancer
therapy by creating a more efficient generation of induced pluripotent stem cells, promoting
lineage differentiation for cell therapy, and providing potential targets for drug discovery.
Bin Duan, PhD
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Dr. Duan has recently joined the regenerative medicine
program as a faculty member in the department of
Internal Medicine. Dr. Duan completed his PhD in
Biomedical Engineering at the University of Hong
Kong in 2010, where his thesis focused on developing
calcium phosphate/poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co3-hydroxyvalerate) nanocomposite scaffolds via
selective laser sintering for bone tissue engineering.
The focus of Dr. Duan’s research integrates novel
biomaterials, advanced biofabrication of tissue engineered scaffolds, bioprinting,
tissue constructs and tissue models, controlled growth factor delivery strategy, and
bioreactors. He has implemented rapid prototyping (RP) techniques to fabricate
nanocomposite scaffolds with complex architectures and porous structures for bone
tissue engineering and to generate living hydrogel valve conduits with anatomical
architecture and mechanical heterogeneity for heart valve regeneration. He investigates
the mechanisms through which the local microenvironment, including adhesion
ligand density, matrix component and stiffness, regulates several aspects of valve
interstitial cell (VIC, the most prevalent cells in the heart valve leaflets) behaviors like
cell spreading, migration, and differentiation (both physiological and pathological). Duan
uses this information to direct the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC)
towards valve specific phenotypes and compare the capacity and efficiency of different
MSC sources. He is actively developing novel 3D hydrogel systems with biochemical and
biophysical tunability for mimicking extracellular matrix (ECM) to appropriately control
MSC fate and for precisely replicating in vivo pathological microenvironments in vitro.
Annual Report | 3
New Faculty
Sung-Ho Huh, PhD
Peng Jiang, PhD
Assistant Professor,
Munroe-Meyer Institute
University of Nebraska
Medical Center
Assistant Professor, MunroeMeyer Institute
Developmental Neuroscience
University of Nebraska
Medical Center
Dr. Huh has recently joined the
regenerative medicine program as
a faculty member of the MunroeMeyer Institute. Dr. Huh was
previously a research instructor
at Washington University in St.
Louis, where he also completed
his Postdoc in 2012. His studies focus on identifying the molecular
mechanisms that regulate hair cell progenitor development and
maintenance in mammals using a mouse model system. This
research will provide a framework to understand how a non-repairable
organ develops and what pathways might be used to therapeutically
induce regeneration. This is an important problem given that in
humans 3 out of 1000 new-borns suffer from congenital hearing loss
and many more people develop sensorineural hearing loss as a result
of noise, antibiotics exposure, and aging. Sensorineural hearing loss
primarily results from loss of sensory hair cells in the cochlea, which,
once damaged, cannot repair under normal physiological conditions.
The tools and discoveries Dr. Huh’s lab will develop through the
identification of cochlear progenitor growth and maintenance can be
utilized for the development of new reparative gene/molecule/cellbased therapies. He believes that selective reactivation of signaling
pathways that function during embryonic development will be an
effective means to promote repair and regeneration of malformed
or damaged organs such as the cochlea and may also prevent
pathological responses that could further compromise organ function.
Nicole Iverson, PhD
Assistant Professor and
Biomedical Nanotechnology
Specialist, Biological Systems
Engineering Department
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dr. Iverson was an NIH
postdoctoral fellow at the
Massachusetts Institute of
Technology from 2010-2015
before becoming an assistance
professor at UNL. Dr. Iverson’s
research interests include delivery, monitoring, and analysis of in
vivo nanoparticles that act as biological sensors, DNA-wrapped
single wall carbon nanotubes in alginate microparticles, modifying
chemical structures of nanoparticles for use in non-invasive
intravenous delivery. Iverson earned her PhD and master’s degrees
in biomedical engineering from Rutgers University and bachelor’s
in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Regenerative Medicine | 4
Dr. Jiang focuses on differentiating
pluripotent stem cells to
neural cells for modeling and
treating neurological disorders.
Pluripotent stem cells, including
embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and
induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), can differentiate into all cell
lineages of the body. Differentiation of human pluripotent stem
cells to brain cells provides a new tool for studying human neural
development. With iPSC technology, he also generates human
iPSCs (hiPSCs) from human somatic cells through reprogramming.
Neural differentiation of patient-derived hiPSCs allows him to study
the pathogenesis of human neurological diseases with a human
patient’s own brain cells. Moreover, hiPSCs hold great promise
for developing cell replacement therapy to treat CNS injury. His
long-term goal is to dissect the development pathways and
corresponding pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental diseases to
develop stem cell regenerative medicine to combat CNS injury.
Haitao Wen, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pathology
and Microbiology
University of Nebraska
Medical Center
In August of 2015, Haitao Wen
joined Faculty in the Department
of Microbiology and Pathology at
UNMC and became a member of
the Regenerative Medicine Program.
Dr. Wen comes to us from the
University of North Carolina School
of Medicine’s Jaycee Burn Center where they focus on reconstruction
and regeneration. Dr. Wen has a PhD from the University of
Michigan Medical School in molecular and cellular pathology.
The Wen laboratory studies innate immunity and inflammatoryassociated diseases. By employing various approaches, including
gene deletion, biochemical, proteomics, and animal models, they
aim to study the mechanisms by which immune receptors regulate
inflammation and cell stress responses and their applications in
inflammation-associated diseases. Two of his major research
directions are Nrf2 regulation of cell stress response in polymicrobial
sepsis and mitochondrial metabolism on immune signaling.
Research Highlights
Collaboration for Advanced Surgical and
Engineering Applications (CASEA)
Alexey Kamenskiy, PhD, and Jason MacTaggart, MD
Vascular Ageing and Remodeling
Dr. MacTaggart, a vascular surgeon, and
Alexey Kamenskiy, Ph.D., a biomedical
engineer, both assistant professors in the
UNMC Department of Surgery, are coprincipal investigators of the research study.
Research is focused on the assessment
of changes that occur in human arteries
with ageing and disease in terms of their
shape, internal structure, and mechanical
Recent Publications
Kamenskiy AV, Miserlis D, Adamson P,
Adamson M, Knowles T, Neme J, Koutakis P,
Phillips N, Pipinos I, MacTaggart J. Patient
Demographics and Cardiovascular Risk
Factors Differentially Influence Geometric
Remodeling of the Aorta Compared to the
Peripheral Arteries. Surgery. doi: 10.1016/j.
surg.2015.05.013. 2015. PMID: 26096560.
Kamenskiy AV, Seas A, Bowen G, Deegan
P, Desyatova A, Bohlim N, Poulson W,
MacTaggart J. In Situ Longitudinal PreStretch in the Human Femoropopliteal
Artery. Acta Biomaterialia. doi: 10.1016/j.
actbio.2016.01.002. 2016. PMID: 26766633.
properties. The human vascular system
adapts to changing mechanical and
biological environments undergoing
changes in morphometry, arterial structure
and mechanical properties. Detailed
characterization of these changes with
ageing and disease is important for
understanding arterial pathophysiology
and improving treatment modalities.
Jason MacTaggart, MD
Kamenskiy AV, Pipinos II, Carson
JS, MacTaggart JN, Baxter BT. Age
and Disease-Related Geometric and
Structural Remodeling of the Carotid
Artery. Journal of Vascular Surgery.
62(6):1521-8. 2015. PMID: 25499709.
Kamenskiy AV, Pipinos II, Dzenis YA,
Phillips NY, Desyatova AS, Kitson J, Bowen
R, MacTaggart JN. Effects of Age on the
Physiological and Mechanical Characteristics
of Human Femoropopliteal Arteries. Acta
Biomaterialia. V11. P304-313. 2015. PMID:
Peripheral Arterial Disease
Research is focused on detailed
understanding and quantification of the
complex mechanical environment of
the femoropopliteal arterial segment in
order to determine optimal patient and
lesion-specific treatment options for
patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease.
To achieve this researchers are utilizing
human cadaver models, mechanical and
structural characterization, as well as
constitutive and computational modeling.
Researchers have recently received
a five-year, $3.5 million grant funded
by the National Institutes of Health to
find out why stents don’t work well for
treating peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Recent Publications
Kamenskiy AV, Seas A, Bowen G, Deegan
P, Desyatova A, Bohlim N, Poulson W,
MacTaggart J. In Situ Longitudinal PreStretch in the Human Femoropopliteal
Artery. Acta Biomaterialia. doi: 10.1016/j.
actbio.2016.01.002. 2016. PMID: 26766633.
Alexey Kamenskiy, PhD
Kamenskiy AV, Pipinos II, Dzenis YA,
Phillips NY, Desyatova AS, Kitson J,
Bowen R, MacTaggart JN. Effects of
Age on the Physiological and Mechanical
Characteristics of Human Femoropopliteal
Arteries. Acta Biomaterialia. V11. P304313. 2015. PMID: 25301303.
Annual Report | 5
Research Highlights
Biomaterials and Mechanotransduction Research
Jung Yul Lim, PhD
Jung Yul Lim, PhD
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and
Neuronal Regenerative Medicine
displaying FAK-shRNA or overexpression.
An in vitro impulsive cell pressurization device
is developed to investigate TBI conditions of
human neuronal cells. Neuronal regenerative
medicine is pursued by utilizing micropatterned
biomaterials and by applying cell stretch, fluid
flow, and ultrasound to neuronal precursor cells.
Mechanical Control of Bone and
Stem Cell Fate and ROCK Signaling
Microfluidics for Bone Cell
Mechanotransduction and
Stem Cell Migration
A novel multichannel microfluidic device
mimicking in vivo micro-flows is designed
to test fluid flow effects on bone cells. Stem
cell rescue of damaged cells is examined via
assessing stem cell migration in a microfluidic
channel containing healthy and damaged cells.
Nanoscale Biomaterials
for Stem Cell Osteogenesis
and FAK Signaling
MSCs are induced to differentiate into
osteogenic fate by culturing on advanced
nanostructured biomaterials and the
role of focal adhesion signaling (FAK) in
this induction is investigated with MSCs
Osteoblastic and stem cells are molecularly
manipulated to express altered cell tension
signaling, e.g., ROCK, and exposed
to fluid flow-induced shear stress and
mechanical cell stretch to reveal the role of
tension signaling in mechanotransduction
during skeletal differentiation.
Recent Publications:
Akankshya Shradhanjali,* Brandon
D. Riehl,* Il Keun Kwon, Jung Yul Lim.
Cardiomyocyte stretching for regenerative
medicine and hypertrophy study. Tissue
Eng. Regen. Med. 2015;12:398-409.
Brandon D. Riehl, Jeong Soon Lee, Ligyeom
Ha, Jung Yul Lim. Fluid-flow-induced
mesenchymal stem cell migration: Role of focal
adhesion kinase and RhoA kinase sensors.
J. R. Soc. Interface 2015;12:20141351.
Hillary Stoll, Frederick G. Hamel, Jeong Soon
Lee, Ligyeom Ha, Jung Yul Lim. Mechanical
control of mesenchymal stem cell adipogenesis.
Endocrinol. Metab. Synd. 2015;4:152.
Trauma Mechanics Research Initiative
Linxia Gu, PhD
Linxia Gu, PhD
Regenerative Medicine | 6
Linxia Gu, associate professor of mechanical and materials engineering at UNL, is lead author
in a study that examines how improvised explosive devices impact blood vessel networks and
can lead to traumatic brain injury. The researchers have authored a study examining, for the
first time, how blood vessel networks affect the potential incidence of traumatic brain injury
from improvised explosive devices that blanket combat zones throughout the Middle East.
The team simulated the force of IEDs by using a “shock tube” to propel 900-mile-per-hour
blasts of air at two models of the human head — one featuring blood vessels, the other
without. Sensors then recorded levels of strain, or how much these blasts deformed the brain
in each model. They specifically measured principal strain — the maximum compression of
a material at a specific point — and shear strain — the angular shift of an object’s shape.
The model embedded with blood vessels suffered almost three times as much principal
strain and more than six times as much shear strain in the brain stem. Its corpus
callosum, which facilitates communication between the left and right hemispheres of
the brain, experienced almost twice the principal strain and nearly 2.5 times the shear
strain of its counterpart in the control model. Similarly, the study showed that both
types of strain rose in tandem with the density and diameter of blood vessels.
New Initiatives
SOX2 Levels Determine the Quality of Pluripotent Stem Cells
PI: Angie Rizzino, PhD
Problem: There is a pressing need to
understand how levels of the stem cell
transcription factor SOX2 regulates the
behavior of stem cell self-renewal and
developmental potential. Recent studies
have shown that lowering the levels of
the stem cell transcription factor OCT4
in pluripotent stem cells (PSC) promotes
self-renewal and eliminates heterogeneity
within the stem cell population, but blocks
differentiation. Our studies strongly
argue that this is also true for SOX2.
Hypothesis: The levels of SOX2 in PSC are
optimized to support self-renewal without
sacrificing their ability to differentiate into a
vast array of cells. Lowering the SOX2 levels
in PSC will enhance the self-renewal and
homogeneity of the stem cell population.
When SOX2 levels are allowed to rise,
PSC will be primed to differentiate.
Impact: The use of PSC in regenerative
medicine requires the maintenance
of homogeneous populations of stem
cells, but also our ability to differentiate
PSC into differentiated cells that can
be used in replacement therapies in the
clinic. Support for our hypothesis will
improve the quality of PSC by developing
conditions that improve the maintenance
of PSC in a homogeneous PSC state.
Overall objective: To determine
whether lowering the levels of
SOX2 eliminates the heterogeneity
present in pluripotent stem cells
Aims: 1) Determine whether lowering the
levels of SOX2 in mouse embryonic stem
cells (mESC) reduces heterogeneity in the
population by limiting the spontaneous
differentiation observed in PSC populations.
Initially, this will be achieved by using SOX2
shRNA under the control of an inducible
transgene. Going forward, SOX2 siRNA
will also be evaluated. 2) Monitor the levels
of other key stem cell genes as SOX2 is
lowered (e.g. OCT4, Nanog, Essrb, etc.). 3)
Determine whether lowering SOX2 in mESC
over prolonged periods in culture alters their
pluripotency after levels of SOX2 are allowed
to return to their original levels. In these pilot
studies, we will examine the pluripotency of
the cells by monitoring their differentiation
when cultured as embryoid bodies.
Anticipated outcome: We anticipate
that lowering the levels of SOX2 in mESC
will reduce the cellular heterogeneity
observed in cultured PSC without
altering their pluripotency. Importantly,
collection of critical preliminary will
provide support for competitive NIH grant
proposal that will extend our work to
human induced pluripotent stem cells.
Annual Report | 7
New Initiatives
Regenerative Approaches for Glaucomatous Neuropathy
PI: Iqbal Ahmad, PhD
Problem: Selective degeneration of optic
nerve cells in glaucomatous neuropathy
leading to irreversible blindness
neurogliogenesis, which will be targeted
for activating neurogenic potential
in the Muller glial in adult retina.
Hypothesis: Muller glia with stem cell
properties can directly differentiate
into degenerated neurons.
Aims of the project: 1) Examine the
role of lin28 and proneural miRNAs in the
neurogliogenic decision in the developing
retina 2) Examine the role of Lin28 and
miRNAs in the directed differentiation
of Muller glia into optic nerve cells.
Impact: Muller glia mediated therapeutic
regeneration represents a viable and noninvasive alternative to ex-vivo stem cell
approach to treat blindness due to glaucoma.
Overall objective: To understand
the mechanism underlying
Anticipated outcome: Identification of
approaches for facile activation of Muller glia
along the neuronal lineages.
Small Intestine Tissue Engineering
PIs: Jingwei Xie, PhD, Mark Carlson, MD, Bin Duan, PhD, Haitao Wen,
PhD, Andrew Dudley, PhD, Jennifer Black, PhD, Jenni Wang, PhD
Problem: Short bowel syndrome (SBS)
affects neonates and children and
has mortality rates up to 10-30%.
Hypothesis: The most promising
treatment for SBS remains intestinal
transplant, however, overall worldwide
survival for isolated small bowel
transplantation is around 50% at 5 years.
Impact: There is a critical need for
engineering small intestine due to a
desperate shortage of donors and
donor-to-recipient size mismatch.
Overall objective: The objective
of the projects in this proposal is to
understand the mechanism of small
Regenerative Medicine | 8
intestine regeneration and engineer
functional small intestine tissues.
Aims of the project: 1) Identify, validate and
characterize biomarkers/signaling pathways
for small intestine regeneration; and, 2) To
engineer functional small intestine tissues
for treatment of SBS in the animal model.
Anticipated outcome: We anticipate
that the identification of biomarkers
and mechanisms of small intestine
regeneration will lead to more effective
ways for engineering functional small
intestine tissues for SBS treatment.
Genetic Dissection of the Role of CBL-family
Ubiquitin Ligases in Muscle Atrophy
PIs: Vimla Band, PhD, and Hamid Band, MD, PhD
Problem: Muscle atrophy (excessive
loss of muscle mass) affects millions of
patients with chronic disease, worsening
treatment outcomes, and as part of aging,
contributing to falls and fractures in the
elderly. Effective treatments are lacking.
Hypothesis: CBL and CBL-B are key
mediators of signals that promote loss
of muscle mass. Genetic deletion of
CBL and CBL-B in muscle tissue will
lead to resistance to induction of muscle
atrophy by exaggerating signals that
help retain and build muscle mass.
Impact: Genetic proof for an important
role of CBL and CBL-B in muscle atrophy
will provide the needed rationale to embark
on development of drugs against these
enzymes as a therapy for muscle atrophy.
Overall objective: Use genetic mouse
models established by the investigators to
provide evidence that CBL and CBL-gene
are needed for induction of muscle atrophy.
Show that CBL and CBL-B gene deletion
will make muscles resistant to atrophy.
Aims of the project: 1) Use isolated
human muscle cells and those from our
mouse models to show the importance
of CBL and CBL-B in muscle atrophy. 2)
Engineer a new mouse model in which
CBL and CBL-B are only deleted selectively
in muscle cells and show that such
mice are resistant to muscle atrophy.
Anticipated outcome: This study will
provide proof of our hypothesis that CBL
and CBL-B contribute to muscle atrophy.
Our studies will form the basis for future
drug screens to identify new drugs to
prevent and treat muscle atrophy.
Engineering Growth Plate Cartilage using Layered Alginate Hydrogel 3-D Matrices
PIs: Andrew Dudley, PhD, UNMC and Angela K. Pannier, PhD, UNL
Problem: Growth plate cartilage is crucial
to skeletal development. Defects in growth
plate function due to genetics, metabolic
disease radiation and chemotherapy, and
high-impact fractures affect skeletal
growth lead to deformities, growth arrest,
or instability of developing long bones.
However, an incomplete understanding
of the molecular and cellular processes
that produce growth has resulted in few
clinical options to treat growth disorders.
Hypothesis: Growth plate cartilage is a
dynamic, multi-zone, ordered cell array
in which disorganized progenitor cells
(resting chondrocytes) mature into columnar
(proliferative) chondrocytes and then into
terminally differentiated, prehypertrophic
and hypertrophic chondrocytes.
Impact: This project uses a layered
alginate hydrogel structure [methodological
innovation] to generate a tunable
environment in which interaction of signaling
pathways and matrix properties on growth
plate development can be rigorously
interrogated [intellectual innovation].
Overall Objective: The objective of this
proposal is to use tissue-engineering
principles to develop an in vitro model
of growth plate cartilage to investigate
molecular and cellular mechanisms
of growth and growth disorders. We
will use the innovative layered alginate
gel system that was developed by our
laboratories to analyze the effects of
gradients of signaling and/or mechanical
factors on the spatial organization of
gene expression, cell shape and cell
organization through the following aims:
IHH feedback loop is sufficient to induce
zones of maturation in alginate cultures of
growth plate chondrocytes, using a novel
layered hydrogel scaffold that enables the
formation of defined concentration gradients
of soluble factors. 2) Investigate interactions
between planar cell polarity and matrix
properties in chondrocyte arrangement
in vitro. We will test the hypothesis that
cell adhesion and mechanical properties
of the extracellular matrix influence cell
morphology and clonal growth of growth
plate chondrocytes, by assessing the roles
of cell-matrix adhesivity and matrix stiffness
on growth plate architecture through analysis
of cell morphology and column size/shape.
Aims of the project: 1) To recapitulate
the PTHrP-IHH feedback loop within
layered alginate beads. We will test the
hypothesis that activation of the PTHrP-
Annual Report | 9
New Programs
Establishment of Bioprinting Core:
The Bioprinting Core will provide access to
advanced imaging technologies enabling
precise placement of cells, biomaterials,
and biomolecules for regenerative
medicine-related research. Current tissue
engineering and regenerative medicine
(TERM) approaches have inherent limitations
in producing constructs with accurate
anatomical shape and geometry and in
precisely controlling microarchitecture
and cell/matrix components. 3D
bioprinting technology has emerged
as a versatile and powerful tool for
fabricating 3D tissue and organ analogs.
This core will be run by one of our new
faculty member, Dr. Bin Duan, who comes
to UNMC from Cornell University, where he
has been an American Heart Association
Postdoctoral Fellow for the past 2 years. His
background is in mechanical engineering
and materials science, and he has more than
8 years’ research experience. Additionally,
he has 29 peer-reviewed publications
and is the co-inventor on 2 patents. He
Regenerative Medicine | 10
has been performing bioprinting for 8
years and will establish and run a core
service at UNMC using this equipment.
This technology is combined with computer
aided design and manufacturing (CAD/
CAM) and advanced imaging technologies
and enables precise placement of cells,
biomaterials, and biomolecules in spatially
predesigned locations in a layer-bylayer manner to form 3D constructs. 3D
bioprinted constructs are being developed
not only for tissue and organ regeneration
and transplantation but also as disease or
cancer models for drug discovery and basic
research. In addition, the 3D bioprinting
technique is promising for the generation
of customized implants based on a patients’
own medical images. The acquisition of the
3D bioprinter and bioprinting technology
will enhance the collaborations between
science, engineering, and health disciplines,
increase our competitiveness for federal
grants, and improve basic, translational,
and clinical research in Nebraska.
The bioprinter and bioprinting
techniques enable collaborations
between investigators in the fields of
engineering, regenerative medicine,
surgery, cancer, and pharmaceutical
science. At the beginning stage, we
will focus on four research projects:
1. Osteochondral Regeneration
2.Cardiac Valve Replacement
3.Pancreas Regeneration
4.Cancer Metastasis Model
Many other related projects, like craniofacial
and periodontal regeneration, peripheral
nerve, and spinal cord regeneration will also
be explored using bioprinting techniques.
Four categories of research will be assisted
by biomedical applications of 3D bioprinting:
1. 3D bioprinting of tissue
engineered constructs
2.3D bioprinting of functional organs
3.3D bioprinting of living constructs
as disease or cancer models
4.Customized implants
New Post-Doctoral Fellows
and Research Coordinators
Shruthi Aravind, MD
Joined Mark Carlson’s Lab
Hernan Hernandez, MD
Joined Iraklis Pipinos’ Lab
Heather Jensen-Smith, PhD
Joined Nora Sarvetnick’s Lab
as Research Coordinator
Devendra Agrawal, PhD
Harpal Buttar Award for Excellence
in Cardiovascular Sciences (2015)
Distinguished Leadership Award,
Heart Academy (2015)
Jennifer Black, PhD
Distinguished Scientist Award, UNMC (2016)
Andrea Cupp, PhD
Irvin T and Wanda R Omtvedt Professor
of Animal Science, and also Gamma
Sigma Delta (Ag Honorary Society)
Excellence in Research Award (2015)
Hani Haider, PhD
Leroy Wyman Award by the American
Society for Testing and Materials
(ASTM International) (2015)
Philip Hexley, PhD
ABRF Outstanding Scientist/
Technologist Travel Award (2015)
Alexey Kamenskiy, PhD
New Investigator Award, UNMC (2016)
Srivatsan Kidambi, PhD
Emerging Innovator Award, UNL
Technology Transfer Office (2015)
Trainee Travel Award, 18th
International Symposium on Cells
of the Hepatic Sinusoid (2015)
Jung Yul Lim (right), associate professor of mechanical and materials
engineering, was awarded the Berton Rahn Research Fund Prize
by the AO Foundation at a trustees meeting on June 19.
Jung Yul Lim, PhD
NSF CAREER Award for the
research “CAREER: Adipocytic
Mechanotransduction for Obesity” (2015)
Berton Rahn Research Fund
Prize, AO Foundation (2015)
Jason MacTaggart, MD
Gilmore Award, UNMC (2016)
David F. Mercer, MD, PhD
Distinguished Scientist Award, UNMC (2016)
Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving
Cures, Chancellor Emeritus Harold
M. Maurer, M.D. and Beverly Maurer
Scientific Achievement Award (2015)
Angie Rizzino, PhD
Faculty Mentor of Graduate
Students Award, UNMC (2015)
Sarah Romereim, PhD
(Postdoctoral Fellow of Andrea Cupp)
received the Best Postdoctoral Research
Poster at the Gil Greenwald Reproductive
and Regenerative Medicine Symposia
(2015) at the University of Kansas Medical
Center, which is a regional reproductive
and regenerative medicine meeting.
Kevin Sargent
(Graduate Student of Andrea Cupp)
Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Graduate
Student Award (2015), Also Midwest
American Society of Animal Science Young
Scholar Award (2016) Kevin Sargent’s project
is the Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine
Project on Spermatogonial Stem cells.
Jingwei Xie, PhD
New Investigator Award, UNMC (2016)
President’s Choice Presentation,
International Symposium on “Cells
on the Hepatic Sinusoid” (2015)
Annual Report | 11
New Grants
Jennifer Black, PhD
Cancer Biology
Training Program
July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2020
Evaluating the PKC
Enzyme System in
Human Colon Cancer
July 16, 2015 - June 30, 2017
Andrea Cupp, PhD
Nebraska Department
of Health and Human
Services grant
Mechanisms of VEGFA
Isoforms on germ stem cells
July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016
Howard Fox, MD PhD
Elucidating the Role of
Exosomal miR-21 in SIV/HIV
Neurological Dysfunction
January 1, 2016 December 31, 2016
Hani Haider, PhD
Amedica Corporation
Comparative Testing of
Ceramic Femoral Heads
for Total Hip Arthroplasty
(Amedica Phase I)
July 6, 2015 - May 31, 2016
Sung-Ho Huh, PhD
Mechanisms Regulating
Cochlear Development
January 5, 2016 December 31, 2016
Regenerative Medicine | 12
Iraklis Pipinos, MD, &
George Casale, PhD
Ramipril Treatment of
Claudication: Oxidative
Damage and Muscle Fibrosis
August 1, 2015 March 31, 2020
Angie Rizzino, PhD
Cancer Stem Cells
of Pancreatic Ductal
July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016
Pancreatic Tumor Cells:
SOX2 and MEK Inhibitors
July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016
Nora Sarvetnick, PhD
Benaroya Research Institute
at Virginia Mason
Bactericidal Proteins
and Autoimmunity
May 1, 2015 - April 30, 2016
Helmsley Charitable Trust
Mechanistic Insights
into the Pathogenesis of
Autoantibody Negative T1D
February 1, 2016 January 31, 2017
Factors Responsible for
Inflammasome Act
April 1, 2015 - June 19, 2016
Haitao Wen, PhD
Role & Mechanism of
NLRX1-mediated Cell
Stress Response in
Insulin Resistance
October 21, 2015 May 31, 2016
Jingwei Xie, PhD
Otis Glebe Foundation
Local Sustained Codelivery of Vitamin D3 and
Other Immune Boosting
Compounds for Minimizing
Surgical Site Infection
February 1, 2016 January 31, 2017
Wanfen Xiong, PhD
Role of early SMC
Phenotypic Switch in
the Aortic Pathology of
Marfan Syndrome
January 1, 2016 December 31, 2019
Jialin Zheng, MD
Glutaminase and its
Neurotoxic Link to HAND
August 1, 2015 - July 31, 2016
Estrogen Regulation
of Glutaminase in
Pulmonary LAM
July 1, 2015 - May 30, 2016
Xia, Xiaohuan, and Iqbal Ahmad. “let-7
microRNA regulates neurogliogenesis
in the mammalian retina through
Hmga2.” Developmental biology (2015).
Ahmad, Iqbal, Xing Zhao, Sowmya
Parameswaran, Christopher J. Destache,
Jorge Rodriguez-Sierra, Wallace B. Thoreson,
Hiba Ahmad, John Sorrentino, and Sudha
Balasubramanian. “Direct Differentiation
of Adult Ocular Progenitors into Striatal
Dopaminergic Neurons.” International
journal of stem cells 8, no. 1 (2015): 106.
Parameswaran, Sowmya, Shashank
Manohar Dravid, Pooja Teotia, Raghu R.
Krishnamoorthy, Fang Qiu, Carol Toris, John
Morrison, and Iqbal Ahmad. “Continuous
Non-Cell Autonomous Reprogramming
to Generate Retinal Ganglion Cells
for Glaucomatous Neuropathy.” Stem
Cells 33, no. 6 (2015): 1743-1758.
Shukla, Ashima, Karan Rai, Vipul Shukla,
Nagendra K. Chaturvedi, R. Gregory
Bociek, Samuel J. Pirruccello, Hamid
Band, Runqing Lu, and Shantaram S.
Joshi. “Sprouty 2: a novel attenuator of
B-cell receptor and MAPK-Erk signaling
in CLL.” Blood (2016): blood-2015.
Arya, Priyanka, Mark A. Rainey, Sohinee
Bhattacharyya, Bhopal C. Mohapatra, Manju
George, Murali R. Kuracha, Matthew D.
Storck, Vimla Band, Venkatesh Govindarajan,
and Hamid Band. “The endocytic recycling
regulatory protein EHD1 Is required for
ocular lens development.” Developmental
biology 408, no. 1 (2015): 41-55.
William, Basem M., Wei An, Dan Feng,
Scott Nadeau, Bhopal C. Mohapatra,
Matthew A. Storck, Vimla Band, and
Hamid Band. “Fasudil, a clinically safe
ROCK inhibitor, decreases disease
burden in a Cbl/Cbl-b deficiency-driven
murine model of myeloproliferative
disorders.” Hematology (2015).
Kumar, Virender, Goutam Mondal, Paige
Slavik, Satyanarayna Rachagani, Surinder
K. Batra, and Ram I. Mahato. “Codelivery
of small molecule hedgehog inhibitor
and miRNA for treating pancreatic
cancer.” Molecular pharmaceutics
12, no. 4 (2015): 1289-1298.
Yanala, Ujwal R., Roger D. Reidelberger,
Jon S. Thompson, Valerie K. Shostrom,
and Mark A. Carlson. “Effect of
proximal versus distal 50% enterectomy
on nutritional parameters in rats
preconditioned with a high-fat diet or
regular chow.” Scientific reports 5 (2015).
Haverland, Nicole A., Lance M. Villeneuve,
Pawel Ciborowski, and Howard S.
Fox. “The Proteomic Characterization
of Plasma or Serum from HIV-Infected
Patients.” HIV Protocols (2016): 293-310.
Villeneuve, Lance M., Phillip R. Purnell,
Michael D. Boska, and Howard S. Fox.
“Early Expression of Parkinson’s DiseaseRelated Mitochondrial Abnormalities
in PINK1 Knockout Rats.” Molecular
neurobiology 53, no. 1 (2016): 171-186.
Pendyala, Gurudutt, Palsamy Periyasamy,
Shannon Callen, Howard S. Fox, Steven J.
Lisco, and Shilpa J. Buch. “Chronic SIV and
morphine treatment increases heat shock
protein 5 expression at the synapse.” Journal
of neurovirology 21, no. 5 (2015): 592-598.
Stauch, Kelly L., Phillip R. Purnell,
Lance M. Villeneuve, and Howard S.
Fox. “Data for mitochondrial proteomic
alterations in the aging mouse brain.”
Data in brief 4 (2015): 127-129.
Cserhati, Matyas F., Sanjit Pandey,
James J. Beaudoin, Lorena Baccaglini,
Chittibabu Guda, and Howard S.
Fox. “The National NeuroAIDS Tissue
Consortium (NNTC) Database: an
integrated database for HIV-related
studies.” Database 2015 (2015): bav074.
Kamenskiy, Alexey V., Iraklis I. Pipinos,
Yuris A. Dzenis, Carol S. Lomneth, Syed
A. Jaffar Kazmi, Nicholas Y. Phillips, and
Jason N. MacTaggart. “Passive biaxial
mechanical properties and in vivo axial
pre-stretch of the diseased human
femoropopliteal and tibial arteries.” Acta
biomaterialia 10, no. 3 (2014): 1301-1313.
Hayward, Stephen L., David M. Francis,
Matthew J. Sis, and Srivatsan Kidambi.
“Ionic Driven Embedment of Hyaluronic
Acid Coated Liposomes in Polyelectrolyte
Multilayer Films for Local Therapeutic
Delivery.” Scientific reports 5 (2015).
Wilson, Christina L., Vaishaali Natarajan,
Stephen L. Hayward, Oleh Khalimonchuk,
and Srivatsan Kidambi. “Mitochondrial
dysfunction and loss of glutamate uptake
in primary astrocytes exposed to titanium
dioxide nanoparticles.” Nanoscale
7, no. 44 (2015): 18477-18488.
Daverey, Amita, Allison P. Drain, and
Srivatsan Kidambi. “Physical
Intimacy of Breast Cancer Cells with
Mesenchymal Stem Cells Elicits
Trastuzumab Resistance through Src
Activation.” Scientific reports 5 (2015).
Shradhanjali, Akankshya, Brandon
D. Riehl, Il Keun Kwon, and Jung Yul
Lim. “Cardiomyocyte stretching for
regenerative medicine and hypertrophy
study.” Tissue Engineering and Regenerative
Medicine 12, no. 6 (2015): 398-409.
Lee, Jeong Soon, Alexey Lipatov, Ligyeom
Ha, Mikhail Shekhirev, Mohammad Nahid
Andalib, Alexander Sinitskii, and Jung Yul
Lim. “Graphene substrate for inducing
neurite outgrowth.” Biochemical and
biophysical research communications
460, no. 2 (2015): 267-273.
Riehl, Brandon D., Jeong Soon Lee, Ligyeom
Ha, and Jung Yul Lim. “Fluid-flow-induced
Annual Report | 13
mesenchymal stem cell migration: role of
focal adhesion kinase and RhoA kinase
sensors.” Journal of The Royal Society
Interface 12, no. 104 (2015): 20141351.
Stoll, H., F. G. Hamel, J. S. Lee, H. A.
Ligyeom, and J. Y. Lim. “Mechanical
Control of Mesenchymal Stem Cell
Adipogenesis.” Endocrinol Metab
Synd 4, no. 152 (2015): 2161-1017.
Lee, Jeong Soon, Jung Yul Lim, and
Jinu Kim. “Mechanical stretch induces
angiotensinogen expression through
PARP1 activation in kidney proximal tubular
cells.” In Vitro Cellular & Developmental
Biology-Animal 51, no. 1 (2015): 72-78.
Zhao, Shijia, Alex Stamm, Jeong Soon
Lee, Alexei Gruverman, Jung Yul
Lim, and Linxia Gu. “Elasticity of
Differentiated and Undifferentiated Human
Neuroblastoma Cells Characterized
by Atomic Force Microscopy.” Journal
of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology
15, no. 05 (2015): 1550069.
Kamenskiy, Alexey, Andreas Seas, Grant
Bowen, Paul Deegan, Anastasia Desyatova,
Nick Bohlim, William Poulson, and Jason
MacTaggart. “In situ longitudinal prestretch in the human femoropopliteal
artery.” Acta biomaterialia (2016).
Burton, Mary Jane, Jeffrey R. Curtis, Shuo
Yang, Lang Chen, Jasvinder A. Singh,
Ted R. Mikuls, Kevin L. Winthrop, and
John W. Baddley. “Safety of biologic and
nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic
drug therapy in veterans with rheumatoid
arthritis and hepatitis B virus infection:
a retrospective cohort study.” Arthritis
research & therapy 17, no. 1 (2015): 136.
Kasputis, Tadas, Alex Pieper, Keith B.
Rodenhausen, Daniel Schmidt, Derek
Sekora, Charles Rice, Eva Schubert, Mathias
Schubert, and Angela K. Pannier. “Use
of precisely sculptured thin film (STF)
substrates with generalized ellipsometry to
determine spatial distribution of adsorbed
fibronectin to nanostructured columnar
topographies and effect on cell adhesion.”
Acta biomaterialia 18 (2015): 88-99.
Martin, Timothy M., Beata J. Wysocki,
Tadeusz A. Wysocki, and Angela
K. Pannier. “Identifying Intracellular
pDNA Losses From a Model of Nonviral
Gene Delivery.” NanoBioscience, IEEE
Transactions on 14, no. 4 (2015): 455-464.
Martin, Timothy M., Sarah A. Plautz, and
Angela K. Pannier. “Temporal endogenous
gene expression profiles in response to
lipid-mediated transfection.” The journal of
gene medicine 17, no. 1-2 (2015): 14-32.
Myers, Sara A., Neil B. Huben, Jennifer
M. Yentes, John D. McCamley, Elizabeth
R. Lyden, Iraklis I. Pipinos, and
Jason M. Johanning. “Spatiotemporal
Changes Posttreatment in Peripheral
Arterial Disease.” Rehabilitation
research and practice 2015 (2015).
George, Nicholas M., Brian P. Boerner,
Shakeel UR Mir, Zachary Guinn, and Nora
E. Sarvetnick. “Exploiting Expression
of Hippo Effector, Yap, for Expansion
of Functional Islet Mass.” Molecular
Endocrinology 29, no. 11 (2015): 1594-1607.
Regenerative Medicine | 14
Harms, Robert Z., Danielle N. Yarde,
Zachary Guinn, Kristina M. LorenzoArteaga, Kevin P. Corley, Monina S. Cabrera,
and Nora E. Sarvetnick. “Increased
expression of IL-18 in the serum and
islets of type 1 diabetics.” Molecular
immunology 64, no. 2 (2015): 306-312.
Nandi, Shyam Sundar, Michael J. Duryee,
Hamid R. Shahshahan, Geoffrey M.
Thiele, Daniel R. Anderson, and Paras K.
Mishra. “Induction of autophagy markers
is associated with attenuation of miR-133a
in diabetic heart failure patients undergoing
mechanical unloading.” American journal of
translational research 7, no. 4 (2015): 683.
Payne, Jeffrey B., Lorne M. Golub,
Geoffrey M. Thiele, and Ted R. Mikuls.
“The link between periodontitis and
rheumatoid arthritis: a Periodontist’s
perspective.” Current oral health
reports 2, no. 1 (2015): 20-29.
Ren, Ke, Hongjiang Yuan, Yijia Zhang, Xin
Wei, and Dong Wang. “Macromolecular
glucocorticoid prodrug improves the
treatment of dextran sulfate sodiuminduced mice ulcerative colitis.” Clinical
Immunology 160, no. 1 (2015): 71-81.
Zhang, Min, Aihong Song, Siqiang Lai, Lisha
Qiu, Yunlong Huang, Qiang Chen, Bing Zhu,
Dongsheng Xu, and Jialin C. Zheng. “Living
cell imaging and Rac1-GTP levels of CXCL12treated migrating neural progenitor cells in
stripe assay.” Data in brief 5 (2015): 712-716.
Zhang, Min, Aihong Song, Siqiang Lai,
Lisha Qiu, Yunlong Huang, Qiang Chen,
Bing Zhu, Dongsheng Xu, and Jialin
C. Zheng. “Applications of stripe assay
in the study of CXCL12-mediated neural
progenitor cell migration and polarization.”
Biomaterials 72 (2015): 163-171.
Seminar Series
Each year we invite specialists to present, from within UNMC and from universities
nationwide, to increase our knowledge of the field and encourage collaboration and
networking. Speakers can give an overview of their research, or if they would like to
go over any Aims/Research Strategy for an upcoming grant proposal or any reviews
received that is welcomed as well. Our director, Nora Sarvetnick, provides a supportive
audience to provide feedback on grant submissions and/or summary statements.
During 2015 we were fortunate enough to host the following speakers:
Angie Rizzino, PhD
Professor, UNMC
The Dark Side of SOX2: Cancer
Wanfen Xiong, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, UNMC
Abnormal Phenotypic Switch
of Smooth Muscle Cells in the
Aorta of Marfan Syndrome
Scott Berceli, MD, PhD
Professor, University of Florida
Systems Biology and its
Application to Understanding
Vein Graft Failure
Chris Rogers, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, Exemplar
Gene-Targeted Pigs: Improved
Models for Translational Research
Ram Mahato, PhD
Professor, UNMC
Polymeric Nanomedicines of
Small Molecules and miRNA
for treating Liver Fibrosis
Angela Pannier, PhD
Associate Professor, UNL
Biomaterials for in Vitro
Models of Development and
Nonviral Gene Delivery
Ali Nawshad, PhD
Associate Professor, UNMC
Building the Roof of
mouth: TGFß3 Signaling
in Palate Development
Sri Kidambi, PhD
Assistant Professor, UNL
What does the Stromal Cells
say (to the Tumor Cells)? One
Sound That No One Knows...
Quan Ly, MD
Assistant Professor, UNMC
Novel Therapies for
Pancreatic Cancer
Linxia Gu, PhD
Associate Professor, UNL
Mechanics of Arterial Remodeling
and Clinical Implications
Melissa Collins, PhD
Post-Doctoral fellow,
University of Missouri
A Structurally Based Investigation
of Vein Graft Remodeling
in Mouse Models
Irving Zucker, PhD
Professor, UNMC
Cardiac Sympathetic Afferent
Denervation Attenuates Cardiac
Remodeling and Improves
Cardiovascular Dysfunction
in Rats with Heart Failure
Mark Carlson, MD, FACS
Professor, UNMC
Biomedical Porcine Models
at the Omaha VAMC
Timothy Wei, PhD
Professor, UNL
Building Bridges to UNMC
Endothelial Cell
Mechanotransduction and
Biofilm Growth through the Eyes
of an Aerospace Engineer
Andrea Cupp, PhD
Professor, UNL
Novel avascular roles for
Vascular Endothelial Growth
Factor A (VEGFA) Isoforms
in Spermatogonial Stem Cell
Maintenance in the Testis
Sasha Shillcutt, MD, FASE
Associate Professor, UNMC
Hemodynamic Management
Strategy to Improve Clinical
Outcomes for Elderly Patients
with Left Ventricular Diastolic
Dysfunction Undergoing
Noncardiac Surgery
Stephen Neeley, DSc
Director, Boys Town
Measurement and Modeling
of Auditory Signal Processing
Iraklis Pipinos, MD, PhD
Professor, UNMC
Pathogenesis of the
Limb Manifestations and
Functional Limitations in
Peripheral Artery Disease
Jingwei Xie, PhD
Assistant Professor, UNMC
Co-delivery of Vitamin D3 and
Other Immune Boosting Agents
for Combating Infection
Kota Takahashi, PhD
Assistant Professor, UNO
Paradoxical Foot and Ankle
Biomechanics During
Human Locomotion
Jenna Yentes, PhD
Assistant Professor, UNO
Coupling as a Clinical Tool
Gilbert Upchurch, MD
Professor, University of Virginia
Gender Differences in
Aortic Aaneurysms
Michael Moulton, MD
Professor, UNMC
Heart Ffailure with a Preserved
Ejection Fraction (HFpEF):
Pathophysiologic Mechanisms
and How Mathematical Modeling
Might Shed Some Light
Jung Yul Lim, PhD
Associate Professor, UNL
Mechanotransduction Approaches
Applied to Cells Traditionally NotHighlighted as Mechanosensitive
Robert Norgren, PhD
Professor, UNMC
The Production of Large Animal
Models of Human Disease with
Next Generation Sequencing
and Directed Breeding
Haitao Wen, PhD
Assistant Professor, UNMC
Metabolic Regulation of
the Innate Immunity in
Gastrointestinal Inflammation
Jennifer Black, PhD
Professor, UNMC
The PKC Enzyme System in
Epithelial Renewal and Cancer
Ben Terry, PhD
Assistant Professor, UNL
Using the Gastrointestinal Tract
to Implement Disappearable
Cyber Physical System
Sensors and Actuators
The audience is a mix of PhD students, post docs, technologists, clinicians, and faculty.
If you are interested in coming to speak or have someone you would like to invite to speak, please contact us.
Annual Report | 15
Regenerative Medicine Speakers
Bringing in guest speakers who offer new and innovative
ideas in regenerative medicine research is an integral part
of the program. Guest presentations are made possible
with the help of contributions from the Durham Fund.
The following speakers are presenting in 2016:
JAN UA RY 2016
“Molecular Imaging and Engineering of Stem
for Regenerative Medicine”
Zhe Wang, PhD
Research Fellow, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging
and Bioengineering,
National Institutes of Health
Dr. Wang’s research looks at the application of molecular
engineering methods to generate polypeptides/proteins
for 1) nanomedicine, especially in cancer and regenerative
medicine and 2) molecular imaging of cellular functions and
metabolism. He also studies the integration of chemistry, biology, pharmaceutical science,
material science and nanotechnology to design, synthesize and characterize polymeric
biomaterials for diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. Additionally, Dr. Wang has
been looking at stem cells in relation to traumatic brain injury using animal models.
FE B RUA RY 2016
“Unraveling Endogenous
Cardiac Regeneration”
Johannes (Jop) van Berlo, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Division,
Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota
Dr. van Berlo’s lab studies the mechanisms that
drive cardiac regeneration. The ultimate goal of his
research is to identify novel therapeutic strategies to
enhance cardiac regeneration in patients. They mainly
use animal models to study cardiac regeneration and
have developed targeted mouse models to perform
genetic lineage tracing of cardiac progenitor cells. Broadly, his lab has two
independent lines of research, one aimed at studying the role of endogenous cardiac
progenitor cells and one aimed at understanding cardiomyocyte proliferation.
Regenerative Medicine | 16
M A RC H 2016
“Guiding Cardiomyocytes to a Regenerative State”
Caitlyn O’Meara, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital,
Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology,
Brigham Regenerative Medicine Center
As an independent investigator, Dr. O’Meara’s long-term plan is to implement
the genetic mapping strategies that she acquired during her graduate
school training to identify and validate factors that control mammalian
regeneration. For her initial goal, she will employ genetically inbred strains
and transcriptional profiling approaches to dissecting differences in mouse
and rat heart regenerative potential. The candidate factors identified
using these tools will then be validated in vitro and in vivo. Similar techniques have been successfully
used to dissect mammalian complex phenotypes such as hypertension, heart failure, cancer, and kidney
disease among many others, yet genetic mapping techniques have for the most part not been applied to
mammalian regeneration. As she establishes her lab she plans to broaden the scope of mapping projects
with new collaborations to use the powerful potential of genetics in the field of regenerative medicine.
APR I L 2016
Amir Hirsa, PhD
Professor, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Nuclear Engineering,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York
Amir H. Hirsa received his B.S. degree in aeronautics from San Jose
State University in 1983, and M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees in aerospace
engineering from University of Michigan in 1986 and 1990, respectively.
He joined the RPI faculty in 1990. His current research interests are in the
area of interfacial hydrodynamics, including monolayer hydrodynamics
(such as measurements and modeling of intrinsic interfacial viscosities
for lung surfactant applications), and other surface tension effects
such as capillarity (e.g. capillary instability and its applications to liquid
lenses). His work in the area of bio-fluids also includes studies of protein
structure in the presence of flow, especially at the air/water interface. He
has made advances to experimental techniques including particle image velocimetry, nonlinear optical
technique of second-harmonic generation, as well as Brewster angle microscopy for flowing systems. His
lab also works in the area of microfluidics, especially in relation to free surface effects. His research has
received funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Annual Report | 17
Regenerative Medicine Speakers
M AY 2016
Adrian Gombart, PhD
Principal Investigator, Linus Pauling Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry
and Biophysics, Oregon State University
Dr. Gombart’s research is focused on understanding the
regulation of antimicrobial peptide expression by the vitamin
D pathway. When immune cells called macrophages
encounter a pathogen and become activated, the vitamin
D pathway is turned on, leading to the induction of the
cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide if serum levels of vitamin
D are sufficient. His lab has developed a transgenic mouse
that carries the human cathelicidin gene. Using this model,
they are testing the ability of vitamin D to protect against infection by influenza, Salmonella,
and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Vitamin D has been used to treat tuberculosis, and its
deficiency is associated with increased risk of tuberculosis. This model will allow them to
test the role of vitamin D and cathelicidin during initial infection, latency, and reactivation.
SE P TE M BE R 2016
Song Li, PhD
Chancellor Professor, UCLA Biomedical Engineering Program
Dr. Li’s research interests include vascular cell and tissue
engineering, stem cell engineering, mechano-chemical signal
transduction, biomimetic matrix and molecules, bioinformatic
applications in tissue engineering, and molecular
dynamics. Professor Li is actively involved in expanding
the curriculum and promoting graduate/undergraduate
research activities in the area of cell and tissue engineering.
Professor Li has introduced a new course on Cell and
Tissue Engineering, which is offered in spring semester.
Regenerative Medicine | 18
Conferences, Meetings, and Workshops
May 10-11, 2016
Rockefeller University, NY, NY
Annual meeting of the
New York State Stem Cell
Science program, featuring
keynote Sean Morrison
10th World Biomaterials
May 17-22, 2016
Quebec, Canada
11th Annual World Stem
Cells Regenerative
May 18-20, 2016
London, UK
The Stem Cell Niche–
Development & Disease
May 22-26, 2016,
Hillerød, Denmark
2016 TERMIS-AP Conference
May 23-28, 2016
Tamsui Town of New Taipei City
International Society for
Cellular Therapy
May 25-28 2016
Bioprocessing of Advanced
Cellular Therapies
June 2-3, 2016
London, UK
Bioinspired Materials
Gordon Research Conference
June 5-10, 2016
Girona, Spain
EMBL Hematopoietic Stem
Cells: From the Embryo to
the Aging Organism
June 3-5
Heidelberg, Germany
Mouse Development, Stem
Cells, & Cancer CSHL
June 8-28, 2016
Cold Spring Harbor, NY USA
Germline Stem Cells
Conference, Abcam meeting
before ISSCR
June 19-21, 2016
San Francisco, California, USA
ISSCR 14th Annual Meeting
June 22-25 , 2016
San Francisco, California, USA
TERMIS-EU Conference
June 28- July 1, 2016
Uppsala, Sweden
International Conference on
Next Generation Sequencing
July 21-22, 2016
Berlin, Germany
Notch Signaling in
Development, Regeneration
& Disease
Gordon Research Conference
July 31-August 5, 2016
Lewiston, ME, USA
Tissue Niches & Resident
Stem Cells in Adult Epithelia
Gordon Research Conference,
Regulation of Tissue
Homeostasis by Signaling in
the Stem Cell Niche
August 7-12
Hong Kong, China
KLF and Sp Transcription
Factors in Disease and
Regenerative Medicine
August 7-12, 2016
Snowmass, USA
Biotechnology World
August 15-17, 2016
Sao Paulo, Brazil.
TERMIS-AM Conference
September 3-6, 2016
San Diego, USA
2nd International Conference
& Exhibition on Tissue
preservation and Biobanking
September 12-13, 2016
Philadelphia, USA
Tissue Science and
Regenerative Medicine
September 12-14, 2016
Berlin, Germany
11th World Congress on
September 19-21, 2016
New Delhi, India
10 Years of IPSCs, Cell
September 25-27, 2016
Berkeley, CA, USA
The Company of Biologists
Workshops: From Stem Cells
to Human Development
September 25-28, 2016
Southbridge, MA, USA
2nd International Conference
and Exhibition on Molecular
Medicine and Diagnostics
September 26-28, 2016
Orlando, Florida, USA
International Conference on
Cardiovascular Medicine
October 10-11, 2016
Manchester, UK
Till & McCulloch Meetings
October 24-26, 2016
Whistler, BC, Canada
International Conference on
Restorative Medicine
October 24-26, 2016
Chicago, USA
Cellular Therapies
Manufacturing & Clinical
October 27-28, 2016
Whistler, BC, Canada
World Congress on
Human Genetics
October 31- November 02, 2016
Valencia, Spain
12th Biotechnology Congress
November 28-30, 2016
San Francisco, CA, USA
ASH Annual Meeting
December 3-6, 2017
San Diego, CA, USA
International Conference
on Histocompatibility and
December 5-6, 2016
San Antonia, USA
2016 World Stem Cell
December 6-8, 2016
West Palm Beach, FL, USA
Changing the face of modern
medicine: Stem Cells & Gene
October 18-21, 2016
Florence, Italy
Annual Report | 19
Ancillary Studies in the NIDDK Intestinal
Stem Cell Consortium (R01)
Expiration Date: January 8, 2019
This funding opportunity invites investigatorinitiated research project applications
for ancillary studies to a major ongoing
study, the Intestinal Stem Cell Consortium
(ISCC), supported by the NIDDK and NIAID.
Research projects should be designed to
capitalize on or contribute to the already
established ISCC infrastructure and ongoing
research to enhance the scientific output
of the proposed project and/or the ISCC.
NIH PA-16-040
Bioengineering Research Grants (R21)
Expiration Date: January 8, 2019
The purpose of this FOA is to encourage
submission of EBRG applications which
establish the feasibility of technologies,
techniques or methods that: 1) explore a unique
multidisciplinary approach to a biomedical
challenge; 2) are high-risk but have high impact;
and 3) develop data which can lead to significant
future research. In addition, NIAMS would also
like to use the R21 mechanism to stimulate
and promote research in building complex
3-dimensional in vitro musculoskeletal and skin
tissue models to study developmental biology,
physiology, and disease pathogenesis as well
as for drug discovery and toxicity studies.
PD 15-1491
Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering
Full Proposal Window: October 1-20, 2016
A quantitative treatment of biological and
engineering problems of biological processes
is considered vital to successful research
projects in the BBE program. The program
encourages highly innovative and potentially
transformative engineering research leading
to novel bioprocessing and manufacturing
approaches, and proposals that address
emerging research areas and technologies that
effectively integrate knowledge and practices
from different disciplines which incorporating
ongoing research into educational activities.
Regenerative Medicine | 20
Development of New Technologies
and Bioengineering Solutions for the
Advancement of Cell Replacement
Therapies for Type 1 Diabetes (R43/R44)
Expiration Date: June 29, 2016
It is necessary to investigate methods to
use different cell sources including human
progenitor cells and induced pluripotent
stem cells as a valid option for cell
replacement therapy. Also, further research
on the potential use of xenogeneic cells/
islets is needed. This RFA encourages the
development of techniques to maintain and
expand human physiologically responsive
insulin-producing cells derived from stem/
progenitor cells to make them suitable for
cell replacement and disease modeling.
NIH NICHD PAR-13-094 & PAR-13-095
Differentiation and Integration of
Stem Cells (Embryonic and InducedPluripotent) Into Developing or
Damaged Tissues (R01 and R21)
Expiration Date: September 8, 2016
The primary focus of this FOA is to promote in
vivo studies of stem cells in animal models and
in humans (if applicable) to better understand
how stem cells function within developing
or damaged tissues. The purpose is to gain
in-depth knowledge of the mechanisms
involved in: progressive differentiation of
Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) into embryonic
lineages, progenitor cells and specialized cell
types; adult stem cells/progenitor cells during
tissue regeneration and wound healing; and
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) at
the site of injury during stem cell therapy.
PA-14-124 & PA-14-125
Alcohol-Induced Effects on Tissue
Injury and Repair (R01 and R21)
Expiration Date: May 8, 2017
NIAAA is especially interested in integrative
research that elucidates alcohol’s effects
on complex mechanisms of injury and
repair that are either common or specific to
each organ system. This FOA encourages
the study of alcohol’s effect on stem cells,
embryonic development, and regeneration.
Also encouraged are studies on molecular
and cellular actions of moderate alcohol
consumption. A better understanding
of these underlying mechanisms may
provide new avenues for developing
more effective and novel approaches for
prognosis, diagnosis, intervention, and
treatment of alcohol-induced organ damage.
NSF PD 14-7479
Biomechanics and Mechanobiology
Full Proposal Window: September
1-15, 2016; February 1-15, 2017
This program supports fundamental research
in biomechanics and mechanobiology. An
emphasis is placed on multiscale mechanics
approaches in the study of organisms that
integrate across molecular, cell, tissue, and
organ domains. The influence of in vivo
mechanical forces on cell and matric biology
in the histomorphogenesis, maintenance,
regeneration, and aging of tissues is
an important concern. In addition, the
relationships between mechanical behavior
and extracellular matrix composition
and organization are of interest.
PD 15-5345
Biomedical Engineering
Full Proposal Window:
Annually, October 1-20, 2016
Projects should include methods, models
and enabling tools of understanding and
controlling living systems; fundamental
improvements in deriving information from
cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems;
new approaches to the design of structures
and materials for eventual medical use in the
long-term; and novel methods for reducing
health care costs through new technologies.
NSF PD 06-7623
Full Proposal Window: Annually,
September 1-October 31, 2016
This program supports fundamental materials
research related to (1) biological materials,
(2) biomimetic, bioinspired, and bioenabled
materials, (3) synthetic materials intended for
applications in contact with biological systems,
and (4) the processes through which nature
produces biological materials. Projects involving
in vitro demonstration of biological compatibility
and efficacy are appropriate, but the program
can support only limited in vivo studies. Tissue
engineering and drug/gene delivery projects
must have a specific focus on fundamental
materials development and characterization.
Mary and Dick Holland
Regenerative Medicine Program
University of Nebraska Medicial Center
Regenerative Medicine
985965 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5965
402-559-7584 | Fax: 402-559-7521
Nora Sarvetnick, PhD
Director, Regenerative Medicine Program
Professor, Surgery-Transplant, College of Medicine
402-559-6735 | [email protected]
Jan Martin, MA
Administrator, Regenerative Medicine
402-559-3803 | [email protected]
Jenni Irving, PhD
Administrative Project Associate, Surgery-Transplant
402-559-7584 | [email protected]
Heather Jensen Smith, PhD
Research Coordinator, Surgery-Transplant
402-559-9379 | [email protected]
Neha Woods, PhD
Research Administrator Specialist, Surgery-Research
402-559-5540 | [email protected]
Annual Report | 21
Mary and Dick Holland
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