Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2017
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisors: Fan Yang (Orthopaedic Surgery, Bioengineering) and Ovijit Chaudhuri (Mechanical Engineering)

Research Title: Uncovering the Role of Biochemical Cues on Modulating Stem Cell Mechanotransduction and Differentiation: A Biomaterials-based Approach

Research Description: Matrix stiffness has been shown to modulate adult stem cell differentiation via mechanosensing. However, how biochemical cues modulate mechanosensing and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) remains unknown due to the lack of biomaterials tools that support hPSC attachment on hydrogels and poor conjugation efficiency of biochemical cues. This proposal aims to address this bottleneck by developing hydrogels with robustPhoto of graduate student Alice Stanton in the lab, examining samples. conjugation efficiency and tunable biochemical cues to uncover the role of biochemical cues in modulating mechanosensing and differentiation of hPSCs. The proposed work will be guided by an interdisciplinary team composed of basic and clinician scientists with complimentary expertise in biomaterials, stem cells, mechanobiology and tissue engineering. The outcomes of the research will substantially advance knowledge in mechanobiology and accelerate clinical translation of pluripotent stem cell-based therapies for tissue repair.


Alice is a postdoctoral fellow at MIT in Robert Langer’s laboratory.