2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Materials Science & Engineering
Mentor: Sarah Heilshorn, Materials Science & Engineering

Photo of USRP student Alice Wang in the laboratory, putting samples into a centrifuge.Poor cell survival and function after transplantation limits the therapeutic potential of the cells that have been transplanted for spinal cord injuries. The Heilshorn group has developed a protein-engineered biomaterial that has been shown to enhance cell survival and proliferation post-transplantation. Alice will investigate the mechanism of how this biomaterial affects the behavior of cells using a 3D in vitro model, and focusing on how the biomaterial’s stiffness alters the cells’ ability to secrete soluble factors.