Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2018
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisors: Sarah Heilshorn (Materials Science & Engineering) and Theo Palmer (Neurosurgery)

Research Title: Robust and Efficient Expansion of Human Neural Stem Cells for Clinical Translation

Research Description: Neural stem cells (NSCs) have immense clinical potential Photo of graduate student Bauer LeSavage in the lab, pipetting inside a tissue culture treat a wide range of injuries and diseases. However, the lack of a robust in vitro NSC expansion platform has resulted in clinical trial failures and precluded their use in life-saving therapies. Bauer’s proposal aims to design 3D, scalable hydrogels with tunable matrix properties for the culture, maintenance, and expansion of human NSCs. Specifically, his hydrogel platform exploits both biophysical and biochemical strategies to encourage cell-cell signaling for enhanced stem cell proliferation, while also providing an efficient mechanism for safe release of NSCs from the hydrogel.


Bauer is a scientist at ImmuneBridge in San Francisco developing natural killer cell immunotherapies for cancer.