Headshot portrait of Heather Rogan - Rogers Family Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow
Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2016
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisors: Fan Yang (Orthopaedic Surgery, Bioengineering), Constance Chu (Orthopaedic Surgery), and Bo Wang (Bioengineering)

Research Title: Harnessing stem cells to catalyze cartilage regeneration

Research Description: Cartilage injuries represent a huge socioeconomic burden and represent a leading cause of disability among adults, profoundly impacting the lives of those afflicted, yet effective therapies remain elusive. Native cartilage cells (chondrocytes) are an attractive cell source for cartilage repair but are very limited in supply. Heather aims to harness fat-derived adult stem cells in conjunction with chondrocytes to enhance cartilage formation, minimizing the chondrocytes required. She further seeks to discover the molecular mechanisms that lead to enhanced cartilage formation during co-culture of chondrocytes and adult stem cells together. Finally, she will use novel biomaterials to support neocartilage formation, ultimately serving as a graft to repair cartilage defects.


Heather is an Engagement Manager at Headland Strategy Group, a biotech consulting firm focused on assisting healthcare companies with commercial, corporate (BD/M&A), and portfolio and R&D strategy.