Lexi Rindone, Chair (January 1, 2022 - December 31, 2024)
Lexi is a Postdoctoral Fellow working in the labs of Professors Jennifer Elisseeff and Warren Grayson at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her BS in Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, working in Professor Warren Grayson’s lab. Her PhD research focused on the development of a quantitative 3D light-sheet imaging platform to study the interactions of blood vessels and stem cells during skull bone growth, healing, and remodeling. Her research interests include orthopaedics, stem cells, biomaterials, and immunology. Outside of the lab, Lexi enjoys working out, playing tennis, exploring local farmers’ markets and shops, and spending time with her partner, Kyle, and their cat!
Mickael Dang, Chair-Elect (January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2024)
Mickael is a PhD student at the University of Toronto, working in Professor Molly Shoichet’s lab. He received his BSc in Biomedical Sciences at the University Paris Descartes and his MASc in Applied Physics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay. His research mainly focuses on developing a novel hydrogel platform for the delivery of therapeutics to treat chronic open-angle glaucoma. Being passionate by translational medicine and entrepreneurship, he hopes to bring his research to the clinic in the near future.
Navein Arumugasaamy, Past Chair
I’m currently a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park, in Dr. John Fisher’s Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Laboratory. My research involves developing a tissue model of the placental maternal-fetal interface to investigate how substances present during pregnancy influence this barrier, and to what extent these substances cross the barrier and affect fetal cells. I’ve utilized this model to assess transport of Zika Virus from mother to fetus and plan to assess how antidepressants taken during pregnancy influence the barrier, as well as fetal cardiovascular cells. I received my bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 2014.
Austin Bow, Secretary
Austin Bow received his PhD for comparative and experimental medicine in December of 2019 from the University of Tennessee, with research focuses on both design/characterization of biomaterials for tissue engineering and the isolation/characterizing of primary stem cell lines from multiple species, including humans, rats, pigs, horses, and goats. Specifically, cells were derived from sources that included adipose tissue, bone marrow, and dental pulp. The interaction of these primary cells with novel material constructs, particularly those targeting bone repair, comprised the bulk of both his graduate studies and a portion of his work as a postdoctoral research associate in the same lab for the following two years. He has experience in both metabolomic and RNA sequencing analytical techniques as they apply to both in vitro and in vivo systems. During his time as a postdoctoral research associate, he developed extensive experience with 3D printer systems, both FDM and DLP based, and CAD software for building custom biomaterial geometries. He has recently started as a research scientist in the biology division of Colossal Biosciences, where his responsibilities focus on establishing non-model mammalian cell lines and performing multiplex genetic edits using novel technologies.
Emi Kiyotake, Treasurer
Emi is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oklahoma under Prof. Michael Detamore. She completed her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma in 2020 with her thesis entitled, “Development of a Conductive Hydrogel for Translational Spinal Cord Regeneration”. In addition to her interest in conductive, photocrosslinking hydrogels with gold nanorods for spinal cord injury, her current research focuses on the development of cartilage extracellular matrix-based, photocrosslinking hydrogels for cartilage regeneration.
Paula Fraczek, Communications Officer
Paula is a Biomedical Engineering PhD Candidate and NSF GRFP Fellow in Dr. Carlos Aguilar’s lab at the University of Michigan. Her research uses bioinformatics and tissue engineering approaches to understand how age-related changes to cellular metabolism, reactive oxygen species regulation, and the epigenome are intertwined and inhibit the ability of muscle stem cells to regenerate skeletal muscle following injury.
Adam Jorgensen, Chair of the Scientific and Professional Development Committee
Adam is an M.D./Ph.D. Candidate working in the Atala lab at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He is the recipient of the 2019 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Outstanding Student Award of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society—Americas for his article titled, “Bioprinted Skin Recapitulates Normal Collagen Remodeling in Full-thickness Wounds.” He is an NIH F30 NRSA Fellowship recipient for his thesis research on “Integration and remodeling of bioprinted skin in full-thickness wound healing.” His other research pursuits include generation of a novel spherical skin organoid for in vitro drug testing and dermatologic disease modeling, the use of both cellular and acellular hydrogels and scaffolds for wound healing applications, and biofabrication of hair follicles. Outside of research, Adam enjoys snow skiing, Crossfit, homemade sourdough bread, faith, and some good BBQ with his wife Anna by his side.
Jacqueline Larouche, 2022 Programming Chair
Jacqueline is a Biomedical Engineering PhD candidate in Carlos Aguilar’s lab at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research focuses on elucidating intercellular communication networks that confer muscle satellite cell impairments and developing in vivo reprogramming-based therapeutic strategies for age-associated muscle wasting and volumetric muscle loss.
Erik Jacques, 2022 Programming Chair
Erik currently works at the Terrence Donnelly Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, and has an educational background in Biomedical Engineering. His research focuses on muscle satellite cell quiescence and the development of in vitro assays for endogenous muscle repair. Outside of the lab, Erik enjoys running, photography, and hiking.
Nila Wu, 2022 Programming Chair
Nila is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Prof. Alison McGuigan. In the McGuigan Lab, Nila is developing a 3D in vitro tumour model and complementary image-based assays, to interrogate the effect of the tumor microenvironment on patient-derived organoids upon standard of care chemotherapy treatment.