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Harnessing Micro and Nanotechnologies for Better Cell Therapies

Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 12:00 PM
NH 203

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Bioengineering Department Seminar

Ke Cheng, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Veterinary Medicine 
UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University


No therapy currently available can reduce the size of an established scar on the heart. Cell therapy aims to alter this fixed trajectory for MI survivors: to intervene adverse heart remodeling, to reduce scar size, and to actually regenerate viable myocardial tissue. The last 15 years witnessed the booming of stem cell therapies for multiple diseases. Our lab has been studying heart-derived cardiac stem cells for the past seven years. Efficacy in cell transplantation is hampered by low rates of cell retention and engraftment in the tissue parenchyma. We have developed multiple bioengineering strategies to enhance the delivery of stem cells. Also, stem cells must be carefully preserved to keep them alive and functioning until the time of transplant, and there are some risks involved in cell transplantation. We have engineered synthetic stem cells to overcome these barriers.

Ke ChengBio:

Ke Cheng is an associate professor of biomedical engineering and veterinary medicine at UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University. He heads a research program at the interface of regenerative medicine and biomedical engineering. Prior to this position, Cheng was an assistant professor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the UCLA School of Medicine, where his research focused on stem cells and regenerative medicine in animal models. Cheng also served as the director of the stem cell lab for multiple clinical trials, including one which used a patient’s own cardiac stem cells to treat a heart attack.

Cheng earned his B.S. degree in pharmaceutical engineering from Zhejiang University and his Ph.D. degree in biological engineering from the University of Georgia. His research has been summarized in journals such as Lancet, Nature Communications, Circulation, Circulation Research, and Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and his lab has been continuously funded by grants from NIH.

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