March 31, 2015 –
Time: 7 – 8 pm
Location: Gowen Room, Wilson Commons
Purpose: Town Hall provides Grads and UnderGrads the opportunity to hear from President Seligman the State of the College and to ask any questions.
April 7, 2015 –
Department of Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. Thesis Defense Seminar
“Enzymatically-responsive Poly(ethylene glycol) Hydrogels for the Controlled Delivery of Therapeutic Peptides”
Presented by: Amy H. Van Hove
Supervised by: Prof. Danielle Benoit
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 8:30 AM
Robert B. Goergen Hall
Sloan Auditorium, Room 101
Therapeutic angiogenesis holds great potential for treatment of ischemic tissues and in tissue engineering, where insufficient vascularization limits construct size, complexity, and anastomosis with host vasculature. However, no FDA approved treatments exist to robustly enhance vascularization within ischemic tissue. Many pro-angiogenic approaches have been developed, often via delivery of angiogenic proteins or peptides. Peptides typically mimic the bioactivity of larger proteins or growth factors, and offer advantages over traditional protein delivery. However, like proteins, peptides suffer from rapid clearance and poor pharmacokinetics when delivered systemically. Therefore, a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogel-based platform technology was developed to control and sustain peptide drug release via matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity.
In vitro bioactivity testing identified three peptides (Qk (from Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor), SPARC113, and SPARC118 (from Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine)) that retained bioactivity in their expected released forms (e.g., with residual amino acids left by MMP substrates after cleavage). Incorporation of these peptides into hydrogels flanked by MMP-degradable substrates successfully produced hydrogels with enzymatically-responsive hydrogel degradation and peptide release behaviors. Qk, SPARC113, and SPARC118-releasing hydrogels were confirmed to release bioactive components in vitro after MMP-mediated degradation. Further investigation revealed key peptide drug properties, specifically size and hydrophobicity, control the rate of hydrogel degradation and peptide release. When implanted subcutaneously, SPARC113 and SPARC118-releasing hydrogels both significantly increased vascular ingrowth compared to controls without significantly affecting vessel size. As the longitudinal availability of VEGF has been shown critical for bioactivity, alternate hydrogels were developed to provide temporal control over enzymatically-responsive release of Qk, the VEGF peptide mimic. Modifying the MMP-degradable linker used to tether Qk to hydrogels provided temporal control over enzymatically-responsive peptide release in vitro and in vivo. Qk was confirmed to be bioactive as released, but hydrogels releasing Qk failed to induce significant vascularization in vivo, likely due to use of non-degradable hydrogels. The hydrogels developed represent promising pro-angiogenic therapies, and can be easily adapted to control release of a variety of therapeutic molecules.
April 9, 2015 –
Mentor Development Workshop
Please join us a special presentation by Cynthia N. Fuhrmann, PhD, Assistant Dean of Career and Professional Development at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Scientists today face tremendous challenges-from keeping research funded to competing in a saturated job market. To address this reality, NIH recently mandated that all PI's report on the use of Individual Development Plans (IDP) by students and postdocs. Dr. Fuhrmann, co-author of the online tool "myIDP" hosted by AAAS/Science, will describe the benefits and challenges of creating an IDP and tools to assist in this process. She will end by discussing ways to incorporate IDPs and career development into graduate or postdoctoral training while maximizing research productivity, using the NIH BEST-funded UMass Medical School curriculum as one model.
When: Thursday, April 9th from 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Where: K-207 Auditorium (Room #2-6408)
Lunch is provided – Click here to RSVP
For graduate students and postdocs only- special session to follow Sponsored by The Clinical and Translational Science Institute and The Office of Faculty Development and Diversity “Using Individual Development Plans to enhance both research productivity and career development”.
April 9, 2015 –
The Center for Professional Development presents a special session for graduate students and postdocs with Cynthia N. Fuhrmann, PhD, Assistant Dean of Career and Professional Development at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Dr. Fuhrmann is the co-author of the online tool “myIDP” hosted by AAAS/Science. This session will give graduate students and postdocs the opportunity to interact with Dr. Fuhrmann and informally discuss questions you have regarding your own individual development plans.
When: Thursday, April 9th from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Northeastern Conference Room (1-9535)
Click here to RSVP
Light refreshments will be served
The Center for Professional Development’s mission is the supplement every trainee’s scientific education with professional and career development opportunities most appropriate to each individual trainee’s interests and skills.