9:15 – 10:15 am

Category: Biomed

Stem Cells and Bioengineering for Development of Brain Repair Strategies

In our nervous system, the death of neurons is often a devastating consequence of neurodegenerative diseases or severe injury. A significant problem with developing useful therapies for treating neural disorders is developing effective methods that prevent further loss of nerve cells and facilitate recovery of function. As such, repair strategies often must comprise a multi-factorial approach addressing several issues, including optimization of survival and function of remaining neural tissue, the modulation of trophic influences to promote repair, and perhaps possible replacement of lost cells. Professor Sakaguchi will discuss his highly collaborative, interdisciplinary research program that merges stem cell biology and bioengineering to develop experimental brain and tissue repair strategies in his presentation. When combined, these enabling technologies can contribute to developing novel therapeutic strategies with biomedical applications. His laboratory’s educational goal is to effectively integrate research with educational activities and train high school students and teachers, undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in interdisciplinary studies to produce next-generation biologists, bioengineers, and educators.

Session Takeaways:
1. Define the characteristics of adult neural stem cells
2. Describe differences with respect to cell-cell interactions that can occur in cell culture between 3 dimensional (3D) vs. 2 dimensional (2D) platforms
3. Describe potential benefits and constraints of using organ-on-chip strategies for biomedical research.

Dr. Donald Sakuguchi

Morrill Professor; Director of Biology and Genetics Undergraduate Programs, Iowa State University

Dr. Donald Sakaguchi, Morrill Professor in the Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology, received his B.S. in Biology and Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the State University of New York-Albany. After serving as a postdoctoral scholar and research biologist at the University of California-San Diego, Dr. Sakaguchi joined the faculty at Iowa State University as an Assistant Professor. He has served as Chair of the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Neuroscience at ISU, and is currently Director of Biology and Genetics Undergraduate Programs. Dr. Sakaguchi’s research lab is located in the Nanovaccine Institute, a transdisciplinary research institute housed in the Advanced Research and Teaching Building on the Iowa State campus.