Project Title: Toward tissue engineering the first human facet joint
I am a post-doctoral fellow in Department of Biomedical Engineering within the Driving Engineering & Life-science Translational Advances @ Irvine (DELTAi) group under the mentorship of Dr. Kyriacos Athanasiou. My primary research interest is the development and translation of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine therapies for musculoskeletal repair. My current project focuses on engineering cartilage tissue for the facet joint using self-assembled cartilage. My interest within musculoskeletal tissue engineering began during my Master’s research with Dr. Lawrence Bonassar at Cornell University, in which my project focused on generating shape-specific auricular cartilage for ear replacements. During my Doctoral research with Dr. Elizabeth Loboa in the Joint Biomedical Engineering Department at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill & North Carolina State University, I studied the use of adult adipose derived stem cells for musculoskeletal repair. My current project works at the intersection of basic science and preclinical research. Within our group, we actively working toward the eventual clinical translation of self-assembled cartilage. It has been fascinating to explore the regulatory challenges that surround the translation of tissue engineered cartilage, and I plan to continue this work throughout my ICTS training.