Harnessing Small Signaling Molecules for Bone Regenerative Engineering: A Convergence Approach
Speaker: Prof. Kevin Lo, UConn Health
Date: Feb 21, 2020; Time: 2:30pm Location: BPB 131
Abstract: Clinicians and scientists working in the field of regenerative engineering are actively investigating a wide range of methods to promote musculoskeletal tissue regeneration. Small-molecule-mediated tissue regeneration is emerging as a promising strategy for regenerating various musculoskeletal tissues and several small molecule compounds have been recently discovered as potential signaling molecules for skeletal tissue repair and regeneration. However, a major challenge associated with utilizing these small molecules to regenerate a specific tissue/organ is the delivery of the therapeutic compounds directly to the target site to minimize potential systemic side effects. The presentation will focus on our recent work with small molecules that have the capacity to promote osteoblast differentiation and mineralization. Several proactive controlled delivery approaches have been developed in order to minimize off-target side effects of small molecules and will also be discussed.
Biographical Sketch: Dr. Kevin Lo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at UConn Health and an Affiliate Faculty Member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute of Materials Science at UConn. He also serves as the Assistant Director of Education for the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering at UConn Health. In addition, he has held editorial positions on several prestigious international peer-reviewed journals including PLoS ONE and Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. His broad research interests are regenerative engineering, drug delivery, biochemistry and cellular molecular biology. He has authored more than 45 publications in these areas. Research grants from NIH, NSF, State of Connecticut, UConn School of Medicine, and private foundation have supported his work in the institute. His current research programs include musculoskeletal regeneration using inductive small molecules and osteotropic nanoscale drug delivery systems. He is a board member of the Regenerative Engineering Society of American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Dr. Lo has led a NSF-funded summer research program to recruit a number of under-representative students to the Connecticut Convergence Institute for hand-on research experience in the areas of biomedical engineering. Dr. Lo is very active in community engagements. He has organized the Kavli Science Café and the Aetna Health Café monthly seminar series programs which aim to bring science and novel healthcare concepts to the local underserved community groups in Connecticut.