KEVIN E. HEALY – UC Berkeley
Kevin E. Healy, Ph.D
Jan Fandrianto Distinguished Professor in Engineering
Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, and Bioengineering
University of California at Berkeley

Biography:

Kevin Healy is a Professor in the Departments of Material Science and Engineering, and Bioengineering at the University of California at Berkeley. His research focuses on biomaterials, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. Specifically, Dr. Healy focus on the relationship between materials and the cells or tissue they come in contact with. He has done extensive research in regenerative medicine, from drug delivery to stem cell research. He has been a Jan Fandrianto Distinguished Endowed Professor since 2008 and received many other awards and acknowledgements. The Healy Laboratory at UC Berkeley focuses on many research areas, such as stem cells, bioinspired systems for regenerative medicine, and biological interfaces

Prior to his work with the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Healy was a Professor at Northwestern University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Before he became an educator in 1990, Dr. Healy earned his Ph.D in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He worked at Northwestern for about 10 years before moving to the University of California at Berkeley in 2000. He has risen from an Associate Professor to the Chair of the Department of Bioengineering and runs his own lab group at the university.

 

Bioinspired Polymer Networks for Stem Cell Expansion and Tissue Manufacturing.
Highly regulated signals in the stem cell microenvironment such as matrix stiffness, ligand adhesion density, growth factor presentation and concentration, and tissue architecture have been implicated in modulating stem cell differentiation, maturation, and ultimately tissue function. Therefore, for applications spanning human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) expansion and differentiation to tissue biofabrication it is desirable to have independent control over these biochemical and mechanical cues to analyze their relative and combined effects on cell function and tissue formation. Accordingly, we have developed synthetic ECM (sECM) hydrogels, in which biophysical and biochemical properties are tailored to specific tissue types, defined as “design for optimal functionality”. We have also explored alternative sECM designs, defined as “design for simplicity,” in which a deconstructed, minimalist sECM is employed and biology performs the customization in situ. This presentation will discuss our progress in developing: 1) synthetic polymer interfaces for the expansion of hPSCs in defined media; and, 2) in situ forming sECM hydrogels, with growth factor sequestering capacity, as potential bioinks and as assistive matrices for transplantation of hPSCs into diseased or damaged tissue. These synthetic microenvironments have great potential for overcoming major bottlenecks for tissue biofabrication and improving the long-term results of regenerative therapies.