Recent breakthroughs in stem cell biology and tissue engineering ushered a new field of regenerative medicine as they created opportunities for recapitulating the biochemical signaling of embryo development and thus mimicking human organ formation in vitro. With recent explosive progress in biology and engineering, it is now possible to differentiate pluripotent stem cells into complex 3D organ-like tissues, called mini organs. We are seeking an undergraduate summer student who would work at the interface of chemical engineering and developmental biology to help in developing quantitative in vitro platforms of growing mini organs from stem cells. The main goal of these platforms is dissecting the complex regulatory networks that drive cell specialization in the course of human organ development and to create novel physiologically relevant assays of human diseases. In particular, the Simunovic lab investigates the very first cell fate decisions in making of human organs and the processes at the placenta-uterine interface. We hope to not only contribute to the biology of organ development but also to elucidate the nature of devastating early pregnancy disorders. The student will learn basic techniques in tissue engineering, stem cell biology, and also computational modeling of RNA transcriptomics data, which are crucial in revealing the detailed signaling pathways in stem cell differentiation. Therefore, part of this project can be done remotely. We are excited to offer a meaningful learning opportunity, so no prior stem cell biology knowledge or tissue engineering experience is expected, only passion for biomedical discovery and innovation.
Lab: The Laboratory of Synthetic Human Organogenesis
Direct Supervisor: Mijo Simunovic
Position Dates: 6/28/2021 - 8/20/2021
Hours per Week: 40
Qualifications: Chemical or biological engineering, chemistry, or biology
Eligibility: Junior, Senior, Master's