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  • Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering

    Wed, Feb 21, 2024 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, Ph.D., William H. Schwarz Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering The Johns Hopkins University

    Talk Title: Cell Mechanosensing and Prognostic Assays in Cancer

    Abstract: Cell locomotion is a critical step in the process of cancer metastasis, as it enables cancerous cells dissociating from a primary tumor to navigate through interstitial tissues and ultimately colonize distant organs. Metastasizing cells migrate through three-dimensional (3D) longitudinal channel-like tracks created by various anatomical structures or generated via remodeling of extracellular matrix by cancer-associated stroma cells. This seminar will present a multidisciplinary approach, integrating bioengineering tools with molecular and cell biology techniques to understand cancer cell migration in precisely engineered microenvironments, which recapitulate in vitro the 3D longitudinal channels encountered in vivo. The plasticity of cancer cell migration will be discussed, focusing on how cells sense, adapt, and respond to different physical cues, such as confinement and extracellular fluid viscosity. Moreover, this presentation will outline how our current knowledge on the mechanisms of cell motility has led to the development of a novel microchannel assay capable of distinguishing aggressive from non-aggressive cancer cells for accurate diagnosis, prognosis and precision care of cancer patients. 

    Biography: Received the Diploma of Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece in 1989 and the doctorate in Chemical Engineering from Rice University, Houston, Texas in 1995. After his postdoctoral training in the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering at Rice University, he joined the faculty of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins in 1997, and served as Department Chair from 2008 till 2017. He holds secondary appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Oncology. He is Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). His signature research focuses on how cells sense and respond to different physical cues. He is known for deciphering a new mechanism of tumor cell migration in confinement called the Osmotic Engine Model, for identifying extracellular fluid viscosity as a novel physical cue regulating cancer metastasis, and for developing innovative prognostic and diagnostic assays in cancer. He has also discovered key functional selectin ligands involved in tumor cell adhesion to host cells, and characterized biophysically these receptor-ligand interactions at the single-molecule level. He has published over 160 peer-reviewed articles in premier journals such as Nature, Cell, Nature Biomedical Engineering, Science Advances etc.  His work has been cited ~13,500 times with an h-index of 66. Eleven of his mentees have launched successful academic careers in premier institutions, whereas another 18 have joined the government or industry and now hold leading appointments.  He is currently the PI or MPI on multiple NIH R01 and CDMRP grants. 

    Host: Peter Wang

    Location: Corwin D. Denney Research Center (DRB) - 145

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Carla Stanard

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