News & Events
09/02/2014 - Three new Ph.D. candidates joined our
lab: Meghan McGill, B.S. from Northeastern
University; Nicole Raia, B.S. from the University of Massachusetts,
Amherst; Sarah Bradner, B.S. from Union College.
09/01/2014 – Erica Palma was awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) F31 Pre-doctoral
Fellowship titled: A 3D microperfusion model of autosomal dominant
polycystic kidney disease.
09/01/2014 – Karolina Chwalek was awarded with the German Research
Foundation (DFG) Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers.
08/20/2014 – Another successful Kaplan Lab retreat! In the
relaxing setting of East Boothbay, Maine, we strategized and
discussed how we can conduct research better: make it more impactful
and undertake it more efficiently. There was also time to relax,
play sports and take a swim in the sea. Thanks everyone in the lab
for making the 2014 retreat such a great success!
08/11/2014 – Our group published on
3D tissue engineered model of
brain-like tissue. The functional model can be sustained for over two months
and can be used to study effects of drugs and trauma on brain tissue. Its
novelty was widely discussed in the news such as
Nature World News and many more.
06/20/2014 – Whitney Stoppel was awarded a
TEACRS (Training in Education
and Critical Research Skills) Postdoctoral Fellowship funded by the
NIH-sponsored Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award
Program for postdocs at Tufts.
06/16/2014 – 06/20/104 – Kaplan's group
hosted the Tissue Engineering Summer Workshop as (a TERC
initiative). Twelve Tufts graduate students had the opportunity to
learn about biomaterials, cell culture, bioreactors, mechanical
analysis, imaging and spectroscopy. Check back for more information
on next summer's offering.
06/12/2014 – Jeannine's new paper is out!
Surgery combined with controlled-release doxorubicin silk films as a
treatment strategy in an orthotopic neuroblastoma mouse model.
Chiu B, Coburn J, Pilichowska M, Holcroft C, Seib FP, Charest A, Kaplan DL.
Br J Cancer. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.324.
05/30/2014 – Sezin's new publication is out!
Bioengineered Silk Gene Delivery System for Nuclear Targeting
Yigit S, Tokareva O, Varone A, Georgakoudi I, Kaplan DL
Macromol Biosci. 2014 May 30. doi: 10.1002/mabi.201400113
Dr. Albina Franco
of the 3B's Research Group, University of Minho, Portugal, joined
our lab as a visiting scientist. She will work with us for the next
3 months focusing on the ACROSS project (Development of
AntimiCRObial SPider Silk sutures for preventing surgical infections
Project reference - PTDC/BBB-BIO/0827/2012 (FCT R&D Project)).
Microbial infections are one of the most devastating clinical complications
of surgical and other medical implants. The development of sutures with
antimicrobial properties represents a recent effort for reducing this type
of infection, decreasing health care costs and improving the quality of life
of patients. In this way, the research objective of
ACROSS project is to
develop antimicrobial spider silk sutures produced through recombinant DNA
technology against pathogens involved in postoperative wound infections. To
achieve this purpose chimeric proteins will be produced by combining the
outstanding mechanical properties of spider silk with peptides with
05/10/2014 – Karolina's new paper is out!
Hierarchically structured nerve guidance channels based on
poly-3-hydroxybutyrate enhance oriented axonal outgrowth.
Hinüber C, Chwalek K, Pan-Montojo FJ, Nitschke M, Vogel R, Brünig H,
Heinrich G, Werner C.
Acta Biomater. 2014 May;10(5):2086-95. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2013.12.053.
05/09/2014 – Karolina's new paper is out!
Tissue-engineered 3D tumor angiogenesis models: Potential technologies for
anti-cancer drug discovery.
Chwalek K, Bray LJ, Werner C.
Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2014 May 9. pii: S0169-409X(14)00100-8. doi:
10.1016/j.addr.2014.05.006. [Epub ahead of print] Review.
05/08/2014 – We had a goodbye dinner for Elise DeSimore, Roberto Elia and
Stephanie McNamara to celebrate their successful defenses and plans for the
05/01/2014 – Nurdan's new paper is out!
NHE3 phosphorylation via PKCη marks the polarity and orientation of
directionally migrating cells.
Ozkucur N, Song B, Bola S, Zhang L, Reid B, Fu G, Funk RH, Zhao M.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2014 May 1. [Epub ahead of print]
04/18/2014 – Roberto Elia defended his Ph.D. thesis: Electrodeposited silk
coatings for functionalized implant applications
Congratulations Dr. Elia!
04/15/2014 – Stephanie McNamara defended her M.Sc. thesis: Silk-based
fabrication of hydroxyapatite ceramic scaffolds for bone regeneration
04/12/2014 – Kaplan Spring Group Meeting Research Review
04/09/2014 – Elise DeSimone defended her M.S. thesis: Human in vitro
tissue-model of the cerebral neurovascular unit
03/19/2014 – Nurdan's new paper is out!
Phospho-NHE3 forms membrane patches and interacts with beta-actin to sense
and maintain constant direction during cell migration.
Perike S, Özkucur N, Sharma P, Staroske W, Bläsche R, Barth K, Funk RH.
Exp Cell Res. 2014 May 15;324(1):13-29. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2014.03.005.
Epub 2014 Mar 19.
03/19/2014 – Karolina's new paper is out!
Glycosaminoglycan-based hydrogels to modulate heterocellular communication
in in vitro angiogenesis models.
Chwalek K, Tsurkan MV, Freudenberg U, Werner C.
Sci Rep. 2014 Mar 19;4:4414. doi: 10.1038/srep04414.
03/12/2014 – Olena's new publication is out!
Effect of sequence features on assembly of spider silk block copolymers.
Tokareva OS, Lin S, Jacobsen MM, Huang W, Rizzo D, Li D, Simon M, Staii C,
Cebe P, Wong JY, Buehler MJ, Kaplan DL
J Struct Biol. 2014 Jun;186(3):412-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2014.03.004
03/01/2014 – Sarah Lightfoot Vidal, IGERT Fellow in the Soft Material Robotics
at Tufts started her Fulbright fellowship to work in Concepción, Chile at
the Centro de Investigación de Polímeros Avanzados (CIPA) in collaboration
with the Functional Polymers department at the Universidad de Concepción.
Her project focuses on the development of a polymer blend of
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) for wound healing applications.
was awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) F32 postdoctoral
fellowship. Her work will focus on integration of biopolymer design
and modeling for silk gene delivery systems.
Olena Tokareva attended the ASME 2014 3rd Global Congress on
NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology (NEMB2014) in San Francisco, CA.
During that meeting Olena was awarded with the NEMB2014 Post-Doc Conference
Award to reward her outstanding research.
09/05/2013 – Jeannine Coburn was awarded
with a National Institutes of Health (NIH) F32 postdoctoral
fellowship. Her work will focus on developing a human, in vitro
renal fibrosis model.