Biological Sciences Engineering

Angela K. Pannier, PhD
Professor
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Research Interests: The long-term goal of the Pannier Lab is to understand and design innovative biomaterials and gene delivery systems to advance biotechnology, diagnostics, fundamental understanding of embryology and tissue development, and regenerative medicine therapies. Research projects within the Pannier Lab are focused in three different themes including nonviral gene delivery, tissue engineering, and protein-cell-biomaterial interactions. Within the nonviral gene delivery theme, our aim is to determine and understand the mechanisms that render cells responsive to the transfer of genetic material (e.g. DNA), concentrating on the cell microenvironment, the interaction between cells and biomaterials, and the intracellular processes and subsequent signaling involved during nonviral gene delivery. Within the tissue engineering theme, our objective is to develop biomaterial scaffolds and culture systems to understand and promote tissue, organ, and organism development, regeneration, and growth. Within the protein-cell-material interaction theme, projects aim to make use of a novel combinatorial spectroscopic ellipsometry and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation analytical technique to uncover new and unique information on processes that occur at biomaterial interfaces, which are critical to the performance of biomaterials in biotechnological and therapeutic applications.

The experimental approaches developed in the Pannier Lab provide valuable insights to the fields of gene delivery and biomaterials, with very promising potential for future scientific discovery and translation to therapeutic, biotechnological, and tissue engineering applications.

For more information on Dr. Pannier, check her lab's website.

Rebecca Wachs, PhD
Assistant Professor
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Research Summary: The goal of her lab is to understand mechanisms of orthopedic pain and develop targeted biomaterial therapeutics to treat this pain.  Low back pain is one source of orthopedic pain recognized as a widespread clinical problem resulting from degeneration and innervation of the intervertebral disc. Dr. Wachs’ current research aims to create novel biomaterial therapies to target undesired nerve growth and sensitization, and develop in vitro test beds to understand mechanisms of pain.

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