J. Kent Leach
Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of California, Davis
12 PM, Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017
1065 Kemper Hall
Abstract: Advances in early detection of disease and increases in lifespan motivate the need for new strategies to repair or replace damaged organs and tissues. My research is directed toward incorporating cues from the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) into the design of cell culture platforms and tissue engineered constructs. By applying fundamental principles in cell and molecular biology, biomaterials, and biotransport phenomena, we are developing engineered materials-based strategies to enhance the local oxygen microenvironment and direct the behavior of transplanted or host cells within tissue defects. I will present examples of our recent work in designing biomaterials from cells and natural and synthetic polymers to generate resorbable, instructive implants.
Biography: Kent Leach received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 2003. He then completed postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan and Harvard University focused on the controlled delivery of multiple growth factors from engineered materials for tissue regeneration. He joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis in 2005. He also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the UC Davis School of Medicine, and he is the Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group. Since 2010, he is an Associate Editor for the Annals of Biomedical Engineering, the flagship publication for the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), and he serves on the America’s Council for the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS). He is a standing member of the Biomaterials and Biointerfaces (BMBI) study section for NIH, and he is an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). He has published more than 80 full-sized research papers and reviews. His present research interests are focused on engineering cell-instructive biomaterials for tissue engineering and translation from the bench to the clinic.