Melissa Kinney, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Boston Children’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Toward a Systems-Level Understanding of Stem Cell Fate”
Stem cell-derived organoids promise broad translational potential for applications ranging from drug screening to transplantation and regeneration. These complex, and often functional, tissue-like structures arise largely from endogenous patterning and morphogenesis of pluripotent stem cells within three-dimensional spheroids. Our research efforts aim to control and perturb these processes through a quantitative understanding of stem cell fate dynamics and engineering of the biophysical spheroid microenvironment. This seminar will present insights into the integration of extrinsic stimuli, cell intrinsic cues and signaling mechanisms, raising questions on how to establish design parameters and judiciously perturb these complex stem cell systems.
Melissa Kinney is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working jointly between the laboratories of George Daley and Douglas Lauffenburger in the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children's Hospital and the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT, respectively. She received a PhD in 2014 after working with Todd McDevitt in the Wallace H Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University and a BS in biomedical engineering from Boston University in 2008. Dr. Kinney's research is focused on integrating stem cell biology, tissue engineering, and systems biology to quantitatively model and control stem cell fate.