Prof. Ashlee N. Ford Versypt, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
“Systems Biomedicine and Pharmaceutics: Multiscale Modeling of Tissue Remodeling and Damage“
Research interests: Multiscale modeling of tissues, treatments, and toxicology
Abstract: Dr. Ford Versypt leads the Systems Biomedicine and Pharmaceutics research lab, which develops and uses multiscale systems engineering approaches including mathematical modeling and computational simulation to enhance understanding of the mechanisms governing tissue remodeling and damage as a result of diseases and infections and to simulate the treatment of those conditions to improve human health. The lab specializes in (a) modeling mass transport of biochemicals through heterogeneous porous materials—primarily extracellular matrices—that change morphology dynamically due to the influence of chemical reactions and (b) modeling dynamic, multi-species biological systems involving chemical, physical, and biological interactions of diverse, heterogeneous cell populations with these materials and the chemical species in tissue microenvironments. In this seminar, vignettes of three lines of research will be highlighted including (1) glucose-stimulated damage to kidney cells during diabetes, (2) cell movement through complex tumor microenvironments under the influence of various chemical signals, and (3) viral and immune-induced damage in SARS-CoV-2 infected lung tissue. This work is currently supported by an NSF CAREER award and NIH R35 MIRA grants. Additionally, Dr. Ford Versypt is active in engineering education research and training. She will briefly showcase some of her team’s interactive computing activities as chemical engineering educational tools in university and informal learning environments for broad access to students, educators, researchers, and lay people.
Prof. Scott Forth, Department of Biological Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
“Deciphering the mechanical code in complex microtubule networks”
Abstract: Cells must complete intricate mechanical tasks during a wide variety of biological processes ranging from the segregation of chromosomes during mitosis to forming and maintaining the axon and dendrites in neurons. To accomplish these diverse tasks, cells have evolved complex networks of force-generating and load-bearing elements in the form of the dynamic cytoskeleton. Consisting of elements such as microtubules, actin filaments, and a host of motor and non-motor proteins, these networks can perform mechanical work and transmit forces that push and pull cellular components. These networks span micron-scale distances, yet are built from nanometer-sized proteins that are 1000s of times smaller than the network itself. How these individual “building blocks” work collectively as ensembles to perform distinct mechanical tasks and allow the cell to maintain its structural integrity under load is unclear, as directly characterizing forces in this context has proven challenging. The Forth lab aims to bridge this critical knowledge gap by building these networks out of purified components and directly measuring their response to applied forces using biophysical tools such as optical tweezers and single molecule fluorescence microscopy. In this talk, I will describe recent work from our lab that focuses on understanding the mechanical functions of essential microtubule crosslinking proteins needed for successful cell division
The BioInspired Graduate & Postdoctoral Professional Development Program is excited to announce our next workshop series on Project Management, a valuable set of skills for scientists and engineers in the lab or any professional setting.
Workshop #3: Modern Project Management Methodologies, Jeremy Steinbacher, PhD, BioInspired Institute
In the first workshop in our series, we discussed the fundamentals of project management, mostly framed around the traditional “waterfall” project methodology. These foundational concepts are important for practicing scientists and engineers, but the linear waterfall framework does not typically offer enough flexibility for the fast-paced, changeable realities of discovery-based, innovative projects like research and technology development. Thus, the last two decades have seen the emergence of project management methodologies designed to formalize processes needed to manage rapidly-evolving research and development projects. In this workshop, we will discuss the general principles around these “extreme” project frameworks as well as specific methodologies like Agile, Scrum, SAFe, and others. Though many such frameworks were created with software development in mind, they offer valuable lessons for workers conducting fundamental research.
In this workshop series, industry professionals from Ichor Therapeutics (Lafayette, NY) and Jeremy Steinbacher, Director of Operations BioInspired will present four workshops and a panel discussion to introduce and refine concepts of Project Management. Workshops include:
The Nuts and Bolts of Project Management: Monday, February 27, Jeremy Steinbacher, BioInspired Institute
Managers in Technical Projects: Monday, March 20 Aaron Wolfe, CSO Ichor Therapeutics
Modern Project Management Methodologies: Wednesday, April 12, 3:30 pm, Jeremy Steinbacher, PhD, BioInspired Institute. Register Now!
Stakeholder Management: Monday, May 1, Kelsey Moody, PhD, MBA, CEO Ichor Therapeutics
Panel Discussion: May (date TBD)
Scientists and engineers routinely use aspects of project management without even realizing it, but these skillsets can be honed and used intentionally to enhance the successful execution of experiments, writing projects, and fostering collaborative efforts. Besides helping you more thoughtfully navigate your current projects at Syracuse, project management is an important, marketable skillset for future employment.
After attending four of these five events, you will earn the Project Management badge from the Professional Development Program, which can be displayed on your LinkedIn profile.