Seminar: Song Li: “Mechanobiology of Cell Reprogramming”

  • March 19, 2018 • 11 AM – 12 PM
  • Busch Hall, Room 100, Washington University in St. Louis

Speaker: Song Li, Chancellor Professor and Chair, Dept. of Bioengineering and Medicine University of California, Los Angeles

Sponsor: Institute of Materials Science & Engineering, Washington University
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST

Location: Busch Hall, Room 100

Cell reprogramming into induced pluripotent stem cells or direct conversion of differentiated cells into a completely different lineage have wide applications in regenerative medicine, disease modeling and drug screening. Although the roles of transcriptional factors and chemical compounds in direct reprogramming have been widely studied, the effects of biophysical factors on cell reprogramming are not well understood. Here I will use the models of cell reprogramming into pluripotent stem cells, cardiomyocytes and neurons to demonstrate how the biophysical factors in the fluid phase and substrate (microtopography, stiffness) modulate the epigenetic state, transcriptional factors and mechanotransductive cellular structures and thus the reprogramming efficiency. Our findings provide insights into the roles of biophysical factors in regulating cell reprogramming and the underlying mechanism, which will open a new avenue for the rational design of smart biomaterials for cell reprogramming.

Dr. Song Li received his B.S. and M.S. from Peking University, and had his Ph.D. and postdoctoral training at UC San Diego with Professor Shu Chien. Dr. Li was a Professor of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley between 2001 and 2015, and moved to UC Los Angeles in 2016. Currently he serves as the Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at UC Los Angeles.  Dr. Li’s research is focused on stem cell engineering, mechanobiology and cardiovascular bioengineering. His recent work on cell engineering elucidates the mechanisms of cell reprogramming regulated by biophysical factors. He also identified a new type of vascular stem cells and his work contributed to the understanding of how stem cells participate in the disease development, remodeling and regeneration of blood vessels. Dr. Li is also actively involved in the translation of research findings to bioengineering applications.  Dr. Li has been elected as a Fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, a Fellow of Biomedical Engineering Society, and a Fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering.

Faculty, students, and the general public are invited.