Department Seminar, Distinguished Lecturer Series

Engineering materials for functional nerve regeneration

Speaker Details:

Christine Schmidt
Pruitt Family Professor & Department Chair, J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of Florida

Lecture Details:

January 19, 2017
12:30 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.
Foege S060, Genome Sciences Auditorium


Damage to spinal cord and peripheral nerve tissue can have a devastating impact on the quality of life for individuals suffering from nerve injuries. Our research is focused on analyzing and designing biomaterials that can interface with neurons and specifically stimulate and guide nerves to regenerate. These biomaterials might be required for facial and hand reconstruction or in trauma cases, and potentially could be used to aid the regeneration of damaged spinal cord.

New technologies to aid nerve regeneration will ultimately require that biomaterials be designed both to physically support tissue growth as well as to elicit desired receptor-specific responses from particular cell types. One way of achieving such interactive biomaterials is with the use of natural-based biomaterials that interact favorable with the body. In particular, our research has focused on developing advanced hyaluronan-based scaffolds that can be used for peripheral and spinal nerve regeneration applications.

Speaker Bio:

Christine E. Schmidt received her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1988 and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1995 (with D. Lauffenburger). She conducted postdoctoral research at MIT (with R. Langer) as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, joining the University of Texas at Austin Chemical Engineering faculty in 1996. She was one of the founding faculty members of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UT Austin, and was at UT Austin until December 2012, when she moved to become the Chair of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. Dr. Schmidt is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), and a Fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE) of the International Union of Societies of Biomaterials Science and Engineering. She has served as the Chair for the College of Fellows for AIMBE, as a member of the Board of Directors for BMES, and as the Conference Chair for the BMES annual meeting in 2010.