Professor of Bioengineering
Adjunct Professor of Chemical Engineering
Phone: (206) 221-5876
Office: Foege N310C
UW Bioengineering faculty James Bryers

James Bryers

We are developing biomolecular and biomaterial technologies to prevent infections, engineer immunity, and generate unique extracellular vesicles to manipulate the healing process.

Engineering infection immunity
Nucleic acid vaccine delivery
Exosome Engineering for Tissue Regeneration
Anti-biofilm based biomaterials technologies

Engineering Infection Immunity
This project will develop a Staphylococcus aureus (SA) vaccine delivery system comprising:

An injectable biodegradable (i.e., temporary) porous hydrogel “depot” that releases nanoparticles containing self-replicating mRNA (SR-mRNA) vaccine vectors expressing multi-valent SA adhesin genes. Novel cationic polymers condense and charge neutralize anionic SR-mRNA vaccines into nanoparticles (known as “polyplexes”) that are incorporated into the liquid hydrogel prior to injection and subsequent gelation. Specifically, we are interested in quantifying the dynamics of immunized dendritic cells in T cell and B cell activation following vaccination.

Engineering Exosomes for Tissue Regeneration
The worldwide stem cell therapy market is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.5% from 2015 to 2020, reaching US$330M by 2020. However, limitations such as:

  1. Ethical issues related to embryonic stem cells
  2. Difficulties related with the preservation of stem cells
  3. Recent research findings that the structural contribution of stem cells to regenerated tissues is actually very small

Are starting to compromise the promised potential of stem-cell based therapies. Recent research has thus shifted away from cell based therapy to a paracrine hypothesis, investigating the stimulating factors released and received by cells, including: growth factors, cytokines, and extracellular vesicles (EVs; i.e., exosomes and microvesicles containing angiogenic factors, transcription factors, miRNAs). Work proposed here will determine whether myeloid cells, i.e., can be engineered to differentiate (or trans-differentiate) into desired non-myeloid lineages through an orchestrated engineering of EV exchange within our novel biomaterials platform.

PhD, Chemical Engineering, Rice University, 1980
BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Houston, 1969
Research Assistant Professor, Institut für Biotechnologie, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschulen (ETH), Zürich Switzerland. 1980-1988
2004 College of Fellows, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, Washington, DC.
1996 Hunter Distinguished Visiting Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University
1996 Speaker, Biofilm Infections, Gordon Conference on Biomaterials
1994-present Member Board of Review Editors, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, J. Wiley Publ
1997 Session Chair, Infection and Inflammation, Gordon Conference on Biomaterials
1992-1997 J. Monod Visiting Professorship, Institute Pasteur, Paris France

BIOEN 490: Engineering Materials for Biomedical Applications
BIOEN 486/586: Tissue Engineering I

In the News