In this issue: Innovation and ImpactFeatured PublicationsBioengineers in the News

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UW Bioengineering chair Cecilia GiachelliWelcome to UW Bioengineering’s Winter/Spring 2016 eNews!

I’m pleased to send you this update on our advances in bioengineering research and education, as well as recognize recent achievements of our students and faculty.

I hope you enjoy this issue.


Cecilia Giachelli, Ph.D.
W. Hunter and Dorothy Simpson Endowed Chair, Professor
Department of Bioengineering
University of Washington

Innovation and Impact

A micrograph of a motor neuron cell showing its extended fibers.TAxI peptide reveals promising new strategies for drug delivery to central nervous system

Faculty Drew Sellers and Suzie Pun have discovered that a small peptide called TAxI, or Targeted Axonal Import, can transport a recombinant protein from muscle into motor neurons. Their findings may lead to new strategies for treating motor neuron diseases like ALS.

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A composite image of HeLa cells stained sequentially with antibodies to five different proteins.Stir no more: Gao lab shows that draining speeds up bioassays

Associate Professor Xiaohu Gao’s lab has demonstrated a new method that reduces wait times for biological assays to minutes. The researchers propose that their “soak, drain and repeat” approach could lead to faster experiments and medical diagnostics.

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UW Bioengineering Professor Patrick StaytonPatrick Stayton named Distinguished Career Professor of Bioengineering

Professor Patrick Stayton’s appointment as UW Bioengineering’s first Distinguished Career Professor recognizes his excellence in research, teaching, entrepreneurship, leadership and service.

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Suzie Pun, Professor of BioengineeringSuzie Pun named 2015 National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Professor Suzie Pun’s election to this high professional honor recognizes her prolific spirit of innovation. NAI Fellows create or facilitate outstanding inventions that improve quality of life, economic development and societal welfare.

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Student Award winners at Health Innovation ChallengeStudents win $7,500, second and third place prizes at UW Health Innovation Challenge

miPS Labs and MultiModal Health were selected from 18 teams that pitched to more than 90 judges at the March 3 event, which offered students an opportunity to pursue solutions to important health care issues and build entrepreneurial skills.

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Photo of Bioengineers without Borders Anesthesia Device TeamBioengineers without Borders team receives PATH Health Innovation Portfolio grant

Bioengineers without Borders (BWB) recently secured a six month grant from Seattle’s PATH to support further development of an anesthetic delivery device for low-resource clinical settings.

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Featured Publications

Photonic Crystal Optical Tweezers with High Efficiency for Live Biological Samples and Viability Characterization

Jing P, Wu J, Liu GW, Keeler EG, Pun SH, Lin LY. Scientific Reports.

New Dynamic Rotamer Libraries: Data-Driven Analysis of Side-Chain Conformational Propensities

Towse CL, Rysavy SJ, Vulovic IM, Daggett V. Structure.

Quantitative proteomics identify DAB2 as a cardiac developmental regulator that inhibits WNT/?-catenin signaling

Hofsteen P, Robitaille AM, Chapman DP, Moon RT, Murry CE. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Wide-field optical coherence tomography based microangiography for retinal imaging

Zhang Q, Lee CS, Chao J, Chen CL, Zhang T, Sharma U, Zhang A, Liu J, Rezaei K, Pepple KL, Munsen R, Kinyoun J, Johnstone M, Van Gelder RN, Wang RK. Scientific Reports.

Contractile properties of developing human fetal cardiac muscle

Racca AW, Klaiman JM, Pioner JM, Cheng Y, Beck AE, Moussavi-Harami F, Bamshad MJ, Regnier M. The Journal of Physiology.

Modeling Fatty Acid Transfer from Artery to Cardiomyocyte

Arts T, Reneman RS, Bassingthwaighte JB, van der Vusse GJ. PLoS Computational Biology.

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Bioengineers in the News

Charles Murry in officeCharles Murry’s winding path to the forefront of stem cell science

UW Health Sciences NewsBeat profiled UW professor of pathology, bioengineering and medicine/cardiology Charles Murry’s journey from medical school to a Ph.D. and back again, to the forefront of cardiac stem cell science and engineering.

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Cover of Advanced Healthcare MaterialsDeok-Ho Kim’s work featured on Advanced Healthcare Materials cover

Assistant Professor Deok-Ho Kim and collaborators have demonstrated that electroconductive nanopatterned substrates can enhance the maturation and differentiation of skeletal muscle cells. The work was featured as the cover article of the first issue of Advanced Healthcare Materials in 2016.

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Liver cellsKelly Stevens’s image of “tissue engineering in action” selected for 2016 Wellcome Image Award

Assistant Professor Kelly Stevens’s photo capturing human liver tissue growing in a mouse’s damaged liver was selected for a 2016 Wellcome Image Award. The Wellcome Image Awards celebrate the scientists, clinicians and photographers who bring science to life through remarkable imaging.

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UW Bioengineering Ph.D. candidate Alex JiaomiPS: BioE Ph.D. candidate’s startup aims to freeze cells to repair your body later

Graduate student Alex Jiao, a Ph.D. candidate in Assistant Professor Deok-Ho Kim’s lab, co-founded startup miPS with a novel idea: allow consumers to freeze their cells now, and be able to regenerate their bodies later. miPS was recently featured on Seattle’s KOMO TV.

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