Edward A. Phelps, Ph.D.

Edward A. Phelps, Ph.D. ephelps@bme.ufl.edu
Phelps Laboratory

1275 Center Drive, Biomedical Sciences Building J383, Gainesville, FL 32611

T: (352) 273-5876

Associate Professor

Biomaterials, regenerative medicine, immunoengineering and diabetes


B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006
Ph.D., Bioengineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2011
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Bioengineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), 2016

Research Summary:

Dr. Phelps’s research is focused on biomaterials engineering as a strategy for regenerative therapies with emphasis in the area of type 1 diabetes. Phelps specializes in bio-synthetic cellular microenvironments (e.g., bio-functionalized polyethylene-glycol hydrogel) for controlled presentation of bioactive signals to drive regenerative responses in vivo. He has developed biomaterials for therapeutic angiogenesis and to improve the viability and function of transplanted insulin-producing pancreatic islets. Phelps is working to develop novel immunomodulatory biomaterials strategies to counter autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes. Phelps also uses advanced light microscopy methods to investigate aspects of basic pancreatic islet biology including the immunopathogenesis of diabetes autoantigens (e.g., GAD65) and the role of neurotransmitter paracrine signaling in regulating islet function.

Honor and Awards:

  • UF Excellence Award for Assistant Professors, 2021
  • J. Crayton Pruitt Family Term Fellow, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, 2020 – 2023
  • Young Investigator Award, Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD), 2018
  • Controlled Release Society, Drug Delivery and Translational Research Outstanding Research Paper Award, 2016
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2014
  • Whitaker International Program Postdoctoral Scholarship, 2012
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Bioengineering Program Best Ph.D. Thesis Award, 2012
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, President’s Fellowship, 2010
  • Society for Biomaterials STAR Award, 2009
  • American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship, 2008

Recent Publications:
Google Scholar Citations Link

Becker MW, Peters LD, Myint T, Smurlick D, Powell A, Brusko TM, Phelps EA. Immune engineered extracellular vesicles to modulate T cell activation in the context of type 1 diabetes. Science Advances. 2023. 2023 Jun 2;9(22):eadg1082. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.adg1082

Santini-González J, Simonovich JA, Castro-Gutiérrez R, González-Vargas Y, Abuid NJ, Stabler CL, Russ HA, Phelps EA. In vitro generation of peri-islet basement membrane-like structures. Biomaterials. Biomaterials. 2021 Jun;273:120808. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2021.120808

Widener AE , Bhatta M , Angelini TE , Phelps EA . Guest-host interlinked PEG-MAL granular hydrogels as an engineered cellular microenvironment. Biomaterials Science. 2021 Apr 7;9(7):2480-2493. https://doi.org/10.1039/d0bm01499k

Menegaz D, Hagan DW, Almaça J, Cianciaruso C, Rodriguez-Diaz R, Molina J, Dolan RM, Becker MW, Schwalie PC, Nano R, Lebreton F, Kang C, Sah R, Gaisano HY, Berggren PO, Baekkeskov S, Caicedo A, Phelps EA. Mechanism and effects of pulsatile GABA secretion from cytosolic pools in the human beta cell. Nature Metabolism. 2019 Nov;1(11):1110-1126. https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-019-0135-7