Engineering Precision Biomaterials for Personalized Medicine

Date(s) - 12/09/2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Brian Aguado, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, College of Engineering & Applied Science, University of Colorado Boulder

The future Aguado Research Group will develop “precision biomaterials” that enable the evaluation of a patient’s unique biology to diagnose and treat a variety of health disorders as a function of sex, age, and/or ancestry. Precision medicine is a movement in clinical practice that seeks to develop therapies tailored for specific patients or subsets of patients. As mounting evidence suggests that the “one size fits all” approach to medicine is ineffective, my future lab seeks to exploit biomaterials as in vitro culture tools or implantable devices in vivo to understand how patient-specific variables may impact disease onset, progression, and treatment. In my talk, I will describe my past, present, and future work in precision biomaterials. During my graduate training with Prof. Lonnie Shea at Northwestern University, I developed implantable biomaterial scaffolds for the recruitment and early detection of metastatic cancer cells, which may serve as a platform to capture disseminating tumor cells for downstream precision medicine applications. My current postdoctoral research is focused on engineering personalized in vitro disease models of aortic valve stenosis using serum from individual aortic valve stenosis patients to culture valve and cardiac fibroblasts and hydrogels as extracellular matrix mimics. I will also share my outlook for future work in exploring sex differences in cardiovascular disorders using precision biomaterials. In sum, precision biomaterials may serve as tools to improve our understanding of how patient-specific variables impact disease mechanisms and guide more effective diagnostics and treatments for individual patients or subsets of patients.


Dr. Brian Aguado is currently a NIH K99/R00 and Burroughs Wellcome Fund postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Aguado completed his BS degree in Biomechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and completed his MS and PhD degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. He also obtained his certificate in Management for Scientists and Engineers from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. Dr. Aguado is also a dedicated science communicator outside of the lab and seeks to engage underrepresented populations in the sciences. He served as President of the Postdoctoral Association of Colorado, organized seminars featuring underrepresented thought leaders in STEM for CU Café, and served on the executive board for Project Bridge Colorado to advocate for evidence-based policy decisions at the CO State Capitol. Most recently, he co-founded LatinXinBME, a new social media initiative dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive community of Latinx biomedical engineers and scientists to support each other personally and professionally through their careers.