Immune Cells for Tissue (Re)Generation

Date(s) - 02/24/2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Communicore, C1-11

Erika Moore, Ph.D., Rhines Rising Star Larry Hench Assistant Professor, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida

My research group seeks to develop a comprehensive understanding of how immunology influences tissue regeneration. The first part of my talk will focus on the development of a 3D tissue model for microvessels. We used this 3D model to understand how macrophages, innate immune cells, can be leveraged to enhance microvessel formation. We found that M2 macrophages, pro-tissue healing macrophages, support vessel development while M1 macrophages, pro-inflammatory macrophages, retarded vessel development in our 3D model. Our group’s current work is focused on understanding the roles of innate and adaptive immunity in tissue regeneration following injury. Specifically, we are assessing the roles of B cells in injury by implanting a pro-healing biomaterial or a pro-fibrotic biomaterial. After sorting B cells from multiple organs, we conducted single-cell sequencing analysis to uncover new populations of B cells in each of the biomaterial conditions. This work generates enhanced comprehension of how biomaterials skew the immune state and how the immune cells regulate tissue regeneration in the context of biomaterials.

Bio: Erika Moore is the inaugural Rhines Rising Star Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. She defended her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University in May of 2018. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Erika’s work broadly focuses on understanding how immune cells can be leveraged to enhance tissue regeneration. Under the guidance of Dr. Jennifer L. West at Duke University, Erika’s thesis focused on the use of macrophages, innate immune cells, to support vascularized engineered tissue. This work has been published in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Advanced Biosystems and Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine. Erika was also awarded the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation from the Duke University Department of Biomedical Engineering for this work. Erika currently works as a visiting assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University. Her current work, in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Elisseeff, focuses on the roles of B cells, adaptive immune cells, during biomaterial-mediated healing. Ongoing research efforts seek to develop materials capable of directing immune cells towards desired clinical outcomes. Erika is a former Trustee on the Duke Board of Trustees. She has been awarded the NSF Graduate Fellowship, the Ford Foundation Fellowship, as well as the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship from Johns Hopkins University.