Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Time: 11:00 am
Talk Title: Why should we care about macrophages? New methods for measuring macrophage polarization.
Most modern drug formulations are encapsulated within nanoparticles, biomaterials, or protein conjugations. Macrophages are innate immune cells that maintain tissue homeostasis by aiding in the initiation, progression, and resolution of immune response. As such, macrophages are among the first cells to interact with nano-formulated therapeutic materials. It was largely believed that macrophages represented an obstacle for nanoparticle drug delivery, that macrophages would phagocytose these therapies and inhibit the overall efficacy. However, newly available information, suggests that macrophages can act as slow-release drug reservoirs. Moreover, that this drug release can occur in a polarization phenotype dependent manner. The precise manner in which macrophages phenotype impact nanoparticle uptake may yield insight into the design of precision therapeutics. Current methods for macrophage assessment involve genomic and proteomic measurements that while sensitive require fixation, tissue homogenization, thereby losing the real-time dynamics. This talk will discuss new strategies for measuring macrophage polarization. In addition, this talk will discuss new strategies for engineering macrophages to control drug delivery.
Elizabeth Wayne is a TED Fellow and Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. Elizabeth Wayne works at the interface of immunology and biomaterials engineering, designing nanoparticles and diagnostic tools that can modulate macrophage phenotype. Currently, she is applying these concepts to investigate air-pollution, lung regeneration, atherosclerosis, pre-eclampsia, and cancer.
Dr. Wayne is a science communicator who uses her platform to discuss the future of immunotengineering and issues related to underrepresented minorities in science. In 2017, she gave a TED Talk on immunoengineering which currently has been viewed over 1.5 million times. Dr. Wayne was featured in the Super Cool Scientists: A Women in Science Coloring Book. She is also the co-host of the show PhDivas, a podcast that tells the stories of women in leadership and higher education. Dr. Wayne has been interviewed and written in various platforms including PBS News Hour Brief but Spectacular Series, Aspen Ideas Health Festival, Nature Careers, Nature Medicine, Bust Magazine, The Atlantic, and the LA Times.