​​

 

 

https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Defects-in-tissue-trigger-disease-like-transformation-of-cells.aspx875Defects in tissue trigger disease-like transformation of cells<div class="youtube-wrap"><div class="iframe-container"> <iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/a1j7EUzABs0"></iframe> <br/> <br/></div></div><p style="margin: 5px; font-size: 16px; font-style: italic; font-weight: normal;">Cells invading into the tissue-like collagen-I matrix under the defective basement membrane.</p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/ToC_schematic_v2.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>Homeowners know that one little termite can lead to big problems: While termites are efficient at gnawing away at <g class="gr_ gr_55 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="55" data-gr-id="55">wood</g>, they can do even more damage if the wood is already broken or has another defect.</p><p>Mechanical engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have found the same effect in some of the body's tissue: One small defect in tissue boundaries known as the basement membrane can lead normal cells to take on characteristics of diseased cells, such as cancer cells, and invade the surrounding tissue.</p><p>In research published online May 16 in <em>Integrative Biology</em>, Amit Pathak, associate professor of mechanical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and his team found this feedback loop with epithelial cells. These simple cell colonies act as the body's defense against the outside world and also line the inside of the throat, intestines, blood vessels and organs, meaning the epithelial cells could provide a little link to a much bigger issue. Knowledge of this relationship could help researchers find new therapies to halt cancer metastasis.</p><p>Researchers already knew that in cancer, epithelial cells transition into mesenchymal types that can degrade the basement membrane, a process stimulated by enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). This process causes further defects in healthy tissue and allows cancer to metastasize. Pathak's team is the first to discover that the reverse also is true — preexisting defects in the basement membrane, such as a wound or small incision, <g class="gr_ gr_60 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar multiReplace" id="60" data-gr-id="60">are</g> enough to encourage the normal cells to take on disease characteristics, leading to further degradation of the basement membrane.</p><p>Pathak and his team fabricated a basement membrane model using a <g class="gr_ gr_50 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="50" data-gr-id="50">hydrogel coated</g> with collagen IV, a protein that is the main and most important structural component of the basement membrane. They added normal epithelial cells, which like to stick together, then made a small cut in the gel. After six days, the cells started to break apart, move around and invade the gel, mimicking a tumor invading healthy tissue.</p><p>"Because of the defect, the cells started to show signatures of diseased cells," Pathak said. "If there was no defect, they would have stayed the same. This small defect of less than one-tenth of a millimeter caused this whole process of these cells changing."</p><p>To show that the cells would have remained the same without the defect, Pathak and his team treated them with an inhibitor of MMPs, which are known to degrade the basement membrane in wound healing. The cells did not change and did not invade the basement membrane.</p><p>Previously, researchers believed that once tumor cells <g class="gr_ gr_61 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Grammar multiReplace" id="61" data-gr-id="61">became</g> malignant, they would degrade the basement membrane.</p><p>"This finding shows that we shouldn't take basement membrane degradation as an inevitable outcome," Pathak said. "In addition to targeting tumor cells, we can determine therapeutic strategies that make the basement membrane more stable. If it is more stable, then we can at least slow down and possibly reverse metastasis."</p><p>In addition to the hydrogel model, Pathak and his team made a computational model integrating the biochemical and biophysical effects of the defects on the cellular transitions, which allowed them to make predictions on which they will base future experiments.<br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p>Walter C, Davis J, Mather J, Pathak A. "Physical defects in basement membrane-like collagen-IV matrices trigger mesenchymal transition and invasion in normal epithelial cells." <em>Integrative Biology</em>. Online May 16, 2018. <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C8IB00034D" style="text-decoration-line: underline; outline: 0px;">http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C8IB00034D</a></p><p>Funding for this research was provided by the National Science Foundation and the Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation.<br/></p><p><br/></p><p><br/></p><div class="cstm-section"><h3>Amit Pathak</h3><div> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Pathak_Amit.jpg?RenditionID=6" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/> <ul><li>Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science <br/></li><li>His areas of expertise include biomechanics, biomaterials, mechanobiology of the cell, and interactions between cells and extracellular matrices.<br/></li></ul><p style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Amit-Pathak.aspx" style="background-color: #ffffff;">View Bio</a> <br/></p></div></div>Amit Pathak and his team have found that one small defect in tissue boundaries known as the basement membrane can lead normal cells to take on characteristics of diseased cells, such as cancer cells, and invade the surrounding tissue.Beth Miller 2018-05-22T05:00:00ZLike termites in a home's foundation, some normal cells in the body can take on characteristics of diseased cells and invade the surrounding tissue, causing big problems. Y
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Students-showcase-research-at-BME-Day-May-1.aspx874Students showcase research at BME Day May 1<p><span style="font-size: 1.25em;">Students and professors in the Department of Biomedical Engineering presented their research as part of the annual BME Day, designed to celebrate the department's impact on <g class="gr_ gr_3 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="3" data-gr-id="3">understanding</g> of living systems and the development of new technologies to diagnose and treat disease.</span></p><img alt="BME Senior Design students" src="/news/PublishingImages/180501_seas_bme_005.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p> Scott Hollister, the Patsy and Alan Dorris Chaired Professor of Pediatric Technology in the Wallace H. Coulter Dept. of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, was <g class="gr_ gr_36 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" id="36" data-gr-id="36">keynote</g> speaker. In addition, graduating seniors and graduate students were recognized with a variety of awards: <br/></p><div rtenodeid="4"><strong>Senior Design</strong></div><div><ul><li><strong>First Place: </strong>Natalie Ng, Natalie Orr and Nathan Schmetter for their project titled “SmartStim: Reducing Instances of Pseudarthrosis with Targeted Electrical Stimulation.”<br/></li><li><strong>Second place: </strong>Eddie Lai, Anna Noronha, Athena Tam and Nandita Thapar for their project titled “Smart Walker.” <br/></li><li><strong>Third place: </strong>Daniel Khan, Rohan Khopkar and Abhishek Sethi for their project titled “Noninvasive Detection of Mouse Pregnancy.”<br/></li></ul></div><div rtenodeid="5"><strong>Doctoral Student Research Awards</strong></div><div><ul><li>Chelsey Dunham, <g class="gr_ gr_34 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation multiReplace" id="34" data-gr-id="34">PhD</g> candidate in the lab of Spencer Lake, for her project titled, “Persistent Motion Loss Caused by <g class="gr_ gr_28 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="28" data-gr-id="28">Arthrogenic</g> Tissues in a Rat Model of Post-Traumatic Elbow Contracture.”<br/></li><li>Tsz Wai (Terence) Wong, <g class="gr_ gr_31 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation multiReplace" id="31" data-gr-id="31">PhD</g> candidate in the lab of Lihong Wang, for his project titled, “Developing Photoacoustic Microscopy Devices for Translation Medicine and Basic Research.”<br/></li><li>Wandi Zhu, <g class="gr_ gr_30 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation multiReplace" id="30" data-gr-id="30">PhD</g> candidate in the lab of Jonathan Silva, for her project titled “Molecular Basis of Mexiletine Response Variability in Patients with Long QT Syndrome.”<br/></li></ul></div><div rtenodeid="7"><strong rtenodeid="9">Honorable Mention</strong></div><div><ul><li>Dov Lerman-Sinkoff, <g class="gr_ gr_32 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation multiReplace" id="32" data-gr-id="32">PhD</g> candidate in the lab of Deanna Barch, for his project titled, “Identifying Transdiagnostic Multimodal Correlates of Psychosis Dimensions.”<br/></li></ul></div><div rtenodeid="11"><strong>Doctoral Student Service Awards</strong></div><div rtenodeid="11"><ul><li><strong>Leadership Award: </strong>The BME Doctoral Student Leadership Award is presented in recognition of a student's demonstrated leadership contributions to WashU.<br/>Zach Markow, <g class="gr_ gr_35 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation multiReplace" id="35" data-gr-id="35">PhD</g> candidate in the lab of Joseph Culver</li><li><strong>Outreach Award: </strong>The BME Doctoral Student Outreach Award is presented to recognize a student for their outstanding service to the broader community.<br/>Julie Speer, <g class="gr_ gr_29 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation multiReplace" id="29" data-gr-id="29">PhD</g> candidate in the lab of Lori Setton<br/></li></ul></div><p style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/news/PublishingImages/Pages/Students-showcase-research-at-BME-Day-May-1/180501_seas_bme_103.jpg?RenditionID=9" data-lightbox="bmeday"><img src="/news/PublishingImages/Pages/Students-showcase-research-at-BME-Day-May-1/180501_seas_bme_103.jpg?RenditionID=7" alt=""/><br/>View BME Day slideshow</a></p><div style="display: none;"> <a data-lightbox="bmeday" href="/news/PublishingImages/Pages/Students-showcase-research-at-BME-Day-May-1/180501_seas_bme_089.jpg?RenditionID=9"> </a> <a data-lightbox="bmeday" href="/news/PublishingImages/Pages/Students-showcase-research-at-BME-Day-May-1/180501_seas_bme_088.jpg?RenditionID=9"> </a> <a data-lightbox="bmeday" href="/news/PublishingImages/Pages/Students-showcase-research-at-BME-Day-May-1/180501_seas_bme_067.jpg?RenditionID=9"> </a> <a data-lightbox="bmeday" href="/news/PublishingImages/Pages/Students-showcase-research-at-BME-Day-May-1/180501_seas_bme_052.jpg?RenditionID=9"> </a> <a data-lightbox="bmeday" href="/news/PublishingImages/Pages/Students-showcase-research-at-BME-Day-May-1/180501_seas_bme_023.jpg?RenditionID=9"> </a> <a data-lightbox="bmeday" href="/news/PublishingImages/Pages/Students-showcase-research-at-BME-Day-May-1/180501_seas_bme_019.jpg?RenditionID=9"> </a> <a data-lightbox="bmeday" href="/news/PublishingImages/Pages/Students-showcase-research-at-BME-Day-May-1/180501_seas_bme_006.jpg?RenditionID=9"> </a> <a data-lightbox="bmeday" href="/news/PublishingImages/Pages/Students-showcase-research-at-BME-Day-May-1/180501_seas_bme_001.jpg?RenditionID=9"> </a> </div>Senior Design students showcase their work2018-05-15T05:00:00ZStudents and professors in the Department of Biomedical Engineering presented their research as part of the annual BME Day.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Tackling-the-global-clean-water-crisis.aspx869Tackling the global clean water crisis<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/180501_dsr_langsdorf_scholars_004.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​#4Solo<br/></p><div>That’s the hashtag that motivated Washington University in St. Louis engineering students Kailin Baechle, Zach Bluestein, Sydney Katz, Anna Noronha and Harold Zhu to keep searching for an answer to an urgent problem: how to develop a source of clean water for children like Solo, a young girl in Madagascar.</div><div><br/></div><div>“None of us had been to Madagascar; it is difficult for us to comprehend what life is like there,” said Baechle, who first read about Solo in a report from the organization WaterAid. “But her story really impacted us. Everything became ‘#4Solo.’ She put our project in perspective.”  </div><div><br/></div><div>That project was WOOTA (Water Out of Thin Air), a simple device that draws moisture from the air and re-condenses it into clean drinking water. The prototype technology they developed won the 2016 <a href="/current-students/outside-classroom/discovery-competition/Pages/default.aspx">Discovery Competition</a>, a contest for engineering entrepreneurs that was started in 2012 by Dennis Mell, professor of practice in electrical & systems engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science.</div><div><br/></div><div>“Many of the developing countries without reliable access to clean water have very humid climates,” said Baechle, the WOOTA team leader. “Our idea was to capture the water that already is in the air.”</div><div><br/></div><div>The five students met as high school seniors at a scholarship weekend for the School of Engineering & Applied Science. Each had been awarded a prestigious <a href="/prospective-students/undergraduate-admissions/Pages/langsdorf-scholars.aspx">Langsdorf Scholarship</a>, a unique program that connects innovative minds and fosters collaboration. They didn’t know it at the time, but within months they would become close friends and business partners.</div><div><br/></div><div>“We hit it off right away and were really invested in each other,” Noronha said. “That’s when we first talked to Professor Mell about the Discovery Competition. We decided then we should become a team. It was really exciting to me because, in high school, everything is part of an organized club or lab. But here we could have an idea and then go off on our own and make it work.”</div><div><br/></div><div>The students graduate May 18 and will each pursue challenging education or career opportunities afterward. They will leave behind their WOOTA drawings, studies and reports in the hope that a  new generation of Washington University engineers can help build on their foundation.</div><div><br/></div><div>Here, the five scholars look back at the ideas they left on the drawing board, WOOTA design mishaps and the potential for their new technology:</div><div><br/></div><div rtenodeid="12"><strong>What were some of your early ideas for the Discovery Competition?</strong></div><div><br/></div><div><strong>Baechle:</strong> Harold wanted to make waterproof socks. He also wanted to make a necklace people could wear that would page emergency vehicles. We thought he was joking because Life Alert is a pretty well-known product. Finally we had to show him the video of the old woman who says “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”</div><div><br/></div><div><strong>Katz: </strong>And then Zach said, “I just wish we could take electricity and hydrogen and oxygen atoms from the air and — BAM — make water.” I was like, that won’t work because that will take a lot of energy and we’re trying to do this without electricity. But, when you think about, you don’t have to make water because water already is in the air. We just needed to figure out a way to get it out.</div><div><br/></div><div rtenodeid="11"><strong>Why did you want to address this challenge?</strong></div><div><br/></div><div><strong>Zhu: </strong>One-tenth of the world’s population has no access to clean water. Behind that statistic are hundreds of thousands of human beings who are suffering. That’s why we opened our presentation about Solo, this 12-year old girl in Madagascar. Every day, she walks six miles to bring her family water. For me, personally, I would think about my 12-year old life and compare it to hers. She couldn’t go to school and learn or do any of the things I took for granted because her role is to get this basic, fundamental resource so her family can live.</div><div><br/></div><div><strong>Katz: </strong>Clean water is one of the biggest problems of global engineering, and we wanted to do something big with big potential for impact. I remember when we came for scholarship weekend, all of these teams were tackling big challenges for the Discovery Competition and it occurred to me then that I could do something big too.</div><div><br/></div><div rtenodeid="10"><strong>How did the fact that you all had very different skills in engineering benefit the project?</strong></div><div><br/></div><div><strong>Baechle:</strong> It didn’t. Honestly, when we started out as freshmen, none of us even knew that much about engineering in general. And none of us studied the two disciplines we needed most — mechanical and chemical engineering. So we had to learn on our own about water and heat transfer and thermodynamics and use some pretty unconventional techniques to test our ideas.<br/></div><div><br/></div><div rtenodeid="9"><strong>Like what?</strong></div><div><br/></div><div><strong>Katz: </strong>Well, many developing countries without clean water have a lot of humidity. So if you want to mimic a place that has a lot of humidity like Madagascar, where can you go? The shower in your bathroom. We turned up the shower in our dorm room as hot as it would go in an attempt to saturate silica gel. Interesting side note: We found out that if silica gel gets too wet, it explodes. It will start popping like fireworks.</div><div><br/></div><div rtenodeid="7"><strong>Were there mistakes along the way?</strong></div><div><br/></div><div><strong>Baechle: </strong>Too many to count. We melted the prototype twice because the glue was not rated for the heat capacity we needed.</div><div><br/></div><div><strong>Bluestein: </strong>And then there was the time that Anna and I were carrying a prototype off the Circulator bus and it broke in half. I just started laughing, because what else can you do when things go very badly?</div><div><br/></div><div><strong>Noronha: </strong>I think a really low moment was the semifinal of the Discovery Competition. We came in last, by a lot. We weren’t prepared to answer a lot of the questions thrown our way. We had no idea how to navigate this world of nonprofits or handle distribution challenges.</div><div><br/></div><div><strong>What made you keep pushing?</strong><br/></div><div><br rtenodeid="5"/></div><div><strong>Bluestein:</strong> We were committed to each other and felt supported by our Langsdorf advisers like Kim Shilling (assistant dean of engineering). But in the end, we had developed the confidence to tackle new problems, to go out into the unknown. In class, the questions are often well-defined, but that’s not always the case in the real world. WOOTA prepared us for that in a way no class ever could.<br/><br/></div><p>​</p><div><div class="cstm-section"><h3>Engineering's fab five<br/></h3><div><strong></strong></div><div><div rtenodeid="3"><strong>Kailin Baechle</strong></div><div><strong>Degree: </strong>Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering with a minor in material science <br/></div><div><strong>Hometown: </strong>Montgomery, Tex.</div><div><strong>Next stop: </strong>Baechle will attend dental school at the University of Pennsylvania and plans to open her own dental practice.</div><div><br/></div><div rtenodeid="5"><strong>Zachary Bluestein</strong></div><div><strong>Degree:</strong> Bachelor’s degrees in systems engineering and computer science <br/></div><div><strong>Hometown: </strong>Wausau, Wis.</div><div><strong>Next stop: </strong>Bluestein will attend Georgia Tech, where he will study aerospace engineering.</div><div><br/></div><div rtenodeid="6"><strong>Sydney Katz</strong></div><div><strong>Degree: </strong>Bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and systems engineering <br/></div><div><strong>Hometown: </strong>Akron, Ohio</div><div><strong>Next stop: </strong>Katz will attend Stanford University, where she will study aerospace engineering.</div><div><br/></div><div rtenodeid="7"><strong>Anna Noronha</strong></div><div><strong>Degree: </strong>Bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering <br/></div><div><strong>Hometown: </strong>Lake Forest, Ill.</div><div><strong>Next step: </strong>Noronha will work in health systems research in Boston before applying to medical school.</div><div><br/></div><div rtenodeid="8"><strong>Harold Zhu</strong></div><div><strong>Degree: </strong>Bachelor’s degree in systems engineering and economics and strategy with a minor in computer science <br/></div><div><strong>Hometown: </strong>Cleveland, Ohio</div><div>Next step: Zhu will work as a consultant at Oliver Wyman, a leading global management consulting firm in Boston.<br/></div></div></div><span aria-hidden="true"></span></div><p><br/></p>Engineering students (from left) Zachary Bluestein, Anna Noronha, Harold Zhu, Sydney Katz and Kailin BaechleDiane Toroian Keaggyhttps://source.wustl.edu/2018/05/tackling-the-global-clean-water-crisis/2018-05-14T05:00:00ZHow five Langsdorf Scholars kept searching for an answer to an urgent global problem: clean water for children. Their project, WOOTA, draws moisture from the air and re-condenses it into drinking water. <p>​Class Acts-Global: Meet the team of engineering students who developed a prototype to harness drinking water from moisture in the air<br/></p>
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/WashU-engineer-leads-work-seeking-potential-drug-candidates-for-hypertension.aspx867WashU engineer leads work seeking potential drug candidates for hypertension<img alt="Heart illustration" src="/news/PublishingImages/Cui-heart-iStock-638581314.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>The seemingly unrelated conditions of hypertension, epilepsy and overactive bladder may be linked by electrical activity in a protein long studied by a biomedical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis. After new technology recently revealed the structure of the protein, this WashU lab will collaborate with two others to take an unprecedented look into its molecular mechanisms potentially leading to the development of new drugs for these and other conditions. </p><p>Jianmin Cui, professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has received a four-year, $2.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the BK (big potassium) channel proteins in collaboration with labs from the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Massachusetts. The labs will each play a role in identifying new compounds that could go into the drug development pipeline. <br/></p><p>Cells have ion channels across the cell membrane, which are pathways that conduct electrical currents into or out of the cell and open in response to physical signals, such as voltage, or chemical signals, such as calcium ions. But these channels typically allow only one type of ion to pass through, for example, the BK channel only allows potassium to pass through. <br/></p><p>Recently, another lab used a new, Nobel-Prize-winning method called cryo-electron microscopy that allowed them to see the structure of the BK channel, which has given Cui's lab a fresh look at the channel's mechanisms. While researchers already knew the channel has three different domains — the voltage-sensing domain, the cytosolic domain and the pore domain— they do not know how sensors in other domains open the gate in the pore domain. Cui's lab seeks to find that pathway. <br/></p><p><img src="/news/PublishingImages/BK%20STRUCTURE.jpg?RenditionID=13" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin: 0px 5px;"/></p><p>"In BK channel, the question is how would calcium binding in the cytosolic domain open the pore in the transmembrane pore domain," Cui said. "We have the structural information, but the structure itself cannot answer the question of how the two domains will interact to propagate and transfer the movements in calcium binding that causes the cytosolic domain to open."<br/></p><p>To answer the question, a lab at the University of Missouri-Columbia will identify chemical compounds that would bind and modify the channel protein to probe the parts of the channel protein that move upon calcium binding. They will pick out those compounds from a library of about a quarter of a million chemicals with known structures stored in computers. They will compare the structures of these chemicals one by one to potential sites in the channel protein using computers in an operation called docking, which may identify a handful of chemical compounds that might bind to the channel protein. Then they will apply the real compound of these hits from the <em>in silico</em> (in <g class="gr_ gr_58 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" id="58" data-gr-id="58">computer</g>) screening to treat BK channels in cells and test if they modify channel function. <br/></p><p>At the University of Massachusetts, a team will simulate the motion of <g class="gr_ gr_35 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" id="35" data-gr-id="35">part</g> of the protein to see if those motions are important in propagating the calcium-binding-induced movements to the pore. <br/></p><p>Finally, Cui's lab will study the function of the channels by recording ionic currents flowing through these channels. These recordings, in combination with mutating the channel protein and some molecular modeling, will allow the lab to determine if the changes they see in the experiments and in <g class="gr_ gr_45 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" id="45" data-gr-id="45">simulation</g> are factors for propagation.<br/></p><p>"We want to know where the structure changes, how does it change and what makes it change," Cui said. "These understandings, along with the identification of compounds and their binding sites, could lead to the development of drugs for treating BK channel-related diseases."<br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p><br/></p><p>​<br/></p><div class="cstm-section"><h3>Jianmin Cui<br/></h3><div><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jianmin-Cui.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Cui_Jinamin.jpg?RenditionID=3" class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></a></p><p></p><ul><li>Professor of Biomedical Engineering<br/></li><li>His foundational work could lead to discovery of new drug compounds.<br/></li></ul><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jianmin-Cui.aspx">View Bio</a></div></div><div><br/></div></div><span aria-hidden="true"></span><p><br/></p>Hypertension, epilepsy and overactive bladder may be linked by electrical activity in a protein, and engineers at three universities are studying potential drug targets.Beth Miller2018-05-10T05:00:00ZWith funding from the National Institutes of Health, Jianmin Cui and his collaborators will begin foundational work seeking potential drug candidates for hypertension and epilepsy.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/QA-with-MEng-candidate-Jeff-Chininis-.aspx865Q&A with MEng candidate Jeff Chininis <img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Jeff%20Chininis.jpeg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​<strong>What was it like to be honored at the Skandy Awards?</strong> The Honor in Entrepreneurship award was very exciting to receive. Since coming to WashU a year ago, I have been active in the entrepreneurial community, and I think the award was a culmination of all the things I have done. The entrepreneurial resources at WashU are really amazing, and it was an honor to be recognized as someone who stands out in the community. </p><p><strong>What device are you working on?</strong> The project that I am have been mainly focused on this past year is the innovation of a device that we have named the LIVO (Laparoscopic Intra-Organ Vessel Occluder). The LIVO's purpose is to better control bleeding in liver surgery, thus making the surgery safer and hopefully available to more patients with liver cancer. </p><p><strong>Who will it help?</strong> The device will specifically help patients who have liver cancer and are in need of a surgery. Liver resection surgery is widely accepted as the best curative options for patients with liver cancer, but only about 7 percent of patients are getting the surgery often because of risks, such as high-volume blood loss and intraoperative hemorrhage. The LIVO will help to reduce these risks which will help both patients and surgeons. <br/></p><p><strong>How did you get your idea?</strong> My co-founder on the project is Chet Hammill, MD, hepatobiliary (pancreas, liver, bile duct) surgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Dr. Hammill identified the idea for a device that could better control patient bleeding in liver surgery, especially laparoscopic liver surgery. He needed someone with the time and engineering expertise to help develop the idea, and I had a real interest working in this area after seeing a family member battle a similar type of cancer. In addition, I have always had an urge to get involved with entrepreneurship in some way, and this was a perfect opportunity to do that. <br/></p><p rtenodeid="17"><strong>You recently presented at the Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition. What did you present, and how did it go? </strong>I presented the business plans we have developed to commercialize the LIVO. It was an honor being at the Rice Business Plan Competition, and it was an amazing experience. We were one of 42 finalists out of about 1,000 applicants, and every team I met or saw present was working on an amazing innovation. Unfortunately, we did not win any of the top prizes, but we did learn a lot and met some really great people who want to help us develop the LIVO going forward. <br/></p>Jeff ChininisBeth Miller2018-05-08T05:00:00ZGraduating MEng student Jeff Chininis is developing a device to make surgery safer for patients with liver cancer.<p>​Jeff Chininis, who will graduate this month with a master's in engineering in biomedical innovation, recently received Honors in Entrepreneurship at the 2018 <a href="https://skandalaris.wustl.edu/2018/04/23/the-skandy-awards-celebrating-creativity-innovation-entrepreneurship.">Skandy Awards</a>. We asked him about the work that earned him that recognition. <br/></p>

​​​