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Tara Deans

Title: Associate Professor
College: Engineering
School / Department: Bioengineering
Mentoring Philosophy:

The central focus of our lab is to better understand hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal and differentiation for the purpose of directing their differentiation to mass-produce platelets and red blood cells in vitro, in addition to using them as novel therapeutic delivery devices.

Based upon the need for improved tools to better understand and to direct stem cell fate to be used for therapeutic applications, our lab has three synergistic focus groups to study hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) fate decisions: (1) Build novel genetic tools to control the contributions of intrinsic cues on HSC proliferation and differentiation (synthetic biology), (2) Engineer biomimetic microenvironments and genetically interactive biomaterials to control the extrinsic cues on HSC proliferation and differentiation (coupling synthetic biology with biomaterials), and (3) Engineer cells to deliver therapeutic biomolecules to sites of injury and/or disease (synthetic biology).