Honors & News
September 29, 2012
Congratulations to Michael Hoffman for a Successful Qualifying Exam
Congratulations to Michael Hoffman for a Successful Qualifying Exam! Michael is currently a graduate student in the Benoit Lab, and his current project, Tissue Engineered Periosteum Approaches to Heal Bone Allograft Transplants, is supported by an NIH T32 training grant 'Training in Orthopaedics'.
September 14, 2012
Drs. Ovitt and Benoit Awarded NIH Grant
Salivary gland cells are viable encapsulated within hydrogels: A dissociated cell prep prepared from whole submandibular gland was seeded into PEG hydrogels and incubated in serum-free media. At 7 days, the hydrogels were fixed, sectioned, and immunostained for nuclei (DAPI) and keratin 5, a marker of salivary progenitor cells.
Biomedical Genetics assistant professor, Catherine Ovitt, Ph.D. and Danielle Benoit, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, have been awarded a four year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for the project, entitled Hydrogel encapsulation of salivary gland cells promotes cell survival, proliferation, and assembly.
This project deals with potential utility of adult stem or progenitor cells for repair of radiation-damaged salivary glands. While the potential is high, it is currently only a theoretical solution for patients suffering from xerostomia. There remain several critical obstacles that must be resolved before cell-based therapy for dysfunctional salivary glands can be moved into the clinical arena. These include the identification of appropriate donor cells, the technology for promoting implantation, and direct functional assays to assess the outcomes.
The goal is to determine if the use of hydrogels can promote in vivo differentiation of transplanted progenitor cells. The successful completion of this project will establish a foundation for subsequent translational research to progress the technology into clinical applications.
July 25, 2012
Danielle Benoit Receives NSF Research Grant
July 24, 2012
Former Student, Dan Reynolds Receives NIH Training Grant
Congratulations to former student, Dan Reynolds who has been chosen by Boston University to participate in an NIH Graduate Student Training Grant in Biomaterials. The program emphasizes translational research and includes opportunities to participate in clinical research, entrepreneurial classes, and industrial internships.
June 10, 2012
Learning how to twist long, narrow balloons into animal shapes took almost no time for the crew from Therapeutic Biomaterials Lab at the University of Rochester. They're prepared for the longer haul of figuring out how to kill cancer stem cells with drugs while leaving normal, healthy cells alone.
The dozen or so undergraduates, grad students and post-docs of the lab headed by Danielle Benoit sold lemonade to raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, which funds research to find a cure for childhood cancer. The foundation has awarded Benoit's lab $40,000 for each of four years for work in nanotechnology. This is third time the lab has run the stand during the foundation's National Lemonade Days.
The students raised $360 Saturday at the Rochester Public Market and $370 Sunday at the Brighton Farmers Market at Brighton High School toward its goal of $4,000. They've collected more than $900 online, with a few more weeks to go. If you would like to donate please visit the Benoit Lab Lemonade Stand.
April 5, 2012
BME Undergraduate Michael Bux Awarded Prestigious Xerox Undergraduate Fellowship
Michael Bux, BME Junior in the laboratory of Danielle Benoit, Ph.D. was recently awarded a SEAS Xerox Undergraduate Fellowship. The SEAS Xerox Fellowship Program is a highly competitive program to provide engineering undergraduates with an opportunity to participate in a research experience in SEAS during the summer preceding their senior year. Additionally, students will receive independent study course credit for the continuation of their work during the fall and spring semesters of their senior year. Selection criteria include research interests, competitive academic performance, and intellectual ability and curiosity.
April 2, 2012
Benoit Lab To Host 3rd Annual Alex's Lemonade Stand Fundraiser in June
The Benoit Lab one of their Alex's Lemonade Stand Fundraisers
Danielle Benoit, Ph.D. and her Therapeutic Biomaterials Lab, will once again give back by hosting their 3rd annual Alex's Lemonade Stand fundraiser for ALSF at the Rochester Public Market and the Brighton Farmers' Market June 9-10. Last year's fundraiser for cancer was a rousing success as the lab raised over $2000, and Dr. Benoit hopes to raise even more this year. The lab continues to urge friends, family, and colleagues to contribute in person and online to help support ALSF.
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra
AlexScott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. If you would like to contribute to this effort, please visit the Benoit Lab's ALSF Lemonade Stand.
March 30, 2012
Two current BME and Chemical Engineering students and a BME alumna have received prestigious National Science Foundation Research Fellowships. BME graduate student, Jason Inzana (Awad Lab), Michael Baranello, a Chemical Engineering Ph.D. student in the Benoit Lab, and Molly Boutin, an alumnus of the Benoit lab (undergraduate research assistant), were among those who received the fellowships.
Selection for these awards is based on the students' outstanding abilities and accomplishments, as well as their potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise. The fellowship, which is part of a federally sponsored program, provides three years of graduate study support for students pursing doctoral degrees. The fellowship includes a three-year annual stipend of $30,000, a $10,500 educational allowance to the institution, and international research opportunities.
- Dynamic Manipulation of Hydrogels to Control Cell Behavior: A Review. Tissue Eng Part B Rev. In press. (2013 May 02).
- Agonism of Wnt-β-catenin signalling promotes mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) expansion. J Tissue Eng Regen Med. In press. (2013 Apr 01).
- Nanoparticle-mediated Gene Silencing Confers Radioprotection to Salivary Glands In Vivo. Mol Ther. In press. (2013 Mar 19).