Tuesday, October 23, 2018

11:00am - 12:15pm

310 Kelly Hall

Dr. Shelly Peyton

Chemical Engineering

University of Massachusetts - Amherst


Improved in vitro models are needed to better understand cancer progression and bridge the gap between in vitro proof-of-concept studies, in vivo validation, and clinical application. Many methods exist to create biomaterial platforms, including hydrogels, which we use to study cells in contexts more akin to what they experience in vivo. Our lab has multiple approaches to create such biomaterials, based on combinations of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) with peptides and zwitterions. In this presentation, I will discuss our findings in using these cell culture environments to understand the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM): ligand density, stiffness, geometry, etc., in controlling cancer cell innate drug response via adaptive signaling.


Shelly Peyton is the Barry and Afsaneh Siadat Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2002 and went on to obtain her MS and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.  She was then an NIH Kirschstein post-doctoral fellow in the Biological Engineering department at MIT before starting her academic appointment at UMass in 2011.  Her research interests are in biomaterial design and understanding how cell-material interactions contribute to cancer aggressiveness, cardiovascular disease progression, and regenerative medicine. Since arriving at UMass she has been named a Pew Biomedical Scholar, received a New Innovator Award from the NIH, and she was recently awarded a CAREER grant from the NSF.