Cover Article, “Synapse-to-Neuron Ratio is Inversely Related to Neuronal Density in Mature Neuronal Cultures”
Dr. John O’Donnell, a postdoctoral fellow in the Cullen Lab, was awarded a prestigious NRSA (F32) Training Fellowship through the NIH. His project is titled “Modeling Disorders of Consciousness”. Way to go John!
The Cullen Lab and collaborators had a poster selected as one of the "Blue Ribbon Highlights" at the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders in Vancouver, Canada. The poster was titled “Tissue Engineered Nigrostriatal Pathway for Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease”. A write-up about the project in Neurology Todaycan be read here.
Dr. Cullen and collaborators received a major 4-year Merit Review Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs to advance their project “Transplantable Micro-Tissue Engineered Neural Networks to Restore the Nigrostriatal Pathway in Parkinson's Disease”. This exciting project applies cutting-edge tissue engineering and regenerative medicine techniques to build the full nigrostriatal pathway in vitro using human induced pluripotent stem cells, with efficacy testing of these human-scale constructs in a large animal model of Parkinson’s disease. Success of this project over the next several years will enable clinical trials based on precision medicine– rebuilding complex brain networks using a patients own cells and implanting these fully preformed constructs to replace vulnerable pathways lost due to neurodegenerative disease. The co-investigators on this project are Dr. Isaac Chen, Dr. John Wolf, and Dr. John Duda. Way to go team!
Dr. Cullen was promoted to Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Congratulations Dr. Cullen!
Congratulations to Laura Struzyna, a Bioengineering Doctoral Candidate in the Cullen Lab, whose winning entry for Penn's "Art in Science" competition was featured on the NIH Director's Blog! https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2016/12/15/snapshots-of-life-wired-for-nerve-regeneration/#more-7232
The Cullen Lab and collaborators had two abstracts selected as "Hot Topics" (top 2% of submissions) for presentation in a platform session at the World Parkinson's Congress meeting in Portland, OR. Carolyn Keating, a Neuroscience doctoral candidate, presented "Diffuse Brain Injury in Swine Causes Plasmalemmal Disruption and Alpha-Synuclein Over-Expression in the Substantia Nigra." Dr. John Duda presented "Can Living Micro-Tissue Engineered Axonal Tracts Reconstruct the Nigrostriatal Pathway in PD?"
The Cullen Lab and collaborators at Penn (Drs. Isaac Chen, Douglas Smith, and John Wolf) and Rutgers University (Drs. Joachim Kohn and Hilton Kaplan) were awarded a 3-year, $2.1 million dollar grant from the U.S. Dept. of Defense on "Tissue Engineering Strategies to Maintain Distal Target Efficacy and Promote Full Functional Recovery Following Major Peripheral Nerve Injury."
Dr. Cullen had the honor of being selected as one of "3 People to Watch in Neuroscience in 2016" by STAT News (Health, Medicine, and Biotech publication): https://www.statnews.com/2015/12/23/three-to-watch-brain-science/.
Congratulations to Laura Struzyna, a Bioengineering Doctoral Candidate in the Cullen Lab, who won second place in the Perelman School of Medicine 2016 "Art in Science" Competition. The winning image is shown here.
Penn and the Journal of Neural Engineering put out a press release for our most recent manuscript describing the Cullen Lab's novel micro-tissue engineered neural networks to restore brain circuitry. Link: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2016/01/cullen/
Carla Winter, and undergraduate researcher in the Cullen Lab for the past 3 years, was selected as a George J. Mitchell Scholar (one of only 12 in the U.S.): http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/news/penn-students-phillip-cohen-and-carla-winter-named-george-j-mitchell-scholars This is very prestigious and well-deserved honor. Way to go Carla!
Dr. Cullen had the honor of giving a TED-style talk at Penn’s Annual Neuroscience Public Lecture Series on Neuroengineering: Where Biology Meets Technology. Dr. Cullen discussed the lab’s pioneering work on "Restoring Nervous System Structure and Function With Tissue Engineered 'Living Scaffolds'” (YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl98Eb36lD4).
The Cullen Lab and collaborators Dr. John Wolf, Dr. Misha Serruya, Dr. Brain Litt, Dr. Reuben Kraft and Dr. Isaac Chen were awarded a 3-year, $2 million dollar cooperative agreement (U01) from the NIH to further pioneer "Biological 'Living Electrodes' Using Tissue Engineered Axonal Tracts to Probe and Modulate the CNS".
Bioengineering Ph.D. Candidate, Kritika Katiyar, was selected for a prestigious NRSA F31 Graduate Research Fellowship through the National Institutes of Health based on her proposal for "Molecular Mediators of Axon-Facilitated Axon Regeneration."
Dayo Adewole, a Bioengineering Ph.D. student in the Cullen Lab, was awarded a 3-year Graduate Research Fellowship through the National Science Foundation to develop next-generation neuroprosthetic interfaces. Way to go Dayo!
The Cullen Lab and collaborators Dr. John Duda, Dr. Isaac Chen, and Dr. John Wolf were awarded a 2-year grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for the project "Restoring the Nigrostriatal Pathway with Living Micro-Tissue Engineered Axonal Tracts".
The Cullen Lab's novel neural tissue engineering strategy to utilize "living scaffolds" to physically reconstruct brain circuitry was featured in a Penn Medicine Blog Post.
The Cullen Lab's research in TBI was featured in the Fall issue of Penn Medicine Magazine (p. 15-17). PDF
Dr. Cullen and colleague Dr. Douglas Smith were awarded a 3-year grant from the Department of Defense Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program to advance their work for "Repair of Segmental Nerve Defects Using Tissue-Engineered Nerve Grafts."
Dr. Cullen was invited to give a research talk at the Center for Translational Injury Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, TX. He presented “Tissue Engineered Nerve Grafts for Peripheral and Central Nervous System Repair”.
The Cullen Lab was awarded a one-year pilot grant through the Penn Medicine Neuroscience Center to explore "Neuromodulation of Brain Circuits Using Transplantable Micro-Tissue Engineered Neural Networks."
James Harris, Ph.D., was awarded an NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship on the "Brain Injury Training Grant" through Penn's Center for Brain Injury & Repair. Dr. Harris' project is on "Mechanisms of Biophysical Responses and Neurodegeneration following Concomitant Blast and Inertial Traumatic Brain Injury."
Dr. Cullen gave a lecture at the American Society for Peripheral Nerve Annual Meeting in Kauai, Hawaii in January. The talk was titled "Tissue Engineered Grafts Accelerate Peripheral Nerve Repair By Direct Axon-Induced Axon Regeneration."
Laura Struzyna was a Poster Award Finalist at the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia in November. Her poster was titled "Tissue Engineered Grafts Accelerate Peripheral Nerve Repair By Direct Axon-Induced Axon Regeneration."
Dr. Cullen gave an Invited Lecture at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in May. He presented "Tissue Engineering Strategies to Restore Neural Circuitry and Create Living Scaffolds for Targeted Axonal Regeneration."
Dr. Cullen and collaborator Dr. Douglas Smith were awarded funding from the Department of Defense through the Rutgers - Cleveland Clinic Consortium of the Armed Forces Inst. of Regenerative Medicine. This project will investigate the efficacy of novel tissue engineered constructs encased in custom-built nerve guidance tubes to promote nerve regeneration following major peripheral nerve injury.
Bioengineering Ph.D. Candidate, Laura Struzyna, was selected for a prestigious 3-year Graduate Research Fellowship through the National Science Foundation based on her proposal for "Tissue Engineered Constructs for Neural Regeneration."
Dr. Cullen and colleagues Dr. John Duda and Dr. John Wolf received a 5-year Merit Review from the Department of Veterans Affairs entitled "Chronic Neurodegenerative and Neurophysiological Sequela of Closed-Head TBI."
Dr. Cullen and Dr. Smith have an article published in Scientific American titled "Bionic Connections" describing their efforts to develop biohybrid neuroprosthetic interfaces (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-artifical-arms-could-connect-nervous-system). In addition, the magazine published a web-based companion article on the use of this neural tissue engineering technology to repair peripheral nerve injuries (http://scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bionic-limb-researchers-build-new-bridges-nerve-injury).
Dr. Wolf and Laura Struzyna gave nanosymposium presentations at the Society for Neuroscience conference in New Orleans, LA. Dr. Wolf presented "Alterations in Hippocampal Circuitry Post Diffuse Brain Injury in a Swine TBI Model". Laura Struzyna presented "A Stragey for Functional Restoration of Brain Pathways Using Micro-Tissue Engineered Constructs Containing Living Axon Tracts".
Dr. Cullen gave a lecture at the Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS) in Ft. Lauderdale, FL detailing his recent work in "Acute Biophysical Responses and Neurophysiological Sequelae following Closed-Head Traumatic Brain Injury in Swine".
Commentary by Dr. Cullen was featured in a blog post about brain-based neural electrical interface systems: innovation-how-a-paralyzed-peson-uses-thoughts-to-control-a-robotic-arm
Dr. Cullen was interviewed for a blog post regarding the effects of traumatic brain injury on NFL athletes: http://physicsbuzz.physicscentral.com/2012/05/physics-of-hit-football-concussions.html
The Cullen Lab was awarded a grant from Axonia Medical, Inc. to advance novel neural tissue engineering technology to improve neuroregeneration following severe peripheral nerve injury.
A new company, Cerebid Technologies, has been formed by Dr. Cullen along with Ray Krauss, Douglas Smith and Shu Yang, to focus on translating their unique blast-sensitive photonic nanocrystals. These photonic nanocrystals, which change color following exposure to blast, are being developed as a "Blast Badge" to measure an individual soldiers blast exposure levels relative to thresholds for blast-induced traumatic brain injury, the "signature injury" in warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dr. Cullen was invited to give a research talk at the Neuroprotection Research Seminar Series through the Shock, Trauma and Anesthesiology Research Center (STAR-ORC) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. He presented "Closed-Head Blast vs. Inertial TBI: Cellular Biophysical Responses and Neurophysiological Sequela".
Dr. Cullen was an Invited Speaker at the 2nd World Congress on Biotechnology in Philadelphia, PA. He presented "Neural Tissue Engineering Strategies for Cell Replacement and Axon Regeneration".
Dr. Cullen gave Neurosurgical Grand Rounds at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY entitled "Altered Neurophysiology and Neuropathology following Closed-Head TBI".
Dr. Cullen was an Invited Speaker at the Department of Defense Advanced Technology Applications for Combat Casualty Care (ATACCC) Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He presented "Neuropathological and Functional Changes following Non-Impact, Closed-Head Acceleration/Deceleration-Induced TBI".
Dr. Wolf and Ms. Mietus gave platform presentations at the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting in Hartford, CT. Dr. Wolf presented "Biohybridized Neural Tissue Engineered Constructs for Electrical Interface with Peripheral Nerve". Ms. Mietus presented "Neural Cell Biophysical Responses in Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury".
BioTech Strategy Blog recently featured Dr. Cullen's work to advance neural tissue engineering technology to develop bionic interfaces and to promote nervous system repair (http://biotechstrategyblog.com/2011/07/how-we-may-be-able-to-rebuild-the-six-million-dollar-man.html/). This work is being done in collaboration with Drs. John A. Wolf and Douglas H. Smith, University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Cullen was interviewed for a story on Blast-TBI on KYW Newsradio 1060. The story and a link to the audio can be found at: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2011/06/03/part-1-the-signature-injury-of-the-afghanistan-war/.
John Wolf and Constance Mietus each had their abstracts selected for oral presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society this fall in Hartford, CT. John will be presenting our work on "Biohybridized Neural Tissue Engineered Constructs for Electrical Interface with Peripheral Nerve" and Constance will be presenting "Neural Cell Biophysical Responses in Blast-Induced TBI".
Dr. Cullen was an Invited Speaker at the Trauma Mechanics Research Center at the Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln where he presented "Biophysical Responses and a 'Signature' Neuropathology in Blast-Induced TBI".
Dr. Cullen’s work to develop a materials-based blast injury dosimeter using blast-sensitive photonic nanocrystals was featured on the BioTech Strategy Blog (http://biotechstrategyblog.com/2011/04/how-nanotechnology-may-revolutionize-the-detection-of-traumatic-brain-injury-using-a-sensor-that-changes-color.html/). This work was done in collaboration with Drs. Douglas H. Smith and Shu Yang, University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Cullen was an Invited Speaker at the Association of Health Care Journalists Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA. In the session “Lessons of War: Advances in Medical Science and Technique”, he presented work on the Blast Badge using photonic nanocrystals and Biohybridized Neural Interfaces to drive the next-generation of neuro-prosthetics.
Dr. Cullen was appointed to the Editorial Board for Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering
Dr. Cullen was an Invited Speaker at the Department of Defense Brain Injury Computational Modeling Expert Panel Meeting held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, in Boston, MA. Dr. Cullen presented new findings on “Neural Cellular Biophysical Responses to Blast Exposure”.
Dr. Cullen was an Invited Speaker at the Translational Neuroscience Seminar Series, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. Dr. Cullen discussed his work “Detecting a ‘Signature’ Neuropathology for Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury”.
Manuscript “Color Changing Photonic Crystals Detect Blast Exposure”, originally published in NeuroImage, was featured by Science (Editor’s Choice) , Penn Medicine, Technology Review, UPI, Newsworks, Wired, The Engineer. Here are the links:
Science, Editor’s Choice http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6007/twil.full.pdf
Penn Medicine News Release http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2010/11/blast-badge-indicates-brain-injury-risk/
Technology Review (from MIT) http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/26820/?p1=A1
Science News, quick mention http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/66322/title/Visor_might_protect__troops_from_blasts