Research

The focus of the Cullen Lab’s research in Neurotrauma is the application of engineering principles to better understand the causative mechanisms and pathophysiological responses following traumatic injury to the nervous system. Specific attention is given to neural injury biomechanics and mechanisms of acute biophysical cellular/tissue damage. In the arena of Neural Engineering, the objective is to develop neurotechnology to mitigate trauma-induced deficits or augment the body’s capacity for regeneration. Here, focus is given to neural tissue engineering strategies and the development of biohybridized technologies for long-term neurobiological-electrical interfaces.

Projects

Neuron in 3d

Traumatic Brain Injury: Linking Macro- to Micro-Biomechanics

Blasted induced color change

Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury

neurogenesis

Neural Tissue Engineering: Reconstructing the Nervous System Following TBI, SCI, PNI, or Neurodegenerative Disease

neurons

Biohybridized Neural Interface Microsystems

Contact Information

D. Kacy Cullen, Ph.D
105E Hayden Hall, 3320 Smith Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
dkacy@mail.med.upenn.edu

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Neurosurgery

News and Events

  • 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-scholarsThis 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".
  • The Cullen Lab received a 2-year grant from the U.S. Dept. of Defense to advance "Novel Tissue-Engineered Nerve Grafts for Repair of Currently Untreatable Peripheral Nerve Injury".
  • 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".

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