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D. Kacy Cullen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
Member, Penn Center for Brain Injury & Repair, University of Pennsylvania
Principal Investigator, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA
Member, Institute of Regenerative Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Member, Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Disorders, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Member, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Philadelphia VA Medical Center
Member, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania
Director, Center for Neurotrauma, Neurodegeneration & Restoration, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA
Director, Porcine Neurointensive Care and Assessment Facility (NCAF), Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pennsylvania
Department: Neurosurgery

Contact information
Department of Neurosurgery
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
105 Hayden Hall / 3320 Smith Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-746-8176
Fax: 215-573-3808
Graduate Group Affiliations
Education:
B.S. (Mechanical Engineering)
Georgia Institute of Technology, 2000.
M.S. (Mechanical Engineering)
Georgia Institute of Technology, 2002.
Ph.D. (Biomedical Engineering)
Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005.
Post-Graduate Training
Post-Doctoral Researcher in Neural Engineering, Laboratory for Neuroengineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-2006.
Post-Doctoral Fellow (NRSA) in Neurotrauma and Neural Engineering, Center for Brain Injury and Repair, Department of Neurosurgery, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania , 2007-2008.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Cullen is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery (with tenure) at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Cullen’s research program operates at the intersection of Neural Engineering, Neurotrauma and Regenerative Medicine (http://www.med.upenn.edu/cullenlab/). In the realm of Neurotrauma, the objective is to apply engineering principles to increase our understanding of 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 and Regenerative Medicine, 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 biohybrid neurobiological-electrical interface technology.

Dr. Cullen is currently an active member of the Biomedical Engineering Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the National Neurotrauma Society, and the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. Cullen also serves on the editorial board of Critical Reviews in Biomedical Engineering.

Cullen Lab Research Thrusts:

Regenerative Medicine & Neural Tissue Engineering – living scaffolds for neuroregeneration; micro-tissue engineering to restore brain circuitry; biological neuromodulation; “biohybrid” neuroprosthetic interfaces; cell function in 3-D microenvironments; in vitro neural interface microsystems.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) & Neurodegeneration – biomechanics; cell/tissue injury tolerance criteria; blast injury; traumatic proteinopathies; mechanisms of neurophysiological dysfunction; wireless neuromonitoring technology;

Selected Publications

Adewole, D. O., Struzyna, L. A., Harris, J. P., Nemes, A. D., Burrell, J. C., Petrov, D., Kraft, R. H., Chen, H. I., Serruya, M. D., Wolf, J. A., Cullen, D. K.: Development of optically-controlled "living electrodes" with long-projecting axon tracts for a synaptic brain-machine interface Science Advances 7(4), Jan 22 2021 Notes: pre-published on bioRxiv 333526 (2018).

Keating, C. E., Browne, K. D., Cullen, D. K. : Dietary manipulation of vulnerability to traumatic brain injury-induced neuronal plasma membrane permeability. Experimental Neurology 340(113649), 2021.

Katiyar, K. S., Struzyna, L. A. (co-first author), Morand, J. P., Burrell, J. C., Clements, B., Laimo, F. A., Browne, K. D., Kohn, J., Ali, Z., Ledebur, H. C., Smith, D. H., Cullen, D. K.: Tissue engineered axon tracts serve as living scaffolds to accelerate axonal regeneration and functional recovery following peripheral nerve injury in rats. Frontiers in Biotechnology & Bioengineering April 24, 2020 Notes: pre-published on bioRxiv 654723 (2019).

Das, S., Browne, K. D., Laimo, F. A., Maggiore, J. C., Hilman M. C., Kaiser, H., Aguilar, C. A., Ali, Z. S., Mourkioti, F., Cullen, D. K.: Pre-innervated tissue engineered muscle promotes a pro-regenerative microenvironment following volumetric muscle loss. Nature Communications Biology May 20 2020 Notes: pre-published on bioRxiv 840124 (2019).

Grovola, M. R., Paleologos, N., Wofford, K. L., Harris, J. P., Browne, K. D., Johnson, V. E., Duda, J. E., Wolf, J. A., Cullen, D. K. : Mossy cell hypertrophy and synaptic changes in the hilus following mild diffuse brain injury in pigs. J Neuroinflammation 17(1): 44, 2020.

Keating, C. E. and Cullen, D. K. : Mechanosensation in traumatic brain injury. Neurobiology of Disease Nov 24, 2020.

Maggiore, J. C., Burrell, J. C. (co-first author), Browne, K. D., Katiyar, K. S., Laimo, F. A., Zarina, A. S., Kaplan, H. M., Rosen, J. M., Cullen, D. K.: Tissue engineered axon-based “living scaffolds” promote survival of spinal cord motor neurons following peripheral nerve repair. J Tissue Engin & Regen Med Page: 1-16, Oct 2 2020 Notes: pre-published on bioRxiv 847988 (2019).

Das, S., Gordián-Vélez, W. (co-first author), Ledebur, H. C., Mourkioti, F., Rompolas, P., Chen, H. I., Serruya, M. D., Cullen, D. K. : Innervation: the missing link for biofabricated tissues and organs. npj Regenerative Medicine Apr 15, 2020.

Cullen, D. K., Gordián-Vélez, W. J., Struzyna, L. A., Jgamadze, D., Lim, J., Wofford, K. L., Browne, K. D., Chen, H. I.: Bundled three-dimensional human axon tracts derived from cerebral organoids. iScience. (eds.). 21: 57-67, Nov 22 2019 Notes: pre-published on bioRxiv 253369 (2018).

Struzyna, L. A., Browne, K. D., Brodnik, Z. D., Burrell, J. C., Harris, J. P., Chen, H. I., Wolf, J. A., Panzer, K. V., Lim, J., Duda, J. E., España, R. A., Cullen, D. K.: Tissue engineered nigrostriatal pathway for treatment of Parkinson’s disease. J Tissue Engin & Regen Med 12(7): 1702-16, Jul 2018.

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Last updated: 09/03/2021
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