The Medicine by Design Global Speaker Series invites established and emerging international leaders in regenerative medicine to engage with our extraordinary community of researchers and
Medicine by Design, in partnership with the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine, is pleased to welcome Zev Gartner, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco. The title of his talk is “Building tissues to understand how tissues build themselves.” For those unable to attend in person, the event will be available through live stream webcasting. (Link will be live shortly before the event.)
Successful construction of tissues and organs requires an engineering-level understanding of the cell dynamics and forces that drive tissue morphogenesis. In vertebrates, the morphogenesis of epithelial sheets is often coupled to cell dynamics in the underlying mesenchyme, where cells dispersed in a loose ECM aggregate to mark the site of epithelial morphogenesis. Theoretical studies suggest that forces generated during these mesenchymal condensations could directly fold overlying tissue by producing stresses at the epithelial-mesenchyme interface. We test this idea using a reconstitution approach. We find that the mesenchyme compacts loose and fibrous ECM at tissue interfaces, aligns ECM fibers towards the center of condensation, and increases tension along aligned fibers. Tensions drive folding of interfaces along trajectories that can be predicted by finite element modeling. To demonstrate the robustness and versatility of this strategy for sculpting local tissue shape, we build a variety of folded tissue forms by engineering the pattern of mesenchymal condensates. These studies provide insight into the active mechanical properties of the embryonic mesenchyme and establish strategies for more reproducibly directing tissue morphogenesis ex vivo.
Dr. Gartner is broadly interested in the principles governing the self-organization of human tissues, with the goal of engineering tissues for regenerative medicine and stabilizing tissues for cancer prevention. Dr. Gartner completed his undergraduate studies in Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. He received a PhD in Chemical Biology as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow with David Liu at Harvard University, and completed training as Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow with Carolyn Bertozzi at the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco. His work has been honored with the NIH New Innovator Award and the DOD Era of Hope Scholars award. He was selected among the Popular Science “Brilliant 10” in 2015 and as a Chan/Zuckerburg Biohub investigator in 2017.