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Home > Press > Morton Schapiro Gets a Taste of IBNAM

Morton Schapiro, Samuel Stupp, Dorota Rozkiewicz, and Kathy Burgess (from left) listen as Guillermo Ameer (right) discusses his research on liquid vascular stints.
Morton Schapiro, Samuel Stupp, Dorota Rozkiewicz, and Kathy Burgess (from left) listen as Guillermo Ameer (right) discusses his research on liquid vascular stints.

Abstract:
The Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine (IBNAM) was honored to host a special guest in August: President Morton Schapiro.

Morton Schapiro Gets a Taste of IBNAM

Evanston, IL | Posted on October 15th, 2010

It was a sunny summer afternoon on the Chicago campus of Northwestern University as students, faculty, and staff were excited to meet "Morty." During his nearly two-hour visit, Schapiro received a full tour of the IBNAM laboratories, which occupy the entire 11th floor and part of the 10th floor of the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center. Samuel I. Stupp, IBNAM Director and Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, and Medicine, led the tour joined by several IBNAM faculty and staff.

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Morton Schapiro Gets a Taste of IBNAM
The Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine (IBNAM) was honored to host a special guest in August: President Morton Schapiro. It was a sunny summer afternoon on the Chicago campus of Northwestern University as students, faculty, and staff were excited to meet "Morty." During his nearly two-hour visit, Schapiro received a full tour of the IBNAM laboratories, which occupy the entire 11th floor and part of the 10th floor of the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center. Samuel I. Stupp, IBNAM Director and Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, and Medicine, led the tour joined by several IBNAM faculty and staff.


Slideshow
On his first stop in the lab, Schapiro gowned up from head-to-toe for an unforgettable cleanroom experience, excitedly declaring, "I feel like I'm going on a mission to Mars." Stupp, Chang Liu, professor of mechanical engineering and electrical engineering and computer science (McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science), and several members of the Stupp research group accompanied Schapiro on the cleanroom tour. As Stupp explained, the IBNAM Nanomedicine Cleanroom Core Facility is unlike any other cleanroom at Northwestern in that it houses cell culture facilities. IBNAM's cleanroom bridges micro/nanofabrication with translational research since it contains equipment that can be used to fabricate novel therapeutic delivery devices and diagnostic/sensing systems that will be relevant towards areas of interest for the clinical community. Researchers can work with cells and small-scale fabrication all within the same space, integrating biology with nanotechnology.

Schapiro was amazed with the work performed inside this unique cleanroom facility. Eric Berns, 4th year PhD student in biomedical engineering (McCormick), demonstrated how he creates "noodle" scaffolds comprised of neurons aligned inside peptide amphiphile nanofibers. Berns's project, called "Cell Road: A novel biomaterial-stem cell approach for the adult brain" focuses on Parkinson's disease and is conducted in collaboration with partners at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Jason Mantei, 5th year doctoral student in materials science and engineering (McCormick), explained the use of a high-speed fluorescence camera to directly visualize electrical activity in cardiomyocytes. Understanding how this activity changes when the cells are cultured on electronically conductive surfaces may lead to designing materials that would restore heart or nervous system activity after trauma. Dorota Rozkiewicz, research assistant professor of chemistry (Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences) and IBNAM Cleanroom Director, spoke about 'artificial cells' and microfluidic devices created in-house, from computer design to silicon fabrication.

ABOUT

Mission
Affiliations
Team
Location RESEARCH
FACILITIES
FACULTY
PUBLICITY
News
Events
CONTACT

Morton Schapiro Gets a Taste of IBNAM
The Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine (IBNAM) was honored to host a special guest in August: President Morton Schapiro. It was a sunny summer afternoon on the Chicago campus of Northwestern University as students, faculty, and staff were excited to meet "Morty." During his nearly two-hour visit, Schapiro received a full tour of the IBNAM laboratories, which occupy the entire 11th floor and part of the 10th floor of the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center. Samuel I. Stupp, IBNAM Director and Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, and Medicine, led the tour joined by several IBNAM faculty and staff.


Slideshow
On his first stop in the lab, Schapiro gowned up from head-to-toe for an unforgettable cleanroom experience, excitedly declaring, "I feel like I'm going on a mission to Mars." Stupp, Chang Liu, professor of mechanical engineering and electrical engineering and computer science (McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science), and several members of the Stupp research group accompanied Schapiro on the cleanroom tour. As Stupp explained, the IBNAM Nanomedicine Cleanroom Core Facility is unlike any other cleanroom at Northwestern in that it houses cell culture facilities. IBNAM's cleanroom bridges micro/nanofabrication with translational research since it contains equipment that can be used to fabricate novel therapeutic delivery devices and diagnostic/sensing systems that will be relevant towards areas of interest for the clinical community. Researchers can work with cells and small-scale fabrication all within the same space, integrating biology with nanotechnology.

Schapiro was amazed with the work performed inside this unique cleanroom facility. Eric Berns, 4th year PhD student in biomedical engineering (McCormick), demonstrated how he creates "noodle" scaffolds comprised of neurons aligned inside peptide amphiphile nanofibers. Berns's project, called "Cell Road: A novel biomaterial-stem cell approach for the adult brain" focuses on Parkinson's disease and is conducted in collaboration with partners at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Jason Mantei, 5th year doctoral student in materials science and engineering (McCormick), explained the use of a high-speed fluorescence camera to directly visualize electrical activity in cardiomyocytes. Understanding how this activity changes when the cells are cultured on electronically conductive surfaces may lead to designing materials that would restore heart or nervous system activity after trauma. Dorota Rozkiewicz, research assistant professor of chemistry (Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences) and IBNAM Cleanroom Director, spoke about 'artificial cells' and microfluidic devices created in-house, from computer design to silicon fabrication.



"I really enjoyed having the opportunity to talk to President Schapiro about my research project. He was approachable and very enthusiastic about the science."
Jason Mantei, PhD candidate in Materials Science and Engineering


During a stop at the IBNAM Chemistry Core, Schapiro saw demonstrations of the equipment used to fabricate, purify, and characterize bioactive peptide molecules. He also viewed areas with custom-designed wet lab space and an animal surgical suite created specifically for IBNAM's researchers.

Several IBNAM resident faculty members escorted Schapiro through other parts of the laboratory and discussed their research objectives. Lonnie Shea, professor of chemical and biological engineering (McCormick) showed Schapiro a nanomaterial used in islet transplantation for diabetes. Ramille Shah, assistant professor of materials science and engineering (McCormick) and orthopaedic surgery (Feinberg School of Medicine) discussed plant-based and soy hybrid scaffolds and showed Schapiro a tendon undergoing a tensile test for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair research. In his lab, C. Shad Thaxton, assistant professor of urology (Feinberg), discussed a novel gold nanoparticle technology used in developing therapeutics for atherosclerosis. Guillermo Ameer, associate professor of biomedical engineering (McCormick) and surgery (Feinberg) described a liquid method to create vascular stents and the collaborative work he does with Melina Kibbe, associate professor of vascular surgery (Feinberg). Earl Cheng, associate professor of urology (Feinberg) spoke about the significance of IBNAM's unique environment in fostering collaborative interdisciplinary research. He gave examples of his group's work on bladder tissue research that is enhanced by collaborations with IBNAM-based groups headed by Ameer and Philip B. Messersmith, professor of biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering and chemical and biological engineering (McCormick).

Throughout his visit, Schapiro was fascinated by the Institute's research on regenerative medicine and development of targeted therapeutics, and he asked many questions along the way. He took an active interest in speaking with and learning about students and faculty members who work at IBNAM. Students and postdocs appreciated the opportunity to personally meet the president and discuss their research with him. Eric Berns, for example, commented that he was "impressed with President Schapiro's many important, thoughtful questions and by his interest in our research." Schapiro was pleasantly surprised by a souvenir gift created in the Cleanroom Facility by Rozkiewicz and the students: a depiction of Schapiro and Stupp etched on a silicon wafer. The etching was created by photolithography, the same process used to produce the in-house microfluidic chips.

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