Faculty Profiles

Shyni Varghese

Assoc Professor, Bioengineering

Adult and embryonic stem cells, biomaterials, smart hydrogels, cell/matrix interactions, disease progression, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine

Professor Varghese’s laboratory works at the interface of biomaterials and stem cells. Her research involves development and application of biomaterials and engineering tools to understand the role of cell-matrix interactions on cellular behaviors such as adhesion, migration, survival, self-renewal, and differentiation. The two specific research interests are: (i) Stem cell engineering: Here the main focus is on using biomaterials that recapitulate different attributes of the extracellular matrix so as to direct the differentiation of adult and pluripotent stem cells (both hESCs and hiPSCs). These synthetic matrices are also being used as a platform to understand the molecular mechanism underlying stem cell functions. The Varghese lab is also developing strategies to support in vivo survival and functional engraftment of transplanted stem cells. (ii) Disease progression: Here the focus is on understanding the role of physicochemical cues of the extracellular matrix on cancer metastasis and fibrosis. These fundamental understandings are being used to develop novel stem cell based therapeutics to treat different debilitating diseases and therapeutic strategies to interfere with diseases like cancer and fibrosis.

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Shyni Varghese joined the Jacobs School Bioengineering faculty in 2007. She comes to the Bioengineering department following a postdoc at Johns Hopkins University. She received a Ph.D. in Polymer Engineering from National Chemical Laboratory, India. She has over 60 peer-reviewed publications and over a dozen patent disclosures. She is a recipient of CIRM New Faculty Award for Stem Cell research.

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Shyni Varghese
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