Diseased states are typically characterized by the presence or absence of a biomarker. These biomarkers may be general characteristics of the environment (i.e. stiffness, pH) or specific biomacromolecules (i.e. peptides, nucleic acids, proteins, cell receptors). In this seminar, I will discuss synthetic strategies for generating nanoscale hydrogels that recognize and respond to multiple biological stimuli. These multi-responsive nanomaterials are useful for (i) actuating biological signals, (ii) targeting drug delivery, and (iii) facilitating tissue regeneration.

Presenter: John Clegg is currently a postdoctoral fellow in bioengineering in the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University. He is also appointed as a postdoctoral fellow in the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard. John received his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of South Carolina in 2014, and his masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Texas at Austin (MSE, Biomedical Engineering, 2016, MA, STEM Education, 2018, Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, 2019).

In his research John designs and synthesizes hydrogels, which achieve targeted drug delivery through a combination of cell hitchhiking and responsiveness to the extracellular environment. He is interested in (1) Developing synthesis methods for generating novel hydrogel materials with precise network structure, as well as (2) Applying cell-material constructs to treat inflammatory disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer.