BME Seminar on September 19th

University of Rochester
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Seminar Series


Decellularized Wharton’s jelly matrix: An ECM for cancer and regenetative medicine applications

Omar Aljitawi, M.B.B.S.
Associate Professor
Medicine, Hematology/Oncology, Internal Medicine
University of Rochester

Tuesday, September 19
8:30 am

River Campus
Robert B. Goergen Hall
Sloan Auditorium, Room 101

Short Bio:

Dr. Aljitawi’s laboratory is primarily focused on studying the human hematopoietic stem cells and their interaction with their microenvironment. He utilizes this knowledge in studying translational research concepts that apply to patient care. Dr. Aljitawi’s work has involved umbilical cord blood stem cells, Wharton’s jelly mesenchymal stromal cells, Wharton’s jelly matrix, and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. Dr. Aljitawi’s main projects are:

1.Studying umbilical cord blood (UCB) CD34+ cell interaction with erythropoietin (EPO) as a soluble factor in UCB CD34+ microenvironment. Dr. Aljitawi has been investigating EPO signaling through EPO receptor (EPOR) effects on UCB CD34+ cell homing and engraftment. Dr. Aljitawi and his research team discovered that exposure to erythropoietin impairs UCB CD34+ cell homing to the bone marrow. To translate this finding to patient care, Dr. Aljitawi and his research team investigated the use of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) as a modality to lower systemic EPO with the aim of improving UCB CD34+ cell homing and engraftment. This work in its entirety was recently published in Blood.

2. Developing in vitro 3D leukemia and myeloma models for chemotherapy drug testing: Dr. Aljitawi’s lab has developed a 3D stromal-based co-culture model to grow leukemia and myeloma cells with stromal cells and used it to test the sensitivity of these cancer cells to chemotherapy. More recently, his lab has focused on studying decellularized Wharton’s jelly matrix to create an extracellular matrix-based model to test leukemia cell responses to chemotherapy.

3. Studying the interactions between Wharton’s jelly mesenchymal stromal cells and Wharton’s jelly decellularized matrix for tissue regenerative medicine applications. Dr. Aljitawi’s has been studying decellularized Wharton’s jelly matrix as a scaffolding material for tissue regenerative applications, including wound and bone healing.

www.urmc.rochester.edu/cancer-institute/team/profile.aspx?urid=30317970

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