Engineering Stem Cells: From In Vitro to In Situ

Friday, May 2, 2014 - 2:00pm
Fung Auditorium | Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall
Song Li

Professor with Bioengineering 

University of California, Berkeley

Engineering Stem Cells: From In Vitro to In Situ


Cell reprogramming provides valuable cell sources for tissue engineering, disease modeling and drug screening. Although the effects of transcriptional factors and chemical compounds on cell reprogramming have been widely studied, the role of biophysical factors is not clear. I will present our findings on how biophysical factors can regulate the epigenetic state and thus the cell memory and reprogramming process, which has important implications in cell conversion into pluripotent stem cells and specific cell types. To illustrate the important role played by stem cells in tissue regeneration and remodeling in vivo, I will use blood vessel regeneration as an example to demonstrate an evolution from in vitro tissue engineering to in situ tissue engineering. In this approach, the acellular vascular graft is loaded with bioactive factors to awaken the regeneration potential of the body, and recruit stem cells from the circulation and surrounding tissues to regenerate the blood vessel. In addition, endogenous stem cells are found to participate in the regeneration of microvessels and the development of vascular diseases, suggesting a more general role of endogenous stem cells in vascular remodeling.


Dr. Song Li had his Ph.D. and postdoctoral training in Dr. Shu Chien's lab at UC San Diego. He is currently a Professor of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley. His research is focused on cell and tissue engineering. His lab combines tissue engineering, cell lineage tracing and imaging tools to elucidate the mechanism of how stem cells participate in the regeneration and disease development of blood vessels in vivo. He also seeks to understand how biophysical factors regulate the mechanotransduction from extracellular space to chromatin, and thus modulating the epigenetic state and cell reprogramming. Dr. Li has authored more than 100 papers and has filed 4 patents. He co-founded two companies and helped translate the research findings into biomedical applications. Dr. Li is a Fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and he is active in serving BMES and academic community.