Special Seminar: Arvind Chandrasekaran, Ph.D. Thursday, 2/22/2018, 2:00 P.M.

JSNN Seminar Series

Title: “Engineering a Sophisticated Petri Dish …”

Speaker: Arvind Chandrasekaran, Ph.D.
Job Title: 

Department of Chemical/Bio Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), Canada

Date and Time: Thursday, 02/22/2018, 2:00 P.M.
Location: JSNN Auditorium

2907 E. Gate City Blvd., Greensboro, NC 27401


The process of discovering any new therapeutic drug to counter medical conditions and illnesses is usually initiated with a benchtop discovery that studies the response of cultured cells to a certain drug, which is then translated on to animal models and subsequently validated through human clinical trials. However, despite heavy technological advances in biomedical research, the fact remains that an average of only 1 in every 5000 promising therapeutic portfolios successfully transitions from the benchtop to the commercialization stage. A vast majority of these discoveries fail during animal testing and human clinical trials, due to their inability to consistently replicate the results of lab research that are usually done on hard, flat cultureware, and there is already enough evidence to suggest that these petri dish based cell responses don’t quite recapitulate their functioning in-vivo.

A solution to this problem lies in the engineering of robust test platforms that not only implement operational simplicity, but could also be used reliably for conducting high-throughput screening assays. Strategies through which these bioengineered systems could significantly improve drug development processes include (i) enabling high-throughput functional readouts to predict therapeutic activity, (ii) integrating advanced biomaterials to realize highly realistic engineered culture microenvironments, and (iii) developing biomimetic organ-on-chip platforms to screen out those therapeutics that would ordinarily fail during the expensive animal testing and human clinical trial stages of the drug discovery pipeline.

This talk will present some of the approaches that I have recently demonstrated by leveraging microengineering principles and high throughput manufacturing strategies, for immunotherapeutics and other drug discovery applications.