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Winter Seminar: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday, March 14
Speaker: Chelsey Simmons
Topic: Dynamic Cell Culture Systems for Stimulation and Assessment of Cardiovascular Cells
Abstract: The heart and blood vessels are dynamic, active tissues subject to a variety of mechanical stimuli like tensile strain, positive pressure, and shear flow. Researchers are beginning to examine the impact of these mechanical factors on cardiovascular physiology, and sophisticated tools can advance our understanding of these interactions to improve medicine and healthcare. I have developed a variety of tools to replicate aspects of the cardiovascular system in vitro, specifically, a silicone and acrylamide system to modulate strain and stiffness parameters independently. This presentation will also describe image processing tools I have developed to assess heart cell contractility and applications of this system to a cure for inherited heart disease.
Bio: Chelsey is currently finishing her PhD at Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering as a member of Beth Pruitt's Microsystems Lab. She graduated from Harvard cum laude with a B.S. in Mechanical and Materials Engineering, completing a Co-Op with DePuy Spine, a Johnson and Johnson Company, along the way. Chelsey has received a number of competitive grants, including a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. In addition to her research, Chelsey has developed and led a recurring summer seminar series for high school math and science teachers. She is also a founding officer and the current President of Stanford's American Society for Engineering Education.