We are pleased to welcome Dean Ravi Bellamkonda
2019-20 Distinguished Seminar speaker
March 4, 3:00 PM
Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall
Reception to follow
Professor, Biomedical Engineering,
Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering,
“Dancing with a moving target: Engineering strategies to modulate brain tumor migration”
Thank you Dean Bellamkonda for a fantastic seminar!
Brain tumors present a clinical challenge due to their propensity to be highly invasive and distributed at the time of detection. Our laboratory is exploring a variety of engineering strategies to control, contain and arrest brain tumor cell invasion in the brain. In this seminar, the use of a wide range of approaches – topographical guidance, nanocarriers, and electric fields to ‘dance’ with brain tumors so that they don’t lead to fatalities will be discussed. As an example, the seminar will explore the ‘Tumor Monorail’ strategy devices to control the invasion of brain tumors along paths that we specify using topographical guidance of brain tumors in vivo. We demonstrate, for the first time to our knowledge, that topographical cues presented by thin films enable moving a primary tumor from an intracortical region to an extracortical hydrogel sink where the tumor cells are killed. This novel approach of bringing the tumor to the drug rather than the drug to the tumor is enabled by our ability to design constructs that enable controlled, directional migration of invasive brain tumors. In addition, the seminar will discuss strategies to ‘contain’ the spread of tumors using a novel strategy drawn from our understanding of astro-glial scarring. The notion is that all stable systems have negative feedback and constraining tumor spread is an integral and important part of controlling Brain Tumor outcomes. In the end, the seminar will discuss some of our most recent work on non-invasively modulating brain tumor invasion and the potential role that electric fields may be employed to control and guide tumor migration.
Bellamkonda’s research explores the interplay of biomaterials and the nervous system for the development of peripheral nerve regeneration, brain electrode interfacing, and brain tumor therapies.
Ravi V. Bellamkonda is the Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University.
He is committed to fostering transformative research and pedagogical innovation as well as programs that create an entrepreneurial mindset amongst faculty and students. His current research explores the interplay of biomaterials and the nervous system for neural interfaces, nerve repair and brain tumor therapy.
Before coming to Duke, Bellamkonda served as the Wallace H. Coulter Professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. A bioengineer and neuroscientist, Bellamkonda holds an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering. His graduate training at Brown University was in biomaterials and medical science (with Patrick Aebischer), and his post-doctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on the molecular mechanisms of axon guidance and neural development (with Jerry Schneider and Sonal Jhaveri).
From 2014 to 2016, Bellamkonda served as president of the American Institute for Biological and Medical Engineering (AIMBE), the leading policy and advocacy organization for biomedical engineers with representation from industry, academia and government.
Bellamkonda’s numerous awards include the Clemson Award for Applied Research from the Society for Biomaterials, EUREKA award from National Cancer Institute (National Institutes of Health), CAREER award from the National Science Foundation and Best Professor Award from the Georgia Tech Biomedical Engineering student body.