Dr. Lauren Flynn

Associate Professor in the Departments of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering and Anatomy & Cell Biology at The University of Western Ontario

Dr. Lauren Flynn is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering and Anatomy & Cell Biology at The University of Western Ontario. Following her undergraduate degree in Engineering Science, Dr. Flynn completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) at the University of Toronto, investigating the design and characterization of natural bioscaffolds for adipose tissue engineering. In 2007, she joined Queen’s University as an Assistant Professor and was subsequently recruited to Western in 2014. The focus of Dr. Flynn’s research is on the development of cell-based regenerative therapies with adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ASCs) and bioscaffolds derived from the extracellular matrix (ECM) for applications in soft connective tissue regeneration, wound healing, and therapeutic angiogenesis. Her interdisciplinary and translational research program involves collaborations with engineers, biologists, imaging scientists, and clinicians, and is funded by the CIHR, NSERC, Heart & Stroke Foundation, and OIRM. Dr. Flynn was the recipient of an Early Researcher Award and the Western Faculty Scholar Award, and she is currently the Co-Director of the CONNECT! NSERC CREATE Training Program in Soft Connective Tissue Regeneration/Therapy.
 

Dynamic Culture Systems to Enhance the Regenerative Capacity of Adipose-Derived Stromal Cells

Wednesday, September 11, 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM

 

Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) hold great promise for the development of cell-based regenerative strategies for applications in soft connective tissue regeneration, therapeutic angiogenesis, and wound healing. In particular, adipose tissue is a uniquely abundant, accessible, and expendable source of MSCs, termed adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ASCs). In addition to demonstrating multipotent differentiation potential, ASCs can secrete a broad array of beneficial paracrine factors that can help to establish a more pro-regenerative microenvironment to stimulate endogenous repair within damaged host tissues. However, key questions remain including how to culture and deliver the cells more effectively to enhance their capacity to stimulate functional tissue regeneration.

Recognizing the biological importance of the extracellular matrix (ECM), research in the Flynn lab is focused on the design of cell-instructive bioscaffolds for applications in stem culture and delivery. Our strategies seek to combine the benefits of our novel 3-D ECM-derived platforms with dynamic cell culture, to enable tuning of the cellular microenvironment in a tissue-specific manner to augment the regenerative capacity of the cells through bioreactor expansion.