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ChE Seminar Series: Orchestrating Cellular Regeneration at Organ Scale
December 1, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
ChE Seminar Series Presents:
Yvon Woappi, Ph.D.
K99/R00 MOSAIC Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Large scale tissue damage, such as organ failure and burn injury, is a leading cause of morbidity and death. However, the mechanisms underlying full regeneration of organs remain poorly understood. As the largest organ system in the body, the integumentary system is a composite tissue evolutionarily adapted for healing. Consequently, its complex physiology requires multifaceted cooperation between several distinct cell populations and cell lineages of embryologically distinct origins. Equally integrated within this dynamic process is local immune response that produces mitogenic and inhibitory signals throughout the restoration procedure. There remains a significant gap in understanding how these processes are orchestrated, and how various skin cell populations from distinct developmental lineages functionally cooperate to regenerate tissue at organ scale. My research seeks to characterize the molecular language of tissue healing and to harness this malleable dialect for the regeneration of mammalian tissues. Through the development of organoid models of wound regeneration, and the coupling of these systems with novel gene-editing approaches, my work is enabling the functional understanding of the multifaceted cellular events executed throughout restorative healing. This seminar will describe these high throughput technologies and will illustrate their utility in identifying novel regulators of tissue healing.
Dr. Yvon Woappi’s passion for life sciences ignited during his childhood in Douala, Cameroon and was magnified after his family immigrated to Hanover, Pennsylvania during his middle school years. He went on to receive his B.S in Biology at the University of Pittsburgh, and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences as a Grace Jordan McFadden Fellow under Lucia Pirisi at the University of South Carolina. There, he developed a 3D skin organoid system to study the relationship between epithelial regeneration and virus-induced neoplasia. He subsequently completed postdoctoral training in the Harvard Dermatology Research Training Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he established novel in vivo gene editing systems to understand the contribution of distinct cell lineages in tissue regeneration and cancer. He was recipient of the 2019 Engineering the Genome Award, and was later selected as a Rising Star in biomedical sciences and engineering by MIT, Cornell, BU and Columbia University. Most recently, Dr. Woappi was awarded the NIH K99/R00 MOSAIC award to launch his independent research career. Away from the bench, he is an ardent proponent of inclusive excellence and currently sits on the advisory committee for the NIH Continued Umbrella Research Experiences Program at Harvard Medical School.