Georgia Tech professor to give biomaterials talk Wednesday

Andrés J. García, professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at The Georgia Institute of Technology, will discuss his research Wednesday (Feb. 24) as part of the 2010 J.D. Lindsay Lecture Series at Texas A&M University.García's presentation, "Building Construction of Tissues: BioArtificial Materials for Harnessing Host Repair," is scheduled from 3-4 p.m. in Rm. 106 of the Jack E. Brown Building. His presentation is sponsored by Texas A&M's Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering.García says cell adhesion to extracellular matrices plays a central role in the formation, maintenance and repair of numerous tissues. Cell adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins, he adds, is primarily mediated by the integrin family of adhesion receptors.His presentation will describe his efforts in establishing biomolecular strategies for the engineering of bioartificial materials to direct integrin binding specificity and signaling. These materials regulate cell adhesion and signaling to direct in vitro cell function and in vivo healing responses for tissue repair and integration, García notes.These studies, he explains, provide a basis for the rational design of robust biospecific surfaces that tailor adhesive interactions and elicit specific cellular responses for the development of 3D hybrid scaffolds for enhanced tissue reconstruction, "smart" biomaterials, and cell growth supports.A Woodruff Faculty Fellow and Chair of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Bioengineering Program at The Georgia Institute of Technology, García conducts research that centers on biomaterial, cellular and tissue engineering, areas which integrate engineering and biological principles to control cell function in order to restore and/or enhance function in injured or diseased organs.He has authored numerous research and review papers in leading biomaterials, tissue engineering, and cell biology journals as well as several patents and invention disclosures. His research has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, Arthritis Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.García has received several distinctions including Ford Foundation Dissertation and Post-Doctoral Fellowships, NSF CAREER Award, Arthritis Investigator Award, Georgia Tech's CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials, and Georgia Tech's Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award.In honor of Professor J.D. Lindsay, Texas A&M's first chemical engineering department head, the department established the Lindsay Lecture Series to bring speakers to the university. Coming from both industry and academia, the lecturers are recognized for their accomplishments in the practice, teaching and/or research of chemical engineering. The series also allows the lecturers several days for visiting the university and the department and for exchanging ideas on teaching and research objectives and methods.