Engineered Metastatic Niches: Heterogeneity and Diagnostic Value

Tuesday, March 7, 2023


Cost: Free


Woolsey Hall

1845 Fairmount
Wichita, KS 67260
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Event Contact

Anil Mahapatro

Location: Woolsey Hall, Room 134

Speaker: Sophia Orbach, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Associate, University of Michigan


One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Advances in early screening and medical technologies have drastically enhanced survival in local disease, yet metastatic breast cancer continues to have poor outcomes. Improving metastatic diagnostics may be the key to improving survival. We have developed a porous, biomaterial scaffold that, when implanted subcutaneously, acts as an engineered metastatic niche. This scaffold provides a designated, accessible site that can be sampled to study disease biology and progression and serve as a diagnostic for early metastatic disease.


Sophia Orbach is a postdoc in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Her current research, under the guidance of Professor Lonnie Shea, centers on the use of biomaterial implants as synthetic metastatic niches. This research was funded through awards from the NIH F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship and University of Michigan Postdoctoral Translational Scholar Program. Dr. Orbach earned her B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and her M.Eng. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Her doctoral research focused on application of engineered liver models in toxicity and fibrosis.

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