Dr. Stephanie Willerth

Dr. Stephanie Willerth
Mechanical Engineering
Office: Engineering Office Wing, Room 513

SB (MIT), MS (Wash U), PhD (Wash U)

Area of expertise

Tissue engineered scaffolds for promoting stem cell differentiation, novel drug delivery systems, and analysis of stem cell differentiation using next generation sequencing

The Willerth lab uses stem cell-based bioengineering to address significant biological problems in the areas of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Our group determines how to reproducibly engineer neural tissue from these pluripotent stem cell lines through strict regulastion of the conditions for both the culture of undifferentiated cells and during the neural differentiation process.

We develop bioactive scaffolds for directing stem cell differentiation through the use of both physical and chemical cues. To deliver chemical cues, we have developed scaffolds for controlled drug release over extended time periods. We are also exploring the mechanisms behind this differentiation by using next generation DNA sequencing to analyze the differences in transcription patterns expressed by these stem cells as they differentiated.

The end goal of our research is develop engineered tissues suitable for transplantation in the human nervous system for treatment of diseases like Parkinson's or to repair damaged tissue found in the spinal cord to promote recover of lost function.

Dr. Willerth was recently named a "Star in Global Health".

For a comprehensive list of publications, please see Dr. Willerth's Google Scholar Profile