Collaborative Workshops

Collaborative Workshops

McGovern Medical School Research Committee has launched a series of interdisciplinary professional development workshops designed to appeal to both clinicians and basic scientists to promote collaborative research interactions across the UTHealth campus. The schedule for FY 2017 and FY 2018 is listed below:

Cryo-Electron Microscopy

Cryo-electron microscopy is transforming the field of structural biology.  Over the past 10 years, advances in specimen preparation, microscopes, detectors and image processing have led to a revolution in determining the structure of molecules in isolation and in their cellular context.  In addition to the preservation of molecules in nearly native state, the resolution now achievable is measured in angstroms, rivaling methods such as NMR and crystallography.  This workshop brings together UTHealth investigators who have applied this cutting-edge technology to understand the structure and function of macromolecules and macromolecular assemblies that underlie fundamental biological processes.

June 6, 2017
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
MSB 2.135
Chaired by Neal Waxham, Ph.D., Neurobiology and Anatomy


Irina Serysheva, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

“High-resolution cryo-EM studies of IP3R channel in different functional states”

William Dowhan, Ph.D.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

“Role of cardiolipin and phosphatidylglycerol in mitochondrial function”

Jun Liu, Ph.D.
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

“High-throughput cryo-electron tomography: Imaging cells and molecules at high resolution”

William Margolin, Ph.D.
Microbiology and Molecular Medicine

“Interactions between bacterial actin and tubulin at the membrane”



Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering

Tissues and organs generally have an intrinsic capacity to repair damages caused by injury and disease. However, this capacity differs among tissues and organs, and furthermore, loss of functionality caused by extensive damage is not restored spontaneously. Regenerative medicine aims to regenerate/repair such extensively damaged tissues, by enhancing endogenous repair mechanisms and/or supplying proper cell types and mini-tissues (organoids) made by such cells to facilitate the repair process. For repairing large tissue damages, the latter strategy is often needed. However, delivering cells and organoids to, and immobilizing them at the damaged site, while keeping their viability and functionality after transplantation, is not straightforward, especially at sites that are under constant mechanical stress, such as muscle, bone and cartilage. Therefore, the delivery method is engineered using biomaterials to make sure that embedded cells and organoids are surrounded by the proper biochemical (growth factor and extracellular matrix) and physical/mechanical (compressive and shear stress) environment, after transplantation. However, we still do not fully understand many aspects of the process of cell/organoid-facilitated regeneration. Many questions, such as what determines the fate of transplanted cells and organoids (e.g., whether and how the type and age of cells used affect the outcome, and how cells and organoids respond to various biochemical and mechanical stimuli) still remain to be answered. In order to advance our knowledge and understanding of tissue engineering and biomechanics, this small workshop will bring together local experts in the various fields of science in an environment that will facilitate research interactions.

January 17, 2017
2:00 p.m. – 5:25 p.m.
MSB 2.103
Chaired by Naoki Nakayama, Ph.D., Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine and Johnny Huard, Ph.D., Orthopedic Surgery


Naoki Nakayama, Ph.D.
Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Institute of Molecular Medicine

“A novel cell source for cartilage cellular therapy and tissue engineering”

Scott Tashman, Ph.D.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery

“Assessing musculoskeletal tissue function after injury and treatment using dynamic, 3D imaging”

Mary Farach-Carson, Ph.D.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, UTHealth School of Dentistry

“Building salivary gland micro tissues for relief of xerostomia”

Pamela Wenzel, Ph.D.
Department of Pediatric Surgery-Regenerative Medicine

“Mechanotransduction signaling pathways”

Johnny Huard, Ph.D.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery

“The role of stem cells and tissue engineering in musculoskeletal tissue repair: Current evidence and future directions”

Last modified: May 11, 2017