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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Harley Lab receives NSF funding for stem cell biomanufacturing

Brendan Harley, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has received a two-year grant from the National Science Foundation for “EAGER: Biomanufacturing the hematopoietic stem cell niche.”

Associate Professor Brendan A. Harley
Associate Professor Brendan A. Harley

Working with Professor Bruce Hannon of the University of Illinois Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, the project will demonstrate approaches that integrate traditional experimental tools with rules-based models in order to design a stem cell biomanufacturing platform to selectively expand donor hematopoietic stem cells.

The effort will use tools previously developed to study ecological and economic sustainability in fishery and other wildlife population management questions to examine the dynamics of stem cells.

The project’s objective is to demonstrate a new paradigm for advanced stem cell manufacturing. Hematopoiesis is the process where the body’s blood and immune cells are generated from a small number of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) whose behavior is regulated by regions of the bone marrow termed niches. There is an unmet clinical need for stem cell biomanufacturing approaches to selectively expanding donor HSCs while also priming them for HSC transplants used to treat a wide range of hematologic diseases.

Learn more about the announcement from the NSF.