The first hybrid BMES conference took place in Orlando, Florida this year. Due to the continued concern of Covid-19 the conference was held both in person and online. The Sharma lab was well represented by several talks and posters across biomaterials, orthopedics, and cancer research.
Research presentations related to NK cell migration and tumor models included talks “Real-Time Migration of Natural Killer Cells in Three-Dimensional Tumor Extracellular Matrices” and “Effects of Hyaluronic Acid on Cancer Cell-Natural Killer Cell Interactions in 3D Microenvironments” by Madison Temples. And, Tiffany Conklin presented a poster, “Modeling Protein diffusion in PEG hydrogels utilized for investigating natural killer cell migration,” which hi-lighted the work she completed over the last year using a computational modeling approach to evaluate NK cell migration, in alignment with Temples projects.
On the osteoarthritis side of the lab, Shreedevi Kumar made use of the virtual programming by submitting a video of her talk, “Delivery of Immunomodulatory Protein to Classically Activated Macrophages in Osteoarthritis”, where she disseminated updates on how the CD200 protein could be used in the context of osteoarthritis. Concurrently at the conference, Tolu Ajayi evaluated the differences in gait parameters between non-invasive and surgical models of OA in her talk “Application of Magnetic Particle Imaging Technology to Understand Nanoparticle Biodistribution in Osteoarthritic Joints”. Jessica Aldrich shared work done collaboratively with Kumar, “ROS Scavenging Mechanisms of Manganese Dioxide Nanoparticles in Osteoarthritis” as well as a poster outlining the current status on manganese dioxide retention within cartilage, “Manganese Dioxide Nanoparticle Retention in Articular Cartilage as a Mechanism for Chondroprotection.”
Attending the conference was a great opportunity for many of the lab members to get together and share their work with the broader research community. As the first in person conference for everyone since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, it was a welcome change of pace. Lab members also enjoyed dinner together and celebrated the BMES bash at Universal Studios with other UF BME attendees.
We are looking forward to sharing more of our work in the coming months at other conferences and are thankful for all of the comments and feedback we heard while at BMES!
Check out some pictures from our trip: