Otto, Sharma and Stabler receive UF Term Professorship awards

Congratulations to the following UF BME faculty on being selected to receive University of Florida Term Professorship awards:

This recognition is for excellence in teaching, research and service recommended by their college deans based on nominations from their department chairs and reviewed by the College Honors and Awards Committee. Awardees have displayed a distinguished career that places them among the leaders in their discipline.

Otto’s research is focused on engineering neural interfaces for both research purposes as well as treatment options in neurological injuries or disease. In particular, his research focuses on multi-channel implantable microdevices in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. These interfaces are being investigated for many applications, including sensory replacement, cognitive functional therapy, and neuromodulation for autonomic therapies.

Sharma’s research program investigates fundamental material-cell interactions at multiple length scales to guide the development of targeted drug and cell delivery systems for applications in both regenerative medicine and cancer. At this intersection lies the dysfunctional inflammatory mechanisms that propagate tumor development as well as degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis. Sharma’s research seeks to understand the role of specific immune cells and inflammatory mechanisms in tissue pathology and develop therapeutic approaches to direct inflammatory mechanisms in a site-specific manner. For a given application, her group engineers biomaterials to enable therapeutic cells or molecules to overcome specific physiological barriers so they can successfully reach their tissue target.

Stabler’s research centers on engineering translational biomaterial platforms for cell-based therapies, particularly Type 1 diabetes. Specifically, her research seeks to develop bioactive materials capable of protecting cells from immunological attack; providing 3-D support of the transplanted cells; presenting cues for guiding positive host cell remodeling; and releasing therapeutic agents. Through the fabrication of novel biomaterials capable of actively interfacing with the host, she seeks to optimize the graft environment to favor the long-term survival and function of the implanted cells.

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