University Lecture Series
Designed to create a campus-wide conversation, the University Lecture Series gives first-year students an opportunity to interact with leading members of our faculty—scholars, scientists, and civic leaders who are nationally and internationally renowned. All students, faculty, alumni, staff and community guests are invited, but the events will be aimed at entering first-year students. The series is funded by the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Excellence Fund for Undergraduate Studies.
Upcoming Lecture Series
Tuesday, Apr. 11
Engineering the Body’s Ability to Heal Itself – Prof. Laura Suggs
Texas Union Theatre
Dr. Laura Suggs earned her undergraduate degrees from The University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering with a concentration in biomaterials and tissue engineering from Rice University in 1998. Following an industrial position as a Senior Scientist and a Research Associate position at the University of Minnesota, she returned to Texas to join the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 2004. She has been the recipient of numerous awards in her field and is the Associate Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department at UT Austin. Her education portfolio includes classes in engineering biomaterials, tissue engineering, cell engineering, and senior design projects.
Dr. Suggs will discuss the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. While pluripotent stem cells have not yet reached the clinic, the therapeutic use of adult stem cells, which has been ongoing since 1995, has not generally been as successful as hoped. This may be largely attributed to our lack of understanding regarding the mechanisms for tissue repair. There is a complex relationship between the host immune system and the stem cell compartment. A critical scientific gap in our ability to understand and promote tissue regeneration is a lack of understanding of the interplay among the stem cell reservoir, the host immune system and the contribution of human movement towards cellular function.