College of Engineering Spring 2023 Seminar Series: Shannon Stott

  • Starts: 2:00 pm on Wednesday, March 8, 2023
  • Ends: 3:00 pm on Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Title: Microfluidics and Patient Care: from Cancer to COVID19

Abstract: Advances in microfluidic technologies and molecular profiling of tumors have propelled the rapid growth in blood-based tests for cancer. Through a collaborative effort between bioengineers, biologists, and clinicians, my laboratory has developed microfluidic devices that can isolate and characterize rare circulating biomarkers from whole blood. Data from these devices will be presented with a focus on our recent effort to characterize CTCs and extracellular vesicles from the blood of patients with highly aggressive brain tumors. Transcriptomic and protein based signatures have been identified that suggest potential utility in the clinic to guide patient care. I will also share our most recent work repurposing these technologies to isolate SARS-CoV-2 virus particles and extracellular vesicles related to COVID19 infection. We are actively pursuing the testing of blood, stool and saliva to better predict which patients might have more severe outcomes. Through the microfluidic isolation of circulating biomarkers in cancer and COVID, our goal is to obtain complementary data to the current standard of care to help better guide treatment and identify new biomarkers and putative therapeutic targets.

Bio: Professor Stott is a Mechanical Engineer that works at the interface of technology and medicine. She has an extensive background in microfluidics, optics, and biopreservation, with a focus on their applications in clinical medicine. As a postdoctoral fellow, she invented the herringbone circulating tumor cell chip (HBCTC-Chip) a device that can successfully capture extremely rare cancer cells circulating in the blood stream cancer patients. Manipulating blood flow for the isolation and separation of biological components has been a hallmark of her work and recent efforts include using microfluidics to separate extracellular vesicles and nucleic acids from patient samples. The primary goal of the Stott Laboratory is to use these technologies and techniques to improve patient lives through early diagnosis and a greater understanding of how cancer spreads and kills. Dr. Stott has a particular interest in brain tumors and the potential impact of a blood biopsy for adult and pediatric patients. Dr. Stott has 12 patents issued or pending, and her research has been highlighted in Nature, Science, CNN, MIT Technology Review, as well as the television show, Jeopardy. She serves on various advisory boards, both in academic and industrial settings and is currently the elected Chair of the ASME Bioengineering Division. Dr. Stott has been awarded the American Cancer Society’s Women Leading the Way to Wellness Award, the 2021 MGH Excellence in Mentorship Award, and was named the d’Arbeloff MGH Research Scholar in 2022.

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E. Morgan