Seminar Friday, November 2

Chang H. Lee, PhD
Associate Professor
Renegerative Engineering Laboratory
Columbia University Medical Center

In Situ Regeneration of Dense Connective Tissues by Endogenous Stem/Progenitor Cells

Stem cell-based therapies have received tremendous attention in the hope of regenerating defective tissues or organs. Current stem cell-based regenerative therapies predominantly involve isolation and sorting, ex vivo culture-expansion, and transplantation with or without directed differentiation. Despite being a valid approach, cell transplantation has encountered crucial barriers in therapeutic translation, including immune rejection, pathogen transmission, potential tumorigenesis, issues associated with packaging, storage, and shipping, and difficulties in clinical adoption and regulatory approval. Accordingly, alternative therapeutic approach has been suggested by recent works showing the existence of endogenous stem cells with regenerative capacity. We have reported promising findings that healing, repair or regeneration can be achieved by recruiting, activating, and/or differentiating either tissue resident or circulating stem cells, instead of stem cell transplantation necessitating ex vivo manipulation. This seminar will cover our research progress for regeneration of dense connective tissues including knee meniscus and tendon by harnessing endogenous stem/progenitor cells. The potential of ‘in situ regeneration’ as a simple and straightforward strategy for regenerative medicine will also be discussed.

Dr. Lee received his BS in Biomedical Engineering from Inje University (South Korea) in 2002. He completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University in 2010 and received postdoctoral training until 2014 at Center for Craniofacial Regeneration in College of Dental Medicine. Dr. Lee is currently an Associate Professor at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine.

Dr. Lee’s research focuses on musculoskeletal and craniofacial tissue regeneration by harnessing endogenous stem/progenitor cells. His ‘in situ regeneration’ works have been well recognized with high-impact publications such as The Lancet, Science Translational Medicine, and Journal of Clinical Investigation. His in situ tendon regeneration work published in Journal Clinical Investigation was highlighted in New England Journal of Medicine in 2016. Dr. Lee received numerous awards, including Mentor of the Year Award at Columbia CDM (2018), Best paper award at Orthopedic Research Society (2017), NIRA at Orthopedic Research Society (2013), Best Research Mentor Award from Bergen Academy (2011), Webster Jee Young Investigator Award at International Chinese Hard Tissue Society (2009), Young Investigator Award at Society of Physical Regulation in Biology and Medicine (2008), University Dean Award from Inje University (2004), and International fellowship award from Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (2003). He was an invited speaker at 11th BioKorea International Convention (2018), Rutgers University School of Dental Medicine (2018), Annual Musculoskeletal Repair and Regeneration Symposium (2017), Hospital for Special Surgery (2017), Columbia BME seminar series (2017), Penn State BME seminar (2017), NIH Bridge cohort 2016, Society for Biomaterials 2014 and Gordon Research Conference on Collagen (2011).

He served as a member of NIH BTSS (2016) and NIH DSR study section (2018), ORS new investigator mentoring committee (2018 – 2020), a program reviewer for international conferences such as Orthopedic Research Society (2015 – 2017) and Biofabrication (2016), and a grant review panel in Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program (MIPS) (2016), Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (2017) and European Research Council (2017). His research has been well-supported by Oral and Maxillofacial Foundation grant, NIH/NIDCR R03, and NIAMS R01 grants.