BIOE: Kimberly Stroka - "Engineered blood-brain barrier models to understand breast-to-brain metastasis"

Speaker Kimberly Stroka, Assistant Professor, Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park
Date: 3/27/2018
Time: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

2240 Digital Computer Lab, 1304 W Springfield Avenue, Urbana, IL

Event Contact: Lisa Leininger

Department of Bioengineering

Event Type: Seminar/Symposium

BioE Big Ten Exchange Seminar


"Engineered blood-brain barrier models to understand breast-to-brain metastasis"



Engineering biomimetic systems that recapitulate biological, chemical and mechanical properties of the microenvironment can improve in vitro modeling of disease initiation and progression. We are particularly interested in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) microenvironment, which is a highly selective physical barrier consisting of the brain microvascular endothelium, basement membrane, and supporting nearby cells such as astrocytes, pericytes, and neurons. Dysfunction of the BBB plays a role in many diseases, including cancer metastasis, though in vitro studies of the BBB are limited because most brain endothelial cells lose the BBB phenotype (characterized by tight junction protein expression and impermeability) during in vitro culture. We are utilizing an integrated engineering and biological approach in order to understand BBB mechanobiology, inspire more physiologically relevant in vitro models, and examine tumor metastasis across the BBB. This seminar talk will discuss our recent efforts to understand how physical and biochemical cues from the BBB microenvironment affect brain endothelial cell mechanobiology, and how interactions between tumor cells and the BBB microenvironment can affect tumor cell migration.


About the Speaker:

In January 2015 Dr. Kimberly Stroka joined the Fischell Department of Bioengineering as an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her B.S. in Physics in 2006 from Denison University and her PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. She completed her postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Institute for NanoBioTechnology. Dr. Stroka has received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, NIH NRSA F31 predoctoral fellowship, NIH T32 and F32 postdoctoral fellowships, and Burroughs Wellcome Career Award at the Scientific Interface. She also received the Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society (2014), Research and Scholarship Award from the UMD Graduate School (2017), and “Outstanding Young Scientist Award” from the Maryland Academy of Sciences (2017). Currently, Dr. Stroka’s lab focuses on vascular biomechanics, tumor cell metastasis, and stem cell mechanobiology.

To request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact the person listed above, or the unit hosting the event.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1102 Everitt Lab MC 278
1406 W. Green St
Urbana, IL 61801, USA

(217) 333-1867 | Email us

Copyright ©2019 The Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois

Privacy Policy | Engineering Cookie Policy