Abstract: In soft and hard tissues of the knee joint, including cartilage, ligament, tendon, fibrocartilage, and bone, sex differences exist in both injury incidence, severity, and regeneration efficacy. Specifically, a better understanding of the interplay of sex hormones and mechanical cues in regulating tissue structure and function is needed to reduce or prevent injury, provide clearer and more patient-specific surgical and therapy recommendations, and develop techniques to promote functional regeneration and reduce scarring. The Robinson Lab focuses on the fibrocartilagenous knee meniscal discs that function to distribute load in the joint and experience limited regeneration after injury. This talk will focus on designing and fabricating biomaterial microenvironments to mimic key structural and mechanical components of the meniscus and determine interactions with estrogen signaling to promote regeneration and reduce fibrous scarring after injury.
Bio: Dr. Jenny Robinson is an Assistant Professor in Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and Mechanical Engineering and Core Faculty in the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Washington. There she holds the Endowed Chair in Women’s Sports Medicine and Lifetime Fitness. Jenny received her B.S. in Bioengineering from Rice University. She then completed her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M University under the guidance of Dr. Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez. Dr. Robinson conducted postdoctoral research in Biomedical Engineering and Craniofacial Biology at Columbia University, with Dr. Helen Lu and Dr. Sunil Wadhwa, respectively. Her research has been recognized by a NIH NIGMS R35 MIRA award, a Biomaterials Science Emerging Investigator issue award, a AIChE Futures Journal award, and delegate to the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers Symposium. This summer, Dr. Robinson was awarded with a Rosalind Franklin Society/Mary Ann Liebert Award that recognizes the best paper by a woman or underrepresented minority in science in each of the publisher’s 100 peer-reviewed journals.
Host: Professor Shelby Hutchens