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In this informative podcast, Joan E. Nichols, Ph.D., professor, and a lead researcher, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, provides an overview of the lung, and her lab’s important work developing bioengineered tissue.

The celebrated Ph.D. discusses how she settled into bioengineering for her life’s work, and her motivation to study organs. She explains the incredible need for lungs and other organs, and how so many people are waiting for transplants to save their lives. Her lab hopes to be a part of this process, as their work is primarily in the area of developing bioengineered tissues.

Nichols explains why she chooses to research certain areas of science and outlines her interest in the variations within the human immune response to specific microbial pathogens. Her lab studies reaction and response of the lung after certain exposures to various pollutants, as well as respiratory pathogens. In addition, their research includes the study of disease pathogenesis, as well as inflammation, stem cell-based treatments, and more.

By utilizing adult and embryonic stem cells as well as advanced tissue engineering techniques to create human ex-vivo organoids/tissue constructs, they seek to create intricate human model systems to study disease pathogenesis and the complex human responses to pathogens. The Ph.D. explains the structure of the lung, covering topics such as gas exchange and the mechanisms of the lung.

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