BME7900 Seminar Series - Joyce Wong, PhD



Weill Hall 226


We welcome our last seminar speaker of the semester, and the BME DEI Committee chosen speaker, Dr. Joyce Wong. Dr. Wong is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering at Boston University.

Challenges and Solutions for Theranostic Platforms with Dual Detection and Treatment Functions

Abstract: The development of theranostic platforms is exciting because of their potential use for detecting and treating disease. Many diseases would benefit greatly from early detection because typically there are many more treatment options at early- compared to late-stage. Theranostic platforms can potentially report on disease state/progression and monitor therapeutic response to drugs, gene therapy, and tissue-engineered solutions. Semi-/non-invasive strategies can minimize repeated surgical interventions that exacerbate the disease.

However, there are significant challenges that must be overcome to realize their full clinical potential. In particular, theranostic platforms present specific design challenges because often the imaging and therapeutic functions have competing design requirements. I will discuss two theranostic platforms we have been developing to address unmet clinical needs for cancer and abdominal surgical adhesions using superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and lipid-shelled ultrasound contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound contrast imaging, respectively. I will describe novel nano and microparticle designs that achieve targeting and efficacy in vitro and in vivo in relevant tissue and disease models. Using a biomaterials science and engineering approach, we aim to contribute to the clinical translation of theranostic platforms.

Bio: Dr. Joyce Y. Wong is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering at Boston University. She is a Fellow of the NAI, AAAS, AIMBE, BMES, IAMBE, and CRS. She is the current President of AIMBE (American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering). Her research focuses on developing biomaterials for the early detection and treatment of disease. Her current projects include pediatric bioengineered blood vessel patches, ultrasound contrast agents to detect and treat abdominal surgical adhesions, and most recently, development of biomaterial systems for women’s reproductive health. She has published over 115 peer-reviewed publications, 11 pending or issued patents, and has mentored over 100 trainees. In 2017 she received the Charles DeLisi Distinguished Lecture and Award, the highest honor in Boston University’s College of Engineering. In 2020, she received the Clemson Award for Basic Research from the Society for Biomaterials. She is currently Deputy Editor for Science Advances and an Associate Editor of Stem Cell Research & Therapy. In 2014, as the Inaugural Director of a Boston University Provost Initiative promoting women in STEM at all levels from K-12 to faculty, she launched ARROWS (Advance, Recruit, Retain & Organize Women in STEM). She also led Boston University’s Bronze Award for AAAS SEA (STEM Equity Achievement) Change and is part of the BU team recently awarded a NIH Prize for Enhancing Faculty Gender Diversity from the Office of Research on Women’s Health.