Abolhassani and Chen Take 2nd Place in America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent Competition

January 8, 2024

Headshots of Abolhassani and Chen on a yellow background with text announcing their 2nd place accomplishment.

Graduate students from across the University of Rochester presented their proposals to improve regulatory science as participants in the America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent Student Competition held by UR CTSI this past December. Individuals and teams developed their proposals to address a current area of focus of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  

Hossein Abolhassani and Chiao Yun Chen, PhD candidates in Biomedical Engineering, took second place for their presentation, “3D Organoid-On-A-Chip”.

“Two-dimensional monolayer cell cultures and in vivo animal models are being extensively used for drug screening and development,” Abolhassani said. “However, they cannot adequately recapitulate human tissues. More than 90% of drugs have been reported to fail to gain FDA approval in clinical trials mainly due to inadequacy of screening models. The tissue chip model can be employed as a novel technology to provide a proper microenvironment for three-dimensional disease modeling and high-throughput drug screening. The model can replace, reduce, and refine reliance on animal testing.”

Watch the “3D Organoid-On-A-Chip” presentation

Chen has been working on a salivary gland tissue chip project in the Delouise and Benoit labs since 2021 in an effort to reduce or replace animal testing.

“We successfully identified potential radioprotective drugs that protect against radiation-induced salivary gland damage using these chips,” Chen said. “In addition to drug discovery, we anticipate utilizing salivary gland tissue chips for various biomedical applications.”

Abolhassani and Chen believe that tissue chips can be integrated into microfluidic devices and provide organoid-on-a-chip microphysiological systems for individualized therapies and precision medicine purposes. They are going to directly present their proposal to the FDA in the spring of 2024.

John Miller, a PhD candidate in Microbiology & Immunology, won first place with his presentation “Stopping Runaway CAR-T Cells”. Rana Alabdali (PhD candidate in Pharmacology and Physiology) and Ryan Owens (PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Medicine) took third place for “AI Detecting Infant Seizures”. (Read more...)

Congratulations to all!

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