476018 Biomaterials and Stem Cell-Based Therapeutics

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Continental 4 & 5 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Donny Hanjaya-Putra, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Research Interests:
My research focuses on making stem cell and molecular therapies as an effective method to model and treat diseases. I believe that this goal can best be achieved by employing engineering fundamentals using biomaterials in stem cell research. At this interface between engineering and stem cell biology, my research leverages many disciplines including polymer synthesis, microfabrication technique, and gene/protein delivery. My goal is to run a multidisciplinary research program that focuses on three broad areas: 1) to fundamentally understand the mechanisms by which chemical and mechanical signals are sensed by stem cells under physiological and pathological conditions, 2) to design biomaterials that provide spatial and temporal control in regulating stem cell differentiation and assembly, and 3) to merge our understanding of stem cell signaling with our engineered stimuli-responsive biomaterials to a range of applications in regenerative medicine, drug delivery, and disease modelling. I envision that students within this research program will have strong collaborative interactions with other scientists, engineers, and clinicians, which will further enrich this training environment.

PhD Dissertation: “Engineering Vascular Networks Using Synthetic Matrices.”
Advisor: Sharon Gerecht, Ph.D., Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University.

Postdoctoral Project: “Targeted Anti-Thrombotic Therapeutics for Deep Vein Thrombosis.”
Advisor: Elliot L. Chaikof, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School.

Research Experience:
My background as a chemical engineer, along with my training in biomaterials, stem cell biology and vascular surgery lab, uniquely position myself to contribute substantial progress in the fields. During my doctoral work with Dr. Sharon Gerecht at the Johns Hopkins University, I investigated the mechanism of stem cell assembly into functional vascular networks. We developed a synthetic matrix, which properties can be tuned to provide temporal and spatial control for vascular morphogenesis that are useful for therapeutic angiogenesis and tissue regeneration. My postdoctoral training with Dr. Elliot L. Chaikof at Harvard Medical School has further broadened my research horizon in the area of drug delivery to target inflammation and thrombosis associated with vascular injury and stem cell transplantation. We engineered fusion proteins that selectively deliver anti-coagulant agents to activated platelets right at the site of injury, therefore inhibiting thrombosis without increasing the risk of systemic bleeding. I also led collaborations with engineers and surgical residents to evaluate anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic therapeutics in a clinically relevant model of deep vein thrombosis and islet transplantation.

Teaching Interests:
I believe that teaching is an integral part of a great research university, as rigorous education for both undergraduate and graduate students is a foundation for an innovative research. Throughout my academic training, I had the opportunity to TA “Senior Design Class for Chemical Engineering,” as well as to design and teach advanced course in “Biotechnology for Regenerative Medicine.” Additionally, I have also mentored and trained several undergraduate and master students in our research groups. As a faculty member, I am interested in teaching “Introduction to Chemical Engineering” and “Transport Phenomena” among other possible courses within the department. In addition to those classes, I aim to design graduate curricula that will introduce students to the evolving field of biomaterials, tissue engineering, and drug delivery.

B.S., 2007, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Notre Dame.
Ph.D., 2012, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University.

Selected Awards and Honors:
2007, B.S. Magna Cum Laude, University of Notre Dame.
2011, U.S. New Investigator Travel Award, International Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH).
2012, Siebel Scholar, Class of 2012, Siebel Scholar Foundation.
2014-2017, JDRF Postdoctoral Fellowship,Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Selected Publications (14 journal articles in total. Citation: 458. H-index: 10):

  1. Hanjaya-Putra, D., Yee, J., Ceci, D., Truitt, R., Yee, D., and Gerecht, S. (2010). Vascular endothelial growth factor and substrate mechanics regulate in vitro tubulogenesis of endothelial progenitor cells. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.
  2. Hanjaya-Putra, D., Bose, V., Shen, Y.-I., Yee, J., Khetan, S., Fox-Talbot, K., Steenbergen, C., Burdick, J.A., and Gerecht, S. (2011). Controlled activation of morphogenesis to generate a functional human microvasculature in a synthetic matrix. Blood.
  3. Hanjaya-Putra, D., Wong, K.T., Hirotsu, K., Khetan, S., Burdick, J.A., and Gerecht, S. (2012). Spatial control of cell-mediated degradation to regulate vasculogenesis and angiogenesis in hyaluronan hydrogels. Biomaterials.
  4. Hanjaya-Putra, D., Shen, Y.-I., Wilson, A., Fox-Talbot, K., Khetan, S., Burdick, J.A., Steenbergen, C., and Gerecht, S. (2013). Integration and Regression of Implanted Engineered Human Vascular Networks During Deep Wound Healing. Stem Cells Translational Medicine.
  5. Kusuma, S., Shen, Y.-I., Hanjaya-Putra, D., Mali, P., Cheng, L., and Gerecht, S. (2013). Self-organized vascular networks from human pluripotent stem cells in a synthetic matrix. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  6. Krishnamurthy, V.R., Sardar, M.Y.R., Ying, Y., Song, X., Haller, C., Dai, E., Wang, X.,
    Hanjaya-Putra, D., Sun, L., Morikis, V., Simon, S.I., Woods, R.J., Cummings, R.D., Chaikof, E.L., (2015). Glycopeptide analogues of PSGL-1 inhibit P-selectin in vitro and in vivo. Nature Communications.
  7. Naik, N., Hanjaya-Putra, D., Haller C., Allen, M.G., Chaikof, E.L., (2015). Rapid homogenous endothelialization of high aspect ratio microvascular networks. Biomedical Microdevices.
  8. Hanjaya-Putra, D., Dai E., Haller C., Hagemeyer, C.E., Karlheinz, P., Chaikof, E.L., (2016). Targeted Anti-Thrombotic Prophylaxis for Deep Vein Thrombosis. Circulation (submitted).


  1. Hanjaya-Putra, D., Vo E.T., Wanjare, M., Gerecht, S., “Smooth Muscle-Like Cells (SMLCs) Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells,” US 13/581,341. (2012).
  2. Hanjaya-Putra, D., Gerecht, S., “Hydrogel-Based Vascular Lineage Cell Growth and Uses,” US 14/553,442. (2015).

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