Tissue Microenvironment Training Program (T32) Project Summary/Abstract A quantitative understanding of the tissue microenvironment (TiMe) is now recognized as critical for advancing biomedical science and healthcare, ranging from regenerative medicine to managing the burden of cancer. To this end, the integration of three technological approaches is essential: (a) sensing and imaging to measure biochemical and biophysical parameters, (b) bioengineering to recapitulate the TiMe, and (c) computational modeling to develop the next generation of productive scientific leaders. Accordingly, we propose a unique educational platform in which predoctoral students will integrate the use of the three technological approaches in TiMe-related studies using the biological contexts of disease and development. With intensive mentoring and systematic activities focused on professional development, trainees will become the next generation of interdisciplinary leaders capable of undertaking fundamental research and enabling translational advances. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has exceptionally strong disciplinary programs, diverse faculty spanning the intellectual arc of the program, and appropriate facilities and unique resources in each of these technological areas. The Training Program is distinctly advantaged by our strong history of successful graduate training, including a commitment to diversity and individuals with disabilities, a culture of productive collaboration, a new Department of Bioengineering, and strong institutional support. Thirty-nine faculty, many of whom are currently collaborating in TiMe research, will serve as faculty mentors. At least eight trainees will be supported for up to two years each. NIH-supported trainees (4), augmented by University support for additional trainees (4, ramping up to 5 in year 3), will be drawn from a strong applicant pool across campus. Training will include four core components-Curricular Activities to ensure depth in the three technological areas and apposite breadth across disciplines, Extracurricular Activities to develop pragmatic skills, Professional Development to empower trainees to become research leaders, and Career Development to ensure trainees make lifelong contributions to society. The activities will be structured in a manner to streamline education, allowing the students to focus efficiently on research, and the awarded doctoral degree will include a special designation (concentration in TiMe). Traditional education will further be enhanced by co- mentored research with possibilities of translational opportunities via a new engineering-based College of Medicine. Outcomes will be rigorously evaluated throughout the program to improve training, to guide administrative decision-making and to disseminate best practices. The vision, expertise, and infrastructure of the Illinois TiMe Training Program will ensure that trainees selected from a strong and diverse graduate community will provide sustained research contributions to benefit public health.

Public Health Relevance

We propose to establish a Tissue Microenvironment (TiMe) Training Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Focusing on three technological themes- bioengineering, imaging and sensing, and computational modeling-the program will focus on both intellectual and professional development of students. Building on the collaborative faculty, leading disciplinary expertise at Illinois, and extensive facilities and exceptional institutional support, this unique educational platform will train the next generation f interdisciplinary leaders capable of undertaking fundamental research and enabling translational advances.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZEB1)
Program Officer
Baird, Richard A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Engineering (All Types)
Biomed Engr/Col Engr/Engr Sta
United States
Zip Code
Zhou, Effie Y; Knox, Hailey J; Reinhardt, Christopher J et al. (2018) Near-Infrared Photoactivatable Nitric Oxide Donors with Integrated Photoacoustic Monitoring. J Am Chem Soc 140:11686-11697
Liu, Lin; Wang, Ruibo; Wang, Chunran et al. (2018) Light-triggered release of drug conjugates for an efficient combination of chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy. Biomater Sci 6:997-1001
Kenkel, Seth; Mittal, Anirudh; Mittal, Shachi et al. (2018) Probe-Sample Interaction-Independent Atomic Force Microscopy-Infrared Spectroscopy: Toward Robust Nanoscale Compositional Mapping. Anal Chem 90:8845-8855
Kim, MinWoo; Zhu, Yang; Hedhli, Jamila et al. (2018) Multidimensional Clutter Filter Optimization for Ultrasonic Perfusion Imaging. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 65:2020-2029
Hedhli, Jamila; Slania, Stephanie L L; P?oska, Agata et al. (2018) Evaluation of a dimeric-cRGD peptide for targeted PET-CT imaging of peripheral angiogenesis in diabetic mice. Sci Rep 8:5401
Grant, Lauren; Raman, Ritu; Cvetkovic, Caroline et al. (2018) Long-term cryopreservation and revival of tissue engineered skeletal muscle. Tissue Eng Part A :
Li, Joanne; Bower, Andrew J; Arp, Zane et al. (2018) Investigating the healing mechanisms of an angiogenesis-promoting topical treatment for diabetic wounds using multimodal microscopy. J Biophotonics 11:
Chen, Jee-Wei E; Pedron, Sara; Shyu, Peter et al. (2018) Influence of Hyaluronic Acid Transitions in Tumor Microenvironment on Glioblastoma Malignancy and Invasive Behavior. Front Mater 5:
Konopka, Christian J; Wozniak, Marcin; Hedhli, Jamila et al. (2018) Multimodal imaging of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products with molecularly targeted nanoparticles. Theranostics 8:5012-5024
Liu, Yang; Le, Phuong; Lim, Sung Jun et al. (2018) Enhanced mRNA FISH with compact quantum dots. Nat Commun 9:4461

Showing the most recent 10 out of 21 publications