Mohamad is an undergraduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, pursuing degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science. In December 2010, he joined the McDevitt Lab and has worked on projects from modulating hematopoietic differentiation within EBs to engineering paracrine delivery of ES cells. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of Submissions and Review for The Tower Undergraduate Research Journal and is a member of the Institute's Honors Program. Mohamad plans to attend graduate school to earn a PhD in Bioengineering and continue to work in stem cell engineering.
Embryonic stem (ES) cells have the unique ability to differentiate into cell types of all germ lineages. However, there are several challenges in using ES cells for regenerative medicine and stem cell bio-manufacturing applications, namely dynamic regulation of cell fate and scalable cell production. A recent paradigm shift has emerged suggesting that the beneficial effects of stem cells may not be restricted to cell restoration alone, but also due to their transient paracrine actions. Approaches, such as microencapsulation and hypoxic conditioning, can be utilized to engineer paracrine delivery for enhanced therapeutic efficacy and provide scalable means of cell production. First, microencapsulation of ES cells in alginate can be exploited to modulate cell phenotype and secretory profile via the ratio of guluronic and mannuronic acid content, as well as allow for high density culture in bioreactors. Second, conditioning of ES cells under low oxygen tension (3% O2) has promoted expression of several growth factors (in particular, VEGF and BMP-4) and mimics in vivo embryogenesis conditions. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate the secretion of native paracrine factors (growth factors, cytokines, and ECM molecules) of hypoxic-conditioned murine ES cells within alginate microcapsules of varying encapsulation parameters.
Amgen Scholar 2014
Barry M. Goldwater Scholar 2014
MIT-Harvard Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics (BIG) Summer Fellowship Program 2013
President's Undergraduate Research Award (PURA)
Petit Undergraduate Research Scholar - Beckman Coulter Scholar 2012
Third Place, Student Presentation Competition, Society of Engineering Science 49th Technical Meeting