Todd McDevitt’s research focuses on engineering technologies that direct the differentiation and morphogenesis of stem cells into functional tissue constructs. The lab is working to create human tissue models that can be used to study development and new approaches to treat multiple diseases that afflict the cardiovascular, neurological, immunological, and musculoskeletal systems.
He has received several honors and awards for research, mentoring and teaching which include: New Investigator Award from the American Heart Association and the Society for Biomaterials Young Investigator Award and was inducted in the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows and most recently, was awarded the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Research Leadership Award, which enabled his move to the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco in 2015.
Areas of Investigation
We are studying stem cell differentiation and morphogenesis to engineer three-dimensional, multicellular systems that can be used to study principles of stem cell and developmental biology. We are designing many new technologies to better control and assess stem cell phenotypes, with a particular focus on scalable methods and non-destructive analyses that are directly and immediately relevant to biomanufacturing needs. We are creating novel biotherapeutic approaches based on factors derived from stem cells to facilitate regenerative molecular therapies and engineer new platforms that can model and treat a variety of biomedical problems, including cardiovascular disease, neurological and immunological disorders, and traumatic musculoskeletal injuries.
Current Lab Focus
• What are the roles of physical and biochemical factors in the extracellular environment that regulate decisions in stem-cell fate, particularly in 3D environments?
• What are the critical mechanisms that regulate differentiation and morphogenesis of embryonic tissues during development, and how can we engineer these processes?
• How can we create functional 3D models of human tissues from pluripotent stem cells, such as heart, spinal cord, bone, and cartilage?
• How can we engineer technologies to deliver factors secreted from stem cells to regenerate tissue, ameliorate disease, and modulate the inflammatory and immune system?
• What tools and technologies do we need to develop that we can directly integrate into bioprocessing systems to manufacture stem cells at high yields?
Education & Training
Todd graduated with cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) from Duke University in 1997 after double majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. Todd received his PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Washington in 2001. He completed his dissertation research in the laboratory of Patrick Stayton working on protein engineering and micropatterning techniques to spatially control cell assembly for cardiac and skeletal muscle tissue engineering. In 2001, Todd joined Chuck Murry's lab in the Department of Pathology as a post-doctoral fellow. His post-doctoral research focused on signaling pathways mediating proliferation of cardiomyocytes derived from stem cells for the purpose of myocardial repair.
Todd moved to the Gladstone Institutes in 2015 after a successful ten years at Georgia Tech. During his tenure, Todd was held the following positions: Carol Ann and David D. Flanagan Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, a Petit Faculty Fellow of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at Georgia Tech, and the founding Director of the Stem Cell Engineering Center at Georgia Tech. McDevitt was the PI of the $3.6 million NSF Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program on Stem Cell Biomanufacturing which was highlighted in Nature as an "out-of-the-box" novel graduate training program. In addition, Todd was appointed to a six-member panel of North American experts by the National Science Foundation to a conduct an international assessment of stem cell engineering research and development efforts that is intended to inform strategic investments by the U.S. in this emerging area of biotechnology.