Western Engineering News | February 26, 2014
By Fred DeVries
In January, Western Engineering welcomed a new faculty member to its team.
Associate Professor Lauren Flynn holds a joint appointment with Engineering (Chemical and Biochemical) and Schulich Medicine & Dentistry (Anatomy and Cell Biology).
“I'm thrilled to join the faculty at Western, given its history of excellence in both research and teaching,” said Flynn, who holds a BASc and PhD from the University of Toronto.
Recruited from Queen’s University, Flynn conducts research that intersects both engineering and medicine. “I’m interested in soft tissue engineering and cell-based regenerative strategies using adult stem cells isolated from human fat, which are known as adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs),” she said.
Her joint faculty position will provide a tremendous opportunity to foster new interdisciplinary collaboration and training.
“I’m looking forward to working with the strong networks of researchers across the faculties at Western, to develop innovative approaches to treat a broad range of diseases and disorders that affect soft tissues, including breast reconstruction following tumour removal, wound healing, cartilage regeneration, and the treatment of cardiovascular disease,” Flynn said.
Her interests complement Western’s strengths in biomaterials, musculoskeletal health and stem cell research.
“Lauren’s expertise will allow the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and the Faculty of Engineering to grow our interdisciplinary approaches to healthy aging,” said Kem Rogers, chair of Anatomy and Cell Biology, “by bridging the gaps among traditional stem cell biology, scaffold design and surgical intervention.”
Ajay Ray, chair of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, agrees.
"We are fortunate and excited that Lauren joined us,” said Ray. “Her work will strengthen our research related to biomaterials, particularly tissue engineering and regenerative medicine as well as adipose-derived stem cells, broadening research collaboration with Anatomy and Cell Biology, and tying fundamental and applied science."
As she begins her time at Western, Flynn looks forward to becoming a strong contributor to the university’s research community – and beyond.
“I plan to continue my focus on translational research,” she added, “and in particular, the development of novel biomaterials and tissue engineering strategies towards commercialization and clinical translation.
“Ultimately the goal is to take this research from the bench to the bedside, to offer new treatment options that improve the health and quality of life of Canadians.”