Thomas Turner

Thomas Turner completed his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at the University of Florida. He joined Dr. Botchwey’s lab in 2017. Thomas’ work focuses on developing new immune autotherapies for treatment of volumetric muscle loss. In ongoing collaborative work, his is interested in applying these concepts to develop a therapeutic strategy to improve the vascularization and integration of surgical flaps. He is also working on a study to describe lipid features of mesenchymal stem cells and Car-T cells to predict therapeutic potency.

Nathan Chiappa

Nathan received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2010. He joined the Botchwey lab in fall of 2010. Nathan’s primary research interest is understanding the roles of sphingolipid metabolism in red blood cell physiology and pathology. To achieve this, Nathan has used LC-MS/MS lipidomic analysis to quantify sphingolipid concentrations in red blood cells under different conditions. This includes normal genotype and sickle genotype red blood cells. He has also used computational systems biology techniques to construct and analyze models of red blood cell sphingolipid metabolism to better understand the regulation of the metabolic network.

Jack Krieger, Ph.D.

Jack Krieger received a B.S. in engineering physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012 and joined Dr. Botchwey’s lab at Georgia Tech later that fall. His research interest is manipulating inflammation to augment healing of injured tissues. To achieve this end, Jack is involved in collaborative work developing hydrogel materials that release immunomodulatory molecules at sites of injury. Jack’s recent studies demonstrate that pro-regenerative inflammation and microvascularization are achieved by hydrogel-mediated delivery of immunomodulatory proteins and synthetic sphingolipid analogs.

In ongoing work, Jack is focused on rotator cuff tears, specifically how post-injury inflammation affects rotator cuff muscle health and whether immunomodulatory strategies can improve muscle function.

In his spare time, Jack can be found outside or watching live music.

Caitlin Sok

Caitlin Powell Sok completed her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She is in the MD/PhD program at Emory University and joined Dr. Botchwey’s lab in 2013. Caitlin’s work focuses on developing materials that tune the inflammatory response after injury to promote tissue healing and repair. In recently published work, she demonstrated that local delivery of specialized proresolving lipid mediators modulate immune cell recruitment and enhance post-injury vascular remodeling. In ongoing collaborative work, Caitlin is interested in creating a combined-delivery hydrogel system that is able to promote acceptance of transplanted tissue.

Molly Ogle, PhD

Jada Selma

Jada Selma completed her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS. She joined Dr. Botchwey’s lab in 2012. Jada’s work focuses on elucidating the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms behind pathological bone remodeling in sickle cell disease (SCD).  Previous transgenic sickle mouse model studies have shown that increased osteoclast activity and reduced mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation into osteoblasts contributes broadly to sickle bone disease (SBD). However, Jada’s project aims to link SBD to the finding that sphingolipid metabolism is dysregulated in SCD.  Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), a type of sphingolipid that is upregulated in SCD, directs a wide array of cellular processes including, migration, cell-cell adhesion, survival, and proliferation. S1P has also been found to direct MSCs towards an osteogenic lineage and modulates their migration. Moreover, Jada is also investigating the role of cell-derived microparticle  internalization by osteoclastic precursors in contributing to pathologic bone resorption in SCD due to increased inflammation and proteolytic activity.   In ongoing collaborative work, Jada is interested in applying these concepts to determine potential therapeutic targets for SBD as well as to improve MSC therapy for other bone disorders

Claire Olingy, Ph.D.