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IBEC Seminar: Alejandro Mayorca
Friday, March 25, 2022 @ 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Mapping the structure of the extracellular matrix and engineering matrixbased disease modelsAlejandro Mayorca, Biotech Research and Innovation Centre, University of Copenhagen Understanding disease necessitates a precise representation of the extracellular matrix (ECM), a vast, intricate structure made of ~1300 interwoven proteins and glycans supporting all organs and acting as a master cell regulator. In spite of its importance, there are no high-resolution maps of ECM topography. I will present methods to isolate ECM from mammalian organs and generate a precise, quantitative, three-dimensional representation of the ECM in human organs during health and incurable conditions. Further development of these methods uses ECM scaffolds to engineer experimental models that recreate cell niches associated to advanced disease, aiming to break down the rules of their assembly.
Alejandro Mayorca is an assistant professor at the Biotech Research and Innovation Centre of Copenhagen University. His work focuses on extracellular matrix research and cancer bioengineering. He is an alumnus of the Central University of Venezuela, obtained his PhD in medical sciences from the University of Ehime, Japan and later became a postdoc in Janine Erler’s lab at the University of Copenhagen. He isolated and characterised the structure of the extracellular matrix in primary and metastatic tumours (Nature Medicine, 2017), developed techniques for whole-body ECM mapping (Nature Protocols, 2019) and then designed ECM-based bioreactors to model lung and liver metastasis (Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2022). Sala Baobab, Tower I, 11 Floor, IBEC