Patient-to-patient variability in disease progression continues to complicate clinical decisions in diagnosis and treatment. We focus on individual variability in production of cysteine cathepsins, powerful proteases that are the most potent mammalian collagenases and elastases and are upregulated during tissue-destructive disease progression. During this seminar, Dr. Platt will discuss 1) experimental and computational tools he has developed to better quantify and model the proteolytic network’s role in disease progression, 2) fundamental insights and consequences of proteolytic network perturbation on extracellular matrix remodeling, and 3) applications for personalized medicine strategies to address patient variability in cardiovascular disease, and in cancer invasion and progression.
Dr. Manu O. Platt is originally from Trenton, NJ and received his B.S. in Biology from Morehouse College in 2001 and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University School of Medicine in 2006. He finished his postdoctoral training at MIT in orthopedic tissue engineering and systems biology prior to returning to Georgia Tech and Emory in the joint department of Biomedical Engineering in January 2009, where he is now a tenured Associate Professor. Dr. Platt’s transdisciplinary research bridges tissue remodeling, systems biology, and a number of diseases. The Platt Lab studies proteolytic mechanisms in a number of diseases: pediatric strokes in children with sickle cell disease, HIV-mediated cardiovascular disease, tendinopathy in overuse injuries, endometriosis, and personalized medicine applications to predict individual patient-specific cancer metastasis potential. His work has been funded by NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, International AIDS Society, Georgia Cancer Coalition, and the National Science Foundation. He is also the Diversity Director for the NSF Science and Technology Center on Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS) that is a joint research center between Georgia Tech, University of Illinois, and MIT.http://www.platt.gatech.edu