While we are well aware that the brain communicates to the gut to regulate digestion and homeostasis, the enteric nervous system (ENS) also sends signals back to the central nervous system (CNS), which impacts the brain. Jessica’s work focuses on designing biomaterials to support the gut-ENS niche and studying serotonin signaling from the epithelium to the ENS and CNS. Application of this work will aid in understanding the influence of gut serotonin production on motility and on mental health, including anxiety and depression.
Jessica began her PhD in bioengineering in ABNEL at Northeastern Fall of 2018. Prior to her time at Northeastern, she completed her bachelors and accelerated masters degrees in biomedical engineering at the University of Iowa in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Her master’s research was done in the Institute for Vision Research under the direction of Dr. Budd Tucker and Dr. Kristan Worthington, titled,“2D and 3D Control of Photopolymerized Polycaprolactone Scaffolds for Cell Replacement Therapy in Retinal Disease.”
M.S. Biomedical/Medical Engineering
University of Iowa ’18
Iowa City, IA
B.S. Biomedical/Medical Engineering
University of Iowa ’17
Iowa City, IA
ABNEL was awarded a patent titled: Fluidic Device and Method of Assembling SAME. https://patents.justia.com/patent/20190083979
Francesco Fontana joined the lab as a visiting scholar over the winter from Italy and conducted experiments in magnetism on cells. He will hopefully defend his thesis in the coming months. Good luck Francesco!