Integrin mediated focal adhesions in modulating stem cell stasis and differentiation in 3D multivalent matrices

​Using a controllable multivalent 3D biomimetic hydrogel ECM model to investigate how to manipulate stem cell states of self-renewal vs differentiation facilitated through the formation of focal adhesion complexes and the mechanotransduction pathways they signal through to modulate cell behaviour, function and fate. Specifically, the effect of altering the adhesion ligand availability within the ECM of mesenchymal stem cells and how these biophysical changes modulate the progression through the cell cycle and the effects of either maintaining stasis and self-renewing vs exiting and their differentiation propensity. The multivalent 3D biomimetic PIC hydrogel model system is being optimised to improve viability and methods established to evaluate the functional outcomes.

Xin Gao earned her Bachelor of Biopharmaceutics and Molecular Science from Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine and Griffith University in 2017 and 2018, respectively. In 2020, she received the Master of Molecular Biology Research Extensive degree at the University of Queensland, Australia. In October 2020, she began her PhD in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at the University of Queensland under the supervision of Prof Alan Rowan and Dr Amanda Kijas.