Tiago Fernandes

Post-Doctoral Researcher


PhD in Biotechnology, IST, 2009
Graduation in Biological Engineering, IST, 2004

Research Activities

My work is focused on providing an integrated platform that brings together engineering and biology in order to accelerate progress towards designing the stem cell fate and its microenvironment. The development of artificial cellular niches for studying the mechanisms that affect human stem cell pluripotency is of foremost importance and represents a major goal of my research. Human embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are used as model systems to establish in vitro artificial microenvironments that better mimic the extracellular matrix. Special attention is given to microscale-based systems designed for 3D culture of these cell types, and high-throughput screening platforms are being developed to unveil the effects of complex interactions on cell fate. In addition to the influence of mechanical and matrix-related responses, the effects of microenvironmental conditions (e.g. small molecules and growth factors) have been extensively studied due to their capacity to modulating intracellular pathways. My work is expected to contribute for the development of innovative cell culture models that better reflect in vivo function, and the final goal is to generate cells and tissues to advance our understanding of biology and tissue regeneration, which will lead to further development of cell-based therapies.

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