Ben Cosgrove Assistant ProfessorMeinig School of Biomedical EngineeringBen Cosgrove completed his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the joint supervision of Dr. Doug Lauffenburger and Dr. Linda Griffith. His Ph.D. research established on experimental and computational systems biology tools to elucidate cytokine signaling network mechanisms regulating liver hepatocyte cell-fate decisions, and was supported by a Whitake Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Dr. Cosgrove's postdoctoral research was supervised by Dr. Helen Blau at Stanford University and was focused on engineering ex vivo strategies employing biomimetic hydrogel niche cultures to rejuvenate aged muscle stem cells to treat aging-associated muscle wasting. His postdoctoral research was supported by a Stanford Molecular Imaging Scholars Fellowship and a NIH K99 Pathway-to-Independence Award. The Cosgrove Laboratory develops and implements systems bioengineering approaches to study the signaling network dysregulations underlying the decline of stem cell function and tissue regeneration in aging and disease. Our multi-disciplinary group of biomedical engineers, stem cell biologists, and systems biologists is broadly interested in understanding how stem cells use the integrative action of their regulatory circuitry to interpret and balance diverse streams of microenvironmental "information". These approaches will enable the improvement of rationally designed, quantitatively predicable stem cell-targeted regenerative medicine therapies to treat tissue aging and degeneration. We utilize mouse model systems that exhibit aging-related declines in regenerative capacity, including skeletal muscle, liver, and hematopoietic tissues. In particular, we focus on these main areas of investigation: We engineer biomimetic microenvironments for evaluating stem cell-niche interactions. We develop single-cell assay and modeling approaches to deconstruct how stem cell fate outcomes are dictated by diverse niche microenvironmental cues. In particular, we focus on elucidating how heterogeneous stem cell fate outcomes emerge from deterministic signaling and regulatory circuits. We deconvolve the logic-based communication networks of overlapping autocrine and paracrine signals used by stem cells to communicate with their surrounding microenvironment.(4) We develop molecular imaging strategies to dynamically and quantitatively evaluate tissue regenerative processes in living animals. Our work is supported by an NIH R00 Pathway-to-Independence Award.