The Shea Lab works at the interface of regenerative medicine, biomaterials, and systems biology. The central theme for the various projects is creating synthetic environments which can be employed to molecularly dissect tissue formation, promote tissue regeneration or function, and monitor disease initiation or progression. Of particular emphasis in the lab is:
- Applying the controllable microenvironments to in vitro and in vivo models of tissue formation, including nerve regeneration, and islet formation and function.
- Engineering nanoparticles or environments to modulate innate and adaptive immune responses for autoimmune and allergic disease, responses to trauma, and to prevent rejection of transplanted cells or tissue.
- Developing diagnostic systems for cancer and autoimmune disease that can detect immune dysregulation associated with disease onset, and monitor for the response to therapy.