Nathaniel Hogrebe, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Scholar
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Nathaniel grew up in St. Louis, MO. He moved to Ohio to continue his education, earning his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton with minors in Biology and Bioengineering. He then completed his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at The Ohio State University in 2016 under the guidance of Dr. Keith Gooch. His doctoral research focused on the importance of insoluble cues from the cellular microenvironment on particular cell behaviors, such as human mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. He joined the Millman Lab in the fall of 2016 with the hopes of using these skills to help improve the differentiation of stem cell-derived β-cells and assist in the tissue engineering of pancreatic islets.
Type 1 diabetes results from the loss of insulin-producing β-cells within the pancreas. Transplantation of mature β-cells offers a potential cure for this disease, but a reliable source of functional β-cells is vital to this approach. Nathaniel’s mentor, Dr. Jeffrey Millman, previously developed with colleagues a six stage protocol for differentiating human pluripotent stem cells into functional β-cells using a step-wise combination of soluble factors. Nathaniel’s current research focuses on further improving the maturation and function of these β-cells through a tissue engineering approach, such as incorporating cues from the native extracellular matrix that surrounds β-cells in vivo. His other research interests include encapsulation and immunoprotection strategies for transplantation of these cells.