The Center for Cellular Biointerfaces in Science and Engineering (CCBSE) is co-led by NDSU University Distinguished Professor Kalpana S. Katti, Ph.D., F. AIMBE and UND Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor Colin K. Combs, Ph.D. The CCBSE has three pillars of scientific inquiry: materials design at biointerfaces; cellular systems at materials interface; and computation, machine learning, and predictive modeling.

The CCBSE is supported by ND-ACES: New Discoveries in the Advanced Interface of Computation, Engineering, and Science, ND EPSCoR’s most recent NSF cooperative agreement (award number 1946202), and is a five-year cooperative agreement that carries an 80/20% federal/state match.

The ND-ACES Principal Investigator (PI) and Project Director (PD) is Kelly A. Rusch, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE; NDSU. The Co-PIs are John Mihelich, Ph.D.; UND, and Jean Ostrom-Blonigen, Ph.D., CPA; ND EPSCoR.


Center for Cellular Biointerfaces in Science and Engineering Leadership

Colin K. Combs


Colin Combs is a UND Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of North Dakota. Contact Colin K. Combs

Kalpana S. Katti


Kalpana Katti is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering and the Graduate Program Coordinator at North Dakota State University. Contact Kalpana S. Katti

Publications

View a complete list of student and faculty publications here. Publications can also be found in the NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR)

Presentations

View a complete list of student and faculty presentationshere.

Researcher Spotlight

Name: Guodong Du
Hometown: Henan, China
Institution & Department: University of North Dakota, Chemistry
Pillar: Materials Design at Biointerfaces

What are you researching?
Our research aims to develop polymer-based nanomaterials as nanocarriers in biomedical applications such as controllable and targeted release of drugs. Built on previous our experience with poly(silyl ether)s (PSEs), a class of polymers that are hydrolytically degradable and structurally tunable, our current effort focuses on the synthesis of PSEs with hydrophilic segments and the fabrication of nanoparticles from them. The pH-sensitive degradation of such nanoparticles is used to target the tumor cells for drug release, and additional trigger-responsive units are being introduced into the PSEs.

Why is it important?
Polymeric nanoparticles-based diagnostics and therapeutics have been promising in the treatment of cancers and other diseases, because the polymer structure and composition can be deliberately modified, enabling the control over the size, morphology, and functionality of the subsequent nanoparticles. By selectively incorporating appropriate functionality responsive to certain internal and external triggers, targeted and controlled release of anti-cancer drugs at the desired sites with an optimal duration can be achieved, which is essential for the effective treatment of cancers.

Student Spotlight

Name: Abishek Dhungana
Hometown: Bardaghat, Nawalparasi, Nepal  
Institution & Department: North Dakota State University, Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

What are you researching?
Our research is currently focused on the reconstruction of a 3D model of cancer cells from high-resolution confocal scans and performing a numerical simulation of the cancer cells.

Why is it important?
This research will provide a new direction to cancer cell research. Investigation of cancer cells in a realistic fluidic environment would explain the metastasis and progression in the human body. It would help us to understand the moment and the adhesion of cancer cells which would give us new insights into cancer cell research.

News

  • Congratulations to ND-ACES Materials Design Pillar UND Lead, Julia Xiaojun Zhao, on receiving UND’s highest academic honor, the Chester Fritz Distinguished Professorship.
  • Congratulation to student researcher Di Sun from UND who received a Graduate Student Oral Presentation award at the North Dakota Academy of Science Annual Conference in Fargo!
  • Congratulations to student researcher Omolola Eniodunmo on receiving a graduate student council research symposium award at NDSU Student Research Day!
  • Congratulations to student researcher Sarah Reagen on recieving UND's Excellence in Teaching Award for 2022.
  • Congratulations to student reseracher Yingfen Wu on first place in Natural Sciences at the UND Graduate Research Achievement Day for her presentation: Multifunctional Nanoparticles for Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Guided Synergistic Photodynamic /Photothermal Therapy!
  • Congratulations to CCBSE researchers, Dr. Trung Bao Le and Dr. Kerry Hartman, co-PIs on a recently awarded NSF EPSCoR Track-2 cooperative agreement that will create an artificial intelligence research center focused on sustainable energy. Congratulations Dr. Hartman and Dr. Le!
  • The Secondary Student Careers in STEM Panel Science Café was Wednesday, March 30. Science Cafés are open to everyone and are an opportunity for scientists and the public to discuss current work and interesting scientific issues. Learn more on the ND-ACES Science Café Series page.
  • The 2022 ND EPSCoR Annual State Conference was Wednesday, April 6, 2022. See our conference information page.
  • Deniz Cakir, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astrophysics at UND and ND-ACES Computational Approaches Pillar researcher, is awarded a $600,000 DoD Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) grant.
  • Sanku Mallik, Professor and NDSU ND-ACES Materials Design Lead on receives the Teacher of the Year Award in the NDSU School of Pharmacy.
  • Cellular Systems at Biointerfaces undergraduate student researcher Carson Herbert (UND; advisor: Archana Dhasarathy) recieves a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, an 8 week program for undergraduate students from underrepresented groups in the Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Diego.
  • Jingyan Fu (NDSU), ND-ACES Cyberinfrastructure (CI) Assistant, presented at a meeting of Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC) on April 28, 2021.

 

 

 


Materials Design at Biointerfaces Pillar

The Materials Design at Biointerfaces Pillar objective is to progressively increase CCBSE researcher knowledge and application in the area of biomaterial scaffolds relevant to tissue engineering, particularly in the area of design methodologies of biologically inspired materials for diverse 3D tissue architectures. This pillar is co-led by Sanku Mallik (NDSU) and Julia Xiaojun Zhao (UND). Emerging Areas Seed Awardees: Yongki Choi (NDSU), Michael Kjelland (Mayville State), Danling Wang (NDSU), and Ali S. Alshami (UND).

 

 

Cellular Systems at Materials Interface Pillar

The Cellular Systems at Materials Interface Pillar objective is to increase the capacity and expertise of the CCBSE researchers in basic and translational use of in vivo-like 3D cell cultures, which will ultimately (long-term outcome) allow the team to partner with regional health care providers to serve as a resource for personalized medicine approaches to cancer. This pillar is co-led by Archana Dhasarathy (UND) and John C. Wilkinson (NDSU). Emerging Areas Seed Awardees: Motoki Takaku (UND), Xusheng Wang (UND), Stefan Vetter (NDSU), and Estelle Leclerc (NDSU).

 

Computation, Machine Learning, and Predictive Modeling Pillar

The Computation, Machine Learning, and Predictive Modeling Pillar objective is to enhance connected learning, knowledge, and application across multi-scale modeling, machine learning platforms, and experimental biomaterials and cellular data, which will result in an evolutionary in-silico platform to predict tumor growth. Increased knowledge and understanding of 3D systems can lead to future therapeutic/mitigation alternatives. This pillar is co-led by Dinesh R. Katti (NDSU) and Mark Hoffmann (UND). Emerging Areas Seed Awardees: Ravi Kiran Yellavajjala (NDSU) and Manu (UND).

Sanku Mallik

Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, North Dakota State University. Contact Sanku Mallik.

 

Archana Dhasarathy

Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences, University of North Dakota. Contact Archana Dhasarathy.

 

Dinesh R. Katti

Jordan A. Enberg Presidential Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, North Dakota State University. Contact Dinesh R. Katti.

Julia Xiaojun Zhao

UND Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, University of North Dakota. Contact Julia Xiaojun Zhao.

John C. Wilkinson

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, North Dakota State University. Contact John C. Wilkinson.

Mark Hoffmann

UND Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean for Research, University of North Dakota. Contact Mark Hoffmann.

CCBSE Members

Austin Allard

Pre-Engineering Instructor, Turtle Mountain Community College. Contact Austin Allard.

Aaron Bergstrom

Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Manager, University of North Dakota. Contact Aaron Bergstrom.

Mikhail Bobylev

Professor of Chemistry, Minot State University. Contact Mikhail Bobylev.

Deniz Cakir

Assistant Professor of Physics & Astrophysics, University of North Dakota. Contact Deniz Cakir.

Yen Lee Loh

Associate Professor of Physics & Astrophysics, University of North Dakota. Contact Yen Lee Loh.

Guodong Du

Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of North Dakota. Contact Guodong Du.

Marcus Fries

Chair, Department of Mathematics & Computer Science & Associate Professor of Mathematics, Dickinson State University. Contact Marcus Fries.

Nicholas Galt

Assistant Professor of Science, Valley City State University. Contact Nicholas Galt.

Amanda Haage

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences, University of North Dakota. Contact Amanda Haage.

Kerry Hartman

Academic Dean and Environmental Science Chair, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College. Contact Kerry Hartman.

Khang Hoang

Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology (CCAST) Research Scientist, North Dakota State University. Contact Khang Hoang.

Khwaja Hossain

Professor of Biology, Mayville State University. Contact Khwaja Hossain.

Svetlana Kilina

James A. Meier Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, North Dakota State University. Contact Svetlana Kilina.

Jiha Kim

Assistant Professor of Biology, North Dakota State University. Contact Jiha Kim.

Trung Bao Le

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, North Dakota State University. Contact Trung Bao Le.

Lu Liu

Assistant Professor of Computer Science, North Dakota State University. Contact Lu Liu.

Mike Parker

Professor of Pre-Engineering and Mathematics, Cankdeska Cikana Community College. Contact Mike Parker.

Mohiuddin Quadir

Associate Professor of Coatings and Polymeric Materials, North Dakota State University. Contact Mohiuddin Quadir.

Binglin Sui

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, University of North Dakota. Contact Binglin Sui.

Hilde van Gijssel

Professor of Science, Valley City State University. Contact Hilde van Gijssel.

Brent Voels

Professor of Science, Cankdeska Cikana Community College. Contact Brent Voels.

Wenjie Xia

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, North Dakota State University. Contact Wenjie Xia.

Integration with PROSPER (PROmoting Sustainable Partnerships in Education and Research)

PROSPER, the broadening participation arm of ND-ACES, provides education and experiences designed to build a diverse workforce, enhance partnerships and collaborations with various stakeholders, and inform North Dakota’s residents. The four elements of PROSPER are: Education and Workforce Development, Broadening Participation, Partnerships and Collaborations, and Comunication and Dissemination.

The goals of the CCBSE research efforts/intellectual merit are enhanced via the simultaneous and linked broader impact efforts of the PROSPER team and will be achieved through the establishment of diverse and sustainable STEM education and professional development pathways and expanded bioscience partnerships and internships designed to enhance success in future federal funding and support the transformation of research into practical use via trained personnel and new products. PROSPER will also expand underserved and underrepresented participation, and inform the residents of North Dakota.

Broadening Participation

Broadening Participation supports American Indian students and other underserved groups along the biosciences pathway. The STEM content conveyed in the activities of this element correlate to the CCBSE research areas and align with this team’s objective to increase the participation of underrepresented and underserved groups in STEM across a variety of age groups from elementary school to Ph.D. faculty.

Education and Workforce Development

Education and Workforce Development Element strengthens ND’s bioscience/STEM ecosystem by building a diverse pool of competitive researchers, skilled workers, effective educators, and engaged students. Working in close conjunction with the CCBSE, this element supports faculty professional development, student training, and K-12 student bioscience, engineering, and computational exposure.

Partnerships and Collaborations

The Partnerships and Collaborations team builds research infrastructure and strengthens ND’s research competitiveness through industry partnerships and other collaborations. The team works with CCBSE researchers and industry relations personnel to collaborate on research partnerships using established research protocols.

Communication and Dissemination

The Communcation and Dissemination team is working toward the goal of developing an elevated public understanding of the economic impact of growing North Dakota’s bioscience sector through strategic research investments as a result of data-sharing, communication, and outreach. Communication and Dissemintaion integrates with CCBSE researcher and PROSPER teams to create engaging content for public dissemination.


Acknowledgment

The ND-ACES NSF Track-1 cooperative agreement is a federal-state partnership to manage a comprehensive research development plan. ND EPSCoR manages the Track-1 award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Current funding is provided by the State of North Dakota and NSF EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program Track-1 (RII Track-1) Cooperative Agreement Award OIA #1946202. The ND-ACES Principal Investigator (PI) and Project Director (PD) is Kelly A. Rusch, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE; NDSU. The Co-PIs are John Mihelich, Ph.D.; UND, and Jean Ostrom-Blonigen, Ph.D., CPA; ND EPSCoR.