Elizabeth Wayne, PhD

Dr. Elizabeth Wayne is an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering.  Dr. Wayne received her BA in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania and MS and PhD degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University. She was subsequently a postdoctoral fellow in the NCI T32 Cancer Nanotechnology Training Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy working under the supervision of Professor Alexander Kabanov where she developed adipose tissue-engineered models. Her lab at CMU focuses on using macrophages as tools for diagnostic evaluation and drug delivery carriers in cancer and regenerative medicine. Her advocacy has been featured in Nature Medicine and Nature Careers and she is a 2017 TED Fellow.

Dr. Wayne’s research interests include macrophages, immuno-engineering, drug and gene delivery, cancer, and biomaterials.  Macrophage polarization is tightly intertwined into the progression of many pathologies such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, tuberculosis, and regeneration/wound healing processes.  Macrophages are key members of the innate immune system that phagocytose foreign pathogens and apoptotic cells and communicate with the adaptive immune system. In addition, macrophages are spatially and functionally heterogeneous cells; each organ has a specialized set of macrophages and within that local environment their activity is modulated in response to stimuli. This dynamic relationship presents a unique opportunity for monitoring therapy pharmacodynamics. The Wayne Laboratory works to understand how macrophage activation can be used to interpret drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics during disease progression and tissue regeneration. This involves the development or optical imaging techniques and novel experimental systems to decipher the principles driving macrophage activation phenomena from the genetic to multicellular scales, including intrinsic macrophage functionality, extracellular environmental cues, and drug/gene delivery nanoformulations.

Dr. Wayne is a team member on Patent No. 10391146, Method to functionalize cells in human blood, other fluids and tissues using nanoparticles, King MR, Mitchell MJ, Rana K, Wayne EC, Schaffer CB, Chandrasekaran S (2016).

Dr. Wayne received the NCI Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA T32 Fellowship (2016-2019) and the Cornell CMM Young Investigator Award (2012).

View Dr. Wayne’s lab website here.

View a list of Dr. Wayne’s publications here.