Workshop on Innovations in Biomaterials Science

Biomaterials Science and Engineering to Address Unmet Needs in Women’s Health

October 26, 2021
11:00 am EDT


Women’s health continues to be an important and understudied area of research. Materials scientists and engineers have a long history of working with medical practitioners to solve problems related to human health and have the potential role to create solutions specific to women’s health issues. This MRS/SFB joint webinar aims to address recent materials developments in women’s health, and the need for biomaterials approaches and collaborations in this broad area will be discussed. Specifically, this joint seminar will provide an overview of opportunities for materials scientists and engineers to characterize materials, design model tissue systems, and apply computational methods in order to understand normal tissue as well as disease progression in women’s health. This includes topics such as biomaterials for replicating gynecological cancer, biomaterials and computational modeling approaches for building placental models, and biomaterials for building models of the endometrium. This perspective will encourage and inspire future researchers, while engaging current researchers to think about redirecting their skills and efforts to addressing unmet needs in women’s health.


  • Engineering High Throughput Screening Platforms of Cervical Cancer
    Kaitlin Fogg,
    Oregon State University
  • Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Endometriosis/Adenomyosis Patient
    Linda Griffith
    , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Biomaterials Studies of the Extra-Embryonic Fetal Support Structures -- Placenta and Fetal Membranes
    Michelle Oyen
    , East Carolina University


Joyce Wong, Boston University

Joyce Y. Wong is a professor of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering at Boston University. She is a Fellow of the NAI, AAAS, AIMBE, BMES, and IAMBE. She was recently elected President-Elect of AIMBE. Her research focuses on developing biomaterials for the early detection and treatment of disease. Her current projects include pediatric bioengineered blood vessel patches, ultrasound contrast agents to detect and treat abdominal surgical adhesions, and most recently, development of biomaterial systems for women’s reproductive health. In 2017, she received the Charles DeLisi Distinguished Lecture and Award, the highest honor in Boston University’s College of Engineering. In 2020, she received the Clemson Award for Basic Research from the Society for Biomaterials. She is currently Deputy Editor for Science Advances and an Associate Editor of Stem Cell Research & Therapy. In 2014, as the Inaugural Director of a Boston University Provost Initiative promoting women in STEM at all levels from K-12 to faculty, she launched ARROWS (Advance, Recruit, Retain & Organize Women in STEM). She also led Boston University’s Bronze Award for AAAS SEA (STEM Equity Achievement) Change and is part of the BU team recently awarded a NIH Prize for Enhancing Faculty Gender Diversity from the Office of Research on Women’s Health. She has served as Member-at-Large for SFB and currently is a member of the SFB Awards Committee. She has served as Volume Editor for MRS and is co-organizer of one of the Fall 2021 MRS-SFB webinars. 



Kaitlin Fogg
, Oregon State University

Kaitlin Fogg is an assistant professor in Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. She earned her PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis in 2016, carrying out her thesis work focused on tissue engineering with Dr. Kent Leach. She then went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer systems biology with Dr. Pamela Kreeger at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she used in vitro models of disease and statistical modeling techniques to investigate the interactions of the immune system and ovarian cancer. She is the recipient of a pre-doctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association, a Scientific Scholar award from the Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research, and was named a Shooting Star at the 2018 Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Conference. Her current work focuses on developing multicellular models of gynecological disease in order to better understand signaling dynamics and identify potential therapeutic targets.

Linda Griffith, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Linda G. Griffith is Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering and MacVicar Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she directs the Center for Gynepathology Research. She has pioneered approaches in tissue engineering and organs-on-chips and now integrates these platform technologies with systems biology to humanize drug development.  She has chaired numerous scientific meetings, including the Keystone Tissue Organoids Conference (2020), the Signal Transduction by Engineering Extracellular Matrix Gordon Research Conference (2016), and has co-chaired the Open Endoscopy Forum at MIT annually since 2015. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and several awards from professional societies. Griffith currently serves on the advisory board of the Society for Women’s Health Research and has served on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health. She received her BS degree from Georgia Tech and PhD degree from UC Berkeley, both in chemical engineering.


Michelle Oyen, East Carolina University

Michelle L. Oyen is an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Department of Engineering, East Carolina University.  Prior to joining ECU in 2018, she was based at the Cambridge University Engineering Department in Cambridge, England, where she was a Lecturer (2006-2013) and Reader (2013-2018) in Bioengineering as well as a Fellow (2012-2018) of Homerton College Cambridge.  Michelle has degrees in Materials Science and Engineering (BS), Engineering Mechanics (MS), and a PhD degree in Biophysical Sciences.  Her research interests are in biomaterials, biomechanics, tissue engineering, and in the emerging field of using bioengineering tools for studying pregnancy.