Jenna Wilson

Department: Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Program: BioEngineering

Advisor: Todd McDevitt, PhD

Lab Website

Research Summary:

Increasing evidence indicates that the paracrine actions of stem cell trophic factors may have an equal or greater impact on tissue regeneration than the differentiation of cells post-transplantation. Therefore, my research involves developing engineering approaches to modulate the pluripotent stem cell environment in order to control trophic secretion. Additionally, I'm investigating bioprocesses for ESC culture and trophic factor concentration, focusing on microencapsulation within alginate beads, which may enable industrial production of stem cells and stem cell secreted factors.


I received my Bachelor of Science degree (summa cum laude) in bioengineering from Oregon State University in 2010. While an undergraduate at Oregon State, I first performed research with Dr. Greg Rorrer and examined the bioremediation of toxic compounds using marine seaweeds. I also worked with Dr. Ganti Murthy, researching biofuel production from microalgae. I completed an undergraduate thesis with Dr. Adam Higgins, working to improve cryopreservation procedures for cultured neurons. In addition, I spent a summer working as an Amgen Scholar in the lab of Dr. Rachelle Crosbie at UCLA, where I studied the amelioration of muscular dystrophy using a small molecule. I also spent one summer working as an upstream bioprocessing intern at Bend Research, Inc. in Bend, Oregon.

In July 2010, I joined the lab of Dr. Todd McDevitt as a PhD student in bioengineering at Georgia Institute of Technology with the goal of integrating my background in bioprocessing with innovative stem cell technologies. Since beginning graduate school, I have received recognition as an NSF GRFP Honorable Mention (2010, 2011), an NSF IGERT trainee (2010-2012), and a CD4 GAANN fellow (2012-present). I have also participated in the Graduate Leadership Program and have held leadership positions in the student groups BBUGS and BGSAC.

Related News
See Video of microencapsulation of embryonic and mesenchymal stem cells for scalable bioprocessing
Jenna Wilson and Douglas White, second-year IGERT trainees, presented at the Society for Biological Engineering’s 3rd International Conference on Stem Cell Engineering in April 2012
A K-12 science fair open house organized by graduate students to show how science can be fun!
IGERT students give stem cell demonstrations to visiting high school students
Jenna Wilson honored for her hard work and service
Featuring an outreach event for the Atlanta Science festival.
Wilson receives a travel grants for $1,500 for her top poster.
Related Publications
Stem cell microencapsulation for phenotypic control, bioprocessing, and transplantation. Biotechnology Bioengineering Journal Wilson JL, McDevitt TC