Our Faculty

Faculty Highlight: Guohao Dai

Contact: Guohao Dai, Ph.D. Associate Professor Department of Biomedical Engineering Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, Room 3123 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 110 8th Street Troy, NY 12180 Phone: 518-276-4476 Fax: 518-276-3035 Email: daig@rpi.edu Professional Background: Dr. Dai graduated from Beijing University, China with B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. in Biomechanics, where he performed research on cardiovascular system modeling and the dynamic coupling of left ventricle and systemic arteries. After that, he came to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and subsequently joined the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science’s Medical Engineering and Medical Physics program. During his Ph.D. studies, he did research in Fluid Mechanics Laboratory at MIT and Vascular Surgery Research Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. There, he developed a biomechanical model to analyze venous blood flow and tissue mechanics in the lower leg, and optimized the design of external pneumatic compression (EPC) device for better deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis. Then, he completed Post-doctoral training in Dr. Michael Gimbrone’s laboratory (Center for Excellence in Vascular Biology) at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on the influence of biomechanical force on endothelial phenotypic modulation and its role on pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. He has developed an in vitro system to recreate arterial shear stress waveforms acquired from atherosclerosis-susceptible and -resistant regions of human vasculature, and studied endothelial functions under these conditions. Using this system, combined with genome-wide transcriptional profiling strategies, his work has revealed distinct global gene expression patterns and some of the underlying molecular mechanisms that are responsible for the disease-prone and –protected phenotypes of vascular endothelium. Dr. Dai’s education and research experiences concentrate in the field of cardiovascular biomechanics and vascular biology. He is a member of Biomedical Engineering Society and North American Vascular Biology Society. Dr. Dai serves as a reviewer for National Science Foundation, American Heart Association, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, American Journal of Physiology, Cell and Molecular Bioengineering, Cardiovascular Bioengineering, Tissue Engineering and Journal of Vascular Surgery. Research Activities: Vascular endothelium plays an increasingly important role in many physiological and pathological processes in cardiovascular system. The functional phenotypes of the vascular endothelium are constantly modulated by its surrounding environments, including interactions with blood components, smooth muscle cells, extracellular matrix and biomechanical forces. Dysfunctional endothelium can contribute to the pathogenesis of many vascular diseases such as inflammation, thrombosis, atherosclerosis and failure of vascular graft. The mission of Vascular Bioengineering Laboratory is to integrate bioengineering approaches with vascular biology to understand how endothelial cell interacting with its environment and its role in the blood vessel regeneration and vascular disease processes, and to generate better designs in tissue engineering of vascular graft and microvasculature for organ regeneration. Currently, the research programs in the laboratory focus on three goals: (1) To understand how biomechanical forces regulate vascular functions, and to identify targets associated with specific cellular phenotype in diseased blood vessels and develop technologies for targeted drug delivery and molecular imaging of those vasculatures; (2) To develop 3-D cell printing technology for vascular tissue engineering applications, such as engineering tissue structures with adequate vascular perfusion and designing optimal conditions for blood vessel regeneration; (3) To develop technology to differentiate stem cells toward vascular lineage in particular arterial and venous endothelial cells, and to apply them in tissue engineering of vascular graft. To accomplish these research programs, we will use multidisciplinary approaches combining various methods including engineering design, experimental and computational fluid mechanics, micro-fabrication, cellular and molecular techniques. There are excellent opportunities for collaboration with our BME faculty in the field of tissue engineering, biomaterials, cell mechanics as well as our colleagues at Albany Medical College.