Randolph S. Ashton, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering & Wisconsin Institute of Discovery; Associate Director, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center

Email: rashton2@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-316-4312

Randolph Ashton headshot


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Research Description:

In the Stem Cell Bioprocessing and Regenerative Biomaterials Laboratory, we endeavor to engineer novel materials and methodologies that optimally instruct lineage-specific differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) in a reproducible and scalable manner. Our lab employs a range of techniques including microfabrication, molecular biology, recombinant protein engineering, synthetic chemistry, and automated live-cell imaging to develop high-throughput screening methods for investigating the quantitative, temporal, and nano-scale qualitative characteristics of cellular microenvironmental factors that regulate stem cell fate in vivo. Our goal is to understand, model, and recapitulate in vitro the instructive signals utilized by human embryos to pattern tissue-specific differentiation of embryonic stem cells, and apply this knowledge towards the rational design of tissue engineer scaffolds and other regenerative therapeutic strategies.

Our research is highly interdisciplinary with topics ranging from novel biomaterials to stem cell biology. We currently specialize in developing regenerative therapies for the central and peripheral nervous systems. However, we actively seek collaborations and look to expand into other systems, including vascular and muscular tissues.

Featured Researcher in Fall 2011 SCRMC Newsletter

Selected References:
  • GT Knight, BF Lundin, N Iyer, LMT Ashton, WA Sethares, RM Willett, Engineering induction of singular neural rosette emergence within hPSC-derived tissues  … Elife 7, e37549
  • K Lemke, A Aghayee, RS Ashton (2017), Deriving, Regenerating, And Engineering Cns Tissues Using Human Pluripotent Stem Cells, Current Opinion In Biotechnology, [Doi:10.1016/J.Copbio.2017.05.010].
  • CR Marti-Figueroa, RS Ashton (2017), The Case For Applying Tissue Engineering Methodologies To .nstruct Human Organoid Morphogenesis, Acta Biomaterialia, [Doi:10.1016/J.Actbio.2017.03.023].
  • ES Lippmann, CE Williams, DA Ruhl, MC Estevez-Silva, ER Chapman, JJ Coon, RS Ashton (2015), Deterministic Hox Patterning In Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neuroectoderm, Stem Cell Reports, 4(4): 632-44.