Lead Scientist, Okyanos Innovation Center
Dr. Khady Guiro brings a diverse background in Biomedical Engineering (BME) and regenerative medicine to her position as Lead Scientist for Advanced Regen Medical Technologies and the Okyanos Innovation Center. Her current research is in age-related diseases and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) for ARMT’s first in man treatment for anti-aging.
As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (RU-NJMS) in the department of Hematology/Oncology and Medicine, Dr. Guiro extended her deep and diverse background in the field of BME, which includes Tissue Engineering, Biomaterials, Biomechanics, Regenerative Medicine, Molecular Biology, Modeling of the Bone Marrow and Tumor Microenvironment and Hematopoiesis.
Before her work at RU-NJMS, Dr. Guiro was a Ph.D. student in the department of BME at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, in a joint program with Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Her thesis, “Using Tissue Engineering Strategies to Study the Mechanism of Breast Cancer (BC) Dormancy within the Bone Microenvironment,” explored the hypothesis that the 3-dimensional (3D) fibrous bone mimetic scaffolds will affect breast cancer cell (BCC) behavior in vitro compared to 2-dimensional (2D) substrates. This thesis study focused on dormancy in this microenvironment and evaluated dormancy more closely by cell cycle analysis and drug resistance. The thesis also investigated whether the quiescent cancer cells could be therapeutically targeted by relevant microRNAs. Dr. Guiro and her collaborators developed a novel, mineralized 3D tumor model to investigate BC dormancy. Compared to conventional 2D cultures, BCCs maintained in their 3D scaffold model displayed features that recapitulate their behavior in vivo. The findings suggested for the first time that bone mimetic, hydroxyapatite-containing fibers play a significant role in modulating BCCs behavior in vitro. In 2015, a patent titled “3D in vitro model for BC Dormancy” was filed for this work.
In 2012-2013, Dr. Guiro worked as laboratory research scientist at NASA Langley Aerospace Research Center, Hampton, VA, in the Advanced Materials Branch. There she investigated the effects of a Rotating Cell Culture System on Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) seeded on tissue-engineered constructs. This work had a wide range of applications. The overall goal was to stimulate and study the effects of microgravity, weightlessness, and radiation that astronauts experience every time they travel in space (high radiation and bone resorption due to the effects of weightlessness) on MSCs. Dr. Guiro planned and implemented study designs following SOPS and GLPs for the different aspects of the bioreactor cell culture system, acquiring high-level safety and software training along with proper handling of classified and sensitive government documents.
Immediately prior to her work at Advanced Regen Medical Technologies, Dr. Guiro was a postdoc Research fellow in a stem cell/translational medicine laboratory, where she worked directly on the science that led to ARMT’s launch. This included experiments and data analysis, such as the design, cryopreservation and maintenance of unique cell culture experiments together with isolation and characterization of various cell population and extracellular vesicles for analysis. Additionally, she worked on the translation of the approach to in vivo studies using customized humanized mouse models and developed a proficiency in current drug delivery and regulatory guidelines supporting both molecular and cellular therapeutics through a continuous survey and review of the existing literature. Dr. Guiro led all Bioengineering projects at the lab.
Dr. Guiro holds a patent on a 3D in vitro model for breast cancer dormancy. She is an Alfred P. Sloan scholar and a NASA Student Ambassador. Dr. Guiro mentors in several programs to train graduate, medical and high school students in developing good lab practices, constructing study designs, executing experiments and data analysis.
She is also actively engaged in professional organizations, including: the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Society of Biological Engineering and the American Association of Cancer Research. To remain current and be an active participant in the field, she is a reviewer for PLOS ONE journal and Cancer Letters. Dr. Guiro received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and Biomedical Sciences from New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.