Andrew J. Putnam

picture of Andrew J. Putnam

Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering

Ph.D., The University of Michigan, 2001, Chemical Engineering
M.Engr., The University of Michigan, 1996, Chemical Engineering
B.S., University of California, Los Angeles, 1994, Chemical Engineering (Bio-option)

Phone: (949) 824-1243
Fax: (949) 824-1727

University of California, Irvine
Biomedical Engineering
3107 Natural Sciences II
Mail Code: 2715
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Cell and Tissue Engineering; Extracellular Matrix; Integrins; Signal Transduction; Cell Adhesion and Migration; Stem Cells; Bone; Smooth Muscle; Polymeric Biomaterials
Academic Distinctions
Fariborz Maseeh Best Faculty Researcher Award in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering (2008)
National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Award (CAREER) (2007-2012)
Fariborz Maseeh Best Faculty Teacher Award in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering (2005)
Associate Professor, UCI (2008 - present)
Assistant Professor, UCI (2003 - 2008)
Frederik Meijer Post-Doctoral Fellow in Cancer Research (2001-2002), Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, MI
Research Abstract
Dr. Putnam's overall research interests are in the area of cell and tissue engineering. His research program is centered around the global hypothesis that a better fundamental understanding of the interactions between cells and the extracellular matrix in both 2-D and 3-D is essential to inspire the design of "instructive materials" that direct cell function. Addressing this hypothesis will facilitate efforts to rationally develop novel polymeric biomaterials for regenerative medicine.

An underlying theme linking all of the current projects in Dr. Putnam's laboratory is an interest in the physico-chemical properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM). He and his researchers utilize both 2-D and 3-D biomaterial systems to conduct basic cell biological studies designed to improve current understanding of the instructive cues provided by the interface between integrin cell adhesion receptors and their cognate ECM ligands. These interactions are well known to regulate a variety of cell functions, including adhesion, spreading, migration, entry into the cell cycle, apoptosis, and differentiation.

Most of the projects involve cells of cardiovascular origin, principally vascular smooth muscle or endothelial cells, and musculoskeletal origin, including myoblasts, osteoblasts, and mesenchymal stem cells. In addition, because aberrant regulation of integrin signaling pathways is a hallmark of a variety of tumors, there are a few cancer-related projects ongoing.
1.) A.J. Putnam and D.J. Mooney. "Tissue engineering using synthetic extracellular matrices." Nature Medicine, 2(7):824-826 (1996).

2.) B.S. Kim, A.J. Putnam, T.J. Kulik, and D.J. Mooney. "Optimizing Seeding and Culture Methods to Engineer Smooth Muscle Tissue on Biodegradable Polymer Matrices." Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 57(1): 46-54 (1998).

3.) A.J. Putnam, J.J. Cunningham, R.G. Dennis, J.J. Linderman, and D.J. Mooney. "Microtubule assembly is regulated by externally-applied strain in cultured smooth muscle cells." Journal of Cell Science, 111(12): 3379-3387 (1998).

4.) A.J. Putnam, K. Schultz, and D.J. Mooney. “Control of microtubule assembly by extracellular matrix and externally applied strain.” American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology, 280:C556-C564 (2001).

5.) A.J. Putnam, J.J. Cunningham, B.B.L. Pillemer, and D.J. Mooney. “External mechanical strain regulates membrane-targeting of RhoGTPases by controlling microtubule assembly.” American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology 284:C627-C639 (2003).

6.) C.C. Lee, A.J. Putnam, C.K. Miranti, M. Gustafson, L.M. Wang, and G.F. Vande Woude, and C.F. Gao. “Overexpression of sprouty 2 inhibits HGF/SF-mediated cell growth, invasion, migration, and cytokinesis.” Oncogene, 23(30): 5193-202 (2004).

7.) S.R. Peyton and A.J. Putnam. “Extracellular matrix rigidity governs smooth muscle cell motility in a biphasic fashion.” Journal of Cellular Physiology 204:198-209 (2005).

8.) C.B. Khatiwala, S.R. Peyton and A.J. Putnam. “The effects of the intrinsic mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix on the behavior of pre-osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells.” American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology, 290:C1640-C1650 (2006).

9.) S.R. Chastain, A.K. Kundu, S. Dhar, J.W. Calvert, and A.J. Putnam. “The adhesion of mesenchymal stem cells to polymer scaffolds occurs via distinct ECM ligands and controls their osteogenic differentiation.” Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A, 78(1):73-85 (2006).

10.) C.M. Ghajar, K.S. Blevins, C.C. Hughes, S.C. George, and A.J. Putnam. “Mesenchymal stem cells enhance angiogenesis in mechanically viable prevascularized tissues via early metalloproteinase upregulation.” Tissue Engineering, 12(10): 2875-288 (2006). (cover article)

11.) S.R. Peyton, C.B. Raub, V.P. Keschrumrus, and A.J. Putnam. “The use of poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels to investigate the impact of ECM chemistry and mechanics on smooth muscle cells.” Biomaterials, 27(28): 4881-4893 (2006).

12.) A.K. Kundu and A.J. Putnam. “Vitronectin and collagen I differentially regulate osteogenesis in mesenchymal stem cells.” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 347(1):347-57 (2006).

13.) S.R. Peyton, C.M. Ghajar, C.B. Khatiwala, and A.J. Putnam. “The emergence of ECM mechanics and cytoskeletal tension as important regulators of cell function.” Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, 211(3):661-672 (2007).

14.) C.B. Khatiwala, S.R. Peyton, M. Metzke, and A.J. Putnam. “The regulation of osteogenesis by ECM rigidity in MC3T3-E1 cells requires MAPK activation.” Journal of Cellular Physiology, 211: 661-672 (2007).

15.) C.M. Ghajar, V. Suresh, S.R. Peyton, C.B. Raub, F.L. Meyskens, S.C. George, and A.J. Putnam. “A novel 3-D model to quantify metastatic melanoma invasion.” Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 6(2): 552-61 (2007).

16.) C.B. Raub, V. Suresh, T. Krasieva, J. Lyubovitsky, J.D. Mih, A.J. Putnam, B.J. Tromberg, and S.C. George. “Non-invasive assessment of collagen hydrogel microstructure and mechanics using multiphoton microscopy.” Biophysical Journal, 92(6): 2212-22 (2007).

17.) O. Jeon, S.J. Song, S.W. Kang, A.J. Putnam, and B.S. Kim. “Enhancement of ectopic bone formation by bone morphogenetic protein-2 released from heparin-conjugated poly(L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) scaffold.” Biomaterials, 28(17): 2763-71 (2007).

18.) S.W. Liao, X. Lu, A.J. Putnam, and G.S. Kassab. “A novel time-varying PLGA external sheath for vein grafts designed under physiological loading.” Tissue Engineering, 13(12): 2855-62 (2007).

19.) C.M. Ghajar, S.C. George, and A.J. Putnam. “Matrix metalloproteinase control of capillary morphogenesis.” Critical Reviews in Eukaryotic Gene Expression, 18(3): 251-78 (2008).

20.) S.J. Gwak, S.H. Bhang, I.K. Kim, S.S. Kim, S.W. Cho, O. Jeon, K.J. Yoo, A.J. Putnam, and B.S. Kim. “The effect of cyclic strain on embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.” Biomaterials, 29(7): 844-56 (2008).

21.) C.M. Ghajar, X. Chen, J.W. Harris, V. Suresh, C.C.W. Hughes, N.L. Jeon, A.J. Putnam, and S.C. George. “The effect of matrix density on the regulation of 3-D capillary morphogenesis.” Biophysical Journal, 94: 1930-1941 (2008).

22.) S.R. Peyton, P.D. Kim, C.M. Ghajar, D. Seliktar, and A.J. Putnam. “The effects of matrix stiffness and RhoA on the phenotypic plasticity of smooth muscle cells in a 3-D biosynthetic hydrogel system.” Biomaterials, 29(17):2597-607 (2008).
American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate Beginning Grant-in-Aid ("Engineered Tissues as Models for Cardiovascular Pathology")
NIH/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research ("Engineering Bone Cell Migration via Mechanotaxis") (R03-DE016117)
National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Award (CAREER) ("Defining the Biomechanical Role of the Extraceullar Matrix in Capillary Morphogenesis") (CBET-0644968)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute ("Regulation and Enhancement of Angiogenesis in Dense Fibrin Matrices") (R01-HL085339)
California Institute for Regenerate Medicine (CIRM) New Faculty Award ("A Novel Engineered Niche to Explore the Vasculogenic Potential of Embryonic Stem Cells") (Grant # RN1-00566-1)
Professional Societies
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
American Chemical Society
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Biomedical Engineering Society
American Society for Cell Biology
Research Centers
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Stem Cell Research Center
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