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Singh Research Group

Welcome to the Immunotherapy and Cell Engineering Laboratory (ICEL).


Our research effort centers on creating functional "living" immune tissues as organoids or on-chip to recapitulate selective aspects of lymph nodes. Our tissues communicate dynamically with human and mouse immune cells, and using engineered approaches we are able to manipulate cell’s behavior. We are interested in both basic and translational research. Using engineering principles, we study how lymphatics interacts with immune cells, their tumors, and how immune cells undergo decision making at the cellular, molecular, and epigenetic (chromatin) levels to protect humans from infectious threats. Our particulat interest is in germinal centers that make antibodies and in T cells. 

We apply principles of biomaterials engineering, fluid mechanics, tissue and material mechanics, cell engineering, and integrate these with fundamental concepts of immunology and pathology. Our ultimate goal is to better understand immune-related diseases and develop new therapies, for example antibodies, signaling and epigentics targeted anti-cancer drugs. We are further interested in understanding how disruption of normal immune processes result in transformation of "protector" immune cells to "malignant" cancer cells of immune system (called lymphomas). Singh laboratory has developed designer, biomaterials-based 3D immune organoid technologies that represent subanatomical parts of immune tissues (e.g. lymph nodes) found in the body.

We have three major directions: 

  • Immuno-engineering: Develop ex vivo immune tissues or lymphatic-on-chip by integrating immune cells, biomaterials,  cell adhesion and cell-matrix interactions, tissue mechanics, transport and fluid flow. These engineered ex vivo immune organs have application in immunity, cancer, infections, and inflammation. 
  • Lymphoma Bioengineering: Develop ex vivo "malignant" immune tissues by integrating lymphoma cells, biomaterials, tissue mechanics, transport and fluid flow. Specific focus areas include B cell receptor signaling and epigenetics.
  • Model Metabolic Syndrome Effect on Engineered Devices: Explore the black box of immunity agains bioengineered systems with comparative ex vivo and in vivo models
  • Micro-Nano-Bioengineering of Prostate Cancer: Develop engineered micro-nano-technologies to modulate immunity and develop teratoma-free therapeutic stem cells.

Research in Singh laboratory is supported by the the National Institute of Health (The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases ; National Cancer Institute), Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, 3M, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, WCM Prostate Cancer SPORE initiative, WCM-CU Seed, and Cornell Animal Health Center.

Recent News
8/2018 Prof. Singh to serve as the Associate Director on the new NIH T32 Training grant on "Immuno-engineering" at Cornell with Prof. Avery August and David Putnam as Program Directors.  This five-year, $890,560 NIH grant will train graduate students interested in specializing in “immuno-engineering,” an emerging hybrid field that combines engineering and immunology
7/2018 Congrats to recent PhD Dr. Alberto Purwada and current PhD student Shiv Shah on their new publictaion in Biomaterials

"Ex vivo synthetic immune tissues with T cell signals for differentiating antigen-specific, high affinity germinal center B cells" 

6/2018 We thank NIH/NCI for supporting us with a diversity supplement award.
4/2018 Apoorva's research paper with Lymphatic-on-chip like characteristics published in Cell Reports -"How Biophysical Forces Regulate Human B Cell Lymphomas". Congrats to all members of the team!!
4/2018 Congrats to Singh lab Ph.D. students Regan Stephenson and Tibra Wheeler on receiving National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships!  Very proud moment for the lab!
3/2018 Singh recieved a 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award!
2/2018 Huge congrats to Singh lab! Prof. Singh awarded a new $2M NIH-R01 grant  from NIAID to develop biomaterials-based immune organoids and study epigenetics of immune system. The grant will support reseach from 2018-2023. 
1/2018 Prof. Singh selected to serve as an Associate Scientific Advisor for Science Translational Medicine for 2018-2019In addition to serving as an advisor for the journal, he will be writing Editor’s Choice pieces for them every several weeks!  
01/2018 Prof. Singh selected to become a standing member of the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine at Cornell Medicine #Immune #Immunotherapy #organoids
12/2017 Singh lab research highlight at Cornell Research
11/16/2017 Professor Singh invited to attend the 2017 EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium.
11/07/2017 Prof. Singh was recently awarded the John Swanson '61 ME in honor of his mother, Dorothy G. Swanson Teaching Excellence Award from Cornell.  
10/12/2017 Huge congrats to the team! Prof. Singh's co-senior author paper with prof. Ari Melnick at WCMC in Nature Communications models complex immunobiology of genetically engineered double knockout mouse models in organoids and explains how epigenetics of B cells regulates rapid proliferation of germinal center B cells via silencing of a checkpoint gene. Solves a mystery about why and how B cells respond quickly to infectious threats and identifies functioning of an epigenetic switche that may be responsible for lymphomas.
8/8/2017 Prof. Ankur Singh invited to attend the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) 2017 EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium (EU-US FOE). This activity is organized by NAE and the European Council of Applied Sciences, Technologies, and Engineering (Euro-CASE). The objectives for this bilateral meeting are similar to those for the US Frontiers of Engineering with the added element of facilitating international cooperation and understanding. These include collaborative work, the transfer of new techniques and approaches across fields, and establishment of contacts among the next generation of leaders in engineering.
7/7/2017 Alberto Purwada successfully defends his PhD and starts his new job in New York City! COngrats and best wishes!
6/30/2017 Medgadget interviewed Prof. Singh on his Immune Organoid technology!
5/30/2017 Prof Singh has won a three-year, $555,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) through its Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), to further his study of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
5/20/2017 Prof Singh selected as the recipient of the Weill Cornell Medicine Prostate Cancer SPORE Initiative Award!! This technology-driven translational project focuses on human prostate cancer.
4/07/2017 Prof Singh receives the prestigious Society for Biomaterials Young Investigator Award! Gives a plenary lecture at the 2017 SFB Annual Meeting in Minneapolis!
3/22/2017 Big day in Singh lab!! We are very excited to receive a new ~$1.2 Million funding from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to engineer a "Lymphoma-on-Chip" technology, called LETSSGo. LETSSGo will improve our understanding of genetically diverse and highly resistant cancers of the immune system. Thank you for your support NIH/NCI. 
See Cornell Research:
02/10/2017 ACS paper figure became a part of the cover!
02/01/2017 Congrats Apoorva on the acceptance of his research article on the role of lymph node tissue stiffness on lymphomas!! This article, accepted for publication in JBMR-A, is the first study to show tymph node stiffness modulates surface protein expression in Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma in a molecular subtype dependent manner.  
02/01/2017 Congrats Shiv Shah on the acceptance of his review paper on "Cellular Self-assembly and Biomaterials-based Organoid Models of Development and Diseases" in Acta Bio!
01/05/2017 Congrats PhD students Alberto on his Nature Protocols paper! 
Purwada and Singh, Immuno-engineered organoids for regulating the kinetics of B-cell development and antibody production, Nature Protocols, 2017, 12, 168–182. 
NatP Immune
12/20/2016 Chronicle
12/13/2016 Congrats PhD students Alberto & Shiv! - Their manuscript on "Modular Immune Organoids with Integrin Ligand Specificity Differentially Regulate Ex vivo B Cell Activation" was accepted for publication by ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng. 
11/24/16 Prof. Ankur Singh has been selected to receive the prestigious 2017 Young Investigator Award from the Society For Biomaterials. This award is specifically given “to recognize an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in the field of biomaterials research within ten years following his/her terminal degree or formal training.” Prof. Singh will receive the award at the 2017 Society For Biomaterials Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN (April 5 – 8, 2017).

October'16 Singh lab expands to 9 PhD students! Lab welcomes 4 new PhD students this year!! Kristine Lai (CornellMAE),  Regan Stephenson (CornellBME), Sungwoong Kim (CornellMSE), and Tibra Wheeler (CornellBME)
October'16 Congrats to PhD student Shiv Shah who wine the SASE Rising start award!
October'16 Katrina Lastra and Tina Jing receive the Engineering Learning Initiative Research grants

October'16 Liz Abeles named a Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholar this year.
06/15/2016 Lab welcomes new PhD student Jessica Elmore! Jessica, a recipient of prestigious Cornell Sloan Fellowship, is co-advised by leading immunologist & our collaborator Prof. Avery August (Chair of Immunology). She will be working in infection and immunity area. Cheers!
06/15/2016 Congrats Singh lab's Shiv Shah who has been selected for a 2016 Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowship. The fellowship is awarded as a training grant to Cornell's Meining Schoool of Biomedical Engineering from the US Department of Education. Cheers!
05/18/2016 Prof. Singh received the 2015 Biomaterials Outstanding Paper award from Prof. Kam Leong (Editor-in-Chief of the Biomaterials Journal) at the 10th World Biomaterials Congress in Montreal this past week! The award is in recognition for the development of a B cell follicle organoid which recapitulates the anatomical microenvironment of a lymphoid tissue and thus facilitates the mechanistic understanding of the immune system and has the potential to serve as a model for immunotherapeutic studies. 

Biomaterials Award

03/29/2016 Congrats Shiv Shah and Kathleen Rohrbach
on his Honorable Mention recognition for the NSFGRFP fellowship!
03/21/2016 Congratulations to Singh lab. Their seed grant proposals have been selected for funding by the Cornell Stem Cell Program. Thank you CSCP!

03/21/2016 BME PhD student Shiv Shah joins Singh lab! Shiv is a recipient of prestigious Presidential Life Sciences Fellowship.

03/08/2016 Congratulations to Alberto Purwada, Ye Tian, and our collaborator Avery August on the acceptance of our manuscript to Advanced Healthcare Materials!

01/02/2016 Prof. Singh receives a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award to build dynamic living hydrogels! Cheers! See featured article @ Cornell Research
01/01/2016 Lab's research on immune organs makes top 100 stories of 2015’s “The Year in Science” issue of Discover Magazine! Check out #63.

01/01/2016 Matt Mosquera joins Singh Lab as a new Mechanical Engineering PhD student! 

11/30/2015 Prof Singh is the Co-I on a new translational research program grant awarded by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Project is on “Targeting signaling-mediated transcription in T-cell lymphoma.” Project PI is our long standing collaborator, Dr. Leandro Cerchietti at Weill Cornell Medical College. Congrats to the lymphoma team!

11/20/2015 Apoorva and Alberto pass their A-exams! Great start to the holiday season!
09/11/2015 Singh lab welcomes new members 
Kathleen Rohrbach (PhD student, MSE, Dean's Excellence Fellow); Akanksha Kapoor (M.Eng, BME); Evelyn Haynes (Undergraduate Researcher, MAE, working in collaboration with Cephea Valve Technologies)

07/31/2015 Singh lab moved into the new Kimball Hall facility!
Kimball Hall

06/25/2015 Profs. Singh and Kirby
in Mechanical Engineering awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study "Stem Cell Differentiation and Teratoma-forming Potential in hiPSC-derived Neural Cultures". Thank you NSF for supporting our research!
06/10/2015  Singh Lab's "immune organoids" covered in Cornell Chronicle, Science Daily, and widely across many other media outlets

"Engineers' synthetic immune organ produces antibodies" - Cornell Chronicle 
"First functional, synthetic immune organ with controllable antibodies" - Science Daily
"Immune Organ Ex Machina a Germinal Prodigy" - GEN

06/01/2015Ph.D. student Alberto Purwada engineers biomaterials-based immune organ! Research published in "Biomaterials" - "Ex Vivo Engineered Immune Organoids for Accelerated Germinal Center Reactions". Congrats!! 

06/2015 μSHEAR™- Stem cell technology developed by Prof. Singh at Georgia Tech is licensed. Read more. 

03/2015 Prof. Singh re-elected as the Chair of Immune-engineering SIG (2015-2017) at the Society for Biomaterials.

01/2015 Postdoc Field Tian creates living tumors: Study published in "Blood" - Integrin αVβ3 acting as membrane receptor for thyroid hormones mediates angiogenesis in malignant T cells. 

12/ 2014 Prof. Singh's collaborative work on "Stimuli responsive, light-triggered Materials" published in Nature Materials. 
11/2014 Undergraduate researcher Rebecca Schnieder and our story on "Breaking The Rules to Engineer Human Immune System" featured on Cornell Engineering webpage! 
10/2014 Our arthritis inflammation research is the "Frontispiece" cover of Advanced Healthcare Materials.  Article
09/2014 Singh lab undergraduate researcher Rebecca Schneider awarded the Fall 2014 Engineering Learning Initiatives research award. Congrats!
09/2014 Singh invited by the National Cancer Institute of the NIH to present current lymphoma research at the NCI Division of Cancer Biology Strategic Workshop "Prospective Outlook of Mechanics in Oncology", Rockville, MD (Sep 11-12. 2014)
08/2014 Singh publishes in Advanced Materials with the National Academy of Engineering member and biomaterials pioneer Prof. Nicholas Peppas! 
08/2014  Cornell Profs. Singh and Lammerding featured on the cover of the Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE) Journal as one of the inaugural class of CMBE Young Innovators (2014). Congrats to all YIs! 
08/2014 Prof. Singh to give 3 invited talks at the 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC'14) to be held from August 26-30, 2014 in Chicago! Link
08/2014 Congratulations Alberto for receiving the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Med into Grad Scholars Fellowship! We will be studying Multiple Myeloma with our clinical collaborator Dr. Giorgio Inghirami (Weill Cornell Medical College).
07/2014 Spotlights:  Cornell Engineering’s Ankur Singh is among 13 outstanding U.S. scientists recently recognized as 2014 Young Innovators in Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. Singh’s peer-reviewed research on “Microscale bioadhesive hydrogel arrays for cell engineering applications” will be published in the journal’s Young Innovators issue and the assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering has been invited to present the work at the 2014 Fall Biomedical Engineering Society Conference in San Antonio, Oct 22–25.   Read more at Cornell MAE Spotlights or Cornell Engineering News
07/2014 Alberto completes his Summer Immersion training at Weill Cornell Medical College working with Dr. Sandip Kapur in transplantation surgery! See pics here.
07/2014 Prof. Singh to give an invited talk on stem cell biomechanics at the 7th World Congress of Biomechanics - Boston, July 10 '14. 
06/2014 Prof. Singh's work selected in Nature's special collection in stem cell reprogramming!! Link
05/2014 Singh Lab awarded a $50,000 "2014 Seed Grant for Collaborations Between Cornell University-Ithaca and Weill Cornell Medical College Faculty"- collaboration involving Dr. Ari Melnick from the Weill Cornell Medical College to study blood cancer.  
05/2014 Prof. Singh receives his first R21 grant from National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) to engineer biomaterials for B and T cell Lymphomas. 
05/2014 Dr. Ye (Field) Tian joins lab as first postdoctoral fellow. Welcome Field! 
04/2014 Prof. Singh to present two talks at the 2014 Annual Society for Biomaterials Meeting in Denver, CO. 
03/2014 Ravi Patel publishes his first article in IEEE Pulse- Miniature Medicine: Nanomaterials for therapeutic delivery and cell engineering applications. Congratulations Ravi!
03/2014 Prof Singh's new paper on treating Osteoarthritis accepted for publication in Advanced Healthcare Materials. More details to follow. 
02/2014 Prof. Singh elected as the inaugural Chair of the newly founded Immune Engineering Special Interest Group at the Society for Biomaterials (SFB). SIG will have its first face-to-face meeting on Thursday, April 17 from 7:00 - 8:00 am at 2014 Annual Meeting & Exposition | April 16-19, 2014 Denver, CO. 
02/2014 Dr. Singh presents research work in two-platform session at the 2014 ASME 3rd Global Congress on Nanoengineering in Biology and Medicine (San Francisco, CA)
01/2014 Alberto Purwada publishes new article in Acta Biomaterialia - "Engineering Vaccines and Niches for Immune Modulation". Congrats AP!
01/2014 New paper on "High Fidelity Nanopatterning of Proteins onto Well-Defined Surfaces Through Subtractive Contact Printing" published in Methods in Cell Biology
01/2014 Prof. Singh selected as a recipient of the Rising Star Award for the 2014 Biomedical Engineering Society Cellular and Molecular Engineering Meeting to be held in La Jolla, CA. The theme for this scientific meeting is Multi Scale Mechanobiology - From Morphogenesis to Nuclear Mechanotransduction.
12/2013 Dr. Singh research on injectable scaffold for Lymphoma highlighted in Nature Outlook's "Cancer Vaccines: Materials Breach". 
11/2013 Congrats Daniel Leach for being awarded the HEAA research grant
10/2013 Ravi Patel (ME, PhD.) joins the lab! Welcome!
10/2013 Alberto Purwada (BME, Ph.D.), Peter Gu (MAE, M.Eng) join the lab! Welcome!
10/2013  New paper on "Microfluidic-based patterning of embryonic stem cells for in vitro development studies." published in Lab on a Chip (2013)
08/2013 Singh's collaborative work on "Single-Cell Analysis of Embryoid Body Heterogeneity Using Microfluidic Trapping Array" accepted for publication in Biomedical Microdevices. (2013)