Contact: Esther Eppele

Sr. Web Editor & Project Manager

Michigan Engineering

Communications & Marketing

(734) 615-7396

3214 SI-North

Lonnie Shea | Faculty

Lonnie Shea

Professor and William and Valerie Hall Chair, Biomedical Engineering; Professor, Chemical Engineering

1115 Carl A. Gerstacker Building
(734) 647-6319



Short Bio


University of Michigan
PhD Chemical Engineering and Scientific Computing '97

Case Western Reserve University
MS Chemical Engineering '93
BS Chemical Engineering '92


  • Professor and William and Valerie Hall Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering; Professor of Chemical Engineering
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Michigan, Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Biologic and Materials Science, 1997 – 1999


  • Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, August 2014
  • Director, Biotechnology Training Program, Northwestern University, 2008 – 2014
  • Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University, 2008 – 2014
  • Resident Faculty Member, Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine (IBNAM), 2006 – 2014
  • Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University, 2005-2008
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Laboratory of Cellular and Tissue Engineering, Charles Patrick, Director, Houston, TX, 2005-2006
  • Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University, 1999 – 2005


  • NSF Proposal Panel (Mar, 2000, Dec. 2001, Dec. 2002, individual proposals as well)
  • NIH Proposal Review Panels
  • NASA Panel
  • NIH Biotechnology Training Program – Director, September 2008 – present
  • Organizer, Materials Research Society, San Francisco, Spring 2013
  • Annual Review Biomedical Engineering, Editorial Committee guest member, October 2012
  • Editorial Board
    • Biotechnology and Bioengineering
    • Molecular Therapy
    • CRS Drug Delivery and Translational Research
    • Expert Review of Medical Devices


The Shea Lab works at the interface of regenerative medicine, biomaterials, and gene and drug delivery. The central theme for the various projects is creating synthetic environments which can be employed to molecularly dissect tissue formation, both normal or abnormal, or promote regeneration. Of particular emphasis in the lab is:

    • Identifying the fundamental design parameters for delivery of gene therapy vectors from biomaterials.
    • Applying biomaterial and gene / drug delivery technologies to ovarian follicle maturation for infertility, islet transplantation for Type 1 Diabetes, and spinal cord repair for paralysis.
    • Developing strategies for immune tolerance for treating autoimmune disease and enabling allogeneic cell transplantation.
    • Combining a novel dynamic transcription factor activity array with existing systems biology approaches to identify critical factors in cell fate decisions for regenerative medicine, the mechanisms of drug action, the cross talk between cells, and developing therapies for autoimmune disease and cancer.
    • Designing implants to capture metastatic cancer cells for the detection and treatment of metastatic disease at the earliest stages.


Research Descriptions on Shea Group webpage

Honors and Awards

Society for Biomaterials Clemson Award, 2015
AIChE Area 15d Plenary Award
AIMBE Fellow, 2010
NAE Frontiers in Engineering, 2005
NSF CAREER Award, 2000

Selected Publications

Selected Publications:

Skory RM, Mutharasan P, Peñalver Bernabé B, Lei L, Garcia OA, Legro RS, Dunaif A, Shea LD, Urbanek M, Woodruff TK “Identification of mechanosensitive genes containing SNPs associated with PCOS using an in vitro-informed candidate approach”, submitted.

Weiss, MS, BP Bernabe, S Shin, S Asztalos, SJ Dubbury, MD Mui, AD Bellis, D Bluver, DA Tonetti, J Saez-Rodriguez, LJ Broadbelt, JS Jeruss, and LD Shea “Dynamic transcription factor activity quantification for revealing the mechanisms of ErbB2 activity and targeted therapeutics in 3D cancer models”, in press Integ Biol. 2015.

Azarin, SM, J. Yi, RM Gower, BA Aguado, ME Sullivan, AG Goodman, EJ Jiang, SS Rao, Y Ren, V Backman, JS Jeruss, and LD Shea “An in vivo sensor for detection of metastasis”, submitted.

Gower, RM, K Hlavaty, J. Zhang, X Luo, LD Shea, “Localized TGF-ß1 release decreases immune cell infiltration, facilitates islet engraftment, and delays allogeneic graft rejection”, submitted.

J Bryant, KA Hlavaty, X Zhang, WT Yap, L Zhang, LD Shea, X Luo “Nanoparticle delivery of donor antigens for transplant tolerance in allogeneic islet transplantation”, Biomaterials, 35(31):8887-9, 2014 [PMCID in process].

Xu J, Xu M, Bernuci MP, Fisher TE, Shea LD, Woodruff TK, Zelinski MB, Stouffer RL, “Primate follicular development and oocyte maturation in vitro”, Adv Exp Med Biol 761:43067, 2013.

Tagler D, Makanji Y, Tu T, Bernabé BP, Lee R, Zhu J, Kniazeva E, Hornick JE, Woodruff TK, LD Shea. “Promoting extracellular matrix remodeling via ascorbic acid enhances the survival of primary ovarian follicles encapsulated in alginate hydrogels”, Biotech Bioeng 111(7) 1417-29, 2014.

Laronda MM, Duncan FE, Hornick JE, Xu M, Pahnke JE, Whelan KA, Shea LD, Woodruff TK. Alginate encapsulation supports the growth and differentiation of human primordial follicles within ovarian cortical tissue. J Assist Reprod Genet 31(8) 1013-28, 2014.

Shea, LD, TK Woodruff, A Shikanov, “Bieengineering the ovarian follicle microenvironment” Annu Rev Biomed Eng 16:29-52, 2014

Thomas, AM, AJ Gomes, JL Palma, WT Yap, LD Shea, Heparin-chitosan nanoparticle functionalization of porous poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels for localized lentivirus delivery of angiogenic factors. Biomaterials 35(30) 8687-93, 2014.

AM Thomas, LD Shea, “Cryotemplation for the Rapid Fabrication of Porous, Patternable Photopolymerized Hydrogels”, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2 (28), 4521 – 4530, 2014.

WT Yap, WK Song, N Chauhan, PN Scalise, R Agrawal, and LD Shea, “Quantification of particle- conjugated or -encapsulated peptides on interfering reagent backgrounds”, BioTechniques, 2014 July 1. PMID:25005692.

R. Smith, A. Shikanov, E. Kniazeva, D. Ramadurai, T.K. Woodruff, and L.D. Shea, “Fibrin mediated delivery of an ovarian follicle pool in a mouse model of infertility”, Tissue Engineering Part A, 2014 Jun 12. PMID:24802617.

DP McCarthy, ZN Hunter, B Chackerian, LD Shea, and SD Miller, “Targeted Immunomodulation Using Protein Coated Nanoparticles”, Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol, 2014.

MT Duncan, S Shin, JJ Wu, Z Mays, S Weng, N Bagheri, WM Miller, and LD Shea, “Dynamic transcription factor activity profiles reveal key regulatory interactions during megakaryocyte and erythrocyte differentiation”, Biotech and Bioeng. 2014 May 22. PMID: 24853077.

Z Hunter, DP McCarthy, WT Yap, CT Harp, DR Getts, LD Shea, and SD Miller “A biodegradable nanoparticles platform for the induction of antigen-specific immune tolerance for treatment of autoimmune disease”, ACS Nano, Mar 25;8(3):2148-60, 2014. [PMC3990004]

A.M. Thomas*, S.K. Seidlits*, A.G. Goodman, T.V. Kukushliev, D.M. Hassani, B.J. Cummings, A.J. Anderson, LD Shea. (2013) Endogenous progenitors recruited after spinal cord injury by sonic hedgehog and neurotrophin-3 undergo oligodendrogenesis and improve myelination, Integrative Biology, Integr. Biol., 6 (7), 694 – 705, 2014.

Makanji Y, Tagler D, Pahnke J, LD Shea, and Woodruff TK. "Hypoxia-mediated carbohydrate metabolism and transport promotes early stage murine follicle growth and survival", 2014 Apr 15;306(8). [PMC3989738].

Chen J, Sheu AY, Li W, Zhang Z, Kim DH, Lewandowski RJ, Omary RA, Shea LD, Larson AC. "Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) Microspheres for MRI-Monitored Transcatheter Delivery of Sorafenib to Liver Tumors", 2014 Jun 28;184:10-7 [PMC4058431].

DR Getts, RL Terry, MT Getts, C Deffrasnes, M Muller, C van Vreden, TM Ashhurst, B Chami, D McCarthy, H. Wu, J. Ma, A Martin, B Wu, GS Kansas, J Kuhn, W Hafezi, IL Campbell, LD Shea, D Reilly, J Say, L Brown, MY White, P Witting, SJ Cordwell, SJ Chadban, EB Thorp, S Bao, SD Miller, NJC King, “Inflammatory monocyte modulation using MARCO targeting Immune-modifying Nanoparticles”, Science Translational Medicine, 2014 Jan 15;6(219) [PMC3973033].

Gower RM, Boehler RM, Azarin SM, Ricci CF, Leonard JN, Shea LD. Modulation of leukocyte infiltration and phenotype in microporous tissue engineering scaffolds via vector induced IL-10 expression, Biomaterials, Feb;35(6):2024-31, 2014. [PMC3932667]

Boehler RM, R Kuo, S Shin, AG Goodman AG, MA Pilecki, RM Gower, JN Leonard, LD Shea, “Lentivirus delivery of IL-10 to promote and sustain macrophage polarization towards an anti- inflammatory phenotype”, Biotech Bioeng, Jun;111(6):1210-21, 2014. PMID: 24375008.

Hlavaty, KA, RF Gibly, X Zhang, CB Rives, JG Graham, X Luo, WL Lowe, LD Shea, ”Enhancing human islet transplantation by localized release of trophic factors from PLG scaffolds”, Am J Transplantation 14(7):1523-32, 2014. PMID:24909237.

Getts DR, Martin AJ, McCarthy DP, Terry RL, Hunter ZN, Yap WT, Getts M, Pleiss M, Luo X, King NJ, Shea LD, and Miller SD, “Microparticles bearing encephalitogenic peptides induce T-cell tolerance and ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis”, Nat Biotechnol. 2012 Dec;30(12):1217-24. [PMC: 3589822]. Addendum: Nat Biotechnol. 2013 Jun;31(6):565.

Barbolina MV, Liu Y, Gurler H, Kim M, Kajdacsy-Balla AA, Rooper L, Shepard J, Weiss M, LD Shea, Penzes P, Ravosa MJ, Stack MS, Matrix rigidity activates Wnt signaling through down- reuglation of Dickkopf-1 protein. J Biol Chem 288(1):141-51 2013.

Waimey KE, Duncan FE, Su HI, Smith K, Wallach H, Jona K, Coutifaris C, Gracia CR, LD Shea, Brannigan RE, Chang RJ, Zelinski MB, Stouffer RL, Taylor RL, Woodruff TK. Future directions in oncofertility and fertility
preservation: a report from the 2011 oncofertility consortium conference. J. Adolesc Young Adult Oncol 2(1) 25-30, 2013.

Thomas, AM, Kubilius MB, Holland SJ, Seidlits SK, Boehler RM, Anderson AJ, Cummings BJ, and LD Shea, “Channel density and porosity of degradable bridging scaffolds on axon growth after spinal injury”, Biomaterials. 2013 Mar;34(9):2213-20. [PMC 3552139]

Tagler, D, Makanji Y, Anderson NR, Woodruff TK and LD Shea, “Supplemented αMEM/F12-based medium enables the survival and growth of primary ovarian follicles encapsulated in alginate hydrogels”, Biotechnol Bioeng. 2013 Jun 25. [PMC 3808526]

Thomas, A, and LD Shea, “Polysaccharide-modified scaffolds for controlled lentivirus delivery in vitro and after spinal cord injury”, J Control Release. 2013 Sep 28, 170(3):421-9. [PMC3742643]

Boehler, RM, S Shin, AG Fast, RM Gower, and LD Shea “A PLG/HAp composite scaffold for lentivirus delivery”, Biomaterials. 2013 Jul;34(21):5431-8. [PMC 3653272]

Seidlits, SK, RM Gower, JA Shepard, and LD Shea, “Hydrogels for lentiviral gene delivery”, Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery. 2013 Apr;10(4):499-509. [PMC 3648640].

WT Yap, DM Salvay, MA Silliman, X Zhang, ZG Bannon, DB Kaufman, WL Lowe, Jr. and LD Shea, “Collagen IV-Modified Scaffolds Improve Islet Survival and Function and Reduce Time to Euglycemia”. Tissue Eng Part A. 2013 Nov;19(21-22):2361-72. [PMC3807710].

Group culture of primary follicles promotes development in alginate hydrogels through paracrine signaling and requires intact follicle”, in press.

JE Hornick, FE Duncan, LD Shea and TK Woodruff, "Multiple follicle culture supports primary follicle growth through paracrine-acting signals”, 145(1):19-32 2013.

IR Brito, IMT Lima, M Xu, LD Shea, TK Woodruff, JR Figueiredo, “Three-dimensional systems for in vitro follicular culture: overview of alginate-based matrices“, Reprod Fertil Dev. 2013.

A. Siletz, M. Schnabel, E. Kniazeva, AJ Schumacher, S Shin, JS Jeruss, and LD Shea. “Dynamic Transcription Factor Networks in Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Breast Cancer Models”, PLoS One. 2013 Apr 8;8(4). [PMC 3620167]

HM Tuinstra, AG Goodman, SJ Holland, RM Boehler, ML Zelivyanskaya, DJ Margul, BJ Cummings, AJ Anderson, and LD Shea, “Long-term characterization of axon regeneration and matrix changes using multiple channel bridges for spinal cord regeneration”, Tissue Eng Part A, 2014 Mar;20(5-6):1027-37. [PMC3938917].

JG Graham, X Zhang, A Goodman, K Pothoven, J Houlihan, S Wang, RM Gower, X Luo, and LD Shea, “PLG Scaffold Delivered Antigen-Specific Regulatory T cells Induce Systemic Tolerance in Autoimmune Diabetes”, Tissue Eng Part A. 2013 Jun;19(11-12):1465-75. [PMC 3638535].

RM Skory, BP Bernabé, E Galdones, LJ Broadbelt, LD Shea and Teresa K Woodruff. “Microarray analysis identifies COMP as the most differentially regulated transcript throughout in vitro follicle growth”, Mol Reproduction and Dev, 2013 Feb;80(2):132-44. [PMC3730266]

RW Ahn, SL Barrett, MR Raja, JK. Jozefik, L Spaho, H Chen, MB Bally, AP Mazar, MJ Avram, JN
Winter, LI Gordon, LD Shea, TV O’Halloran, and TK Woodruff, “Nano-encapsulation of arsenic trioxide enhances efficacy in a murine lymphoma model while minimizing chemotherapeutic fertotoxicity in vitro and in vivo”, PLoS One. 2013;8(3). [PMC 3603968].

P Mutharasan, E Galdones, BP Bernabé, O Garcia, N Jafari, LD Shea, TK Woodruff, RS Legro, A Dunaif, M Urbanek “Evidence for Chromosome 2p16.3 Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Susceptibility Locus in Affected Women of European Ancestry”, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
2013 Jan;98(1):E185-90. [PMC 3537106]

Tuinstra, H.M., M. DuCommun, W.E. Briley, and L.D. Shea, “Gene delivery to overcome astrocyte inhibition of axonal growth: an in vitro model of the glial scar”, Biotech & Bioeng. Mar;110(3):947-57, 2013. [PMC4035246]

Shepard, JA, FR Virani, AG Goodman, TD Gossett, S. Shin, and L.D. Shea, “Hydrogel macroporosity and the prolongation of transgene expression and the enhancement of angiogenesis.” Biomaterials Oct;33(30):7412-21, 2012. [PMC3418462]

Siletz, A., Kniazeva, JS Jeruss, and LD Shea, “Transcription Factor Networks in Invasion- Promoting Breast Carcinoma-Associated Fibroblasts” Cancer Microenvironment Apr;6(1):91-107, 2013. [PMC3601213]

Jen, MC, K. Baler, A.R. Hood, S. Shin, L.D. Shea, and G.A. Ameer “Sustained, localized transgene expression mediated from lentivirus-loaded biodegradable polyester elastomers”, J Biomed Mater Res A. 2013 May;101(5):1328-35. [PMC4058645]

Bellis, A.D., B.P. Bernabe, M.S. Weiss, S. Shin, S. Weng, L.J. Broadbelt, and L.D. Shea, “Dynamic Transcription Factor Activity Profiling in 2D and 3D Cell Cultures”, Biotechnol Bioeng. 2013 Feb;110(2):563-72. [PMC4073638].

Complete list of journal articles at

Profile Story

From the 2014 Chemical Engineering Newsletter (2011 Alumni article follows)

Lonnie Shea joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering this fall as a professor and chair, with a joint appointment in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He received his PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from Michigan in 1997. He received his PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from U-M in 1997, working with Professor Jennifer Linderman. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow with then ChE Professor David Mooney in the Department of Biologic and Materials Science at the U-M Dental School.

Shea had been on the faculty of Northwestern University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering since 1999. He is an internationally recognized researcher at the interface of regenerative medicine, drug and gene delivery, and immune tolerance, whose focus is controlling the local microenvironment for directing tissue growth or regeneration. His projects include ovarian follicle maturation for treating infertility, islet transplantation for diabetes therapies, nerve regeneration for treating paralysis, autoimmune diseases and allogeneic cell transplantation, and cancer diagnostics. He is also developing and applying systems biology approaches to molecularly dissect tissue formation and identify key drivers of normal and abnormal growth.

Shea has published more than 150 manuscripts, and has numerous inventions to his credit, among them a cellular assay with which he can measure the activity of numerous transcription factors within the cell that reveal key signaling pathways as cells differentiate. He served as director of Northwestern’s NIH Biotechnology Training Grant and was a member of its Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), a standing member of the Biomaterials and Biointerfaces study section at NIH, and a member of the editorial boards for Molecular Therapy, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, and Drug Delivery and Translational Research.

He has many great memories of his days in graduate school and is looking forward to once again interacting with Michigan faculty, whom he has known for years, as he learns his new job. The value Michigan places on research innovation and the multidisciplinary collaborative research opportunities offered by the medical school and engineering departments were instrumental to his decision to return to Michigan.

Shea would like to increase the number of joint research projects between the engineering and medical school faculty, to find additional ways to apply engineering technology to help doctors treat disease and solve problems they encounter on a regular basis as they care for patients. He realizes that it can take a while to shape successful collaborations—as the engineers learn about the biology of diseases and as doctors work with engineers to develop technologies that can enhance patient care.

He also plans to foster more cross-disciplinary interactions between the biomedical, chemical, and medical school researchers at the North Campus Research Complex, NCRC, building on existing multidisciplinary efforts like the BioInterfaces Institute that Joerg Lahann and other ChE professors have helped establish.

Lonnie and his wife, Jacqueline Jeruss, who accepted a position at Michigan also this fall as an Associate Professor of Surgery, look forward to living in a smaller town after living in the Chicago area. They are impressed already with the excellent educational opportunities their young daughters will have in Ann Arbor. His daughters, however, negotiated for rollerblades before agreeing to leave Chicago. Buying the skates for his daughters has been an excellent investment for meeting their neighbors.

Thanks to Brandon Baier from BME for content.


From the 2011 Chemical Engineering Newsletter

Since moving to Chicago, Lonnie Shea (PhD 1997) has seen first hand the breadth and involvement of the Michigan alumni association. On any Saturday in the fall, the familiar winged maize and blue helmet can be seen throughout the city, and in any number of “Michigan” bars. The size of the Michigan community is most noticeable when Michigan plays Northwestern and Northwestern’s parking lot is filled with maize and blue, with only an occasional glimmer of purple and black.

Lonnie received his PhD in chemical engineering and scientific computing from Michigan in 1997, working with Professor Jennifer Linderman. He did postdoctoral research in the Department of Biologic and Materials Science at the Dental School until he accepted a faculty position at Northwestern University in 1999.

Today, Lonnie is a full professor in chemical and biological engineering. He has developed innovative technologies for the delivery of proteins and DNA from biomaterials used in regenerative medicine, with applications to therapies for diabetes, infertility, spinal cord injury, and cancer.

Lonnie attributes his success in this interdisciplinary research to his training at Michigan, and also to his wife, a breast cancer surgeon and scientist. His research in cancer biology and regenerative medicine was shaped by his early work studying how cells sense and respond to their environment. This early work led him into research aimed at developing technologies to control the cellular environment, which can be used as tools to promote healing or to investigate disease. The enthusiasm and passion of the faculty at Michigan for teaching, learning, and cutting-edge research, inspired him to pursue an academic position.

Lonnie looks forward to opportunities to visit Ann Arbor when he brings his wife and three daughters to visit family in southeast Michigan. “Ann Arbor is a unique place,” he says, “and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to train with so many talented scholars at one of the elite universities in the world.”

Article from the 2011 Chemical Engineering Newsletter