Joseph Rutkowski, PhD
Education and Post-Graduate Training
BS, Chemical Engineering, 2001, Penn State University, University Park, PA
MS, Chemical Engineering, 2003, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
PhD, Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 2008, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2012, Touchstone Diabetes Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
As modulator of interstitial flow and molecular transport lymphatic circulation governs tissues homeostasis. We utilize lymphatic physiology in two different ways: first, we address how lymphatic circulation and interstitial flux changes in pathological states and during manipulations to the encompassing cell biology of a given vascularized tissue; second, we employ genetic manipulations of lymphatic endothelial cell biology to quantify effects not only in lymphatic function, but to the tissue's pathology as a whole. Our research approach incorporates a vast array of tools from protein analysis and lipidomics to tissue engineering and transgenic mouse model generation.
Current ongoing projects are mostly focused on the Lymphatic Physiology of Metabolic Systems. Herein, we are utilizing an extensive toolkit of genetic mouse models and physiologically-relevant in vitro systems to identify how changes in lymphatic biology impact metabolite transport and whole animal metabolism.
Other projects use our toolkit in identifying factors driving the pathology of lymphatic diseases such as generalized lymphatic anomalies (GLA) and lymphedema. Additional collaborative efforts employ our models in renal and pulmonary health.