James E. Dennis, PhD
Research Associate Member
Dr. Dennis completed his undergraduate degree at the State University of New York. He remained in the New York area and received extensive training in electron microscopy at Hofstra University and then Columbia University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He went on to manage the electron microscopy core at Cornell Medical College. He was recruited to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland to work in the Skeletal Research Center where he received his PhD under the mentorship of Arnold Caplan studying Mesenchymal Progenitor Cells in adult marrow. He remained at Case Western Reserve University and became Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics. Dr. Dennis came to the Benaroya Research Institute in September of 2010 bringing diverse approaches to tissue engineering to Seattle whilst retaining an adjunct position at Case Western Reserve University. He is an active member of the Orthopaedic Research Society and the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy.
Areas of Research
Over the past 15 years, Dr. Dennis’s research has focused on bone and cartilage tissue engineering and the development of targeted stem cell delivery systems. His current research is investigating the growth of cartilage for total joint resurfacing with the goal of producing a living replacement for arthritic or traumatized joints. Cartilage is also being engineered to produce neo-trachea for the treatment of non-resectable tracheal stenosis. The targeted stem cell delivery project addresses one of the major hurdles for applying stem cells to tissue repair, which is the efficient delivery of those cells to the tissue of interest. To address this issue, his team is developing cellular “paints” that attach themselves to cell membranes and have the capacity to bind either to the matrix components of the tissue needing repair, or to bind to the specific endothelium of the tissue of interest.
Recent collaborative projects include the role of complement in bone balance and osteoclast activity with Dr. Feng Lin at Case Western Reserve University; the use of stem cell targeting methodology to promote the binding and engraftment of umbilical cord blood cells, in collaboration with Dr. Joanna Reems at the Puget Sound Blood Center; and the development of engineered skeletal muscle in collaboration with Dr. Margaret Allen at Benaroya Research Institute.
Dennis JE, Esterly K, Awadallah A, Parrish CR, Poynter GM, Goltry KL. Clinical-scale expansion of a mixed population of bone-marrow-derived stem and progenitor cells for potential use in bone-tissue regeneration. Stem Cells. 2007 Oct;25(10):2575-82. Epub 2007 Jun 21.
Ko IK, Kean TJ, Dennis JE. Targeting mesenchymal stem cells to activated endothelial cells. Biomaterials. 2009 Aug;30(22):3702-10. Epub 2009 Apr 17.
Weidenbecher M, Tucker HM, Gilpin DA, Dennis JE. Tissue-engineered trachea for airway reconstruction. Laryngoscope. 2009 Nov;119(11):2118-23.
Gilpin DA, Weidenbecher MS, Dennis JE. Scaffold-free tissue-engineered cartilage implants for laryngotracheal reconstruction. Laryngoscope. 2010 Mar;120(3):612-7.
Henderson JH, Ginley NM, Caplan AI, Niyibizi C, Dennis JE. (2010) Low oxygen tension during incubation periods of chondrocyte expansion is sufficient to enhance postexpansion chondrogenesis. Tiss Eng Part A 16:1585-1593. PMCID: PMC2952116 [Available on 2011/5/1]
Ko, I.K., Kim, B-G., Awadallah, A., Mikulan, J., Lin, P., Letterio, J.J., Dennis J.E. (2010) Targeting improves MSC treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Mol Ther 18:1365-72. PMCID: PMC2911249 [Available on 2011/7/1]
Tu, Z., Bu, H., Dennis, J.E., Lin, F. (2010) Efficient osteoclast differentiation requires local complement activation. Blood 116:4456-4463. 116:4456-63. PMCID: PMC2996112 [Available on 2011/11/25]
Kean, TJ, Duesler, L, Young, RG, Dadabayev, A, Olenyik, A, Penn, M, Wagner, J, Fink, DJ, Caplan, AI, Dennis, JE (2011) Development of a peptide-targeted, myocardial ischemia-homing, mesenchymal stem cell. J Drug Targeting. 20:23-32.
Liu, Y, Goldberg, J, Dennis, JE, Gronowicz, GA, Kuhn, LT (2012) One-Step Derivation of Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC)-Like Cells from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells on a Fibrillar Collagen Coating. PLoS One 7:1-9. PMCID: PMC3310052
Mounts T, Ginley N, Schluchter M, Dennis JE. (2012) Optimization of the expansion and differentiation of rabbit chondrocytes in vitro. Cartilage; Epub.
Whitney, GA, Mera, H, Weidenbecher, M, Awadallah, A, Mansour, JM, and Dennis, JE (2012) Methods for Producing Scaffold-Free Engineered Cartilage Sheets from Auricular and Articular Chondrocyte Cell Sources and Attachment to Porous Tantalum. BioResearch 1:157-165. PMCID: PMC3559237
Lee, Z, Dennis, J, Welter, J, Caplan, A (2012) Imaging stem cell differentiation. Method Enzymol. 506-247-263.
Corn DJ, Kim Y, Krebs MD, Mounts T, Molter J, Gerson S, Alsberg E, Dennis JE, Lee Z (2013) Imaging early stage osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. J Orthop Res. 2013 31(6):871-879.