Jennie B. Leach

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Engineering, Room 320

Leach Lab Website


Postdoctoral Fellow, Biomedical Engineering – Boston University, 2005
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering – University of Texas Austin, 2003
B.S. Chemical Engineering – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1998

Research Interests

Our primary research interests focus on developing:

  • biomaterials that mimic the complex structure and biochemistry of human tissues
  • novel tools to probe 3D tissue environments.

Particular interest centers on delineating quantitative relationships between properties of tissues or three-dimensional cell scaffolds and the elicited signaling mechanisms of cells growing within these systems.

  • Scaffolds to support neural regeneration and transplant of neural stem cells
  • In vitro models of nervous system physiology and disease
  • Novel sensors for mapping hypoxia growing tissues and tumors
  • Bioinspired and naturally-derived biomaterials

Selected Publications – Google Scholar

Zahra Ghassemi, Sam Ruesing, Jennie B Leach, Silviya P Zustiak. (2021) Stability of Proteins Encapsulated in Michael‐Type Addition Polyethylene Glycol Hydrogels. Biotechnology and Bioengineering.

Brian E Reed, Jayashree Yalamanchili, Jennie B Leach, Christopher J Hennigan. (2021) Fate of transition metals in PO 4-based in vitro assays: equilibrium modeling and macroscopic studies. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts 23 (1), 160-169.

Laura W Simpson, Theresa A Good, Jennie B Leach. (2020) Protein folding and assembly in confined environments: Implications for protein aggregation in hydrogels and tissues. Biotechnology Advances 42, 107573.

Simpson, LW, GL Szeto, H Boukari, TA Good, JB Leach. (2020) Impact of four common hydrogels on Amyloid-β (Aβ) aggregation and cytotoxicity: Implications for 3D models of Alzheimer’s disease. ACS Omega 5: 20250–20260. [PMID: 32832778]

Simpson, LW, GL Szeto, H Boukari, TA Good, JB Leach. (2020) Collagen hydrogel confinement of Amyloid-β (Aβ) accelerates aggregation and reduces cytotoxic effects. Acta Biomaterialia 112:164-173. [PMID: 32464268]

Henry RJ, Ritzel RR, Barrett JP, Doran SJ, Jiao Y, Meadows VE, Leach JB, Szeto GL, Stoica BA, Faden AI, Loane DJ. (2020) Microglial depletion with CSF1R inhibitor during chronic phase of experimental traumatic brain injury reduces neurodegeneration and neurological deficits. Journal of Neuroscience 40(14):2960-2974. [PMID: 32094203]

Jiao Y, Faden A, Sabirzhanov B, Stoica B, Szeto GL, Leach J. (2020) Transcriptional profiling predicts behavioral performance in experimental mouse model of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Journal of Immunology 204(1 Supplement):75.17.

Santos Cancel, M, LW Simpson, JB Leach, R White. (2019) Real-Time Detection of Adenosine Triphosphate Release from Astrocytes in 3-Dimensional Culture Using Integrated Electrochemical, Aptamer-Based Sensor. ACS Chemical Neuroscience 10:2070-2079. [PMID: 30754968]

Boyman L, AP Wescott, GSB Williams, JB Leach, JPY Kao, WJ Lederer. (2019) Real-time local oxygen measurements for high resolution cellular imaging. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 127:97-104. [PMID: 30528909]

Ghourichaee SS, EM Powell, JB Leach. (2017) Enhancement of human neural stem cell self-renewal in 3D hypoxic culture. Biotechnology & Bioengineering 114:1096-1106 [PMID: 27869294].

Cover of Tissue Engineering; Information Copyright 2016, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. To cite this article: Swarnalatha Balasubramanian, John A. Packard, Jennie B. Leach, and Elizabeth M. Powell.Tissue Engineering Part A.Jun 2016.885-898. Published in Volume: 22 Issue 11-12: June 1, 2016 Online Ahead of Editing: May 18, 2016Balasubramanian S, JA Packard, JB Leach, EM Powell. (2016) Three-dimensional environment sustains morphological heterogeneity and promotes phenotypic progression during astrocyte development. Tissue Engineering 22:885-898. (Featured on cover, see image at right.) [PMID: 27193766]

Ghourichaee SS, JB Leach. (2016) Synergistic effects of substrate and hypoxia on human neural stem cell proliferation. Journal of Materials Chemistry B 4:3509-3514.

Leach JB, MS Shoichet. (2015) Naturally-derived and bioinspired materials. Journal of Materials Chemistry B. 3:7814-7.

Ribeiro A, S Vargo, E Powell, JB Leach. (2012) Substrate three-dimensionality induces elemental morphological transformation of sensory neurons on a physiologic timescale.Tissue Engineering 18:93-102. [PMID: 21910606]

Zustiak S, JB Leach. (2011) Characterization of Protein Release from Hydrolytically Degradable Poly(ethylene glycol) Hydrogels. Biotechnology & Bioengineering 108:197-206. [PMID: 20803477]

Zustiak S, H Boukari, JB Leach. (2010) Solute Diffusion and Interactions in Cross-Linked Poly(ethylene glycol) Hydrogels Studied by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy. Soft Matter 6:3609-18. [PMCID: 3057087]

Zustiak S, R Durbal, JB Leach. (2010) Covalent Incorporation of Cell-Adhesive Peptide Ligands into Poly(ethylene glycol) Hydrogels Influences Physical, Mechanical and Transport Properties. Acta Biomaterialia 6:3404-14. [PMID: 20385260]

Zustiak S, JB Leach. (2010) Hydrolytically Degradable Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Hydrogel Scaffolds with Tunable Degradation and Mechanical Properties. Biomacromolecules11(5):1348-1357. [PMID: 20355705]

Leach JB, EM Powell. (2010) Understanding hypoxic environments – Biomaterials approaches to neural stabilization and regeneration after ischemia. In Studies in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials, Vol 2: Biomaterials as Stem Cell Niche, 247-274. [DOI]

Leach JB, AKH Achyuta, S Murthy. (2010) Bridging the Divide Between Neuroprosthetic Design, Tissue Engineering and Neurobiology. Frontiers in Neuroengineering 2:article 18, doi: 10.3389/neuro.16.018.2009 [PMID: 20161810]

Acosta M, P Ymele-Leki, Y Kostov, JB Leach. (2009) Fluorescent microparticles for sensing cell microenvironment oxygen levels within 3D scaffolds. Biomaterials30:3069-74. [PMID: 19285719]