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Cathal J Kearney

Assistant Professor

Engineering tools to understand and mimic natural cue timing motivates the central research themes in my laboratory: the precise temporal control of local therapeutic delivery; the effect of therapeutic delivery timing on efficacy; and integrating these platforms within biomaterials. The biolgoical motivation for this is that natural bioactive cue profiles are typically transient with cues switching on/off to coordinate successful outcomes. However, dysregulation of healthy sequences is often observed in disease. My research aims to probe the role of timing in repair process and ultimately drive coordination of biological processes by delivering therapeutics at specific time-points. Designing novel biomaterials and Integrating these delivery systems inside them is a key parallel focus in the lab. Our initial application areas include diabetic wound healing, tissue engineering, cancer treatment, and circadian rhythms.

Current Research

Our current research is focused in three areas:
1) Developing ultrasound-triggered delivery systems capable of locally delivering bioactive nanoparticles at precise timepoints, and integrating these systems within scaffolds for tissue engineering
2) Development of novel tissue engineering scaffolds using matrix grown from iPS-derived cells
3) Understanding the role of circadian rhythms in wound repair

Learn more at https://bme.umass.edu/faculty/cathal-kearney

Academic Background

  • BAI, BA trinity College Dublin 2004
  • SM, Massachusetts Insitute of Technology 2006
  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2011
  • Postdoctoral Training, Harvard University 2011-2014
  • Senior Research Fellow/Senior Lecturer, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 2014-2019 
Amaral, R.J.F.C., Zayed, N.A., Pascu, E.I., Cavanagh, B., Hobbs, C., Santarella, F., Simpson, C.R., Murphy, C.M., Sridharan, R., González-Vázquez, A., O’Sullivan, B., O'Brien, F.J., Kearney, C.J. Functionalising collagen-based scaffolds with platelet-rich plasma for enhanced skin wound healing potential. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 7(371) (2019)
Ryan, A.J., Kearney, C.J., Shen, N., Khan, U., Kelly, A.G., Probst, C., Brauchle, E., Biccai, S., Garciarena, C.D., Vega‐Mayoral, V., Loskill, P., Kerrigan, S.W., Kelly, D.J., Schenke‐Layland, K., Coleman, J.N., O'Brien, F.J.. Electroconductive Biohybrid Collagen/Pristine Graphene Composite Biomaterials with Enhanced Biological Activity. Advanced Materials, 30(15) (2018).
Kearney, C.J., Lucas, C.R., O’Brien, F.J., Castro, C.E. DNA Origami: Folded DNA-Nanodevices That Can Direct and Interpret Cell Behavior. Advanced Materials. 28(27): 5509 (2016).
Kearney, C. J. +, Skaat, H. +, Kennedy, S. M., Hu, J., Darnell, M., Raimondo, T. M., and Mooney, D. J. Switchable Release of Entrapped Nanoparticles From Alginate Hydrogels. Advanced Healthcare Materials, 4(11): 1634 (2015).
Huebsch, N.+, Kearney, C. J.+, Zhao, X.+, Kim, J., Cezar, C., Suo, Z., Mooney, D. J. Switchable Drug Delivery via ultrasound-triggered disruption and self-healing of reversibly-crosslinked hydrogels. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(27): 9762 (2014).
Kearney C. J., Mooney, D. J. Insight: Macroscale Delivery Systems for Molecular and Cellular Payloads. Nature Materials, 12: 1004 (2013).
Contact Info

Biomedical Engineering
Life Science Labs S629
240 Thatcher Road
Amherst, MA 01003-9292

Office: (413) 545-1073
Email: ckearney@umass.edu