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Robert Bruno

Robert Bruno

Medical Diagnostic & Translational Sciences

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  • Expertise

    stem cells; 3D bioprinting; mammary gland biology; molecular biology; cell biology; developmental biology; cell fate determination
    Breast Cancer; Prostate Cancer; Tumorigenesis; Cancer reprogramming; three-dimensional models; microenvironment
    3D Printing
    cell biology; molecular biology; mammary gland biology; mammary gland biology; molecular biology; cell biology; developmental biology; cell fate determination
  • Research Interests

    My research focuses on understanding how the local microenvironment controls cellular differentiation and function. We study this in the context of cancer, development, and neurological disorders. Notably, we have shown that we can redirect breast cancer cells to adopt a normal mammary epithelial cell fate by restoring a normal microenvironment around them. This has huge implications for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. We use a combination of techniques including 3D bioprinting, induced pluripotent stem cells, in vivo models, and novel 3D culture techniques to understand the process.
  • 2010: National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Kappa Phi
  • 2010: NCI Director’s Intramural Innovation Award, National Cancer Institute
  • 2008: Most Cited Paper Award, Journal of Bioorganic Medicinal Chemistry
  • 2008: Nominated for "Otani Award", University of Maryland Baltimore
  • 2007: Nominated for Ph.D. Scholar Award, Graduate Program in Life Sciences
  • 2007: Outstanding Student Award, Graduate Program in Molecular Medicine
  • Contracts, Grants and Sponsored Research

    Bruno, R.; Sachs, P. "A three dimensional bioprinting approach to mapping critical determinants of stem cell asymmetric divisions" $451,210. Federal. January, 2019 - December, 2022
    Bruno, R.; Sachs, P.; Mollica, P.; Xiao, S. "Investigating the effects of sub-nanosecond pulsed electric fields as a potential protein disaggregation agent in Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease neurons" $45,000. State. July 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019
    Bruno, R.; Sachs, P. "Three dimensional bioprinting for high-throughput in vitro modeling of asymmetric stem cell divisions" $100,000. Private. June 30, 2017 - June 29, 2018
    Bruno, R.; Sachs, P. "Chimeric mammary models for elucidating microenvironment contributions to tumor suppression and promotion" $306,000. State. July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2017
    Bruno, R.; Wu, V. "Unravelling the cellular hierarchy within human tonsilar crypt epithelium and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma tumors" $50,000. Private. July, 2014 - March, 2016
    Bruno, R.; Sachs, P. "Development of a Three-Dimensional Human Breast Model for the Advancement of the in-vitro Study of Breast Cancer" $50,000. Old Dominion University. January 1, 2014 - January 1, 2015
    , "Development of novel real-time PCR based assay for tracking chromosome segregation in asymmetric cell divisions" $7,000. Old Dominion University. May 1, 2014 - September 1, 2014
  • Intellectual Property

    3D bioprinter assisted formation of tumorous in tissue specific ECM
    Patent/Copyright: Patent
    Type: Provisional
    Bruno, R.
    Sachs, P.
    Reid, J.
    CNC driven exposure system for large area delivering of pulsed electric fields that modulate cell differentiation and proliferation
    Patent/Copyright: Patent
    Type: Provisional
    Bruno, R.
    Sachs, P.
    Xiao, S.
    Compositions and Methods of Inducing Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Response
    Patent/Copyright: Patent
    Type: Regular
    Patent Nationality: United States
    Bruno, R.
    Njar, V.
    Brodie, A.