The Aguado iBiomaterials Research Group


The vision of the Aguado iBiomaterials Research Group is to develop personalized biomaterials as tools to evaluate a patient’s unique biology to treat disease based on sex, age, and/or ancestry. We will first focus on sex as a biological variable and investigate mechanisms governing sex differences in cardiovascular diseases.

Aguado and Poulikakos Labs receive the UCSD Jacobs Early Career Faculty Development Award

February 14, 2023

Congratulations to the Aguado and Poulikakos lab teams for landing our first collaborative grant on studying sex-specific collagen structures in aortic valve tissue!

BlackInBME features Rayyan Gorashi

February 12, 2023

Happy birthday and congratulations to Rayyan! She was featured for BlackInBME's #BlackExcellence campaign for her work in the Aguado Lab! 

Brian presents an invited seminar at Florida International University for Miami Heart Month 

February 3, 2023

Brian presented our work engineering sex-specific models of aortic valve stenosis to FIU's BME department for Miami Heart Month! Thank you to the BME department for the invitation! 

Brian presents an invited seminar at the University of Washington 

January 19, 2023

Brian presented our work engineering sex-specific models of aortic valve stenosis to the NIH BME Special Interest Group! Thank you to the Bioengineering department for the invitation! 

Brian presents a selected talk at the 2023 CMBE Anuual Meeting

January 3. 2023

Brian presented our work engineering sex-specific models of aortic valve stenosis at the 2023 CMBE Annual Meeting!

The Engler and Aguado labs celebrate Labsgiving!

November 21, 2022

Happy holidays all! The Engler and Aguado labs came together for our annual Labsgiving. Thanks for hosting, Adam!

Brandon Vogt's original research article is published in Biomaterials Science and featured on the back cover

October 7, 2022

Congratulations to Brandon for publishing his work on how inflammatory serum factors from aortic valve stenosis patients drive sex-specific valvular cell phenotypes!

Brian presents an invited talk at the ABRCMS Anuual Meeting

November 15, 2022

Brian presented our work engineering sex-specific models of aortic valve stenosis at the 2022 ABRCMS Annual Meeting!

Brian presents an invited seminar at the NIH

November 15, 2022

Brian presented our work engineering sex-specific models of aortic valve stenosis to the NIH BME Special Interest Group! 

The Aguado Lab receives the Chan Zuckerberg Science Diversity Leadership Award

October 20, 2022

The Aguado Lab is thrilled to be supported with a $1.15 million grant from CZI and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine to support our research proposal entitled "Addressing Sex and Ancestral Disparities in Aortic Valve Stenosis" and support our LatinXinBME Community!

Congrats to Talia, Rayyan, and Steven for presenting their research at BMES!

October 16, 2022

Huge congrats to the lab on all their amazing presentations as part of the BMES Annual Meeting in San Antonio!

Congratulations to Nicole on being elected to the Executive Board of LatinXinBME

October 6, 2022

Exciting news! Nicole will be a new leader in LatinXinBME as the Professional Development Chair - congrats! 

Thank you Nicole for serving as a mentor to future professors in the NextProf Program

October 3, 2022

Nicole and Brian participated as mentors and speakers at the NextProf event at UC San Diego in collaboration with the University of Michigan!

Congratulations to Brandon on his contribution to our Roadmap article on Biomaterials to Study Women's Health published in the Journal of Physics Materials!

September 13, 2022

Another paper cake to celebrate Brandon's most recent publication entitled "Precision biomaterials as tools to determine sex-specific mechanisms of cardiovascular disease!"

Congratulations to Nicole and Rayyan on their NIH R00 Diversity Supplement Awards!

September 13, 2022

Major congratulations to Nicole and Rayyan who secured two years of funding each to support their graduate research in the Aguado Lab! 

Congratulations to Nicole and Rayyan for their publication in the Journals of Materials Chemistry B!

August 31, 2022

Huge congratulations to Nicole and Rayyan who published their Perspective article entitled "Chemical and molecular tools to probe biological sex differences at multiple length scales" as part of the Emerging Investigator Issue! We celebrated with our lab's traditional Paper Cake! 

Congratulations to Steven for completing his summer REU

August 12, 2022

Warmest congratulations to Steven Robles who completed his summer REU! We will miss you, Steven! 

Congratulations to Talia, Rayyan, and Nicole!

August 10, 2022

Warmest congratulations to Talia Baddour, Rayyan Gorashi, and Nicole Félix-Vélez for passing their 1st year qualifying exams in the Bioengineering department! 

Rayyan Gorashi and Steven Robles present at the BIC Symposium in Santa Barbara

August 9, 2022

Rayyan Gorashi and Steven Robles presented posters at the annual BIC Symposium, hosted by UC Santa Barbara! 

Happy 1st Anniversary to the Aguado Lab! 

July 1, 2022

Check out our Twitter post highlighting our greatest accomplishments in the past year! To celebrate, we all took the day off for a boat ride around Mission Bay!

Welcome to Steven Robles!

June 21, 2022

Warmest welcome to Steven Robles, summer REU student from the University of Florida! He will be working with Nicole Félix-Vélez to investigate the role of serum factors in regulating persistent myofibroblast activation. 

Rayyan Gorashi presents at the EMBO-FEBS Lecture Course, "Molecular mechanisms of interorgan crosstalk in health and disease"

May 22, 2022

Congratulations to Rayyan for receiving an EMBO-FEBS Travel Award to present her research on how valvular interstitial cells respond to nano-scale stiffness cues in Spetses, Greece!  

Brandon Vogt presents at the Society for Biomaterials annual meeting

April 28, 2022

Brandon presented his research on how aortic valve stenosis patient serum biomarkers regulate sex differences in valve myofibroblast activation and osteoblast-like differentiation at the biomaterials approaches to address health and healthcare disparities session.

Talia Baddour attends the AIMBE Public Policy Institute annual meeting

April 25, 2022

Congratulations to Talia for receiving an AIMBE Travel Award to attend the Public Policy Institute meeting in Washington, DC!

Aguado Lab receives the American Heart Association Career Development Award

March 25, 2022

The Aguado lab receives funding from the AHA to investigate the role of X chromosome dosage in regulating sex differences in valvular interstitial cells! 

Brian interviewed for the Northwestern Intersections podcast

April 14, 2022

Check out Brian's interview with Northwestern Intersections on "Why It's Important to Bring Your Full Self to the Lab"! 

Article published in The Conversation

March 4, 2022

Check out Brian's latest pop science article "The sex of your cells matters when it comes to heart disease," published in The Conversation! 

Nicole Félix-Vélez hosts Letters to a Pre-Scientist

March 29, 2022

Nicole took over the Letters to a Pre-Scientist Instagram page to talk about her experiences as a graduate student at UCSD! 

Paper published in Circulation

January 10, 2022

Check out our latest work focused on understanding the role of genes that escape X chromosome inactivation in regulating sex-specific myofibroblast activation in VICs cultured on hydrogel biomaterials! 

Bianca Peña starts Winter quarter rotation

January 4, 2022

Warmest welcome to Bianca Peña, 1st year PhD student in Bioengineering! Bianca will help launch our animal work in the lab to study sex differences in inflammation. Welcome, Bianca!

Rayyan Gorashi starts Winter quarter rotation

January 4, 2022

Warmest welcome to Rayyan Gorashi, 1st year PhD student in Bioengineering and a current Jacobs School Racial Equity Fellow! Rayyan will be developing protocols for studying sex-specific iPS cell differentiation. Welcome, Rayyan!

Aguado Lab featured in ThisWeek@UCSD

December 2, 2021

Thank you to ThisWeek@UCSD for profiling our lab's research on sex differences in cardiovascular disease, as well as our efforts in co-founding LatinXinBME!

Brian invited to serve on the Editorial Board for the GEN Biotechnology journal

November 10, 2021

Brian will participate in the editing and review process for the new GEN Biotechnology journal at the forefront of biotechnology research. Check it out! 

Talia Baddour starts Fall quarter rotation

September 20, 2021

Another super warm welcome to Talia Baddour, recent Lafayette College graduate from the Mechanical Engineering department! Talia will be using spatial transcriptomics to understand sex differences in valve myofibroblast heterogeneities. Welcome, Talia!

Nicole Félix-Vélez starts Fall quarter rotation

September 12, 2021

Super excited to welcome Nicole Félix-Vélez, recent Cornell University graduate from the Biomedical Engineering department! Nicole will be researching sex differences in persistent myofibroblasts cultured on hydrogels. Welcome, Nicole!

Brian invited to serve on the Early Career Editorial Board for the Journal of Biomedical Materials - Part A

August 30, 2021

Brian will participate in the editing and review process for one of the leading journals in the biomaterials field. 

Brandon Vogt starts his position as Staff Research Associate

August 9, 2021

Thrilled to welcome Brandon Vogt, recent CU Boulder graduate from the Chemical and Biological Engineering department! Brandon will be assisting with setting up the laboratory and helping manage our research in the laboratory. Welcome, Brandon!

The Aguado iBiomaterials Lab opens today!

July 1, 2021

Super excited to announce the Aguado iBiomaterials Lab is officially open! We are a part of the Bioengineering department at UC San Diego and the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.

Paper published in the Journal Of Molecular And Cellular Cardiology

June 21, 2021

Cierra, Megan, and Brian worked together to write a comprehensive review on the current knowledge of sex differences in the cells of the heart. Check it out!

Paper published in Nature Biomedical Engineering

April 19, 2021

Congratulations to Cierra Walker and co-authors! Together, we explored the nuclear mechanosensing mechanisms that drive persistent myofibroblast activation.

Paper published in Nature Reviews Materials

October 20, 2020

LatinXinBME Co-founders Brian and Ana Porras published a Comment entitled "Building a virtual community to support and celebrate the success of Latinx scientists" in Nature Reviews Materials! Please contact us for an invitation to join our vibrant LatinXinBME community!

Brian selected for the Outstanding Postdoc Award at CU Boulder!

September 17, 2020

Brian is honored to be recognized with the Outstanding Postdoc Award at CU Boulder. Thank you to Kristi Anseth for your nomination!

Paper published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology

September 17, 2020

Check out our latest Research Article on "Secreted Factors From Proinflammatory Macrophages Promote an Osteoblast-Like Phenotype in Valvular Interstitial Cells!"

Brian named one of 100 Most Inspiring Hispanic/Latinx Scientists In America by Cell Press!

September 15, 2020

Brian is honored to have been named one of the 100 most inspiring Latinx scientists by Cell Press! He will continue his leadership efforts with LatinXinBME and build community among Latinx biomedical engineers and scientists. Be sure to check out the full list of inspiring scholars at the link below!

Brian joins Sanford Consortium For Regenerative Medicine!

September 15, 2020

Brian has joined the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine faculty! "The mission of Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine is to advance stem cell research through collaborative, multi-disciplinary interactions. This “collaboratory” enables scientists from the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Scripps Research, and the University of California, San Diego to work side by side in a facility specifically designed to achieve breakthrough discoveries."

Brian accepts faculty position at UC San Diego!

April 22, 2020

Brian will join the Department of Bioengineering as an Assistant Professor in the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego! Brian will start his position in July of 2021.

Paper published in Advanced Functional Materials

December 17, 2019

Check out our latest review on "Designing Microgels for Cell Culture and Controlled Assmebly of Tissue Microenvironments"

Brian presents at SACNAS 2019

October 31, 2019

Brian gave an invited talk as part of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Special Session entitled "Increasing Understanding of Diverse Scientific Approaches in Designing Therapeutic Solutions" at the SACNAS Annual Meeting in Honolulu, HI.

LatinXinBME meetup at BMES

October 17, 2019

Come join LatinXinBME at El Rey restaurant on Thursday, October 17 for a casual meet-up during the conference! Dr. Ana Maria Porras and I will be at the BMES registration table at 6:30 pm.

Brian presenting at BMES

October 14, 2019

Brian will be attending the annual BMES meeting in Philadelphia, PA this week! Check out his talk info below:

(1) Meet the Faculty Candidates Poster Session 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

3:30pm - 5:30pm in the Exhibit Hall

(2) Talk: Sex-specific Valvular Myofibroblast Activation on Engineered Hydrogel Substrates  

Thursday, October 17, 2019

1:30 PM - 1:45 PM Room 118A

 (3) Talk: Sex-specific Valvular Myofibroblast Activation in Response to Nano-scale Stiffness Cues  

Thursday, October 17, 2019

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM Room 115A

(4) Talk: TAVR Alters Circulating Serum Factors to Mediate Valve and Cardiac Myofibroblast De-activation  

Saturday, October 19, 2019

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM Room 120A   

Paper published in Science Translational Medicine

September 11, 2019

CU Boulder engineers and faculty from the Consortium for Fibrosis Research & Translation (CFReT) at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus have teamed up to develop biomaterial-based “mimics” of heart tissues to measure patients’ responses to an aortic valve replacement procedure, offering new insight into the ways that cardiac tissue re-shapes itself post-surgery.

Brian visits UC Santa Barbara

August 14, 2019

Brian presented his "Effective Science Communication" lecture as part of the NSF MRSEC Pathways to the Workforce program.

Brian visits the University of Washington - Distinguished Young Seminar Series

August 12, 2019

Brian presented his work on developing precision biomaterials for probing valvular fibroblast activation as part of the Distinguished Young Seminar Series at the University of Washington.

Brian receives NIH K99/R00 Career Transition Award

August 1, 2019

Brian's proposal entitled "Investigating sex differences in persistent valvular myofibroblast activation using hydrogel culture substrates" was awarded funding from the NIH NHLBI! 

Brian chairs Gordon Research Seminar in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

July 27, 2019

The Gordon Research Seminar and Conference in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering took place on July 27 to August 2 in Castelldefels, Spain.