Project Description

Lauren E. Kokai, PhD

Lauren E. Kokai, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and the Co-Director of the Adipose Stem Cell Research Center. Dr. Kokai earned her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009 from the Department of Bioengineering and completed a dissertation on polymer drug delivery vehicles for nerve regeneration.  From 2006-2008, Dr. Kokai was a Fellowship participant in the NIH Cellular Approaches to Tissue Engineering and Regeneration Program of the McGowan Institute. Dr. Kokai also has experience in developing and testing regenerative medicine products and has worked for a leading international pharmaceutical company, Allergan Medical in Santa Barbara, California.

Dr. Kokai’s research focuses on soft tissue engineering to improve post-oncologic patient care. Her ongoing projects include elucidating mechanisms to control adipocyte signaling in inflammation and, generating tissue engineered lymph nodes for secondary lymphedema treatment. She is a co-investigator on the NIH funded research project entitled “Injectable Engineered Tissue for Cancer Reconstruction” and is PI on a Plastic Surgery Foundation Endowment Award titled, “Modulating Macrophage Dynamics to Improve Autologous Fat Grafting Outcomes.”

Dr. Kokai’s publications can be reviewed at the National Library of Medicine’s public database.