Cathal Kearney, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Time is a healer: studying and understanding time in tissue regeneration and beyond

Date and Time
ESB 2001
Portrait of Cathal Kearney
Portrait of Cathal Kearney


Cathal Kearney, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering                                              

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Faculty Host: Marley Dewey


Title: Time is a healer: studying and understanding time in tissue regeneration and beyond




Engineering tools to understand, mimic, and exploit the role of time in tissue regeneration motivates the central research themes in the Kearney Lab. Time is considered over the course of a day – circadian rhythms in tissue engineering; several days – the precise temporal control of local therapeutic delivery and integrating these platforms within biomaterials; and years – the role of extracellular matrix age in biomaterials. This talk will cover several technologies developed in the Lab and their testing and application. By developing technologies to deliver therapeutics at specific time-points, we can probe the role of timing in repair processes and aim to ultimately drive coordination of biological processes. Designing novel tissue engineering scaffolds and integrating these delivery systems in them is a key parallel focus in the lab. Finally, recent work on a novel rejuvenated matrix developed using induced pluripotent stem cell technology will also be described.



Dr. Cathal Kearney is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UMass Amherst. He received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology program and completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard University. Prior to joining UMass Amherst, Dr. Kearney was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. His research team has received funding from the NIH, ERC, and foundations. His team focuses on engineering tools to understand and mimic natural biological cue timing to enhance tissue repair and regeneration. They apply these technologies to deliver therapeutics at specific time-points and to probe the role of timing in repair processes. They also think about timing in terms of age, and conduct research to understand the effects of aging on tissue, cells, and repair processes.