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Institute of Bioengineering

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Dr John Connelly

Reader in Bioengineering

Department Blizard Institute
 Blizard Institute, 4 Newark Street, Whitechapel
Telephone 020 7882 7160
Email j.connelly@qmul.ac.uk
Homepage https://www.qmul.ac.uk/blizard/staff/centre-for-cell-biology-and-cutaneous-research/staff/john-connelly.html

Research Keywords

Skin, Biomaterials, Mechanobiology, 3D printing

Research Interests

My laboratory is interested in how keratinocytes sense and respond to changes in their physical microenvironment. We employ engineered materials and model systems to precisely control the signals presented to cells.
Key projects include:

  1. The role of biophysical cues in epidermal fate decisions.
  2. The influence of substrate mechanics and topography on wound healing.
  3. Transcriptional regulators of mechano-transduction in keratinocytes.

We also have an on-going interest in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and a long-term goal for our research is to translate our findings into effective strategies for skin repair.

Key Publications

Kenny FN, Drymoussi Z, Delaine-Smith R, Kao AP, Laly AC, Knight MM, Philpott MP and Connelly JT (2018). Tissue stiffening promotes keratinocyte proliferation through activation of epidermal growth factor signaling. J Cell Sci  vol. 131, (10) 10.1242/jcs.215780

Sharili AS, Kenny FN, Vartiainen MK and Connelly JT (2016). Nuclear actin modulates cell motility via transcriptional regulation of adhesive and cytoskeletal genes. Sci Rep  vol. 6, 33893-33893. 10.1038/srep33893

Theocharidis G, Drymoussi Z, Kao AP, Barber AH, Lee DA, Braun KM and Connelly JT (2016). Type VI Collagen Regulates Dermal Matrix Assembly and Fibroblast Motility. J Invest Dermatol  vol. 136, (1) 74-83. 10.1038/JID.2015.352

Almeida FV, Walko G, McMillan JR, McGrath JA, Wiche G, Barber AH and Connelly JT (2015). The cytolinker plectin regulates nuclear mechanotransduction in keratinocytes. J Cell Sci  vol. 128, (24) 4475-4486. 10.1242/jcs.173435

Costa P, Gautrot JE and Connelly JT (2014). Directing cell migration using micropatterned and dynamically adhesive polymer brushes. Acta Biomater  vol. 10, (6) 2415-2422. 10.1016/j.actbio.2014.01.029

2019

Almeida FV, Gammon L, Laly AC, Pundel OJ, Bishop CL and Connelly JT (2019). High-Content Analysis of Cell Migration Dynamics within a Micropatterned Screening Platform. Wiley  Advanced Biosystems  1900011-1900011. 10.1002/adbi.201900011

2018

Ghetti M, Topouzi H, Theocharidis G, Papa V, Williams G, Bondioli E, Cenacchi G, Connelly JT and Higgins CA (2018). Subpopulations of dermal skin fibroblasts secrete distinct extracellular matrix: implications for using skin substitutes in the clinic. Br J Dermatol  vol. 179, (2) 381-393. 10.1111/bjd.16255

Kenny FN, Drymoussi Z, Delaine-Smith R, Kao AP, Laly AC, Knight MM, Philpott MP and Connelly JT (2018). Tissue stiffening promotes keratinocyte proliferation through activation of epidermal growth factor signaling. J Cell Sci  vol. 131, (10) 10.1242/jcs.215780

Li D, Sharili AS, Connelly J and Gautrot JE (2018). Highly Stable RNA Capture by Dense Cationic Polymer Brushes for the Design of Cytocompatible, Serum-Stable SiRNA Delivery Vectors. Biomacromolecules  10.1021/acs.biomac.7b01686

2017

Pearce OMT, Delaine-Smith R, Maniati E, Nichols S, Wang J, Böhm S, Rajeeve V, Ullah D, Chakravarty P, Jones RR, Montfort A, Dowe T, Gribben J, Jones JL, Kocher HM, Serody JS, Vincent BG, Connelly J, Brenton JD, Chelala C, Cutillas PR, Lockley M, Bessant C, Knight M and Balkwill FR (2017). Deconstruction of a metastatic tumor microenvironment reveals a common matrix response in human cancers. Cancer Discov  10.1158/2159-8290.CD-17-0284

Di Cio S, Bøggild TML, Connelly J, Sutherland DS and Gautrot JE (2017). Differential integrin expression regulates cell sensing of the matrix nanoscale geometry. Acta Biomaterialia  vol. 50, 280-292. 10.1016/j.actbio.2016.11.069

Kanapathy M, Hachach-Haram N, Bystrzonowski N, Connelly JT, O'Toole EA, Becker DL, Mosahebi A and Richards T (2017). Epidermal grafting for wound healing: a review on the harvesting systems, the ultrastructure of the graft and the mechanism of wound healing. Int Wound J  vol. 14, (1) 16-23. 10.1111/iwj.12686

2016

Sharili AS, Kenny FN, Vartiainen MK and Connelly JT (2016). Nuclear actin modulates cell motility via transcriptional regulation of adhesive and cytoskeletal genes. Sci Rep  vol. 6, 33893-33893. 10.1038/srep33893

Kao AP, Connelly JT and Barber AH (2016). 3D nanomechanical evaluations of dermal structures in skin. Journal of The Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials  vol. 57, 14-23. 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2015.11.017

Theocharidis G, Drymoussi Z, Kao AP, Barber AH, Lee DA, Braun KM and Connelly JT (2016). Type VI Collagen Regulates Dermal Matrix Assembly and Fibroblast Motility. J Invest Dermatol  vol. 136, (1) 74-83. 10.1038/JID.2015.352

2015

Almeida FV, Walko G, McMillan JR, McGrath JA, Wiche G, Barber AH and Connelly JT (2015). The cytolinker plectin regulates nuclear mechanotransduction in keratinocytes. J Cell Sci  vol. 128, (24) 4475-4486. 10.1242/jcs.173435

Kenny FN and Connelly JT (2015). Integrin-mediated adhesion and mechano-sensing in cutaneous wound healing. Cell Tissue Res  vol. 360, (3) 571-582. 10.1007/s00441-014-2064-9

Dalbay MT, Thorpe SD, Connelly JT, Chapple JP and Knight MM (2015). Adipogenic Differentiation of hMSCs is Mediated by Recruitment of IGF-1r Onto the Primary Cilium Associated With Cilia Elongation. Wiley  Stem Cells  vol. 33, (6) 1952-1961. 10.1002/stem.1975

2014

Costa P, Gautrot JE and Connelly JT (2014). Directing cell migration using micropatterned and dynamically adhesive polymer brushes. Acta Biomater  vol. 10, (6) 2415-2422. 10.1016/j.actbio.2014.01.029

Sharili AS and Connelly JT (2014). Nucleocytoplasmic shuttling: a common theme in mechanotransduction. Biochem Soc Trans  vol. 42, (3) 645-649. 10.1042/BST20130286

2013

McMurray RJ, Wann AKT, Thompson CL, Connelly JT and Knight MM (2013). Surface topography regulates wnt signaling through control of primary cilia structure in mesenchymal stem cells. Sci Rep  vol. 3, 10.1038/srep03545

Tan DW, Jensen KB, Trotter MW, Connelly JT, Broad S and Watt FM (2013). Single-cell gene expression profiling reveals functional heterogeneity of undifferentiated human epidermal cells. Development  vol. 140, (7) 1433-1444. 10.1242/dev.087551

Hosny NA, Song M, Connelly JT, Ameer-Beg S, Knight MM and Wheeler AP (2013). Super-resolution imaging strategies for cell biologists using a spinning disk microscope. Plos One  vol. 8, (10) 10.1371/journal.pone.0074604

2012

Costa P, Almeida FVM and Connelly JT (2012). Biophysical signals controlling cell fate decisions: how do stem cells really feel? Int J Biochem Cell Biol  vol. 44, (12) 2233-2237. 10.1016/j.biocel.2012.09.003

Driskell RR, Juneja VR, Connelly JT, Kretzschmar K, Tan DW-M and Watt FM (2012). Clonal growth of dermal papilla cells in hydrogels reveals intrinsic differences between Sox2-positive and -negative cells in vitro and in vivo. J Invest Dermatol  vol. 132, (4) 1084-1093. 10.1038/jid.2011.428

Trappmann B, Gautrot JE, Connelly JT, Strange DGT, Li Y, Oyen ML, Cohen Stuart MA, Boehm H, Li B, Vogel V, Spatz JP, Watt FM and Huck WTS (2012). Extracellular-matrix tethering regulates stem-cell fate. Nature Materials  10.1038/nmat3339

Connelly JT (2012). Terminal differentiation of human epidermal stem cells on micro-patterned substrates. Methods Mol Biol  vol. 916, 15-22. 10.1007/978-1-61779-980-8_2

Trappmann B, Gautrot JE, Connelly JT, Strange DGT, Li Y, Oyen ML, Cohen Stuart MA, Boehm H, Li B, Vogel V, Spatz JP, Watt FM and Huck WTS (2012). Erratum: Extracellular-matrix tethering regulates stem-cell fate (Nature Materials (2012) 11 (642-649)). Nature Materials  vol. 11, (8) 10.1038/nmat3387

Trappmann B, Gautrot JE, Connelly JT, Strange DGT, Li Y, Oyen ML, Cohen Stuart MA, Boehm H, Li B, Vogel V, Spatz JP, Watt FM and Huck WTS (2012). Extracellular-matrix tethering regulates stem-cell fate. Nature Publishisg Group  Nature Materials  vol. 11, (7) 642-649. 10.1038/nmat3339

2011

Connelly JT, Petrie TA, García AJ and Levenston ME (2011). Fibronectin- and collagen-mimetic ligands regulate bone marrow stromal cell chondrogenesis in three-dimensional hydrogels. Eur Cell Mater  vol. 22, 168-176. 10.22203/eCM.v022a13

Connelly JT, Mishra A, Gautrot JE and Watt FM (2011). Shape-induced terminal differentiation of human epidermal stem cells requires p38 and is regulated by histone acetylation. Plos One  vol. 6, (11) 10.1371/journal.pone.0027259

2010

Connelly JT, Gautrot JE, Trappmann B, Tan DWM, Donati G, Huck WTS and Watt FM (2010). Actin and serum response factor transduce physical cues from the microenvironment to regulate epidermal stem cell fate decisions. Nature Cell Biology  vol. 12, (7) 711-718. 10.1038/ncb2074

Connelly JT, Vanderploeg EJ, Mouw JK, Wilson CG and Levenston ME (2010). Tensile loading modulates bone marrow stromal cell differentiation and the development of engineered fibrocartilage constructs. Tissue Eng Part A  vol. 16, (6) 1913-1923. 10.1089/ten.TEA.2009.0561

Gautrot JE, Trappmann B, Oceguera-Yanez F, Connelly J, He X, Watt FM and Huck WTS (2010). Exploiting the superior protein resistance of polymer brushes to control single cell adhesion and polarisation at the micron scale. Biomaterials  vol. 31, (18) 5030-5041. 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.02.066

2008

Connelly JT, García AJ and Levenston ME (2008). Interactions between integrin ligand density and cytoskeletal integrity regulate BMSC chondrogenesis. J Cell Physiol  vol. 217, (1) 145-154. 10.1002/jcp.21484

Connelly JT, Wilson CG and Levenston ME (2008). Characterization of proteoglycan production and processing by chondrocytes and BMSCs in tissue engineered constructs. Osteoarthritis Cartilage  vol. 16, (9) 1092-1100. 10.1016/j.joca.2008.01.004

2007

Mouw JK, Connelly JT, Wilson CG, Michael KE and Levenston ME (2007). Dynamic compression regulates the expression and synthesis of chondrocyte-specific matrix molecules in bone marrow stromal cells. Stem Cells  vol. 25, (3) 655-663. 10.1634/stemcells.2006-0435

Connelly JT, García AJ and Levenston ME (2007). Inhibition of in vitro chondrogenesis in RGD-modified three-dimensional alginate gels. Biomaterials  vol. 28, (6) 1071-1083. 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2006.10.006

2004

Connelly JT, Vanderploeg EJ and Levenston ME (2004). The influence of cyclic tension amplitude on chondrocyte matrix synthesis: experimental and finite element analyses. Biorheology  vol. 41, (3-4) 377-387.

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