Dr Abbas Shafiee

Honorary Research Fellow

The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Faculty of Medicine

Overview

Dr Abbas Shafiee is a tissue engineering & regenerative medicine scientist interested in translational cell-based and tissue engineering strategies to treat human diseases.

Dr Shafiee completed his PhD in Professor Kiarash Khosrotehrani’s laboratory on stem cell biology. His research career during his PhD had key contributions to delineating endothelial niche and vascular stem cells in the human placental tissues, including the seminal discovery of an entirely new stem cell population, coined as ‘Meso-Endothelial Bipotent Progenitor’ and the identification of key driver signatures for endothelial and bipotential progenitor function (Stem Cell Reports 2018; The FASEB Journal 2017; Stem Cells 2016; Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2015).

In 2016, he joined Professor Dietmar Hutmacher’s team and conducted multiple projects on cancer and bone tissue engineering. Dr Shafiee has developed innovative tissue engineered models intersecting concepts from stem cell biology, cancer, and tissue engineering to study species-specific cancer bone metastasis at an unprecedented level of detail. The results of his research have been published in: International Journal of Cancer 2018; Cancers 2018; Biomaterials 2018; Bone Research 2019; Biomaterials 2019; Applied Materials Today 2020; Biomaterials 2020; and Advanced Therapeutics 2020. Utilizing the tissue engineering concept, he was able to better understand the mechanisms of cancer bone metastasis. Additionally, he was successful in obtaining project grants, including a project grants from Cooperative Research Centers (CRC), and developed a biomimetically designed scaffolds and investigated the interactions of multipotent mesenchymal stem/stromal cell and skin progenitors with 3D printed scaffolds. Additionally, application of 3D printed constructs in acute wound models decreased wound contracture and led to a significantly improved skin regeneration.

Dr Shafiee joined Herston Biofabrication Institute (HBI, MNHHS) in 2020 and started a research program to develop, implement, and evaluate the applications of 3D printing, scanning, cell therapies, and biofabrication technologies in skin wound settings. Using 3D printing and stem/progenitor cell delivery he could develop new approaches to enhances physiological wound closure with reduced scar tissue formation (Biomaterials 2021, Small 2021, Advanced Healthcare Materials 2021). Dr Shafiee is part of a national program, in collaboration with scientists from Curtin University, UWA and UOW, aiming to develop 3D bioprinting technology to treat skin wounds (funded by MRFF, NHMRC). Dr Shafiee has supervised several master and PhD students. Honours, Masters and PhD projects are available, please feel free to contact him.

Research Interests

  • Hydrogels, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
  • Stem Cell Bioengineering
  • Wound care
  • Vascular development and homeostasis

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Queensland University of Technology

Publications

  • McGovern, Jacqui A., Bock, Nathalie, Shafiee, Abbas, Martine, Laure C., Wagner, Ferdinand, Baldwin, Jeremy G., Landgraf, Marietta, Lahr, Christoph A., Meinert, Christoph, Williams, Elizabeth D., Pollock, Pamela M., Denham, Jim, Russell, Pamela J., Risbridger, Gail P., Clements, Judith A., Loessner, Daniela, Holzapfel, Boris M. and Hutmacher, Dietmar W. (2021). A humanized orthotopic tumor microenvironment alters the bone metastatic tropism of prostate cancer cells. Communications Biology, 4 (1) 1014, 1014. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02527-x

  • Hosseini, Motaharesadat and Shafiee, Abbas (2021). Engineering bioactive scaffolds for skin regeneration. Small, 2101384. doi: 10.1002/smll.202101384

  • Lahr, Christoph A., Landgraf, Marietta, Wagner, Ferdinand, Cipitria, Amaia, Moreno-Jiménez, Inés, Bas, Onur, Schmutz, Beat, Meinert, Christoph, Mashimo, Tomoji, Miyasaka, Yoshiki, Holzapfel, Boris M., Shafiee, Abbas, McGovern, Jacqui A. and Hutmacher, Dietmar W. (2021). A humanised rat model reveals ultrastructural differences between bone and mineralised tumour tissue. Bone 116018, 116018. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2021.116018

View all Publications

Available Projects

  • Treatment of cutaneous scar after wounding or trauma has a significant emotional and social impact on the patients and represents a major health burden, costing the economy billions of dollars annually. Using 3D printing and biofabrication technologies we are aiming to develop new dressings and skin grafts which favour skin wound healing. Projects are available for undergraduate, postgraduate (MPhil, MSc and PhD) or medical students.

    In this project, we utilize following techniques: Cell and tissue culture; Scaffold fabrication; 3D printing; Immunostaining; Flow cytometry; Real time - PCR and other molecular biology assays; Animal experiment; Histology.

    Keywords: Skin; Wound healing; Hydrogel; Polymers; 3D printing; Vascularization; Bioprinting; Stem cells; Keratinosyte, Dressing; Dermal grafts.

    Relevant research: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0142961220308048

  • Stem cell-based therapies have been proposed to improve wound healing outcomes. Although epidermal stem/progenitor cells have shown potential to improve wound healing through re-epithelialization, they have limited ability to overcome the challenges of full skin regeneration. In this project, we are aiming to isolate and characterize different types of stem/progenitor cells from skin and use them to develop in vitro skin substitute, or utilize stem cells for cutaneous wound restoration. Projects are available for undergraduate, postgraduate (MPhil, MSc and PhD) or medical students.

    In this project, we utilize following techniques: Cell and tissue culture; Immunostaining; Flow cytometry; Real time - PCR and other molecular biology assays; Animal experiment; Histology.

    Keywords: Skin; Stem cell; Organoid; Pluripotent stem cells; Wound healing.

  • The body's reparative response to skin wounds differs between different individuals. While some people's bodies simply respond to the treatment others do not. In this project we are aiming to understand the genetic factors which effect the wound healing and ultimately develop candidate biomarkers with potential clinical value. Using the genomics, and proteomics approaches we are aiming to discover novel therapeutic targets for skin regeneration. Projects are available for undergraduate, postgraduate (MPhil, MSc and PhD) or medical students.

    In this project, we utilize genomics, proteomics and bioinformatic technologies.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Shafiee, Abbas and Khosrotehrani, Kiarash (2016). Perinatal tissue-derived endothelial progenitor cells. Perinatal tissue-derived stem cells: alternative sources of fetal stem cells. (pp. 65-80) edited by Babak Arjmand. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-46410-7_4

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Shafiee, Abbas (2019). Humanized bioengineered models of cancer metastasis. Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society – Asia Pacific Chapter, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, 14-17 October 2019.

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Treatment of cutaneous scar after wounding or trauma has a significant emotional and social impact on the patients and represents a major health burden, costing the economy billions of dollars annually. Using 3D printing and biofabrication technologies we are aiming to develop new dressings and skin grafts which favour skin wound healing. Projects are available for undergraduate, postgraduate (MPhil, MSc and PhD) or medical students.

    In this project, we utilize following techniques: Cell and tissue culture; Scaffold fabrication; 3D printing; Immunostaining; Flow cytometry; Real time - PCR and other molecular biology assays; Animal experiment; Histology.

    Keywords: Skin; Wound healing; Hydrogel; Polymers; 3D printing; Vascularization; Bioprinting; Stem cells; Keratinosyte, Dressing; Dermal grafts.

    Relevant research: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0142961220308048

  • Stem cell-based therapies have been proposed to improve wound healing outcomes. Although epidermal stem/progenitor cells have shown potential to improve wound healing through re-epithelialization, they have limited ability to overcome the challenges of full skin regeneration. In this project, we are aiming to isolate and characterize different types of stem/progenitor cells from skin and use them to develop in vitro skin substitute, or utilize stem cells for cutaneous wound restoration. Projects are available for undergraduate, postgraduate (MPhil, MSc and PhD) or medical students.

    In this project, we utilize following techniques: Cell and tissue culture; Immunostaining; Flow cytometry; Real time - PCR and other molecular biology assays; Animal experiment; Histology.

    Keywords: Skin; Stem cell; Organoid; Pluripotent stem cells; Wound healing.

  • The body's reparative response to skin wounds differs between different individuals. While some people's bodies simply respond to the treatment others do not. In this project we are aiming to understand the genetic factors which effect the wound healing and ultimately develop candidate biomarkers with potential clinical value. Using the genomics, and proteomics approaches we are aiming to discover novel therapeutic targets for skin regeneration. Projects are available for undergraduate, postgraduate (MPhil, MSc and PhD) or medical students.

    In this project, we utilize genomics, proteomics and bioinformatic technologies.