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Find Faculty / Sarah Shelton

Contact Information:

Sarah Shelton

Research Areas:
  • Biomedical Microdevices
  • B.S. Environmental Sciences, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • M.S. Environmental Sciences and Engineering, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, UNC-NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering


Dr. Shelton’s lab designs microfluidic, organ-on-chip models of disease to uncover how the tissue microenvironment and cellular interactions shape pathology and treatment response. We use biological, engineering and imaging tools to study the transport and function of cells within 3D, engineered in vitro systems that mimic specific tissues. One area of focus is determining how different components of the immune microenvironment in cancer interact in ways that may drive disease progression or response to therapy. This work includes generating vascularized micro-tissues using cells and tissues from patients for personalized medicine and to design novel in vitro assays for assessing immunotherapy efficacy. Building microfluidic models of vascular beds also allows us to observe interactions between circulating cells and the surrounding tissue, including the process of metastasis, and we are exploring how components of the coagulation cascade may influence metastatic outcomes. As part of the “Translational Predictive Biology” cluster in the Comparative Medicine Institute, we enjoy collaborating with scientists and engineers across the spectrums of health and disease research, length and time scales and bench-to-bedside translation.  

Research Interests

Microfluidic, organ-on-chip and patient-derived models
Tumor microenvironment and immunity
Vascular structure, function and transport


NCI F99K00 Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellowship

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