Hello, my name is Max. I am an engineer-scientist interested in biology and medicine. I currently work at Duke University with Lawrence David on the development of new tools for studying the human microbiome – the collection of microbes that live on and inside us. These microbes play an increasingly appreciated role in shaping human health and disease, yet these communities are so massive that new technologies are required to understand their function.

Previously during my doctoral work at the University of Connecticut, I developed ways of using progenitor cells and biomaterials to regenerate bone in response to injury. As part of this process, I developed biomaterials and applied new imaging methods for examining cells and cell-biomaterial interactions in vivo. For the first time, we captured the cascade of cell migration and differentiation that leads to new bone formation in real time.

During my Master’s thesis I developed microfluidic systems (think tiny pipes) for growing stem cells. These devices enable exquisite control of the cell microenvironment, which can be used to understand how stem cells develop into specific tissues, and can be arranged in a high throughput format using very small volumes of fluids (microliters of culture medium per chamber).

I also enjoy kiteboarding, surfing, and bicycle touring. In 2009 I completed a coast to coast tour of the U.S. by bicycle, retracing the Bikecentennial originally done in 1976.