Project

Lymphomas are a heterogeneous class of white blood cell cancers that typically originate in lymph nodes. Together, they are the fifth most common cancer in North America. Although advances in combinational chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant treatments have improved clinical outcome in recent years, there remains a subgroup of patients with relapsed and refractory disease that succumb to their illness. There is a need to improve therapies for these patients; however, in typical drug screening, cells are plated in 2D and the microenvironment of the native tumour is not taken into account. Commercially available 3D matrix materials are available, but these materials are also not representative of lymphoma tumours and do not enable long term studies. The microenvironment of lymphoma has recently emerged as a biomarker of patient response; therefore, its effects on drug response are of great interest. My project involves the development of a hydrogel scaffold that mimics the lymphoma microenvironment and supports the growth of lymphoma cells. The system will be used as a disease model to study the effects of cell-matrix interactions on tumourigenesis and disease progression.

Education

University of Waterloo
BASc Honours Nanotechnology Engineering
First Class Honours, Distinction
Thesis Supervisor: Dr. Shirley Tang

Awards
NSERC Canadian Graduate Scholarship (CGSD) – Doctoral (2018-2021)
NSERC Canadian Graduate Scholarship (CGSM) – Master's Program (2017-present)
NSERC CREATE in Manufacturing Materials and Mimetics (M3) Program Award (2017-present)
Queen Elizabeth II GSST, Thomas Noakes Award (2016-2017)
Ontario Professional Engineers Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship (2016)
Canadian Engineering Competition, Innovative Design Winner (2016)
Nanotechnology Engineering Design Symposium Presentation Award (2016)
Norman Esch Entrepreneurship Award for Capstone Design (2016)

Conferences

Bahlmann, L.C.; Baker, A.E.G.; Laister, R.L.; Shoichet, M.S. (2018) Development of a 3D Scaffold for Modelling Aggressive Lymphoma. Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting 2018, Atlanta, Georgia.

Baker, A.E.G.; Tam, R.Y.; Bahlmann, L.C.; Shoichet, M.S. (2017) Well-defined hyaluronic acid based hydrogels for studying primary lymphoma tumours. 33rd Annual Meeting of The Canadian Biomaterials Society, Winnipeg, Canada.

Bahlmann, L.C.; Beilhartz, G.L.; Melnyk, R.A. (2016) Novel approach to characterize a therapeutic protein delivery platform. SickKids Summer Research Symposium, Toronto, Canada.

Publications & Book Chapters

Bahlmann, L.C.; Fokina, A.; Shoichet, M.S. (2017) Dynamic bioengineered hydrogels as scaffolds for advanced stem cell and organoid culture. MRS Communications. 7(3): 472-486.

Dozois, M.D.; Bahlmann, L.C.; Zilberman, Y.; Tang, X. (2017) Carbon nanomaterial-enhanced scaffolds for the creation of cardiac tissue constructs: A new frontier in cardiac tissue engineering. Carbon. 120: 338-349.

PhD Candidate, 2017-present