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Joel Spencer

Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Joel Spencer
Professional Title: 
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, Thrust 3
SE2 381
  • Ph.D., 2012 – Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University
  • B.S., 2002 – Biological Sciences, UC Irvine
Research Interests: 

Biomedical Optics, Intravital Imaging and Sensing, Tissue Regeneration, Transplantation, Hematopoietic Stem Cells


The Spencer Lab seeks to develop novel optical imaging and sensing systems for applications in tissue regeneration, transplantation, and cancer. Our projects include:

  • investigating new ways to image the thymus in live mice with sub-cellular resolution
  • developing fast oxygen sensing methods for in vivo applications
  • applying whole tissue imaging methods for studying immune reconstitution
  • developing imaging assays for regenerative medicine and other applications


Selected Publications:

  • Z. Fan*, J. A. Spencer*, Y. Lu, C. M. Pitsillides, G. Singh, P. Kim, S. H. Yun, V. Toxavidis, T. B. Strom, C. P. Lin, and M. Koulmanda, “In vivo tracking of ‘color-coded’ effector, natural and induced regulatory T cells in the allograft response,” Nat. Med. 16, 718-722 (2010). *Equal Contribution
  • D. Park, J. A. Spencer, B. I. Koh, T. Kobayashi, J. Fujisaki, T. L. Clemens, C. P. Lin, H. M. Kronenberg, and D. T. Scadden, “Endogenous bone marrow MSCs are dynamic, fate-restricted participants in bone maintenance and regeneration,” Cell Stem Cell 10, 259-272 (2012).
  • J. A. Spencer, F. Ferraro, E. Roussakis, A. Klein, J. Wu, J. M. Runnels, W. Zaher, L. J. Mortensen, C. Alt, R. Turcottë, R. Yusuf, S. A. Vinogradov, D. T. Scadden, and C. P. Lin, “Direct measurement of local oxygen concentration in the bone marrow of live animals,” Nature 508, 269-273 (2014).
  • T. Itkin, S. G. Cohen, J. A. Spencer, A. Schajnovitz, S. K. Ramasamy, A. P. Kusumbe, G. Ledergor, Y. Jung, I. Milo, M. G. Poulos, A. Kalinkovich, A. Ludin, O. Kollet, G. Shakhar, J. M. Butler, S. Rafii, R. H. Adams, D. T. Scadden, C. P. Lin, and T. Lapidot, “Distinct bone marrow blood vessels differentially regulate hematopoiesis,” Nature 532, 323–328 (2016).
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