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Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing

Faculty and Staff

R. Michael Gower

Title: Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering
Department: Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering
Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing
Website: NCBI
Phone: 803-777-1541
Fax: 803-777-0973

Swearingen Engineering Center
Room 2C21
301 Main Street
Columbia, SC  29108

Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Headshot of Professor R. Michael Gower

Experience and Education 

  • Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering, University of South Carolina, 2014-Present
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Northwestern University, 2011-2014
  • Postdoctoral Associate, University of California Davis, 2010-2011
  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, University of California Davis, 2010
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2004

Research Overview

Our research focuses on understanding the immune system in order to develop bio-instructive materials that stimulate specific immune responses. We aim to control immune cell migration to synthetic microenvironments that are engineered to program and expand regulatory immune cells as a therapeutic tool for inflammatory disease. This research utilizes controlled release of proteins, peptides, and small molecules via a biomaterial to direct regulatory immune cell differentiation, as characterized by epigenetic modification to DNA, transcriptional programs, protein expression, and immunosuppressive function. We employ these technologies in animal disease models with the long-term goal of developing translational therapies for atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cancer.

Selected Publications

Liu JM, Zhang J, Zhang X, Hlavaty KA, Ricci CF, Leonard JN, Shea LD, and Gower RM. Transforming growth factor-beta 1 delivery from microporous scaffolds decreases inflammation post-implant and enhances function of transplanted islets. Biomaterials Feb;80:11-9, 2016. 

Gower RM, Boehler RM, Azarin SM, Ricci CF, Leonard JN, and Shea LD. Modulation of leukocyte infiltration and phenotype in microporous tissue engineering scaffolds via vector induced IL-10 expression. Biomaterials. 35(6):2024-31, 2014.

Boehler RM, Shin S, Fast AG, Gower RM, and Shea LD. A PLG/Hap composite scaffold for lentivirus delivery. Biomaterials. 34(21):5431-8, 2013.

Graham JG, Zhang X, Goodman A, Pothoven K, Houlihan J, Wang S, Gower RM, Luo X, and Shea LD. PLG Scaffold Delivered Antigen-Specific Regulatory T Cells Induce Systemic Tolerance in Autoimmune Diabetes. Tissue Eng Part A. 19(11-12):1465-75, 2013.

Foster GA, Gower RM, Stanhope KL, Havel PJ, Simon SI, Armstrong EA. On-chip Phenotypic Analysis of Inflammatory Monocytes in Atherogenesis and Myocardial Infarction. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 110(34):13944-9, 2013.

Gower RM,Wu H, Foster GA, Ballantyne CM, Knowlton AA, and Simon SI. CD11c/CD18 expression is upregulated on blood monocytes during hypertriglyceridemia and enhances adhesion to Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 31(1):160-6, 2011.


  • BMEN 271  Introduction to Biomaterials
  • BMEN 321 – Biomonitoring and Electrophysiology
  • BMEN 589 – Immunoengineering

Honors and Awards

  • National IDeA Symposium of Biomedical Research Excellence Young Investigator Travel Award, 2016
  • NUPF Postdoc Presentation Award, 2013
  • IBIS Travel Award, 2012

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.