Vascular Medicine Institute
University of Pittsburgh
BST E1240
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-383-5853
Fax: 412-648-5980

Margaret F. Bennewitz, PhD


maggie bennewitz


Maggie Bennewitz, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar

E1226-3B BST
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Lab Phone: 412-648-9987
Email: mfb26@pitt.edu

Sundd Lab


Education and Training

BS, Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2007

MS, Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, 2009

MPhil, Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, 2011

PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, 2012

M+Visión Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012-2013

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Pittsburgh, 2013-Present


I received my BS in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007 and my PhD from Yale University in Biomedical Engineering in 2012. At Yale, I specialized in MRI cell tracking and contrast agent development for the diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme. After completing my doctorate, I accepted a postdoctoral fellowship in the M+Visión Program, a collaborative venture between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and hospitals and laboratories in Madrid, Spain. Unlike a traditional postdoctorate, this program searched globally for scholars who would define their own translational imaging projects centered around clinically relevant unmet needs. One of my projects involved the early detection of ovarian cancer. To diversify my imaging skills, I subsequently accepted a second postdoctoral fellowship in the VMI at the University of Pittsburgh-School of Medicine.

Research Interests

I have developed an in vivo multiphoton excitation fluorescence microscopy setup for the real-time visualization of cellular trafficking within the pulmonary microcirculation of live transgenic SCD mice. Using quantitative fluorescence intravital lung microscopy (qFILM), I aim to identify the cellular and molecular events that promote pulmonary vaso-occlusion and lung injury in transgenic SCD mice. Acute chest syndrome (ACS) is a form of acute lung injury and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among SCD patients. Although pulmonary vaso-occlusion is believed to precede ACS, the cellular and molecular events that promote ACS are unknown. During my postdoctoral appointment, I have received funding from the T32 and F32 NRSA NIH postdoctoral fellowship grants for my work.

Key Publications

Bennewitz MF*, Jimenez MA*, Vats R, Tutuncuoglu E, Jonassaint J, Kato GJ, Gladwin MT, Sundd P. Lung vaso-occlusion in sickle cell disease mediated by arteriolar neutrophil-platelet microemboli. JCI Insight, 2017. 2(1):e89761. *Co-first authors.

Bennewitz MF, Watkins SC, Sundd P. Quantitative intravital two-photon excitation microscopy reveals absence of pulmonary vaso-occlusion in unchallenged Sickle Cell Disease mice. IntraVital., 2014. 3(2): e29748.

Granot D, Nkansah MK, Bennewitz MF, Tang KS, Markakis EA, Shapiro EM. Clinically viable magnetic poly(lactide-co-glycolide) particles for MRI-based cell tracking. Magn Reson Med., 2014. 71(3):1238-1250. PMID: 23568825.

Bennewitz MF, Williams SS, Nkansah MK, Shapiro EM. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) encapsulated gadolinium oxide nanoparticles for MRI-based cell tracking. J Nanosci Nanotechnol., 2013. 13(6):3778-3783. PMID: 23862407.

Bennewitz MF, Tang KS, Markakis EA, Shapiro EM. Specific chemotaxis of magnetically labeled mesenchymal stem cells: Implications for MRI of glioma. Mol Imaging Biol., 2012. 14(6):676-687. PMID: 22418788.

Bennewitz MF, Lobo TL, Nkansah MK, Ulas G, Brudvig GW, Shapiro EM. Biocompatible and pH-sensitive PLGA encapsulated MnO nanocrystals for molecular and cellular MRI. ACS Nano., 2011. 5(5): 3438-3446. PMID: 21495676.

Bennewitz MF, Saltzman WM. Nanotechnology for delivery of drugs to the brain for epilepsy. Neurotherapeutics, 2009. 6(2):323-336.