Kaitlyn Sadtler, Ph.D.

Stadtman Investigator

Section on Immunoengineering


Building 50, Room 4318
50 South Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892



Research Topics

The Section on Immunoengineering develops immune-active biomaterials for regenerative medicine through a bottom-up approach using mechanism-based immunology methods. The immune system is a critical mediator of tissue homeostasis and disease. Upon implantation of a biomaterial scaffold, an immune system response is activated, potentially with pathologic side effects including fibrosis or damaging inflammation. Furthermore, tissue growth and wound healing are modulated by immune responses. Through an understanding of how our immune system interacts with materials in the context of traumatic injury, combined with advances in biopolymers and cellular engineering, we will attempt to program immune responses to promote scaffold integration and tissue growth. Such information is critical for the advancement of next-generation materials used in non-integrating devices (i.e. pacemakers, drug delivery devices, cosmetic implants) as well as integrating medical devices (scaffolds for tissue repair).


Kaitlyn Sadtler, Ph.D. joined NIBIB as an Earl Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator and Chief of the Section for Immunoengineering in 2019. Prior to her arrival to the NIH, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Daniel Anderson, Ph.D. and Robert Langer, Ph.D., focusing on the molecular mechanisms of medical device fibrosis. During her time at MIT, Dr. Sadtler was awarded an NRSA Ruth L Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellowship, was listed on BioSpace’s 10 Life Science Innovators Under 40 To Watch and StemCell Tech’s Six Immunologists and Science Communicators to Follow. In 2018, she was named a TED Fellow and delivered a TED talk which was listed as one of the 25 most viewed talks in 2018. She was also elected to the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 List in Science, selected as a 2020 TEDMED Research Scholar, and received multiple other awards. Dr. Sadtler received her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where her thesis research was published in Science magazine, Nature Methods, and others. She was recently featured in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Magazine as an alumna of note. Dr. Sadtler completed her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, followed by a postbaccalaureate IRTA at the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology at NIAID.

Selected Publications

  1. Lokwani R, Josyula A, Ngo TB, DeStefano S, Fertil D, Faust M, Adusei KM, Bhuiyan M, Lin A, Karkanitsa M, Maclean E, Fathi P, Su Y, Liu J, Vishwasrao HD, Sadtler K. Pro-regenerative biomaterials recruit immunoregulatory dendritic cells after traumatic injury. Nat Mater. 2024;23(1):147-157.
  2. Ngo TB, Josyula A, DeStefano S, Fertil D, Faust M, Lokwani R, Sadtler K. Intersection of Immunity, Metabolism, and Muscle Regeneration in an Autoimmune-Prone MRL Mouse Model. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2024:e2306961.
  3. Kalish H, Klumpp-Thomas C, Hunsberger S, Baus HA, Fay MP, Siripong N, Wang J, Hicks J, Mehalko J, Travers J, Drew M, Pauly K, Spathies J, Ngo T, Adusei KM, Karkanitsa M, Croker JA, Li Y, Graubard BI, Czajkowski L, Belliveau O, Chairez C, Snead KR, Frank P, Shunmugavel A, Han A, Giurgea LT, Rosas LA, Bean R, Athota R, Cervantes-Medina A, Gouzoulis M, Heffelfinger B, Valenti S, Caldararo R, Kolberg MM, Kelly A, Simon R, Shafiq S, Wall V, Reed S, Ford EW, Lokwani R, Denson JP, Messing S, Michael SG, Gillette W, Kimberly RP, Reis SE, Hall MD, Esposito D, Memoli MJ, Sadtler K. Undiagnosed SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity during the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Sci Transl Med. 2021;13(601).
  4. Klumpp-Thomas C, Kalish H, Drew M, Hunsberger S, Snead K, Fay MP, Mehalko J, Shunmugavel A, Wall V, Frank P, Denson JP, Hong M, Gulten G, Messing S, Hicks J, Michael S, Gillette W, Hall MD, Memoli MJ, Esposito D, Sadtler K. Standardization of ELISA protocols for serosurveys of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic using clinical and at-home blood sampling. Nat Commun. 2021;12(1):113.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Friday, January 26, 2024