Matthew Wheeler




Matthew B. Wheeler is a professor of biotechnology and developmental biology, director of the Transgenic Livestock Facility, a faculty member in the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology’s Tissue Engineering Group, and an affiliate faculty member in the Beckman Institute Biological Sensors Group. He researches reproductive biology, tissue engineering and stem cells, and holds seven patents in stem cells, gene transfer and transgenic livestock. His research led to the development of 3-D airway splints for infants with tracheobronchomalacia and to bone replacement implants. He earned bachelors and master’s degrees in animal sciences from the University of California-Davis and a doctorate in physiology and biophysics from Colorado State University. Since joining the department of animal sciences in 1989, he has consistently been rated one of its top teachers, and received several awards, including the 1999 D.E. Becker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Counseling, the 2001 H.H. Mitchell Award for Excellence in Research and Graduate Teaching. He was named a University Scholar in 2002.


Named University Scholar, University of Illinois, 2002; H.H. Mitchell, Award for Excellence in Research and Graduate Teaching, UIUC (2001); Who's Who Among America's Teachers (2000); D.E. Becker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Counseling, Department of Animal Sciences, UIUC (1999); Honorary Lifetime Member, Sociedade Brasileira de Transferencia Embrioes (SBTE), Brazilian Embryo Transfer Society (1997).


Dr. Wheeler's current research is in the area of identification of embryo viability using microfluidics and microelectromechanical systems. The primary objectives of this work are (1) to develop prototype micro-scale systems for the handling and evaluation of individual embryos and (2) to demonstrate the use of these systems using animal embryos. The present research is aimed at accomplishing the initial development of technology that will allow study of single cell/embryo biology utilizing integrated embryo transport, culture and analysis systems. In the long term these micro-systems can be applied to cancer cells, plant cells and potentially microorganisms. Ultimately, cells/embryos within the channels may be examined using chemical, electrical or physical assays to determine the health and development. Recently, his group has been involved in development of the first microfluidic methods to manipulate embryos in vitro and analyze embryo viability. The potential of this technology for the handling and manipulation of mammalian gametes and embryos is tremendous. It will revolutionize virtually every aspect of assisted reproductive technologies.

For quite some time Wheeler has been interested in developing alternative methods to produce transgenic livestock. This interest has resulted in considerable progress in developing methods for producing transgenic swine using porcine embryonic stem cells. Using his methods ES cells have been isolated from diverse breeds of pigs. The development of embryonic stem cells from a non-rodent source should allow an excellent animal model for in vitro cell differentiation, tissue engineering, cell therapy and transgenic production. He recently has been working on adipose-derived stem cells from pigs as models for human adult stem therapy for bone and cartilage tissue engineering.


  • 2016
    • Paulo S. Monzani, Paulo R. Adona, Flávio V. Meirelles, Otávio M. Ohashi, Matthew B. Wheeler. (2016). Transgenic bovine as bioreactor: challenges and perspectives. Bioengineered, pages 1-9, DOI: 10.1080/21655979.2016.1171429,, Published online: 11 May 2016.
    • Rubessa, M., Gaja, A., and Wheeler, M.B. 2016. Development of an Electronic Micro-Fluidic Method to Separate Viable Bovine Sperm from Extended Semen for Use in In Vitro Fertilization in Cattle. Andrology-Open Access 2016, 5:1,
    • Rocha, R.M.P., Lima, L.F., Brito, I.R., Silva, G.M., Correia, H.H.V., Ribeiro de Sá, N.A., Ferreira, A.C.A., Sales, A.D., Lobo, C.H., Campello, C.C., Smitz, J., Wheeler, M.B., Figueiredo, J.R. 2016. Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) reduces growth rate without altering follicular survival in isolated caprine preantral follicles cultured in vitro. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, Submitted: 17 July 2015 Accepted: 13 March 2016 Published online: 11 May 2016.
    • Rubessa, M., Ambrosi, A., Denmark, S.E., Wheeler, M.B. 2016. Non-Invasive Analysis of Gamete Metabolites During In Vitro Embryo Production Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. International Journal of New Technology and Research (IJNTR), ISSN:2454-4116, Volume-2, Issue-3, March 2016 Pages 54-58.
  • 2015
    • Ferreira, C.R., Jarmusch, A.K., Pirro, V., Alfaro, C.M., González-Serrano, A.F., Niemann, H., Wheeler, M.B., Rabel, R.A.C., Hallett, J.E., Kaufmann, A. and Cooks, R.G. 2015.Ambient Ionization Mass Spectrometry for Lipid Profiling and Structural Analysis of Oocytes, Preimplantation Embryos and Stem Cells. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 2015, 27, 621–637
    • Dodson, M.V., R.E. Allen, M. Du, W.G. Bergen, S.G. Velleman, S.P. Poulos, M. Fernyhough-Culver, M.B. Wheeler, S.K. Duckett, M.R.I. Young, B.H. Voy, Z. Jiang and G.J. Hausman, 2015. Invited Review: Evolution of meat animal growth research during the past 30 years: Adipose and muscle stem cells. J. Anim. Sci. 2015.93:457–481.
    • Hollister, S.J., Flanagan, C.L., Zopf, D.A., Morrison, R.J., Nasser, H., Patel, J.J., Ebramzadeh, E., Sangiorgio, S.N., Wheeler, M.B., Green, G.E. 2015. Design Control for Clinical Translation of 3D Printed Modular Scaffolds. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 43, No. 3,774–786.
    • Bionaz, M., Monaco, E. and Wheeler, M.B. 2015. Molecular adaptation during in vitro adipogenesis and osteogenesis of porcine mesenchymal stem cells: dynamics of pathways, biological processes, and gene networks. PlosOne 10(9): e0137644. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137644, September 23, 2015.
    • Rubessa, M., Nasser, L.F., Wheeler, M.B. 2015. Practical Applications of In Vitro Embryo Production in Latin America. 11th Simposium Internacional de Reproduction Animal, Cordoba, AR 11:311-316.
  • 2014
    • Zopf D.A., Flanagan, C.L., Wheeler, M.B., Hollister, S.J., Green, G.E. 2014. Treatment of severe porcine tracheomalacia with a 3-dimensionally printed, bioresorbable, external airway splint. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014 Jan;140(1):66-71. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2013.5644.
    • Yuan, Y., Paczkowski, M., Wheeler, M.B., Krisher, R.L. 2014. Use of a novel polydimethylsiloxane well insert to successfully mature, culture and identify single porcine oocytes and embryos. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 26:375-384.
    • Monzani, P.S., Guemra, S., Adona, P.A., Ohashi, O.M., Meirelles, F.V., Wheeler, M.B. 2014. MAC-T cells as a tool to evaluate lentiviral vector construction targeting recombinant protein expression in milk. Animal Biotechnology, 26:2, 136-142, DOI: 10.1080/10495398.2014.941468.
    • Zopf D.A., Mitsak, A.G., Flanagan, C.L., Wheeler, M.B., Green, G.E., Hollister, S.J. 2014. Computer-Aided Designed, 3-Dimensionally Printed Porous Tissue Bioscaffolds For Craniofacial Soft Tissue Reconstruction. J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Online: DOI: 10.1177/0194599814552065
  • 2013
    • Zeng,W.X., Tang, L., Bondareva, A., Honaramooz, A., Tanco, V., Megee, S., Modelski, M., Rodriguez-Sosa, J.R., Paczkowski, M., Silva, E., Wheeler, M.B.., Krisher , R.L., Dobrinski, I. 2013. Viral transduction of male germline stem cells results in transgene transmission after germ cell transplantation in pigs. Biol. Reprod. 88 (1) 27, 1-9.
    • Wheeler, M.B., 2013. Transgenic Animals in Agriculture. Nature Education Knowledge 4(11):1.
  • 2012
    • Wilson, S.M., Goldwasser, M.S., Clark, S.G., Monaco, E., Bionaz, M. Hurley, W.L., Rodriguez-Zas, S., Feng, L., Dymon, Z,. Wheeler, M.B. 2012. Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells enhance healing of mandibular defects in the ramus of swine. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 70:e193-e203.
    • Monaco, E., Bionaz, M. Rodriguez-Zas, S., Hurley, W.L., Wheeler, M.B. 2012. Transcriptomics comparison between porcine adipose and bone marrow mesenchymal stem sells during in vitro osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation. PLoS ONE 7(3): e32481. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032481
    • Yuan, Y., Wheeler, M.B., Krisher, R.L. Disrupted redox homeostasis and aberrant redox gene expression in porcine oocytes contribute to decreased developmental competence. Biol. Reprod. (2012) 87(4):78, 1–10,doi:10.1095/biolreprod.112.099952.
    • Chen, K., Hawken, R., Flickinger, G.H., Rodriguez-Zas, S.L., Rund, L.A., Wheeler, M.B., Abrahamsen, M., Rutherford, M.S., Beever J.E., Schook, L.B. 2012. Association of the Porcine Transforming Growth Factor Beta Type I Receptor (TGFBR1) Gene with Growth and Carcass Traits. Animal Biotechnology, 23: 43–63, 2012,
  • 2011
    • Monaco, E., Bionaz, M., Hollister, S. Wheeler , M.B. 2011. Strategies for regeneration of the bone using porcine adult adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Theriogenology 75:1381-1399.
    • Sears, K.E., Bormet, A.K., Rockwell, A., Powers, L.E., Noelle Cooper, L., Wheeler, M.B. 2011. Developmental basis of mammalian digit reduction: a case study in pigs. Evolution & Development, 13: 533–541. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-142X.2011.00509.x
    • Gottlieb, S., and Wheeler, M.B. 2011, 2nd ed., Genetically Engineered Animals And Public Health: Compelling Benefits for Health Care, Nutrition, the Environment, and Animal Welfare, BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization), 37 pgs.
  • 2010
    • Polak, S.J., Lan Levengood, S.K., Maki, A.J., Clark, S.G., Wheeler, M.B., Wagoner Johnson, A.J. 2011. Analysis of the roles of microporosity and BMP-2 on multiple measures of bone regeneration and healing in calcium phosphate scaffolds. Acta Biomaterialia 7:1760–1771, doi:10.1016/j.actbio.2010.12.030.
    • Krisher, R.L., Wheeler, M.B. (2010). Towards use of microfluidics for individual embryo culture. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 22:32-39.
    • Lan Levengood, S.K., Polak, S.J., Wheeler, M.B., Maki, A.J., Clark, S.G., Jamison, R.D., Wagoner Johnson, A.J. 2010. Multiscale osteointegration as a new paradigm for the design of calcium phosphate scaffolds for bone regeneration. Biomaterials 31, 3552-3563.
    • Lan Levengood, S.K., Polak, S.J., Wheeler, M.B., Maki, A.J., Clark, S.G., Jamison, R.D., Wagoner Johnson, A.J. 2010. The effect of BMP-2 on micro and macroscale osteointegration of biphasic calcium phosphate scaffolds with multiscale porosity. Acta Biomaterialia 6: 3283-3291.
    • Mônaco, E., Bionaz, M., Lima, A.S., Hurley, W.L. Wheeler, M.B. 2010. Internal Controls for Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction of Porcine Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 1:7.
    • Kim, D., Monaco, E., Maki, A., Lima, A.S., Kong, H-Y., Hurley, W.L., Wheeler, M.B. 2010. Morphologic and Transcriptomic Comparison of Adipose and Bone Marrow Derived Porcine Stem Cells in Alginate Hydrogel. Cell and Tissue Research 341:359–370.
    • Wheeler , M.B., Monaco, E.,, Bionaz, M., Tanaka, T. 2010. The Role of Existing and Emerging Biotechnologies for Livestock Production: toward holism. Acta Scientiae Veterinariae. 38(Suppl 2): s463-s484.
    • Fahrenkrug, S.C., Blake, A., Carlson, D.F., Doran, T., Van Eenennaam, A., Faber, D., Galli, C., Hackett, P.B., Li, N., Maga, E.A., Murray, J.D., Stotish, R., Sullivan, E., Taylor, J.F., Walton, M., Wheeler, M.B., Whitelaw, B., Glenn, B.P. 2010. Precision Genetics for Complex Objectives in Animal Agriculture. J. Anim. Sci. 88:2530-2539.
    • Bionaz, M., Monaco, E., Tanaka, T., Wheeler , M.B. 2010. Current and Emerging Biotechnologies for Livestock Production. The 37th National Academy of Sciences (Korea) International Symposium, Biotechnology in Agriculture and Fisheries, October 22, 2010, pgs 121-182, ISSN 1225-30X.
  • 2009
    • Mônaco, E., Lima, A.S., Bionaz, M, Maki, A., Wilson, S.M., Hurley, W.L. Wheeler, M.B. 2009. Morphological and Transcriptomic Comparison of Adipose and Bone Marrow Derived Porcine Stem Cells. Open Tiss. Eng. Regen. Med. J. 2:20-33.
    • Bleck, G.T., Wheeler, M.B., Hansen, L.B., Chester-Jones, H.,, Miller, D.J. 2009. Lactose Synthase Components in Milk: Concentrations of alpha-Lactalbumin and beta 1,4-Galactosyltransferase in Milk of Cows from Several Breeds at Various Stages of Lactation. Reprod Dom Anim 44, 241-247.
  • 2008
    • Pond, W.G., Mersmann, H.J., Su, D., McGlone, J.J., Wheeler, M.B., O’Brian Smith, E. (2008). Neonatal Dietary Cholesterol and Alleles of Cholesterol 7-a Hydroxylase, Affect Piglet Cerebrum Weight, Cholesterol Concentration, and Behavior. J. Nutr. 138:282-286.
    • Lopez-Garcia, M. d. C.; Monson, R. L.; Haubert, K.; Wheeler M. B.; Beebe, D. J. (2008). Sperm Motion in a Microfluidic Fertilization Device. Biomed Microdevices 10:709–718.
    • Sendemir Urkmez, A., Clark, S.G., Wheeler, M.B., Goldwasser, M.S., Jamison, R.D. 2008. Evaluation of Chitosan/Biphasic Calcium Phosphate Scaffolds for Maxillofacial Bone Tissue Engineering, Macromolecular Symposia, Wiley-VCH Macromol. Symp. 269, 100–105.
    • Gottlieb, S., and Wheeler, M.B. 2008, Genetically Engineered Animals And Public Health: Compelling Benefits for Health Care, Nutrition, the Environment, and Animal Welfare, BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization), 37 pgs.
  • 2007
    • Wheeler, M.B., W.L. Hurley, S.J. Lane, G.E. Bressner, T. VanEtten, D. Kim, A.S. Lima, E. Monaco, S.M. Wilson. 2007. Environmental Risk Assessment of Alpha-Lactalbumin Transgenic Pigs. Transgenic Research 16:850-851.
    • Wheeler, M.B., D. Kim, E. Monaco, W.L. Hurley 2007. Application of Robotic and Microfluidic Technologies to Stem Cell Culture and Analysis. Tsukuba Meeting for Animal Biotechnology (TMAB) – Progress in Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Technology, January 12-12, 2007 Tsukuba City, Japan, Pgs. 31-32.
    • Woodard, J., A. Hilldore, , M. B. Wheeler, S. Clark, S. Lan, R. Jamison, and A. J. Wagoner Johnson, 2007. The mechanical properties and osteoconductivity of hydroxyapatite bone scaffolds with multi-scale porosity. Biomaterials 28:45–54.
    • Wheeler, M.B., Walters, E.M. Beebe, D. J. 2007. Toward Culture of Single Gametes: The Development of Microfluidic Platforms for Assisted Reproduction Theriogenology 68S:S178-S189.
    • Wheeler, M.B. 2007. Agricultural applications for transgenic livestock. Trends in Biotechnology 25:204- 210.
  • 2006
    • Ford, J.A., Clark, S.G., Walters, E.M., Wheeler, M.B.. Hurley, W.L. 2006. Estrogenic effects of genistein on reproductive tissues of ovariectomized gilts. J. Anim. Sci. 84:834–842.
    • Marshall, K.M., Hurley, W.L., Shanks, R.D., Wheeler, M.B. 2006. Effects of suckling intensity on milk yield and piglet growth from lactation-enhanced gilts. J. Anim. Sci. 84:2346–2351.
    • Wheeler, M.B.; Rutledge, J.J.; Fischer-Brown, A.; VanEtten, T.; Malusky, S.; Beebe, D.J., Application of sexed semen technology to in vitro embryo production in cattle. Theriogenology 2006, 65, 219-227.

    • Wheeler, M.B. 2006. Cloning and Transgenic Animals for Agriculture. 2nd International Symposium of Applied Animal Reproduction, Londrina, Parana, Brazil, October 5-7, 2006. Pgs. 181-194.
    • Sendemir-Urkmez, A., Clark, S.G, Goldwasser, M.S., Wheeler, M.B., Jamison, R.D. 2006. Tissue Engineered Bone for Mandibular Reconstruction. American Association of Oral-Maxiofacial Surgeons Annual Meeting, October 2006, San Diego, CA pgs. 42-43.
    • Wagoner Johnson, A. J., Woodard, J., Hilldore, A., Jamison, R.D., Wheeler, M.B., Clark, S.G. 2006. Bone-Like Behavior of Brittle, porous Hydroxyapatite Implants With Microporosity. American Association of Oral-Maxiofacial Surgeons Annual Meeting, October 2006, San Diego, CA pgs. 40-41.
  • 2005
    • Clark, S.G.; Beebe, D.J.; Wheeler, M.B., Reduction of polyspermic penetration using novel microfluidic technology during in vitro fertilization. Lab on a Chip 2005, 5, 1229-1232.

    • Monaco, M.H.; Gronlund, D.E.; Bleck, G.T.; Hurley, W.L; Wheeler, M.B.; Donovan, S.M., Mammary specific transgenic over-expression of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) increases pig milk IGF-I and IGF binding proteins, with no effect on milk composition or yield. Transgenic Research 2005, 14, 761-773.

    • Zeringue, H.C.; Wheeler, M.B.; Beebe, D.J., A Microfluidic Method for Removal of the Zona Pellucida from Mammalian Embryos. Lab on a Chip 2005, 5, 108-110.

  • 2004
    • Raty, S.; Walters, E.M.; Davis, J.; Zeringue, H.C.; Beebe, D.J.; Rodriguez-Zas, S.L.; Wheeler, M.B., Embryonic Development in the Mouse Enhanced by via Microchannel Culture. Lab on a Chip 2004, 4, 186-190.

    • Wheeler, M.B.; Clark, S.G.; Beebe, D.J., Developments in in vitro technologies for swine embryo production. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 2004, 16, 15-25.

  • 2003
    • Etherton, T.D., Bauman, D.E., Beattie, C.M., Bremel, R.D., Cromwell, G.L., Kapur, V., Varner, G., Wheeler, M.B., Wiedmann, M. 2003. Biotechnology in Animal Agriculture: An Overview. Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Issue Paper, 12 pgs.
  • 2002
    • Wheeler, M.B., Beebe, D.J., Walters, E.M., Raty, S. 2002. Microfluidic technology for in vitro embryo production. Proceedings 2nd International IEEE Conference on Microtechnology, Medicine, Biology pgs 104-108.
  • 2000
    • Zeringue, H. C., D. J. Beebe, M. B. Wheeler. 2000. Removal Of Cumulus Cells From Mammalian Oocytes In A Microfluidic System, Solid State Sensor and Actuator Workshop, June 4-8, Hilton Head, South Carolina, USA.
    • Zeringue, H. C., K. R. King, I. K. Glasgow, S. Raty, M. B. Wheeler, D. J. Beebe. 2000. Zona Pellucida Removal of Mammalian Embryos in a Microfluidic System, Proceedings of the µTAS '2000 Workshop Held at the University of Twente in Eschede, The Netherlands, May 14-18, 2000.
    • Zeringue, H., I. Glasgow, S. Raty, K. King, M. Wheeler and D. J. Beebe, “Embryo manipulation and zona pellucida removal in a polydimethylsiloxane microfluidic system,” World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Chicago, July 23-38, 2000.


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