Department of Dermatology

Stephen C. Balmert, PhD

  • Instructor

Education & Training

  • B.S., University of Pittsburgh - Bioengineering
  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Bioengineering
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Dermatology

Representative Publications


  1. Balmert SC, McKeel D, Triolo F, Gridelli B, Zeilinger K, Bornemann R, Gerlach JC. Perfusion circuit concepts for hollow-fiber bioreactors used as in vitro cell production systems or ex vivo bioartificial organs. Int J Artif Organs. 2011 May; 34(5):410-21. PubMed PMID: 21623585.
  2. Jhunjhunwala S, Balmert SC, Raimondi G, Dons E, Nichols EE, Thomson AW, Little SR. Controlled release formulations of IL-2, TGF-β1 and rapamycin for the induction of regulatory T cells. J Control Release. 2012 Apr 10; 159(1):78-84. PubMed PMID: 22285546.
  3. Balmert SC, Zmolek AC, Glowacki AJ, Knab TD, Rothstein SN, Wokpetah JM, Fedorchak MV, Little SR. Positive charge of “sticky” peptides and proteins impedes release from negatively charged PLGA matrices. J Mater Chem B. 2015 Jun 21; 3(23):4723-34. PubMed PMID: 26085928.
  4. Acharya AP, Sinha M, Ratay ML, Ding X, Balmert SC, Workman CJ, Wang Y, Vignali DAA, Little SR. Localized multi-component delivery platform generates local and systemic anti-tumor immunity. Adv Funct Mater. 2017; 27(5):1604366.
  5. Ratay ML, Glowacki AJ, Balmert SC, Acharya AP, Polat J, Andrews LP, Fedorchak MV, Schuman JS, Vignali DAA, Little SR. Treg-recruiting microspheres prevent inflammation in a murine model of dry eye disease. J Control Release. 2017 Jul 28; 258:208-17. PubMed PMID: 28501670.
  6. Balmert SC, Donahue C, Vu JR, Erdos G, Falo LD, Little SR. In vivo induction of regulatory T cells promotes allergen tolerance and suppresses allergic contact dermatitis. J Control Release. 2017 Sep 10; 261:223-33. PubMed PMID: 28694031.
  7. Ratay ML, Balmert SC, Acharya AP, Greene AC, Meyyappan T, Little SR. TRI microspheres prevent key signs of dry eye disease in a murine inflammatory model. Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 13; 7(1):17527. PubMed PMID: 29235530.
  8. Washington MA, Balmert SC, Fedorchak MV, Little SR, Watkins SC, Meyer TY. Monomer sequence in PLGA microparticles: effects on acidic microclimates and in vivo inflammatory response. Acta Biomater. 2018 Jan; 65:259-71. PubMed PMID: 29101019.
  9. Ratay ML, Balmert SC, Bassin EJ, Little SR. Controlled release of an HDAC inhibitor for reduction of inflammation in dry eye disease. Acta Biomater. 2018 Apr 15; 71:261-70. PubMed PMID: 29526828.
  10. Fisher JD, Balmert SC, Zhang W, Schweizer R, Schnider JT, Komatsu C, Dong L, Erbas VE, Unadkat JV, Aral AM, Acharya AP, Kulahci Y, Turnquist HR, Thomson AW, Solari MG, Gorantla VS, Little SR. Treg-inducing microparticles promote donor-specific tolerance in experimental vascularized composite allotransplantation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2019 Dec 17; 116(51):25784-89. PubMed PMID: 31792185.
  11. Balmert SC, Carey CD, Falo GD, Sethi SK, Erdos G, Korkmaz E, Falo LD. Dissolving undercut microneedle arrays for multicomponent cutaneous vaccination. J Control Release. 2020 Jan 10; 317:336-46. PubMed PMID: 31756393.
  12. Fisher JD, Zhang W, Balmert SC, Aral AM, Acharya AP, Kualahci Y, Li J, Turnquist HR, Thomson AW, Solari MG, Gorantla VS, Little SR. In situ recruitment of regulatory T cells promotes tolerance in vascularized composite allotransplantation. Sci Adv. 2020 Mar 13; 6(11):eaax8249. PubMed PMID: 32201714.
  13. Kim E, Erdos G, Huang S, Kenniston TW, Balmert SC, Carey CD, Raj VS, Epperly MW, Klimstra WB, Haagmans BL, Korkmaz E, Falo LD, Gambotto A. Microneedle array delivered recombinant coronavirus vaccines: immunogenicity and rapid translational development. EBioMedicine. 2020 May; 55:102743. PubMed PMID: 32249203.
  14. Erdos G, Balmert SC, Carey CD, Falo GD, Patel NA, Zhang J, Gambotto A, Korkmaz E, Falo LD. Improved cutaneous genetic immunization by microneedle array delivery of an adjuvanted adenovirus vaccine. J Invest Dermatol. 2020 Dec; 140(12): 2528-31.e2. PubMed PMID: 32330464.
  15. Kim E, Weisel FJ, Balmert SC, Khan MS, Huang S, Erdos G, Kenniston TW, Carey CD, Joachim SM, Conter LJ, Weisel NM, Okba NMA, Haagmans BL, Percivalle E, Cassaniti I, Baldanti F, Korkmaz E, Shlomchik MJ, Falo LD, Gambotto A. A single subcutaneous or intranasal immunization with adenovirus-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine induces robust humoral and cellular immune responses in mice. Eur J Immunol. 2021 Jul; 51(7):1774-84. PubMed PMID: 33772778.
  16. Balmert SC, Ghozloujeh ZG, Carey CD, Akilov OE, Korkmaz E, Falo LD. Research techniques made simple: Skin-targeted drug and vaccine delivery using dissolvable microneedle arrays. J Invest Dermatol. 2021 Nov; 141(11):2549-57.e1. PubMed PMID: 34688405.
  17. Bandyopadhyay M, Morelli AE, Balmert SC, Ward NL, Erdos G, Sumpter TL, Korkmaz E, Kaplan DH, Oberbarnscheidt MH, Tkacheva O, Shufesky WJ, Falo LD, Larregina AT. Skin codelivery of contact sensitizers and neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists integrated in microneedle arrays suppresses allergic contact dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2022 Jan 24; S0091-6749(22)00079-3 (In Press). PubMed PMID: 35085664.
  18. Greene AC, Shehabeldin M, Gao J, Balmert SC, Ratay M, Sfeir C, Little SR. Local induction of regulatory T cells prevents inflammatory bone loss in ligature-induced experimental periodontitis in mice. Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 23; 12(1):5032. PubMed PMID: 35322204.



  1. Balmert SC, Little SR. Biomimetic delivery with micro- and nanoparticles. Adv Mater. 2012 Jul 24; 24(28):3757-78. PubMed PMID: 22528985.
  2. Sumpter TL, Balmert SC, Kaplan DH. Cutaneous immune responses mediated by dendritic cells and mast cells. JCI Insight. 2019 Jan 10; 4(1):e123947. PubMed PMID: 30626752.
  3. Korkmaz E, Balmert SC, Carey CD, Erdos G, Falo LD. Emerging skin-targeted drug delivery strategies to engineer immunity: A focus on infectious diseases. Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2021 Feb; 18(2):151-67. PubMed PMID: 32924651.
  4. Korkmaz E, Balmert SC, Sumpter TL, Carey CD, Erdos G, Falo LD. Microarray patches enable the development of skin-targeted vaccines against COVID-19. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2021 Apr; 171:164-86. PubMed PMID: 33539853.

Research Interests

Immunoengineering, biomimetic delivery systems, controlled drug delivery, biodegradable microparticles for sustained release, dissolvable microneedle arrays for cutaneous delivery and/or immune modulation, immune tolerance.