Applications are now closed for our Summer 2017 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery. Decisions will be sent out before March 15th to all applicants.See details
The Engler lab and collaborates identify a new mechanism that regulates saracomere lattice structure, prolonging normal contractile function in aged organisms. Check out our Science Translational Medicine paper by Kaushik et al for more information.See details
The Engler lab and collaborators understand why epithelial cells become cancer when their surroundings stiffen. Check out our Nature Cell Biology paper by Wei et al for more information.See details
Highly metastatic tumor subpopulations appear less adherent to their environment, suggesting a new method to identify the metastatic potential of a tumor. Check out our Biophysical Journal paper by Fuhrmann et al for more information.See details
Learn about the new Clinical Bioengineering course (BENG193) that exposes senior bioengineering students to clinical medicine and challenges them to come up with engineering solutions to how medicine is practiced today.See details
Heart cells with less extracellular matrix surrounding them pump more efficiently, prolonging organism lifespan. Check out our Matrix Biology paper by Sessions et al for more information.See details
The Engler lab is focused on the mechanobiology of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and aging. We develop microfabricated technologies and biomaterials to examine how how cell behavior is directed by the extracellular matrix (ECM), a 3-dimensional fibrillar scaffold to which cells adhere. In cases where this is more difficult, such as aging, we also use a host of model organisms like the fruit fly.
Classic investigations in the lab have established the field of mechanobiology, showing that the mechanical properties of ECM can drive stem cell maturation into neuron, muscle, and bone (Engler et al, Cell 2006). Current studies of this process involve determining what the spatial and temporal display of these ECM cues is in vivo and subsequently mimicking these changes in vitro using novel biological and biomaterial systems. By better recreating the natural microenvironment for these cells using increasing numbers of cellular cues, the lab hopes to improve our ability to regulate and more completely drive stem cell maturation into fully matured cell types. Current investigations also examine how biomaterials can be combined with novel genetic variations that contribute to disease to improve our ability to model “disease-in-a-dish.”
Our lab is a part of the Department of Bioengineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering. However our lab is physically located at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, an interdisciplinary stem cell-focused building immediately adjacent to UC San Diego, the Salk Institute, and the Scripps Research Institute. If you find yourself in San Diego, please check out our lab overlooking the Pacific Ocean.