Applications for our Summer 2020 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery will open on January 1, 2020.See details
Patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells reveal how non-coding DNA regulates vascular disease. Check out our 2018 Cell paper with Kristin Baldwin's lab by Lo Sardo et al for more information.See details
RAP2 is a molecular switch in mechanotransduction, thereby defining a mechanosignalling pathway from ECM stiffness to the nucleus. Check out our 2018 Nature paper with Kunliang Guan's lab by Meng et al for more information.See details
The Engler lab and collaborators identify how novel combinations of heterozygous mutations in patients cause cardiomyopathy. Check out our 2019 Nature Biomedical Engineering paper by Deacon et al for more information.See details
The Engler lab along with researchers at Scripps understand why polymorphisms in non-coding RNAs cause cardiomyocyte dysfunction when their surroundings stiffen. Check out our 2019 Nature Biomedical Engineering paper by Kumar 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.