Nanostructured Materials Direct Cell Behavior
Adam J. Engler
Professor of Bioengineering
University of California, San Diego
Adam J. Engler is a professor of Bioengineering at UC San Diego. His research focus is stem cell research, with an emphasis on how adult and embryonic stem cell differentiation is controlled by the extracellular matrix. Engler earned his B.S.E. degree in bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics. Engler then moved to Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, funded by the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Engler is the 2008 recipient of the Rupert Timpl and Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Awards from the International Society for Matrix Biology and the Biomedical Engineering Society, respectively, for his lab's work on the mechanical regulation of stem cell differentiation by the extracellular matrix.
The Engler lab's research is focused on how cell behavior is directed by the extracellular matrix (ECM), a 3-dimensional (3D) fibrillar scaffold to which cells adhere. Investigations in the lab revolve around how the mechanical and biochemical properties of this 3D ECM direct the differentiation of human mesenchymal and embryonic stem cells into specific cell types; the development and patterning of the heart; and adhesion strength of cells.