Cellular and Molecular Mechanics with a focus on Developmental Biology The 2012 GEM4 Summer School program consists of lectures in the mornings by experts in cellular and molecular mechanics and developmental biology, and hands-on labs in the afternoons on various experimental techniques in biology and engineering. The objectives of the GEM4 Summer School are to educate researchers and graduate students about the fundamentals of cell and molecular biomechanics, and to provide an intense learning experience, and to facilitate interactions among engineers, biologists and clinicians. The goals are to help train a new generation of researchers with in-depth knowledge of mechanics and biology and to help engineers and biologists apply biomechanical approaches in biomolecular, cellular, tissue-level, animal model studies.
Doug Lauffenburger is the Ford Professor of Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Biology and Head of the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT. His research group at the school focuses on molecular cell bioengineering.
His Research Statement:
Molecular cell bioengineering: the application of engineering approaches to develop quantitative understanding of cell function in terms of fundamental molecular properties, and to apply this understanding for improved design of cell-based technologies. Our group focuses on elucidating important aspects of receptor-mediated regulation of mammalian blood and tissue cell behavioral functions such as proliferation, adhesion, migration, and macromolecular transport. A central paradigm of our work is development and testing of mechanistic models-- based on principles from engineering analysis and synthesis -- for receptor regulation of cell function by exploiting techniques of molecular biology to alter parameters characterizing receptor or ligand properties in well-characterized cell systems. Quantitative experimental assays are used to measure cell function and receptor/ligand interaction parameters. Problems are motivated by health care technologies of interest to pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies.