[Illinois] GEM4 2012: Cell Mechanics

By Jeffrey Fredberg

Department of Environmental Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA

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Our objective is 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.


Jeffrey Fredberg

Professor of Bioengineering and Physiology, Department of Environmental Health

Harvard School of Public Health

His research seeks to discover physical laws governing the abilities of the cytoskeleton to deform, contract, and remodel. These basic mechanical processes underlie a range of higher level phenomena in health and disease including many aspects of cancer, cardiovascular disease, malaria, and morphogenesis, but our major research emphasis is the role of these processes in airway narrowing in asthma. Students with backgrounds in engineering sciences, cell biology, or physics of soft condensed matter learn how to work side-by-side to pose new questions, invent new nanotechnologies, apply these technologies in novel experimental investigations, and analyze resulting data in terms of evolving mechanistic understanding of the physical properties of the living cell.

(Source: http://bph.hsph.harvard.edu/faculty/Jeffrey-Fredberg)

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Jeffrey Fredberg (2012), "[Illinois] GEM4 2012: Cell Mechanics," https://nanohub.org/resources/14622.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


Charlie Newman, NanoBio Node

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign