Our group’s primary research focus is on understanding biological design. This includes nature’s mechanism for mechanotransduction. In this regard, we are interested in how extracellular matrix and cytoskeletal architecture potentiate and modulate the activation of mechanochemical and mechanoelectrical signaling pathways and genetic programs in cardiac, neural, and vascular smooth muscle cells and tissues. In order to study these mechanisms at different spatial scales, we use cellular and tissue engineering techniques that allow us to build custom-designed tissue constructs as experimental preparations.
Our group also has a growing effort in biologically-inspired design. This includes our work with electroactive polymer actuators, bio-inspired photonic systems, nanotextiles, and cell and tissue self-assembly as a system for rapid-prototyping of nonbiological systems.
Current areas of active research include:
Mechanotransduction – the role of mechanical stress, cell shape, and cell architecture on cell function.
Tissue Engineering – development of tissue grafts and scaffolds with unique structures and functions.
Brain Injury – investigating the mechanisms of traumatic brain injury at a cell and tissue scale.
Nanotextiles – developing new techniques for mimicking ECM networks for regenerative medicine and other industrial applications.
Microdevices – designing and building microscale soft biological constructs which retain their unique biological functionalities.
Welcome Dr. Cera and Dr. Lee! April 3rd, 2017
The DBG would like to extend a warm welcome to our new postdoctoral fellows, Luca Cera & Keel Yong Lee. Luca comes to us from Berlin, German, where he recently completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Christoph A. Schalley. Keel Yong recently completed his Ph.D. in Prof. Kwanwoo Shin’s lab at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea. We are looking forward to expanding on our past collaborations with him.
Congratulations to Karaghen Hudson, Leila Deravi & Nina Sinatra on the cover of Macromolecular Materials and Engineering! March 27th, 2017
Parker Lab Artist Karaghen Hudson’s illustration accompanying Leila Deravi & Nina Sinatra’s paper “Design and Fabrication of Fibrous Nanomaterials Using Pull Spinning” was chosen for the March 2017 cover of Macromolecular Materials and Engineering.
Pull spinning is a new nanofiber manufacturing technique that uses a high-speed rotating bristle to draw anisotropic nanofibers from a polymer solution. The versatile structure and composition of scaffolds formed using pull spinning enables a wide range of applications, including muscle tissue engineering and textile design.
Congratulations to George Touloumes! March 21st, 2017
Congratulations to Parker Lab PhD student George Touloumes who has been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
Congratulations to Ben Pope! March 21st, 2017
Congratulations to Parker Lab Postdoc Ben Pope who was recently awarded a Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellowship sponsored by the Good Ventures Foundation.
Congratulations Grant Gonzalez and Michael Rosnach on the cover of Macromolecular Materials and Engineering! January 23rd, 2017
Parker Lab Artist Michael Rosnach’s illustration accompanying PhD Student Grant Gonzalez’s paper “Production of synthetic, para-aramid and biopolymer nanofibers by immersion rotary jet-spinning” was chosen for the January 2017 cover of Macromolecular Materials and Engineering.
“Utilizing a precipitant vortex, a novel nanofiber platform produces Kevlar, nylon, DNA, and alginate nanofibers for high-performance composites and tissue engineering applications.”