How does the interplay between mechanics and chemistry affect tissue development and disease? At the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP) Rous-Whipple Award Lecture, Donald E. Ingber, M.D., Ph.D, will speak on Mechanobiology and Cellular Mechanotransduction. The lecture will take place Sunday, April 25, 5:00 pm-6:00 pm in the Anaheim Convention Center as part of Experimental Biology 2010. “By pursuing the idea that mechanical forces are as important for health as chemicals and genes, our work has helped uncover principles that govern developmental control, and thus, that have great potential for diagnostic and therapeutic applications,” said Dr. Ingber.
The interplay between mechanics and chemistry had not been explored in context of cancer until Dr. Ingber suggested in the 1980s that extracellular matrix should be viewed more than a host barrier to tumor invasion. His research has subsequently explored how physical microenvironmental cues, such as matrix adhesion and mechanical forces, control whether cells grow, move, or die, and how they influence tissue architecture in the embryo and during the progression of various diseases. As the Founding Director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Ingber has helped to develop multiple new experimental nano- and micro-technologies, as well as engineered tissues and cancer therapeutics that have entered human clinical trials. One example of his recent cutting-edge work is the creation of biomimetic microsystems–tiny, complex, three-dimensional models of human organs that can be used to treat patients and replace costly and time-consuming animal studies that currently hamper drug development.
Dr. Ingber received his B.A., M.A., M.Phil., M.D., and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University before completing his postdoctoral training with Judah Folkman at Harvard University. In addition to his director role at the Wyss Institute, Ingber is the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston, and a Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.