Department of Bioengineering
Mechanical phenomena are involved in many aspects of cellular biology and function. Mechanosensing and mechanotransduction processes are believed to play a major role in stem cell differentiation. Yet the underlying mechanisms of how mechanical forces and biochemical signals interact to affect the cell function is not clearly understood. Mofrad Lab's research program encompasses the development of molecular and multiscale models of cell mechanobiology toward understanding how these phenomena affect cellular function, with specific attention to the role of two macromolecular systems, namely integrin-mediated focal adhesions and the nuclear pore complex. Focal adhesions are the immediate sites of a cell's interaction with the extracellular microenvironment, and as such they play a key role in mechanosensing and mechanotransduction at the the interface of the cell with the extracellular world. Nuclear pores exquisitely control the traffic in and out of the nucleus, thereby regulating the gene expression and protein synthesis.