4009 Thurston Bowles UNC Chapel Hill
B.S. - Biological Engineering, Cornell University S.M. - Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.D. - Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Postdoctoral Fellowship - NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at The Wyss Institute at Harvard University and Biomedical Engineering at Boston University
Research and Publications:
Primary Research Area: Biomedical Microdevices
Secondary Research Area: Regenerative Medicine
Research Interests: Biomimetic microsystems; cellular mechanotransduction; microfluidics; vascular tissue engineering; tumor cell migration; modeling the tumor microenvironment; interstitial flow
Research: Dr. Polacheck’s laboratory investigates the physical interactions between cells and their environment and how forces at the cellular scale contribute to tissue development, homeostasis, and disease. To study how cells sense and generate forces in living tissue, the Polacheck lab develops microfluidic technology to build microtissues in the laboratory that mimic the architecture and multicellular function of human tissues in vivo. By integrating these organ-on-chip models with genome editing, induced-pluripotent stem cell technology, and other cell and molecular biology techniques, the Polacheck lab has developed a novel approach for understanding the molecular machinery employed by cells to generate force sand to transduce forces from their environment into biological responses. The lab seeks to leverage these biological insights to inform novel drug targets for diseases in which misregulation of cellular forces contribute to pathogenesis, such vascular disease, cancer, and fibrosis. Furthermore, the lab works to translate the technology and techniques developed to build microtissues into tissue engineered therapies for organ replacement and regenerative medicine.