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Congratulations to Professor Joshua Morgan for receiving an NSF CAREER award on his research related to mechanoaging.

Specifically, his research entitled "Mechanoaging: Understanding the Mechanical Forces that Drive Cellular Aging" focuses on cellular senescence. Cellular senescence, defined as when cells can no longer divide, is an important component of wound healing, cancer, and aging. Senescence is known to spread from cell to cell, but how this occurs is not understood. It has been recently observed that senescent cells are stiffer and pull more strongly on their surroundings than other cells, and these attributes may provide essential clues to cellular processes. The goal of hisproject is to identify the role of stiffness and mechanical force in spreading senescence from cell to cell. The project investigates both: 1) whether stiffness encourages cellular senescence; and 2) whether contractile cells trigger senescence in other cells within a tissue. This project enables future medical research by providing insight into senescent populations that regulate wound healing, cancer, and aging.

The award comes from the NSF Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation
Program:  Biomechanics and Mechanobiology (BMMB). The award period is from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2026. The overall award amount is $514,591.