We Stand in Solidarity Against Racism
The Department of Bioengineering stands in solidarity with our students, staff and faculty against social injustice and acts of racism. We are shocked and saddened by the recent, brutal deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Rayshard Brooks and others. Like many members of our community, we are frustrated that these deaths are only the most recent manifestations of long-standing racial inequality in this country.
The Department supports the call to action made by the Bourns College of Engineering.
• We acknowledge that systemic racism permeates and poisons all levels of academia.
• We affirm that the Department has zero tolerance for racism, institutional bias or acts of violence against Black members of our community.
• We are committed to supporting Black students and combating the bias and inequity they face.
• We are committed to critically examining our recruitment and retention efforts to better support Black students, faculty and staff.
We would also like to take this moment to recognize the essential contributions made every day by Black students, faculty and staff. They are part of the Bioengineering family, and the department would not be as strong today without their efforts.
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.