What if you could find another way to fight cancer by approaching it from an engineering perspective, acting on the cellular process by which tissues harden into tumors? Or how about circumventing a host of heart diseases by preventing, perhaps even reversing, the actual stiffening of cardiovascular tissue?
First you’d have to understand how cells sense and respond to their mechanical environment within tissues and tumors, processes that remain largely unknown — at least for the moment — according to UC Santa Barbara mechanical engineering professor Otger Campàs. For his efforts in developing tools to explore the little-known territory of the mechanical aspect of cellular development Campàs has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award.
"It’s an honor,” said Campàs, who holds the UCSB Mellichamp Endowed Chair in Systems Biology and Bioengineering. “I know very talented young scientists and engineers who have gotten this award, so it’s a privilege to become part of that group.”
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