The Valentine Lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara
Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Biomaterials, Bioadhesion

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  • Recent news and announcements
    • June 23 -- MTV and Emma's collaborative paper on "Significant performance enhancement of polymer resins by bioinspired dynamic bonding" with coauthors Sungbaek Seo, Dong Woog Lee, Jin Soo Ahn, Keila Cunha, Sung Won Ju, Eeseul Shin, Byeong-Su Kim, Zachary A. Levine, Roberto D. Lins, Jacob N. Israelachvili, J. Herbert Waite, Joan Emma Shea, and B. Kollbe Ahn is accepted at Advanced Materials. Congratulations, All!

    • June 16-23 -- MTV presents an invited talk on "Disruption of cellular force-sensing triggers systemic tissue collapse in the Botryllus vasculature" at the Biophysical Society's Thematic Meeting on Single Cell Biophysics in Taipei. While in Taiwan, MTV also presented the groups' recent work on the Mechanics of Mussel-derived and Mussel-inspired Materials at National Central University and Academia Sinica.

    • June 5 -- Bugra Kaytanli defends his PhD thesis on "Microsphere Traction Force Microscopy".Congratulations, Dr. Kaytanli!

    • June 5 -- Menaka Wilhelm graduates with her MS in Mechanical Engineering after completing her MS thesis on the "Influence of Multi-cycle Loading on Structure and Mechanics of Marine Mussel Plaques." Congratulations, Menaka!

    • June 2 -- Delany Rodriguez, Tony DeTomaso and MTV's paper on "In vivo manipulation of the extracellular matrix induces vascular regression in a basal chordate" has been accepted for publication in the special issue on Mechanobiology in Molecular Biology of the Cell. You can learn more about this exciting project here.

    • April 27-30 -- MTV attends the 2017 Molecules Come to Life Symposium in Tucson as a Scialog Fellow.

    • April 1 -- Marcela Areyano enters the PhD program at UCSB Mechanical Engineering. Congratulations, Marcela!

    • March 17 -- Aimal Khankhel is awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to study the role of mechanical signals in tissue development and maintenance. Aimal's current projects include studies of vascular remodeling in a basal chordate called Botryllus schlosseri and measurements of cellular tractions in model tissues. Congratulations, Aimal!

    • March 13 -- Menaka Wilhelm is awarded a AAAS Mass Media Fellowship which will allow her to work for WIRED magazine as a science journalist this summer. Congratulations, Menaka! Learn more about the program here and about Menaka here.

    • March 13-17 -- Emma Filippidi, Menaka Wilhelm, and MTV attend the American Physical Society's March Meeting in New Orleans, LA. Emma presented an invited talk on her work in Toughening Elastomers with Mussel-inspired Bonds, Menaka presented her work on Cyclic Loading of Mussel Plaques, and MTV presented one talk on the Mechanics of Dynamic Microtubule Networks and an Invited Talk on Force Sensing and Vascular Retraction in Botryllus, a basal chordate.

    • February 26-March 1 -- MTV presents a Keynote Presentation at the Adhesion Society Meeting in St. Petersburg, FL on the Mechanical Origins of Robust Adhesion in Marine Mussels.

    • February 11-15 -- MTV attends the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA and presents on the "Physical Interactions between Disease-linked Tau Mutants and Microtubules" with Ben Lopez, Dezhi Yu and Jamie Wilcox as co-authors. MTV also organized a panel on the World Outside the Lab: Many Ways to Use Your PhD Skills through her work on the Early Careers Committee.

    • Attendees at the kickoff meeting for the UC Office of the President Research Awards; MTV represented her MRPI on Vascular Mechanics and Mechanobiology.

    • January 1 -- MTV is awarded a Multicampus Research Programs and Initiative Award from the University of California Office of the President to lay the foundation for a Systemwide Center on Vascular Mechanics and Mechanobiology in partnership with Prof. Tony DeTomaso (UCSB), Prof. Luisa Iruela-Arispe (UCLA) and Elliot Botvinick (UCI). You can learn more about the award here.

    • October 15 -- MTV gives an invited talk on 'Learning from nature: How Organisms Create Soft, Tough and Resilient Materials and How Humans Can Do Even Better!' at a Session on Increasing Understanding of Material Sciences - Engineering Materials for Diverse Applications at the Annual SACNAS Meeting in Long Beach, CA.

    • October 9 -- MTV and Prof. Tony DeTomaso are awarded a grant from the G. Harold & Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation on "Dissecting Mechanotransduction in Real Time: How Do Cells Sense and Respond to Changes in the Physical Environment?". This award will enable measurements of how mechanical signals are sensed and processed in the vasculature of a Botryllus schlosseri.

    • September 15 -- MTV gives the Research Triangle Park MRSEC seminar on 'Learning from nature to build better load-bearing materials' at Duke University.

    • September 14 -- MTV gives a seminar at the Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics at Duke University on 'Development of high force optical trapping methods to study complex biological systems.'

    • September 12 -- MTV is awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to support the Acquisition of a Fast-scanning Confocal Microscope to Advance Biophysics, Neuro-science, and Bioengineering Research and Training through the Major Research Instrumentation Program. More about the award can be found here. This instrument, which substantially enhances the imaging capabilities of campus, is available in the UCSB MCDB/NRI shared microscopy facility.

    • August 18 -- MTV, Prof. Kimberly Foster and Dr. Adele Doyle are awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation as part of the federal BRAIN initiative to develop new microfluidic MEMS devices for cellular analysis. This exciting new technology (called the 'microhammer') achieves substantially higher forces over microsecond time scales, and opens new avenues to study force-induced changes in neurons. You can learn more about the award here here and here. Or check out the press coverage on Yahoo News

    • August 11 -- Bofeng Chen and Dennis Huang present their work at the UCSB Summer Undergraduate and Graduate Research Colloquium. Chen presented his poster on 'Synthesizing Agarose Micro Particles for the Purpose of Testing Micro Hammer Device' while Dennis presented his work on 'Measuring Surfactant Surface Coverage of Biomimetic Cargos from Interfacial Tension'. Great job, Dennis and Chen!

    • Bofeng Chen presents his work to the AIM Photonics
      Research Symposium at UCSB.
      Jamie Wilcox and Dennis Huang present their work on developing biomimetic cargos for studies of collective motor protein trafficking

    • August 9 -- Bofeng Chen presents his work on 'Synthesizing Agarose Micro Particles for the Purpose of Testing Micro Hammer Device' at the UCSB and Community College Undergraduate Apprenticeship Research Symposium sponsored by the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics. Great job, Chen!

    • July 29 -- Jamie Wilcox and MTV participate in the UCSB Tech Trek!, a science, engineering and math camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who will enter eighth grade in the Fall. You can learn more about the program, sponsored by the American Association of University Women and Optical Society of America Foundation, here.

    • Jamie Wilcox explains her work on optical trapping and kinesin motor proteins to the Tech Trek class.

    • July 20 -- MTV is awarded two collaborative grants arising from the Scialog: Molecules Come to Life Meeting, sponsored by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Research Corporation for Science Advancement to investigate the mechanical circuitry in living cells and organisms, and to develop next-generation devices to enable low-cost, accessible high-resolution imaging. More details can be found here.

    • July 18 -- Emma Filippidi is award the two-year Otis Williams Postdoctoral Fellowship in Bioengineering to support her work on 'Novel, Biocompatible but Non-Biodegradable Medical Adhesives'. Congratulations, Emma!

    • June 15 -- Three summer interns join the Valentine Lab. Avik Mondal, a UCSB College of Creative Studies Physics student supported by a SURF award, Dennis Huang, a BioE student from the University of Pennsylvania who is supported by a MRL FLAM award, and Bofeng Chen, an Engineering student from Chaffey College who is supported by the VIBRANT (Veteran-student Internships in Biomechanics Research and NeuroTechnology) Program. Welcome all!

    • June 13-15 -- Menaka Wilhelm attends the UC Systemwide Bioengineering Symposium at UCSF and presents her work on "Tenacity of Mussel Plaque Wet-Adhesion: Probing Recovery Mechanisms with Multi-cycle Loading"

    • June 11 -- Petros Serbana graduates with his M.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering after completing his Master's Project in the Valentine Lab. Congratulations, Petros!

    • June 11 -- Valentine Lab Alum Kuang Wei graduates with his B.S. Degree in Physics, and was honored with the prestigious Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research (read more about it here), as well as the Arnold Nordsieck Award from the Physics Department. He will pursue a PhD at the University of Chicago starting this Fall. Congratulations, Kuang!

    • June 3 -- MTV attends the Denice Denton Emerging Leaders Workshop in Madison WI. You can learn more about it here

    • Attendees for the Denice Denton Emerging Leaders Workshop.

    • May 20 -- MTV presents the Mechanical Engineering Colloquium at UC Riverside on "Learning from nature: how mussels stick to rocks using strong, tough and porous materials".

    • May 19 -- MTV, Jean Carlson, Yasamin Mostofi, and Cherie Briggs are awarded a UCSB CNSI Challenge Grant to support projects and infrastructure development on Adaptive Network Dynamics.

    • April 20 -- Jamie Wilcox, Ben Lopez, Otger Campas and MTV's paper on a new method to calibrate the full trapping force potential of a single-beam gradient optical trap is accepted for publication in Optics Letters. Congratulations, All!

    • March 31 - April 3 -- MTV attends the 2016 Molecules Come to Life Symposium in Tucson as a Scialog Fellow. You can learn more about the program here

    • The 2016 Scialog MCL cohort in Tuscon.

    • April 1 -- Marcela Areyano and Petros Serbana join the Valentine Research Group as MS students in Mechanical Engineering. Welcome Marcela and Petros!

    • March 29 -- Menaka Wilhelm is awarded an Honorable Mention by the Graduate Research Fellowship Program of the National Science Foundation. Congratulations, Menaka!

    • March 28 -- Aimal Khankhel officially joins the Valentine Research Group as a PhD student in the Biomolecular Sciences and Engineering Program. Welcome Aimal!

    • March 14-18 -- Emma Filippidi attends the APS March Meeting in Baltimore MD where she presents a talk on "Toughening elastomers using mussel-inspired catechol-metal coordination complexes" in the Physics of Bio-inspired Materials Session. Co-authors included MTV, Tom Cristiani, Kollbe Ahn, Claus Eisenbach, Herb Waite and Jacob Israelachvili.

    • March 11 -- MTV presents the lab's work on Mussel-inspired Adhesion to the MRL UCSB 17th Annual Science Teacher Workshop on March 11th 2016

    • A packed house for MTV's KeyNote talk at the MRL Science Teacher Workshop on "A spectrum of sciences: MRL inspiration and resources for science teachers".

    • March 5 -- Emma Filippidi wins the People's Choice Award at the 3rd annual Art of Science competition sponsored by the Schuller Lab and Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships through the UCSB California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). You can read more about the competition and see all the winning images here and here. Congratulations, Emma!

    • Here are Emma's beautiful submissions to the CNSI (left) and BPS (middle) competitions. Both show a false-colored scanning electron microscopy image of a cross section of a Mytilus californianus mussel adhesive plaque. Collagen fibers penetrate the plaque from the thread, creating a composite with the foam-structured plaque. (Right) Emma presents her winning image to the crowd in Elings Hall.

    • February 27 - March 2 -- Emma Filippidi, Jamie Wilcox and MTV attend the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. Emma presented a platform talk on her work the structure of the load-bearing mussel attachment plaque, Jamie presented a poster on her work on optical trapping, and MTV presented a platform talk on EB1-microtubule binding and dynamics. MTV also organized the annual Postdoctoral Breakfast, sponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and a professional development panel called "The World Outside the Lab: Many Ways to Use Your PhD Skills in Industry". Emma's art work was chosen as a finalist in the Biophysical Society's Annual Art of Science Image Contest (You can read more about the competition and see the images of all the finalists here).

    • February 15 -- We bid farewell to Postdoc Ben Lopez, and congratulate him on his new position as the UCSB NRI/MCDB Microscopy Facility Director. Congratulations, Ben!

    • December 14 -- Aimal Khankhel joins the Valentine Lab as a Winter Quarter Rotation Student from the UCSB Biomolecular Science and Engineering Graduate Program. He will focus on mechanical testing of biomimetic materials. Welcome, Aimal!

    • December 10 -- MTV presents a seminar entitled Learning from nature: how mussels stick to rocks using strong, tough and porous materials at the Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal in Bordeaux, France

    • December 4 -- Ben Lopez and MTV's paper on EB1-Microtubule interactions and dynamics is accepted for publication in Cytoskeleton. Congratulations, Ben!

    • November 20 -- Jamie Wilcox advances to Ph.D. candidacy in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Congratulations, Jamie!

    • November 13 -- MTV presents a seminar on the Mechanical and Ultrastructural Properties of Mussel-derived Adhesives to the Physique et Mecanique des Milieux Heterogenes (PMMH) group at ESPCI-ParisTech

    • October 29 -- Emma Filippidi, Danny DeMartini, Paula Malo de Molina, Eric Danner, Juntae Kim, Matt Helgeson, Herb Waite and MTV's paper on Mussel Plaque Architecture is accepted for publication in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Congratulations, Emma and all!

    • October 9 -- MTV presents a seminar on Microscale Rigid Rod Polymer Network Mechanics to the Laboratoire de Science et Ingenierie de la Matiere Molle (SIMM) at ESPCI-ParisTech

    • September 30 -- Dezhi Yu, Stu Feinstein, and MTV's paper on the Effects of Tau Mutants on Microtubule Organization and Intracellular Trafficking in COS7 cells is accepted for publication in the Journal of Biomechanics. Congratulations, Dezhi!

    • September 18 -- MTV visits ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain and presents a seminar on the Dynamic and Self-healing Properties of Microtubule Networks.

    • September 1 -- MTV begins a Fall sabbatical at ESPCI-ParisTech under the support of a Fulbright Scholar Award.

    • September 1 -- Menaka Wilhlem, new graduate student in Mechanical Engineering, and Lotta Lorenz, new graduate student in Physics, join the Valentine Lab. Welcome Menaka and Lotta!

    • August 9 -- Jamie Wilcox presents a talk on her high-force optical trapping methods at the SPIE Optical Trapping and Optical Manipulation Meeting in San Diego, CA.

    • August 1 -- MTV is selcted to be an Associate Director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI)

    • July 26 -- Emma Filippidi presents a talk on "Mussels: An Inspiration for Underwater Glue, the Microscopic Structure of Adhesive Plaque" at the Science of Adhesion Gordon Research Seminar held at Mount Holyoke College in Hadley, MA.

    • July 19 -- Ken Desmond, Nick Zacchia, Herb Waite and MTV's paper on Mussel Plaque Detachment is accepted for publication in Soft Matter. Congrulations Ken and Nick!

    • July 14 -- Ben Lopez and MTV's paper on Molecular Control of Stress Transmission in the Microtubule Cytoskeleton is accepted for publication in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Cell Research.

    • June 29 -- MTV is an invited lecturer at the 2015 Soft Matter Summer School at the Korea Institute of Advanced Study in Seoul.

    • May 12 -- Nick Zacchia and MTV's paper on Design Optimization of Magnetic Tweezers Devices is accepted for publication in the Review of Scientific Instruments. Congratulations, Nick!

    • May 7 -- Emma Filippidi is invited to participate in the Gordon Research Seminar on the Science of Adhesion, to be held in Mount Holyoke, MA in late July, as a discussion leader. Congratulations, Emma!

    • April 18 -- Chris Vaca, Roie Shlomovitz, Yali Yang, MTV's and Alex Levine is accepted for publication in Soft Matter. Congratulations all!

    • March 21 -- Kuang Wei presents a poster about his work on the effects of tau proteins on microtubule mechanics and function at the UC Leads annual symposium at UC Merced, and won a poster award in physical sciences & mathematics. Congratulations, Kuang!

    • March 12-15 -- MTV attends the Molecules Come to Life Symposium at Biosphere 2 in Tucson as a Scialog Fellow.

    • The 2015 Scialog MCL cohort in Tuscon.

    • March 2-6 -- Emma Filippidi and MTV attend the American Physical Society Meeting in San Antonio, TX. Emma presented her work on Mussel Plaque Architecture and MTV organized a Focus Session on the Physics of Protein Interactions. MTV also participated in the "Lunch with Experts", and Emma was selected to present her mussel adhesion work at a press conference on Biology-inspired Technology. Congratulations, Emma!

      You can learn more about the lab's work on mussel-inspired adhesion at these press sites:

      BBC's Science in Action (Hint:Skip ahead to ~ minute 20 to hear about our work!)

    • February 19 -- MTV gives the Condensed Matter Physics Seminar at UC Davis on "New insight into biomaterials design through molecular and geometric control of protein-based structures".

    • February 7-11 -- Ben Lopez and MTV attend the Biophysical Society's Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD. Ben presents a platform talk on his work on EB1 and MTV presents a poster on the effects of wild-type and disease-linked tau mutants on cargo transport in cells. MTV also organized the annual Postdoctoral Breakfast, sponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and focused on publishing this year.

    • January 9 -- MTV is awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award to Paris, France to study Adhesion Mechanics with Costantino Creton at ESPCI ParisTech in Fall 2015. You can read more about it: here, here, here, or here.

    Older news archive (pre-2015)

    Links to Friends and Collaborators

    Valentine Laboratory, California NanoSystems Institute, Room 2404, Elings Hall, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106; 805-893-2594.