Dr. Richard Assoian is Professor of Pharmacology and a member of the Center for Cancer Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania. Assoian is a Co-Director of the Center for Engineering MechanoBiology.
Assoian’s research lab explores how cells sense changes in the physical properties of their microenvironment and how they convert this information into chemical signals, behavior and function. Within this broad area, his team seeks to understand how physiological and pathological changes in the stiffness of the extracellular matrix (ECM) affects adhesion receptor signaling, the actin cytoskeleton, and fate decisions such as proliferation, migration and differentiation. Assoian’s group performs mechanistic analyses in cell culture, use genome- and proteome-wide approaches, assess mechanical properties of tissues and cells, and ultimately test physiological and pathological relevance in mouse models of vascular aging, injury, and atherosclerosis.
Keywords: extracellular matrix; microenvironment; adhesion receptor signaling; mechanotransduction; integrins; cadherins; actin; cytoskeleton; focal adhesions; matrix remodeling; deformable substrata; micropatterning; cell cycle; proliferation; cyclin-dependent kinases; mouse modeling; tissue mechanics; cardiovascular biology; progeria; mechanobiology
Working Group(s): Working Group 2: How do cells adapt to and change their mechanical environment?; Working Group 3: How do cells remember their mechanical environment?