Prof. Douglas Lauffenburger

Molecular cell bioengineering: the application of engineering approaches to develop quantitative understanding of cell function in terms of fundamental molecular properties, and to apply this understanding for improved design of cell-based technologies. Our group focuses on elucidating important aspects of receptor-mediated regulation of mammalian blood and tissue cell behavioral functions such as proliferation, adhesion, migration, and macromolecular transport. A central paradigm of our work is development and testing of mechanistic models-- based on principles from engineering analysis and synthesis -- for receptor regulation of cell function by exploiting techniques of molecular biology to alter parameters characterizing receptor or ligand properties in well-characterized cell systems. Quantitative experimental assays are used to measure cell function and receptor/ligand interaction parameters. Problems are motivated by health care technologies of interest to pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies.

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