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Oct 18 2016

How Living Cells Sense and Respond to their Mechanical Microenvironment

MIE Department Seminar

October 18, 2016

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


1043 ERF


Chicago, IL 60607

How Living Cells Sense and Respond to their Mechanical Microenvironment

Mohammad R.K. Mofrad, PhD.
Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley

Abstract: It is now widely established that living cells sense mechanical signals and respond actively by changing their phenotype accordingly. This process, termed cellular mechanotransduction, is mediated by a combination of biochemical and biophysical mechanisms via conformational changes in the structure and function of specific molecules. These mechanosensing molecules can function to initiate key biological processes, e.g. formation of focal adhesions at the interface of cell’s interaction with the extracellular microenvironment. Despite numerous studies in this field, our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved in the adhesion of cells to their extracelluar matrix (ECM) remains remarkably incomplete. In this talk, I will present some of our recent efforts aimed at better understanding of the molecular players involved in mechanosensing and mechanotransduction at the cell-ECM interface and the mechanochemical pathways that extend the signals into the nucleus thereby eliciting a biological response from the cell by influencing changes in gene expression and protein synthesis.

Bio: Mohammad R. K. Mofrad is a professor of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering at the University of California Berkeley. He received his B.A.Sc. degree from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, before moving to Canada where he completed the Master’s and PhD programs at the Universities of Waterloo and Toronto, respectively. After post-doctoral work at MIT and Harvard Medical School, he joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 2005. His research program ( encompasses the development of molecular and multiscale models of cell mechanobiology, with the ultimate aim to shed light on human diseases.


Hamed Hatami-Marbini

Date posted

Oct 14, 2021

Date updated

Oct 14, 2021