Current Lab Members

Lammerding lab group photo, Spring 2018

Jan Lammerding Principal Investigator: Jan Lammerding, Ph.D.
Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Cornell University
235 Weill Hall; Ithaca, NY 14853
607-255-1700(Office)
607-255-1980 (Lab)
607-255-5961 (Fax)
jan.lammerding@cornell.edu

Postdoctoral Associates
Gregory Fedorchak Gregory Fedorchak
BMEgrf44@cornell.edu
I am employing a variety of engineering approaches to better understand muscular disease at the cell and molecular levels, and using the insights gained to drive the development of novel therapies. Moreover, my work aims to answer a major question in the field of mechanobiology: whether forces reaching the nucleus via nuclear envelope proteins can directly control gene expression in a predictable, biologically-meaningful way.
Noam Zuela-Sopilniak Noam Zuela-Sopilniak
BMEnz63@cornell.edu
In many cancers the expression levels of the nuclear envelope proteins lamin A/C were shown to be altered, demonstrating a correlation between lamin A/C levels and disease free survival. I am interested in determining the role lamins A/C play in cancer severity and metastatic potential in-vivo. I am also studying how alterations in cancer cell metabolism effect lamin A/C levels, and whether targeted disruption of select metabolic pathways may reduce metastatic potential and improve disease free survival.
Tyler Kirby Tyler Kirby, PhD
tk629@cornell.edu
I am interested in understanding how mechanical cues are transmitted and sensed within skeletal muscle cells, specifically focusing on how these mechanical forces are “sensed” by the cell nucleus and in turn, regulate the muscle phenotype.  Similarly, I am interested in understanding how nuclear mechanotransduction is affected by the normal aging process, and whether dysfunction in this critical cellular response leads to age-related muscle loss and frailty.
Visiting Scientists
Laith Faleh Kadem Laith F. Kadem, PhD (Eng.)
lk369@cornell.edu
I am a visiting researcher from the University of Kiel in Germany and I am performing a biophysical, quantitative study of force transmission through the LINC (Linker of Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton) complex. My goal is to understand if disruptions in that physical coupling lead to impaired intracellular force propagation from the cytoskeleton to the nucleus, which could contribute to the tissue specific phenotype in muscular laminopathies.
PhD Students
Ashley Earle Ashley Earle
BMEak978@cornell.edu
I am interested in understanding how lamins function in muscle regeneration, a complex process involving muscle progenitors, extracellular matrix (ECM), and immune cells, and most importantly why/how lamin mutations cause muscular dystrophy. I am focusing primarily on (1) ECM, and whether lamins are causing a misregulation of the muscle scaffold and (2) the function of muscle progenitors from lamin mutant mouse models and whether lamin mutations impair their potential to contribute to muscle tissue maintenance and repair process in vitro and in vivo.
Alex McGregor Alex McGregor
BMEalm358@cornell.edu
I am studying nuclear deformation during cell migration in both cancer cells and fibroblasts. Specifically, I am using collagen matrices and microfabricated devices to study cell migration in confined environments by live-cell imaging. My long-term goal (for my thesis) is to understand the role of nuclear deformation in cancer cell migration and invasion.
Jeremiah Hsia Jeremiah Hsia
BMCBch769@cornell.edu
I am interested in the biological consequences of cancer cell migration in confined spaces, such as gene expression changes, epigenetic modifications, and cytoskeletal rearrangement. In particular, by exploring the impact of nuclear deformation and nuclear envelope rupture, I want to see if we can find potential targets for preventing/reducing cancer progression and invasion in the future.
Jeremy Keys Jeremy Keys
BMEjtk94@cornell.edu
I am a biomedical engineering PhD student who is interested in studying how cancer cells generate forces in order to migrate through confined spaces. Specifically, I am looking at how particular protein structures work together in order to either push or pull on the cell in order to deform the nucleus as it passes through constrictions. My goal is to elucidate the role of mechanical forces in cancer metastasis and invasion in order to determine potential avenues for treatment.
Joseph Long Joseph Long
BMEjtl238@cornell.edu
The main goal of my research is to better understand the molecular mechanisms that control the process of turning a mechanical signal into a biological response in muscle cells. I am interested in studying the role of the nuclear lamina and LINC complex in this mechanotransduction process. I aim to elucidate the role of ‘mechanosensing’ in the nucleus as a precursor to gene regulation during mechanical stimulus via isolation of activated genes. By doing so, I hope to gain insights on the connection between stimuli mediated responses and their effect on healthy and diseased muscle cells.
Melanie Maurer Melanie Maurer
BMEmem529@cornell.edu
I am interested in elucidating the specific roles of lamins in cardiomyopathy through the use of an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) model. Specifically, I am using lamin-deficient iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes to understand the contributions of lamin to altered cellular and nuclear morphologies and mechanobiological behaviors by employing imaging and microfabrication techniques.
Pragya Shah Pragya Shah
BBSps848@cornell.edu
I am interested in studying the impact of cancer cell migration through tiny constricted spaces on genomic instability of those cells. Specifically, I want to understand the effects of migration induced deformation and rupture on genomic integrity of metastatic cancer cells. I am also interested in studying the DNA damage response pathways and how their impairment can affect migration induced DNA damage and genomic instability in different cancer cells.
Master’s Students
Aaron Windsor Aaron Windsor
BMEajw49@cornell.edu
I am currently a Thin-film Process Engineer at the Cornell NanoScale Facility (CNF). After seven years of taking classes extramurally, I decided to pursue a Master in Science degree in Biomedical Engineering through Cornell’s Employee Degree Program. I will be working on the microfabrication of cell migration and flexible cantilever tissue gauge devices.


Undergraduates
Alexandra Corbin
Alexandra Corbin
afc57@cornell.edu
Connor McGuigan
Connor McGuigan
cwm84@cornell.edu
Jerry Sarubbe
Jerry Sarubbe
gcs95@cornell.edu
Gwenda Law
Gwenda Law
ggl28@cornell.edu
Holly Zheng
Holly Zheng
hcz3@cornell.edu
Ishi Aron
Ishi Aron
ia84@cornell.edu
Meredith Levy
Meredith Levy
mcl243@cornell.edu
Svea Cheng
Svea Cheng
sc2285@cornell.edu
Sushruta Iruvanti
Sushruta Iruvanti
ski8@cornell.edu
Shweta Modi
Shweta Modi
sm2258@cornell.edu
Tulasi Gopalan
Tulasi Gopalan
tag93@cornell.edu
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