Alan J. GrodzinskyProfessor of Mechanical, Electrical, and Biological Engineering
Director, MIT Center for Biomedical Engineering (CBE)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307
S.B., S.M. in Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1971
Sc.D. in Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1974.
Our group studies problems motivated by diseases of the musculoskeletal system including arthritis, connective tissue pathologies and, more generally, the nanomechanics and molecular biology of the extracellular matrix. Post-traumatic joint injury causes cartilage degeneration and arthritis, but the mechanisms governing cellular responses to mechanical overload are not known. Group members use genomic and proteomic tools to identify key intracellular and extracellular pathways associated with tissue injury, inflammation, and degradation. AFM and related biophysical tools are used to image and probe structure and nanomechanical behavior of single extracellular matrix molecules synthesized by connective tissue cells in health and disease. The objective is to discover molecular determinants underlying tissue pathology. Complementary projects focus on chondrogenesis of stem cells seeded into novel self-assembling peptide hydrogel scaffolds for repair of degraded or osteoarthritic cartilage. The molecular structure of stem cell-synthesized extracellular matrix molecules and the anabolic/catabolic responses of these stem cells to physiological loading during and after differentiation are studied in vitro; studies in vivo using small and large animal models are ongoing.
Molecular, cellular, and tissue biomechanics; Forces, fields, and flows in biological systems.
Honors and Awards
Goodwin Medal, MIT, 1973; President, Society for Physical Regulation in Biology & Medicine, 1986; Giovani Borelli Award of the American Society of Biomechanics, 1987; Chairman Orthopaedics Gordon Research Conference, 1990; Kappa Delta Award of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1993; Founding Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, 1993; NIH Merit Award, 1994; Melville Medal of the ASME for best original paper in all areas of Mechanical Engineering, 1997; MIT Class of 1960 Innovation in Education Award, 1999; President, International Cartilage repair Society, 2000; IEEE/ACM Award for best undergraduate advisor in EECS, 2005; Honorary Fellow of International Cartilage Repair Society, 2007; President, Orthopaedic Research Society, 2008; Honorary Doctorate, University of Montreal, 2008; Institute for Advanced Studies Award, University of Western Australia, 2010.
American Society of Biomechanics; American Society for Matrix Biology; American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Biomedical Engineering Society; Biophysical Society; International Cartilage repair Society; Orthopaedic Research Society; Osteoarthritis Research Society International; Tau Beta Pi; Eta Kappa Nu.