The Valentine Lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara
Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Biomaterials, Bioadhesion

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  • The Valentine Research Group focuses on understanding how forces are generated and transmitted in living materials, how these forces control cellular outcomes, and how we can capture the extraordinary features of living systems in manmade materials. This highly interdisciplinary experimental work lies at the intersection of engineering, physics, biology and chemistry.

    Botryllus: model organism for
    vascular remodeling
    Mussel plaque interior

    Megan T. Valentine
    Department of Mechanical Engineering

    Ph.D. Physics, Harvard University
    M.S. Physics, University of Pennsylvania
    Burroughs Wellcome Career Award at the Scientific Interface
    NSF CAREER Award
    Fulbright Scholar Award

    Curriculum vitae

    Using a wide variety of experimental techniques we investigate the biophysical and biochemical origins of cellular mechanics, including: high-precision optical trapping to probe single molecules of motor and crosslinking proteins; micromechanical manipulation of cytoskeletal networks that are reconstituted from purified components or assembled in cell extracts; advanced fluorescence imaging of the self-assembly of large protein complexes; and direct manipulation of cells, tissues, and organisms. These experiments are complemented by the development of new classes of man-made materials that capture the extraordinary properties of living systems, including the ability to respond to stimuli, move, reconfigure and heal.

    Valentine Laboratory, California NanoSystems Institute, Room 2404, Elings Hall, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106; 805-893-2594.