Engineering in Health and Disease

Through our National Cancer Institute-funded Physical Sciences-Oncology Center (PSOC), our researchers in the area of the physics of cancer are working to identify the physical principles that drive cancer metastasis. Our PSOC has three major projects headed by ChemBE faculty members Sharon Gerecht, Denis Wirtz and Konstantinos Konstantopoulos.

Sharon Gerecht


Sharon Gerecht studies the synergistic roles of hypoxia and the extracellular microenvironment in the formation of blood vessels during differentiation and regeneration near and inside tumors.


Denis Wirtz

Denis Wirtz identifies the physical factors that regulate the transition and 3D migration of cancer cells from a primary tumor site into the surrounding stromal matrix.



Konstantinos KonstantopoulosKonstantinos Konstantopoulos integrates microtechnology with molecular cell biology techniques to investigate the processes of tumor formation and metastasis.

Honggang Cui



Honggang Cui is utilizing anticancer drugs as molecular building units to create functional nanomaterials that could potentially shift the paradigm of current cancer chemotherapy.

Michael Betenbaugh


Michael Betenbaugh is developing analytical tools to characterize the changes in metabolic pathways that occur during cancer transformations as a way of identifying novel treatments for the disease.

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