Allen J Ehrlicher
🏢 Macdonald Engineering Building, Room 569D
🔬 Research interest: mechanobiology, motility, cytoskeleton, mechanotransduction, cell mechanics, rheology, traction forces, actin, biomimetic materials, metastasis.
Dr Ehrlicher’s research is focused on biological mechanics, developing diagnostic and therapeutic tools based on biophysical insight, and translating the design principles of biological mechanics into new biomimetic materials. Biological materials are unique in that they are able to convert chemical energy into active forces in precisely controlled ways. These active forces in biological interactions are as critical as the chemistry acting on biology, as can be seen in diverse examples, from stem-cell differentiation to cancer metastasis. Dr Ehrlicher’s research focuses on the actin cytoskeleton, a ubiquitous biopolymer structure that is largely responsible for cell structure and movement. Probing this system, Dr Ehrlicher’s research strives to understand 1) how the feedback loop of mechanics and biology regulates the properties of biological systems, drawing on challenges in diverse pathologies, and 2) how to capitalize on these unique mechanics to engineer new synthetic active biomimetic materials.