Research Team Member

Gabor Forgacs (PI)
University of Missouri-Columbia
Gabor Forgacs (PI) The PI is a biological physicist who has been conducting research in the physical mechanisms of early development using both experimental and modeling approaches. He has developed extensive expertise in the biomechanics of cells, tissues and extracellular matrices. In particular he has been using cellular spheroids as models to study the three-dimensional organization of tissues. He has designed and constructed several special purpose devices to measure the viscoelastic and mechanical properties of biological materials (e.g. surface tensiometer, magnetic tweezers, rheometer), which will be employed in the project. He has used the results of these measurements to gain biologically relevant information (e.g. on cell adhesion, metastatic potential of tumor cells, efficiency of embryo cryopreservation, etc.). He has also developed expertise in methods of molecular biology, particularly in transfection techniques. Besides management, his contribution to the project will be based on his extensive expertise with biophysical aspects of early development (in particular tissue liquidity), modeling developmental processes, preparation of the bioink cell aggregates (using an automated patent pending method) and their actual deposition. In collaboration with Co-PIs Markwald and Newman his lab will carry out the relevant quantitative experiments on the control and genetically modified embryonic tissues. In collaboration with Co-PI Kachurin his lab will participate in the bioprinting activity using the hydrogels engineered by Co-PI Prestwich. Since he has already successfully modeled cellular self-assembly he will collaborate with Co-PIs Kosztin and Neagu on numerical simulations. He has co-authored publications with other Co-PIs (Markwald, Mironov, Neagu, Newman), interacted with VaxDesign/Sciperio Inc. and thus has demonstrated collaborative ties with most team members.