Principal Investigator

Roland R. Kaunas, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Roland R. Kaunas, Ph.D.

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Dr. Roland Kaunas is an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University. His laboratory focuses on the engineering of micro-tissues containing mesenchymal stem cells as vehicles for regenerating musculoskeletal tissues and as cell-based models for studying bone tumor biology. This work employs sophisticated microfluidic platforms, custom bioreactors, and novel scaffolding strategies involving composites of natural and synthetic polymers.

 

Dr. Kaunas received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California – San Diego.

 

His graduate and postdoctoral research, under the guidance of Professor Shu Chien, elucidated the integrated effects of internally and externally generated forces in endothelial cell mechanosensing of mechanical strain. He joined the faculty of the Biomedical Engineering Department at Texas A&M University in 2005. In 2011, he was awarded a Rising Star Award from the Cell and Molecular Bioengineering Special Interest Group. His laboratory focuses on the engineering of micro-tissues containing mesenchymal stem cells as vehicles for regenerating musculoskeletal tissues and as cell-based models for studying bone tumor biology. This work employs sophisticated microfluidic platforms, custom bioreactors, and novel scaffolding strategies involving composites of natural and synthetic polymers.

 

Dr. Kaunas’ group also studies how mechanical stresses and strains, such as tensile stretch and fluid shear stress, regulate cell function in vascular tissues including arteries, capillaries and lymphatics. This work involves integration of experiments and theory to elucidate the roles of intracellular contractility, applied forces and scaffold material properties on cell architecture and transduction of mechanical stimuli into intracellular signals leading to changes in cell behavior.

Graduate Researchers

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Eli Mondragon

B.S. Biomedical Engineering

Columbia SEAS '14

Robert Reese

B.S. Biomedical Engineering

Texas A&M University '15

Candice Sears

B.S. Biomedical Engineering

Texas A&M University

Graduate Researchers

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Eli Mondragon

B.S. Biomedical Engineering

Columbia SEAS '14

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Robert Reese

B.S. Biomedical Engineering

Texas A&M University '15

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Candice Sears

B.S. Biomedical Engineering

Texas A&M University

Undergraduate Researchers

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Sarah Dang

Chemical Engineering  '18

Zachary Richards

Biomedical Engineering '19

Undergraduate Researchers

4242

Sarah Dang

Chemical Engineering  '18

S2_0028_RT

Zachary Richards

Biomedical Engineering '19