The Billiar lab works to understand how mechanical forces affect the cells living in the body’s soft tissues. Soft tissues of the body experience forces during exercise (muscles contract and pull on tendons and ligaments) and at rest (blood vessels stretch with each heartbeat, digestive organs stretch and contract during eating). A better understanding of how a cells “feel” forces, interpret these stimuli, and alter their behavior will aid in creating treatments, and even curing, of a number of diseases from heart valve disease to cancer.

Exploring Life and Death of Cells: Billiar Lab Research Could Lead to Better Understanding of Cancer, Heart Disease

National and international media outlets reported on our research who hopes to close an important gap in the understanding of physical factors that help regulate the life and death of cells in our bodies, and the important roles they play in the development of a wide range of disorders.  Read more

Marketplace-By the Numbers (public radio), Le Lezard (France),

Multicellular aggregate model

BioPortfolio, Arizona Republic, Renewable Energy World North America, Houston Chronicle, BioMedicine, Seattlepi, Times-Union (Albany), The Advocate (Stamford, CT) and San Antonio Express were among the more than 100 media outlets reporting the work, which is funded by a National Science Foundation grant and includes co-principle investigators Nima Rahbar, associate professor of civil & environmental engineering, and Qi Wen, associate professor of physics.