My research is focused on soft tissue biomechanics and tissue regeneration. Specifically, my goal is to understand the mechanical function of the healthy, degenerated and injured intervertebral discs in order to develop more physiologically relevant repair strategies. Injury, through herniation, or degeneration may lead to debilitating lower back pain. Current research is focused on understanding alterations in biomechanics and tissue remodeling with degeneration and injury. Other studies are focused on using organ culture techniques to directly measure tissue remodeling and potential biological repair strategies.
In the News
Researcher Grace O’Connell, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley, is advancing ways to grow human disc tissue — the spongy, protective material between vertebrae — and other engineered cartilage surfaces in a lab.