Adam J. Engler is a Professor and Vice-Chair of Bioengineering at UC San Diego, where he has been on the faculty since 2008. He also is a resident scientist at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Engler previously trained with Dr. Dennis Discher at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his PhD studying how ECM stiffness regulated stem cell fate. He also trained as a postdoc with Dr. Jean Schwarzbauer at Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology.
Dr. Engler’s research focuses on how physical and chemical properties of the niche influence or misregulate cell function and modify genetic mechanisms of disease. In particular, his lab studies this phenomenon in the context of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. To accomplish this, his lab makes natural and synthetic matrices with unique spatiotemporal properties to mimic niche conditions, improve stem cell behavior and commitment in vitro, or direct them for therapeutic use in vivo.
Dr. Engler has received numerous awards in recognition of this research, including young investigator or mid-career awards from International Society for Matrix Biology (2008), Biomedical Engineering Society (2008), American Society of Matrix Biology (2014), American Society of Mechanical Engineering (2015), and American Society for Engineering Education (2018). Dr. Engler is a 2018 fellow of the American Institute for Biomedical Engineering and recipient of an NIH New Innovator Award grant (2009).