Eric M. Darling, Assistant Professor of Medical Science, Orthopaedics, and Engineering, recently received an NSF CAREER award, which is the "National Science Foundation's most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research."
Dr. Darling's project entitled "CAREER: Mechanical Biomarkers and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation" aims to understand the role of single-cell mechanical properties during adult stem cell differentiation. Specific focus will be given to investigating how heterogeneity in stem cell populations affects osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation at the local and populations levels. Spatiotemporal patterns of mechanical properties and gene expressions will be examined in living samples through techniques such as atomic force microscopy and molecular beacon analysis. This CAREER grant also supports the development of interdisciplinary education projects in collaboration with the Providence Public School District.
Dr. Darling received his B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College in 2000, his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Rice University in 2004, and post-doctoral training at Duke University (Orthopaedic Surgery). He joined Brown University's Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, & Biotechnology in July 2009 and since then has been an active member in the Center for Biomedical Engineering, currently serving as its Graduate Program Director.