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Researcher | Research Overview

Donald Ingber is interested in how cell structure and mechanics impact cellular biochemistry and tissue development. His research approach has combined techniques from various fields, including molecular cell biology, engineering, chemistry, physics, and computer science.

Ingber's angiogenesis research focuses on how the shape of a vascular blood vessel cell and the physical properties of its environment influence whether the cell grows, produces specialized products, moves, or dies. Through these efforts, Ingber has made pioneering contributions to the fields of angiogenesis, tissue engineering, mechanobiology, and systems biology. His work on how blood vessels form also led to the development of TNP-470, one of the first angiogenesis inhibitors to enter clinical trials.

Ingber's Egg Analogy

How wounds heal and tumors form

Don Ingber, MD, PhD, of the Vascular Biology Program of Boston Children's Hospital and Professor at Harvard Medical School, often uses simple analogies in his lectures to explain how tissues form and how diseases develop. Here is an example.

Our bodies have an incredible ability to heal when we are injured and to keep us healthy. But how does this work? Why do we get scars sometimes and not other times? Why do tumors form in certain tissues, and why are some tumors cancerous while others are not? This explanation uses eggs in a carton to illustrate how cells in our tissues behave during wound healing and tumor formation.

Researcher | Research Background

Dr. Ingber simultaneously received his MD and PhD from Yale University. He was the Anna Fuller Research Fellow at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School.

He is credited on over 20 patents which cover technologies ranging from new cancer drugs and drug-screening assays to medical devices, micromanufacturing techniques, and computer software.

Dr. Ingber is also the founding director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Selected Publications

  1. Wang N, Butler JP, Ingber DE. Mechanotransduction across the cell surface and through the cytoskeleton. Science 1993; 260: 1124-1127.
  2. Chen CS, Mrksich M, Huang S, Whitesides G, Ingber DE. Geometric control of cell life and death. Science 1997; 276: 1425-1428.
  3. Ingber, DE. The Architecture of Life. Scientific American Jan 1998; 278: 48-57.

Researcher | Publications