Elizabeth Bartolak-Suki

Research Assistant Professor (BME)

  • Office 44 Cummington Mall, ERB, Room: 333
  • Phone (617) 358-6347

Research Assistant Professor (BME)

  • Primary Appointment Research Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Education B.S, M.S in Basic Medical sciences, Medical School of Szeged
    M.D. in General Medicine, Medical School of Szeged
    D.Sc. (PhD. equivalent) Certified in Molecular Cell Biology, Medical School of Budapest
  • Areas of Interest Mechanotransduction pathways; respiratory and vascular mechanobiology; mechanobiology of organelles; protein post-translational modifications and regulations; real time live imaging; vascular tissue engineering.
  • Research Areas Cells in our body are continuously exposed to a variety of mechanical factors related to physiological forces due to touch, movement, gravity, blood flow, blood pressure and breathing. These mechanical factors significantly influence many basic cell functions. Nearly all cell types have machinery to sense and respond to mechanical stimuli with important consequences for homeostatic maintenance or disease development. We are fundamentally interested how the sensing is achieved via mechanosensitive channels and various transmembrane receptors such as integrins at focal adhesions. We are investigating at the molecular scale, how protein coupling at focal adhesions or cell-cell contacts lead to reorganization of focal adhesions as well as the cytoskeleton followed by molecular signaling cascades, turning genes on or off and eventually expressing various intra- and extracellular proteins. Moreover, these intracellular networks respond to mechanical stimuli not just at the molecular signaling scale but also as a whole at the organelle level, a new concept we introduced and study using live imaging. We developed novel techniques to manipulate and analyze cells and subcellular organelles in dynamic environments that mimic physiological rhythms in the human body. We utilize this stochastic nature of mechanical stimuli to regulate vascular smooth muscle cell contractility toward vascular tissue engineering and to develop new therapeutic strategies for alcohol related vascular malformations.


Affiliation: Research Faculty (BME)