Roger D. Kamm, Ph.D.

Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Department of Biological Engineering; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Prof. Roger D. Kamm is the Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor of Biological and Mechanical Engineering at MIT and director of the NSF Science and Technology Center on Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems. A primary objective of Kamm’s research has been the application of fundamental concepts in fluid and solid mechanics to better understand essential biological and physiological phenomena. Studies over the last 35 years have addressed issues in the respiratory, ocular and cardiovascular systems. Over time, Kamm has explored the molecular mechanisms of cellular force sensation, cell population dynamics, and the development of new microfluidic platforms for the study of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions.

Kamm has been a leader in bringing the fields of mechanics together with biology and chemistry by exploring the ways in which single molecules transmit force through macromolecular networks and the resulting change in molecular binding or enzymatic activity, and by developing new cell culture methods that enable simultaneous study of multiple cell types communicating in a realistic microenvironment. Recently, Kamm’s work has focused on creating in vitro models of metastatic cancer and neurological disease. His work in neuroscience includes studies on the molecular mechanisms by which small oligomers of the Alzheimer’s protein form, of axon guidance due to gradients of chemoattractants, and the development of microfluidic platforms to study the formation of synapses between motor neurons and muscle, and the function of neuromuscular junctions. His cumulative work has led to more than 270 refereed publications.

Recognition for his contributions is reflected in Kamm’s election as fellow to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE). He is the 2010 recipient of the ASME Lissner Medal and in 2015 he received the Huiskes Medal from the European Society of Biomechanics, both for lifetime achievements. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Medicine in 2010. He is co-founder of two companies, CardioVascular Technologies Inc. and AIM Biotech.

Funded Research

Project Description Researchers Funding
Role of Blood-Brain Barrier Function in Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis Investigated Using a 3-D Microfluidic Platform

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia among older people. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a highly selective permeable barrier that separates the brain from circulating blood. It is formed by brain endothelial cells and prevents harmful materials from the blood from entering the brain. Evidence identifying BBB dysfunction in AD or patients at risk (i.e., those with mild cognitive impairment) continues to escalate.

2015 to 2016