The Mechanobiology Institute’s mission is to understand the mechanical aspects of cells and tissues that create organism form and function, define a fundamental set of mechanobiological operations from which these complex biological functions are built, establish this as a world-wide standard to unify the description and understanding of normal and diseased functions, and develop a robust multidisciplinary approach to mechanobiology, embracing an open research platform to achieve synergism and to train a new generation of researchers and students.
Mechanobiology Institute’s management team
Director, Mechanobiology Institute
Distinguished Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, NUS
“The Mechanobiology Institute is committed to developing better ways to bring together the multi-disciplinary expertise that is needed to understand the systems biology of mechanical functions. In approaching integrated functions such as biomechanics, a single lab often does not have the resources to study all of the relevant parameters; however, innovation and insights will continue to be driven most rapidly by single investigators.” -M. Sheetz
Hailing from Columbia University, Prof Michael Sheetz has more than 30 years’ experience in the biomedical field. Introduced to Singapore by Prof Hew Choy Leong of the National University of Singapore’s Department of Biological Sciences, Prof Sheetz was sought to lead an Research Centre of Excellence project. This resulted in a two-year effort to organize and submit a proposal on mechanobiology where Prof Sheetz set the theme and direction of the Mechanobiology Institute (MBI). Read more about Prof Sheetz.
Co-Director, Mechanobiology Institute
Professor and Head, Department of Biological Sciences, NUS
“Mechanobiology research will contribute fundamental insights into the basic mechanisms underlying cell and tissue biology, development, and disease.” -P. Matsudaira
Formerly a biology and bioengineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Prof Matsudaira achieved significant discoveries on podosomes and polymer-based molecular motors for cell movement during his twenty-four years there. Appointed the Co-director of the MBI on June 2009, Prof Matsudaira presently heads the NUS Department of Biological Sciences. Read more about Prof Matsudaira.
Deputy Director, Mechanobiology Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, NUS
“The next 2 to 3 years at the MBI, is going to be a critical as well as exciting phase with the individual groups currently finding synergies to tackle challenging problems in mechanobiology.” -G.V. Shivashankar
Prof Shivashankar joined the Department of Biological Sciences and MBI in November 2009. Prior to this, he was a tenured faculty at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research Bangalore, India. He trained at The Rockefeller University and NEC Princeton in experimental physics applied to biological systems. His interests in information control, led naturally to the link between geometry, genome assembly, nuclear architecture and its impact on the mechanoregulation of gene expression in cells. Read more about Professor Shivashankar.
Senior Advisor & Emeritus Professor
Emeritus Professor, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, NUS
After spending more than 30 years as a professor at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Toronto in Canada, Prof Hew took up the position as the Head of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore in 1999. He has successfully reorganised the department into a research – intensive department with strong research niches in biophysical science, cell and molecular biology and environmental science/biodiversity. He also chaired a working group in putting up the Mechanobiology proposal which was subsequently awarded by the National Research Council as the fourth Research Centre of Excellence (now called MBI) in Singapore. Read more about Prof Hew.