Leadership

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

michael sheetzSHEETZ Michael, Director

Director, Mechanobiology Institute
Distinguished Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, NUS

Learn more about Director Sheetz.

“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 cell shape and mechanics. In approaching integrated functions such as biomechanics, a single lab often does not have the resources to study all of the relevant parameters and a small institute can provide that support. However, innovation and breakthroughs will continue to come primarily from individual investigators.” -M. Sheetz

Hailing from Columbia University, Prof Michael Sheetz has more than 40 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 a Research Centre of Excellence project. After winning an RCE in 2009, the MBI was formed to study how mechanical forces are controlled in biological systems at a molecular, cellular and tissue level, and translate these findings to understanding disease progression. Built with an open laboratory concept, MBI promotes communication, collaboration and innovation among multi-disciplinary researchers with diverse backgrounds. Read more about Prof Sheetz.

paul matsudairaMATSUDAIRA Paul, Co-Director

Co-Director, Mechanobiology Institute
Professor and Head, Department of Biological Sciences, NUS

Learn more about Co-Director Matsudaira.

“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.

shivashankarSHIVASHANKAR G V, Deputy Director

Deputy Director, Mechanobiology Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, NUS

Learn more about Deputy Director Shivashankar.

“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.