Two grants will fund interdisciplinary research at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, including a look at how neurons and muscle cells communicate with each other and also to develop a drug delivery system for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Kong's research goal is to develop advanced material systems related to human health.
The grant from the National Science Foundation will facilitate the study of how neurons and muscle cells communicate with each other. “My group is interested in engineering functional muscle and using it to assemble autonomous bioactuator systems,” said Hyunjoon Kong, a Robert W. Schafer professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.
“The muscle engineered in vitro is not the same as the muscles in our body because the system does not have any innervating motor neurons. This project is to understand how we can facilitate the innervation of the neurons into the muscle,” Kong said.
Kong’s lab will collaborate with Gabriel Popescu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Martha Gillette, a professor of cell and developmental biology. All are affiliated with the Beckman Institute.
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