Kristen Billiar
Kristen Billiar
Office Location
Gateway Park 4008
Contact
Phone: 
+1-508-831-5384
Kristen Billiar
Department Head & Professor
Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Collaborative)
Education: 
BS Cornell University 1991
MSE University of Pennsylvania 1992
PhD University of Pennsylvania 1998
Understanding the mechanisms by which mechanical forces regulate the development and healing of connective tissues and the pathogenesis of disease is becoming one of the foremost problems at the intersection of biomechanics and cell biology—it has spawned the field of mechanobiology. In our lab we use precisely engineered, two-dimensional and three-dimensional constructs as model systems to study the effects of external internal (cell-generated) forces on cell behavior, matrix biochemistry, and the biomechanics of soft tissues and biomaterials. We have developed many innovative systems to modulate the cells’ mechanical environment by applying external multiaxial strain fields, creating compliant tissue boundary conditions, and controlling the surrounding matrix stiffness. We also study the mechanics of soft tissue for augmentation and repair. To date, tissue systems studied include skin, heart valves, coronary and carotid arteries, myocardium, lung, small intestinal submucosa, and sternum. At the undergraduate level, I enjoy relating the fundamentals of biomechanics to students both in the classroom and through authentic laboratory experiences, mentoring students in the lab, and advising capstone design teams. At the graduate level, I derive great pleasure from seeing my doctoral and master’s students transform into independent researchers, teaching tissue mechanics and tissue engineering, and writing grant proposals. I also enjoy interacting with the community and mentoring middle school students and their teachers, in both our laboratory and their classrooms.
Office Location
Gateway Park 4008
Contact
Phone: 
+1-508-831-5384
Professional Highlights & Honors: 
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Fellow and AIMBE Fellow
ASME Bioengineering Division Executive Board Member
Fulbright Scholar, Ireland
2009
Biomedical Engineering Society Membership Committee Chair
2015
Trustees’ Award for Academic Advising
Romeo L. Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education