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George Plopper

George Plopper
Associate Professor
Biology and Biomedical Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The Plopper laboratory is primarily concerned with determining how cellular adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules elicits specific cellular responses, including growth, differentiation, and migration. This lab works with human mesenchymal stem cells adhering to purified ECM proteins as our model system. Our general hypothesis is that adhesion to ECM molecules activates a subset of intracellular signaling pathways associated with integrin receptors, and that this signaling controls cell behaviors by modulating the organization of the cytoskeleton. Collectively, these studies should increase understanding of the mechanisms governing hMSC differentiation and how to capitalize on this knowledge in tissue engineering applications.

Select Publications: 

Yener B, Acar E, Agius P, Bennett K, Vandenberg SL, Plopper GE. Multiway modeling and analysis in stem cell systems biology.  BMC Syst Biol. 2008 Jul 14;2(1):63. [Epub ahead of print]

Lund AW, Stegemann JP, Plopper GE. Inhibition of ERK Promotes Collagen Gel Compaction and Fibrillogenesis to Amplify the Osteogenesis of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Three Dimensional, Collagen I Culture.
Stem Cells Dev. 2008 May 20. [Epub ahead of print]

Ward DF Jr, Williams WA, Schapiro NE, Weber GL, Christy SR, Salt M, Klees RF, Boskey A, Plopper GE. Focal adhesion kinase signaling controls cyclic tensile strain enhanced collagen I-induced osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells.  Mol Cell Biomech. 2007 Dec;4(4):177-88.