Gilda A. Barabino, Ph.D.
Dean and Daniel and Frances Berg Professor
The Grove School of Engineering
The City College of New York
Abstract: Cell Biomechanics: Unlocking Determinants of Human Health and Disease
Biomechanical properties of cells are important determinants of cell behavior and organ function in normal and disease states. Understanding the link between cell biomechanics and the delicate balance between human health and disease holds great promise for predicting disease onset and progression and for developing effective therapies. In the context of sickle cell disease, this presentation addresses questions of how biological processes lead to structural changes in the cell that are accompanied by changes in mechanical characteristics, how those changes influence disease state, and how therapeutic strategies can be developed and evaluated. Probing cell biomechanics for insights into the pathophysiology of disease has important implications for the treatment of individuals with sickle cell disease and individuals with other diseases that have a biomechanical basis.
Gilda A. Barabino is the Daniel and Frances Berg Professor and Dean of the Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY). She holds appointments the in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering and the CUNY School of Medicine. Prior to joining CCNY, she served as Associate Chair for Graduate Studies and Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory. At Georgia Tech she also served as the inaugural Vice Provost for Academic Diversity. Prior to her appointments at Georgia Tech and Emory, she rose to the rank of Full Professor of Chemical Engineering and served as Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Northeastern University. She is a noted investigator in the areas of sickle cell disease, cellular and tissue engineering, and race/ethnicity and gender in science and engineering. Dr. Barabino received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Rice University. She is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Xavier University of Louisiana and of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). She is Past-President of BMES, Past-President of AIMBE and the recipient of the Pierre Galetti Award, AIMBE’s highest honor. Dr. Barabino is a member of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advisory Committee for Engineering and has served on the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council. She became a member of the congressionally mandated Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering in May of 2018. Dr. Barabino consults nationally and internationally on STEM education and research, diversity in higher education, policy, workforce development and faculty development. She is the founder and Executive Director of the National Institute for Faculty Equity.