Why Now and Why Here?
Our long-term goal is to reveal new strategies for building replacement human tissues and organs as well as for halting the breakdown in tissue structure that underlies diseases like aging and cancer. A necessary step towards achieving this goal is to establish a more fundamental understanding of tissue self-organization, the process through which living matter builds itself into complex and functional three-dimensional forms.
Microchips, airplanes, skyscrapers, spacecraft, suspension bridges — these engineering marvels demonstrate our evolving mastery of building with inanimate matter. However, we have barely begun to master building with the living materials that comprise our human bodies: cells. Mastering construction with living materials will usher in a new era of biomedical engineering and open the door to confronting a variety of seemingly intractable problems.
UCSF boasts deep expertise in cell and developmental biology and is a world leader in the emerging field of cell engineering. A community of researchers here and across the Bay Area are converging on this critical goal for propelling biomedical research into a new era.
The Gartner Lab is a diverse and multidisciplinary team of researchers committed to understanding tissue structure as a phenomenon that emerges from the biomolecular and biophysical properties of individual cells and their interactions. We seek cross-cutting and foundational principles that are broadly applicable across disease and tissue types. We then aim to leverage these principles to advance regenerative therapies and halt the progression of diseases like cancer and aging.