Welcome to the Ethier Lab

We study the biomechanics and mechanobiology of cells, tissues and organs, with the goal of understanding how cells respond to mechanical stimuli, and how this response in turn affects the function and properties of tissues and organs.

Biologically important mechanical stimuli include the shear stress exerted on endothelial cells, the stiffness of adherent cells’ substrates, and the stretch experienced by resident cells during the deformation of connective tissues. Such stimuli are major determinants of cellular behavior and homeostasis; further, their disturbance can lead to disease.

Our particular research focus areas are glaucoma, a common cause of blindness; and VIIP, a condition that affects astronaut health in long-duration space missions. We seek to understand the pathophysiology of these conditions and develop treatments for them using a highly interdisciplinary approach.