Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2004
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisor: Christopher Jacobs (Mechanical Engineering)

Research Description: It is well documented that bone responds to changes in load with corresponding changes in size and density. The Jacob lab believes that Oscillatory Fluid Flow (OFF), generated by pressure gradients in the lacunar cannicular network, is a potent physiological signal that is recognized by bone cells as an anabolic stimulus. While it is known that bone cells respond to fluid flow with various intracellular chemical responses, the actual mechanism that transduces the physical extracellular signal to a chemical intracellular one is not yet known. Amanda hoped to determine the actual molecules that take part in this conversion from a mechanical signal to a chemical one. Her hypothesis was that this mechanotransduction event could be linked to integrins and the phosphorylation of Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK). FAK is a good candidate for a mechanotrasduction molecule in bone cells because it has both structural and enzymatic function and has proved relevant in mechanotransduction in other cell types.


Amanda is the Chief Scientific Officer of Eupraxia Pharmaceuticals Inc. which announced positive topline data for its 300-patient Phase 2b trial in Osteoarthritis in June 2023.