Mechanical Engineering/ Orthopaedic Surgery
Project: “Bone loss with aging with emphasis on mechanics and biology of bone turnover”
Primary Mentor: Christopher R. Jacobs, PhD, Associate Professor (Research) of Mechanical Engineering and of Orthopaedic Surgery and, by courtesy, of Bioengineering
Secondary Mentor: Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, Professor of Radiology and, by courtesy, of Bioengineering
Alesha B. Castillo received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from UC Davis in 2004. Her research is directed at elucidating molecular mechanisms by which mesenchymal stem cells sense and respond to mechanical and biochemical cues to regulate cell fate decisions. As individuals age, bones become less responsive to mechanical stimuli leading to bone loss and increased fracture risk. This may result from preferential differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells down the adipogenic versus osteogenic lineage during aging. The focus of Dr. Castillo’s SCL project was to better understand the basis for this lineage switch, knowledge that is key to developing novel therapeutic strategies for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and disuse bone loss.
The Center on Longevity is pleased to report that Dr. Castillo has accepted a position as Primary Investigator at the Bone and Joint Center of Excellence, which is part of the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. To continue to follow her work, please visit her current webpage at: