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Prof. Karen Kasza's research utilizes approaches from biology, engineering, and physics to explore how cells self-organize into functional tissues with precise mechanical and structural properties.  A major focus of her work is to uncover fundamental physical and biological mechanisms underlying tissue morphogenesis during in vivo embryonic development and leverage that understanding to build functional tissues in the lab.  Her lab is currently using the fruit fly embryo as a model organism.

2010-2015, postdoctoral fellow, Sloan Kettering Institute

2003-2009, Ph.D. Applied Physics, Harvard University

1999-2003, B.A. in Physics and Mathematics, University of Chicago

karen.kasza AT columbia DOT edu


Lab members

Xun Wang, Graduate Student

Research interests:  cell and tissue mechanics; tissue morphogenesis


Marisol Herrera-Perez, Postdoc

Research interests: mechanical and biochemical cues exerted by the microenvironment on collective cell movements; optogenetic tools to control forces and signals involved in tissue development


Alicia Dagle, NSF Graduate RESEARCH FELLOW

Research interests: understanding the role of mechanotransduction during embryonic development; translational science that drives medical knowledge, treatment, and device development


fatoumata diallo, High School Student Researcher


Aboubakar Dabre, High School Student Researcher


Previous Lab Members

Provence Barnouin, Undergraduate

Erik Boyle, Undergraduate

ruiyi Zhang, Masters Student

Erin Louwagie, Grad Rotation Student

Dahlia Ghoshal, J&J Scholar Undergrad Researcher

Jake Dunn, Undergraduate

Taya Voronko, J&J Scholar Undergrad Researcher



Patricio Torres, undergraduate

Huate Li, Masters Student

Alex Brown, UndergraduatE