Jeffrey J. Fredberg
Emeritus Faculty

Jeffrey J. Fredberg

Professor of Bioengineering and Physiology, Emeritus

Environmental Health


Our laboratory seeks to discover physical laws governing the abilities of the cytoskeleton to deform, contract, and remodel. These basic mechanical processes underlie a range of higher level phenomena in health and disease including many aspects of cancer, cardiovascular disease, malaria, and morphogenesis, but our major research emphasis is the role of these processes in airway narrowing in asthma. Trainees with backgrounds in engineering sciences, cell biology, or physics of soft condensed matter learn how to work side-by-side to pose new questions, invent new nanotechnologies, apply these technologies in novel experimental investigations, and analyze resulting data in terms of evolving mechanistic understanding of the physical properties of the living cell.


'Jammed' cancer cells may explain some tumors’ spread

Biologists and physicists are becoming increasingly convinced that clusters of tumor cells that can move through the body like a phalanx may be responsible for some of the deadliest metastatic cancers. An August 16, 2016 article in Quanta…

No traffic jams in asthmatic cells

Finding offers insight into mechanisms of asthma, other diseases August 11, 2015 -- An unexpected new discovery—that, in people with asthma, the cells that line the airways in the lungs are unusually shaped and “scramble around like there’s…