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Find Faculty / William Polacheck

Contact Information:

William Polacheck

Mary Ellen Jones 9206B
UNC Chapel Hill

Research Areas:
  • Biomedical Microdevices
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • 2013 Ph.D. - Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2010 S.M. - Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2008 B.S. - Biological Engineering, Cornell University


Dr. Polacheck’s laboratory investigates the physical interactions between cells and their environment and how forces at the cellular scale contributes to tissue development, homeostasis and disease. To study how cells sense and generate forces in living tissue, the Polacheck lab develops microfluidic technology to build microtissues in the laboratory that mimic the architecture and multicellular function of human tissues in vivo. By integrating these organ-on-chip models with genome editing, induced-pluripotent stem cell technology, and other cell and molecular biology techniques, the Polacheck lab has developed a novel approach for understanding the molecular machinery employed by cells to generate force sand to transduce forces from their environment into biological responses. The lab seeks to leverage these biological insights to inform novel drug targets for diseases in which misregulation of cellular forces contribute to pathogenesis, such as vascular disease, cancer and fibrosis. Furthermore, the lab works to translate the technology and techniques developed to build microtissues into tissue-engineered therapies for organ replacement and regenerative medicine.

Research Interests

Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering
Dynamics of Biofluids


F32 (NIH NRSA Indivisual Postdoctoral Fellowship / National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) 2016-2018
Walter H. Coulter Translational Partnership Award for Translational Research 2018
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow 2008-2011

Courses Taught

BME 315 Biotransport
BME 490/890 Bioinspired Engineering

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