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Ferguson, Virginia Lea Associate Professor and Hudson Moore Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • Dr. Ferguson’s research utilizes cutting edge materials science and imaging tools to examine how tissue structure, mechanical function and competence are affected by aging, disuse, and metabolic disease. Her overarching research aim is to characterize how tissue and cell changes correlate with impaired tissue function to: (i) improve the quality of clinical diagnoses and patient care and (iIi) promote advances in materials development for tissue engineering and medical device design. To achieve these goals, Dr. Ferguson’s team questions: (1) How aging, mechanical loading, and metabolic disease (e.g., kidney disease) increase bone fracture risk and cartilage degeneration? (2) What is the nature of the functionally-graded interface between bone and cartilage? How can we use advanced tools to regenerated injured tissues? (3) What mechanisms cause tissue mechanical failure, particularly the cervix and the placental membranes, in pregnancy and preterm birth?

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • GEEN 1400 - Engineering Projects
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    First-year students solve real engineering design problems in interdisciplinary teams. Design projects vary by section. Curriculum focuses on iterative design process, teamwork and team dynamics, supporting design with testing and analysis, and technical writing. Completed projects are exhibited at an end-of-semester design expo. Students responsible for contributing towards their design project budget and poster costs, and purchasing safety glasses (approximately $75).
  • MCEN 2063 - Mechanics of Solids
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Covers shear force and bending moment, torsion, stresses in beams, deflection of beams, matrix analysis of frame structures, analysis of stress and strain in 2-D and 3-D (field equations, transformations), energy methods, stress concentrations and columns. Degree credit not granted for this course and CVEN 3161.
  • MCEN 4133 - Biomechanics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019
    Focuses on developing an understanding of the fundamental mechanical principles that govern the response of hard and soft biological tissue to mechanical loading. Specifically, covers mechanical behavior of biological materials/tissues, classical biomechanics problems in various tissues, the relationship between molecular, cellular and physiological processes and tissue biomechanics and critical analysis of related journal articles. Same as MCEN 5133.
  • MCEN 5133 - Biomechanics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019
    Focuses on developing an understanding of the fundamental mechanical principles that govern the response of hard and soft biological tissue to mechanical loading. Specifically, covers mechanical behavior of biological materials/tissues, classical biomechanics problems in various tissues, the relationship between molecular, cellular and physiological processes and tissue biomechanics and critical analysis of related journal articles. Same as MCEN 4133.
  • MCEN 6228 - Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018

Background

International Activities

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