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Ferguson, Virginia Lea Associate Professor

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Research

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  • Dr. Ferguson’s research examines how tissue structure, mechanical function and competence are affected by aging, mechanical loading, and specific pathologies. 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, (ii) identify potential biomolecules as therapeutic targets, 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? (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?

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