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Joel Boerckel

Joel D Boerckel


Phone: 574-631-1866

Office: MRB 142


Ph.D, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2011

M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Grove City College, 2006


Assistant Professor, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame (2014-present)
Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic (2011-2014)
Graduate Research Assistant, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (2006-2011)

Selected Publications

  • Boerckel JD, Mason DE, McDermott AM, Alsberg E, "Microcomputed Tomography: Approaches and Applications in Bioengineering." Stem Cell Research and Therapy. 2014 Dec 29;5(6):144.
  • Boerckel JD, Kolambkar YM, Stevens HY, Lin ASP, Dupont KM, Guldberg RE, “Effects of in Vivo Mechanical Loading on Large Bone Defect Regeneration.” Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 2012 Jul;30(7):1067-75.
  • Boerckel JD, Uhrig BA, Willett, NJ, Huebsch N, Guldberg RE, “Mechanical Regulation of Vascular Growth and Tissue Regeneration in Vivo.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2011 Sep 13;108(37):E674-80.
  • Boerckel JD, Kolambkar YM, Dupont KM, Uhrig BA, Phelps EA, Stevens HY, García AJ, Guldberg RE, “Effects of Protein Dose and Delivery System on BMP-Mediated Bone Regeneration. Biomaterials. 2011 Aug;32(22):5241-51.
  • Boerckel JD, Dupont KM, Kolambkar YM, Lin ASP, Guldberg RE, “In Vivo Model for Evaluating the Effects of Mechanical Stimulation on Tissue-Engineered Bone Repair.” Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. 2009 Aug;131(8):084502.

Summary of Activities/Interests

During development, our cells self-assemble to form microstructurally complex, multicellular tissues that possess critical biological and mechanical properties as well as remarkable potential for self-regeneration. However, these regenerative processes often are insufficient or break down, resulting in disease or debilitation after injury. The Tissue Engineering and Mechanobiology Lab at Notre Dame aims to understand and recapitulate these developmental mechanisms to repair and engineer new tissues. In particular, we are interested the roles of mechanical cues in driving cell and tissue development and regeneration, with a focus on bone and blood vessels.

Mechanical forces are critical in both embryonic tissue development and post-natal homeostasis and repair. These mechanical cues can be divided in two kinds: intrinsic (i.e., inherent properties of the tissue or extracellular matrix around the cells) and extrinsic (i.e., applied dynamic mechanical stimuli caused by external factors such as exercise or blood flow). Our laboratory is interested in identifying how cells integrate these diverse cues into biochemical responses, resulting in tissue-level changes in function. Our work ranges from fundamental mechanobiology (the study of how cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli), to functional tissue engineering (the stimulation of biomechanically competent engineered tissues), and aims to develop tissue engineering strategies that build directly from insights in developmental mechanobiology.

To accomplish this, we use a combination of tools including engineering design, solid and fluid mechanics, genetics, molecular biology, biomaterials, and cell and animal models. We are a highly collaborative interdisciplinary research group and are always seeking motivated students from a variety of backgrounds to bring new perspectives to our research mission.  Prospective graduate students should apply to the Graduate School ( prior to contacting Dr. Boerckel at


Engineering and Arts and Letters Faculty Win Indiana CTSI Awards

November 2, 2015

Notre Dame faculty from aerospace and mechanical engineering and psychology have been awarded grants from the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI).

CTSI Awards for Notre Dame Engineering Faculty

July 28, 2015

Two Notre Dame faculty from the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering have been awarded Project Development Team grants on behalf of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.