Richard K. Assoian, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Professor of Pharmacology
Member, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Department: Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics

Contact information
Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics
Philadelphia, PA 19104
B.A. (Natural Science)
Johns Hopkins University, 1975.
Ph.D. (Biochemistry)
University of Chicago, 1981.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

Description of Research Expertise

Overview of laboratory research: Mechanobiology of aging and cardiovascular disease

Rick Assoian is interested in understanding how cells sense changes in the physical properties of their microenvironment and how they convert this information into chemical signals, behavior and function. His particular focus has been to understand how changes in the stiffness of the extracellular matrix (ECM) affect adhesion receptor signaling, the actin cytoskeleton, intracellular forces, and fate decisions (such as proliferation and differentiation) in arterial aging and disease. Early work with Michael Sporn at NIH included the purification and characterization of transforming growth factor-beta.

Description of Other Expertise

Rick Assoian has had a strong interest in service to the scientific community. He has been a standing member and Chair of National Institutes of Health study sections, a founding organizer of the Signaling by Adhesion Receptors Gordon Research Conference, an editor of the Journal of Cell Science, and an associate editor of Molecular Biology of the Cell. At Penn, he served as Director of the Program in Translational Biomechanics in the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, co-Director of the National Science Foundation Center for Engineering Mechanobiology, and acting Director and Associate Dean of Biomedical Graduate Studies.
back to top
Last updated: 08/01/2023
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania