John Nicosia

Department: Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

Graduate Program: Biomedical Engineering

Advisor: Thomas Barker, PhD

Lab Website

Research Summary:

The extracellular matrix, or ECM, is composed of a network of proteins and proteoglycans that surround cells. Recent studies have outlined the important role that ECM mechanics plays in determining cell behavior. My work focuses on studying potential modifications to fibronectin, a major component of the ECM, as a mechanism of influencing the mechanical properties of the ECM.


John graduated from the University of Rochester in 2013 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Chemical Engineering. His undergraduate research began by investigating the effects of low-frequency ultrasound on fibronectin conformation as observed through fibronectin-null fibroblast proliferation in agarose scaffolds. In his junior year, he began to focus on the effects of fibronectin matrix mimetic proteins on mesenchymal stem cell osteogenic differentiation. In August of 2013, he became a doctoral graduate student in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech/Emory and joined the lab of Thomas Barker, PhD, where he plans to continue investigating engineered cell-instructive extracellular matrices to influence stem cell behavior.