Welcome to the Hammer Laboratory. Our lab extends into two main research areas: polymersomes and cell motility and adhesion.

Along with collaborators we developed polymersomes or biomimetic vesicles composed of diblock copolymers. These have the potential to serve as drug-delivery and imaging devices. We have engineered these vesicles to carry molecules in their interior and on their surface and have shown their potential to adhere to specific cell adhesion molecules. Furthermore, by embedding specific molecules within the membrane on polymersome we can now cause them to photo-destruct.

Cell motility and adhesion is critical to many processes in the body including developmental processes such as angiogenesis and consistent processes such as the immune response. We use compliant surfaces of different stiffness to study the effect of stiffness on cell behavior and assembly. We also use these compliant gels to study the force generation of several cell types. Finally, we study the T cell homing model of rolling, tethering, and firm adhesion followed by extravasation and the signal propagation that occurs as part of this process.