Archived News


December 16, 2014
Congratulations to Audrey Ford! She has been selected as a mentor for the Student Mentoring and Research Team (SMART) 2015 Program for UC Berkeley graduate students.

December 11, 2014
The paper titled “Human chondrocyte migration behavior to guide development of engineered cartilage” has been accepted for publication in Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine! The work was a multi-site collaboration between researchers at UC Berkeley, Columbia University in New York, and the New York University Medical Center (O’Connell GD, Tan AR, Palmer G, Cui V, Bulinski JC, Ateshian GA, Hung CT).

December 5, 2014
Congratulations to David Zarrin and Naomi Kibrya, undergraduate research scientists in the O’Connell Lab, on their upcoming engineering internships!

David will be working with Toyota’s Powertrain Control-Model Based Development Unit in Los Angeles, CA during the Spring 2015 semester. Then he will be off to Stryker Neurovascular in Fremont, CA to with the Research and Development Stent and Stentriever group during the summer.

Naomi will be doing a summer internship in the Research and Development sector of Stryker Communications in Dallas, TX. She will be working on the “iSuite integrated operating room system”, which is the system that holds the lights, monitors, and medical equipment in an OR. As a mechanical engineering intern, she will look into ways to test and improve the existing technology. For example, more advanced break systems, controlling degrees of freedom of parts, lifespan testing, etc. It will be an fantastic opportunity to see the Mechanical side of BioMechanics, and to compliment the wet-lab, biology experience that she has learned from lab work!

November 17, 2014
Researchers in the Biomechanics Core are featured in this seasons Berkeley Engineer Magazine (Fall 2014). Dr. O’Connell was interviewed for a Q&A session about working with the Girls in Engineering Program, which is a summer program for middle school girls to learn more about careers and options in Engineering. Dr. O’Connell’s research is also represented in the magazine centerfold. Pick up your copy today!

October 12, 2014
The paper titled “Passage-Dependent Relationship between Mesenchymal Stem Cell Mobilization and Chondrogenic Potential” has been accepted for publication in the journal Osteoarthritis & Cartilage. The paper was coauthored by researchers at Columbia University and University of California, Berkeley (Tan AR, Alegre-Aguaron E, O’Connell GD, VandenBerg CD, Aaron RK, Vunjak-Novakovic G, Bulinski JC, Ateshian GA, and Hung CT).

September 12, 2014
Funding Opportunity
Applications for stem cell research fellowships from the Berkeley Stem Cell Center’s CIRM training program are now available. The candidate’s primary mentor must be a principal investigator at UC Berkeley, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, or Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Each mentor may nominate one postdoctoral candidate and one predoctoral candidate. The duration of the awards will be from January 1, 2015-December 31, 2015. U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is NOT required. Applications from current and new CIRM Scholars will be considered equally. Pre-and postdoctoral CIRM Scholars may receive a maximum of two years of support. However, 2015 is the final year of this CIRM training grant, and CIRM has not yet clarified whether they will continue to support CIRM Scholars training programs beyond 2015.
Predoctoral Fellowships: Prospective predoctoral fellows should have completed at least five semesters of their doctoral program and have advanced to candidacy by December 2014–prior to becoming a CIRM Scholar. Predoctoral fellowships provide a stipend, partial tuition payment, and a research allowance.
Postdoctoral Fellowships: Prospective postdoctoral CIRM Scholars must be in residence in their mentor’s laboratory at the time their application is submitted. Postdoctoral fellowships provide a stipend, commensurate with experience, health insurance (if applicable), and a research allowance.
Applications may be obtained by contacting Lily Mirels. Completed applications must be submitted via email by Tuesday October 7, 2014. Five predoctoral and eight postdoctoral fellowships will be awarded.

September 6, 2014
Congrats to coauthors Grace O’Connell, Isabella Newman, and Michael Carapezza! Their paper titled “Effect of long-term osmotic loading culture on matrix synthesis from intervertebral disc cells” has been accepted to the BioResearch journal. Please check back later, as the final published paper will be available for download under the resources section.

August 18, 2014
The O’Connell Lab welcomes Audrey Ford to the lab! Audrey is a first year graduate student in Mechanical Engineering and will be working on developing large-scale engineered cartilage surfaces.

May 7, 2014
Dr. O’Connell has been selected as a Rose Hills Innovator for work in tissue engineering. The project will focus on developing large scale engineered cartilage tissues for implantation. Learn more about the project here.

April 19, 2014
Congratulations to Megan! She was awarded the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF), which provides financial support for graduate students pursuing projects relevant to the development of new space technologies.

April 6, 2014
Congrats to Semih and Joe. Their abstract titled “Osmotic loading environment alters intervertebral disc mechanical function” was selected as a finalist to the Bachelor’s student paper competition to the 7th World Bioengineering Conference, which will be held in Boston, MA in July.

April 1, 2014
The O’Connell Lab welcomes Andrew Burg from ETH, Switzerland. Check out his profile for more information.

March 25, 2014
Congratulations! Dr. O’Connell’s manuscript entitled “Time and dose-dependent effects of chondroitnase ABC on growth of engineered cartilage” has been accepted for publication in the eCells and Materials Journal.

January 13, 2014
NPR talks about lower back pain. The story identifies what has been challenging researchers for years. There’s still a lot to learn about the spine and what causes lower back pain.

January 10, 2014
The O’Connell Lab has been awarded a COR Faculty Research Grant for the 2013-2014 funding period! The award will fund a research project to develop a custom built bioreactor for intervertebral disc research.


November 20, 2013
Dr. O’Connell will be presenting the lab’s work on long term osmotic loading of disc cells at the 2014 Orthopaedic Research Society Meeting in New Orleans!

SESSION DATE & TIME: Saturday Mar 15 2014 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
SESSION TITLE: Disc Degeneration and Repair I
PRESENTATION TIME: 9:20am – 9:30am
PAPER #: 0030
PAPER TITLE: Osmotic Loading and Growth Factor Supplementation Alters Tissue Growth of Intervertebral Disc Cells