Michael B. Lawrence


  • BA, Rice University
  • PhD, Rice University
  • Postdoc, Harvard University

Primary Appointment

  • Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering


Research Interest(s)

Vascular and Molecular Engineering

Research Description

Our laboratory is developing applications of molecular mechanics to the challenges of targeted drug and gene delivery. To increase specificity and reduce toxic side effects, we are incorporating leukocyte adhesion receptors into liposomes and polymeric microparticles containing encapsulated therapeutics to target defective cells with high specificity. To this end, we are using a mutagenesis approach coupled with biophysical analysis of mechanically stressed bonds to identify the controlling features of adhesion receptors that permit binding in the presence of fluid shear forces.

Additionally, we have developed several model flow systems to examine the dynamics of platelet-leukocyte-vessel wall interactions that take place during the acute phases of an inflammatory challenge or the formation of blood clots on the vessel wall. Common to interactions between platelets, leukocytes, and the vessel wall is the involvement of a family of receptors called selectins that support transient adhesions in which leukocytes and platelets roll along the vessel wall in shear flow. These studies have significance for the understanding of the regulatory effects of blood flow, adhesion receptor expression, and chemokines on inflammatory responses and blood clotting.

Selected Publications

  • DiVietro J, Brown D, Sklar L, Larson R, Lawrence M. Immobilized stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha triggers rapid VLA-4 affinity increases to stabilize lymphocyte tethers on VCAM-1 and subsequently initiate firm adhesion. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 2007;178(6): 3903-11. PMID: 17339490
  • Ham A, Goetz D, Klibanov A, Lawrence M. Microparticle adhesive dynamics and rolling mediated by selectin-specific antibodies under flow. Biotechnology and bioengineering. 2006;96(3): 596-607. PMID: 16917925
  • Mougin K, Ham A, Lawrence M, Fernandez E, Hillier A. Construction of a tethered poly(ethylene glycol) surface gradient for studies of cell adhesion kinetics. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids. 2005;21(11): 4809-12. PMID: 15896016
  • Mougin K, Lawrence M, Fernandez E, Hillier A. Construction of cell-resistant surfaces by immobilization of poly(ethylene glycol) on gold. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids. 2005;20(10): 4302-5. PMID: 15969433
  • Kadash K, Lawrence M, Diamond S. Neutrophil string formation: hydrodynamic thresholding and cellular deformation during cell collisions. Biophysical journal. 2004;86(6): 4030-9. PMID: 15189898 | PMCID: PMC1304303
  • Viola F, Kramer M, Lawrence M, Oberhauser J, Walker W. Sonorheometry: a noncontact method for the dynamic assessment of thrombosis. Annals of biomedical engineering. 2004;32(5): 696-705. PMID: 15171624
  • Rinko L, Lawrence M, Guilford W. The molecular mechanics of P- and L-selectin lectin domains binding to PSGL-1. Biophysical journal. 2003;86(1): 544-54. PMID: 14695299 | PMCID: PMC1303823
  • Sarangapani K, Yago T, Klopocki A, Lawrence M, Fieger C, Rosen S, McEver R, Zhu C. Low force decelerates L-selectin dissociation from P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 and endoglycan. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2003;279(3): 2291-8. PMID: 14573602
  • Sullivan G, Lee D, Ross W, DiVietro J, Lappas C, Lawrence M, Linden J. Activation of A2A adenosine receptors inhibits expression of alpha 4/beta 1 integrin (very late antigen-4) on stimulated human neutrophils. Journal of leukocyte biology. 2003;75(1): 127-34. PMID: 14525968