Bioengineering undergraduate student, Adam Rauff was awarded a 2015-2016 Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) grant. Adam will be working with Dana Carpenter, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, on a project titled, “Investigating the Effects of Weight-Bearing Function on Bone Microstructure.” The research delves into the function of osteocytes (mature bone cells) and their mechanosensory properties. Osteocytes perform bone remodeling based on the strains of the skeletal system, however the process of sensing and reacting to mechanical pressures remains illusive. The remodeling phenomenon occurs in all vertebrates, and there will be multiple animals compared in the experiments (in vitro). This property of osteocytes could improve understanding of osteoporosis, bone loss due to mechanical unloading (as observed in astronauts losing bone mass, or an individual that is suddenly confined to a wheel chair). Furthermore, this research could improve understanding of the bone remodeling that every human experiences as they age, and their bones become more brittle and sensitive (especially in women). Congratulations, Adam!