Luke J. Mortensen

Associate Professor
  • Post-doctoral fellow MGH, Harvard Medical School 2011-2014
  • Ph.D. University of Rochester 2011
  • M.S. University of Rochester 2006
  • B.S. University of Toledo 2003

In the Lab

The Mortensen Lab is interested in using engineering approaches to solve important biological problems where canonical techniques and methods of thinking have failed. This requires a multidisciplinary mindset to draw together microscopy, engineering, systems level biology, and regenerative medicine. Specifically, our research uses multiphoton microscopy to enable the design of next generation cellular therapeutics in the context of skeletal disease and bone regeneration.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) have demonstrated substantial preclinical promise as a potential therapeutic, but many clinical trials have failed to meet primary endpoints. Especially in diseases in which engraftment would be advantageous, this is due in part to 1) poor homing to the site of disease, and 2) a lack of knowledge about the ‘niche’ destination required for cell engraftment. Our goal is to develop optical imaging technologies to dynamically observe and probe a living system to discover and target the therapeutic niche for next generation cell therapies. This will integrate optical imaging and manipulation strategies to enable in vivo biological insights with potential downstream clinical benefits.

Research Interest

  • Multiphoton imaging and development
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Cell engineering
  • Bone regeneration