The basic question driving our research is: how do cells receive information from the materials they contact? Basic science studies utilizing the tools of cell and molecular biology are used to study the mechanisms by which chemical (for example, specific cell adhesion molecules) or mechanical signals are sensed by cells and alter cell function. The results of these types of studies are then used to design and synthesize new biomaterials that regulate the gene expression of interacting cells. These biomaterials are used in a variety of tissue engineering and drug delivery projects to promote the growth, or regeneration of tissues and organs in the body.