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School of Engineering

Barbara Brodsky

Research Professor
Biomedical Engineering

Barbara Brodsky

Research Professor
Biomedical Engineering

Phone 617-627-0447
Science and Technology Center, Room 125
4 Colby Street, Medford, MA
biophysics, collagen, protein structure

Barbara Brodsky earned her B.A. in physics from Brandeis University in 1964 and her Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard University in 1970, after which she carried out postdoctoral research as a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow at NIH and Oxford University, UK. From 1975-2010, she served on the faculty of the department of biochemistry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, affiliated with Rutgers University, ultimately achieving the rank of professor and position of deputy chair while maintaining continuous NIH funding for her collagen research. In 2010, she joined the Tufts Department of Biomedical Engineering as a research professor.

Ph.D., Biophysics, Harvard University, 1970
B.A., Physics, Brandeis University, 1964
Professional Experience: 

Research Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering


Professor of Biochemistry, Rutgers Medical School


Visiting Researcher, European Bioinformatics Institute


Visiting Researcher, Structural Biology, Brandeis University

Research Interests: 

Barbara Brodsky's research focuses on collagen, an extracellular matrix component critical for tissue structure, mechanical properties, cell adhesion and receptor mediated cell signaling. She characterizes structural features of collagen using model peptides and a recently developed recombinant bacterial collagen. The recombinant molecules serve as an excellent model system for defining collagen binding sites and the effects of collagen mutations, while the peptides allow definition of high resolution features at biologically important sites. Research is currently underway to clarify the pathway from human collagen mutations to hereditary bone disorders, kidney disease, and vascular pathology. Studies are being initiated to utilize the recombinant collagen system as a scaffold to promote bone generation by human stem cells and for the development of biomaterials.

Selected Honors and Awards: 
2013: Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
2009: Professor Richard A. Harvey Excellence in Teaching Innovation Award, Rutgers Medical School
2006: Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award
1976: NIH Research Career Development Award
1972: Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellowship
Selected Professional Activities: 
Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Biological Chemistry
Editor, Newsletter International Society of Matrix Biology
Member, Council, International Society of Matrix Biology
Professional Memberships: 
American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
American Chemical Society
Biophysical Society
Protein Society
International Society of Matrix Biology
American Association for the Advancement of Science