Anne Robertson, PhDAnne Robertson, PhD, McGowan affiliated faculty and Distinguished Service Professor and William Kepler Whiteford Endowed Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Pittsburgh, was recently selected to give the Elsevier Distinguished Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Elsevier Distinguished Lecture is an honor given to scientists and researchers who have made significant contributions to their respective fields, specifically those who have demonstrated exceptional research and who have the potential to inspire future generations of scientists.

Dr. Robertson’s research interests include continuum mechanics with an emphasis on cerebral vascular disease, constitutive modeling of soft biological tissues, and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics.

Her lecture, titled “Unraveling the Mechanics of Biological Soft Tissue Using Advanced Bioimaging Techniques,” focused on recent work utilizing advances in bioimaging technology. In particular, Dr. Robertson discussed multiphoton microscopy, a bioimaging tool used for visualizing cellular and subcellular events within living tissue; it allows for direct imaging without fixation or destructive tissue sectioning.

Dr. Robertson further discussed recent work she and her team conducted using multiphoton microscopy to simultaneously image collagen and elastin fiber organization during mechanical experiments. Collagen and elastin fibers, which are found in soft tissues like arteries, the bladder, and cornea, are crucial for enabling specific functions within each. For instance, the study of soft tissues lends itself to a better understanding of the high compliance of the bladder wall, rupture of cerebral aneurysms, and the growth and remodeling in blood vessels.

“Professor Robertson’s research is world-class, with an impact on many fields of study. Her selection is not only well deserved, but it also serves as an inspiration to future generations of female engineers,” said Brian Gleeson, Harry S.Tack Chair Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. “By recognizing the achievements of individuals like Professor Robertson, we are encouraged to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.”

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