Tendon Tissue Team: Nick Pancheri
Sophomore, Biological Engineering
Hometown: Moscow, Idaho
Nick’s Hands-On Experience is Made Possible Through:
Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Summer and Academic Year Fellows Program – Students are paid $6,000 over the summer to work in a biomedical laboratory, doing guided research and attending professional development and scientific seminar presentations.
STEM Trainee Program - A collaboration between Idaho INBRE and the Idaho STEM Action Center, this program provides funding to students in freshman and sophomore standing as well as their mentors for research conducted in an academic lab.
Idaho’s only Grand Challenge Scholars Program - Preparing undergraduates to solve the biggest challenges facing society in the 21st century.
Not all tendons are the same. We have tendons that are constantly exposed to high forces, like our Achilles, and others in our knees and feet we use for balance.
Sophomore Nick Pancheri is working to figure out how a way a tendon’s specific function affects its development. Working alongside doctoral student Sophia Theodossiou, the two have been researching the effects of mechanical loading, or the amount of force placed on a tendon through movement.
Using digital images of the tendons, Pancheri is working to identify visual differences in the ways tendons form based on their use.
“What we’re finding is there’s something going on that we can’t see,” he said, “Which leads us into other projects, for example, identifying potential biochemical factors and finding out what their roles might be.”
Pancheri said the team’s unique ability to address the biochemical processes of tissue engineering as well as the biological laws of motion make the lab unique.
“To know where you’re going, you need to know where to start from and you need markers along the way,” he said. “We’re putting together a roadmap so that we can understand where we need to be biochemically, structurally, physiologically, functionally, and more. All of us are adding our own checkpoints along the road.”
Pancheri is from Moscow and started working in Schiele’s lab out of high school.