Kersh takes on new Beckman leadership role


Tejas Mahadevan

Mariana Kersh
Mariana Kersh

MechSE associate professor Mariana Kersh has been named co-chair of the Beckman Institute’s Integrative Imaging research theme.

Using advanced imaging technology, Kersh is interested in understanding the structural and mechanical properties of musculoskeletal tissues in the body, ultimately aiming to improve the treatment of bone and joint diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthrititis. As she co-chairs Beckman's Integrative Imaging them alongside Wawrzyniec Dobrucki, an associate professor of bioengineering, Kersh will press into the theme's culture of interdisciplinary collaboration. 

“The [Integrative Imaging] theme is an excellent platform for integrating people across disciplines to collaborate and make use of different imaging techniques. This spans from different imaging methods as well as the post-processing of images using computational methods,” she said. “The beauty of this theme is that it truly integrates imaging across platforms, modalities, applications, and what we actually image across multiple length scales.

"Imaging these widely different things requires the expertise of different people and this theme does a great job of bring such people together and fostering collaboration.”

With an interest in biomechanics, Kersh seeks to understand how diseases can change the physical properties of materials. This involves using different imaging techniques.

“As co-chair, I see my job as a facilitator of the networking required to bring different groups together under this umbrella of Integrative Imaging. My job will be to ensure that we have a cohesive unit of people under this umbrella that are working together to advance our areas of science,” Kersh said.

Kersh directs the Tissue Biomechanics Laboratory housed in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. She is also a Carle Illinois Health Innovation Professor.