Brian Diekman

Brian Diekman, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering. Diekman's research focuses on the effects of cellular senescence on regenerative capacity and tumorigenesis.

Brian Diekman

Assistant Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill
Biomedical Engineering

4011-A Thurston Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Area of interest

Brian Diekman's extensive interdisciplinary training in musculoskeletal research has included working with various murine and human stem cell sources for tissue engineering and the use of genetically engineered murine models to study osteoarthritis (OA) development. He is currently utilizing that experience to launch an independent research laboratory that seeks to utilize regenerative medicine technologies and animal models to dissect the molecular drivers of cartilage aging. The development of cellular senescence with aging is a key feature of many different cell types, including chondrocytes.

His work is focused on the molecular mechanisms governing cellular senescence, with a goal toward developing approaches to modulate senescence or specifically kill senescent cells. During his post-doctoral training, he investigated the dual role that cellular senescence plays in protecting organisms from cancer while also contributing to age-related dysfunction. His current work seeks to determine how the cell cycle inhibitor p16INK4a governs both the anti-cancer and pro-aging functions of senescence in particular cell types and environmental situations.

Awards and Honors

  • Fulbright Student Fellowship, Ireland, 2005- 2006
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, 2008- 2010
  • Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine Young Investigator Award, 2011-
  • F32 (NIH NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship / National Institute on Aging), 2015-2017
  • Professional Development and Service
  • Conference assistant, Keystone Regenerative Tissue Engineering and Organ Transplantation, 2012-
  • Participant, 23rd Annual Summer Training Course in Experimental Aging Research 2015
  • 2016 elected Co-chair, 2018 Gordon Research Seminar, Musculoskeletal Biology and Bioengineering