James H. Henderson

Professor, Director, BioInspired Institute

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering

303C Bowne Hall




  • 2004 Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering Stanford University
  • 2001 M.S. Mechanical Engineering Stanford University
  • 1999 B.S. Mechanical Engineering Rice University, Summa Cum Laude

Lab/Center Affiliation(s):

  • BioInspired Institute

Areas of Expertise:

  • Cell biomechanics and mechanobiology, cell and molecular biology, mechanics, imaging, and computational tools.
  • Functional shape-memory materials to enable innovative strategies to study and control mechanobiological and biomechanical aspects of cell and tissue function and repair.
  • Long-timescale, accurate, and efficient tracking and computational analysis of cells and subcellular structures in complex in vitro environments.

James (Jay) Henderson, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering and the Associate Director of BioInspired Syracuse: The Institute for Material and Living Systems at Syracuse University. His training in Mechanical Engineering was performed at Rice University (BS) and at Stanford University (MS, PhD), where he was a dual Hertz Foundation/Burt and Deedee McMurtry Stanford Graduate Fellow. He performed postdoctoral training in the departments of Biology and Orthopaedics at Case Western Reserve University as an Arthritis Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. At Syracuse University, the Henderson lab focuses on the study and application of mechanobiology with an emphasis on the development of enabling cytocompatibility and biocompatible shape-memory polymer platforms. Dr. Henderson is a faculty member of the Syracuse Biomaterials Innovation Facility and of the SUNY Upstate Medical University Cancer Research Institute and holds an adjunct position in the Syracuse University department of Biology.

Honors and Awards:

  • 2017 Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Excellence Award, Syracuse University
  • 2016  James K. Duah-Agyeman Faculty Award, Center for Graduate Preparation and Achievement, Syracuse University
  • 2012 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award
  • 2010 College of Engineering and Computer Science Faculty Excellence Award
  • 2007 New Investigator Recognition Award (NIRA), 6th Combined Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Societies
  • 2006–2008 Arthritis Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 2005 Aspiring Investigator Award, 5th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Tissue Engineering Consortium

Selected Publications:

Chen J, Hamilton, LE, Mather PT, and Henderson JH. Cell-responsive shape memory polymers. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering. In press. Selected to be featured as an ACS Editors’ Choice. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.2c00405

Pieri KG, Felix BM, Zhang T, Soman P, and Henderson JH. Printing parameters affect key properties of 4D printed shape memory polymers. 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. http://doi.org/10.1089/3dp.2021.0072 In press.

Narkar AR, Tong Z, Soman P (co-corresponding author), and Henderson JH. Smart biomaterial platforms: controlling and being controlled by cells. Biomaterials, 283: 121450, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2022.121450

Brasch ME, Passucci G, Guldavy A, Turner CE, Manning ML, and Henderson JH. Nuclear position relative to the Golgi body and nuclear orientation are differentially responsive indicators of cell polarized motility. PLoS One, 14 (2), e0211408, 2019. Selected by the editors to be highlighted on the journal homepage. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0211408

Buffington SL, Ali MM, Paul JE, Macios MM, Mather PT, and Henderson JH. Enzymatically triggered shape memory polymers. Acta Biomaterialia, 84, 88–97, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2018.11.031

Wang J, Quach A, Brasch ME, Turner CE, and Henderson JH. On-command on/off switching of progenitor cell and cancer cell polarized motility and aligned morphology via a cytocompatible shape memory polymer scaffold. Biomaterials, 140, 150-61, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.06.016

Tseng L, Wang J, Baker RM, Wang G, Mather PT, and Henderson JH. Osteogenic capacity of human adipose-derived stem cells is preserved following triggering of shape memory scaffolds. Tissue Engineering Part A. August, 22(15-16), 1026-1035, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1089/ten.tea.2016.0095

Baker RM, Tseng L, Iannolo MT, Oest ME, and Henderson JH. Self-deploying shape memory polymer scaffolds for grafting and stabilizing complex bone defects: A mouse femoral segmental defect study. Biomaterials, 76, 388-98, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.10.064

Baker RM, Brasch ME, Manning ML, and Henderson JH. Automated, contour-based tracking and analysis of cell behaviour over long timescales in environments of varying complexity and cell density. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 11(97), 20140386, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2014.0386 Program download at: http://henderson.syr.edu/downloads/

Tseng L, Mather PT, and Henderson JH. Shape-memory actuated change in scaffold fiber alignment directs stem cell morphology. Acta Biomaterialia, 9, 8790-8801, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2013.06.043

Davis KA, Burke KA, Mather PT, and Henderson JH. Dynamic cell behavior on shape memory polymer substrates. Biomaterials, 32, 2285–2293, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.Biomaterials.2010.12.006