James H. Henderson

Associate Professor

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):

  • Syracuse Biomaterials Institute

Research Interests:

  • Tissue engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanobiology

Current Research:

The overarching goal of research in the Henderson Lab is to understand how biophysical stimuli (e.g., stresses and strains) regulate tissue development, maintenance, and disease progression and to use that understanding to develop biomimetic bench-top research platforms, biomedical devices, and tissue-engineering and regenerative medicine approaches. Dr. Henderson is a faculty member of the Syracuse Biomaterials Institute and of the SUNY Upstate Medical University Cancer Research Institute, holds an adjunct position in the Syracuse University department of Biology and a without compensation (WOC) appointment at the Syracuse VA Medical Center.

Courses Taught:

Biomedical engineering, including:

  • Computational tools for engineers
  • Introduction to engineering (bioengineering section)

Biomechanical engineering, including:

  • Biomechanics


  • 2012 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award
  • 2010 LC Smith 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
  • 1999–2004 Hertz Foundation Fellow
  • 1999–2002 Stanford Graduate Fellow (Burt and Deedee McMurtry Fellow)

Selected Publications:

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2014.0386
Program download at: http://henderson.syr.edu/downloads/

Wormer DB, Davis KA, Henderson JH, Turner CE. The Focal Adhesion-Localized CdGAP Regulates Matrix Rigidity Sensing and Durotaxis. PLoS ONE, 9(3): e91815, 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0091815

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2013.06.043

Baker RM, Henderson JH, and Mather PT. Shape memory poly(ε-caprolactone)-co-poly(ethylene glycol) foams with body temperature triggering and two-way actuation. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 1:4916-4920, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C3TB20810A

Baker RM, Yang P, Henderson JH, and Mather PT. In vitro wrinkle formation via shape memory dynamically aligns adherent cells. Soft Matter, 9:4705–4714, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C3SM00024A

Xu X, Davis KA, Yang P, Gu X, Henderson JH, and Mather PT. Shape memory RGD-containing hydrogels: synthesis, characterization, and application in cell culture. Macromolecular Symposia, 309-310: 162-172, 2011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/masy.201100060

Davis KA, Luo X, Mather PT, and Henderson JH. Shape memory polymers for active cell culture. J Vis Exp (53):e2903, 2011. Video article viewed more than 13,000 times. http://www.jove.com/details.php?ID=2903

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