Jason Gleghorn has received a three-year grant from the Biomechanics and Mechanobiology Program of the National Science Foundation to study smooth muscle contractions that occur in the developing mammalian lung. This research will determine the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying airway smooth muscle contractions and their role in airway branching. Deeper understanding of the mechanisms that cause the growth of the airways is of importance for understanding lung development in general and also for predicting, preventing, and repairing structural birth defects.