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Kathleen Puskar, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering Technology

Pictured is Kathleen Puskar, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering technology. In Memoriam

Associate Professor Kathleen Puskar, Ph.D., passed away on Sept. 6, 2013. Kathleen was a valued and dedicated member of the Point Park University faculty, and she will be greatly missed by her colleagues, students and all who knew her.


  • Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
  • Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Courses Taught

  • Properties of Materials
  • Statics
  • Dynamics
  • Trigonometry


Associate Professor Kathleen Puskar, Ph.D., returned to Pittsburgh in 2011 to teach mechanical engineering technology at Point Park University. Prior to joining Point Park, Puskar was an associate mechanical engineering professor at California State Polytechnic University.  Before that, she held postdoctoral scholar positions for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of California.

Puskar has also worked for various corporations as a computation fluid dynamics analyst, production engineer and vehicle design engineer.  In the field of mechanical engineering, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a doctoral degree from Carnegie Mellon University.  In addition, Puskar completed fellowships with the National Institute of Health and Merck Computational Biology and Chemistry.

Selected Publications

  • “Response of an actin filament network model under cyclic stretching through a coarse grained Monte Carlo approach”, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2011.
  • "Spatial Patterning of Cell Proliferation and Differentiation Depends on Mechanical Stress Magnitude," Journal of Biomechanics, 2009.
  • "Modeling Molecular Interactions to Understand Spatial Crowding Effects on Heterodimer Formations”, Physical Review E, 2007.
  • "Detection of a MicroRNA Signal in an In Vivo Expression Set of mRNAs," PLoS One, 2007.

Selected Podium Presentations

  • "A New Approach to Determine Traction Forces of Micropatterned Cells," Society for the Physical Regulation of Biology and Medicine Annual Conference, 2008.
  • "Monte Carlo Method for Modeling Biological Systems” Invited Speaker, Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar, University of Pittsburgh, 2007.
  • "Searching for miRNA Targets," Systems Biology Graduate Seminar, University of California Santa Barbara, 2007.

Awards and Honors

  • National Institute of Health Postdoctoral Training Fellowship, 2007-2008
  • Merck Computational Biology and Chemistry Fellowship, 2003-2005
  • Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance (PITA) Development Grant, 2005
  • Walter P. Murphy Fellowship, Northwestern University, 1989-1991
  • First in Mechanical Engineering Class, University of Pittsburgh, 1989
  • Outstanding Student of the Year Award by Mechanical Engineering Faculty, University of Pittsburgh, 1989

Professional Memberships

  • Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers

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