Engineering Human Tissues for Regenerative Medicine and Study of Disease

Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Professor
Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Sciences
Columbia University
Monday, March 7
4:00 – 5:00 pm
SEH Lehman Auditorium, B1220


Tissue engineering is becoming increasingly successful with authentically representing the actual environmental milieu of the development, regeneration and disease. A classical paradigm of tissue engineering is related to the integrated use of human stem cells, biomaterial scaffolds (structural and logistic templates for tissue formation) and bioreactors (culture systems providing environmental control, molecular and physical signaling) in regenerative medicine. Today, living human tissues can be bioengineered from the autologous stem cells, and tailored to the patient and the medical condition being treated. A reverse paradigm is now emerging with the development of platforms for modeling of integrated human physiology, using iPS cell derived micro-issues of different types functionally connected by microvasculature. The biological fidelity of these “tissues on a chip” and the capability for high-throughput work and real-time measurement of physiological responses are poised to transform preclinical drug screening and modeling of human disease. This talk will discuss the biomimetic approach as the common underlying principle for tissue engineering, and some recent advances in the application of this approach to regenerative medicine, modeling of disease, and drug screening.


Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic is the Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Medical Sciences at Columbia University, where she directs the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering. The focus of her research is on engineering human issues for regenerative medicine, stem cell research and modeling of disease. She is well published and highly cited (>17,500 cita??ons and h=81 on the ISI Web of Science; 29,400 citations and h=97 on Google Scholar). She has 72 licensed, issued and pending patents, has founded three biotech companies – epiBone, Tara Biosystems, and MatriTek, and is a frequent advisor to government and industry. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors.