Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic

Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Sciences

622 West 168th Street
Department of Biomedical Engineering, VC12-234
New York, NY 10032

Phone: +1 212-305-2304
Fax: +1 212-305-4692
Email: gv2131@columbia.edu

Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering


  • 1980 Ph.D, Chemical Engineering, University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • 1986-1987 Fulbright Fellow, MIT

Academic Positions

  • Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor of Medical Sciences
  • Director, Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering
  • Faculty, Center for Human Development, Columbia University
  • Faculty, Herbert Irving Cancer Center, Columbia University
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University
  • Scientific Director, Columbia University Stem Cell Core
  • Co-Director, Craniofacial Regeneration Center, Columbia University
  • Director, Stem Cell Imaging Core, Columbia University
  • Co-director, Tissue Engineering Resource Center (NIH)

Honors and Awards (Selected)

  • National Academy of Engineering (peer committee; Russ Prize committee)
  • National Academy of Medicine
  • National Academy of Inventors
  • Academia Europaea
  • Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Serbian Academy of Engineering
  • New York Academy of Science
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Chair-Elect, College of Fellows, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
  • Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society
  • Council, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society (TERMIS)
  • Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers for 2014
  • Founding Class, International Fellows of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
  • Executive Editorial Board, Tissue Engineering (all journals)
  • Board of Directors, Center for Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS); Scientific Director and Chair of the Committee for Science and Technology
  • BioAccelerate Prize of the New York City Investment Fund
  • Clemson award of the Society of Biomaterials
  • Hall of Fame, Women in Technology International (one of 5 inducted in 2008)
  • NIH Director’s Lecture, first woman engineer to receive this distinction
  • Faculty of 1000 Medicine, Regenerative Medicine Section, US Section Head for Musculoskeletal Repair & Regeneration
  • Four NASA awards for bioengineering patents
  • Outstanding Performance Medal, World Congress of in vitro Biology

Research Interests

Tissue engineering, stem cells, regenerative medicine, study of disease

Selected Publications

ISI Web of Science: >17,500 citations h=82; Google Scholar: >29,500 citations, h=97

1        Freed LE, Langer R, Martin I, Pellis N, Vunjak-Novakovic G. Tissue Engineering of Cartilage in Space. PNAS 94:13885-90, 1997; editorial in the same issue

2        Radisic M, Park H, Shing H, Consi T, Schoen F, Langer R, Freed LE, Vunjak-Novakovic G. Functional assembly of engineered myocardium by electrical stimulation of cardiac myocytes cultured on scaffolds. PNAS 101(52):18129-34, 2004; (cover)

3        Gerecht S, Burdick JA, Ferreira LS, Townsend SA, Langer R, Vunjak-Novakovic G. Propagation of undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells in hyaluronic acid hydrogels. PNAS 104:11298-303, 2007

4        Figallo E., Cannizzaro C, Gerecht-Nir S, Burdick J, Langer R, Elvassore N, Vunjak-Novakovic G. Micro-bioreactor array for controlling cellular microenvironments. Lab on a Chip 7(6): 710-9, 2007; (cover)

5        Radisic M, Marsano A, Maidhof R, Wang Y, Vunjak-Novakovic G. Perfusion bioreactors for controlling cellular environments. Nature Protocols 3(4):719-38, 2008

6        Grayson WG, Fröhlich M, Yeager K, Bhumiratana S, Cannizzaro C, Wan LQ, Chan ME, Liu ME, Guo EX and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Engineering anatomically shaped human bone grafts. PNAS 107(8):3299-304, 2009

7        Tandon N, Cannizzaro C, Chao P-hG, Marsano A, Maidhof R, Au H, Radisic M, and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Electrical field stimulation of cultured cells and tissues. Nature Protocols 4:155-173, 2009.

8        Vunjak-Novakovic G and Scadden D.T. Biomimetic platforms for human stem cell research. Cell Stem Cell 8:252-261, 2011

9        Godier-Fournemont A, Martens T, Koeckert M, Wan LQ, Parks J, Zhang G, Hudson J, and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Composite scaffold provides a cell delivery platform for cardiovascular repair. PNAS 108(19): 7974-7979, 2011; Commentaries: Patching up the heart. Nature 472: 393, 2011; Patching up myocardium Jay SM and Lee RT. Circulation research 109 (5): 480-481, 2011

10    Wan LQ, Ronaldson K, Park M, Taylor G, Zhang Y, Gimble JM and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Micropatterned Mammalian Cells Exhibit Chiral Morphogenesis. PNAS 108 (30): 12295-12300, 2011; (cover) Commentary: JC McSheene and RD Burdine: Examining the establishment of cellular axes using intrinsic chirality. PNAS 108 (30): 12191-92, 2011.

11    Eng GM, Lee WB, Parsa H, Chin C, Schneider J, Linkov G, and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Engineering complex three-dimensional cell microenvironments using docking hydrogelshapes. PNAS110(12):4551-56, 2013.

12    Bhumiratana S, Eton R, Oungoulian S, Wan LQ, Ateshian GA and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Large, stratified and mechanically functional human cartilage grownin vitro by mesenchymal condensation. PNAS 111(19): 6940-45, 2014. Highlighted in Nature Rev Rheumatol Onoura S: Dishing up functional human cartilage. 10:321, 2014

13    Kim J, O’Neill JD, N. Dorrello NV, Bacchetta M and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Targeted delivery of liquid micro-volumes into the lung. PNAS 112 (37) 11530-11535, 2015. Highlighted in Science Translational Medicine, Editor’s choice, Super model. 7 (307)307, 2015.

14    Eng G, Lee BW, Protas L, Gagliardi M, BrownK, Kass RS, Keller G, RobinsonRB and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Autonomous beating rate adaptation in human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.Nature Communications 7:10312 doi: 10.1038/ncomms10312, 2016.

15    Vunjak-Novakovic G. A protein for healing infarcted hearts. News & Views. Nature 525, 461–462, 2015. Highlighted in New England Journal of Medicine, Journal Watch by the Editor, October 15, 2015.

16    Villasante A, Marturano-KruikA, AmbatiSR, LiuZ, ParsaH, MooreMAS and Vunjak-NovakovicG. Recapitulating the size and cargo of tumor exosomes in a tissue-engineered model. Theranostics(in press)

17    Ogle BM, Bursac N, Domian I, Huang NF, Menasche P, Murry C, Pruitt B, Radisic M, Wu J, Wu S, Zhang J, Zimmermann WH, Vunjak-Novakovic G. Distilling Complexity to Advance Cardiac Tissue Engineering. Science Translational Medicine (in press)

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