Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic

University Professor and 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

  • University Professor, Columbia University
  • 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
  • Robert A. Pritzker Award for 2017, Biomedical Engineering Society
  • NIBIB National Advisory Council speaker, NIH, January 24, 2017.
  • Doctorate in Science Honoris Causa, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Chair, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
  • Board of Directors, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
  • Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society
  • Fellow, AAAS
  • Council, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society (TERMIS)
  • Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers for 2014
  • Founding Class, International Fellows of Tissue Engineering & 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

~36,000 citations and h=109 on Google Scholar; one of the most highly cited individuals of all times, in all disciplines(h>100)


  1. Freed L.E., Vunjak-Novakovic G, Biron R, Eagles D, Lesnoy D, Barlow S and Langer R. Biodegradable Polymer Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering, Nature Biotechnology 12: 689-693, 1994.
  2. Freed, L.E., Langer, R., Martin, I., Pellis, N., Vunjak-Novakovic, G. Tissue engineering of cartilage in space, PNAS, Vol. 94: 13885-13890, 1997; commentary in same issue: 13380-13382; highlighted in JAMA Vastag B Cell biology update: A decade of simulating space on earth. JAMA 285(17): 2182-2182, 2001.
  3. Radisic M, Park H, Shing H, Consi T, Schoen F, Langer R., Freed L.E. and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Functional assembly of engineered myocardium by electrical stimulation of cardiac myocytes cultured on scaffolds PNAS 101(52):18129-18134, 2004. (cover article)
  4. Radisic M, Marsano A, Maidhof R, Wang Y, Vunjak-Novakovic G. Perfusion bioreactors for controlling cellular environments. Nature Protocols 3(4):719-38, 2008
  5. Tandon N, Cannizzaro C, Chao P-hG, Marsano A, Maidhof R, Au H, Radisic M, and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Electrical stimulation systems for cardiac tissue engineering. Nature Protocols 4:155-173, 2009.
  6. Godier-Furnemont 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 repairPNAS108(19): 7974-7979, 2011 Commentaries: Nature 472: 393, 2011; Circ Res 109 (5): 480-481, 2011.
  7. Wan LQ, Ronaldson K, Park M, Taylor G, Zhang Y, Gimble JM and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Micropatterned Mammalian Cells Exhibit Chiral Morphogenesis PNAS, vol. 108 (30): 1229512300, 2011; cover article; commentary, PNAS, vol. 108 (30): 12191–12192, 2011.
  8. Vunjak-Novakovic G and Scadden D.T. Biomimetic platforms for human stem cell research. Cell Stem Cell 8:252-261, 2011.
  9. Eng GM, Lee WB, Parsa H, Chin C, Schneider J, Linkov G, and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Engineering complex three-dimensional cell microenvironments using docking hydrogel shapes. PNAS110(12):4551-56, 2013.
  10. 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
  11. Villasante A, Marturano A and Vunjak-NovakovicG. Bioengineered human tumor within a bone niche. Biomaterials 35: 5785-5794, 2014. Editor’s Choice, Science Translational Medicine K. L. Spiller, How to Build a Better Bone Tumor.  6: 235ec81, 2014
  12. 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.
  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, K Spiller: Super model. 7 (307)307, 2015.
  14. Bhumiratana S, Bernhard JC, Alfi DM, Yeager K, Eton RE, Bova J, Shah F, Gimble JM, Lopez MJ, Eisig SB, and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Tissue engineered autologous grafts for facial bone reconstruction. Science Translational Medicine 8 (343) 343ra83, 2016.
  15. 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 8, (342) 342ps13, 2016.
  16. 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 7:10312-10322, 2016.
  17. Ng J, Wei Y, Zhou B, Bernhard J, Robinson S, Burapachaisri A, Guo XE and Vunjak-Novakovic G. Spatiotemporal regulation promotes in vitro formation of phenotypically stable human articular cartilage constructs. PNAS 114(10): 2556-2561, 2017.
  18. Reilein A, Melamed D, Park K, Berg A, Cimetta E, Tandon N, Vunjak-Novakovic G, Finkelstein S, and Kalderon D. Distinct direct stem cell derivatives defined by stem cell location and graded Wnt signaling. Nature Cell Biology 10: 433-444, 2017.
  19. Parsa H, Wang BZ and Vunjak-Novakovic G. A Microfluidic Platform for the High-throughput Study of Pathologic Cardiac Hypertrophy. Lab on a Chip 2017 Aug 23. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:28832065
  20. O’Neill JO, Guenthart BA, Kim J,Scott Chicotka S, Queen D, Fung K, Marboe C, Romanov A, Huang SXL, Snoeck H-W, BacchettaM, Vunjak-NovakovicG. Cross-circulation for extracorporeal support and recovery of the lung. Nature Biomedical Engineering Epublished ahead of print, March 7, 2017
  21. Dorrello NV, Guenthart BA, O’Neill JD, Kim J, Biscotti M, Cunningham K, Swayne T, Wobma HM, Huang SXL, Snoeck H-W, Bacchetta M, Vunjak-Novakovic G.Functional vascularized grafts for lung bioengineering. Science Advances 3(8):e1700521, 2017. Highlighted in Science Vascularized grafts for lungs 357()6354):883, 2017.

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