Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic

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Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic is a Serbian American engineer and currently a professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University. She is the director of Columbia’s Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering. Vunjak-Novakovic is a highly cited researcher, having published 314 engineering papers, three books, and 58 book chapters, and 72 licensed, issued and pending patents.[1] She had also given 325 invited lectures across the world. Vunjak-Novakovic is a frequent advisor to the federal government on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. She is a co-founder of two biotech companies, epiBone and TARA Biosystems. Vunjak-Novakovic’s research has focus on engineering human tissues for regenerative medicine, stem cell research and modeling of disease. [2]


Vunjak received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Belgrade, in Belgrade, Serbia. After her postgraduate study in Germany, she returned as a faculty to the University of Belgrade in its Chemical Engineering Department. She was a Fulbright Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology from 1986 to 1987.


Vunjak was elected a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, a fellow of AAAS, and a founding fellow of TERMIS. She is a member of the Academia Europaea, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame, and one of Foreign Policy 100 leading global thinkers for 2014. In 2007, she became the first woman engineer to receive the distinction of giving the Director’s Lecture at the National Institute of Health. In 2008, she was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame, and in 2009, she was elected to the New York Academy of Sciences. Vunjak is a recipient of the Clemson Award given by the Biomaterials Society. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering , as the first woman at Columbia University to ever get this distinction, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and the National Academy of Inventors. →


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