Ronke Olabisi

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Ronke Olabisi
Ronke Mojoyinola Olabisi

(1976-06-26) June 26, 1976 (age 43)
EducationPh.D. in Biomedical Engineering
Master's in Aerospace Engineering
Master's in Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Michigan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
AwardsNational Space Biomedical Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship[when?]
National Science Foundation CAREER Award[when?]
Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM2D Scholars Award[when?]
Scientific career
FieldsTissue engineering
Wound healing
Regenerative medicine[1]
InstitutionsRutgers University
UC Irvine

Ronke Mojoyinola Olabisi (born 26 June 1976) is an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at UC Irvine, where she works on bone and human tissue.[1] She is working with Mae Jemison on 100 Year Starship, an interdisciplinary initiative that is exploring the possibility of human interstellar travel.

Early life and education[edit]

Olabisi is from Plainfield, New Jersey. She grew up wanting to be an astronaut.[2] Her mentors have been her graduate school and postdoctoral advisors, including Profs. John Taylor, Ray Vanderby, Jr, and Jennifer L. West, as well as individuals not directly involved in her training, such as Mae Jemison.[2][3] She studied aerospace engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She moved to the University of Michigan for her Masters research. She completed her doctoral work at University of Wisconsin–Madison.[4] She was awarded the National Science Foundation GSK-12 Award.[5]

Research and career[edit]

She was a postdoctoral researcher at Rice University, where she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and City of Hope National Medical Center.[5] Olabisi investigated how mother-of-pearl (nacre) gets its natural strength and resilience with the hope to recreate it synthetically.[6] She patterned hydrogels with nacre proteins.[6]

Today Olabisi is an assistant professor at Rutgers University.[7] Her research looks to make wounds heal faster using cell therapy.[8][9] Her work could revolutionize the recovery time of people who require plastic surgery.[8] By combining hydrogels with the proteins, she can speed up cellular repair. She is an inventor on a patent that grows bone using microencapsulated cells releasing bone morphogenetic proteins.[10] She found that she could entrap certain cells into hydrogels to deliver the hormone insulin, which helps to heal diabetic wounds.[11] In 2018 she became a National Science Foundation CAREER Award grant holder, exploring chronic wounds.[12] She is working on combining mesenchymal stem cells and insulin producing cells for dual cell therapies.[12]

She has studied the way that the body adapts to the space environment.[13] She wants to identify mechanisms that protect astronauts from the effects of microgravity, by using tissue engineering approaches to stimulate growth, regeneration, and repair.[14]

Public engagement[edit]

Olabisi works with Mae Jemison on the grant project 100 Year Starship, an interdisciplinary initiative that is exploring the technologies necessary to achieve interstellar travel, with the goal that all such technologies would improve life on Earth (e.g., better power sources, clean energy, clothing that doesn't need washing).[15] She presented the program and how it intersected with her work at the European Parliament.[16] In 2016 she featured in a Vanity Fair and IBM collaboration celebrating women in science.[15] In 2019 she was interviewed by Forbes.[17]


  1. ^ a b Ronke Olabisi publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b "#WCWinSTEM: Ronke M. Olabisi, Ph.D. – VanguardSTEM Conversations". VanguardSTEM Conversations. 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  3. ^ "Mae Jemison and Olaronke Olabisi, 2016". MIT Black History. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  4. ^ "Ronke Olabisi, PhD – 2015 SYMPOSIUM". Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  5. ^ a b "Speakers – CUWiP @ UCSD". Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  6. ^ a b "Bone Formation through Biomineralization and Bioengineering (Postdoctoral Fellowship) - NSBRI". NSBRI. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  7. ^ "ESSENCE Network: Scientist Ronke Mojoyinola Olabisi Shares the Magic of the Human Body - Essence". Essence. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  8. ^ a b "Rutgers professor's research could revolutionize process of human healing | The Daily Targum". The Daily Targum. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  9. ^ "Professor aims to help the healing impaired". SmartBrief. 2017-02-17. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  10. ^ "US Patent Application for METHODS AND COMPOSITIONS FOR BONE FORMATION Patent Application (Application #20130017228 issued January 17, 2013) - Justia Patents Search". Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  11. ^ "Scientists are using seashells to regrow bones". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  12. ^ a b "NSF Award Search: Award#1752079 - CAREER: Tissue Engineering Better Cell Therapies for Wound Healing". Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  13. ^ Podcasts, SparkDialog (2017-06-30). "Your Body in Space — with guest Dr. Ronke Olabisi". SparkDialog Podcasts. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  14. ^ "One Doctor Exploring Wound Care on Earth and in Space". Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  15. ^ a b "Hailing a New Constellation of STEM Stars". The Hive. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  16. ^ TauZeroFoundation (2013-03-29), 100YSS @ EU Parliament - Dr. Ronke Olabisi, retrieved 2018-09-07
  17. ^ "If You Want To Be Successful, Be Tenacious". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-05-20.