RESEARCH TEAM

Innovators. Dreamers.

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, PhD

Tissue Engineer 

Brandon Guenthart, MD

Physician Scientist

John D. O'Neill, PhD

Biomedical Engineer

Jinho Kim, PhD

Mechanical Engineer

Kenmond Fung, CCP

Clinical Perfusionist

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We’re a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary academic group of engineers and surgeons with a bold vision to address the challenges and limitations in organ transplantation and regenerative medicine. Deep collaboration between specialties and institutions has led to the assembly of a dedicated and diverse research group in active pursuit of advancing the field of whole organ bioengineering. 

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, PhD is the Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and University Professor of Medical Sciences at Columbia University, where she directs the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering. Her research focuses on engineering human tissues for regenerative medicine, stem cell applications, and modeling disease. With over 41,000 citations and an h-index of 116, she is one of the most highly cited individuals of all time. She has 76 licensed, issued, or pending patents and has founded 4 biotech companies – epiBone, TARA Biosystems, Xylyx Bio, and Immplacate Health. 

     • Affiliations: Columbia University Medical Center

     • Collaborating team members: Meghan Pinezich (Doctoral candidate, biomedical engineering) 

Brandon A. Guenthart, MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University and Scientific Advisor to the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering at Columbia University Medical Center. He came to Stanford for cardiothoracic surgery fellowship training after completing general surgery residency and research fellowship at Cornell and Columbia. He continued at Stanford for additional fellowship training in heart and lung transplantation, and advanced mechanical circulatory support. Following training, Dr. Guenthart joined the faculty at Stanford where his clinical interests are in minimally invasive thoracic surgery, heart & lung transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, and regenerative medicine. He has published extensively on lung bioengineering strategies and advances in lung perfusion, which have led to the development of several new experimental platforms and medical devices. He is now the director of the Laboratory for Lung Recovery and Bioengineering at Stanford. 

     • Affiliations: Stanford University

John D. O'Neill, PhD is a Research Assistant Professor of Cell Biology in the College of Medicine at State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center, and an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University Medical Center. His work is focused on cell and tissue engineering, the development of extracellular matrix (ECM) biomaterials as next-generation research tools and bioactive therapeutic devices, and novel extracorporeal organ support systems for organ regeneration and transplantation. He is also the Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Xylyx Bio, the cell environment company

     • Affiliations: Columbia University Medical Center, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center  

Jinho Kim, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he is Director of the Translational Lung Bioengineering Laboratory. His research focuses on establishing innovative biomedical techniques that provide practical solutions to the management of respiratory disorders by utilizing an integrated multi-disciplinary approach combining mathematical modeling, optics, robotics, and tissue engineering. 

     • Affiliations: Stevens Institute of Technology 

Kenmond Fung, CCP is the Chief of Clinical Perfusion at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center, and a council member of the American Academy of Cardiovascular Perfusion. His specialty is in extracorporeal circulation and the operation of heart-lung machines during cardiac surgery and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). He is actively involved in research, education, and information technology in the fields of Perfusion Science and Cardiothoracic Surgery. 

     • Affiliations: Columbia University Medical Center

Supporting Collaborators

Ya-Wen Chen, PhD (Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, USC)

Matthew Bacchetta, MD (Thoracic Surgery, Vanderbilt University)

Charles C. Marboe, MD (Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University Medical Center)

Alexander Romanov, DVM (Institute of Comparative Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center)

Rachel Donocoff, DVM (Institute of Comparative Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center)