Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic

Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University

Inducted in 2008

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic lives in New York City with husband Branko (architect) and son Stasha (MD). She is a Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and professor of medical sciences at Columbia University, where she directs the laboratory for stem cells and tissue engineering. Her lab is working on the engineering of human tissues, for use in regenerative medicine and stem cell research.

Gordana has published 2 books, 45 book chapters, 210 peer-reviewed articles and she has 34 patents. She is a frequent advisor to governmental organizations on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and the chair of her NIH study section.

She has been featured in the "New York Times," "Scientific American," "Forbes," "National Public Radio," and "BBC," and has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and the National Academy of Inventors. Prior to joining Columbia, Vunjak-Novakovic was with the University of Belgrade, MIT and Tufts University.

She is a member of the Academia Europaea, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and was recently named one of Foreign Policy 100 leading global thinkers in 2014. In 2011, she gave a Plenary Lecture at the UK National Stem Cell Network Conference and was the Key Opinion Leader speaker at the Life Sciences Summit. A year prior, in 2010, she was the keynote speaker at the Stem Cell Bioengineering Conference and a Distinguished Speaker at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society. That same year she received the Clemson Award of the Biomaterials Society "for contributions to literature."

In 2009, she was elected to the New York Academy of Sciences, and in 2008 she was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame "for developing biological substitutes to restore, maintain or improve tissue function."

In 2007, she gave the Director’s lecture at the NIH, as the first woman engineer to receive this distinction. In 2002, Gordana was elected a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She also was elected as a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, AAAS, and TERMIS.

She received her BS, SM, and PhD from the University of Belgrade (all in chemical engineering), and was a Fulbright fellow in 1986-87 (at MIT).

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