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Engineering cell-cell interactions in health and disease

We employ a quantitative approach that integrates microfluidics, systems biology modeling, and in vivo experiments to investigate the role of complex microenvironments on cell growth, migration and response to perturbations in health (tissue homeostasis) and disease (cancer).

Video of invading breast carcinoma cells in a 3D microfluidic device (Zervantonakis et al)


The lab is growing and there are openings at multiple levels (research technician, postdocs, phd students, undergraduates). Our lab offers the opportunity to work at the forefront of microenvironment bioengineering, learn cutting edge techniques and collaborate with an interdisciplinary group of scientists and clinicians at the University of Pittsburgh




In vivo



June 2024:         Welcome Matt L as a PhD student

June 2024:         Congratulations to Alexis for her first-author paper in Advanced Healthcare Materials 

May 2024:          Congratulations to Dorota for her first-author paper in iScience 

May 2024:          Welcome Leo as a research technician

May 2024:          Yannis receives the NSF Career Award

April 2024:          Congratulations to Matt P for giving an invited talk to microTAStic to highlight his first-author

                          paper in Microsystems & Nanoengineering being 

January 2024:      Yannis receives a Rising Star Junior Faculty Award from BMES-CMBE

November 2023:   Congratulations to Matt P for his first-author paper in Microsystems & Nanoengineering

November 2023:   Youngbin presents a talk at the Physical Sciences Oncology and Cancer Systems Biology

                           Conference at NIH, Washington

October 2023:      Rosy presents a talk at BMES in Seattle

October 2023:      Dorota presents a poster at the AACR Ovarian Cancer Meeting in Boston

October 2023:      The lab welcomes Leo as masters student 

September 2023:   Youngbin presents a talk at the Great Lakes Breast Cancer Conference. Matt and Rosy                                      present posters

September 2023:  The lab welcomes Angela, Mahdi and Rabab as PhD students

August 2023:        Congratulations to Dorota and Diana for their review paper in AJP Cell Physiology

August 2023:        Congratulations to Matt for his review paper in Trends in Cancer

June 2023:            Yannis presents at the ICERM conference at Brown University

May 2023:            Congratulations Diana for completing a Masters.

March 2023:         Rosy presents at Great Lakes Breast Cancer Trainee Seminar Series.

February 2023:     Yannis presents at the Gordon Research Conference: Physical Oncology at Galveston, TX.

October 2022:       Matt presents at the Systems Approaches to Cancer Biology.

October 2022:       Our lab receives a 4-year American Cancer Society Research Scholar grant.

September 2022:   Youngbin presents at Great Lakes Breast Cancer Trainee Seminar Series.

                            Youngbin and Rosy's book chapter at Springer is accepted.

                            Rosy, Youngbin and Diana present posters at Center of Systems Immunology Retreat.

July 2022:              Matt and Griffin hold a workshop for Global Summer Learning Institute.

                             Congratulations to Diana for passing her preliminary exam!

                             Yannis presents at World Congress of Biomechanics.

June 2022:             We welcome Griffin and Sophia for the summer though the Hillman Academy.  

                             Yannis presents at Systems Biology of Human Disease.

May 2022:              Congratulations to Sydney for accepting a position as R&D Associate at Renerva LLC

March 2022:           Nature Review Cancer paper published! 

                             Congratulations to Griffin Hurt for being accepted for undergraduate studies at Pitt; to                                     Milun Jain for being accepted for undergraduate studies at John Hopkins and to Tibo                                       Roy for being accepted for undergraduate studies at Dusquane University


                             Dorota and Matt present posters at the McGowan retreat

                              We welcome Jacob Antonello and Laurel Koehler

                              Dorota presents a poster at Pitt BioE Day.

January 2022:          Griffin Hurt is selected for local “18 Under Eighteen” award! 

December 2021:       Dorota presents a poster at the Association of Cell Biology Conference.

November 2021:       Rosy's paper is accepted at Molecular Cancer Research! Congrats!

                              Yannis presents at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Immunology and

                              Immunoengineering seminar series.

                              Labsgiving party!

October 2021:          Multiple poster presentations from our lab to the Great Lakes Breast Cancer Conference.


                              Yannis presents at BMES 2021.

September 2021:      Yannis presents at the Department of Bioengineering, Rutgers University seminar series.

August 2021:           Congratulations Alexis Scott on starting as a PhD student in UPenn, Cancer Biology.                                          Congratulations to Donald Belcher for starting as a Scientist at Forge Biologics

June 2021:              Our lab receives a pilot grant award from MWRI on ovarian cancer.

May 2021:               Our lab welcomes undergraduate students Sydney and Sarai (BioE) who will be working in

                              the lab this Spring. Welcome Sydney and Sarai!


April 2021:              Congratulations to Jacob on being invited to present at the ACC meeting of the Minds.

March 2021:            Alexis, Dorota, Matt and Rosy presented posters in the NEBEC Conference. 

February 2021:        Our lab receives a pilot grant award from MWRI on breast cancer

January 2021:         Alexis presented poster in the AACR Tumor Microenvironment Conference. 

December 2020:      Our lab welcomes undergraduate students Bidhya (Chemistry), Lia (MechE) and Tuo

                             (MechE) who will be working in the lab this Spring. Welcome, Bidhya, Lia and Tuo!

November 2020:      Matt presented a poster at the Systems Approaches of Cancer Biology meeting

October 2020:         Our lab is awarded a 1-year collaborative grant with U Mass and OHSU on monitoring

                             immune cell infiltration in breast cancer

October 2020:         Yannis presented a seminar at Temple University, Department of Bioengineering and

                              Binghampton Univeristy, Departtment of Bioengineering

October 2020:         LSM700 confocal installed!

September 2020:     Dorota, Jacob and Ashlinn present posters at BMES 2020 virtual meeting and Dorota

                              presents at the CMU Bioengineering meeting


September 2020:     Congratulations to Dorota for receiving the BiRM T32 and Matt for receiving the CATER                                    T32! 

August 2020:           Our lab welcomes Don as the new Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab. Welcome                                                      Don! Congratulations to Jonathan Williams for being accepted for undergraduate studies                                  at MIT

June, 25th 2020:      Congratulations to Dorota and Matt for passing their preliminary exams!

June, 23rd 2020:      Our lab welcomes two high school students: Tibo and Jonathan who will be working over                                the summer. Welcome Tibo and Jonothan!


June, 16th 2020:      Yannis is selected as a 2020 Hillman Early-Career Fellow for Innovative Cancer Research

June, 16th 2020:      Our lab is awarded a 1-year grant from Elsa Pardee Foundation to model metastatic                                        ovarian cancer microenvironment.

June, 1st 2020:        Our lab welcomes Rosy to the Bioengineering PhD program. Welcome Rosy!

May, 20th 2020:       Our lab welcomes Jacob and Ashlinn, BioE undergraduate students who will be working

                              remotely this summer. Welcome Jacob and Ashlinn!

Mar, 1st 2020:          New Nikon Ti-2E widefield live cell microscope installed: Microfluidic time-lapse imaging 

Feb, 01 & 21 2020:   Our lab presents posters at the 2020 ISB/BioE Recruitment events

Jan, 15th 2020:        New BioTek Imager Installed: Lots of time-lapse data to come!

Jan, 10th 2020:        Lia joins the lab as ChemE undergraduate student. Welcome Lia!

Nov, 10 2019:          Nick joins the lab as Engineering freshman. Welcome Nick!

October, 17 2019:    Our lab attends and presents at the 2019 BMES meeting in Philadelphia, PA

Sept, 30 2019:         Dammy joins the lab as BioE undergraduate student. Welcome Dammy!

August, 26 2019:     Dorota and Matt join the lab as Bioengineering PhD students. Welcome Dorota and Matt!  

August, 19 2019:     Alexis joins the lab as a research technician. Welcome Alexis!

August, 15 2019:     Our lab is open !

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