Zhen Ma

Associate Professor, Samuel and Carol Nappi Research Scholar

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering

303G Bowne Hall




  • Postdoc, University of California, Berkeley
  • Ph.D. Clemson University
  • M.S. Tianjin University
  • B.S. Tianjin University

Areas of Expertise::

  • Stem Cell Engineering Developmental
  • Cardiac tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
  • 3D Organoid Technology

Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) allows the recapitulation of human disease models in vitro, which can be used to both study disease mechanisms and ultimately design and screen personalized therapeutics prior to large animal or clinical trials. My research focuses on developing multi-scale cardiac models through the combination of stem cell biology, micro/nanotechnology and cardiovascular research. These in vitro models help us not only understand a variety of fundamental questions on cardiac physiology and development, but also improve the diagnosis and treatment for human heart diseases.

Honors and Awards:

  • Rising Stars Award of BMES Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  • Lush Prize Young Researcher at Americas, Lush Cosmetics

Selected Publications:

  • Kowalczewski A., Sakolish C.M., Hoang P., Liu X., Jacquir S., Rusyn I., Ma Z. (2022) “Integrating nonlinear analysis and machine learning for human induced pluripotent stem cell-based drug cardiotoxicity testing” Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine 16(8): 732-743.
  • Shi H., Wu X., Sun S., Wang C., Ash-Shakoor A., Mather P.T., Henderson J.H., Ma Z. (2022) “Profiling the responsiveness of focal adhesions of human cardiomyocytes to extracellular dynamic nano-topography” Bioactive Materials 10: 367-77.
  • Hoang P., Kowalczewski A., Sun S., Winston T.S., Archilla A., Lemus S., Ercan-Sencicek A.G., Gupta A.R., Liu W., Kontaridis M.I., Amack J., Ma Z. (2021) “Engineering spatial-organized cardiac organoids for developmental toxicity testing” Stem Cell Reports 16(5): 1228-1244.
  • Ma Z., Huebsch H., Koo S., Mandegar M.A., Siemons B., Conklin B.R., Grigoropoulos C.P., Healy K.E. (2018) “Contractile deficits in engineered cardiac microtissues as a result of MYBPC3 deficiency and mechanical overload” Nature Biomedical Engineering 2(12): 955–67.