Zhao named Young Innovator of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering

Ruogang Zhao in the lab.

Ruogang Zhao's research in the area of tissue engineering and biomechanics is recognized as among the most innovative and impactful bioengineering studies carried out by junior faculty in the field.

by Nicole Capozziello

Published November 7, 2019

Ruogang Zhao, an associate professor in biomedical engineering, is one of twelve young innovators recognized for their original research in the area of cellular and molecular bioengineering.


The distinction, now in its sixth year, annually recognizes 12 rising stars in the field. Of the 56 previous awardees, 58.9% have gone on to receive a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, among other accomplishments.

His paper is among those featured in the October issue of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, published in cooperation with the Biomedical Engineering Society. Awardees presented their papers in a special two-part invited platform session on Friday, October 18 at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society in Philadelphia.

journal cover.

Zhao's paper, entitled "Cyclic Stretching of Fibrotic Microtissue Array for Evaluation of Anti-Fibrosis Drugs," presents a novel model of lung tissue that undergoes cyclic stretching to mimic breathing, and then validates this microtissue model by showing its response to FDA approved drugs for treating fibrosis.

Zhao’s research interests include developing advanced biofabrication technologies such as organ-on-chip models for disease modeling and drug screening; 3D bioprinting of large-size, vascularized tissues for repairing injured soft tissues; fibrosis disease and anti-fibrosis therapies; and study of cell and tissue mechanics using novel experimental and computational tools.

His research has been funded by the National Institute of Aging and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. He is a member of the Society of Biomaterials, the Biomedical Engineering Society, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Zhao received his PhD in biomedical engineering and biomaterials from the University of Toronto in 2011. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University before coming to UB in 2013.