Jennifer Lewis recognized for research and teaching excellence

April 11, 2018

As Jianming Yu Professor of Arts and Sciences, Lewis will research organ-specific tissues for drug screening, regenerative medicine

Jennifer Lewis

Photo of Jennifer Lewis. Eliza Grinnell/SEAS.



  • New professorship recognizes Jennifer Lewis for excellence in research, leadership, teaching;
  • Five-year chair gives Lewis opportunities to advance progress in stem cell and regenerative medicine;
  • Recognition underscores the quality and breadth of expertise in the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) network.

HSCI Affiliate Faculty member Jennifer A. Lewis has been awarded a new professorship for her excellence in leadership, teaching, and scholarly achievement. Lewis is currently the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). On 3 April 2018, Harvard's Michael D. Smith, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, appointed Lewis as the Jianming Yu Professor of Arts and Sciences.

“This honor means a great deal to me, as it not only recognizes my own research and teaching contributions but those of my research group and our collaborators,” said Lewis, a pioneer in the fields of materials science, bioengineering, robotics, and 3-D printing.

Established through generous donor gifts, the chair appointments, which provide support for faculty-related costs as well as research funding, are awarded on a rotating basis for five-year terms. With her new chair, Lewis plans to advance her work building organ-specific tissues for drug screening, disease modeling, and regenerative medicine, while giving her students hands-on experience.

“I love introducing students to the foundational concepts that govern the structure, properties, and processing of biomaterials as well as their myriad applications, including contact lenses, hip implants, and drug delivery,” she said. “It is especially rewarding when you see your students making connections between these applications and the underlying scientific principles at play.”

In 2017, Lewis was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for her research on the design and fabrication of functional, structural, and biological materials. She is an inventor with dozens of pending or issued patents, founder of the startup company that commercialized the first multimaterial 3-D printing for fabrication of embedded electronics, and a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. In April 2018, Lewis was inducted to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

The Arts and Sciences Professorship, one of four awarded at Harvard on April 3, 2018, was made possible by the generous donations of Kewsong Lee ’86, M.B.A. ’90; Zita J. Ezpeleta ’88, J.D. ’91; Peter V. Kwok, P ’09, P ’05, P ’02; Miyoung Lee ’87, M.B.A. ’92; Neil Simpkins, M.B.A. ’92; Jianming Yu, Ph.D. ’98; and Kate Li.

“These appointments … enable us to publicly recognize our most esteemed colleagues,” said Smith. “These pioneering members of our faculty are outstanding leaders in their fields and contribute in inestimable ways to the truly unique learning environment in the FAS.”

Lewis is currently working on a project to build a kidney, in collaboration with fellow HSCI faculty members Joseph Bonventre and Ryuji Morizane. This work is combining world-class expertise in stem cell biology, renal development, bioprinting, and bioengineering to build real solutions for human health.

Source article

This article is an excerpt from a feature that originally appeared in the Harvard Gazette, entitled, “Dulac, Lewis, Menand, and Waters honored for outstanding teaching,” published 4 April 2018.