Alumna, PhD (Biomedical/Medical Engineering), 2019
Yimu Zhao is an NSERC Post-doctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic at Columbia University. Her primary research focus is to develop vascularized functional tissues in Organ-on-a-Chip platform. She recently obtained her Ph.D. degree at University of Toronto, working on developing high fidelity cardiac tissue culture and drug testing platform. Her work from Ph.D. has resulted in 18 peer-reviewed papers, six as a first author, one book chapter and several patents. The key paper describing the platform has been published in the pre-eminent journal Cell and was one of the highlighted articles in the issue. She is one of the technological inventors and cofounders of TARA Biosystems, Inc. and contributed significantly on tissue conditioning, maturation and drug screening optimization for platform development. For this, Yimu was a co-recipient of 2019 Innovation and Commercialization Award by the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society (TERMIS), a leading international society in her field. She is the mother of three children and nurtured a young family while finishing the Ph.D. program. She obtained her B.A.Sc. (Chemical Engineering) from University of Western Ontario and M.A.Sc. (Chemical Engineering) from Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada. There she worked on stem cell technology in the laboratory of Dr. Lauren Flynn and Dr. Stephen Waldman for multi-lineage differentiation and application of adipose-derived stem cells.