UMBC College of Engineering and Information Technology
Chemical, Biochemical & Environmental Engineering



Our primary research interest is the development of biomaterials that mimic the complex structure and biochemistry of human tissues. We are particularly interested in understanding how properties of a three-dimensional environment impact cell behavior. By correlating theoretical and experimental data about cell-microenvironment interactions, we plan to establish design principles that will aid in the development of tissue engineering scaffolds, in vitro models of tissue biology, and the development of improved therapies. In collaboration with biophysicists, neurobiologists, cancer cell biologists, and polymer chemists, we are developing novel biomaterials that will enable the discovery of new insights into the tissue physiology of nerve repair and tumor growth.

Current Research Areas:

  • Tissue-Mimetic Scaffolds
  • Cell Physiology in Engineered Microenvironments
  • Sensor Platforms for Mapping Tissue Hypoxia


  • Erin Lavik (UMBC, Chemical, Biochemical & Environmental Engineering)
  • Ryan White (University of Cincinnati, Chemistry)
  • Julia Ross (UMBC, Chemical, Biochemical & Environmental Engineering)
  • Jon Lederer (University of Maryland School of Medicine, Physiology)
  • Kafui Dzirasa (Duke University, Psychiatry and Neurobiology)

Current Funding:

  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Science Foundation
  • UMBC

Prior Funding:

  • Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund
  • Henry Luce Foundation (Clare Boothe Luce Professorship)
  • UMBC Special Research Initiative Award
  • UMBC Writing Board Award




Copyright © 2006 Leach Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Laboratory
Site Design by Academic Web Pages