Chemical Engineering Location: Newcomb Hall, South Meeting Room
Add to Calendar 2021-12-02T10:30:00 2021-12-02T12:00:00 America/New_York 2021 Hess Lecture: Kristi Anseth, Ph.D. Kristi Anseth and her research group pioneer the development of biomaterials to serve as synthetic extracellular matrix (ECM) analogs that capture key features of the biochemical and biophysical aspects of a cell’s niche – an environment that is not only tissue specific, but can be strikingly heterogeneous and dynamic. Newcomb Hall, South Meeting Room

Kristi Anseth, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Tisone Professor, Associate Professor of Surgery
University of Colorado, Boulder

“Hydrogels as Synthetic Extracellular Matrices: Biology in the Fourth Dimension”

Our group is interested in the development of macromolecular monomers that can be reacted into crosslinked polymer networks in the presence of living cells and tissues. From a fundamental perspective, we seek to decipher the critical extracellular matrix (ECM) signals that are relevant for tissue development, regeneration and disease, and then design polymeric materials that integrate these signals. From an applied perspective, we use this knowledge to design materials that can promote tissue regeneration and wound healing in vivo. This talk will illustrate our recent efforts towards the synthesis of hydrogel networks for 4D cell culture and regenerative medicine, and how one can dynamically control biochemical and biophysical properties through orthogonal, photochemical click reaction mechanisms. Some specific examples will include the design of hydrogels that promote musculoskeletal tissue regeneration, super-swelling matrices to visualize cell-matrix interactions with unprecedented resolution, and materials-directed growth of organoids from single stem cells. These efforts will then be placed in the context of designing precision biomaterials to address demands for patient-specific products and treatments.

The lecture will be held on Dec. 2, 2021 at 11 a.m. in Newcomb Hall South Meeting Room. Refreshments will be served at 10:30 a.m. If you cannot attend it person, please join us by Zoom. Send an email to for the Zoom link.


Kristi S. Anseth is the Tisone Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, an associate professor of surgery and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator at the University of Colorado Boulder.

A member of all three academies of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, Anseth is a world-class researcher in biomaterials and regenerative medicine. Her work focuses on molecular biology, materials engineering and biochemistry in the development of synthetic extracellular matrices that mimic physiological environments.

After receiving her B.S. in chemical engineering from Purdue University, Anseth finished her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Boulder in 28 months, publishing 10 papers in the process. Following postdoctoral appointments at Purdue University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she began her distinguished career at UC Boulder, where her work has been recognized with dozens of awards, honors and editorial appointments. Her most recent honors are the Founders Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Chemical Engineering, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and Herman Mark Polymer Chemistry Award, American Chemical Society, in 2021; and the Founders Award, Society for Biomaterials, and L’Oreal UNESCO for Women in Science Laureate for North America in 2020.

Anseth has published more than 250 papers and filed for nearly 20 patents. Her election to the National Academy of Engineering in 2009 recognized her for pioneering the rational design of biomaterials for tissue engineering, drug delivery and biosensing applications. She also has been elected to the National Academy of Inventors.

Please visit her faculty page for more information.