B.S. ​Johns Hopkins University, 1997Ph.D. ​University of Virginia, 2002Post-Doc ​University of Virginia, 2004

"We combine computational modeling with experiments to design new regenerative therapies for treating patients with diabetes, heart disease, and musculoskeletal disease."

Shayn Peirce-Cottler, Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering

Shayn Peirce-Cottler develops computational models and combines them with wet lab experiments and machine learning to study how tissues heal after injury and to develop new therapies for inducing tissue regeneration. Her lab is particularly focused on engineering the body's smallest blood vessels -- microvessels, or capillaries -- that are necessary for delivering oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body. Dr. Peirce-Cottler teaches courses in cell and molecular physiology and computational systems bioengineering to undergraduate and graduate students. She has published over 125 peer reviewed papers and book chapters, and she is an inventor on three U.S. Patents. She is a fellow in both the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows (AIMBE) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). She is also Past-President of The Microcirculatory Society. Dr. Peirce-Cottler is a UVA School of Medicine Pinn Scholar, and in 2020 she was awarded the UVA School of Medicine’s Robert H. Kader Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring. Dr. Peirce-Cottler is passionate about mentoring students and faculty, promoting diversity in STEM, and participating in K-12 outreach to increase students’ interest and self-confidence in pursuing STEM careers.


  • Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor 2021
  • Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society 2020
  • Robert J. Kadner Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching 2020
  • Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering 2016
  • MIT Technology Review's Top 100 Young Investigators 2004
  • Rita Shaffer Young Investigator Award 2004

Research Interests

  • Biomedical Data Sciences and Systems Biology
  • Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials
  • Advanced Biomanufacturing
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Cardiovascular Disease

In the News

Selected Publications

  • Pericyte Bridges in Homeostasis and Hyperglycemia ABS Corliss BA, Ray HC, Doty RW, Mathews C, Sheybani N, Fitzgerald K, Prince R, Kelly-Goss M, Murfee WL, Chappell J, Owens G, Yates PA, Peirce SM
  • Multi-scale Models of Lung Fibrosis ABS Leonard-Duke J, Evans S, Hannan RT, Barker TH, Bates JHT, Bonham CA, Moore BB, Kirschner DE, Peirce SM
  • Methods to Label, Image, and Analyze the Complex Structural Architectures of Microvascular Networks ABS Corliss BA, Mathews C, Doty R, Rhode G, Peirce SM
  • Multiscale Computational Models of Complex Biological Systems ABS Walpole J, Papin JA, Peirce SM

Courses Taught

  • BME 6101 Graduate-Level Physiology for Biomedical Engineers
  • BME 4315/BME 6315 Systems Bioengineering