Principle Investigator

Dr. Chen

Dr. Shaochen Chen

Professor and Chair of NanoEngineering Department, UCSD

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Dr. Shaochen Chen is a Professor in the Nanoengineering department and Bioengineering Department at the University of California, San Diego. He is the Founding Director of the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Center. He is also a faculty member of the Institute of Engineering in Medicine and Clinical and Translational Research Institute at UC San Diego.

Before joining UCSD, Dr. Chen had been a Professor and a Pearlie D. Henderson Centennial Endowed Faculty Fellow in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Between 2008 to 2010, Dr. Chen served as the Program Director for the Nanomanufacturing Program in the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Among his numerous awards, Dr. Chen received the CAREER award from NSF in 2001 and the Young Investigator award from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in 2004. Dr. Chen is currently an elected Fellow of the:

-American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

-American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

-International Society of Optics and Photonics (SPIE)

-International Society for Nano Manufacturing(ISNM)

-American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering(AIMBE)

Our Research

Our research focuses on 3D bioprinting and biomaterials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. We explore new knowledge of cell-material interactions in the full range of physical dimensions (from nano- to micro- to meso-scale), time span (from femtoseconds to months), and biological dimensions (from molecular to cellular to tissue). Our group not only investigates the fundamental scientific issues, such as cell interactions with micro and nano-environments, biomaterials science, and biomechanics, but also solves the technological and translational issues associated with tissue/organ repair and regeneration.

Press and interviews about our work have appeared in NIH Director’s Blog, NIH Research Matters, NSF News, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, EurekAlert!, The Economic Times, Yahoo News, CNBC News, ABC News, etc. Our research has resulted in many patents/provisional patents. Some of them were licensed to companies (e.g. Allegro 3D, Inc.) with significant economic impact.

Specific Research Topics are:
1. 3D Printing and Bioprinting
2. Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering
3. Biomaterials and Nanomaterials
4. Organ/Tissue-on-a-Chip


  • UC TV highlighted our 3D bioprinting and stem cell work.
  • Our work on "Biomimetic 3D-Printed Scaffolds for Spinal Cord Injury" is now published in Nature Medicine. This work was also reported by NIH Director's Blog in June 2019.
  • Jacob Schimelman received the prestigious NSF graduate fellowship. (2018)
  • Michelle Ma is selected as a Siebel Scholar and selected as a finalist of Life Science Award in 3D Printing by Millipore Sigma
  • Dr. Chen received the Milton C. Shaw Manufacturing Research Medal from ASME for his "seminal contribution to the science and technology of manufacturing processes in the area of 3-D printing, bioprinting and nanomanufacturing" (6.2017)
  • Our former MS and PhD graduate, Dr. Carlos Aguilar is now Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (
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