Sarah Heilshorn is associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering with courtesy appointments in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering. She combines these diverse fields to design new materials that mimic those found in our own bodies. As part of the Stanford Bio-X Program, Professor Heilshorn is studying how these materials can communicate with cells in order to heal damaged tissue. Specific applications that her laboratory is studying include heart, blood vessel, bone, intestinal, and spinal cord tissues.
Heilshorn's interests include biomaterials in regenerative medicine, engineered proteins with novel assembly properties, microfluidics and photolithography of proteins, and synthesis of materials to influence stem cell differentiation. Current projects include tissue engineering for spinal cord and blood vessel regeneration, designing injectable materials for use in stem cell therapies, and the design of microfluidic devices to study the directed migration of cells (i.e., chemotaxis).