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School of Engineering

David Kaplan

Professor and Chair
Biomedical Engineering
Stern Family Professor of Engineering
Distinguished Professor
Director, Tissue Engineering and Research Center
Kaplan Lab

David Kaplan

David Kaplan

Professor and Chair
Biomedical Engineering
Stern Family Professor of Engineering
Distinguished Professor
Director, Tissue Engineering and Research Center
Kaplan Lab

Phone 617-627-3251
Science and Technology Center, Room 251
4 Colby Street, Medford, MA
Research: 
biopolymer engineering, biomaterials, material science, tissue engineering, bioengineering
Biography: 

David Kaplan is the Stern Family Professor of Engineering at Tufts University. He is the chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and also holds faculty appointments in the School of Medicine, the School of Dental Medicine, the Department of Chemistry, and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. His research focus is on biopolymer engineering to understand structure-function relationships, with emphasis on studies related to self-assembly, biomaterials engineering, and functional tissue engineering/regenerative medicine. He has published over 600 peer-reviewed papers and edited eight books. He directs the NIH P41 Tissue Engineering Resource Center (TERC), which is run by Tufts University in partnership with Columbia University. Kaplan serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals and is associate editor for the ACS journal Biomacromolecules. He has received a number of awards for teaching, was elected a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and received the Columbus Discovery Medal and the Society for Biomaterials' Clemson Award for contributions to the literature.

Education: 
Ph.D., Syracuse University and SUNY at Syracuse, 1978
B.S., SUNY at Albany, 1975
Professional Experience: 
2006-present:

Stern Family Endowed Professor of Bioengineering, Tufts School of Engineering

2006-present:

Professor, Secondary Appointment, Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts School of Medicine

2005-present:

Professor, Secondary Appointment, Tufts School of Dental Medicine

2004-present:

Director, NIH P41 Tissue Engineering Resource Center

2002-present:

Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering

2002-present:

Professor, Secondary Appointment, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering

2000-present:

Professor, Secondary Appointment, Department of Chemistry, Tufts University

1999-2002:

Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering

1995-1999:

Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering

Research Interests: 

The Kaplan Lab's research focus is on biopolymer engineering to understand structure-function relationships, with emphasis on studies related to self-assembly, biomaterials engineering, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. The studies include a variety of structural proteins, including collagens, elastins, resilins, and silks. In addition, the lab has pioneered the study of silk-based biomaterials in regenerative medicine, ranging from fundamental studies of the biochemistry, molecular biology, and biophysical features of this novel class of fibrous proteins to their impact on stem cell functions and complex tissue formation. The result has been the emergence of silk as a new option in the degradable polymer field, with excellent biocompatibility, new fundamental understandings of the control of water to regulate structure and properties, and new tissue-specific outcomes with silk as scaffolding in gel, fiber, film, or sponge formats. Studies are also focused on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine with the use of complex 3D tissue co-culture systems to establish and study human tissues in the laboratory and in animal systems. These systems are used to study diseases associated with brain, intestine, kidney, obesity, diabetes, and cancers.

Selected Honors and Awards: 
2011: Chair Professor, Soochow University
2009: Elected Member-at-Large for North America, Tissue Engineering Society (TERMIS)
2007: Clemson Award for Literature, Society for Biomaterials
2007: Massachusetts Columbus Quincentennial Award
2006: Henry and Madeline Fischer Faculty Award, Tufts University
2003: Elected Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering
2000: Appointed Associate Editor, ACS Biomacromolecules
Service Memberships: 
Chair, Biomaterials and Biointerfaces Study Section, NIH