David Kaplan holds an Endowed Chair, the Stern Family Professor of Engineering, and is a Distinguished University Professor at Tufts University. He is Professor & Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and also holds faculty appointments in the School of Medicine, the School of Dental Medicine, 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 900 peer reviewed papers and edited eight books. He directed the NIH P41 Tissue Engineering Resource Center (TERC) as a partnership with Columbia University for 15 years. He serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals and is Editor-in-Chief for the ACS journal ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering, having served as Associate Editor for the ACS journal Biomacromolecules since its inception. He has received numerous awards for teaching, was Elected Fellow American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, received the Columbus Discovery Medal, and the Society for Biomaterials Clemson Award for contributions to the literature.
The Kaplan Lab's focus is on biopolymer engineering to understand structure-function relationships, with emphasis on studies related to self-assembly, biomaterials engineering and regenerative medicine. Kaplan lab has extensively studied silk-based biomaterials in regenerative medicine, starting from fundamental studies of the biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysical features of this novel class of fibrous proteins. These studies have led to inquiries into the impact of silk biomaterials 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 biocompatibility, new fundamental understanding of control of water to regulate structure and properties, and new tissue-specific outcomes with silk as scaffolding in gel, fiber, film or sponge formats. Additional technological directions in optics, electronics, adhesives and many related areas have emerged from these studies.
- 2020: Elected Fellow - International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering
- 2019 Co-Chair first Gordon Research Conference on silk (August, 2021)
- 2014 Selected for NIH NIBIB Lectureship at the Annual BMES Meeting
- 2014 Appointed Editor-in-Chief, ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
- 2014 Selected Co-organizer, TERMIS World Congress, 2015
- 2013, 2014 Co-chaired NSF workshops on Advanced Biomanufacturing
- 2012-2014 Chair, NIH BMBI (Biomaterials and Biointerfaces) Study Section
- 2009 Elected Tissue Engineering Society (TERMIS) Member-at-Large: North America
- 2007 Society for Biomaterials, Clemson Award for Literature
- 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