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Contact Info

Science & Technology Center
Room 251
Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

Tel: 617-627-3251
Fax: 617-627-3231

> Publications
> Research Group website
> The Kaplan Lab website
> INSciDE@Tufts
   (Interdisciplinary center)

David Kaplan
Stern Family Professor of Engineering
Distinguished Professor
Professor and Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering
Director, Bioengineering and Biotechnology Center


1975 B.S., SUNY, Albany
1978 Ph.D., Syracuse University and SUNY Syracuse

Professional Experience

  • 2012-pres. Chair, NIH Study Section – BMBI - Biomaterials and Biointerfaces
  • 2006-pres. Stern Family Endowed Professor of Bioengineering – Tufts University
  • 2002-pres. Professor & Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • 2006-pres. Professor – Tufts University School of Medicine, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sci,
    Program in Cell, Molecular, Developmental Biology
  • 2005-pres. Professor, Secondary Appointment – Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
  • 2004-pres. Director, NIH P41 Tissue Engineering Resource Center
  • 2000-pres. Professor, Secondary Appointment – Dept. Chemistry, Tufts University

Honors and Awards

  • 2011 Chair Professor, Soochow University, China
  • 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

Research Interests

The Kaplan lab 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, starting 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 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. 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 also used to study diseases associated with brain, intestine, kidney, obesity, diabetes and cancers, including for therapeutic screening. Interfaces with optical imaging tools are also exploited.


David Kaplan holds an Endowed Chair, the Stern Family Professor of Engineering, 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 600 peer reviewed papers and edited eight books. He directs the NIH P41 Tissue Engineering Resource Center (TERC) that involves Tufts University and Columbia University. He serves of 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 Fellow American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and received the Columbus Discovery Medal and Society for Biomaterials Clemson Award for contributions to the literature.