This group researches mechanisms by which stem cells contribute to tissues during development. They use these insights together with engineering principles to replace damaged systems (especially the cardiovascular system). The researchers are particularly intrigued by spontaneous fusion of stem cells with mature cell types including cardiomyocytes. They have found that cardiac programming can occur in this context and are currently probing the transcriptional profile of stem cell-cardiomyocyte fusion products. They are also interested in how stem cells and their progeny interface with extracellular matrix proteins and the extent to which these interactions drive specification. They have contributed to the development of 3D bioprinting technologies to study how content, composition, and distribution of intact ECM molecules in 3D dictate specification of stem cells. Other technologies under development include multiphoton flow cytometry, an enhanced-throughput analysis and sorting modality for the study of biologic particles of hundred to thousand micron scale, and delivery of stem cells to the cerebral vasculature to treat aneurysms.