Kristyn Masters, PhD

Position title: Professor, Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering


Phone: 608-265-4052

8531 WIMR
1111 Highland Ave

Lab Website
Kristyn Masters Lab

Research Interests

Our lab applies tissue engineering-based approaches to create in vitro models of diseased tissues and organs, with the goal of identifying new therapeutic targets for treating these diseases. In contrast to the usual goal of tissue engineering, which is to generate healthy tissues that may be used to repair or replace diseased tissues in a patient, we aim to generate engineered tissues that intentionally display disease characteristics. We apply this approach to the study of several different types of diseases. For example, in the case of calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD), we employ disease-mimicking in vitro models to decipher CAVD pathogenesis and identify cellular and molecular events that may be targeted to stop its progression. Meanwhile, in breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration, we create complex models of the disease microenvironment to elucidate what factors regulate the cellular response to existing pharmacological treatments, and what pathways can be targeted to improve drug efficacy.

Honors & Awards

2016                Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor
2016                H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellow
2015                Harvey D. Spangler Faculty Scholar
2010                Polygon Outstanding Professor Award
2009                Emil H. Steiger Distinguished Teaching Award, UW-Madison
2009                UW-Madison Division of Housing Honored Instructor Award
2008                Outstanding New Educator Award, ASEE North Midwest Section
2008                ASEE (National) Biomedical Teaching Award

Selected Publications

View Publications

  1. Porras AM, Westlund JA, Evans AD, Masters KS*. Creation of Disease-Inspired Biomaterial Environments to Mimic Pathological Events in Early Calcific Aortic Valve Disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2018; 115:E363-E371.
  2. Berger AJ, Linsmeier KM, Kreeger PK, Masters KS. Decoupling the effects of stiffness and fiber density on cellular behaviors via an interpenetrating network of gelatin-methacrylate and collagen. Biomaterials, 2017; 141: 125-135.
  3. Porras AM, Engeland NCA, Marchbanks E, McCormack A, Bouten CVC, Yacoub MH, Latif N, Masters KS. Robust Generation of Quiescent Porcine Valvular Interstitial Cell Cultures. J Am Heart Assoc, 2017; 6: pii: e005041. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.116.005041.
  4. Porras AM, Hutson HN, Berger AJ, Masters KS. Engineering approaches to study fibrosis in 3-D in vitro systems. Curr Opin Biotechnol, 2016; 40: 24-30.
  5. Kim C, Mitchell IP, Desotell A, Kreeger PK, Masters KS. Immobilized EGF Stimulates Persistent, Directed Keratinocyte Migration via Activation of PLCγ1. FASEB J, 2016; 30: 2580-90.
  6. Wickert L, Mitchell IP, Masters KS, Kreeger PK. Hierarchy of cellular decisions in collective behavior: Implications for wound healing. Sci Rep, 2016; 6: 20139.