Vascularization for Tissue Engineering

Develop Innovative Biofabrication Technologies + Understand Multi-cellular Interactions


About Me

I consider myself as a maker. I love to make things working, and make things better. Throughout my research career, I've approached challenges in Tissue Engineering to make artificial tissues and to improve tissue functions. If you’re interested in learning more about me, keep reading or get in touch.

Areas of Interest:

Tissue Engineering | 3D Bioprinting  |

Vascular Engineering | Biomaterials |

Biomimetic Models | Vascular Biology |

Cancer Research | Microfluidics | Biotechnology 


Education & Training


Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

2004 - 2009

B.S. in Bio and Brain Engineering


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

2009 - 2014

Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

2014 - 2016

Postdoctoral Research Associate


Northeastern University

2016 - present

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Research Experience

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Northeastern University & RPI

2014 - present

  • Developed in vitro brain tumor-vascular tissue and neuro-vascular niche models

  • Investigated patient-specific tumor invasion patterns of glioblastoma multiforme (collaboration with Dr. Hongyan Zou and Dr. Roland Friedel at Mount Sinai Hospital)

  • Developed fabrication technology for in vitro tissue vascularization

  • Resulted in 4 publications, 2 first-author, and two manuscripts in preparation.

Graduate Student / Research Assistant

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

2009 - 2014

  • Established 3D bioprinting methods and developed bioreactor platforms to create various tissue models including vascular tissue and skin tissue; Tested and characterized functional features of printed tissue models (Skin tissue: collaboration with Dr. Pankaj Karande at RPI)

  • Conducted collaboration projects to integrate 3-D bioprinting and optical imaging (with Dr. Xavier Intes at RPI)

  • Conducted collaborations with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Albany Medical College

  • Published 5 first-author journal articles

Visiting Researcher

Harvard Medical School

2007 - 2008

  • Developed custom-made 3D bioprinting platform for tissue engineering applications

  • Developed printer machine control software and 3D hydrogel printing methods

  • Produced Youtube videos to publicize bioprinting technology (

  • Resulted in 4 publications


Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics,

Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KiSTi)

2006 - 2007

  • Collected and categorized gene sequencing data from international databases to establish IBS (Integrated Bioinformatics System)



Rising Stars in Biomedical: Women 2018


IMPACT Program Fellow, MIT


The Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows Award (3-Year Funding)

“Glioblastoma-Endothelial Interaction in 3D Bio-printed Tumor Vasculature Tissue”

September 2015 - August 2018

Karen and Lester Gerhardt Prize in Science and Engineering,

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Nominated as a top presentation in the Tissue Engineering Track at the 2013 BMES Meeting


Most Valuable Teaching Assistant Award, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Founders Award of Excellence, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Chung Moon Soul Pioneer, KAIST



Teaching & Mentoring Experience

Future Faculty Program at the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research (CATLR) at Northeastern University

2017 - 2018

Teaching Assistant at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ​

     Introduction to Cell and Tissue Engineering              Undergraduate/Graduate                      2012

     Biomaterial Applications in Medicine                         Undergraduate/Graduate                      2011

     Bioengineering Lab                                                   Undergraduate                            2011 - 2012     

     * Most Valuable Teaching Assistant Award

Trained and mentored 21 undergraduate/grad/high school students

2007 - present


Research Projects

printer schem.png

3D Bioprinter & Bioreactors

  • Developed printer control software and upgraded hardware parts

  • Developed bioreactor platform for long-term perfusion.


Tissue Vascularization

  • Developed bioprinting methods to construct thick tissue with fluidic vasculature

  • Capillary bed (µm-scale) was connected to large fluidic vascular channels (mm-scale)

GBM model.png

Brain Tumor Invasion Study

  • Developed 3D glioblastoma (GBM)-vascular niche model

  • Studied tumor invasion and long-term drug responses

Skin Tissue.jpeg

Skin Tissue Bioprinting

  • Developed bioprinted skin tissue

  • 3D printed skin tissue has advantages in shape-retention, flexibility, reproducibility, and high culture throughput. 


Integration of Bioprinted Tissue 
& Optical Imaging

  • Mesoscopic fluorescence molecular tomography visualized 3D structures of thick and opaque tissue without scarifying samples.

Cell ECM Illustration.png

Microenvironment Study Models

  • Developed customizable study models

  • Studied cell-cell interactions and cell-ECM interactions in 3D culture



Journal Article

13.  D Kim, V Lee, T Dorsey, L Niklason, L Gui, G Dai. "Neuropilin-1 Mediated Arterial Differentiation of Murine Pluripotent Stem Cells", Stem cells and development, 27(7), 2018 (Cover page)

12.  VK Lee, G Dai, "Printing of Three-Dimensional Tissue Analogs for Regenerative Medicine" Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 45 (1):115-131, 2017 [PDF]

11.  X Cui, YW Lu, V Lee, D Kim, T Dorsey, Q Wang, Y Lee, P Vincent, J Schwarz, G Dai, “Venous Endothelial Marker COUP-TFII Regulates the Distinct Pathologic Potentials of Adult Arteries and Veins”, Scientific Reports, 5:16193, 2015

10.  V Lee, G Dai, “3-D Bioprinting and Tissue Fabrication: Prospects for Drug Discovery and Regenerative Medicine” Journal Advanced Health Care Technologies, 1: 23, 2015

  9.  VK Lee, DY Kim, H Ngo, Y Lee, L Seo, S-S Yoo, PA Vincent, G Dai, "Creating perfused functional vascular channels using 3D bio-printing technology", Biomaterials, 35(28): 8092-8102, 2014 [PDF]

  8.  VK Lee, AM Lanzi, H Ngo, S-S. Yoo, PA Vincent, G Dai, "Generation of Multi-Scale Vascular Network System within 3D Hydrogel using 3D Bio-Printing Technology", Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, 7(3): 460-472, 2014 (Outstanding 2013 BMES contribution) [PDF]

  7.  V Lee*, G Singh*, JP Trasatti, C Bjornsson, X Xu, TN Tran, S-S Yoo, G. Dai, P Karande, “Design and Fabrication of Human Skin by 3D Bioprinting”, Tissue Engineering Part C, 20(6): 473-484, 2014 [PDF]

  6.  VK Lee*, MS Ozturk*, L Zhao, G Dai, X Intes, “Mesoscopic fluorescence molecular tomography of reporter genes in bioprinted thick tissue”, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 18(10): 100501, 2013

  5.  VK Lee*, L Zhao*, S-S Yoo, G Dai, X Intes. "The integration of 3-D cell printing and mesoscopic fluorescence molecular tomography of vascular constructs within thick hydrogel scaffolds", Biomaterials, 33(21): 5325-5332, 2012

  4.  W Lee, V Lee, S Polio, P Keegan, J-H Lee, K Fischer, J-K Park, S-S Yoo,. “On-Demand Three-Dimensional Freeform Fabrication of Multi-Layered Hydrogel Scaffold With Fluidic Channels” Biotechnology and bioengineering, 105(6):1178, 2010

  3.  W Lee, J Pinckney, V Lee, JH Lee, K Fischer, S Polio, JK Park, SS Yoo. “Three-Dimensional Bio-printing of Rat Embryonic Neural Cells” Neuroreport, 20(8):798, 2009

  2.  W Lee, JC Debasitis, VK Lee, JH Lee, K Fischer, K Edminster, JK Park, SS Yoo. “Multi-layered culture of human skin fibroblasts and keratinocytes through three-dimensional freeform fabrication” Biomaterials, 30(8):1587, 2009

  1.  SS Yoo, JH Lee, H O'Leary, V Lee, SE Choo, FA Jolesz. “Functional magnetic resonance imaging-mediated learning of increased activity in auditory areas” Neuroreport, 18(18):1915, 2007

Book Chapter

  3.  VK Lee and G Dai, “Chapter 9: Bioprinting vascular networks” in 3D Bioprinting in Regenerative Engineering, Taylor & Francis Group, 2018

  2.  VK Lee et al., “3-D Bio-printing and 3-D Imaging for Stem Cell Engineering”, in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine book series, Springer, 2015

  1.  V Lee and G Dai, "Micro and nanotechnology in vascular regeneration" in Tissue and Organ Regeneration: Advances in Micro and Nanotechnology, Singapore, Singapore: Pan Stanford Publishing, 2014, ch. 20, pp. 691-720.


My Skills

Lab Experiment

Laboratory Skills

Mammalian cell culture

3D hydrogel culture



PCR | Western Blotting

Flow cytometry

Programming Console

Programming / Software

C | C++ | Python | JAVA |
Visual Basic | HTML | MATLAB |
LABVIEW | COMSOL | Abaqus | 
AutoCAD | Solidworks | 
Microsoft Office | Photoshop | Illustrator | VEGAS | Premiere

Writing Documents

Other Professional Skills

Data analysis

Basic machining

Scientific writing | Grant writing

Teaching | Communication

Contact Info

Vivian K. Lee

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Department of Bioengineering

Northeastern University

360 Huntington Ave
ISEC 260
Boston, MA 02115