Research in the Lutolf lab is at the interface of stem cell biology and bioengineering to gain fundamental insight into how complex three-dimensional (3D) microenvironments, termed niches, control the behavior of stem cells. We exploit this know-how to develop novel technologies for maintaining stem cells in vitro and for controlling their differentiation and self-organization into 3D functional tissues (organoids).
Matthias Lutolf is Full Professor at EPFL’s Institute of Bioengineering, with a cross appointment in the Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering. Lutolf was trained as a Materials Engineer at ETH Zurich where he also carried out his PhD studies (with Jeffrey Hubbell) that were awarded with an ETH medal. He continued his research training as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Stem Cell Biology (with Helen Blau) at Stanford University. He has served as the Director of the Institute of Bioengineering from 2014 to 2018. Lutolf is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of stem cell bioengineering and tissue engineering. His research program uniquely combines stem cell biology with engineering principles and quantitative thinking. His team, composed of engineers, chemists, physicists, cell and developmental biologists, strives to develop technologies that have true biological and medicinal function and applicability. Lutolf’s work has led to more than 110 peer-reviewed scientific publications, many of which published in highly reputed journals, more than 25 patents, and the commercialization of several products. Current research in the Lutolf lab is focused on the bioengineering of miniature tissues, termed organoids, that are generated from self-organizing stem cells.