Jennifer Patterson

Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Jennifer Patterson officially joined IMDEA Materials as a Researcher on February 18, 2021. She heads the new research group on Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine. Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, Dr. Patterson received a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey, USA) in 1998 and a Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Washington (Seattle, Washington, USA) in 2007. Her bachelor thesis research was on the characterization of self-assembled fibrils formed from combinatorially designed de novo proteins, working under the guidance of Prof. Michael Hecht, and her dissertation was on the development of hydrogel- and microsphere-based delivery systems to stimulate oriented bone regeneration, in the laboratory of Prof. Patrick Stayton. During her doctoral research, she also collaborated with Prof. Xingde Li to utilize optical coherence tomography (OCT) for the non-invasive monitoring of bone healing and angiogenesis in a rat calvarial critical size defect model.

Dr. Patterson has worked in both industry and academia, with previous positions at Therics, Inc. (USA – one of the first companies to develop 3D printing technology for medical applications), BIOFABICS LDA (Portugal – a company focused on organ-on-chip and bioreactor technologies), and EPFL (Switzerland) and as an assistant professor at KU Leuven (Belgium). During her postdoc in the lab of Prof. Jeffrey Hubbell at EPFL, she gained experience in the molecularly engineered polyethylene glycol hydrogels pioneered by that group. At KU Leuven, she was the leader of a research group on biomaterials and was also a lecturer for master-level courses for the option in biomaterials within the materials engineering degree program. Her research has been published in the top journals in the biomaterials field, including Biomaterials, Biofabrication, and Acta Biomaterialia. To date, she has supervised or co-supervised 5 postdoctoral fellows, 8 Ph.D. students, 2 predoctoral students, 26 master students, and 43 bachelor students.

Publications at IMDEA Materials


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Research Gate

Dr. Patterson’s research activities and interests include (1) the synthesis of novel biomaterials, with a particular focus on hydrogels; (2) processing of biomaterials into complex 3D structures; (3) evaluation of physicochemical properties such as morphology and mechanical and surface properties; (4) characterization of cytocompatibility and biological functionality in vitro; and (5) preclinical evaluation in small animal models in vivo.

  • 2021- Researcher and head of Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine research group, IMDEA Materials, Spain
  • 2017-2020 Chief Scientific Officer, BIOFABICS LDA, Portugal
  • 2011-2017 Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Engineering, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • 2007-2011 Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
  • 2017 Selected as an Emerging Group Leader by the Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
  • 2007-2009 Whitaker International Scholarship (postdoctoral fellowship)
  • 2003-2006 National Science Foundation (USA) Graduate Fellowship
  • Society of Sigma Xi, Board of Directors, representative of Canadian/International Constituency, 2021- (previously member of the Committee on Nominations; member since 1998)
  • Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), member of the International Affairs Subcommittee, 2016-2019 (abstract reviewer for annual meeting; member since 2003)
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE), member of the Awards & Recognition Committee, 2020- and Women in Academia Committee, 2012- (various prior leadership roles include chair of the Women in Academia Committee, international ambassador, senator, international member coordinator, and section president; member since 1995)
  • Society for Biomaterials (SFB), abstract reviewer for annual meetings; member since 2006
  • Grant reviewer for 6+ funding agencies since 2013
  • Member of the Review Editorial Board of Biomaterials, which is a specialty of Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology and Frontiers in Materials, since 2014, and of several Reviewer Boards for the publisher MDPI, since 2017