Donald Ingber

Donald Ingber

  • Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology and Professor of Bioengineering
  • Founding Director, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University


Donald E. Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., has made major contributions to cell and tissue engineering, as well as angiogenesis and cancer research, systems biology, and nanobiotechnology. His research group is interested in how living cells and tissues structure themselves so as to exhibit their incredible organic properties, including their ability to change shape, move, and grow. His team strives to identify design principles that govern the formation and control of living systems, and to use this knowledge to develop novel therapeutics, devices, and robotic systems.

By combining approaches from molecular cell biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, computer science, magnetics, and optics, Ingber has helped to develop multiple new experimental nano- and micro-technologies, as well as engineered tissues and cancer therapeutics that have entered human clinical trials. His pioneering work demonstrating that tensegrity architecture is a fundamental principle that governs how living cells and tissues are structured at the nanometer scale has inspired a new generation of cancer researchers, bioengineers, and nanotechnologists. It also has resulted in the discovery of the molecular mechanism by which living cells sense and respond to mechanical forces. His contributions include more than 300 publications and 40 patents in areas ranging from anti-cancer therapeutics, tissue engineering, medical devices, and nanotechnology to bioinformatics software.

Ingber received his B.A., M.A., M.Phil., M.D., and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University before completing his postdoctoral training with Judah Folkman at Harvard University. He holds the Judah Folkman Professorship of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston, and he is a Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Ingber served as Co-Director of Harvard's Center for Integration in Medicine and Innovative Technology at Children's Hospital from 2005-2007.

He helped to found two biotechnology start-ups, and has consulted for multiple pharmaceutical, biotechnology, venture capital and private investment companies, as well as the Department of Defense, Office of National Intelligence and National Public Radio. Among his many awards and distinctions, Ingber received a Breast Cancer Innovator Award from the Department of Defense, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for In Vitro Biology, Rous Whipple Award of the American Association of Investigative Pathologists, and Pritzker Distinguished Lecture Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society.  He also was named one of the world's "Best and Brightest" in 2003 by Esquire magazine.

Ingber is the Founding Director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, which was launched in January 2009 with a $125 million dollar gift -- the largest single philanthropic gift in the history of Harvard University.

Contact Information
Office Phone:(617) 432-7044

Primary Teaching Area


Patents Awarded

  • Ingber has authored 260 publications and 30 patents in areas ranging from tissue engineering, medical microdevices, and nanotechnologies to anti-angiogenic therapeutics and computer software.