Kristi Anseth
Distinguished Professor • Tisone Professor • Associate Director, Head Academic Leadership, BioFrontiers Institute • Alumni (Investigator, 2000-2017), Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Chemical and Biological Engineering

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Campus Box ECCH 128
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
University of Colorado 
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0424

Kristi Anseth is a world-class researcher in biomaterials and regenerative medicine. She engages molecular biology, materials engineering, and biochemistry in the development of synthetic extracellular matrices that mimic physiological environments. Her work is informed by a background in chemical engineering; she received a B.S. in chemical engineering from Purdue University and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder. Anseth completed her doctorate in a mere 28 months, publishing 10 papers in the process. Following this, Dr. Anseth completed postdoctoral work at Purdue and MIT. At MIT, she worked under the mentorship of Robert Langer, a leader in the field of biomedical engineering.. Today, Langer calls Anseth “one of the top bioengineers in the world”. Once an exceptional student, Kristi Anseth is now at the forefront of her field, using a materials-first approach to address major hurdles in regenerative medicine.

Dr. Anseth returned to CU as an Assistant Professor in 1996 and she is now a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. She also serves as an Associate Professor of surgery on the Anschutz Medical Campus.  The Anseth lab is focused on developing biodegradable “scaffolds” that signal to cells to stimulate regeneration of healthy tissue after injury or disease. Much of Anseth’s research program is concentrated on the chemistry and characterization of new biomaterials, but all of her work is motivated by practical applications, such as 3D biofabrication, drug delivery, and tissue engineering. Dr. Anseth’s group works at the interface of biology and engineering, as her focus on essential cellular functions translates to biomaterials design. Her inventions for innovative biomaterials have been licensed to several companies, and have led to the formation of a new company, Mosaic Biosciences.  Bridging bioengineering with bioscience research has led Dr. Anseth to collaborate with several members of BioFrontiers, including Natalie Ahn (CHEM/BCHM), Chris Bowman (ChBE), Leslie Leinwand (MCDB), and Brad Olwin (MCDB).

Dr. Anseth was the first engineer to be named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and she is one of a handful of individuals elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Inventors. Popular Science named her one of its “Brilliant 10” scientists of 2008, and she was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 2012. Dr. Anseth is an accomplished researcher, but she is also a thoughtful teacher. She has created three new courses at CU based on her research, allowing students to engage with the latest developments in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Dr. Anseth embraces a novel approach to translational research and has passed her interdisciplinary teachings to hundreds of students, including now-BioFrontiers faculty member Stephanie Bryant. Kristi Anseth encourages collaboration, allowing many disciplines to  inform basic research with practical applications.