Kristi Anseth
Distinguished Professor • Tisone Professor • Associate Professor of Surgery
Chemical and Biological Engineering • BioFrontiers Institute • Materials Science and Engineering Program

Office: JSCBB A315
Mailbox: 596 UCB


BS, Purdue University (1992)
PhD, University of Colorado (1994)


  • Outstanding Postdoc Mentor of the Year (2023)
  • Founder's Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2021)
  • Herman Mark Polymer Chemistry Award, American Chemical Society (2021)
  • Founders Award, Society for Biomaterials (2020)
  • L’Oreal UNESCO for Women in Science Laureate for North America (2020)
  • Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2019)
  • Elected to the National Academy of Inventors (2016)
  • American Chemical Society, Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (2015)
  • Bonfils Stanton Foundation Science and Medicine Prize (2015)
  • Food, Pharmaceutical & Bioengineering Division Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2014)
  • Elected to the National Academy of Sciences (2013)
  • Hazel Barnes Award, University of Colorado (2013)
  • Mid-Career Research Award, Materials Research Society (2012)
  • Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, Purdue University (2012)
  • Distinguished Research Lecturer, University of Colorado (2011)
  • Elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (2009)
  • Professional Progress Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2009)
  • Elected to the National Academy of Engineering (2009)
  • Named as one of the ‘Brilliant 10’ Scientists,Popular Science (2008)
  • Named one of the “One Hundred Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era”, AIChE (2008)
  • Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, Research and Teaching, University of Colorado (2008)
  • Clemson Award for Basic Research, Society for Biomaterials (2008)
  • Alan T. Waterman Award, National Science Foundation (2004)
  • Allan P. Colburn Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2003)
  • Curtis W. McGraw Award, American Society for Engineering Education (2003)
  • David and Lucile Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering (1997)

Selected Publications

  • F.M. Yavitt, B.E. Kirkpatrick, M.R. Blatchley, K.F. Speckl, E. Mohagheghian, R. Moldovan, N. Wang, P.J. Dempsey and K.S. Anseth, “In situ modulation of intestinal organoid epithelial curvature through photoinduced viscoelasticity directs crypt morphogenesis,” Science Advances, ( (2023). 

  • B.R. Nelson, B.E. Kirkpatrick, C.E. Miksch, M.D. Davidson, N.P. Skillin, G.K. Hach, A. Khang, S.N. Hummel, B.D. Fairbanks, J.A. Burdick, C.N. Bowman and K.S. Anseth, “Photoinduced dithiolane crosslinking for multiresponsive dynamic hydrogels,” Advanced Materials, ( (2023).      

  • M.R. Blatchley, K. A. Günay, F.M. Yavitt, E.M. Hawat, P.J. Dempsey and K.S. Anseth, “In situ super-resolution imaging of organoids and extracellular matrix interactions via photo-transfer by allyl sulfide exchange expansion microscopy (PhASE-ExM)” Advanced Materials, 2190252 (2022).

  • B.A. Aguado, C.J. Walker, J.C. Grim, D. Batan, B.J. Vogt, M.E. Schroder, A. Gonzales-Rodriguez, D.D. Heistad, R.M. Weiss, L.A. Leinwand and K.S. Anseth, “Genes that escape X-chromosome inactivation mediate sex differences in valve myofibroblast,” Circulation, 145, 513-30 (2022).

  • N. Gjorevski, T.E. Brown, M. Nikolaev, F.W. DelRio, F.M Yavitt, K.S. Anseth and M.P. Lutolf, “Tissue geometry drives deterministic organoid patterning,” Science, 10.1226/science.aaw9021 (2022). 

  • C.J. Walker, D. Bhatan, C. Bishop, D. Ramirez, B.A. Aguado, M.E. Schroeder, C. Crocini, J. Schwisow, K. Moulton, L.J. Macdougall, R. Weiss, M. Allen, R. Dowell, L.A. Leinwand and K.S. Anseth, “Extracellullar matrix stiffness controls cardiac valvular myofibroblast activation through epigenetic remodeling,” Bioengineering & Translational Medicine, 7, e10394 (2022).   

  • L.J. Macdougall, T.E. Hoffman, B.E. Kirkpatrick, B.D Fairbanks, C.N. Bowman, S.L. Spencer and K.S. Anseth, “Intracellular crowding by bio-orthogonal hydrogel formation induced reversible molecular stasis,” Advanced Materials, 34, 2202882 (2022).

  • T.H. Qazi, M.R. Blatchley, M.D. Davidson, F.M. Yavitt, M.E. Cooke, K.S. Anseth and J.A. Burdick, “Programming hydrogels to probe spatiotemporal cell biology,” Cell Stem Cell, 29, 678-91 (2022).     

  • M.E. Schroeder, D. Batan, A. Gonzalez Rodriguez, K.F. Speckl, D.K. Peters, B.E. Kirkpatrick, G.K. Hach, C.J. Walker, J.C. Grim, B.A. Aguado, R.M. Weiss, K.S. Anseth, “Osteopontin activity modulates sex‐specific calcification in engineered valve tissue mimics,” Bioengineering and Translational Medicine, e10358 (2022)

  • J.S. Silver, K.A. Günay, T.O. Vogler, A.A. Cutler, T.O. Vogler, T.E. Brown, B.T. Pawlikowki, O.J. Bednarski, K.L Bannister, C.J. Rogowski. A.G. Mckay, F.W. DelRio, B.B. Olwin and K.S. Anseth, “Injury mediated stiffening persistently activates muscle stem cells though YAP and TAZ mechanotransduction,” Science Advances, 7, eabe4501 (2021). 

  • B. Fairbanks, L. Macdougall, S. Mavila, J. Sinha, B. Kirkpatrick, K. Anseth and C. Bowman, “Photoclick chemistry:  A bright idea,” Chemical Reviews, 121, 6915-90 (2021).   

  • C.J. Walker, C. Crocini, D. Ramirez, A. R. Killaars, J.C. Grim, B.A. Aguado, K. Clark, M.Allen, R. Dowell, L.A. Leinwand and K.S. Anseth, “Nuclear mechanosensing drives epigenetic remodeling of persistently activate myofibroblasts,” Nature Biomedical Engineering, 5, 1485-99, (2021).    

  • A.R. Killaars, C.J. Walker and K.S. Anseth, “Nuclear mechanosensing controls MSC osteogenic potential through HDAC epigenetic remodeling,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Engineering, DOI:  10.10733/pnas.2006765117 (2020).  

  • F.M. Yavitt, T.E. Brown, E.A. Hushka, N. Gjorevski, P.J. Dempsey, M.P. Lutolf and K.S. Anseth, “The effect of thiol structure on allyl sulfide photodegradable hydrogels and their application as a degradable scaffold for organoid passaging,” Advanced Materials, 32, 1905366 (2020).   

  • B.A Aguado, K.B Schuetze, J.C. Grim, C.J. Walker, A.C. Cox, T.L Ceccato, A-C Tan,  C.C. Sucharov, L.A. Leinwand, M.R.G. Taylor, T.A. McKinsey and K.S. Anseth, “Transcatheter aortic valve replacements alter circulating serum factors to mediate myofibroblast deactivation,” Science Translational Medicine, 11, eaav3233 (2019).

  • T.E. Brown, J.S. Silver, B.T. Worrell, I.A. Marozas, F.M. Ravitt, K.A. Günay, C.N. Bowman and K.S. Anseth, “Secondary photocrosslinking of click hydrogels to probe myoblast mechanotransduction in three dimensions,” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 140, 11585-88 (2018).
  • J.C. Grim, T.E. Brown, B.A. Aguado, D.A. Chapnick, A.L. Viert, X. Liu and K.S. Anseth, “Reversible and repeatable protein patterning in hydrogels via an allyl sulfide chain transfer agent,” ACS Central Science, 4, 909-16 (2018).  
  • T.E. Brown, B.J. Carberry, B.T. Worrel, O.Y. Dudaryeva, M.K. McBride, C.N. Bowman and K.S. Anseth, “Photopolymerized Dynamic Hydrogels with Tunable Viscoelastic Properties through Thioester Exchange,” Biomaterials, 178, 496-503 (2018).
  • T.E. Brown and K.S. Anseth, “Spatiotemporal hydrogel biomaterials for regenerative medicine,” Chemical Society Reviews, 46, 6532-52 (2017).
  • A.M. Rosales, S.L Vega, F.W. DelRio, J.A. Burdick and K.S. Anseth, “Hydrogels with reversible mechanics to probe dynamic cell microenvironments,” Angewandte Chemie, 56, 12132-36 (2017).
  • T.E. Brown, I.A. Marozas and K.S. Anseth, “Amplified photodegradation of cell-laden hydrogels via an addition-fragmentation chain transfer reaction,” Advanced Materials, 29, article 1605001 (2017).
  • C. Yang, F.W. DelRio, L. Basta, H. Ma, K.A. Kyburz, A. Killaars and K.S. Anseth, “Spatially patterned elasticity directs stem cell fate,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, E4439-E4445 (2016).  
  • A.M. Rosales and K.S. Anseth, “Tuning biology by switching chemistry:  capturing extracellular matrix dynamics with reversible hydrogels,” Nature Materials Reviews, 15012, 1-11 (2016).
  • J.L. Leight, E.Y Tokuda, C.E. Jones, A.J. Lin and K.S. Anseth, “Multifunctional bioscaffolds for 3D culture of melanoma cells reveal increased MMP activity and migration with BRAF kinase inhibition,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, 5366-71 (2015).
  • K.S. Schultz, K.A. Kyburz and K.S. Anseth, “Measuring dynamic cell materials interactions and remodeling during 3D hMSC migration in hydrogels,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, E3757-64 (July 21, 2015)
  • S. Wang, L.A. Leinwand and K.S. Anseth, “The cells and their matrix microenvironment in cardiac valves,” Nature Reviews Cardiology, 11, 715-27 (2014).
  • C. Yang, M.W. Tibbitt, L. Basta and K.S. Anseth,“Mechanical memory and dosing influence stemcell fate,” Nature Materials, 13, 645-652 (2014).
  • H. Wang, M.W. Tibbitt, S.J. Langer, L.A. Leinwand and K.S. Anseth,” Hydrogels preserve native phenotypes of valvular fibroblasts through an elasticity-regulated PI3K/AKT pathway,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110, 19336-341 (2013).
  • M.W. Tibbitt and K.S. Anseth, “Dynamic environments: The fourth dimension,” Science Translational Medicine, 4, 160ps24 (2012).
  • C.A. DeForest and K.S. Anseth, “Cytocompatible click-based hydrogels with dynamically-tunable properties through orthogonal photoconjugation and photocleavage reactions,” Nature Chemistry, 3, 925-31 (2011).   
  • C. Lin and K.S. Anseth, “Cell-cell communication mimicry with PEG hydrogels for enhancing b-cell function,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 6380-85 (2011).
  • B.D. Fairbanks, M.P. Schwartz, A.E. Halevi, C.R. Nuttelman, C.N. Bowman and K.S. Anseth, “A versatile synthetic extracellular matrix mimic through thiol-ene photopolymerization,” Advanced Materials, 21, 5005-10 (2009).   
  • C.A. DeForest, B.D. Polizzotti and K.S. Anseth, “Sequential click reactions for synthesizing and patterning 3D cell microenvironments,” Nature Materials, 8, 659-64 (2009).
  • A.M. Kloxin, A.M. Kasko, C.N. Salinas and K.S. Anseth,“ Photolabile hydrogels for dynamic tuning of physical and chemical properties,” Science, 324, 59-63 (2009).
  • D.S.W. Benoit, M.J Schwartz, A.R. Durney and K.S. Anseth, “Small molecule functional groups for the controlled differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells encapsulated in poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels,” Nature Materials, 7, 816 - 823 (2008).

Research Interests

Biomaterials, drug delivery, stem cells and regenerative medicine

Kristi Anseth and her research group pioneer the development of biomaterials to serve as synthetic extracellular matrix (ECM) analogs that capture key features of the biochemical and biophysical aspects of a cell’s niche – an environment that is not only tissue specific, but can be strikingly heterogeneous and dynamic. Unique to her approach is the ability to create cell-laden matrices in three-dimensional space in which the matrix properties can be changed on demand – so-called 4D biology. Ultimately, Dr. Anseth and her group seek to understand how cells sense, store, and exchange information with the ECM and then use this knowledge to engineer biomaterial niches as cell delivery vehicles for tissue regeneration, in vitro models of disease, and physiologically-relevant models for drug discovery and screening. Her materials-first approach provides tools to perform unique cell biology experiments and address major hurdles in regenerative medicine.

Anseth's recent progress includes innovations in both photochemical and bio-click reactions to manipulate biomaterial properties in space and time, along with lithographic processes and confocal microscopy to perform these reactions in real time and in cell-laden matrices. She pursues application of these bioscaffolds to: (i) elucidate how specific extracellular signals influence stem cell differentiation with applications in musculoskeletal tissue regeneration, (ii) direct symmetry breaking events in organoids and develop high throughput arrays for drug screening, and (iii) understand the fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transition in cardiac fibrosis, with an emphasis on the role of mechanotransduction.