Sharon Gerecht


Professor of Biomedical Engineering (starting January 2022)

Gerecht’s research group studies the interactions between cells and their microenvironments with the long-term goal to develop therapeutics for cardiovascular diseases and cancer. We develop biomaterials and culture systems to recapitulate mechanical and physical aspects of the extracellular milieu to understand the function of stem and cancer cells, and use that information to guide cell responses in tissue regeneration and cancer metastasis.

Contact Information

Research Interests

stem cells, biomaterials, hypoxia, blood vessels, physics of cancer, regenerative medicine

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Elected member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). 2020
  • Elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 2020
  • Elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). 2019
  • Invitee Inaugural 2019 NAM Emerging Leaders Forum. 2019
  • Patrick C. Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Fund. 2017
  • Elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). 2016
  • JHU Inaugural President’s Frontier Award. 2015
  • Inaugural Kent Gordon Croft Investment Management Faculty Scholar. 2015
  • American Heart Association National Established Investigator Award. 2015
  • W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Heart Award. 2014
  • NSF CAREER award. 2011
  • North America Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO) Junior Investigator Award. 2009
  • Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, the March of Dimes Foundation. 2009
  • American Heart Association National Scientist Development Award. 2008
  • Maryland Academy of Sciences Outstanding Young Engineer Award, Allan C. Davis Medal. 2008

Representative Publications

  • Nguyen J, Lin Y, Gerecht S. The Next Generation of Endothelial Differentiation: Tissue-Specific ECs. Cell Stem Cell. 2021; 28:1188-1204.
  • Cho H*, Macklin BL*, Lin Y, Zhou L, Lai M, Lee G, Gerecht S^Duh EJ^. iPSC-derived endothelial cell response to hypoxia via SDF1a-CXCR4 axis facilitates incorporation to re-vascularize the ischemic retina. JCI Insight. 2020;5:e131828. 
  • Wei Z*, Schnellmann R*, Pruitt HC, Gerecht S. Hydrogel network dynamics regulate vascular morphogenesis. Cell Stem Cell. 2020; 27:1-15. 
  • Elliott MB, Ginn B, Fukunishi T, Bedja D, Suresh A, Chen T, Inoue T, Dietz HC, Santhanam L, Mao HQ, Hibino N, Gerecht S. Regenerative and Durable Small-Diameter Graft as an Arterial Conduit. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019;116:12710-12719.
  • Lewis DM, Pruitt H, Jain N, Ciccaglione M, McCaffery JM, Xia Z, Weber K, Eisinger-Mathason T. S. K, Gerecht S.  A feedback loop between hypoxia and matrix stress relaxation increases oxygen-axis migration and metastasis in sarcoma. Cancer Res. 2019; 79:1981-1995.
  • Smith Q, Macklin B, Chan XY, Jones H, Trempel M, Yoder MC, Gerecht S. ­Differential HDAC6 activity modulates ciliogenesis and subsequent mechanosensing of endothelial cells derived from pluripotent stem cells. Cell Reports. 2018; 24:895–908.
  • Lewis DM*, Blatchley M*, Park KM, Gerecht S. O2-controllable hydrogels to study cellular responses to 3D hypoxic gradients. Nat Protoc. 2017; 12:1620-1638.
  • Lewis D*, Park KM*, Tang V, Xu Y, Pak K, Eisinger-Mathason T.S.K, Simon CM, Gerecht S. Intratumoral oxygen gradients mediate sarcoma cell invasion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016; 113:9292-9297.
  • Park KM, Gerecht S. Hypoxia-inducible hydrogels. Nat Commun. 2014; 5:4075. PMID: 24909742 
  • Kusuma S, Shen Y-I, Hanjaya-Putra D, Mali P, Cheng L, Gerecht S. Self-Organized Vascular Networks from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells in a Synthetic Matrix. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110:12601-12606. PMID: 23858432