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Vanessa YiRan Li

Masters Student

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University

About Me

I am Vanessa YiRan Li. I was born in Nagoya, Japan, and raised in Shanghai, China. I completed my undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Sociology at Wellesley College. Furthermore, I received the MIT-Gordon Certificate in Engineering Leadership from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently, I am pursuing my master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Columbia University.

Growing up at the intersection of three cultures, I was exposed to ideas and experiences that informed me of my desire to build bridges between people. Thus, I am passionate about conducting research and creating innovations that lead to a healthier, more equitable world.

My research interest lies in tissue engineering, biomaterials, and regenerative medicine. As an undergraduate student, I engineered cells to induce swarm-like behavior and synthesized glomerulus-on-a-chip via bioprinting. For my senior thesis, I explored the application of water transfer printing in micropatterning hydrogels to replicate microenvironments in the human body.

Currently, my research is centered around modeling mature human hearts with iPSCs as well as characterizing disease phenotypes pertaining to the heart.


Research Keywords

Stem cells, cardiac tissue engineering, global health equity, regenerative medicine, biomaterials

Fun Fact About Me


I have a very chubby chihuahua named Luffy.


Achievements of Interest

BostInno's 25 Under 25, Madeleine K. Albright fellowship, Davis Project for Peace grant, and the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society

Vanessa YiRan Li

Country of Origin

Shanghai, China and Nagoya, Japan


Contact Me


Contact Interests

Academic Collaborations
Co-Founding Ventures
Startup Engagement
Community Outreach
Coffee Chat
Industry Events

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