Krystyn Van Vliet

Michael (1949) and Sonja Koerner Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Krystyn J. Van Vliet serves currently as Director of Manufacturing Innovation for the MIT Innovation Initiative. She is the Michael and Sonja Koerner Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and holds a dual appointment in the Department of Biological Engineering.  Dr. Van Vliet earned her Sc.B. in Materials Science & Engineering from Brown University and her Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from MIT.  She conducted postdoctoral research at Boston Children’s Hospital in vascular biology and mechanics related to cancer, and joined the faculty of the MIT Department of Materials Science & Engineering in 2004.  Dr. Van Vliet leads the MIT Laboratory for Material Chemomechanics, and has recently concluded leadership of the Singapore-MIT Alliance in Research & Technology (SMART) BioSystems & Micromechanics team as a decade-long international research effort comprising approximately 175 researchers in Singapore and MIT who invented and developed new technology platforms for diagnostics and treatment of cell & tissue disease.  This effort and other collaborations with the Van Vliet group include a strong focus on cell-material interactions and cell therapy manufacturing challenges shared by clinical indications ranging from cancer to neurodegeneration.  More broadly, Van Vliet has led development of chemomechanics – quantification of the coupling between chemistry and mechanics at material interfaces – with her group demonstrating key applications ranging from batteries to brain tissue simulants to bioreactors.

Her collaborations at SMART and MIT, as well as within the broader ecosystem of cell-based therapy manufacturing with practitioners in industry and clinics worldwide, nucleated the new SMART CAMP (Critical Analytics for Manufacturing Personalized-Medicine) team that she co-leads with Prof. Hanry Yu (NUS).  SMART CAMP is a new CREATE-based interdisciplinary research group focused on addressing critical technology bottlenecks in the production of cell-based therapies.