image of Brendon Baker

Brendon Baker

Associate Professor (Courtesy)


[email protected]


Biomedical Engineering
Chemical Engineering

2174 Lurie Biomedical Engineering

1101 Beal Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2110

Primary Website


PhD in Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania

BS in Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University

Research Interests

The Baker lab studies how structure and mechanics of the cellular microenvironment guide fundamental cell processes such as migration, proliferation, and extracellular matrix synthesis. To do so, we use microfabrication technologies to create synthetic biomaterials that mimic the 3D, fibrous nature of stromal or interstitial tissues. Combined with molecular tools, live imaging, microfabrication/fluidic techniques, and multi-scale mechanical characterization, these materials allow us to model, study, and control the interactions between cells and their surroundings. Ultimately, we aim to 1) shed insight into extracellular matrix-mediated diseases such as cancer and fibrosis and 2) use material cues to direct cell function for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.


  • 2020, University of Michigan Endowment of Basic Sciences Accelerator Award
  • 2021, Biomedical Engineering Society CMBE Rising Star Award
  • 2015-2016, NIH Pathway to Independence Award
  • 2012-2014, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award
  • 2007-2010, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
  • 2006-2007, Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Fellowship in Bioengineering


Selected Publications

Microengineered 3D pulmonary interstitial mimetics highlight a critical role for matrix degradation in myofibroblast differentiation, Matera DL, DiLillo KM, Smith MR, Davidson CD, Parikh R, Said M, Wilke CA, Lombaert IM, Arnold KB, Moore BB, Baker BM., Science Advances, 2020, 6(37).

Spatiotemporal control of micromechanics and microstructure in acoustically-responsive scaffolds using acoustic droplet vaporization, Aliabouzar M, Davidson CD, Wang WY, Kripfgans OD, Franceschi RT, Putnam AJ, Fowlkes JB, Baker BM, Fabiilli ML., Soft Matter, 2020, 16(28): 6501-6513.

Functional angiogenesis requires microenvironmental cues balancing endothelial cell migration and proliferation, Wang WY, Lin D, Jarman EH, Polacheck WJ, Baker BM., Lab on a Chip, 2020, 20: 1153-1166.

Myofibroblast activation in synthetic fibrous matrices composed of dextran vinyl sulfone, Davidson CD, Jayco DKP, Matera DL, DePalma SJ, Hiraki HL, Wang WY, Baker BM., Acta Biomaterialia, 2020, 105: 78-86.

Fiber density modulates cell spreading in 3D interstitial matrix mimetics, Matera DL, Wang WY, Smith MR, Shikanov A, Baker BM., ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 2019. 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.9b00141

Actomyosin contractility-dependent matrix stretch and recoil induces rapid cell migration, Wang WY, Davidson CD, Lin D, Baker BM., Nature Communications, 2019, 10(1):1186.

Cell force-mediated matrix reorganization underlies multicellular network assembly, Davidson CD, Wang WY, Zaimi I, Jayco DKP, Baker BM., Scientific Reports, 2019, 9(1):12.

Extracellular matrix alignment dictates the organization of focal adhesions and directs uniaxial cell migration, Wang WY, Pearson AT, Kutys ML, Choi CK, Wozniak MA, Baker BM, Chen CS., APL Bioengineering, 2018, 2(4):046107.

Matrix degradability controls multicellularity of 3D cell migration, Trappmann B*, Baker BM*, Polacheck WJ, Choi CK, Burdick JA, Chen CS.
* authors contributed equally, Nature Communications, 2017, 8(1):371.

Cell-mediated fibre recruitment drives extracellular matrix mechanosensing in engineered fibrillar microenvironments, Baker BM*, Trappmann B*, Wang WY, Sakar MS, Kim IL, Shenoy VB, Burdick JA, Chen CS. * authors contributed equally, Nature Materials, 2015, 14(12):1262-8.