Ivana Matkovic Leko

Associate Research Scientist

Dr. Ivana Matkovic is an Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University's Department of Biomedical Engineering in New York City. Originally from Croatia, she obtained her Ph.D. in Natural Sciences from the Medical Faculty at the Phillips University of Marburg in Germany. During her doctoral research, she employed intestinal organoids to prove that the deactivation of two transmembrane proteins, plexin-B1 and plexin-B2, in the intestinal epithelium results in a significant reduction of tumor formation. After completing her Ph.D., she conducted postdoctoral research at Columbia University, where she established the TDLO - transitional distal lung organoid system, utilizing hESC-derived 3D-lung organoids to study human lung development, diseases, and regenerative approaches for personalized medicine. In 2023, she joined the lab of Prof. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, where she currently focuses on engineering mature and functional cardiomyocytes derived from iPSCs as a model for researching cardiac development and disease. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the city and jogging in Central Park.