Vanessa YiRan Li

Masters Student

Vanessa is an M.S. candidate in Biomedical Engineering from Nagoya, Japan, and Shanghai, China. She joined the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering in September of 2022. Vanessa is an aspiring scientist in biomaterials, tissue engineering, and health equity. She received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Sociology from Wellesley College. As a part of her honors thesis, Vanessa explored the role of water transfer printing in micropatterning hydrogels onto 3-dimensional nonplanar surfaces to replicate microenvironments in the human body.


Over the summer of 2022, Vanessa gained interest in studying the heart after engineering iPS cell-derived heart organoids to investigate cardiac fibrosis at the Center of iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University. Vanessa’s current work focuses on understanding cardiovascular diseases in lupus patients using engineered heart tissues. Outside the laboratory, she can be found playing classical music, trying new restaurants, and exploring New York City.