Faculty Directory

Kuo, Catherine K.

Kuo, Catherine K.

Associate Professor
Fischell Department of Bioengineering
Website(s):

We are actively recruiting at all levels!    Please see "Projects" tab for details on how to apply.

Dr. Kuo’s research integrates developmental biology with materials science and engineering to inform tendon regenerative medicine strategies with mechanisms of embryonic tendon development. 

Her lab characterizes structure-property relationships of embryonic tendons during development to identify key regulators of tendon formation that may serve as therapeutic targets to enhance adult tendon regeneration. She also studies the mechanobiology of embryonic tendon development, with the goal of developing in utero interventions to prevent and treat congenital musculoskeletal birth deformities.

For recent news about the lab, please click here.

EDUCATION

B.S.E., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Michigan

Ph.D., Biomaterials, Macromolecular Science and Engineering, University of Michigan

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics, National Institute of Arthritis and Skin and Musculoskeletal Diseases (NIAMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) (2019)
  • Inducted into the Order of the Engineer (2018)
  • Vail Scientific Summit Research Award (2017)
  • Innovation in Research Award, ORS-GoLife in Orthopaedics Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden (2015)
  • Stem Cell Research and Therapy Emerging Investigator (2015)
  • National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Recognition as Outstanding U.S. Engineer Under Age of 45 at the “German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium” (2013)
  • NSF CAREER Award (Biomechanics and Mechanobiology) (2013)
  • Travel Award, 3rd Symposium on Frontiers in Biomechanics: Mechanics of Development (2011)
  • March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award (2011)
  • Appointment to International Advisory Board of International Society on Ligaments and Tendons (ISL&T) (2010)
  • Featured Scientist, NIH Women in Biomedical Careers – Women Scientists in Action (2010)
  • Keystone Symposia Scholarship, Tissue Engineering and Development Biology, Snowbird, UT (2007)
  • Travel Grant Award, International Workshop on the Growth Plate (2006)
  • Poster Award, NIH / NIAMS Intramural Retreat (2006)
  • Best Research Fellow Paper, Sixth International Symposium on Ligaments and Tendons (ISL&T) (2006)
  • Best Research Award, Society for Physical Regulation in Biology and Medicine (SPRBM) 24th Scientific Conference (2006)
  • Best Research Fellow Paper, Fifth International Symposium on Ligaments and Tendons (ISL&T) (2005)
  • Outstanding Scientific Presentation Award, NIAMS Intramural Retreat 2004 (2004)
  • NIH Intramural Research Training Award Postdoctoral Fellowship (2002–2007)
  • Dominic D. Dziewiatkowski Award for Excellence in Research, University of Michigan (2001)
  • University of Michigan Macromolecular Science & Engineering Center Rackham Block Grant (2000)
  • Best Engineering Presentation Award, UM Macromolecular Science & Engineering 24th Annual Symposium (2000)
  • UM Oral Health Sciences PhD Program Block Grant (1999)
  • NIH Biomaterials Training Grant Fellowship (1997–2002)

 

We are actively recruiting at all levels!    Please see "Projects" tab for details on how to apply.

Research Areas

  • Mechanobiology
  • Biomaterials
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Mechanotherapeutics
  • Stem cells
  • Orthopaedics
  • Tissue engineering

Our innovative research program combines materials science and developmental biology to focus on developing tendon tissue engineering and regenerative medicine strategies informed by mechanisms of embryonic tendon development.

We are uniquely combining engineering tools with classical developmental biology models to characterize embryonic tendon development and scarless wound healing. We use chick embryo, transgenic mouse, human tissue, and engineered tissue models. By systematically characterizing structure-property relationships of embryonic tendons during development, we have been identifying key regulators of tendon formation. We are interested in developing mechanical- and chemical-based therapeutic strategies that manipulate these key regulators to regenerate tendons in the adult. We are also using the platforms that we have developed to study the mechanobiology and etiology of tendon-related birth deformities. Each project is independent yet related within thematic research programs for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.


We are actively recruiting at all levels!    Please see below for details on how to apply.

  • Postdoctoral researcher
  • Graduate student researcher
  • Technician
  • Postbaccalaureate researcher
  • Undergraduate research assistant

Postdoctoral Researchers

The Kuo Lab in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering at the University of Maryland-College Park (UMD) has multiple openings for postdoctoral researchers (biologists and bioengineers). Project openings span mechanobiology of 

  • Embryonic/fetal tendon development   (chick and mouse embryo models, engineered tissue models)

  • Interventions for musculoskeletal birth defects   (chick and mouse embryo models, engineered tissue models)

  • Novel therapeutics for adult tendon injuries and disease   (human tissues, adult mouse models, engineered tissue models)

  • Medical device and diagnostics research   (human tissues, adult mouse models, engineered tissue models)

Compensation for these positions will be based on NIH guidelines, and will include a competitive benefits and retirement package offered by UMD. Postdoctoral researchers are eligible for renewable, annual contracts with the expectation of completing 2-4 years of training. Flexibility to pursue research in personal areas of interest, apply for grants and fellowships, develop independent research thrusts, and build scientific management expertise will be encouraged. 

Candidates may choose from existing projects and also work with the PI to propose new directions. Projects primarily focus on musculoskeletal tissues (tendon, ligament, muscle), and different projects may span multiple research areas, including regenerative medicine, immunology, stem cell biology, developmental biology, mechanobiology, biomaterials, tissue engineering, and/or wound healing. Experience with musculoskeletal tissue biology or biomechanics is favorable but not required. Experience with chick embryo or adult mouse/rat models is favorable but not required.

Candidates should be independently motivated, creative, have a desire to learn/develop new techniques and approaches, and have excellent written and oral communication skills – these attributes are more important than specific areas of previous research experience. Candidates should have a demonstrated record of publications expected for her/his level of training. 

  • Biomedical engineering applicants should hold a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering or related discipline. Training in biological techniques is available for outstanding candidates who have less biology expertise.
  • Biology applicants should hold a Ph.D. in cell biology, molecular biology, developmental biology, immunology, or related discipline. 

Please include Postdoctoral Application in the subject line. Positions are open immediately and will remain open until filled. Please email a i) cover letter ii) CV, iii) list of references with contact information, and iv) two first-author manuscripts. Cover letter should include career goals, expertise, research interests, expectations for the position, and preferred start date. Please send the application as a single PDF file to ckk@umd.edu

Graduate Students

We are looking for highly motivated individuals who are interested in conducting research in the areas of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, mechanobiology, and/or developmental biology. Students with backgrounds in Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering, Biology, or related fields. Interested students should contact Professor Kuo and provide:

  • “Graduate research inquiry” in the subject line of the email
  • CV / resume
  • Letter of interest (long term career goals, why do you want to do research in the Kuo Lab)
  • Unofficial transcript

Technicians

Candidates interested in a technician position in the lab should contact Professor Kuo and provide:

  • “Techician position inquiry” in the subject line of the email
  • CV / resume
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Letter of interest
    • Why do you want to do research in the Kuo Lab
    • Desired duration of employment in this position (if not "permanent") and long term career goals

Postbaccalaureate Researchers

Candidates interested in gaining research experience as a Postbaccalaureate Researcher in the lab should contact Professor Kuo and provide:

  • “Postbaccalaureate research inquiry” in the subject line of the email
  • CV / resume
  • Letter of interest (long term career goals, why do you want to do research in the Kuo Lab)
  • Unofficial transcript

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Undergraduate students interested in gaining research experience in the lab should contact Professor Kuo before each semester and provide:

  • “Undergraduate research inquiry” in the subject line of the email
  • CV / resume
  • Letter of interest (why do you want to do research in the Kuo Lab)
  • Unofficial transcript

 

The University of Maryland, College Park complies with all applicable federal and state regulations regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action; all applicants will receive full consideration (https://uhr.umd.edu/eeo/).

 

 

Please see our publications on Google Scholar.

 

 

 

 

Kuo Named Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine

Bioengineering associate professor will begin appointment Jan. 1, 2022.

Celebrating 14 Participants of 2021 BIOE REU Program

The BIOE REU program promotes collaboration between UMD and the FDA, making it unlike any other in the country

BIOE Capstone Projects Focus on Medical Devices, AI, and More

BIOE seniors present 23 novel Capstone projects live via Gatherly.

Kuo and Mueller Join BIOE Faculty

Catherine Kuo, Jenna Mueller welcomed into BIOE as associate professor and assistant professor, respectively.