Helen H. Lu

Percy K. and Vida L.W. Hudson Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Senior Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs and Advancement

351 Engineering Terrace
Mail Code 8904

Tel(212) 854-4071
Fax(212) 854-8725

Helen H. Lu's research focuses on Orthopaedic Interface Tissue Engineering and the formation of complex tissue systems, with the goal of achieving integrative and functional repair of soft tissue injuries.  Additionally, her research group is active in the design of novel biomaterials for orthopedic and dental applications.  Her group has published extensively in biomaterials and tissue engineering, cell-material interactions as well as smart material design. 

Research Interests

Interface Tissue Engineering and Engineering Complex Tissues, Multi-Functional and Inductive Biomaterial Design for Guiding Stem Cell Differentiation, Biomimetic Models to Elucidate Cell-Material Interactions, Mechanism of Biomineralization, Orthopaedic and Dental Biomaterials

Lu is the inventor and co-inventor of more than a dozen patents and applications, and she has served on the editorial board of leading journals of the fields, including Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Engineering, Journal of Biomedical Material Research A, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, and is currently an associated editor for IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.   Her research has been supported by the Whitaker Foundation, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, the New York State Stem Cell Initiative, the National Football League (NFL) Charities, the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health.

Lu’s research has also been recognized with many awards, including the Early Faculty Career Awards in Translational Research (Phase I and Phase II) from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Biomaterials.  She was honored with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) at the White House in 2010, and was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2011. 

Lu received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently the Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the Director of the Biomaterials and Interface Tissue Engineering Laboratory at Columbia University.  She also received tenure at the Columbia College of Dental Medicine, and serves as a Provost Leadership Fellow at Columbia.  


  • Postdoctoral fellow, Chemical Engineering, Tufts University
  • Postdoctoral fellow, Chemical Engineering, Drexel University


  • Percy K. and Vida L. W. Hudson Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 2020-
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 2014-
  • Director, Biomaterials and Interface Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Columbia University, 2001-
  • SEAS Chair of Tenure & Promotions, Columbia University, 2020-
  • Chair of Graduate Studies, Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 2010-15
  • Member, FF-SEAS Executive Committee, Columbia University, 2014–2015
  • Assistant Professor of Dental and Craniofacial Bioengineering, Columbia University, 2014–2015
  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 2007–2013
  • Associate Professor of Dental and Craniofacial Bioengineering, Columbia University, 2007–2013
  • Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 2001–2006


  • Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS)
  • Society for Biomaterials (SFB)
  • Tissue Engineering International and Regenerative Medicine Society (TERMIS)
  • Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)


  • Fellow, Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE)
  • Provost Leadership Fellow
  • Janette and Armen Avanessians Diversity Award
  • Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
  • Society for Biomaterials Young Investigator Award
  • Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Early Faculty Career Award in Translational Research
  • Faculty Research Fellowship (Provost diversity initiatives), Columbia University


  • Jiang J, Leong NL, Mung J, Hidaka C and Lu HH; “Interaction between zonal populations of articular chondrocytes suppresses chondrocyte mineralization and this process is mediated by PTHrP”, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 16(1):70-82, 2008.
  • Spalazzi JP, Doty SB, Moffat KL, Levine WN and Lu HH; “Development of Controlled Matrix Heterogeneity on a Triphasic Scaffold for Orthopedic Interface Tissue Engineering”, Tissue Engineering, 12(12):3497-3508, 2006.
  • Moffat KL, Sun WA, Pena PE, Chahine NO, Doty SB, Ateshian GA, Hung CT, and Lu HH; “Characterization of the structure-function relationship at the ligament-to-bone interface”, Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences, 105(23): 7947-7952, 2008.
  • Lu HH, Vo JM, Lin J, Shin S, Cozin M, Tsay R and Landesberg R; “Controlled delivery of growth factors derived from platelet-rich plasma for bone formation”, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research A, 86A(4):1128-1136, 2008.
  • Moffat KL, Spalazzi JP, Doty SB, Levine WN and Lu HH; “Novel nanofiber based scaffold for rotator cuff repair and augmentation”, Tissue Engineering, 15(1):115-126, 2009. 
  • Khanarian NT, Haney NM, Burga RA and Lu HH; “A functional agarose-hydroxyapatite scaffold for osteochondral interface regeneration”, Biomaterials, 33:5247-5258, 2012.
  • Erisken C, Zhang X, Moffat KL, Levine WN and Lu HH; “Scaffold fiber diameter regulates human tendon fibroblast growth and differentiation”, Tissue Engineering, 19(3-4):519-528, 2013.
  • Subramony SD, Dargis BR, Castillo M, Azeloglu EU, Tracey MS, Su A and Lu HH; “The Guidance of stem cell differentiation by substrate alignment and mechanical stimulation”, Biomaterials, 34(8):1942-1953, 2013.
  • Lu HH and Thomopoulos S; “Functional attachment of soft tissue to bone: Development, Healing and Tissue Engineering”, Annual Review in Biomedical Engineering, 15:201-26, 2013.
  • Qu D, Mosher C, Boushell MK and Lu HH; “Engineering complex orthopaedic tissues via strategic biomimicry”, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 43(3):697-717, 2015.
  • Lee NM, Erisken C, Iskratsch T., Sheetz M, Levine WN and Lu HH; “Polymeric fiber-based models of connective tissue repair and healing”, Biomaterials, 112:303-312, 2017.