andrew putnam, phd

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering


Dr. Andrew Putnam is an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Department of Chemical Engineering, at the University of Michigan. He obtained his B.S. in chemical engineering from UCLA in 1994, followed by a short stint at Amgen, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies. His M.S.E. (1996) and Ph.D. (2001) degrees were earned in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.  Following post-doctoral training in cell biology, Dr. Putnam joined the faculty at the University of California, Irvine in January 2003, where he remained until becoming a UM faculty member in 2009.

Dr. Putnam’s area of expertise is the extracellular matrix (ECM), with a particular emphasis on the role of the ECM in regenerative therapies. Fundamental biological research in his laboratory addresses how the mechano-chemical properties of the ECM influence both normal and pathologic tissue morphogenesis, with an effort to define the mechanisms that drive these processes in 3D. He and his team then seek to leverage this fundamental knowledge to inspire the design of instructive biomaterials for applications in regenerative medicine, and as model systems in which to study disease. Dr. Putnam’s research involves a variety of hydrogel platforms, made from both natural (e.g., fibrin, collagen) and synthetic [e.g., poly(ethylene glycol)] polymers, and cell types (e.g., endothelial cells, mesenchymal stem cells, fibroblasts, smooth muscle cells, etc.).  In recent years, they have focused most of their attention on cell/ECM-based strategies to direct vascularization in vitro and in vivo, with an eye towards developing new therapies for ischemic conditions in the clinic.

Over the years, Dr. Putnam’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NHLBI and NIDCR), National Science Foundation, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, American Heart Association, and other foundations. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (2007) and a New Faculty Award from CIRM (2008), and plays an active role in the teaching mission of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.