Ya-Wen Cheng 

Ya-Wen Cheng

Faculty Mentor: Lance Davidson


Endothelial cell migration is a crucial process during angiogenesis and vessel repair in human bodies. Defects of the migratory processes generate a variety of human diseases, e.g. hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). HHT causes arteriovenous malformations (AVM) in visceral organs and can lead to severe anemia. While ENG and ALK1 mutations account for 85-96% of HHT, her research focuses on how they affect vascular morphogenesis by collective movements and proliferation of endothelial cells. She is interested in how endothelial cells response to biomechanical and biochemical cues in their microenvironment. She aims to re-create this complex microenvironment in a microfluidic device and to study how ECs respond to shear stress and growth factor stimulation. With the custom-designed geometry, she achieved an All-in-One device with various levels of laminar and gradient flow to well-controlled the biomechanical and biochemical cues. Within the device, she will be able to learn more about the molecular mechanism by which flow and growth factor interact on the receptors and modulate following signaling pathway and cell migration.


  • Ya-Wen Cheng, Dan Shiwarski, Rebecca L. Ball, Kathryn A. Whitehead, Adam W. Feinberg, (in prep.) Engineering Human Muscle Using Plant-Derived Cellulose Scaffolds.


  • Ya-Wen Cheng, Utku Sonmez, William Okech, Beth L. Roman, Lance A. Davidson. Endothelial Planar Cell Polarity under Shear Stress in a Four-Channel Microfluidic Device. Poster presentation. 2018. Vasculata.

Honors and Awards:

  • ¬†Berenfield Scholarship of 2019