Douglas Lauffenburger

Douglas Lauffenburger

Ford Professor of Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Biology

Douglas Lauffenburger fosters the interface of bioengineering, quantitative cell biology, and systems biology to determine fundamental aspects of cell dysregulation — identifying and testing new therapeutic ideas.





Lindsay King



Assistant Phone


  • PhD, 1979, University of Minnesota
  • BS, 1975, Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Research Summary

The Lauffenburger laboratory emphasizes integration of experimental and mathematical/computational analysis approaches, toward development and validation of predictive models for physiologically-relevant behavior in terms of underlying molecular and molecular network properties. Our work has been recognized as providing contributions fostering the interface of bioengineering, quantitative cell biology, and systems biology. Our main focus has been on fundamental aspects of cell dysregulation, complemented by translational efforts in identifying and testing new therapeutic ideas. Applications addressed have chiefly resided in various types of cancer (including breast, colon, lung, and pancreatic cancers along with leukemias and lymphomas), inflammatory pathologies (such as endometriosis, Crohn's disease, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease), and the immune system (mainly for vaccines against pathogens such as HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis). We have increasingly emphasized complex tissue contexts, including mouse models, human subjects, and tissue-engineered micro-physiological systems platforms in association with outstanding collaborators. From our laboratory have come more than 100 doctoral and postdoctoral trainees. Many hold faculty positions at academic institutions in the USA, Canada, and Europe; others have gone on to research positions in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies; and others yet have moved into policy and government agency careers.


  • Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, National Academy of Engineering, 2021
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Member, 2019
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow, 2001
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Guggenheim Fellowship, 1989

Recent Publications

  1. Selective transfer of maternal antibodies in preterm and fullterm children. Dolatshahi, S, Butler, AL, Pou, C, Henckel, E, Bernhardsson, AK, Gustafsson, A, Bohlin, K, Shin, SA, Lauffenburger, DA, Brodin, P et al.. 2022. Sci Rep 12, 14937.
    doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-18973-4PMID:36056073
  2. An affinity for brainstem microglia in pediatric high-grade gliomas of brainstem origin. Zats, LP, Ahmad, L, Casden, N, Lee, MJ, Belzer, V, Adato, O, Bar Cohen, S, Ko, SB, Filbin, MG, Unger, R et al.. Neurooncol Adv 4, vdac117.
    doi: 10.1093/noajnl/vdac117PMID:35990702
  3. A multifaceted high-throughput assay for probing antigen-specific antibody-mediated primary monocyte phagocytosis and downstream functions. Zohar, T, Atyeo, C, Wolf, CR, Logue, JK, Shuey, K, Franko, N, Choi, RY, Wald, A, Koelle, DM, Chu, HY et al.. 2022. J Immunol Methods 510, 113328.
    doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2022.113328PMID:35934070
  4. Antibody Fc characteristics and effector functions correlate with protection from symptomatic dengue virus type 3 infection. Dias, AG Jr, Atyeo, C, Loos, C, Montoya, M, Roy, V, Bos, S, Narvekar, P, Singh, T, Katzelnick, LC, Kuan, G et al.. 2022. Sci Transl Med 14, eabm3151.
    doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abm3151PMID:35767652
  5. The Kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Development Is Associated with Clearance of RNAemia. Wang, C, Li, Y, Kaplonek, P, Gentili, M, Fischinger, S, Bowman, KA, Sade-Feldman, M, Kays, KR, Regan, J, Flynn, JP et al.. 2022. mBio 13, e0157722.
    doi: 10.1128/mbio.01577-22PMID:35762593
  6. Screening for CD19-specific chimaeric antigen receptors with enhanced signalling via a barcoded library of intracellular domains. Gordon, KS, Kyung, T, Perez, CR, Holec, PV, Ramos, A, Zhang, AQ, Agarwal, Y, Liu, Y, Koch, CE, Starchenko, A et al.. 2022. Nat Biomed Eng 6, 855-866.
    doi: 10.1038/s41551-022-00896-0PMID:35710755
  7. Synthetic extracellular matrices and astrocytes provide a supportive microenvironment for the cultivation and investigation of primary pediatric gliomas. Rota, CM, Brown, AT, Addleson, E, Ives, C, Trumper, E, Pelton, K, Teh, WP, Schniederjan, MJ, Castellino, RC, Buhrlage, S et al.. Neurooncol Adv 4, vdac049.
    doi: 10.1093/noajnl/vdac049PMID:35669012
  8. Artificial neural networks enable genome-scale simulations of intracellular signaling. Nilsson, A, Peters, JM, Meimetis, N, Bryson, B, Lauffenburger, DA. 2022. Nat Commun 13, 3069.
    doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-30684-yPMID:35654811
  9. Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts and Squamous Epithelial Cells Constitute a Unique Microenvironment in a Mouse Model of Inflammation-Induced Colon Cancer. Vega, PN, Nilsson, A, Kumar, MP, Niitsu, H, Simmons, AJ, Ro, J, Wang, J, Chen, Z, Joughin, BA, Li, W et al.. 2022. Front Oncol 12, 878920.
    doi: 10.3389/fonc.2022.878920PMID:35600339
  10. Delayed fractional dosing with RTS,S/AS01 improves humoral immunity to malaria via a balance of polyfunctional NANP6- and Pf16-specific antibodies. Das, J, Fallon, JK, Yu, TC, Michell, A, Suscovich, TJ, Linde, C, Natarajan, H, Weiner, J, Coccia, M, Gregory, S et al.. 2021. Med (N Y) 2, 1269-1286.e9.
    doi: 10.1016/j.medj.2021.10.003PMID:35590199
More Publications
Photo credit: Kathy Wittman