Connect with IEN

YongTae "Tony" Kim

Assistant Professor, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

YongTae Kim

Dr. Kim joined the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering as an Assistant Professor in July 2013. Prior to his current appointment, he was a Postdoctoral Associate in the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, where he developed biomimetic microsystems for probing nanoparticle behaviors in the inflamed endothelium and for synthesizing therapeutic and diagnostic nanomaterials. His doctorate research at CMU focused on closed-loop microfluidic control systems for lab-on-a-chip applications to biochemistry and developmental biology. Prior to his PhD, he was a researcher in areas of dynamics, controls, and robotics at R&D Divisions of Hyundai-Kia Motors and Samsung Electronics for 6 years.

Dr. Kim’s research focuses on developing biomimetic microsystems that reconstitute organ-level functions on chip and integrative control systems that allow large-scale production of therapeutic and diagnostic bio/nanomaterials. His lab develops experimental control systems and micro/millifluidic platforms, and employs computer-aided engineering to understand: (1) how cells coordinate responses to signaling cues in multicellular environments; (2) how bio/nanomaterials assemble and break in dynamically controlled fluid flows; and (3) how biological systems interact with nanomaterials with varied physicochemical properties.

Organs-on-chips that mimic the characteristics of human organs are enabling scientists to predict more accurately how effective therapeutic drug candidates would be in clinical studies without serious adverse effects and to address how multiple cells coordinate organizational decisions in response to complicated signaling cascades. Dr. Kim’s lab builds valid artificial organ-on-a-chip systems by manipulating 3D extracellular environments in time and space, utilizing the expertise in microfabrication, miniaturization, robotics, and control systems engineering, and understanding the human body’s fundamental physiological responses to mechanochemical cues. This research will help examine the behavior and interaction of multifunctional nanomaterials with biologically relevant microenvironments for rapid clinical translation of nanomedicine, thereby bringing drugs to market more quickly and perhaps even eliminate the need for animal testing.

Advanced treatment of diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis needs controlled delivery of multifunctional nanocarriers that contain multiple drugs that can target tumors with anti-angiogenic and cytostatic agents and a diversity of imaging agents that monitor the transport in the body. Optimized integration of manufacturing nanomaterials will contribute to advanced health technology not only because of rapid clinical translation of drugs but also due to reduction of any release of harmful byproducts. Dr. Kim’s lab designs and fabricates diverse microfluidic modules for diverse syntheses of multifunctional nanomaterials and integrates the modules to establish large-scale implementation of manufacturing processes scaled to economically and industrially relevant production level. The integrative system will facilitate good manufacturing practice (GMP) production and clinical translation in pharmaceutical and biomedical industry and enable reproducible and controlled synthesis of nanoparticles at scales suitable for rapid clinical development and commercialization.

Research Areas of Interest:

  • Biomimetic microsystems (Organ-on-a-Chip)
  • Multifunctional nanomaterials
  • Microfluidics (Point-of-Care Microchip)
  • Synthetic biomaterials
  • Tissue engineering
  • Dynamics and controls
  • Mechatronics
  • Robotics


Awards and Distinctions: 
  • National Scientist Development Grant Award at American Heart Association, 2015
  • Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust Award at CART Fund, 2015
  • Investigator-Initiated Pilot Grant Award, Regenerative Engineering Medicine, 2014
  • Investigator-Initiated Pilot Grant Award, Center of Pediatric Nanomedicine, 2014
  • Distinguished Panel Speaker, Annual Beckman Scholars and Young Investigators Symposium, 2014
  • Best Presentation Award at American Control Conference, 2010
  • Dowd ICES Fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University, 2008                                   
  • Dean's Fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University, 2007                                                                    
  • BrainKorea21 Project Scholarship at Seoul National University, 1999


  • Principle Investigator, MBMN Lab
  • Faculty, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
  • Affiliate Faculty, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Affiliate Faculty, Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology
  • Affiliate Faculty, Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience

google-scholar_0.pngPubmed logo.png

Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 2011
Mechanical Engineering, Seoul National University, 2001
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Seoul National University, 1999