Melissa Kinney, Ph.D.

Position title: Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering


2148 Engineering Centers Building
1550 Engineering Dr
Madison, WI 53706

Organ System/Disease Focus
Aligned Research Focus
Stem cell systems biology
Melissa Kinney headshot

Pub Med


Kinney Lab Homepage


Our lab combines stem cell engineering with systems biology and tissue engineering to model and control blood stem cells and their immune, vascular, and bone niches. We study stem cells differentiated as three-dimensional aggregates, or spheroids, which exhibit fascinating levels of organization and patterning. By collecting high throughput data, such as RNA-seq, we quantify the expression of genes, networks, and signaling pathways across different cell types. We use these approaches to ask how cells communicate and work together to make decisions about cell fate and respond to changes in their local environment. A more comprehensive understanding of these complex systems is needed to empower stem cell engineering and to realize translational applications ranging from drug screening to transplantation and regeneration.

  • Kinney M.A., Vo L.T., Frame J.M., Barragan J., Conway A.J., Li S., Wong K.K., Collins J.J., Cahan P., North T.E., Lauffenburger D.A., Daley G.Q (2019) “A systems biology pipeline identifies regulatory networks for stem cell engineering.” Nature Biotechnology. 37(7):810-818
  • Vo L.T., Kinney M.A., Liu X., Zhang Y., Sousa P.M., Barragan J., Jha D.K., Cesana M., Shao Z., Orkin S.H., Doulatov S., Xu J., Daley G.Q. (2018) “Regulation of embryonic haematopoietic multipotency by EZH1.” Nature. 553(7689):506-510.
  • Kinney M.A. and McDevitt T.C. (2013) “Emerging strategies for spatiotemporal control of stem cell fate and morphogenesis.” Trends in Biotechnology. 31(2):78-84.
  • Kinney M.A., Saeed R., McDevitt T.C. (2014) “Mesenchymal morphogenesis of embryonic stem cells dynamically modulates the biophysical microtissue niche.” Scientific Reports.
  • Kinney M.A., Saeed R., McDevitt T.C. (2012) “Systematic analysis of embryonic stem cell differentiation in hydrodynamic environments with controlled embryoid body size.” Integrative Biology. 4(6):641-50.