Xi (Charlie) Ren was trained as a developmental biologist during his graduate study focusing on the vascular and hematopoietic systems. Moving from vascular development to vascular engineering, he joined the Laboratory for Organ Engineering and Regeneration at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 2012. He became Instructor in Surgery at Harvard Medical School in 2016. During this time, he developed systematic strategies for engineering functional vasculature based on decellularized organ scaffolds. He joined the faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2017.

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Xi Ren
Ren Lab

Controlling Tissue Morphogenesis to Inform Better Lung Treatment

Demonstration: Decellularizing a Lung Using Detergent Perfusion

Engineering Organ-Specific Vasculature


2011 Ph.D., Cell Biology, Peking University

2005 BS, Biological Science, Peking University

Media mentions


BME alumna selected for next simulated Mars journey

Piyumi Wijesekara, a CMU BME alumna, has been selected by NASA to be one of four participants taking a simulated mission to Mars within a habitat at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.


New grant weaves a silk-based partnership

BME’s Charlie Ren and Phil Campbell have received a five-year, $3.5 million Bioengineering Partnerships with Industry (BPI) grant from the NIH, in partnership with David Vorp of the University of Pittsburgh.

CMU Engineering

Safety first: DNA armor protects regenerative medicine

Using DNA origami, researchers in Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering have developed a synthetic cell armor to protect cells during the stress of clinical practice.

CMU Engineering

Bringing donor organs back to life

A new platform aims to discover novel biomarkers to evaluate organ quality after donation, but before transplantation, and reveal new therapeutic targets to improve donor organ function.

University of Pittsburgh

Campbell and Ren join American Heart Association award project team

The American Heart Association’s 2023 Collaborative Sciences Award will be investigated by a multi-institutional team of researchers, including BME’s Phil Campbell and Charlie Ren.

CMU Engineering

3D micro-ice printing for medical applications

Carnegie Mellon researchers receive funding from the Manufacturing Futures Institute to continue work on 3D micro-ice printing for medical applications.

CMU Engineering

2023 Dean’s Early Career Fellows announced

Xi (Charlie) Ren, Victoria Webster-Wood, and Ding Zhao have received the honor for their contributions to their respective fields.

Ren and Yerneni honored with BMES-CMBE Awards

The Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) recently announced its 2023 Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE) award winners, and two Carnegie Mellon engineers were named recipients. BME’s Charlie Ren, was selected for the CMBE Rising Star Award. Sai Yerneni, a former biomedical engineering Ph.D. student who is continuing his research as a chemical engineering postdoc, received the CMBE Graduate Student Travel Award.

CMU Engineering

Halilaj and Ren receive NSF Career Awards

College of Engineering’s Eni Halilaj and Charlie Ren have received National Science Foundation CAREER Awards for their research.

Northeast Bioengineering Conference

Ren accepts New Innovator Award at Northeast Bioengineering Conference

BME’s Charlie Ren was awarded the New Innovator Award for Junior Faculty at the 48th annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference hosted at Columbia University. Ren’s lab works at the interface of biomaterial and stem cell engineering, with the goal of providing regenerative therapeutic solutions to repair or replace damaged tissues and organs.

CMU Engineering

It takes a heart to make a better lung

A team of collaborators from CMU and Boston University present a human model of heart and lung co-development during embryogenesis using lab-grown human induced pluripotent stem cells.

CMU Engineering

Collaboration shapes extracellular vesicle retention strategy

Phil Campbell and Charlie Ren present a strategy to spatially control extracellular vesicles and keep them resolute under controlled conditions.