Martin Yarmush

Martin Yarmush

Martin 'Maish' Yarmush

Dr. Martin Yarmush (born October 8, 1952 in Brooklyn, New York), an American scientist, physician, and engineer, is currently the Paul and Mary Monroe Professor of Science and Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University, and the Director of the Center for Engineering in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He was formerly the Helen Andrus Benedict Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology (HST), and still maintains an appointment in HST as Senior Lecturer in Surgery and Bioengineering. He is also on the Senior Scientific Staff at the Shriners Burns Hospital in Boston, and an affiliated faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. At Rutgers, Yarmush directs several interdisciplinary units including: the Center for Innovative Ventures of Emerging Technologies, the Rutgers-UMDNJ Biotechnology Training Program, and the Rutgers Institute of Bioengineering. He is one of the most widely recognized and cited researchers in bioengineering and biotechnology, especially in the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, applied immunology, and microfabrication and nanotechnology as it relates to biological systems. Yarmush also has a celebrated reputation in training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for academic careers with over 80 former fellows currently holding professorships in prestigious institutions in the US, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Finally, Yarmush has been credited with the founding and developing of several research centers and training programs dedicated to bioengineering and biotechnology.


Early Life and Education

Yarmush was born in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, NY to Rubin and Rosalyn Yarmush, and was raised in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn. His family was middle class; his father was a business man and his mother was an elementary school teacher. Yarmush has two younger brothers (David, a PhD chemist, and Joel, an MD anesthesiologist and MS chemical engineer) and a younger sister (June, BA history, BS mechanical engineering, and MBA). When Yarmush was young, his family regularly attended Orthodox Jewish synagogues. Throughout his life, he has gone by the nickname, “Maish” which was given to him by his maternal grandmother. He attended the Hebrew Institute of Borough Park (Yeshivas Eitz Chaim) from age 5 to 13, and the Brooklyn Talmudical Academy (Yeshiva University High School of Brooklyn) from age 14 to 17. In elementary school, he graduated as a valedictorian, and in high school, he also excelled in his studies, as well as in several extracurricular activities: yearbook editor, school newspaper sports editor, high school bowl team, and several sports (basketball, swimming, baseball, track, and tennis). His early summers were first spent with his family and a group called the “Country Cousins” in bungalow colonies in the Catskill region of New York State, followed by 5 years at Camp Moshava (1963-67) and 5 years at Camp Morasha (1968-72), both Orthodox Jewish summer camps in the Pocono Mountain region of northeastern Pennsylvania. He returned to Camp Morasha in 1980 to serve as its athletic director for 17 consecutive summers (1980-97). After high school, Yarmush attended the University of Rochester for one year, and then returned to New York City to attend Yeshiva University from 1971-1975. He excelled academically at Yeshiva, studied Talmud under the guidance of Rabbi Hershel Schachter, and participated early on in varsity basketball and wrestling. Always interested in music, Yarmush and several colleagues started a band called Bat Kol in 1972, which introduced a modern rock sound into Jewish music. The band performed widely and played numerous venues from 1972-1975 in the New York City and surrounding area (including a convocation for then Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir), and released a record album in 1973. At the tail end of college, Yarmush was accepted into the prestigious biomedical sciences graduate program at The Rockefeller University in New York City where he began his research career.

Academic Career

Yarmush is widely regarded for his contributions to science and medicine and several emerging fields of biotechnology and bioengineering. He is considered an incomparable innovator and trailblazer of many new techniques and technologies, including industrially and clinically relevant cell culture systems, bioartificial organ devices, genetically modified skin substitutes, dynamic cell and tissue-based microfabricated systems, numerous applications of monoclonal antibodies and antibody fragments for medical and industrial applications, metabolic engineering tools for understanding tissue responses in disease, recellularized organs, nanoparticles for therapeutic purposes, new biomaterials, and stem cell bioreactors for treatment of organ failure.

Yarmush is a prolific inventor and holds more than 50 granted or pending patents. He has also authored more than 400 scientific papers and has participated in the founding and advising of several advanced technology companies. He has received numerous awards, and has been a frequent invited speaker at major national and international conferences and convocations.

Dr. Yarmush received his BA degree in biology from Yeshiva University, his MD degree from Yale University, and completed PhD work at The Rockefeller University (in physical biochemistry) and MIT (in chemical engineering). He also worked as a postdoctoral fellow in immunology and immunogenetics at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Yarmush and his wife, Deborah (formerly Deborah Weisfogel), have three children: Rubin (married to Shayna), Gabriel (married to Talia) and Joshua; and three grandchildren: Azarya, Temima, and Aderet. Deborah practices family and cosmetic dentistry in Walpole, MA.

A recent award nomination effectively captures the essence of Yarmush’s accomplishments; “…..the contributions of Martin Yarmush to bioengineering are unmatched and far-reaching. He has made and continues to make innovative and trailblazing discoveries at a rate that is almost superhuman. His scholarship is unparalleled for its breadth and depth, with thousands of citations of his publications over the last thirty years as evidence that his work is both timely and timeless. His inventions have been licensed and are being practiced in research labs and industrial enterprises around the world. Bricks and mortar stand in evidence of the programs he has built, and the journals and books he has edited are a testament to the present and a guide to the future. Perhaps his most durable contributions are the people who have been touched by his teaching, his mentorship, his science, his respect for humanity, and his high ethical standards. Martin Yarmush is a man of unwavering character and out-of-the-box creativity and determination, who makes a lasting impression on every student, professional, and scholar he meets, and his body of work has had an enduring and momentous impact on the field and community of bioengineering worldwide.”

Experience and Awards

Dr. Yarmush has founded and directed many Centers and Training Programs. These include: 1) the Rutgers-UMDNJ Biotechnology Training Program; 2) the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials and Medical Devices; 3) the MGH Biomedical Engineering Program for Physician Fellows; 4) the Center for Engineering in Medicine at MGH and Harvard Medical School; 5) the Rutgers Center for Innovative Ventures of Emerging Technologies; 6) and the Rutgers Institute of Bioengineering.

Yarmush has also received numerous awards throughout his career including: the Lucille P. Markey Scholar Award in Biomedical Science, the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, an NIH Research Career Development Award, Founding Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the Hoechst Celanese Innovative Research Award, the Bernard Revel Memorial Award in Arts & Sciences from Yeshiva U, Inductee into the New Jersey High Tech Hall of Fame, an NIH Career Enhancement Award for Stem Cell Research, and the AIChE Food Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Division Award.

Dr. Yarmush has also contributed to the advancement of science and engineering through service as: (1) a member of NIH, NSF, FDA, and Office of Technology Assessment review panels; (2) an advisory board member for foundations (e.g. the Whitaker Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and Doris Duke Foundation), academic-based centers, and industrial firms; and 3) an editor of several science and engineering journals. Most notable in the latter category, is his founding and editorship of the Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering which in 2009 had an Impact Factor of 11.235 placing it #1 in the category "Engineering, Biomedical," of 59 journals, and #1 among all engineering journals (840 in total). Yarmush is also credited with playing a major role in the design, fund raising, and construction of the new Biomedical Engineering building at Rutgers which opened in 2007, and earned an American Institute of Architects, New Jersey, Honor Award.


1. Yarmush ML, Gates FT, Weisfogel DR, Kindt TJ. Identification and characterization of rabbit-mouse hybridomas secreting rabbit immunoglobin chains. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 1980; 77: 2899-2903.

2. Oseroff AR, Ohuahu D, Hasan T, Bommer J, Yarmush ML. Antibody-targeted photolysis: selective photodestruction of T cells using monoclonal antibody chlorin e6 conjugates. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 1986; 83: 8744-8748.

3. Murphy RM, Slayter J, Schurtenberger P, Chamberlin RA, Colton CK, Yarmush ML. Size and structure of antigen-antibody complexes: electron microscopic and light scattering studies. Biophys J, 1988; 54: 45-56.

4. Dunn J, Yarmush ML, Tompkins RG, Koebe H. Hepatocyte function and extracellular matrix geometry: long-term culture in a sandwich configuration. FASEB J, 1989; 3: 174-177.

5. Grimshaw PE, Grodzinsky AJ, Yarmush ML, Yarmush DM. Dynamic membranes for protein transport: chemical and electrical control. Chem Eng Sci, 1989; 44: 827-840.

6. Olson WC, Leung SK, Yarmush ML. Recovery of antigens from immunoadsorbents using high pressure. Nature Biotechnol, 1989; 7: 369-373.

7. Woll JM, Hatton TA, Yarmush ML. Bioaffinity separation using reversed micellar extraction. Biotechnol Prog, 1989; 5: 57-62.

8. Shockley TR, Yarmush ML. Growth of tumor cells within microporous hollow fibers: a novel model system for studying immunoprotein transport. Biotechnol Bioeng, 1990; 35: 843-849.

9. Rakestraw SL, Tompkins RG, Yarmush ML. Antibody-targeted photolysis: in vitro studies with Sn (IV) chlorine 6 covalently bound to monoclonal antibodies using a modified dextran carrier. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 1990; 87: 4217-4221.

10. Grimshaw PE, Nussbaum JH, Grodzinsky AJ, Yarmush ML. Kinetics of electrically and chemically induced swelling in polyelectrolyte gels. J Chem Phys, 1990; 93: 4462-4472.

11. Carlson JD, Yarmush ML. Antibody assisted protein refolding. Nature Biotechnol, 1992; 10: 86-91.

12. Shockley TR, Lin K, Sung C, Nagy J, Tompkins RG, Dedrick RL, Dvorak HF, Yarmush ML. A quantitative analysis of tumor specific monoclonal antibody immunological properties and tumor antigen expression levels. Cancer Res, 1992; 52: 357-366.

13. Dunn JCY, Tompkins RG, Yarmush ML. Hepatocytes in collagen sandwich: Evidence for transcriptional and translational control. J Cell Biol, 1992; 116: 1043-1053.

14. Toner M, Cravalho EG, Tompkins RG, Yarmush ML. Transport phenomena during freezing of hepatocytes: an experimental and theoretical study. AIChE J, 1992; 38: 1512-1522.

15. Yarmush ML, Lu XM, Yarmush DM. Oriented coupling of antibody binding fragments to solid phase supports: site-directed binding of F(ab')2 fragments. J Biochem Biophys Methods, 1992; 25: 285-297.

16. Dionne KE, Colton CK, Yarmush ML. Effect of hypoxia on insulin secretion by isolated rat and canine Islets of Langerhans. Diabetes, 1993; 42: 12-21.

17. Closs EI, Borel Rinkes IHM, Bader A, Cunningham JM, Yarmush ML. Retroviral infection and the expression of cationic amino acid transporters in rodent hepatocytes. J Virology, 1993; 67: 2097-2102.

18. Berthiaume F, Reiken SR, Toner, M, Tompkins RG, Yarmush ML. Antibody-targeted photolysis of bacteria in vivo. Nature Biotechnol, 1994; 12: 703-706.

19. Thorpe WP, Toner M, Ezzell RM, Tompkins RG, Yarmush ML. Dynamics of photoinduced plasma membrane injury. Biophys J, 1995; 68: 2198-2206.

20. Eming S, Lee J, Snow R, Tompkins RG, Yarmush ML, Morgan JR. Genetically modified human epidermis overexpressing PDGF-A directs the development of a cellular and vascular connective tissue stroma when transplanted to athymic mice. J Invest Dermatol, 1995; 105: 756-763.

21. LeDoux JM, Morgan JR, Snow RG, Yarmush ML. Proteoglycans secreted by packaging cell lines inhibit retrovirus infection. J Virology, 1996; 70: 6468-6473.

22. Berthiaume F, Moghe PV, Toner M, Yarmush ML. Effect of extracellular matrix topology on cell structure, function, and physiological responsiveness: hepatocytes cultured in a sandwich configuration. FASEB J, 1996; 10: 1471-1484.

23. Bhatia SN, Yarmush ML, Toner M. Controlling cell interactions by micropatterning in co-culture: hepatocytes and 3T3 fibroblasts. J Biomed Mater Res, 1997; 34: 189-199.

24. Yarmush ML, Berthiaume F. Metabolic Engineering and Human Disease. Nature Biotechnol, 1997; 15: 525-528.

25. Lee K, Berthiaume F, Stephanopoulos GN, Yarmush ML. Metabolic flux analysis: a powerful tool for monitoring tissue function. Tissue Eng, 1999; 5: 347-368.

26. Andreadis S, Hamoen K, Yarmush ML, Morgan J. Keratinocyte growth factor induces hyperproliferation and delays differentiation in a skin equivalent model system. FASEB J, 2001, 15: 898-906.

27. Walton SP, Stephanopoulos GN, Yarmush ML, Roth CM. Thermodynamic and kinetic characterization of antisense oligodeoxynucleotide binding to a structured mRNA. Biophys J, 2002; 82: 366-377.

28. Park J, Berthiaume F, Toner M, Yarmush ML, Tilles AW. Microfabricated grooved substrates as platforms for bioartificial liver reactors. Biotechnol Bioeng, 2005; 90: 632-644.

29. Megeed Z, Winters RM, Yarmush ML. Modulation of single-chain antibody affinity with temperature-responsive elastin-like polypeptide linkers. Biomacromolecules, 2006; 7:999-1004.

30. Maguire TJ, Novik EI, Schloss R, Yarmush ML. Alginate-PLL Microencapsulation: Effect on the differentiation of embryonic stem cells into hepatocytes. Biotechnol Bioeng, 2006; 93: 581-591.

31. King KR, Wang, S, Irimia D, Jayaraman A, Toner M, Yarmush ML. A high-throughput microfluidic real-time gene expression living cell array. Lab on a Chip, 2007; 7: 77-85. (Recommended by the Faculty of 1000)

32. Banta S, Megeed Z, Casali M, Rege K, Yarmush ML. Engineering protein and peptide building blocks for nanotechnology. J Nanosci Nanotechnol, 2007; 7: 387-401.

33. Rege K, Patel SJ, Megeed Z, Yarmush ML. Amphipathic peptide-based fusion peptides and immunoconjugates for the targeted ablation of prostate cancer cells. Cancer Res, 2007; 67: 6368-6375.

34. Parekkadan B, van Poll D, Suganuma K, Carter EA, Berthiaume F, Tilles AW, Yarmush ML. Mesenchymal stem cell-derived molecules reverse fulminant hepatic failure. PLoS ONE, 2007; 2: e941. (Rated a "must read" by the Faculty of 1000)

35. Park J, Cho CH, Parashurama N, Li Y, Berthiaume F, Toner M, Tilles AW, Yarmush ML. Microfabrication-based modulation of embryonic stem cell differentiation. Lab on a Chip 2007; 7; 1018-1028.

36. Nagrath D, Avila-Elchiver M, Berthiaume F, Tilles AW, Messac A, Yarmush ML. Integrated energy and flux balance based multiobjective framework for large-scale metabolic networks. Ann Biomed Eng 2007; 35: 863-885. (Cover article)

37. Cho CH, Parashurama N, Nahmias Y, Park J, Tilles AW, Yarmush ML. Homogeneous differentiation of hepatocyte-like cells from embryonic stem cells. FASEB J, 2008; 22: 898-909.

38. Nahmias Y, Goldwasser J, Casali M, van Poll D, Wakita T, Chung RT, Yarmush ML. Apolipoprotein B dependent Hepatitis C virus secretion is inhibited by the grapefruit flavonoid Naringenin. Hepatology, 2008; 47: 1437-1445. (Recommended by the Faculty of 1000)

39. Parekkadan B, Tilles AW, Yarmush ML. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells ameliorate autoimmune enteropathy of regulatory T cells. Stem Cells, 2008; 26: 1913-1919.

40. Vu HN, Li Y, Casali M, Irimia D, Megeed Z, Yarmush ML. A microfluidic bioreactor for increased active retrovirus output. Lab on a Chip 2008; 8: 75-80.

41. Wallenstein EJ, Barminko J, Schloss RS, Yarmush ML. Transient gene delivery to differentiating embryonic stem cells for recovery and functional enrichment of hepatocyte-like cells. Biotech Bioeng 2008; 101: 859-872. (Editor's choice)

42. Song Q, Saygili B, Banerjee I, Nahmias Y, Zhang Q, Berthiaume F, Latina M, Yarmush ML. Low power laser irradiation stimulates the proliferation of adult human retinal pigment epithelial cells in culture Cell Molec Bioeng, 2009; 2: 87–103.

43. Vitalo A, Fricchione J, Casali M, Berdichevsky E, Hoge EA, Rauch SL, Berthiaume F, Yarmush ML, Benson H, Fricchione GL, Levine JB. Nest making and oxytocin comparably promote wound healing in isolation reared rats. PLoS ONE, 2009; 4: e5523.

44. Tolboom H, Pouw R, Nahmias Y, Berthiaume F, Yarmush ML. Recovery of warm ischemic livers by ex vivo normothermic perfusion in a rat model of liver transplantation. Transplantation, 2009; 87: 170-177.

45. Jindal R, Nahmias Y, Tilles AW, Berthiaume F, Yarmush ML. Amino acid mediated heterotypic interaction governs performance of hepatic tissue model. FASEB J 2009; 23: 2288-2298.

46. Patel S, King KR, Yarmush ML. DNA-triggered innate immune responses are propagated by gap junction communication. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 2009; 106: 12867-12872. (Rated a "must read" by the Faculty of 1000)

47. Kidambi S, Yarmush RS, Novik E, Chao P, Yarmush ML, Nahmias Y. Oxygen-mediated enhancement of primary hepatocyte metabolism, functional polarization, gene expression, and drug clearance. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 2009; 106: 15714-15719.

48. Yagi H, Parekkadan B, Suganuma K, Soto-Gutierrez A, Tompkins RG, Tilles AW, Yarmush ML. Long term superior performance of a mesenchymal stem cell/hepatocyte device for the treatment of acute liver failure. Tissue Eng, 2009; 15: 3377-88.

49. Seker E, Berdichevsky Y, Begley M, Reed ML, Staley KJ, Yarmush ML. The fabrication of low-impedance nanoporous gold multiple-electrode arrays for neural electrophysiology studies. Nanotechnol, 2010; 12: 125504.

50. Berdichevsky Y, Staley KJ, Yarmush ML. Building and manipulating neural pathways with microfluidics. Lab on a Chip, 2010; 10: 999-1004.

51. Sharma NS, Nagrath D, Yarmush ML. Adipocyte-derived basement membrane extract with biological activity: applications in hepatocyte functional augmentation in vitro. FASEB J, 2010 24: 2364-74.

52. Uygun BE, Soto-Gutierrez A, Yagi H, Izamis ML, Guzzardi MA, Kobayashi N, Hertl M, Nahmias Y, Yarmush ML, Uygun K. Organ reengineering through development of a transplantable recellularized liver graft using decellularized liver matrix. Nature Medicine, 2010; 16: 814–820. (Rated "exceptional" by the Faculty of 1000)

53. Sharma G, Rege K, Budil D, Yarmush ML, Mavroidis C. Biological force measurement in a protein-based nanoactuator. IEEE Trans Nanotechnol 2009; 8: 684-691. (Cover article)

54. Konry T, Dominguez-Villar M, Baecher-Allan C, Hafler DA, Yarmush ML. Droplet-based microfluidic platforms for single T cell secretion analysis of IL-10 cytokine. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2011; 26: 2707-10.

55. Koria P, Yagi H, Megeed Z, Nahmias Y, Sheridan R, Yarmush ML. Self assembling elastin-growth factor chimeric nanoparticles for the treatment of chronic wounds. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 2011; 108: 1034-9.

56. Konry T, Smolina I, Yarmush JM, Irimia D, Yarmush ML. Ultrasensitive detection of low-abundance surface-marker protein using isothermal rolling circle amplification in a microfluidic nanoliter platform. Small, 2011; 7: 395-400.

57. Jindal R, Patel SJ, Yarmush M. Tissue engineered model for real time monitoring of liver inflammation. Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2011;17:113–122 (Recommended by the Faculty of 1000)

58. Goldwasser J, Cohen PY, Yang E, Balaguer P, Yarmush ML, Nahmias Y. Transcriptional Regulation of Human and Rat Hepatic Lipid Metabolism by the Grapefruit Flavonoid Naringenin: Role of PPARa, PPARc and LXRa. PLoS ONE, 2011; 5: e12399

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