William Polacheck UNC





- Cornell University 

- M.I.T.

- M.I.T.

- Harvard University

  Boston University 

William J Polacheck - PI

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Member, Cell Biology and Physiology Curriculum, UNC Medicine

Member, Comparative Medicine Institute, NCSU

Bill was born in the Harrisburg area of Pennsylvania and attended Cornell University to study Biological and Environmental Engineering. He worked in various labs in the Mechanical Engineering Department and spent his summers in a Tumor Immunology Lab at Penn State Medical School before joining Brian Kirby's Micro-/Nanofluidics Lab to develop biomaterials for orthopedic tissue engineering. He then moved to Cambridge, MA to study Mechanical Engineering at M.I.T. as an NSF graduate research fellow. He earned his Ph.D. in the Mechanobiology Laboratory under the guidance of Roger D. Kamm, developing microfluidic platforms for the tumor microenvironment. He then moved across the river to Boston to work as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at The Wyss Institute at Harvard University and at The Biological Design Center at Boston University. He worked under the guidance of Chistopher S. Chen in the Tissue Microfabrication Laboratory where he developed biomimetic models for the blood vasculature to study endothelial cell mechanotransduction.


In 2018, Bill moved to Chapel Hill begin his appointment in the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. 


Gihun Lee, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Gihun recently completed his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Chung-Ang University in Seoul, Republic of Korea. He is the lab's resident maker and fabrication expert, working to develop new models for the lymphatic system. 


Christian M Griffith

PhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering

Christian received his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Mississippi State University in 2017 where his research focused on cardiovascular drug delivery and engineering education. He worked in a Tissue Engineering and Translational Medicine Lab in Dallas, TX before joining the Polacheck lab in the Fall of 2018, where he is currently investigating the preservation of vascular barrier function through the interplay of Notch signaling and hemodynamic shear stresses. Outside the lab, Christian can be found hiking, painting, or disappearing into a coffee shop for hours on end.


Stephanie A Huang

PhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering

Stephanie Huang graduated with a BS in Polymer Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 2018 where she performed research on artificial platelets to enhance hemostasis. She is currently studying how shear stresses and interstitial flow drive vasculogenesis. Outside of the lab, Stephanie enjoys playing video games, crafting, and baking.


Elizabeth Snyder-Mounts

PhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering

Elizabeth graduated in 2019 with a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, where her research focused on investigating the use of induced pluripotent stem cells for disease modeling using tissue engineered blood vessels. Her current research focuses on fabricating and optimizing microfluidic devices for vascular disease modeling in conjunction with the Rare Disease Catalyst. Outside of lab, Elizabeth enjoys being active, playing board games, and watching college basketball with friends.


Crescentia Cho

Lab Manager and Research Technician

Crescentia recently graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a bachelor's in biology. She is working as a research technician to build vascular networks in vitro before applying to medical school in the future.


Tanmay Khare

Masters Candidate in Mechanical Engineering

Tanmay is a masters student in mechanical engineering at NCSU working on developing computational models for fluid transport in porous media. His work seeks to understand how forces from fluids in the dynamic microenvironment are experienced by vascular endothelial cells, and how these cells respond to fluid forces. 


Sarah Davis

Undergraduate Research Associate

Sarah is an undergraduate double majoring in Biochemistry and Music. She is working to develop vascularized tumor models to investigate the role of the vascular endothelium in mediating drug resistance in ovarian cancer. She is a recipient of the Chancellor's Science Scholars Scholarship.


Nuran Golbasi

Undergraduate Research Associate

Nuran is an undergraduate in the UNC-CH/NCSU joint department of biomedical engineering. She is working on computational image processing methods and on understanding fluid transport in porous media. She was awarded an Abrams Scholarship to pursue her work on porous media transport to inform new treatments for ovarian cancer. 


Sandy Lin

Undergraduate Research Associate

Sandy is an undergraduate in the UNC-CH/NCSU joint department of biomedical engineering. She is working to understand how cyclic mechanical signals from the beating heart are transmitted to vascular endothelial cells and how these signals modulate gene expression in the endothelium. She was awarded a Lucas Scholarship to pursue her work on vascular mechanotransduction. 


Joanna McDonald

Undergraduate Research Associate

Joanna is an undergraduate in the UNC-CH/NCSU joint department of biomedical engineering. She is developing microfluidic models for the microvasculature. 


Zachary Young

Undergraduate Research Associate

Zach is an undergraduate at UNC-CH majoring in Biology. He is working to understand the mechanics of Notch receptor signaling using synthetic substrates. He was awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in 2019.