Michael Mak

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Room / Office: Room 312
Office Address:
55 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 208260
New Haven, CT 06520
Phone: (203) 432-4264
Email: michael.mak@yale.edu
  • Postdoc, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Ph.D., Cornell University
  • Sc.B., Brown University


The Mak Research Lab is focused on multiscale mechanobiology in cancer and development. We develop interdisciplinary approaches, integrating microfluidics, computational modeling, and novel experimental systems, to decipher the principles driving emergent mechanobiological phenomena from the molecular to multicellular scales, including structure formation and functionality of cytoskeletal networks, invasive behavior of tumor cells, and collective dynamics of tumors, organoids, and tissues. We aim to bridge the gap between molecular signatures and mechanical phenotypes, especially in cancer metastasis and tissue morphogenesis.

Selected Awards & Honors:

  • NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellowship (2015 – 2016)
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2010 – 2013)

Selected Publications:

  • Mak, M., Zaman, M. H.*, Kamm, R. D.*, Kim, T. Y.* Interplay of active processes modulates tension and drives phase transition in self-renewing, motor-driven cytoskeletal networks. Nature Communications, (2016).
  • Spill, F., Andasari, V., Mak, M., Kamm, R. D.*, Zaman, M. H.* Effects of 3D Geometries on Cellular Gradient Sensing and Polarization. Physical Biology, (2015).
  • Mak, M.+, Spill, F.+, Kamm, R. D.*, Zaman, M. H.* Single-Cell Migration in Complex Microenvironments: Mechanics and Signaling Dynamics. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, (2015).
  • Mak, M., Kim, T. Y., Zaman, M. H.*, Kamm, R. D.* Multiscale Mechanobiology: Computational models for integrating molecules to multicellular systems. Integrative Biology, (2015).
  • Mak, M., Kamm, R. D.*, Zaman, M. H.* Impact of dimensionality and network disruption on microrheology of Cancer Cells in 3D environments. PLoS Computational Biology, 10, e1003959, (2014).
  • Mak, M., Erickson, D. Mechanical decision trees for investigating and modulating single-cell cancer invasion dynamics. Lab on a Chip, 14, 964-971, (2014).
  • Mak, M., Erickson, D. A serial micropipette microfluidic device with applications to cancer cell repeated deformation studies. Integrative Biology, 5, 1374-1384, (2013).
  • Mak, M., Reinhart-King, C. A., Erickson, D. Elucidating mechanical transition effects of invading cancer cells with a subnucleus-scaled microfluidic serial dimensional modulation device. Lab on a Chip, 13(3), 340-348, (2013).
  • Mak, M., Reinhart-King, C. A., Erickson, D. Microfabricated physical spatial gradients for investigating cell migration and invasion dynamics. PLoS One, 6(6), e20825, (2011).
  • Cordovez, B., Chung, A. J., Mak, M., Erickson, D. A novel polymer microneedle fabrication process for active fluidic delivery. Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 10(4), 785-791, (2011).
  • He, J., Mak, M., Liu, Y., Tang, J. X. Counterion-dependent microrheological properties of F-actin solutions across the isotropic-nematic phase transition. Physical Review E, 78(1), 011908, (2008).