S. Michael Yu

Professor of Biomedical Engineering & Adjunct Professor of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Utah


Ph.D., Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1998

B.S., M.S., Organic Chemistry, Korea University, Seoul, Korea, 1993


36 S. Wasatch Dr, Room 4501, SMBB Salt Lake City, UT 84112          

Phone: 801.587.1264

Fax: 801.585.5361

Email: michael.yu@utah.edu


Prof. S. Michael Yu received his doctoral degree from the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering of University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he studied the liquid crystalline properties of recombinant proteins with Prof. David A. Tirrell. Subsequently, he conducted his post-doc training at the University of Wisconsin at Madison with Prof. Samuel H. Gellman, synthesizing novel surfactants, beta-peptides and poly(beta-amino acids). His diverse training in bio-organic chemistry, polymer science and protein/peptide engineering has allowed him to work closely at the interface between materials science and biology. He began his independent career at Johns Hopkins University as an assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and was promoted to associate professor with secondary appointments in Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Chemistry. He joined the Bioengineering Department of University of Utah in 2013, where his group has been conducting research that applies principles of protein folding and assembly to the development of various materials and biotechnologies, ranging from piezoelectric films and nanoparticle assembly to tissue engineering scaffolds and diagnostic molecules. He was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for the innovative work on collagen scaffolds. The strength of his work has not only been the ability to design new protein/peptide architecture that is of high scientific values, but also to identify and solve real-world “material” problems that have a potential to greatly impact multiple scientific and medical fields.

Awards and Distinctions



Recent Grants and Contracts



$2,211,000 (total amount)

Role: Principal Investigator (Multi-PI: Weiss)


$429,688 (total amount)

Role: Principal Investigator (Multi-PI: Lee)


$429,375 (total amount)

Role: Principal Investigator (Co-Is: Owen, Ambati)

Recently Completed


$414,819 (total amount)

Role: Principal Investigator (Co-PIs: Chang, West, Kang)

2011 – 2017

$1,792,663 (total amount)

Role: Principal Investigator (single investigator grant)


$423,725 (total amount)

Role: Principal Investigator (Co-I: Pomper)

2012 – 2017

$1,200,000 (total amount)

Role: Principal Investigator (Co-PI: Pomper)

2013 – 2017

$591,021 (total amount)

Role: Principal Investigator (Co-PIs: West, Foster)

Grant Officer: Jan Lindberg

Reviewing Activities for Funding Agencies  

Representative Papers in Recent Years (see publication for full list)