Carnegie Mellon University

Xi Ren

Dr. Xi (Charlie) Ren

Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Scott Hall 4N111
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • B.S., Biological Science, Peking University, 2005
  • Ph.D., Cell Biology, Peking University, 2011


Xi Ren (Charlie) 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.


Research in the Ren 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. The extracellular matrix is an essential niche component that maintains tissue homeostasis and drives tissue regeneration upon injury. We are developing biologically selective and chemoselective approaches enabling extracellular matrix modulation and functionalization to boost injury repair in vivo and whole-organ bioengineering in vitro. In parallel, we are working to decipher inter-organ and intra-organ endothelial heterogeneity, and thereby to engineer organ-specific vasculature. One of our main model systems is the lung. 

Research Interests: vascular engineering; extracellular matrix engineering; cardiopulmonary engineering; whole organ decellularization and regeneration


Awards and Recognition

  • Scholarship of the State Scholarship Fund of China, 2007-2010

  • President Scholarship for undergraduate research, Peking University, 2003

  • Study Excellence Award, 2003

  • ING Scholarship, 2002