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Ke Cheng

Unpaid Research Scholar


Ke is Professor in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Professor in the UNC/NCSU joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is also an adjunct professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and UNC School of Medicine. He directs the BioTherapeutics Lab which focuses on stem cells, biomaterials, and nanomedicine for heart and lung regeneration. His lab also studies novel mechanisms of cell extravasation, termed angiopellosis.

Prior to this position, Ke was an Assistant Professor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, where his research focused on stem cells and regenerative medicine in animal models. Ke also served as the director of the stem cell lab for multiple clinical trials including a clinical trial using patient’s own cardiac stem cells to treat heart attack. Ke’s formal education began with a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Engineering from the Zhejiang University, followed by a Ph.D. degree in Biological Engineering from University of Georgia.


NCSU Faculty Cluster: Translational Regenerative Medicine
American Heart Association
Biomedical Engineering Society

Area(s) of Expertise

Dr. Ke Cheng’s laboratory studies regenerative medicine by using patient-derived stem cells, biomaterials, exosomes, micro-RNAs and bioengineering approaches. Translational research is a major focus of the lab. Prior to the launch of Cheng Lab at North Carolina, Dr. Cheng directed a stem cell lab for multiple human trials, including the world’s first clinical trial using cardiac stem cells to treat heart attack. Currently, we are interested in isolating patient-specific and organ-specific adult stem cells and testing their regenerative potential in small/large animal models of diseases. Another focus of the lab is to identify novel micro-RNAs involved in tissue protection and regeneration. The lab is also interested in understanding the mechanisms of stem cell migration and extravasation after delivery. Dr. Cheng also holds an Full Professor appointment at the UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, where his research focuses on the development of novel nano theranostic agents for regenerative medicine as well as bioengineering approaches to augment stem cell engraftment and potency.


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