Ellen is the Latham Family Career Development Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at MIT. She directs the Therapeutic Technology Design and Development Lab. Her research focuses on applying innovative technologies to the development of cardiac devices to repair or augment cardiac function using disruptive approaches. She has explored the intersection of mechanical and biological assist devices and therapy delivery, and has made pioneering contributions in biomechanics, medical device design, soft robotics and materials, as well as bioengineering design and modeling. Ellen’s contributions to the medical field have impacted its progression in three significant areas: augmentation of failing organs to restore functional output; development of technologies to repair tissues and correct local defects; and, high-fidelity ex vivo tests to evaluate new technologies.
Ellen performed her Ph.D. at Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Wyss Institute with co-advisors Conor Walsh, Ph.D. and David Mooney, Ph.D. from 2011 to 2015. During her doctoral work, she innovated epicardial delivery of bioagents to the heart, mechanical ventricular assist using a non-blood contacting cardiac sleeve, and a catheter-based device for repair of intracardiac defects. Recently, she has been collaborating with Wyss Core Faculty member Jennifer Lewis, Sc.D. on a polymeric occluder device for stroke prevention. Ellen is the recipient of multiple awards including the Wellcome Trust Seed Award in Science, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, an NIH Trailblazer Award, a Hood Award for Excellence in Child Health Research, the Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award, the LabCentral Ignite Golden Ticket, and the inaugural Future Founders Grand Prize.