Tomas Gonzalez-Fernandez joined Lehigh University's Department of Bioengineering in January 2022.

Tomas Gonzalez-Fernandez’s research is focused on engineering novel smart materials and stem cells to improve the regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues such bone, cartilage and tendon. To achieve this objective Prof. Gonzalez-Fernandez integrates synthetic biology tools such as CRISPR/Cas9 with biomaterial synthesis and 3D printing technologies. The Tomas Gonzalez-Fernandez Lab (The TGF Lab) focuses specifically in 3 different areas: (1) The incorporation of CRISPR tools into 3D printed materials to achieve in situ gene editing for cartilage, bone and tendon regeneration, (2) the engineering of novel immunomodulatory cells and materials to enhance tissue healing in degenerative disorders and (3) designing smart cell-instructive bioinks for 3D and 4D bioprinting of functional tissue grafts. 

Tomas received his PhD in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in 2018 from Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) under the supervision of Prof. Daniel Kelly and Fergal O’Brien. His PhD work focused on the combination of non-viral gene therapy and 3D bioprinting for the spatial control of mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) differentiation and the recapitulation of the biochemical gradients found in native tissues. After completing his PhD, Tomas joined the Leach lab at University of California Davis to explore biomaterial functionalization with different components of the extracellular matrix to direct MSC function and promote the repair of critically sized bone defects. During his postdoc, Tomas was awarded with the American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship to investigate the relationship between innervation and vascularization for the repair of diabetic wounds, and he was selected as a Rising Star in Engineering and Health by the University of Columbia.

In addition to his research, Tomas served as the Elected Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) Communications Officer since 2018. Currently, Tomas serves in the Diversity Committee of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and in the Education Committee of the International Section for Fracture Repair (ISFR) of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS). He also serves as a member of the DEI council at the Bioengineering Department and RCEAS levels and as co-chair of the Faculty and Staff Pride Network at Lehigh University.

Research interests and expertise:

  • Stem cell engineering
  • Non-viral gene delivery and editing
  • Extracellular matrix biology
  • Biomaterials engineering and characterization
  • 3D printing and bioink development

Courses and teaching:

  • BIOE 210: Introduction to Engineering Physiology
  • BIOE 410: Advanced Engineering Physiology


Tomas Gonzalez-Fernandez
Tomas Gonzalez-Fernandez
Assistant Professor
Health, Science & Technology Building (HST)
124 E Morton Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015


Ph.D., Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin – Dublin, Ireland
B.S. and M.S. Biotechnology, Universidad Francisco de Vitoria – Madrid, Spain
B.S. Biotechnology, Athlone Institute of Technology/Technological University of the Shannon – Athlone, Ireland

Areas of Research

Bioengineering, Biomaterials, Smart materials, 3D Bioprinting, Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine, Stem cells, Gene therapy, CRISPR, Gene editing, Multicellular systems