Share This

Maribel Vazquez

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Maribel Vazquez

Associate Professor


Additional Departments/Affiliated Programs::

Room 403-D/ ST-508 (Office/Lab)
Steinman Hall
Phone Number: 
(212) 650-5209 (Office)
Secondary Phone: 
(212) 650-6634 (Lab)
(212) 650-6727
Personal Website:
Vazquez Image 07.2018

Dr. Vazquez is a co-Founding Faculty Member of the CCNY Department of Biomedical Engineering, established in 2002 by a team of 4 faculty who  developed the new undergraduate curriculum and program. She established a micro-nanofabrication laboratory using initial funding from Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) in collaboration with Chemical Engineering. 

Her Research Laboratory develops microfluidic systems to evaluate the migration of progenitor cells and its implications in the health and development of the Nervous System. Research projects have utilized bio-nano-microtechnologies to examine the development and dissemination of neural tumors, collective behavior of glial and neuronal cells for regenerative medicine and synaptic interconnectivity of photoreceptor cells during retinogenesis and retinal transplantation

Dr. Vazquez has been Principal Investigator (PI) for research funding from the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute, National Institute of General Medical Sciences and National Eye Institute) as well as the National Science Foundation (Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems).  She has also served as Co-PI on several educational initiatives from the NSF (Nanotechnology Education for STEM Undergraduates, Technological Reform of the Mechanical Engineering Program and Emergent Behaviors of Intracellular Systems) and AFOSR (Microtechnology and Fabrication for Mechanical Engineering).  

Dr. Vazquez regularly Teaches Undergraduate and Graduate Laboratory-based Courses in Microfluidics and Microfabrication, BME Experimental Methods and Capstone/ Biodesign for BME Seniors and students in the Master's in Translational Medicine (MTM) program. She has also developed educational modules that introduce Health Disparities Challenges within the undergraduate BME curriculum.



Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cambridge, MA

Doctor of Science (Sc.D.), Mechanical Engineering, 2001

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)  Cambridge, MA

Master of Science (M.S.), Mechanical Engineering, 1996

Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1992 


Engineering Experience

Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, CA (Summer 1998, Summer 1997)

Mechanical Engineer, Clean Room Microcontamination

Intel Corporation, Portland, OR (Summer 1996)

Mechanical Engineer, Clean Room Facilities

Intel Corporation, Portland, OR (June 1992- Dec.1995)

Mechanical Engineer, General Site Services

NASA Research Center, Cleveland, OH (Summer 1991)

Mechanical Engineer, Cryogenics Division


Research Interests


Microfluidics-Based Biosystems    

Nanotechnology and Intracellular Imaging


Cell Motility and Collective Migration

Glial and Neuronal Progenitor Biology

Neuromuscular Junction (NMJ)


Photoreceptor Transplantation

Health Disparities 


Health Disparities Challenges for Engineers 

​Biodesign and Innovation 

Summer STEM Institute 

Keynote Recognition and Community Outreach

2018 Awarded the Herbert G. Kayser Faculty Chair in Biomedical Engineering at the City College of New York

2017 Keynote speaker at BCC Hidden Figures: Women in STEM Luncheon, Bronx Community College

2017 Invited Speaker at Gordon Research Conference in Microfluidics, Lucca (Barga) Italy: Microfluidics for the Visual System

2017 Winner of President's Award for Excellence: Recognizes CCNY faculty members for their innovative approaches in mentoring, research, teaching, scholarship and serving as exemplary models for excellence in scholarship, teaching and student success.

2016 TEPTU Science Research Entrepreneurship for High School Students (Africa-US partnership, Judging Panel)

2015 Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine, CUNY Decade of Science (August 7, 2015)

2013 Univision Televised Reporting (Channel 41), 'STEM and the Elusive Latina Role Model,' (August 12, 2013)

2013 New York City Council, Televised Panel Discussion led by State Senator Y. Rodriguez, 'CUNY Stem Initiatives,' September 17, 2013

2012 Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine, Latina Faculty Reshaping (February 27, 2012)

2011 New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSeF) Keynote Speaker at the American Museum of Natural History (And Opening Act for Impromptu visit from President Barack Obama, 'Bitten by the Science Bug' (March 29, 2011)

2011 CUNY Lecture Series: The Science of Female Negotiation, Keynote Speaker Podcast (Dec 20, 2011)

2004 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Lecture Series on Women in Science and Engineering, Travel Award-Winning Essay also found on AAAS website:

Refereed Conference Proceedings (Last 5 years)

Galvano-chemotactic Stimulation to Increase Directional Migration of Transplantable Retinal Progenitor Cells, S. Mishra, S. Redenti and M. Vazquez. World Congress of Biosensors 2018 (June 12-15, Miami, FL, P3.156)

EGFR-mediated Migration of Retinal Muller Glial Cells, J.Pena, N. Dulger and   M. Vazquez. Tissue Engineering-Undergraduate Poster Platform P-SAT-613, BMES Annual Meeting 2017 (October 11-14, AZ)

A multiscale Device for the Study of Compartmentalized Purinergic Signaling, S. McCutcheon, R. Majeska, M. Schaffler and M. Vazquez. Nano- and Micro-Technologies Poster Platform P-FRI-111, BMES Annual Meeting 2017 (October 11-14, Phoenix, AZ)

Electrochemical Stimulation to Enhance Retinal Progenitor Cell Migration and Integration into Damaged Retina, S. Mishra, S. Redenti and M. Vazquez. Cell Migration, Poster Platform P-TH-164, BMES Annual Meeting 2017 (October 11-14, Phoenix, AZ)

Utilizing Genetics and Microfluidics to Examine Neural Cell Migration in Retinogenesis of a Drosophila Model, C. Pena, S. Zhang, M., Kamara, T. Venkatesh and M. Vazquez. Cell Migration, Poster Platform P-TH-154, BMES Annual Meeting 2017 (October 11-14, Phoenix, AZ)

Chemotactic Response Properties of Photoreceptor Precursor and Retinal Progenitor Cells in Microfluidic-derived VEGF and Ostiopontin Gradients, O. Onwumere, M. Wong, B Kaur, S. Mishra, J. Mighty, M. Vazquez, and S. Redenti. NYSTEM Annual Meeting 2017 (May 11-12, 2017, NY, NY.) 

A Drosophila Model to Examine Collective Migration during Retinogenesis, C. Pena, S. Zhang, M. Kamara, T. Venkatesh, and  M. Vazquez, Research Posters in Biomedical Devices No 46, Northeast Bioengineering Conference 2017 (March 31-Apri 2, 2017, Newark, NJ)

A nano-microfluidic Device for the study of Osteocyte Apoptotic Signaling, S. McCutcheon, M. Schaffer and M. Vazquez; Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Engineering, Oral Platform, OP-Fri-2-17. BMES Annual Meeting 2016 (October 5-8, Minneapolis, MN)

Growth Factor Mediated Migration of Neonatal Schwann Cells (nnSC), T. Singh and M. Vazquez; Neural Engineering, Oral Platform Session OP-Sat-2-17, BMES Annual Meeting 2016 (October 5-8, Minneapolis, MN)

Electric-Chemotactic Fields Induce Cooperative Movement of Retinal Progenitor CellsS. Mishra, S. Redenti and M. Vazquez; Neural Engineering, Poster Platform Session, Th-118, BMES Annual Meeting 2016 (October 5-8, Minneapolis, MN)

Health Disparities in the Visual System: Research and EducationM. Vazquez (Invited speaker) Session Chair: Dr. Gilda Barabino; Engineering Low Cost Solutions to Address Health Care Disparities, Special Session, BMES Annual Meeting 2016 (October 5-8, Minneapolis, MN)

Chemotactic Migration of Clustered Central Nervous System Progenitor CellsS. McCutcheon, J. Uchenna, M. Vazquez, and S. Redenti; Cell Adhesion and Motility Poster Platform, P-Th-429, BMES Annual Meeting 2014 (October 22-24, San Antonio, TX)

Epidermal Growth Factor as a New Migration-Targeted Therapy for Pediatric Brain Tumors, J. Rico, T. Singh, S. McCutcheon, and M. Vazquez; Microtechnologies for Cancer, Oral Platform Session OP-Sat-3-6, BMES Annual Meeting 2014 (October 22-24, San Antonio, TX)

Chemotactic Gradients to Induce Photoreceptor Transplantation, S. Mishra, J. Unachukwu, S. Redenti, and M. Vazquez, BioMEMS, Tissue and Organs on a Chip, Cell Behavior in Micro/Nano Devices Paperfluidics, Poster Platform, P-Th-554, BMES Annual Meeting 2014 (October 22-24, San Antonio, TX)

Carboxymethylcellulose Hydrogels Support CNS-derived Tumor Cell Chemotactic MigrationT. Singh, C. Kothapalli, D. Varma, S. Nicoll, and M. Vazquez; Biomaterials for Controlling Cell Environment, Poster Platform, P-Fri-152 BMES Annual Meeting 2014 (October 22-24, San Antonio, TX)

Microfluidic Platforms Overview, M. Vazquez, Microfluidic Platforms I, Oral Platform Session OP-Thurs-1-12; BMES Annual Meeting 2014 (October 22-24, San Antonio, TX)

EGF as a New Therapeutic Target for Medulloblastoma MetastasisJ. Rico-Valera and M. Vazquez; Cell Motility Oral Platform, AP-057 SACNAS Annual Meeting 2014 (October 16-18, Los Angeles, CA)

Selected Publications

Pena J.; Dulger N.; Redenti, S.; Majeska R.; and Vazquez, M., ‘Controlled microenvironments to evaluate chemotactic properties of cultured Muller glia,' Experimental Eye Research 2018 May 19;173:129-137.

Vazquez M., ‘Engaging Biomedical Engineering in Health Disparities Challenges,’J Community Med Health Educ 2018, 8:595.

Thakur A., Mishra S., Pena J., Zhou J., Redenti S., Majeska R., and Vazquez, M., ‘Collective adhesion and displacement of retinal progenitor cells upon extracellular matrix substrates of transplantable biomaterials,’ J. Tissue Eng. (2018) Vol. 9: 1–14.

Mishra S.; Vazquez, M., ‘A Gal-MµS device to evaluate cell migratory response to combined galvano-chemotactic fields,' Biosensors (Basel). 2017 Nov 21;7(4).

Vazquez M.; Marte O.; Barba J.; Hubbard K.; 'An approach to integrating health disparities within undergraduate biomedical engineering education,' Ann Biomed. Eng. 2017, Published Online August 28, 2017.

McCutcheon S.; Majeska R.; Schaffler M.B.; Vazquez M., 'A multiscale fluidic device for the study of dendrite-mediated cell to cell communication.' Biomed Microdevices, 2017 Aug 8;19(3):71. 

Unachukwu, U.; Warren, A.; Zhou, J.;, Li, Z.;  Mishra, S.; Sauane, M.; Lim, H.; Vazquez, M.;  Redenti, S.; ‘Molecular signaling guiding photoreceptor precursor cell migration following transplantation into damaged retina,’ Nature Scientific Reports 2016 Mar 3;6:22392

McCutcheon S.; Unachukwu U, Thakur A, Majeska R, Redenti S, Vazquez M, ‘In Vitro Formation of Neuroclusters in Microfluidic Devices and Cell Migration as a Function of Stromal-Derived Growth Factor 1 Gradients.’ Cell Adh Migr. 2016 Jan 8:0.

Beck C, Singh T, Farooqi A, Venkatesh T, Vazquez M., ‘Controlled microfluidics to examine growth-factor induced migration of neural progenitors in the Drosophila visual system,’ J Neurosci Methods. 2015 Dec 29;262:32-40.

Mishra S.; Thakur A.; Redenti S.; Vazquez M., A model microfluidics-based system for the human and mouse retina,’ Biomed Microdevices. 2015 Dec;17(6):107.

Rico-Valera J.; Singh T.; McCutcheon S.; Vazquez M.,’EGF as a therapeutic target for medulloblastoma metastasis,’ Cell Mol Bioeng 2015 July 1; Volume 3, Issue 2, pp323. Cell Mol Bioeng. 2015 Dec;8(4):553-565

Singh T, Kothapalli C, Varma D, Nicoll SB, Vazquez M, Carboxymethylcellulose hydrogels support central nervous system-derived tumor-cell chemotactic migration: Comparison with conventional extracellular matrix macromolecules J Biomater Appl. 2014 Sep;29(3):433-41.

Unachukwu UJ, Sauane M, Vazquez M, Redenti S.; ‘Microfluidic Generated EGF-Gradients Induce Chemokinesis of Transplantable Retinal Progenitor Cells via the JAK/STAT and PI3Kinase Signaling Pathways,’ PLoS One. 2013 Dec 23;8(12)

Dudu V., Able RA Jr.; Rotari, V.; Kong, Q.; Vazquez M., ' Role of Epidermal Growth Factor-triggered PI3K/Akt signaling in the Migration of Medulloblastoma-derived Cells,' Cell Mol Bioeng 2012 Dec 1; Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 402-413.

Able RA Jr.; Ngnabeuye, C.; Beck, C.; Holland, EC.; Vazquez M., 'Low Concentration Microenvironments Enhance the Migration of Neonatal Cells of Glial Lineage,' Cell Mol Bioeng. 2012 Dec 1; Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 128-142.

Dudu V.; Rotari V.; Vazquez M., 'Sendai Virus-based Liposomes Enable Targeted Cytosolic Delivery of Nanoparticles in Brain Tumor-Derived Cells,' J Nanobiotechnology. 2012 Feb 17;10:9.

Recent Research Support (Last 5 Years)



A combinatory microfluidic and in vivo modeling approach to evaluate collective migration during retinogenesis, Principal Investigator: Maribel Vazquez, Sc.D.

National Science Foundation (CBET1804411) Supports development of microfluidic testing systems to predict changes in the collective behavior of genetically-modified  progenitor populations of Drosophila Melanogaster

Photoreceptor Integration via chemotactic honing, Principal Investigator: Maribel Vazquez, Sc.D.

National Eye Institute (5 R21 EY 026752) Supports development of microfluidics to examine photoreceptor chemotaxis

 STC: Emerging Behaviors of Integrated Biological Systems (EBICS), Principal Investigator: Kamm, Roger, Ph.D. (Subcontract PI: Maribel Vazquez, Sc.D.)                 

 National Science Foundation (CBET-0939511) Supports development of microfluidics to examine glial-neuronal interactions in vitro


A micro-retina system for progenitor migration, Principal Investigator: Maribel Vazquez, Sc.D.                                         

City University of New York (PSC-CUNY REG48) Supports development of a micro-retina microfluidic system

  A nano-osteo fluidic device to examine osteocyte apoptotic signaling, Principal Investigator: Maribel Vazquez, Sc.D.

City University of New York (ASRC Pilot Grant) Supports development of nanofluidics to examine signaling across dendritic cells

Systems Biology Approach to Tumorigenesis, Principal Investigator: Micor, Franziska, PhD   (Subcontract PI: Maribel Vazquez, Sc.D.)                                                  

National Cancer Institute (1 U54 CA143798-02) Supports use of microfluidics to identify EGF activation during in vitro migration of glioma


Administrative Leadership in Education

BME Executive Committee Member, 2016-Present

Masters in Translational Medicine (MTM) Steering Committee and Engineering Faculty Advisor, 2015-Present

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) BME Chair, 2014-2016

Undergraduate BME Curriculum Chair, 2010-2016

Masters of Science BME Faculty Advisor, 2002-2005 

Co-Founding Member of the BME Department, 2001-2006

Courses Offered


Microfluidics and Microfabrication (BME510/I7700)

Capstone BioDesign for Masters in Translational Medicine I (BMEI6400)

Capstone BioDesign for Masters in Translational Medicine II (BMEI6500)

Capstone BioDesign for Masters in Translational Medicine III (BMEI6600)


Introduction to Biomedical Engineering (BME101)

Experimental Methods in Biomedical Engineering (BME310) 

Capstone Senior Design I (BME450)

Capstone Senior Design II (BME460)

HIGH SCHOOL (Summer Only):

CUNY Summer STEM Institute Keynote Lecture 2016

CUNY Summer STEM Institute: Experimental Research in Engineering (ERE)


Expertise Keywords
<< Back To Directory