Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic is University Professor, the highest academic rank at Columbia University reserved for only a few active faculty out of 4,000, as the first engineer in history of Columbia to receive this highest distinction. She is also the Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Sciences, and a faculty in the Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and in the Center for Human Development. She directs the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, serves on the Columbia University President’s Task Force for Precision Medicine, and on the Executive Leadership of the Columbia University Medical Center. The focus of her research is on engineering functional human tissues for regenerative medicine and studies of development and disease. With over 39,000 citations and h=114, she is one of the most highly cited individuals of all times. With her students, Dr Vunjak-Novakovic has 85 licensed, issued and pending patents and has founded four biotech companies that are all based in NYC. She is a frequent advisor to government and industry, and serves on numerous advisory boards and councils. Among her many distinctions, Dr Vunjak-Novakovic is a member of the Academia Europaea, AAAS, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Medicine, and National Academy of Inventors.