Michael V. Sefton


University Professor
B.A.Sc. (Toronto), Sc.D. (MIT), P.Eng.
Principal Investigator, Sefton Lab for Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Biomaterials
Room: Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research 406 |
Tel: 416-978-3088 | Email: michael.sefton@utoronto.ca 


US National Academy of Engineering 2020
Order of Canada, 2018
3rd Terumo Global Science Prize, 2016
International Award, European Society for Biomaterials, 2016
Lifetime Achievement Award, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine – Americas, 2016
US National Academy of Medicine, 2014
Engineers Canada Gold Medal, 2014
Professional Engineers Ontario Gold Medal, 2013
R.S. Jane Award, Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, 2012
Acta Biomaterialia Gold Medal, 2011
Killam Prize, Canada Council for the Arts, 2008
Founders Award, US Society For Biomaterials, 2008
Fellow, Royal Society of Canada
University Professor, University of Toronto
Fellow, Chemical Institute of Canada
Fellow, Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Fellow, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering
Fellow, AIChE
Century of Achievement, CSChE, 1999
Clemson Award for Basic Research, Soc. for Biomaterials, 1993
Faculty Teaching Award, 1992
Albright and Wilson America Award, 1989


Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering
Canadian Biomaterials Society
Society for Biomaterials, USA
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Professional Engineers of Ontario
American Inst. of Medical and Biological Engineering

Research Interest

The central theme is that biomaterials and biomaterial based devices (e.g. cell microcapsules, tissue engineering scaffolds) are agonists of biological responses. These responses include thrombosis (“clotting”), inflammation, immune responses, matrix remodelling, angiogenesis, wound healing; i.e., all aspects of a host response to an implanted material or device. The material is an agonist, much like small molecule drugs; however, the materials are 3-dimensional objects acting across an interface so that the mechanism of action is more complex and our understanding of what is happening is more rudimentary than it is for small molecules. Hence, our challenge is to translate what is known about biological mechanisms with small molecule agonists into a picture of what is occurring with the biomaterial. Depending on the problem, the lab synthesises new polymers, formulates existing polymers into novel forms, assesses surface chemistry and structure, studies cell-material interactions in cell culture and/or conducts in vivo experiments in animals (typically mice and rats). Most of the responses of interest are only evident in vivo and so the in vivo studies are typically key in many projects at the Masters and Ph.D. levels. The University of Toronto has one of the largest health science complexes in North America and a very strong engineering/physical/biological sciences infrastructure so we get ready access to any method or expertise, required.

Special emphasis is given to Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine and particular applications and more details are described on the lab web page: http://seftonlab.utoronto.ca/.