Dr. Shayn Peirce-Cottler, Ph.D

Principal Investigator

Hello! I am a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia (UVA) with joint appointments in UVA School of Medicine's Dept. of Ophthalmology and Dept. of Plastic Surgery. I am a member of UVA's Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC) and Co-Associate Director of the UVA NIH T32 Cardiovascular Training Grant (CVTG). I am a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and a UVA School of Medicine Pinn Scholar. I am also Past-President of The Microcirculatory Society.

I have always been fascinated by the fact that blood vessels grow and remodel during normal development and in response to disease. These processes are triggered by mechanical, electrical, and chemical stimuli, and are central in nearly all of the complex afflictions and diseases of the Western World, including diabetes, cancer, wound healing, and obesity. We study these processes in our lab using a combination of experimental and computational approaches in order to determine basic mechanisms and to identify new treatment strategies.

In addition to performing research, I also teach courses to undergraduate students, graduate students, and medical students on the topics of computational systems bioengineering, cell and molecular physiology, and medical device design and commercialization. I am passionate about bringing real-world experiences into the classroom and giving students authentic hands-on learning opportunities through team-based engineering design projects. Over the past twelve years, I have mentored over 100 teams of students in yearlong senior engineering design projects, some of which have resulted in student-generated patents and student-led biotech start-up companies. I am also active in K-12 STEM education outreach, regularly visiting middle school and high school classrooms to lecture on biomedical engineering topics, such as 3D bioprinting, and mentoring high school students on their science fair projects. 

Most of my publications are listed with the name "Shayn M. Peirce" (my maiden name), but some are listed with the name "Shayn Peirce-Cottler" or "Shayn M. Peirce-Cottler".

University of Virginia


Doctorate of Philosophy, Biomedical Engineering, 2002


Johns Hopkins University 

Bachelor of Science, Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics (double major), 1997


I am the lab manager for the Peirce-Cottler Laboratory at the University of Virginia. My technical expertise spans microsurgical techniques, pre-clinical models, intravital imaging, and molecular biology techniques. My research interests are in studying microvascular adaptations in settings of chronic and acute inflammation. 

James Madison University


Master of Science, Biology, 2000

Bridgewater College 

Bachelor of Science, Biology, 1997

Anthony Bruce

Lab Manager


Rachel Bour

Ph.D. Candidate | 2017 - Present

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Maryland

Ramon Castellanos-Sanchez

Ph.D. Candidate | 2017 - Present

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, Florida International University

Katherine Crump

Ph.D. Candidate | 2019 - Present

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia

Kareem El-Ghazawi

M.S. Candidate | 2020 - Present

B.S. in Nanomedicine Engineering, University of Virginia

Riley Hannan

Ph.D. Candidate | 2016 - Present

B.S. in Biology, Georgia Tech

Julie Leonard-Duke

Ph.D. Candidate | 2019 - Present

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech

Michaela Rikard

Ph.D. Candidate | 2016 - Present

B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, North Carolina State University

Lee Talman

Ph.D. Candidate | 2016 - Present

B.S. in Nanotechnology Engineering, State University of New York at Albany

Please reload


Evan Clark

B.S. Candidate in Biomedical Engineering | 2019 - Present

Jakub (Kuba) Lipowski

B.S. Candidate in Biomedical Engineering | 2019 - Present

Catherine Sano

B.S. Candidate in Biomedical Engineering | 2019 - Present

Nikita Sivakumar

B.S. Candidate in Biomedical Engineering | 2018 - Present

Please reload

Dr. Shayn Peirce-Cottler

Department of Biomedical Engineering

University of Virginia

- Connect with us! -

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon
  • Grey YouTube Icon
  • Grey Google+ Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Facebook Icon