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Harrison Hiraki

PhD Candidate
Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan

hirakih (at) umich (dot) edu

harrison photo.jpeg

Hometown: Portland, Oregon

Education: BS in Bioengineering, University of Washington, 2018

Research interests: My undergraduate research interest was predominantly in tissue engineering. I worked to engineer a material that best represented the biochemical and biomechanical properties of the kidney cortex microenvironment to help elucidate underlying pathways in kidney disease progression. A growing interest in cancer therapeutic research has led me to the Baker Lab where I am working to understand how matrix mechanical properties affect the mechanism by which cancer cells migrate from the primary tumor, travel through the stroma, and intravasate into nearby microvessels. I aim to develop a representative model of the tumor microenvironment that can be incorporated with patient-derived cancer cells and has translational merit as a high-throughput drug testing device.

Outside of lab interests: Outside of the lab, I enjoy playing basketball and reading about/creating Japanese-style ceramic pottery. I also love exploring new restaurants in A2 and am working to improve my admittedly mediocre cooking skills. Go Huskies and Go Blue!


Kent III RN, Said M, Busch ME, Poupard ER, Tsai A, Xia J, Matera DL, Wang WY, DePalma SJ, Hiraki HL, Killian ML, Abraham AC, Shin JW, Huang AH, Shikanov A, Baker BM. "Physical and Soluble Cues Enhance Tendon Progenitor Cell Invasion into Injectable Synthetic Hydrogels," Advanced Functional Materials, 2022, doi: 10.1002/adfm.202207556

Hiraki HL, Matera DL, Wang WY, Prabhu ES, Zhang Z, Midekssa F, Argento AE, Buschhaus JM, Humphries BA, Luker GD, Pena-Francesch A, Baker BM. "Fiber density and matrix stiffness modulate distinct cell migration modes in a 3D stroma mimetic composite hydrogel," Acta Biomaterialia, 2022, doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2022.09.043

Wang WY, Kent III RN, Huang SA, Jarman EH, Shikanov EH, Davidson CD, Hiraki HL, Lin D, Wall MA, Matera DL, Shin JW, Polacheck WJ, Shikanov A, Baker BM. "Direct comparison of angiogenesis in natural and synthetic biomaterials reveals that matrix porosity regulates endothelial cell invasion speed and sprout diameter," Acta Biomaterialia, 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2021.08.038

Matera DL, Lee AT, Hiraki HL, Baker BM. "The Role of Rho GTPases During Fibroblast Spreading, Migration, and Myofibroblast Differentiation in 3D Synthetic Fibrous Matrices," Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, 2021, doi: 10.1007/s12195-021-00698-5

Hiraki HL, Matera DL, Rose MJ, Kent RN, Todd CW, Stout ME, Wank AE, Schiavone MC, DePalma SJ, Zarouk AA, Baker BM. "Magnetic Alignment of Electrospun Fiber Segments within a Hydrogel Composite Guides Cell Spreading and Migration Phenotype Switching" Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 2021, doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2021.679165

Sharma B, Ma Y, Hiraki HL, Baker BM, Ferguson AL, Liu AP. "Facile formation of giant elastin-like polypeptide vesicles as synthetic cells," Chemical Communications, 2021, doi: 10.1039/D1CC05579H 

Davidson CD, Jayco DKP, Matera DL, DePalma SJ, Hiraki HL, Wang WY, Baker BM. "Myofibroblast activation in synthetic fibrous matrices composed of dextran vinyl sulfone," Acta Biomaterialia, 2020, doi:10.1013/j.actbio.2020.01.009.

Nagao RJ, Hiraki HL, Phong KT, Xue J, Himmelfarb J, Zheng Y. "Perivascular Cells Direct Endothelial Cell Fate in a Renal Microvascular Disease Model," (In preparation to Kidney Int.). 

Hiraki HL, Nagao RJ, Himmelfarb J, Zheng Y. "Fabricating a Kidney Cortex Extracellular Matrix-Derived Hydrogel," Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2018, doi:10.3791/58314.


Hiraki HL, Matera DL, Baker BM. "Increasing stromal matrix fiber density promotes multicellular outgrowth from MCF10a spheroids," BMES Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, October 16-19, 2019, podium.

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