Our goal is to understand, model, and recapitulate in vitro the instructive signals utilized by human embryos to pattern tissue-specific differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, and apply this knowledge towards the rational design of tissue engineered scaffolds and other regenerative therapeutic strategies. Currently, we primarily focus on generating tissues and therapies for the central nervous system.

Recent Publications

ES Lippmann, CE Williams, DA Ruhl, MC Estevez-Silva, ER Chapman, JJ Coon, RS Ashton (2015)
Stem Cell Reports, 4(4): 632-44

Knight GT, Sha J, Ashton RS (2015)
Chemical Communications, 51(25): 5238-5241

Saraswathy M, Knight GT, Pilla S, Ashton RS, Gong S (2015)
Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 126: 590-97  

Fabricating Complex Culture Substrates Using Robotic Microcontact Printing (R-μCP) and Sequential Nucleophilic Substitution
Gavin T. Knight, Tyler Klann, Jason D. McNulty, Randolph Scott Ashton (2014)
JOVE (92), e52186

  • Science Photo
  • Science Photo
  • Science Photo
  • Photo of Cardiomyocyte Bucky
  • Photo of Neural Rosette
  • Photo of Micropatterned Molecules
  • Photo showing E6 Method
  • Photo demonstrating a Reaction
  • Link to YouTube Video


March - April 2015
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awards a team of research labs, lead by Prof. William Murphy and including the Ashton lab, $6 million to establish the Human Models for Analysis of Pathways (H-MAPs) Center at UW-Madison. The Ashton lab will use $1.18 million of that funding to develop novel in vitro models of the human central nervous system. ( UW–Madison announcement, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery announcement)  

Ethan Lippmann publishes an article on "Deterministic HOX patterning in human pluripotent stem cell-derived neuroectoderm" in Stem Cell Reports. 

Congratulations to Ethan Lippmann for his acceptance of an Assistant Professorship in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at Vanderbilt University!

Congratulations to Ethan Lippmann for presenting a winning poster at the 10th Annual Wisconsin Stem Cell Symposium (Madison, WI)! 

The Ashton Group welcomes Sayeed Alrieza Aghayee Meibody, a student in UW–Madison's Material Science Program, to the SCBRM lab. 

Congratulations to Alireza Aghayee Meibody for being selected as a '2015 Honored Instructor' by the UW-Madison Housing Academic Initiatives: his students nominated him for making a meaningful impact on their education!

Congratulations to Jason McNulty for successfully completing his Ph.D. candidacy exam! 

February 2015
Randolph Ashton named a 2015 Emerging Investigator by Chemical Communications, an RSC Journal.