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, MC Estevez-Silva, RS Ashton (2015)
Protocol Exchange [doi:10.1038/protex.2015.076]

Harkness. T., McNulty, J.D., Prestil, R., Seymour, S.K., Klann, T., Murrell, M., Ashton, R. S. and Saha, K. (2015)
Biotechnology Journal. doi: 10.1002/biot.201400756
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

  • 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


April 2017
Congratulations to graduate students Maria Estevez Silva, Carlos Marti-Figueroa, Gavin Knight, Brett Napiwocki, and undergraduate Akshitha Sreeram for presenting their research at the 2017 Stem Cell Symposium and the 2017 UW Madison Undergraduate Research Symposium (see pics here at bottom of Group Activities page).

March 2017
Congratulations to Carlos Marti-Figueroa for his research efforts and recent publication titled "The Case for Applying Tissue Engineering Methodologies to Instruct Human Organoid Morphogenesis" in the Journal Acta Biomaterialia.

February 2017
Randolph Ashton was awarded a NSF CAREER Award February 23rd, 2017. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research (click here to view Proposal Summary details).

September - December 2016
The Ashton Group welcomes Nikolai Fedorchak (Lab Manager/Research Specialist), Nisha Iyer (Postdoctoral Research Associate, from Prof. Sakiyama-Elbert lab at Washington University in St. Louis), and Andrew Baldys, Frank Seipel, Alexandra Doersch, and Stephanie Cuskey as new Undergraduate Research Assistants.

Randolph Ashton is awarded a "Creative Community Innovation Grant" from UW Madison's Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement to help further advance the Biomedical Engineering Department's Diversity Outreach Program.

Congratulations to Gavin Knight and Carlos Marti-Figueroa for successful research talks at the Biomedical Engineering Society's 2016 Annual Meeting.

Congratulations to Brady Lundin for a successful poster presentation at the Biomedical Engineering Society's 2016 Annual Meeting.

Brady Lundin & Akshitha Sreeram begin their research projects as 2016 Hilldale Undergraduate Research Scholars!