Chelsey S. Simmons, PhD

Simmons_headshot2013 Chelsey S. Simmons, PhD
Assistant Professor
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering


TEL: 352.392.0961
FAX: 352.392.7303





Dr. Simmons joined the University of Florida Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering faculty in the Fall of 2013, following a visiting research position at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. She is the Director of the Biomimetic Actuators and Integrated Technologies (GatorBAIT) Lab, where researchers develop microsystems to mimic bodily functions in a dish. She also serves on the advisory board of a company based on one of her pending patents. Dr. Simmons is a Gainesville native, and enjoys Gator sports, tennis, and triathlon training.




BS Harvard University Engineering Sciences (Mechanical Engineering)
MS Stanford University Mechanical Engineering
PhD Stanford University Mechanical Engineering

Academic/Research Interests:

  • Dr. Simmons’ overarching research interests lie in improving the relevance of in vitro systems for clinical applications. Dr. Simmons has developed a novel tool to assess contractility of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes in culture, enabling a wide range of translational investigations. The GatorBAIT Lab has also developed cell culture systems that mimic cardiovascular tissues in vitro. Specifically, myocardium-like constructs can be made out of co-cultured cells from a variety of sources and mechanically stimulated in high-throughput bioreactors. Dr. Simmons and her team welcome collaborations with clinical and basic science researchers, and the GatorBAIT Lab is always recruiting fun, creative, and hard-working students and postdocs.


  • Burridge PW, Metzler SA, Nakayama KH, Abilez OJ, Simmons CS, Bruce MA, Matsuura Y, Kim P, Wu JC, Butte M, Huang NF, Yang PC. Multi-cellular interactions sustain loing-term contractility of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Am J Transl Res. 2014;6(6):724-35.
  • Higgs GC, Simmons CS, Gao Y, Fried A, Park SJ, Chung C, Pruitt BL. MEMS-based shear characterization of soft hydrated samples. J Micromech Microeng. 2013;23(8).
  • Navarrete EG, Liang P, Lan F, Sanchez-Freire V, Simmons C, Gong T, Sharma A, Burridge PW, Patlolla B, Lee AS, Wu H, Beygui RE, Wu H, Robbins RC, Bers DM, Wu JC. Screening drug-induced arrhythmia using human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and low-impedance microelectrode arrays. Circulation. 2013;128 (11 Suppl1):S3-13.
  • Simmons CS, Ribeiro A, Pruitt BL. Formation of composite polyacrylamide and silicone substrates for independent control of stiffness and strain. Lab Chip. 2013;13(4):646-9.
  • Lan F, Lee AS, Liang P, Sanchez-Freire V, Nguyen PK, Wang L, Han L, Yen M, Wang Y, Sun N, Abilez OJ, Hu S, Ebert SD, Navarrete EG, Simmons CS, Wheeler M, Pruitt B, Lewis R, Yamaguchi Y, Ashley EA, Bers DM, Robbins RC, Longaker MT, Wu JC. Abnormal calcium handling properties underlie pathogenesis of familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells. Cell Stem Cell. 2013;12(1):101-13.
  • Simmons CS, Petzold BC, Pruitt BL. Microsystems for biomimetic stimulation of cardiac cells. Lab Chip. 2012;12(18):3235-48.
  • Hazeltine LB, Simmons CS, Salick M, Lian X, Badur MG, Han W, Delgado SM, Wakatsuki T, Crone WC, Pruitt BL, Palecek SP. Effects of substrate mechanics on contractility of cardiomyocytes generated from human pluripotent stem cells. Int J Cell Biol. 2012;2012:508294. Named “Top 5 Cardiomyocyte Differentiation Papers” by STEMCELL Technologies.
  • Simmons CS*, Sim JY*, Baechtold P, Gonzalez A, Chung C, Borghi N, Pruitt BL. Integrated strain array for cellular mechanobiology studies. J Micromech Microeng. 2011;21(5).

Please click here for a list of Dr. Simmons’ industry relationships.