About the Director

Craig Simmons

Craig A. Simmons, PhD, FCSME, PEng
Distinguished Professor of Mechanobiology & Interim Director,
Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), University of Toronto

Professor Craig Simmons was appointed interim director of the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) on July 1, 2017 for a three-month term.

As a renowned researcher in cell and tissue engineering, Simmons’ research focuses on understanding the processes by which biomechanical forces regulate tissue regeneration and disease.

He is the University of Toronto Distinguished Professor of Mechanobiology, and is joint-appointed in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering (MIE) and the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME).

Simmons also leads the Translational Biology & Engineering Program (TBEP), U of T’s component of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research.

As interim director, Simmons provides leadership to more than 100 research engineers and scientists throughout the Greater Toronto Area who are responsible for educating IBBME’s 300 graduate students. Together, they are actively engaged in the development of neuroscience, rehabilitation and sensory stimulation technologies, biomaterials and tissue engineering, molecular systems biology and nanotechnology, as well as medical device and drug delivery systems design.

Simmons received his BSc(Eng) from the University of Guelph, SM from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and PhD from the University of Toronto. He completed an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Michigan and an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania before returning to the University of Toronto as a faculty member in 2005.

Simmons’ own research team is comprised of scientists and engineers who work on developing new treatments for heart valve and blood vessel diseases, including strategies to regenerate cardiovascular tissues using stem cells and biomaterials. They also use similar approaches to create novel microtissue models as laboratory tools for improved drug testing and development.

Simmons held the Canada Research Chair in Mechanobiology from 2006 to 2016 and is the recipient of numerous research awards, including the Ontario Early Researcher Award, the McCharles Prize and McLean Award from the University of Toronto, the 2015 CP Has Heart Cardiovascular Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the 2017 Ontario Professional Engineers Awards’ Research & Development Medal.

He has also been recognized for exceptional teaching by the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering with the 2009 Early Career Teaching Award, the 2016 Faculty Teaching Award, and most recently with the 2017 Northrop Frye Award awarded by the University of Toronto for excellence in linking teaching and research.


Jody Prentice, Executive Assistant to the Director
+1 416 946-8258 (office)
director.ibbme@utoronto.ca (email)

Past Directors

Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME)

  • Christopher M. Yip, 2013–2017
  • Paul Santerre, 2008–2013
  • C. Ross Ethier, 2005–2007
  • Michael V. Sefton, 1999–2005

Centre for Biomaterials, Faculty of Dentistry

  • Robert M. Pilliar, 1992–1999
  • Dennis C. Smith, 1986–1992

Institute of Biomedical Engineering

  • Hans Kunov, 1989–1999
  • Walter Zingg, 1983–1989
  • Richard S. C. Cobbold, 1974–1983

Institute of Biomedical Electronics

  • Norman F. Moody, 1962–1974