Matthias P. Lutolf is Director of the Institute of Bioengineering (IBI) EPFL, and Head of the Laboratory of Stem Cell Bioengineering. He was trained as a Materials Engineer at ETH Zurich where he also carried out his Ph.D. studies on the development of a novel class of biomaterials for tissue engineering (awarded with ETH medal in 2004). Lutolf carried out postdoctoral studies at the Baxter Laboratory in Stem Cell Biology at Stanford University on microenvironmental (niche) regulation of adult stem cells (2005-2007). He started up his independent research group at EPFL with a European Young Investigator (EURYI) award. By interfacing advanced biomaterials engineering, microtechnology and stem cell biology, a major goal in his lab is to uncover mechanisms of stem cell fate regulation; knowledge that will contribute to better ways to grow stem cells in culture and use them for various new applications.