Don is Founding Director of the Wyss Institute and a leader in the emerging field of biologically inspired engineering. He oversees a multifaceted effort to identify the mechanisms that living organisms use to self assemble and to apply these design principles to develop advanced materials and devices. Within this overall effort, he also leads the Biomimetic Microsystems platform in which microfabrication techniques from the computer industry are used to build functional circuits with living cells as components. His most recent innovation is a technology for building tiny, complex, three-dimensional models of human organs. These "organs on chips" mimic complicated human functions, providing critical information for diagnostic and therapeutic applications more reliably and at a fraction of the cost and resources associated with traditional drug-testing methods. Don has made major contributions to cell and tissue engineering, angiogenesis and cancer research, systems biology, and nanobiotechnology. He was the first researcher to recognize that tensegrity architecture (in which a system stabilizes itself mechanically by balancing local compression with continuous tension) is a fundamental principle in the way living organisms are structured at the nanometer scale.