Josh Van Zak

Josh Van Zak

Somerville, MA, US



Josh is a Research Assistant in The Mediated Matter Group who designs and engineers conditional symbionts, which are material and ideological systems that in certain contexts inflict massive destruction, and in others can utilize their overpowering adaptations to incite global benefit. His current research involves 3D printing cancer cells to generate functionally graded architectural structures and produce antibodies that preemptively kill surface-adherent pathogens before they make us sick. To do so, Josh integrates tools and techniques from synthetic biology, materials science, tissue engineering, computational design, digital fabrication, and immunology, with a special focus on how to image and analyze biogenic materials across multiple time and length scales.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, US, Masters, Media Lab

Jun 2016 - current

Areas of Specialization