Sean Palecek is the Milton J. and Maude Shoemaker Professor and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Sean’s lab studies how human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) sense and respond to microenvironmental cues in making fate choices, with a focus on differentiation to cardiovascular lineages. Sean’s lab has generated novel mechanistic insight and developed protocols for differentiation of hPSCs to cardiovascular and neurovascular cell types. They strive to engineer fully-defined, animal component-free differentiation platforms, compatible with biomanufacturing of cells for in vitro and in vivo applications. Sean is the Bioengineering Thrust Leader for the UW Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, the Director for Research for the National Science Foundation funded Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT), and the Associate Director for Research for Forward BIO.