Elisabeth Prince

Elisabeth Prince
Assistant Professor
Location: E6 3018
Phone: 519-888-4567 x40633


Elisabeth Prince joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo in January 2023. Her research interests lie at the interface of soft matter design, polymer chemistry, biomimetic materials, and sustainability.

Elisabeth started her education at the University of Toronto, where she received her undergraduate degree in Biological Chemistry. In 2021 she received her PhD in Polymer and Materials Chemistry from the University of Toronto under the supervision of Professor Eugenia Kumacheva. During her PhD, she designed nanostructured hydrogels that mimic the architecture and mechanical properties of native biological tissues. In collaboration with the Princess Margaret Cancer Center, she developed new hydrogel matrices for growing patient-derived microtumors, which are an emerging platform for developing personalized cancer therapies.

After completing her PhD, she was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow in Professor Jeremiah Johnson’s synthetic polymer chemistry group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she pivoted her research interests towards addressing the plastic waste crisis. During her postdoc, she developed new chemistry for recycling vinylic plastics and thermosets.

At the University of Waterloo, Elisabeth’s group will build on her polymer and materials science expertise to design the molecular architecture of polymer networks, including hydrogels, elastomers, and thermosets. They will develop biomimetic hydrogels for applications in tissue engineering and in-vitro modeling of disease. They will also develop new tools for addressing the global plastic waste crisis.

Research Interests

  • Soft matter
  • Biomimetic hydrogels
  • Filamentous hydrogels
  • Hydrogel mechanics
  • Injectable hydrogels
  • Tissue engineering
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Polymer synthesis
  • Polymer self-assembly
  • Sustainable plastics
  • Chemical recycling of plastics


  • 2021, Doctorate, Polymer and Materials Chemistry, University of Toronto
  • 2016, Honours Bachelor of Science, Biological Chemistry Specialist, University of Toronto


  • 2021, NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2022, Governor General's Gold Medal, University of Toronto
  • 2022, Chair's Doctoral Medal, University of Toronto
  • 2018, NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship - Doctoral, University of Toronto
  • 2018, Xerox Research Center of Canada Award, University of Toronto
  • 2017, NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship - Masters, University of Toronto
  • 2016, Queen Elisabeth II/Martin Moskovitz GSST, University of Toronto


  • CHE 102 - Chemistry for Engineers
    • Taught in 2023
  • CHE 640 - Principles of Polymer Science
    • Taught in 2024

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Prince, Elisabeth; Cruickshank, Jennifer; Ba-Alawi, Wail; Hodgson, Kelsey; Haight, Jillian; Tobin, Chantal; Wakeman, Andrew; Avoulov, Alona; Topolskaia, Valentina; McGuigan, Alison P.; Berman, Hal K.; Haibe-Kains, Benjamin; Cescon, David W.; Kumacheva, Eugenia. ‘Biomimetic hydrogel supports initiation and growth of patient-derived breast tumor organoids.’ Nature Communications, 13, 1-12, (2022).
  • Kiel, Gavin; Lundberg, David; Prince, Elisabeth; Husted, Keith; Johnson, Alayna; Lensch, Valerie; Li, Sipei; Shieh, Peyton; Johnson, Jeremiah. ‘Cleavable comonomers for chemically circular polystyrene.’ Journal of the American Chemical Society. 144, 12979-12988 (2022).
  • Li, Yang; Li, Yunfeng; Prince, Elisabeth; Weitz, Jeffrey I.; Panyukov, Sergey; Ramachandran, Arun; Rubinstein, Michael; Kumacheva, Eugenia. ‘Fibrous Hydrogels under biaxial confinement’ Nature Communications. Accepted on May 17, 2022.
  • Prince, Elisabeth; Wang, Yihe; Xu, Fei; Kheiri, Sina; Cruikshank, Jennifer; Topolskaia, Valentina; Tao, Huachen; Young, Edmund W. K.; McGuigan, Alison P.; Cescon, David; Kumacheva, Eugenia. ‘Microfluidic arrays of patient-derived breast tumor spheroids as in-vitro models for personalized drug testing.’ Advanced Healthcare Materials, e2101085 (2021).
  • Prince, Elisabeth; Chen, Zhengkun; Khuu, Nancy; Xu, Fei; Kumacheva, Eugenia. ‘Nanofibrillar hydrogel mimics structural changes associated with fibrosis of the extracellular matrix.’ Biomacromolecules, 22, 2352-2362 (2021). Front Cover.
  • Prince, Elisabeth; Kumacheva, Eugenia. ‘Design and applications of man-made biomimetic fibrillar hydrogels’, Nature Reviews Materials, 4, 99–115, (2019).
  • Prince, Elisabeth; Alizadehgiashi, Moien; Campbell, Melissa; Khuu, Nancy; Albulescu, Alexandra; De France, Kevin; Ratkov, Dimitrije; Li, Yunfeng; Hoare, Todd; Kumacheva, Eugenia. ‘Patterning of structurally anisotropic composite hydrogel sheets.’ Biomacromolecules, 19, 1276-1248 (2018).
  • Li, Yunfeng; Prince, Elisabeth; Sangho, Cho; Salari, Ali; Golestani, Youssef M.; Lavrentovich, Oleg D.; Kumacheva, Eugenia. ‘Periodic assembly of nanoparticle arrays in disclinations of cholesteric liquid crystals.’ Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 114, 2137-2142, (2016).
  • Li, Yunfeng; Suen, Jeffery; Prince, Elisabeth; Larin, Egor; Klinkova, Anna; Thérien-Aubin, Héloїse; Zhu, Shou jun; Yang, Bai; Helmy, Amr; Lavrentovich, Oleg D.; Kumacheva, Eugenia. ‘Colloidal cholesteric liquid crystal in spherical confinement.’ Nature Communications, 7, 12520, (2016).

In The News