Prof. Milica Radisic

Stargazer Turns Inward, Discovers Another Universe

'I wanted to be an astrophysicist until I looked through a microscope'


Milica Radisic is a Professor in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto. We asked everything from why she chose her field of study to what’s on her playlist in hopes of giving you a better understanding of what goes on outside the lab for one of the best minds in Canadian research.

What inspired you to become a scientist?
When I was a child, I was fascinated with the universe, stars, planets. I wanted to be an astrophysicist. Then one day I looked through a microscope, and I saw there was a very big unknown universe there as well. It was just small.

What do you like most about being a scientist?
Freedom to explore questions you are excited about and the opportunity to work with young people who are fantastic and dedicated to self-improvement.

What do you envision in the future of your field?
We are able to build more complex tissues now that capture greater physiological fidelity than they used to before. These tissues will enter into the “mainstream” in discovery studies. There will also be increased effort in disease modelling.

How will your research make a difference in our lives?
Our research will provide new methods to test various drugs on living tissues, ultimately resulting in safer and more effective therapeutics.

What advice would you give young researchers?
I would advise them to pursue questions that really make them excited.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Raising my kids.

What do you read?
Research papers and theses.

What’s on your playlist?
I like opera.

If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?

What do you like to do for fun?

Want to learn more about Prof. Radisic’s research? Check out her Orange Chair Interview on building gyms for beating heart cells.