There have been great advances in understanding pathology using in vivo models as in which host animals provide a complex pathophysiological environment. However, in vitro systems can provide more defined information as they provide a more controlled environment that allows for the study of more isolated factors in pathological states as compared to the unpredictable variability of in vivo models. In my lab, I am developing benchtop tissue surrogates for co-culturing cells to: 1) model disease states, 2) identify new biomarkers of disease, 3) model drug uptake and efficacy, and 4) develop predictive computational models of disease progression and patient treatment response. This work will be accomplished with the development of responsive biomaterials that mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM), which is a key component in disease states. The engineered benchtop systems developed in my lab will accurately predict in vivo results with a fraction of the time and cost investments required of traditional animal studies.