Dr. Niklason is a Professor at Yale University in Biomedical Engineering and Anesthesia, where she has been on faculty since 2006. Dr. Niklason is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in cellular therapies and regenerative medicine. She is a leader in the development of engineered blood vessels, as well as the engineering of whole implantable tissue-engineered lungs. Dr. Niklason’s research focuses primarily on regenerative strategies for cardiovascular and lung tissues, and the impact of biomechanical and biochemical signals of tissue differentiation and development. In 2005, Dr. Niklason founded a biotechnology company (“Humacyte, Inc.”), which is working to bring engineered tissue replacements to patients. For her work in creating engineered arteries, Niklason was named one of only 19 “Innovators for the Next Century” by US News and World Report in 2001. Translation of the tissue engineered artery into a clinically applicable therapy was subsequently recognized by the Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award in 2011. She was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2008. Niklason’s lab was also the first to describe the engineering of whole lung tissue that could exchange gas in vivo, and this work was cited in 2010 as one of the top 50 most important inventions of the year by Time Magazine.
Niklason received her PhD in Biophysics from the University of Chicago, and her MD from the University of Michigan. She completed her residency training in anesthesia and intensive care unit medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and completed post-doctoral scientific training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From there she went onto a faculty position at Duke University, where she remained from 1998-2005, before moving to Yale.