Tissue engineer, MBA and Senior TED Fellow Nina Tandon is growing artificial hearts and bones. To do that, she needs new ways of caring for artificially grown cells—techniques she’s developed by the simple but powerful method of copying their natural environments.
Nina studies electrical signaling in the context of tissue engineering, with the goal of creating “spare parts” for human implantation and/or disease models. She is an electrical and biomedical engineer at Columbia University’s Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, and adjunct professor of Electrical Engineering at the Cooper Union, teaching a “Bioelectricity” class. She’s published in Nature and Lab on a Chip, and Fast Company named her one of their 100 most creative people in business.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cooper Union, Nina spent her early career in telecom (Avaya Labs) and transitioned into biomedical engineering via her Fulbright scholarship in Italy, where she worked on an electronic nose used to “smell” lung cancer. Nina’s studied electrical stimulation for cardiac tissue engineering at MIT and Columbia, has consulted at McKinsey and Company, and now continues her research on electrical stimulation for broader tissue-engineering applications.