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Celebrating Women's History Month: Nina Tandon

We're celebrating Women's History Month by highlighting female scientists! Each Friday of the month on the blog (also featured on our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn), we'll feature a new female scientist whom we have named one of our animal ambassadors after to honor them and allow our visitors to learn about scientists of all kinds. In this blog we are highlighting Nina Tandon; learn about their work and accomplishments below!



Nina Tandon is an American biomedical engineer. She is also the CEO and co-founder of EpiBone, a biomedical engineering company that is developing technology to create bone tissue from a patient's mesenchymal stem cells in vitro for use in bone grafts. She currently serves as an adjunct professor of Electrical Engineering at Cooper Union and is a senior fellow at the Lab for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering at Columbia. She attended college at Cooper Union, graduating with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering in 2001. While completing her undergraduate education, she built an electronic musical instrument that is played through human bodies' electromagnetic waves. From 2003 to 2004, she attended the University of Rome Tor Vergata where she worked on the development of LibraNose, analyzing patient breath samples to determine the feasibility of a noninvasive cancer-smelling device. In 2006, she graduated from MIT with an MS in Electrical Engineering, later studying at Columbia University and graduating in 2009 with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Cardiac Tissue Engineering.


As a child, Nina discovered an interest in science when she learned her siblings suffered from eye conditions. In her youth, she enjoyed taking apart TVs and building giant Tinkertoy towers, playing with static electricity, and experimenting with her class for science fairs. She participated in puzzles and problem-solving, community theatre, poetry, and sewing. She and her siblings were each encouraged to try various science experiments; Nina's siblings also pursued careers in scientific fields.


As a biomedical engineer, Nina worked at Columbia University to force growth and stimulation of cells using electrical currents. Currently, she has grown cells on rat hearts, to beat, but her ultimate goal is to have the ability to create a process where scientists can grow entire human organs.Tandon's primary work is with neonatal heart cells, which can be made to link up with each other and beat independently once exposed to pulses of electricity, as with a pacemaker. She later co-founded EpiBone and currently serves as the company's CEO. Aside from her scientific research, Nina has many other hobbies and interests such as metalworking, running marathons, and yoga. She is also a TED Senior Fellow, speaking there several times.


Interested in learning more about Nina Tandon? Visit https://www.engineering.columbia.edu/board-of-visitors/nina-tandon! Did you miss our other Women's History Month highlight blogs this month? Go check out the rest of them to learn more about other inspiring female scientists!

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