Laura E Niklason PhD, MD

Professor of Anesthesiology and of Biomedical Engineering; Division Chief; Vice Chair, Research

Research Interests

Anesthesiology; Biomedical Engineering; Biophysics; Physics

Current Projects

  • Tissue engineered arteries, utilizing decellularization approaches
  • Regeneration of whole, functional lung tissue
  • Engineering of thoracic conduits, including trachea and esophagus
  • Investigation of the molecular basis of cellular aging in various tissues
  • Investigation of causes of intimal hyperplasia in vein grafts

Research Summary

Dr. Niklason is Professor of Anesthesia and Biomedical Engineering at Yale. She received her Bachelors degrees in Physics and Biophysics from the University of Illinois, and went on to the University of Chicago for her PhD in Biophysics in 1988. Dr. Niklason subsequently received her MD from the University of Michigan, where she did her internship. She then went on to the Massachusetts General Hospital for residency in Anesthesia, followed by fellowship training in Critical Care Medicine. During her time in Boston, Dr. Niklason was also a post-doctoral researcher at MIT with Dr. Robert Langer, where she developed techniques for the tissue engineering of autologous arteries. Dr. Niklason joined the faculty at Duke University in 1998, where she continued her work in cardiovascular tissue engineering, and founded a biotechnology company designed to bring tissue engineered cardiovascular products to the clinic. Dr. Niklason has received national and international recognition for her work in this field, receiving the Discover Magazine award for Technological Innovation in 2000. In January of 2006, Niklason moved to Yale University, where she is expanding her research program in tissue engineering of blood vessels and lung, as well as understanding the basic aspects of cellular aging.

Extensive Research Description

Currently, Dr. Niklason's research program has several areas of focus. With regard to engineered arteries. Niklason is engaged in preclinical studies in large animals to validate the method for generating engineered tissues that are available "off the shelf". Large animal studies on vascular grafts are centered on immune/inflammatory response minimization to these off-the-shelf tissues, and on the long-term function of the grafts in the arterial circulation. In addition, Niklason is developing tissue engineering approaches to generating vascularized cardiac muscle, as well as vascularized lung tissue. In addition, Niklason has active research interests in vascular remodeling that is associated with various disease states, including atherosclerosis and arterial vaso spasm.

Selected Publications

  • Raredon MS, Niklason LE. A call to craft. Science translational medicine. 2014;6(218):218fs1. PubMed PMID: 24401937.
  • Mendez JJ, Ghaedi M, Sivarapatna A, Dimitrievska S, Shao Z, Osuji CO, Steinbacher DM, Leffell DJ, Niklason LE. Mesenchymal stromal cells form vascular tubes when placed in fibrin sealant and accelerate wound healing in vivo. Biomaterials. 2014. PubMed PMID: 25433608.
  • Ghaedi M, Calle EA, Mendez JJ, Gard AL, Balestrini J, Booth A, Bove PF, Gui L, White ES, Niklason LE. Human iPS cell-derived alveolar epithelium repopulates lung extracellular matrix. The Journal of clinical investigation. 2013;123(11):4950-62. PubMed PMID: 24135142; PMCID: PMC3809786.
  • Zhou J, Niklason LE. Microfluidic artificial "vessels" for dynamic mechanical stimulation of mesenchymal stem cells. Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro. 2012;4(12):1487-97. PubMed PMID: 23114826.
  • Petersen TH, Calle EA, Zhao L, Lee EJ, Gui L, Raredon MB, Gavrilov K, Yi T, Zhuang ZW, Breuer C, Herzog E, Niklason LE. Tissue-engineered lungs for in vivo implantation. Science. 2010;329(5991):538-41. PubMed PMID: 20576850; PMCID: PMC3640463.
  • Quint C, Kondo Y, Manson RJ, Lawson JH, Dardik A, Niklason LE. Decellularized tissue-engineered blood vessel as an arterial conduit. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2011;108(22):9214-9. PubMed PMID: 21571635; PMCID: PMC3107282.
  • Dahl SL, Kypson AP, Lawson JH, Blum JL, Strader JT, Li Y, Manson RJ, Tente WE, DiBernardo L, Hensley MT, Carter R, Williams TP, Prichard HL, Dey MS, Begelman KG, Niklason LE. Readily available tissue-engineered vascular grafts. Science translational medicine. 2011;3(68):68ra9. PubMed PMID: 21289273.

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