The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is proud to announce that Laura Niklason, M.D., Ph.D., the Nicholas Greene Professor of Anesthesiology and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Yale, will receive a 2016 LAS Alumni Achievement Award for her pioneering work in biomedical engineering. She will receive her award on Friday, Oct. 28, at a Homecoming dinner at the University of Illinois.
Niklason, who received her bachelor's degrees from the University of Illinois in 1983, was only 16 years old when she arrived on campus to study physics. Today the Food and Drug Administration has fast-tracked her prototype engineered blood vessel, which has been tested successfully in human patients, and is now in Phase 3 clinical trials.
In all, a total of 60 dialysis patients in the United States and Europe have received the engineered blood vessels, and an additional 175 patients will receive them during the Phase 3 clinical trials. The vessels have proven mechanically strong, significantly lowering failure and infection rates. Meanwhile, Niklason has also begun work on finding ways to grow new lungs for transplantation.