Founder, President and CEO of Humacyte
Dr. Laura E. Niklason is an Adjunct Professor of anesthesiology and biomedical engineering at Yale University. She is the co-founder of Humacyte and specializes in vascular and lung engineering. Her work on lab-grown lungs was recognized as one of the top 50 most important inventions of 2010 by Time magazine. Niklason was a faculty member at Duke University from 1998 to 2005. In 2004, Niklason along with doctors Shannon Dahl and Juliana Blum co-founded Humacyte, an organization producing human acellular matrix products for both vascular and non-vascular applications. In 2010, Niklason and her colleagues were able to successfully create in the lab a rat lung that could inhale and exhale carbon dioxide. In 2013, Niklason along with Duke researcher Jeffery Lawson developed a bioengineered blood vessel, which Lawson grafted into an artery in a Duke patient’s arm. In 2016, Niklason was named as the Nicholas Greene Professor of Anesthesiology and Biomedical Engineering at Yale. As part of a research team, Niklason conducted clinical trials into the effectiveness of giving patients experiencing kidney failure bioengineered blood vessels. Niklason holds a BS in physics and a BA in Biophysics from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus). She earned her MD at the University of Michigan and a PhD in Biophysics at the University of Chicago.