Prof. Laura Niklason Elected To The National Academy of Medicine


Prof. Laura Niklason, in the Biomedical Engineering Department, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the nation’s top honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Niklason’s research is focused on creating engineered blood vessels, lung tissue and cardiac muscle. She is currently testing engineered arteries in patients with vascular disease and renal failure. In 2010, her research team created artificial lungs that were capable of gas exchange, a fundamental function of the lungs, in a rat model. The advance was cited by Time magazine as one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2010.

She is one of 80 members elected this year to the National Academy of Medicine, and one of four from Yale. According to the organization’s website, new members are elected by current active members and chosen based on major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. Victor J. Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine said the newly elected members “represent the brightest, most influential, and passionate people in health, science, and medicine in our nation and internationally.”

Niklason received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and her M.D. from the University of Michigan. She completed her residency in Anesthesia and a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. While at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she developed the tissue engineering techniques that would form the basis of her research program. She moved to Yale in 2006.

Her election to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), is one of many awards and honors she has received. These include her selection as a National Academy of Inventors Fellow in 2014, her election to the Connecticut Academy of Science Engineering in 2013, winner of the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Innovators Award in 2011, and winner of the Frost & Sullivan Growth, Innovation & Leadership Award in 2011, awarded to the company that Niklason founded.