Our Research

The long-term vision of the Iyer Stem Cell & Regeneration Lab is to exploit advances in stem cell biology and emerging engineering technologies to develop personalized therapeutic strategies for neural repair.  We focus on using human pluripotent stem cells to determine how regional and phenotypic specificity drives neural circuit formation, degeneration, and regeneration in the spinal cord and beyond.

We are hiring!

We are actively searching to fill multiple roles in the lab. If you are interested in joining our team, check out our open positions!

News & Upcoming Events

August 2023

August 14, 2023

Nisha on STARTS Podcast! Nisha spoke with highschoolers Jaanak & Jaagat Prashar on their STARTS Podcast: Demystifying the Boundary Between STEM and the Arts. Check out our far ranging conversation on stem cell engineering, the future of regenerative medicine, and the importance of scientific art in communicating science here!

July 2023

July 17-20, 2023

Living Materials 2023: Nisha attended the 2023 Living Materials meeting at the Tufts European Center in Talloires, France.  Her talk "Between Plants and Spinal Cords" was presented to an interdisciplinary group of designers, engineers, and entrepreneurs interested in thoughtful and sustainable solutions for human problems. 

July 9-13, 2023

CNS Injury and Repair GRC 2023: Nisha attended the 2023 Gordon Conference on Central Nervous System Injury and Repair in beautiful Lucca, Italy where she enjoyed new science with old and new friends and collaborators. Her talk ("4 Steps to Make Every Neuron in the Human Spinal Cord") in the final keynote session, showcased tools developed in the lab that could be used for translational neural repair. 

July 3, 2023

Nisha on Curiously Podcast! Nisha was invited to speak about her EN1: Sci-Fi Bioengineering course on the Curiously Podcast with Dustin Grinnell.  Hear more here!

May 2023

May 25, 2023

Nisha on Radio Boston! Nisha was invited to speak about her EN1: Sci-Fi Bioengineering course at WBUR Radio Boston as part of a local segment on cool and quirky courses being taught in the Boston area.  Hear more here!

May 19, 2023

We are celebrating AGAIN! Brandon is on a roll! Congratulations to Brandon on winning  a Tufts Graduate Student Research Competition award! He will be using the funds to test novel differentiation reagents in the lab to improve our efficiencies and decrease costs. 

May 12, 2023

We are celebrating more! Congratulations to Brandon on receiving a travel scholarship to attend the 2023 National Diversity in STEM Conference from SACNAS. He will be traveling to Portland, Oregon in October to present his work on differentiating neuromesodermal progenitors. 

May 4, 2023

We are celebrating! Congratulations to Brandon on completing his Master's Thesis ORP (Original Research Proposal!). The Fourth was with you!

April 2023

April 11-14, 2023

TERMIS 2023: Nisha shared her experiences as a trainee and new PI in the face of COVID as a panelist for the Women's Lunch at the TERMIS-AM 2023 Meeting in Boston. She also co-chaired both concurrent neural sessions--Neural Tissue Engineering in Translation & Strategies for Regeneration of the Nervous System--a first for TERMIS-AM!  

March 2023

March 29, 2023

We are growing! The lab is excited to welcome research technician Zhixin Liao and PhD student Emily Pallack later this summer.  Emily was awarded the prestigious NSF-GRFP fellowship for her proposal entitled "Understanding the role of regionally specific neurons and mechanically specific extracellular matrix in the spinal cord." Congrats to Emily!

December 2022

December 2, 2022

We are growing! The lab welcomes undergraduates Jed Quiaoit, Dylan Patel, & Farsin Syed. They will join me and masters student Brandon Hernandez-Pacheco in the spring to get cell culture up and running! Undergraduate Michelle Sun has been instrumental in getting the lab unpacked and set up, and we will miss her as she spends the next semester abroad in Sweden.  (Dylan, Nisha, Michelle, & Jed pictured below)

November 2022

November 15, 2022

NASEM Workshop: Nisha participated as a panelist in the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Forum on Regenerative Medicine's workshop, Training the Regenerative Medicine Workforce for the Future.  Hear more about issues related to workforce development, education, and diversity here!

October 2022

October 12-15, 2022

BMES 2023: Nisha had a great time meeting old and new friends, recruiting potential lab members, spending time with past and present Tufts trainees, and presenting our research ("Elucidating human spinal cord diversity with stem cells & single-cell RNA sequencing") at the BMES 2022 Annual meeting in San Antonio, TX! Excited to have received the Burroughs Young Investigator Award from BMES to help attend the meeting!

September 2022

September 30, 2022

Publication: New paper published! "Modular derivation of diverse, regionally discrete human posterior CNS neurons enables discovery of transcriptomic patterns" is now published in Science Advances! This was a great interdisciplinary collaboration between stem cell engineers and bioinformaticians, working together to develop and characterize diverse populations of neurons spanning the hindbrain through lumbar spinal cord. Congrats to all of the authors in the Iyer, Ashton, and Roy labs!

September 16, 2022

We are growing! Welcome to the first Iyer Lab member, undergrad Michelle Sun! Michelle will be working to help get the lab cleaned, organized, and ready for research to start.

August 2022

August 26, 2022

Publication: First paper out of the Iyer lab! Our mini review, "Bioengineering the Human Spinal Cord" is now published in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology! We provide a brief primer on  spinal cord developmental biology, 2D and 3D methods for differentiating spinal cells and tissues from human pluripotent stem cells, and bioengineering strategies to direct spinal organoid patterning and morphogenesis. 

August 1, 2022

The Iyer Stem Cell and Regeneration Lab has opened at Tufts University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering! We are excited to get science started soon!

Nisha was selected as a recipient of the Young Investigator Award for the 2022 BMES Annual Meeting. This prestigious award recognizes talented early career Postdoctoral Fellows or Early-Stage Faculty who have successfully submitted one of the highest-ranking general abstracts for the 2022 meeting. She will be speaking at the meeting in October.