Our Team


nisha.iyer@tufts.edu

Nisha Iyer

Principle Investigator

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

(she/her/hers)


Dr. Nisha Iyer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University.  Her research interests are at the intersection of developmental biology and regenerative medicine, using stem cells to understand and advance neural repair. She received her BS from Johns Hopkins University and PhD from Washington University in St. Louis in Biomedical Engineering.  As an NIH-NINDS F31 Predoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Shelly Sakiyama-Elbert, she used CRISPR gene-editing in mouse stem cells to generate spinal locomotor interneurons for in vitro modeling and transplantation.  Dr. Iyer conducted her postdoctoral research with Randolph Ashton at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, where she was a Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center and NIH-NINDS F32 Postdoctoral Fellow. There she developed translatable methods to derive regionally and phenotypically specified hindbrain, spinal cord, and peripheral tissues from human pluripotent stem cells.  Her lab now focuses on how regional specificity impacts development, degeneration, and regeneration in the central nervous system and beyond, developing biomanufacturing strategies and organoid technologies to direct cell therapy research. Dr. Iyer is also a passionate educator who seeks to lower barriers to higher education in STEM and to engage the broader community in conversations about science and society. Outside the lab, she is an avid traveler who enjoys photography, reading, and gardening. 

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

Graduate Students 

Emily Pallack

(she/her/hers)

PhD Student

In the Lab: Fall 2023--Present

NSF GRFP Fellow


PhD Biomedical Engineering, 

Tufts University (----)


BS Microbiology & Cell Science

University of Florida,  2023

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Patrick Flynn

(he/him/his)

PhD Student

In the Lab: Fall 2023--Present


PhD Biomedical Engineering, 

Tufts University (----)


Neuroscience

Johns Hopkins University,  2017

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Brandon Hernandez-Pacheco

(he/him/his)

Masters Thesis Student

In the Lab: Fall 2022--Present


MS Biomedical Engineering, 

Tufts University (----)


BS Bioengineering: Biotechnology, 

UC San Diego,  2022

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Natalie Parker

(she/her/hers)

Masters Thesis Student

In the Lab: Fall 2023--Present


MS Biomedical Engineering, 

Tufts University (----)


Bachelor of Science, Amsterdam University College, 2023 

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Research Staff

Zhixin Liao

(she/her/hers)

Lab Technician

In the Lab: Summer 2023--Present


BS Neuroscience, 

Smith College,  2023

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Undergraduate Researchers

Jed Quiaoit 

(he/him/his)

In the Lab: Spring 2023--Present


BS Chemical Engineering,

Tufts University (2025)

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Dylan Patel

(he/him/his)

In the Lab: Spring 2023--Present


BS Chemical Engineering,

Tufts University (2025)

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Farsin Syed

(she/her/hers)

In the Lab: Spring 2023--Present


BS Biomedical Engineering,

Tufts University (2026)

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Justin Wang

(he/him/his)

In the Lab: Fall 2023--Present


BS Biomedical Engineering,

Tufts University (2024)

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