Nika Shakiba, PhD, MIT, Boston

Dr. Nika Shakiba is a promising young investigator who supports the search for treatments for countless conditions thanks to her special expertise: how to make stem cells suitable for many types of research and therapies, broadening their availability to other scientists. Through synthetic biology, she aims to control the fate of stem cells, which may help researchers develop better cell manufacturing processes, and better control stem cells in tissues and organs. Once an SCN trainee, Dr. Shakiba is based at MIT in Boston but hopes to return to run her own lab back in Ontario, having forged a strong biomedical engineering network through the University of Toronto.

“By learning how to isolate and control stem cells through research, we are unlocking potential therapies that can change the way we fight diseases. Stem cell research allows us to learn how to stimulate our own body’s stem cells to fight degenerative diseases, and treat previously incurable diseases like blindness, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, and beyond.” – Dr. Nika Shakiba