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Current Article

​Contact: Eddie Miranda, 214-378-1541, emiranda@dcccd.edu                
or Dr. Peggy Shadduck, 214-378-1553, pshadduck@dcccd.edu

For immediate release — March 31, 2015

(DALLAS) — Imagine a day when transplant patients would receive customized organs grown from their own cells outside the body — rendering organ donations obsolete. Or when scientists can create living tissues that would reduce the need for human and animal subjects in testing new drugs — cutting time and money spent in the screening process.

These possibilities are not too far in the future — if not already in progress — for Dr. Nina Tandon, one of the leading experts in the revolutionary field of tissue engineering and biotechnology. Her work involves harnessing life’s most basic building block, the cell, to “grow” human bone tissue for patients requiring bone repair.

Tandon will talk about her fascinating research and work with students and faculty fellows attending the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD)’s fifth annual STEM Summit on April 9-10. She will share a special presentation with the program’s STEM scholars and fellows, along with other invited guests, at the Dallas Hyatt Reunion Tower at 7 p.m. on April 9. 

Her visit continues with a Q-and-A session with STEM scholars at North Lake College in Irving at 9 a.m. on April 10. Other special sessions are scheduled during the summit that day. (Please see the link to the schedule of events below.)

Tandon’s presentations are not open to the public. However, members of the news media are welcome to attend her Q-and-A session with STEM scholars on April 10 for potential coverage. Please contact Eddie Miranda, director of marketing and communications for the DCCCD Foundation, at 214-378-1541 for information.

“We are once again thrilled to bring another world-class leader in the scientific community like Dr. Tandon to talk to our scholars and fellows at our annual STEM Summit,” DCCCD STEM Institute Director Peggy Shadduck said. “Our students are engaged in activities throughout the year that expose them to the wide array of opportunities in STEM fields, and I’m confident Dr. Tandon’s discussions will inspire them to seek more knowledge in their respective areas of interest.”

Tandon, a senior TED fellow, is on the verge of making medical breakthroughs with her work. She co-founded and serves as CEO of EpiBone, the world’s first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction.

Her work and research have also explored growing artificial hearts that can be implanted in the body. “I can’t wait until the day when somebody who needs a heart transplant doesn’t have to wait on a list,” Tandon once said in an interview with TV news personality Katie Couric. “I’m hoping that our research can help us get one step closer to that day.”
Tandon is also staff associate postdoctoral researcher in the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering at Columbia University and adjunct professor of electrical engineering at Cooper Union. She received her doctorate in biomedical engineering, as well as a master’s degree in business administration, from Columbia University. She also earned a master’s degree in bioelectrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cooper Union.

Tandon co-authored “Super Cells: Building With Biology,” a book that explores the new frontier of biotechnology. She has published several scientific journal articles and book chapters, and has three patents. Because of her innovative work, Tandon was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company.    

“I have attended the STEM Summit every year and am always impressed by the quality of presenters who talk to our scholars about the latest breakthroughs in science, technology and engineering,” said Hunter L. Hunt, president and CEO of Hunt Consolidated Energy and chairman of the DCCCD Foundation. “Bringing marquee presenters like Dr. Tandon to the summit is just one of many things the program does to help our top STEM students fuel their passion in the field and discover new opportunities for growth.

“The institute has produced many outstanding scholars at our community colleges who go on to universities, engage in a variety of internships or research opportunities, or are now employed in the industry. These kinds of achievements are essential not only for North Texas but for the entire country to remain competitive globally at a time when science and technology are rapidly evolving,” he added.

In its sixth year, the DCCCD STEM Institute provides scholarships, mentorship and educational and career experiences to high-achieving students in a variety of STEM fields at the colleges of DCCCD. STEM scholars apply for the program each year and are selected based on academic achievement and their strong interest to work or teach in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

The current 121 scholars in the program are mentored throughout the academic year by STEM faculty fellows, professors from each of the seven colleges who also are chosen through a rigorous selection process. The program continues to thrive as demonstrated by the success of its past scholars. Of the 600-plus STEM scholars who have participated in the program since its creation in 2009, more than 90 percent have completed their degree, transferred to universities or are continuing their studies at the colleges of DCCCD.

See below for links to Tandon’s biographical sketch and a fact sheet on the DCCCD STEM Institute. For more information about the STEM Institute, contact Dr. Shadduck at 214-378-1553 or pshadduck@dcccd.edu .

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