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Nina Tandon, Tissue Re-Engineering Superstar

EpiBone, a New York city-based biotech startup, uses stem cells to regrow damaged bones. After getting a PhD from Columbia and working two years at management consultancy McKinsey, Nina Tandon, now 36, returned to school for an MBA to form the company at the forefront of what she calls “biology as design.”

When looking at the range of tissues that could be grown in regenerative medicine, the easiest is something that’s flat, that’s one cell type, and that doesn’t interact with other organs. The skin. Skin has been done since the 1990s. The most difficult? Tissue that’s mechanically and metabolically active, that needs lots of calories, and that interacts with other organs. For example, the heart. Between them is bone, which has a complex shape but a single cell type.

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