Nisha Iyer

Nisha Iyer

4 Colby Street
Research/Areas of Interest:

stem cells, neural tissue engineering, organoids, disease modeling, spinal cord injury, biomanufacturing


  • B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, United States, 2011
  • M.S., Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, St Louis, United States, 2013
  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, St Louis, United States, 2016


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.