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Science & Engineering Complex
200 College Avenue
Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

Tel: 617-627-3931
Fax: 617-627-3231

> INSciDE@Tufts
   (Interdisciplinary center)

Thomas Nieland
Research Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering


Ph.D., Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Amsterdam, 2005
M.Sc., Biology, University of Leiden, 1996


Thomas Nieland's research focuses on developing novel tissue engineering approaches to elucidate the molecular pathways and cellular and neural circuit defects that cause psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

He has published over 25 manuscripts in journals including Cell, Science, and Nature, and received grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense, and other organizations.

Research Interests

Neurodegenerative disorders are poised to become an epidemic if the ability to diagnose, target, repair, or regenerate the human brain is not greatly improved upon. Current pharmacological therapies have limited effects or do not exist for Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, or for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. By developing 3-D brain disease models that faithfully reproduce the cellular composition (such as neuronal subtypes, astrocytes, microglia), connectivity, 3-dimensional architecture, and function of human neural circuits, Thomas Nieland aims to identify disease mechanisms, biomarkers, and therapies for patients. His multidisciplinary approach integrates bioengineering, material science, organoids, optogenetics, electrophysiology, and stem cell biology with genetics, high-throughput drug discovery and functional genomics, systems biology, and bioinformatics.

Professional Positions

2017-present Research Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering
2016-2017 Associate Principal Scientist, Merck Research Laboratories
2015-2016 Senior Research Scientist, Department of Radiology, Stanford University
2007-2014 Research Scientist, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
2006-2007 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neurobiology, Johns Hopkins University
2000-2016 Research Affiliate, Department of Biology, MIT
2005-2006 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biology, MIT
2000-2005 Visiting Scientist, Department of Biology, MIT
1999-2005 Visiting Scientist, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School