Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Scientists and Entrepreneurs: From Here to There

November 18, 2016
Nina Tandon (EpiBone) and Hemai Parthasarathy (Thiel Foundation)
Columbia University Medical Center
630 West 168th Street, Fourth Floor
Faculty Club

Join Columbia WIN for a discussion between two leading members of the early-stage biotech community. Nina Tandon, CEO and co-founder of EpiBone, and Hemai Parthasarathy, Scientific Director of Breakout Labs and the Thiel Foundation (and investor in Epibone), will discuss the current state of biotech investing, their lessons on lifescience entrepreneurship, and some advice for those looking to launch their own companies in this space.

Following the presentation, there will be a networking reception with drinks and appetizers in the same location from 5 to 6 pm.

This event is open to all members of the Columbia University community with valid CUIDs. We regret that we are unable to accommodate guests from outside Columbia for this event.

Nina Tandon is CEO and co-founder of EpiBone, the world’s first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction. She is the co-author of Super Cells: Building with Biology, a book that explores the new frontier of biotech. She is a TED Senior Fellow, Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Cooper Union and a former Staff Associate Postdoctoral Researcher in the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Columbia University. She has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the Cooper Union, a Master’s in Bioelectrical Engineering from MIT, a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, and an MBA from Columbia University. Her PhD research focused on studying electrical signaling in the context of tissue engineering, and has worked with cardiac, skin, bone, and neural tissue.

Tandon spent her early career in telecom at Avaya Labs and transitioned into biomedical engineering via her Fulbright Scholarship in Italy, where she worked on an electronic nose used to “smell” lung cancer. After completing her PhD, she consulted at McKinsey and Company, but since 2010 she has continued her work in tissue engineering. Nina has published 10 journal articles (cited > 300 times, H = 9) and six book chapters, and she has three patents. She’s been published in Nature Protocols and Lab on a Chip, has spoken three times at TED, and was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company.

Hemai Parthasarathy is the Scientific Director of Breakout Labs and the Thiel Foundation. She is responsible for establishing the scientific priorities of the program and evaluating the technical merits of submitted proposals. Hemai brings a deep commitment to scientific innovation and communication to Breakout Labs. She has served as the North American Editor for Nature and was a founding editor of PLOS, the open-access publisher of PLOS ONE. Before joining the Thiel Foundation, she advised research institutes, non-profits, and biotechnology companies on the development and communication of their scientific portfolios. She holds a Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Read more here.

The Columbia Women Inventors Network (Columbia WIN) is dedicated to engaging, encouraging, and empowering women inventors from Columbia’s research labs.