Karen has studied biomaterials for almost 10 years during both her undergraduate career at MIT and graduate work at Stanford.
She currently works at Aether, a 3D bioprinting startup, developing biomaterials for printing cells into living tissues for applications from drug development to full-organ printing.
Nora Toure: Karen, could you let us know about your background and what brought you into 3D printing in the first place?
Karen Dubbin: I became interested in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine in high school, which led me to pursue a degree in materials science and engineering at MIT. I was drawn to materials due to their ability to influence cell behavior by providing physical and chemical cues.
During my graduate work I became very interested in bioprinting because it serves an unmet need in tissue engineering: the ability to pattern cells into complex 3D architectures such as vasculature. The bulk of my PhD thesis focused on developing biomaterials specifically for 3D printing, termed “bio-inks,” which in turn led to my role at Aether.
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