By ABIGAIL SWANSON, COLLEGE RELATIONS
CHADRON – Dr. Nisha Durand, Principal Research Technologist at the Human Cellular Therapy Laboratory Center for Regenerative Biotherapeutics at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award (DYA) during Chadron State College’s Homecoming Oct. 1.
Other DYA honorees included Ryan Hieb and Dr. T.J Thomson (in absentia). Also recognized at Homecoming were Distinguished Alumni Award (DAA) recipients Mark Brohman and Dora Olivares.
The DYA is presented to CSC alumni who distinguished themselves in their chosen career or community or shown exceptional service to the college and are 40 years of age or younger.
Durand graduated with a bachelor’s in Human Biology and received the Platinum Eagle award in 2012. During her CSC studies, she worked as an undergraduate research assistant in Physical and Life sciences.
In 2017, she earned her doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Durand also worked in the department of Cancer Biology as a graduate research assistant.
After graduating, Durand worked full-time for the Mayo clinic as a research fellow and senior research fellow before her current role as Principal Research Technologist.
Durand guest-edited a special issue of Cells, a journal published by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, has published many peer-reviewed manuscripts, and presented research at national and international conferences.
She is responsible for developing and evaluating novel biotherapeutics and works closely with clinician investigators to manufacture and deliver novel cell therapies to various patient populations. Her current research interests include Mesenchymal Stromal Cell signaling and mechanisms of potentiation.
Durand, who lives in Jacksonville, Florida, serves on the International Society of Cell and Gene Therapy’s Early-Stage Professional Committee and the Process Development and Manufacturing Committee.
Outside of regenerative medicine, Durand is passionate about increasing diversity in Science Technology Engineering and Math. She serves as a Department Diversity Leader and is a member of Center for Regenerative Biotherapeutics Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee.