Vinidhra Shankar

PhD Student

Decoding mammalian embryogenesis using Blastocyst-like structures grown on micro-engineered 3D environment

Coming from India, Vinidhra received her bachelor’s degree from Anna University in 2017, during which she explored the fields of stem cell biology and neuroscience. She carried out her thesis at the Indian Institute of Science where she worked on polystyrene micro- and nanoparticles for biomedical applications. She then moved to Germany to pursue her master’s from Technische Universität Dresden where her thesis focussed on the role of thyroid hormone signalling in zebrafish brain regeneration. After exploring several areas of research, she found her ‘true calling’ in the field of regenerative medicine and bioengineering.

In September 2019, she started her PhD journey at the MERLN institute in the department of Instructive Biomaterials Engineering (IBE). Her research focusses on using the previously established ‘Blastoid’ (3D blastocyst-like) model system in the lab to extensively study the dynamics of mammalian embryogenesis and decipher some of the missing pieces in the available model systems. She is planning to combine the 3D cell culture systems with innovative bioengineering platforms to recapitulate the in vivo scenario.


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