Nicolas L’Heureux holds a B.S. degree in biochemistry, an M.S. degree in immunology and microbiology, and a Ph.D. degree in molecular and cell biology from the Laval University, Quebec, Canada. He completed his training as a Postdoctoral Fellow of the American Heart Association at the Bioengineering Department at UCSD. In 2000, he cofounded Cytograft Tissue Engineering, Inc. (San Francisco) where he holds the position of Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. L’Heureux has been an early believer in the possibility of developing biological tissue engineering approaches that could produce constructs with appropriate biomechanical properties. At a time when synthetic scaffolds were seen as the defining part of any tissue-engineered construct, he developed a method termed “Tissue Engineering by Self-Assembly” that allows the creation of biological, living, autologous, and human tissues that display remarkable mechanical strength without the need for any exogenous scaffolding. While this approach has also been used to produce such diverse tissues as skin, heart valves, ligaments, nerve guides, and so forth, Dr. L’Heureux has focused most on developing autologous small diameter blood vessels. With the creation of Cytograft Tissue Engineering, Dr. L’Heureux has sought to accelerate the translation of this technology to clinics. This effort has led to the first and only clinical use of tissue-engineered blood vessels under arterial pressure. His areas of expertise are tissue engineering, cardiovascular tissue engineering, and cell-based therapies.
Biography Updated on 16 July 2012