A photo of Magdalena Kasendra, PhD

Magdalena Kasendra, PhD

  • CuSTOM Director of Research and Development, Division of General and Thoracic Surgery



The convergence of stem cell biology, genetic and tissue engineering is creating new solutions for the design of safer and more effective drugs and offer a new level of hope for patients who are suffering with countless conditions for which we have no cures. However, breakthrough discoveries cannot have a positive and near-term impact in a patient’s life if they don’t leave the lab.

My clinical interests include regenerative medicine, cell therapy and transplantation. Furthermore, my research interests include organoids, Organs-on-Chips, stem cell biology, disease modeling, biomarker and therapeutic discovery and drug development.

My team at the Center for Stem Cell & Organoid Medicine (CuSTOM) Accelerator strives to address challenges posed to bench-to-bedside translation of innovative technologies. We are focused on translating scientific knowledge into clinical practice through creative problem solving, development of personalized approaches and prototyping of tangible solutions. Our multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians, engineers and business development specialists work in a close collaboration combining their expertise, passion, enthusiasm and drive toward achievement of one goal — better health and a brighter future for all the patients around the globe.

As a director of research and development of the CuSTOM Accelerator, I lead a multifaceted effort to translate breakthrough discoveries in stem cell biology and organ development into innovative organoid-based solutions to address unmet medical needs. These include organoid-based platforms enabling discovery and development of safer and more efficient drugs, precision medicine applications and organoid-based therapies to advance human health and medical practices.

Prior to joining CuSTOM’s leadership team, I led the Intestine-Chip program and managed the multidisciplinary team responsible for developing, translating and commercializing Organs-on-Chips technology. This research has led to major advances in bioengineering of intestinal tissue by combining microchip manufacturing methods and organoid technology and demonstrated the utility of this platform in drug discovery and preclinical development, disease modeling and precision medicine. I was responsible for the development of Intestine-Chip and its successful translation from early-stage research into compelling, validated technology currently being used across academia and industry all around the world. This industry experience enabled me to gain a deep understanding of the processes involved in developing and de-risking technologies from pre-clinical stages to the clinical market.

My career spans industry, academia and the start-up world. I received my Marie Curie Industrial PhD in cell biology from the University of Bologna (Italy) in conjunction with Novartis Vaccines and Development, which was followed by several post-doctoral research fellowship at the Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. I have authored numerous publications and patents.

Visit CuSTOM Accelerator Lab.

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Wyss Institute for Bioinspired Engineering, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

PhD: University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

MSc and BSc: University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland.

Research Areas

General and Thoracic Surgery