Nicole Wagner, PhD, CEO, LambdaVision
Dr. Wagner obtained her PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut under the advising of Dr. Robert Birge. Nicole entered the graduate program in 2007 and spent the majority of her graduate career working on optimizing retinal-containing proteins for application in devices. During the course of her PhD research, she played a critical role in the proof-of-concept experiments, which helped to found LambdaVision in May 2009. Through the use of site-directed mutagenesis, site-specific saturation mutagenesis, and directed evolution, Nicole was able to genetically engineer the protein, bacteriorhodopsin, for a variety of device applications, including protein-based holographic and 3-dimensional memories, a chemical detection sensor, and, most recently, a protein-based artificial retina.
Nicole is an accomplished scientist and entrepreneur with numerous peer-reviewed publications – presenting her research at both National and International meetings. Dr. Wagner is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Connecticut Technology Council’s Women of Innovation “Collegian Innovation and Leadership Award,” CT Magazine’s 40 under 40 for the class of 2015, the 2020 Women in Aerospace Achievement Award, and the Hartford Business Journal’s Women in Business Award for 2021. Nicole serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Women in Science Executive’s Club, as well as the CT Technology Council, and recently joined the ISS National Lab User Advisory Committee as the Subcommittee Chair for Applied Research and Development. Nicole has been with LambdaVision since inception, and is LambdaVision’s President and CEO. Since taking on the role of CEO, Dr. Wagner has been successful in securing greater than $8.75M in local, state, and government funding to accelerate the research, development, and commercialization of LambdaVision’s artificial retina.
LambdaVision is developing the first protein-based artificial retina to restore meaningful vision for patients who are blind or have lost significant sight due to advanced retinal degenerative diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).