Forbes Recognizes Former Mass Eye and Ear Gliklich Healthcare Innovation Scholar on 30-Under-30 List

December 7, 2021

Nicole Black, PhD, a former Gliklich Healthcare Innovation Scholar at Mass Eye and Ear, was recently named to the Forbes 30-Under-30 2022 Manufacturing & Industry list.

Every year, six hundred of the world’s most-successful entrepreneurs under the age of 30 are featured on Forbes’ 30-Under-30 lists. Hundreds of entrepreneurs, activists, scientists and entrepreneurs earn recognition across 20 industries. Collectively, the entrepreneurs named to the 2022 lists have raised over $1 billion in venture funding, according to Forbes.

Dr. Black is currently the Vice President of Biomaterials & Innovation at Desktop Health. In 2020, she was a Gliklich Healthcare Innovation Scholar at Mass Eye and Ear. The Gliklich Healthcare Innovation Scholars Program supports young physicians and researchers who wish to design, implement and produce innovations in healthcare products, delivery, education or other transformative areas. As a Gliklich Scholar, Dr. Black co-founded and launched the biotech startup Beacon Bio, which sought to commercialize the PhonoGraft, a 3D-printed, biocompatible eardrum designed to improve perforated eardrum treatment outcomes.

Dr. Black invented the PhonoGraft in collaboration with several physicians and scientists during her time as a bioengineering PhD student at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. As an outgrowth of her research focus, she participated in the Harvard Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology program. Her research was primarily conducted in the laboratory of Jennifer A. Lewis, ScD, the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering. Through Dr. Lewis’ laboratory, she met Aaron Remenschneider, MD, MPH, and Elliott Kozin, MD, of Mass Eye and Ear, and, together, engineered a novel eardrum graft and co-founded Beacon Bio. 

At Desktop Health, Dr. Black is now driving their invention towards commercialization.

“Dr. Black’s collaboration with Mass Eye and Ear demonstrates how engineers can work with doctors to solve long-standing clinical problems,” said Dr. Remenschneider, an investigator in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at Mass Eye and Ear. “Dr. Black’s work represents the real potential for innovation when you combine smart, motivated engineers with clinicians who are familiar with persistent clinical challenges. This award is a well-deserved acknowledgement of the hard work and preservation that she’s put into the PhonoGraft project.”