Leila Daneshmandi

Leila is a student in the School of Engineering graduating with a master’s in global entrepreneurship. She fulfilled her undergraduate career at Amirkabir University of Technology and has recently graduated from UConn with a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering.

While earning a Ph.D., Leila defended a thesis project titled “Graphene-based Materials for Bone Regenerative Engineering,” and co-founded a biotech start-up, Encapsulate. With this start-up, Leila develops automated tumor-on-a-chip technologies for personalized cancer therapy and is currently conducting clinical studies with Hartford Healthcare. Her work has garnered much attention, receiving research grants from NASA and International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory and Boeing.

Alongside being the COO of Encapsulate, Leila was a co-instructor of ENGR 3500, “Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship”—an influential class that she took during her Ph.D. Elsewhere in the community, she has been a UConn STEM mentor for historically underrepresented minority students and Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Ignite Hartford.

Leila has won several awards and titles: CT Entrepreneur of the Year for “Scalable Venture”; 2020 Finalist in the Collegian Innovation and Leadership category of Women of Innovation Awards; John Lof Leadership Academy Scholar; Doctoral Student Travel Fellowship; Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship; General Electric Graduate Fellowship for Innovation; Orthopedic Biomaterials Special Interest Group Star Abstract Award; and Graduate Student Travel Award. In 2020, Leila was featured by TEDx Talks in a video titled, “I’ve Learned to Learn,” in which she challenges us to lead our lives with curiosity and empathy.  In the future, she plans on pursuing her passion in bringing real-life healthcare technologies to those in need.