Celeste Nelson


Princeton University

Celeste M. Nelson is the Wilke Family Professor in Bioengineering and a Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering and Molecular Biology at Princeton University. She earned S.B. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biology at MIT in 1998, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2003, followed by postdoctoral training in Life Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory until 2007. Her laboratory specializes in using engineered tissues and computational models to understand how mechanical forces direct developmental patterning events during tissue morphogenesis and during disease progression, with a particular emphasis on the vertebrate lung. Celeste’s contributions to the fields of tissue mechanics and morphogenesis have been recognized by a number of awards, including a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface (2007), a Packard Fellowship (2008), a Sloan Fellowship (2010), the MIT TR35 (2010), the Allan P. Colburn Award (2011), a Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2012), a Faculty Scholar Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2016), a Mid-Career Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society (2019), and the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2022). When she’s not thinking about lungs, Celeste can be found running, planning her next run, or daydreaming about tasty food to fuel her running.